LKN Apr 24

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Featured: Infinity Art Glass by Scott Hartley 112 S MAIN STREET MOORESVILLE 704-728-9880

If you would like a fresh set of eyes to review your portfolio or to address some nagging questions, we welcome the opportunity to have a conversation with you. That’s why we’re here.

empowering investors in their financial decisions is our passion and our purpose. Gaskin Asset Management 7615 Colony Rd Suite 100 Charlotte, NC 28226 Connect With Us Get in Touch Phone: 704-544-7990 Toll Free: 800-407-2249 Fax: 704-544-7454 Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Gaskin Asset Management is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
relationships are
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Dear LKN Readers,

Welcome to our Spring Home Issue! This time of year marks the beginning of countless projects that seem to stretch endlessly into the summer. While I won't complain about the heat (okay, maybe just a little), I'm undeniably a spring and fall enthusiast. In this April issue, we've filled the pages with home-related features to inspire and guide you through the season.

Don't forget to let our advertisers know you discovered them in our latest issue. We love hearing stories of the connections forged between our readers and advertising partners.

Get ready for an exciting event – the Boutique Crawl on Saturday, April 27th! Dive into the details on page 64. I guarantee, joining us for this delightful occasion will soon become a cherished annual or bi-annual tradition. Our Spring Boutique Crawl in Lake Norman presents the perfect opportunity to explore and find your summer favorites. And don't forget to mark your calendars for October when we collaborate with Forsyth Woman Magazine for the Fall Boutique Crawl, formerly known as our Tour de Boutique.

While the anticipation for this year's event is bubbling with excitement, it's also a bittersweet time for me. This event holds a special place in my heart as it marks the last time I spent with my dear friend and neighbor, Connie Cherry, pictured below on the right with her sister. Days after our inaugural tour, Connie, very unexpectedly passed away. She was not only a wonderful friend but also an avid supporter of our magazines. I fondly remember our walks, sometimes covering up to 10 miles in a single day. I miss her tremendously!

If fashion is your passion, don't miss the 2nd annual Spring Fashion Event on Thursday, April 18th, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Mooresville. Hosted by Bliss by the Lake and Give Back Boutique, find all the exciting details on page 77.

Explore our event-packed calendar on page 92 to plan your month and beyond. From local gatherings to mustattend happenings, we've got your April covered.

Here's to an amazing April for everyone!


Keela Johnson


Brooke Eagle


Tina Carusillo


Barbara Minor

Tina Carusillo

Abi Schneider




Photo Artistry by Melinda


Meghan Corbett


Martie Emory


Ivey Gaskin Baker

Karen Cooper

Laura Czerwinski

Lindsey Fisher

Tyler Hampton

Brandon James

Jean Marie Johnson

Keela Johnson

Tanner Johnson

Robin Shupe Keller

Cheri Lingafelt

Katie Maxey, RD, IBCLC

Keith O’Neill, PH.D., C. HT.

Katharine Rosenthal, RDN

Susan Boyoung Bailey Schabacker

Charlie Schuler

Leslie Speas

Megan Taylor

Rocky Thompson


Kate Shaw


Next Wave Services




*Others credited throughout.

THE PUBLISHER PERSPECTIVE LKN Magazine Disclaimer: Please note that the inclusion of stories and articles in LKN Magazine magazine does not imply endorsement of products or people. The views of the authors are presented for information and entertainment only, and may not necessarily reflect the views of LKN Magazine. Specifically, LKN Magazine in no way endorses any claim associated with health and/or well being with respect to any particular person. We disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. We will not be held responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage that is caused or alleged to have been caused in connection with the use of, or reliance on, any content in this magazine. LKN Magazine reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing that does not meet LKN Magazine standards. Submissions are welcome but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. LKN Magazine assumes no responsibility for information, products, services or statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. ©2023 by LKN Magazine, Inc.
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16 Growth as a Mindset

22 NeoGenix Stem Cell & Regenerative Therapies: Natural Healing at its Best



36 Westlake Flooring: Scheduling Your Summertime Projects

40 Magic Maid: The All-Natural Approach You Can Trust

42 10 Easy, Inexpensive Home Improvements for Spring

44 D.R. Horton: Blackstone Bay Luxury Townhomes, Stylish Living in Sherrills Ford

50 PersonalizeDesign Interiors: Creating the Home that Tells Your Story

54 Spring Cleaning Your Pantry






The Landing: Lake Norman's Only Waterfront Hotel
The Health Benefits of Laughter
30 SPRING HOME ISSUE Introduction and Table of Contents
COVER STORY Janine Fields: The Perfect Match, Happy Clients and Happy Homes
CoolVu Greater Charlotte: A Clearer View of 34 What's Important
2 Easy DIY Home Decor Projects Just for You
Juggling Work, Life, and Caregiving
LKN Magazine Events: Boutique Crawl
Be the Light: An Evening for Dove House
Mushroom Mania
18 Tar Heel Tidbits that Every True North 34 Carolinian Should Know 84 Westmoreland Wheelhouse: A Life-Changing 34 Plan for Adults with Spinal Cord Injuries 86 Navigating the Generations at Work 90 When Isabelle Lost Her Head


08 The Publisher Perspective

12 Mother Nurture: Investing in Knowledge that Lasts a Lifetime

18 Living Life Accent Prone: Don't Forget the Ceiling

20 Marzano Capital Group: 3 Lesser Known Retirement Milestones

24 Be Well Table: Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad

28 A Bow of Gallantry: Volume XIV

46 Art Speak: Aimee Perry, Acrylic Painter

62 One Man’s Perspective: WWII Museum

66 919 Backyard BBQ: Grilled Skirt Steak

68 Ask Dr. Keith

70 Lake Norman Music Stage: Unveiling the Journey of Pressley Laton

76 LF Wellness Consulting: Movement, A Non-Negotiable

80 Savor Local: Kanpai Sushi & Tapas, An Artful Take on Asian Cuisine

88 Joyful Journey: Cliff of the Neuse State Park

92 Calendar of Events

98 The Last Word on Life at the Lake: Endless Summer


66 36 40 36
APRIL 2024
photography by Stephanie Wiseman Photography



After grinding down a stump, mulching leaves and tilling in new soil, we now have a large 25 X 25 foot flower bed in our front yard. My friends and neighborsa are very curious about what I’m up to.

I tell them, “I’m just playing in the dirt.”

Most of us know that exercise is good for us. Our bodies experience a sense of euphoria from the release of feel-good brain chemicals (endorphins) during physical activity. Exercise consumes our thoughts while we’re in it, taking our attention away from our worries or stressors. We gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment when we get our hearts pumping. Moving dirt is a messy, hard physical task most people wouldn’t want to do. I was curious why dirt was making me so happy.

There is some very interesting research done over decades by Dr. Chris Lowry, integrative physiology, psychology and neuroscience professor at University of Colorado Boulder. His research suggests that there are microorganisms and bacteria in healthy dirt that have positive impacts on immunity but also, even more surprisingly, positive impacts on mental health. Simply put, a rural life around animals is not only better for your immune system than a pet-free, sterile urban life, but it may also lower your risk of mental illness. Why? Those microbes in healthy soil are believed to increase serotonin production, the hormone that controls mood and is believed to play a role in depression. According to Lowry, being close to dirt, you are breathing in nature’s medicine that makes you feel relaxed and happy. On a bigger, more obvious level, growing food and visually stimulating flowers brings joy.

Today, monocrop agriculture is depleting the nutrients from our soil, food prices are at all-time highs and reported depression and anxiety are at unsustainable levels. It’s a problem, but one problem is the solution for another, if you think long enough. Electing to grow some of our own lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, we can actually improve soil sustainability by taking ownership in producing just a little for ourselves. Thanks to innovators with lettuce on the mind, there are new companies making gardening accessible for urban dwellers and those without access to plots of land. Further, we personally benefit. Being connected to the physical earth, caring for life and seeing our efforts grow something feels good. For our children’s psychological development, for stressed parents needing a dirty escape, for anyone feeling lonely and craving a sense of connection or purpose, the dirt is calling.

The last frost date is rapidly approaching in early April. A dozen seed trays are inside under what the kids call “bug lights.” Ranunculus corms are in the ground. Tulips are blooming and lettuces are popping up in the raised beds. Rose bare roots are here. Strawberry roots and dahlia tubers are arriving within days. It’s all very exciting, and it feels like a cross between birthday magic and the nervous energy I get before a half marathon. Preparation has been a steady but kind of slow build. We’re about to get very busy.

12 | @modernfabrics @modernfabricsnc (704) 740-9676 Tues - Sat 10am to 4pm 15435 NC-73 Huntersville, NC 28078 RECLAIMED & DISCOUNTED DESIGNER TEXTILES EWA POWELL, CO-OWNER


When you think of a successful, smart and talented person, who comes to mind? Maybe someone like Thomas Edison, an American inventor credited with inventing the light bulb. While Edison was obviously a very intelligent and talented person, he wasn’t born a success. It took a long slow process of dedication and hard work.

In her book, Mindset, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck says that it’s not intelligence, talent, or education that sets successful people apart. It’s their mindset, or the way that they approach life’s challenges. She says that people adhere to one of two mindsets – a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset operate under the belief that basic qualities like intelligence and talents are fixed traits. They hope that these traits will lead to success and don’t seek to develop themselves further. As a result, they view their failures as a potential threat to their identity and struggle with working through difficult situations. If a fixed mindset is left unchecked for too long, it can eventually lead people to believe that they simply can’t overcome challenges.

People with a growth mindset operate under the belief that they can improve their intelligence and talents with passion, training, and deliberate effort. Someone with a growth mindset welcomes challenges and views failures or missteps as opportunities to learn and grow. For example, if you have a growth mindset, you may believe that you’re gifted with a certain amount of intelligence, but that you can also constantly improve that level of intelligence and talent. This will lead you to study, learn, and put the work into expanding your mind to grow and develop.

At work, whether you’re an entry-level employee or CEO in charge of a lot of people, you can have the power to influence and encourage your company culture by demonstrating a growth mindset. You may have heard the term “grit” which has permeated the American Education System. To demonstrate grit, you have to operate under a growth mindset.

This concept also applies outside of work in your personal life. If you have a fixed mindset, you may believe that you can’t really learn anything new, like how to cook or make improvements in your home. Whereas a person with a growth mindset may seek to develop themselves in these areas and can probably make some real progress.

It stands to reason that it is probably best to demonstrate a growth mindset and not to limit ourselves or remain stagnant.


1. Pay attention to what you are telling yourself daily. Are the messages you are telling yourself growthoriented or fixed?

2. Reframe your thoughts. For example, instead of focusing on the mistake you made, reframe it and try to think of it as a learning opportunity.

3. Look at challenges as opportunities to improve yourself.

4. Don’t view constructive feedback in a negative way. Leverage it to overcome limitations.

5. Observe and learn from your mistakes as well as the mistakes of others.

6. Attempt a variety of approaches rather than taking the same approach in each situation.

7. Try not to be afraid to take calculated risks. Muhammed Ali said,“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life”.

“By embracing the full potential of the ceiling, designers and homeowners can create visually stunning interiors that leave a lasting impression.”
photography by JEJ PHOTOS, interior design by CHERI LINGAFELT

The ceiling is often an overlooked canvas in interior design, yet it holds incredible potential to elevate a room’s aesthetic appeal. It’s time to give this oftenneglected space the attention it deserves. By embracing the full potential of the ceiling, designers and homeowners can create visually stunning interiors that leave a lasting impression. The ceiling can be the “fourth wall” that takes your room from mediocre to breathtaking!

One of the most versatile ways to enhance a ceiling’s design is through the use of shiplap. This overlapping wood paneling adds a touch of rustic charm and texture to the ceiling, bringing warmth and character to the room. Whether used in a modern space or a rustic farmhouse setting, shiplap creates a visually intriguing overhead feature that adds depth and visual interest. Its timeless appeal and adaptability make shiplap a popular choice for transforming a plain ceiling into a captivating design element.

structural elegance while adding a touch of rustic sophistication. Their presence brings a sense of history and tradition to contemporary spaces, making them a compelling design choice for those seeking to marry modern and classic design elements.

Now, let’s talk about those raw wood beams; they’re like the cherry on top of a perfectly designed room. Raw wood beams offer another compelling option for infusing a room with architectural allure. These beams can be left in their natural state, showcasing the organic beauty of the wood, or they can be stained to complement the overall color scheme of the room. When installed on the ceiling, raw wood beams create a sense of

Who says wallpaper is just for the walls? Applying it to the ceiling is a bold, unexpected move that can completely change the mood of a room. Whether it’s a whimsical floral pattern, a bold geometric print or a sophisticated textured design, wallpaper on the ceiling adds an element of surprise and luxury. It draws the eyes upward, creating a sense of height and expansiveness and can redefine the entire ambiance of the space.

By utilizing wallpaper on the ceiling, designers can introduce captivating patterns and colors that harmonize with the room’s overall decor, resulting in a truly unique and personalized interior.

Lastly, let’s talk about painting the ceiling a fun color. This is where you can really let your personality shine. A colorful ceiling serves as a statement piece, infusing the room with energy and personality. Whether it’s a deep jewel tone, a soft pastel or a bold and vibrant hue, a painted ceiling becomes the focal point of the space, commanding attention and setting a distinct tone. This daring design choice adds a playful and unexpected element to the room, encouraging creativity and individuality in interior design.

So, there you have it. The ceiling is so much more than just overhead space. It’s a design opportunity waiting to happen. By adding shiplap, raw wood beams, wallpaper or a daring paint color, the ceiling becomes the wow factor of the room, bringing life and personality to the space. So, let’s give the ceiling the love it deserves and turn it into the star of the show!

Until next month, Cheri

Connect with me!


Design and personal life @cheri_lingafelt



As you may already be aware, the earliest someone can begin drawing Social Security benefits is at age 62. As you enter the red zone for retirement or perhaps are already retired, I want to share three less common retirement age milestones that are important pieces of your overall financial plan.

The first of these is the age of 50. Once you turn 50, the IRS currently allows you to make yearly “catch-up contributions.” These are additional amounts you can contribute to your 401(k)s and IRAs above and beyond the standard annual limits for people under the age of 50. This benefit is designed to help you save additional money for retirement. Not enough preretirees take advantage of this, perhaps because they are unaware that they are allowed to.

The next milestone occurs at age 65. Most Americans qualify for Medicare at this age, which covers a sizable portion of doctor visits, hospital care and other medical services. However, navigating the enrollment and benefits for each part can be

cumbersome, so consider seeking guidance from a healthcare or Medicare specialist.

The last milestone I want to share with you is at age 73. This is when you enter the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) stage. One of the benefits of contributing to 401(k)s and IRAs during your working years is that it lowers your taxable income, therefore it lessens your tax burden. However, you are not allowed to keep growing your retirement savings tax-free forever. The government eventually wants to tax it. Per the current IRS guidelines, you will have to start taking portions of money from your retirement funds by no later than age 73 and pay taxes on those distributions.

These are just a few ages that contain important planning components of which you might not be aware. At the end of the day, you do not know what you do not know, and learning things that you were not aware of can enhance your savings and goals and keep your financial plan on track.

“At the end of the day, you do not know what you do not know, and learning things that you were not aware of can enhance your savings and goals and keep your financial plan on track.”
Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Marzano Capital Group is an other business name of Independent Advisor Alliance, LLC. All investment advice is offered through Independent Advisor Alliance LLC, a registered investment advisor. Independent Advisor Alliance is a separate entity from LPL Financial. 20 |



For those suffering with chronic joint pain that hinders everyday activities, choices for treatment can seem limited. There’s always a doctor visit, the shot for temporary relief and, typically, the inevitable surgery.

Fortunately, an alternative to the traditional medical model is one phone call and a free consultation away, thanks to the experts at NeoGenix Stem Cell & Regenerative Therapies.

Now with locations in Charlotte, which opened in 2020, and new to Cornelius, open since 2023, Co-Founder and Director of Operations Niko Miles couldn’t be happier to offer patients a natural, ethical and honest option – the “gap” between seeing a doctor and conceding to surgery.

“We pride ourselves on doing the right thing for every patient,” he explains. “We don’t offer false hope. If we truly feel we can’t help a patient with his or her chronic pain issues, of course we would refer him or her for surgery.”

Healing joint pain without surgery, however, is their primary goal. The top

benefits of NeoGenix are impressive – no surgery, no medications, no downtime.

At your free initial consultation with a board-certified medical doctor – Dr. James Altizer at the Charlotte office and Dr. Richard Kuzma at the newest Lake Norman location – you’ll receive a physical examination of your area(s) of complaint, a review of your medical history and a review of your current diagnostic imaging, such as an x-ray or MRI. If you don’t have current imaging, the doctors can order imaging or perform an ultrasound as part of the free consultation.

“Ultimately, the patient decides if we are a good fit,” Niko adds.

With natural tissue regeneration, stem cell and regenerative therapies are the only treatments addressing the underlying causes of joint pain. They are successful for pain in the knees, shoulders, hips, back and other joints – but knees, backs and shoulders are the most common ailments seen at NeoGenix. Treatments here are also endorsed by both amateur and professional athletes, and NeoGenix works with the top physical therapists in the Charlotte area to provide ongoing

healing. As Niko explains, “The patient has to do his or her part, as well! Rehab is an important part of our process, and physical therapy is essential to help with muscle weakness, incorrect muscle firing patterns and compensation issues. We are going to help the joint, muscle, tendon or ligament heal properly. Someone else has to correct the rest.”

NeoGenix has more options to choose from than any other clinic in the Carolinas, including “The Super Shot,” Bone Marrow, Adipose (Fat) Tissue and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). The practice encourages all prospective patients to do their own research before scheduling a consultation, and there are thousands of credible research articles and clinical studies out there to read.

NeoGenix Stem Cell & Regenerative Therapies is located at 16147 Lancaster Highway, Suite 140, in Charlotte, and at 19475 Old Jetton Road, Suite 102, in Cornelius, 704.727.6551. Email for more information, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @neogenixstemcells, and learn more about their treatment and therapy options at

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“If you are looking for alternatives to surgery and excellent individualized care by a board-certified physician, look no further! For years, I’ve been told that I would eventually require knee replacement surgery for both my knees. I also struggled with my back. I finally reached a point where both knees were bone-on-bone, and I could no longer walk without a walker or cane. I am only 57 years old, and I did not want to go through two surgeries under anesthesia for my knee replacements. So, I researched all available alternatives. Stem cell treatments looked promising, and I contacted a number of offices that provide the treatments using stem cells harvested from my own body. The consultation at NeoGenix – which included the exam, x-rays of my knees, back and hips, and evaluation with explanation of my joint degeneration – proved to me that NeoGenix was the best choice for my care. The x-rays revealed I also had degeneration of my left hip, so I received stem cell treatments in both my knees, my lower

back and my left hip in the office – minimally invasive and no anesthesia required! I am absolutely amazed with the results! I was hopeful it would help, but the results are exceeding my expectations. My right knee is 100% mobile and pain free! My back, hip and left knee have had 75% improvement, and I just received a booster of PRP in those areas, so I expect continued results. I am thrilled to be able to walk without a walker or cane now and look forward to joining in on sports with my friends as I continue to heal. While insurance may not cover these treatments, I would have spent the same out-of-pocket on my deductibles/ co-pays had I gotten the knee surgeries, and sadly, nothing would have been done for my back and hip. Those would have continued to deteriorate and cause immobility, leading to probable back and hip surgeries in the future. Health is priceless! Thank you to the skilled doctor and knowledgeable, caring staff at NeoGenix!”



Packed with fresh veggies and avocado, all coated in a creamy cilantro Greek yogurt-based dressing.

Servings: 6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes


• 16 oz of orzo pasta, cooked and cooled

• 12 oz of frozen corn kernels

• ½ red onion, diced

• ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

• ½ English cucumber, diced

• 1 avocado, diced

• 1 lime, juiced


• 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

• 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

• 2 T olive oil

• 1 garlic clove

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/8 tsp. cayenne


1. Prepare the orzo noodles according to the box instructions. Allow the pasta to cool after being drained and rinsed.

2. While the orzo is cooking, start prepping the vegetables. Halve the cherry tomatoes, microwave the frozen corn, dice the cucumber, red onion and avocado, and finely chop the cilantro.

3. Place the cooled orzo and chopped vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice over top and mix.

4. Dressing – in a blender, add the cilantro, olive oil and lime juice. Blend until it looks like green juice. If it is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out.

5. In a blender, add the cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, plain Greek yogurt, garlic, salt and cayenne, and blend until completely smooth.

6. Pour the dressing over the noodles and vegetables, and toss until the salad is well coated. Enjoy!

Recipe Tips:

• By using Greek yogurt, you are increasing the protein content of the dish.

• This pasta salad is packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals from all the vegetables!

For more recipes and nutrition tips, head to the Be Well Table blog.

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When doctors were asked to contribute to a new wing at their hospital…

Allergists voted to scratch it.

Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no.

Gastroenterologists had a gut feeling about it.

Neurologists thought the administration “had a lot of nerve.”

Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.

Pediatricians said, “Grow up!”

Radiologists could see right through it.

Podiatrists thought it was a big step forward. Psychiatrists thought it was madness.

Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!”

Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. 1

Did you laugh, even a little bit, while you were reading the list above? If so, you just did yourself a favor. Research shows that laughter has a positive effect on both health and the healing process. The positive effects of laughter can also make you more resilient, increasing your ability to cope with challenges. Experts say that laughter benefits you in at least 10 ways. Here’s what laughing does for you:

1. Boosts your immune system by increasing infection-fighting antibodies

2. Relaxes muscles throughout your body. After a good laugh, muscles can stay relaxed for as long as 45 minutes.

3. Reduces tension, anxiety, and stress

4. Lowers bad cholesterol

5. Raises good cholesterol

6. Gives you more energy

7. Protects your heart and cardiovascular system by increasing blood flow and making blood vessels more elastic

8. Improves your social connections

9. Shifts your perspective into a positive direction

10. Triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and temporarily relieve pain.

As it turns out, the old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine,” may actually be true. Scientists now know why a sense of humor is so important. Laughing counteracts the effects of stress by stopping the

release of the stress hormone, cortisol, and triggering the release of dopamine, which has a calming, anxiety-relieving effect. There are psychological benefits, too. Introducing some humor into a difficult situation helps a person feel more in control, which makes the situation seem easier to manage. The ability to find something funny in a tough situation also helps dispel feelings of anger and fear, which have a negative impact on health over time.

Humor is especially helpful to both those with longterm illnesses and their caregivers. Maggie, a full-time caregiver for her husband, who has dementia, said, “If you don’t have a sense of humor, you’re just not going to make it!” Your situation, like Maggie’s, may not be particularly funny. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to laugh about. For the sake of your mental and physical health, at least once each day, look away from your responsibilities and problems and find something that makes you laugh. Stay in touch with your most upbeat friends. Look for funny books, movies, and Internet videos. Even when those things can’t be found, laugh anyway⎯because your body can’t tell the difference between genuine and “fake” laughter. The benefits of laughter accrue regardless of why you are laughing. So, today and every day, go ahead and laugh—because it’s really good for you!



Note: if several of these signs appear, you may rarely need to visit a doctor.

1. Regular flareups of a supportive network of friends & family.

2. Chronic positive expectations.

3. Repeated episodes of gratitude & generosity.

4. Marked tendency to identify & express feelings.

5. Compulsion to contribute to society.

6. Lingering sensitivity to the feelings of others.

7. Habitual behavior related to seeking new challenges.

8. Tendency to adapt to changing conditions.

9. Feelings of spiritual involvement.

10. Persistent sense of humor.

1. Excerpted from The Capitalist Spirit: How Each and Every One of Us Can Make a Giant Difference in Our Fast-Changing World, by Yale Hirsch (John Wiley and Sons, 2010).

2. Adapted from a posting on a bulletin board, author unknown. Online at



You routinely hear the quote “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” My rebuttal to that is “why not just dress for the job you have?” There should be no shame in dressing better than you must; in fact, doing so can improve not only your overall mood, but your confidence, public perception, and even your performance whether at work or in your daily life. The realization of this gave birth to the power suit- an oversized suit with broad lapels and padded shoulders, giving the wearer an appearance of being larger and authoritative. Though the style has changed drastically since the days of the power suit, the mentality of it remains.

A well-tailored suit commands respect and exudes confidence. Sliding on the matching jacket and trouser can make you feel untouchable. Cinching a perfectly paired tie around your neck and slipping on a matching shoe and belt combination only amplifies that sense of being. A complete ensemble made for you and fitted to your exact measurements and needs will carry you far in life. Even better is that with this, you waste no time in thinking about what to wearyou just know. While this outfit can be anything you desire, it doesn’t have to be anything loud or out of the ordinary. Contrary to the aforementioned power suit, the style today, coined “quiet luxury,” is much more subtle. The most important parts are the fit and the feeling you have while wearing it.

One rejection to suits or sportcoats I often hear is that the man has nowhere to wear them or will be out of place at work. This could not be further from the truth! You can wear them anywhere, and the only way to be out of place is by wearing them with uncertainty. If you feel that when going into a meeting, out to dinner, or simply any time, that you are overdressed, you are approaching it incorrectly. You are not overdressed; your colleagues are simply underdressed. If someone asks you “why are you wearing a suit/coat/tie?” ask them in return, why they are not. Trust me, it’s okay to dress as if you care. Golf attire and athleisure have their places: the golf course and lounging at home. Business and

sophisticated restaurants call for holding yourself and your peers to a higher standard, and there is nothing wrong with doing so. Give it a try, and you will see what I mean.

Whether or not you realize it, we all have outfits which make us feel better about ourselves. Should you feel that this is not a part of your arsenal, or you would just like to expand your collection, stop by Hampton’s and let us assist you. We can create exactly what you need to achieve this feeling and your next goals. We’ve already completed the first quarter of 2024… for the remainder of the year, challenge yourself to be bold and confident. After all, no one ever speaks highly of the most boring and lackadaisical man in the room.

If you have any questions or a topic you’d like to see addressed, please feel free to contact me at

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In every issue of LKN Magazine we celebrate all that the Lake Norman area has to offer, but in our April and October issues we celebrate the many ways that we can make our homes an inviting place to gather with family and friends. Our homes are more than just houses, apartments, or condos, they are the vital space where we go to rest, recharge and make memories together. The Spring Home issue is not just about making your home look beautiful inside and out, it is also about making it work for you and your lifestyle.

32 COVER STORY Janine Fields: The Perfect Match, Happy Clients and Happy Homes 36 Westlake Flooring: Scheduling Your Summertime Projects | 40 Magic Maid: The All-Natural Approach You Can Trust | 42 10 Easy, Inexpensive Home Improvements for Spring 44 D.R. Horton: Blackstone Bay Luxury Townhomes, Stylish Living in Sherrills Ford | 46 Art Speak: Aimee Perry, Acrylic Painter | 50 PersonalizeDesign Interiors: Creating the Home that Tells Your Story 54 Spring Cleaning Your Pantry | 56 CoolVu Greater Charlotte: A Clearer View of What’s Important 58 2 Easy DIY Home Decor Projects Just for You April 2024 | 31




Given her love of architecture and art –including oils, acrylics and watercolors, which she continues to enjoy as a hobby – Janine’s creative eye nudges her to see treasures in a prospective home that a buyer might miss. That knack for making perfect matches means she pairs individuals and families with that one sacred place they will call home – a retreat from the stresses of the outside world. And, as a fun incentive to waterfront home buyers, Janine offers the ultimate experience of looking at potential properties not only by car, but by boat, as well!

Originally from Grefrath, Germany, Janine, her husband, Jimmy, and their much-loved rescue dog, Milo, make their own home at Trilogy Lake Norman. There, they surround themselves with various indoor and outdoor activities –relishing a good book, admiring art and a few antique treasures, or simply taking in that fresh North Carolina air. In fact, Trilogy neighbors regularly see Janine out walking with Milo, enjoying the outdoors!

Janine is also known for working tirelessly with clients to help them find their own personal retreat – no matter what the location, making the entire process as smooth and personable as possible!

“Buying a new home is an emotional experience,” said Janine, adding that clients often turn into friends, which is a very lovely bonus. That special bond often leads to referrals of other friends and family members.

Janine goes beyond the role of a mere REALTOR® for her clients, thanks to her wealth of knowledge, unwavering integrity, deep commitment and friendly demeanor. Ranked among the top seven out of 274 agents at Southern Homes of the Carolinas, Janine made a successful transition from a 22-year career in business management to real estate. Her professional strengths shine through with an honest, hands-on approach, extending from the initial consultation to move-in or move-out day and beyond. Janine willingly assists with any moving chore, providing invaluable support that eases her clients’ experience.

“Janine came highly recommended to us and was truly amazing. From the moment she came to look at our home, she was a true professional, detail oriented and a master of her craft. She was on top of everything from start to finish. We had a worry-free, lightning fast sale of our home due to her diligence. I cannot thank her enough, and anyone considering selling their home, Janine is the best of the best!” -


From first-time home buyers and new construction to glorious waterfront homes, Janine is a master of creative solutions, no matter how large or small the issue.

“My end goal is to see everyone smiling – that smile when you know you’ve found the right home!” she said.

Always the consummate team player, working side-by-side with other agents and mortgage brokers gives Janine the opportunity to encourage her colleagues in their professional efforts as well, a trait she holds dear.

“I think we all need to be there for each other and support each other,” she said.

Co-worker, mentor and close friend Ed Sink shares why Janine’s commitment to her clients is stellar. “As a person and broker,

Janine is highly motivated to achieve not only her personal goals, but will easily transfer her energy and motivation to ensure her customers achieve their goals and aspirations, as well. She manages her real estate business with a soft, yet firm hand, while providing solid advice and sharing her vision with her customers regarding their real estate needs,” said Ed.

You’ll find Janine’s clients feel the same way – with five-star reviews and firsthand experience to remember fondly!

Reaching out to Janine Fields will be one of the best moves you’ll ever make! Contact her at 704.231.9883 or via email at To learn more about Janine’s professional services and Southern Homes of the Carolinas, visit

From the get-go of our home buying experience, we were told our strenuous requirements and time frame were not possible, and I had talked to many agents. I was put in contact with Janine, and I explained our situation. Within a few hours, she had seven homes for us to view – one of those being our recent purchase. Without Janine, I believe we would still be searching. She went above and beyond to help us. She met every situation we found ourselves in throughout the process head-on. We will forever be grateful for her, and she will be the only REALTOR® we will use if the need ever arises again.” -

“While writing a review of our experience working with Janine as our REALTOR®, we are pleased to have a chance to brag about her for sure. She has been great to work with, very knowledgeable and competent, and she made us feel she always had our best interests as her goal. It was nice to work with someone who also lives in the community and seems to be happy with her choice to live at Trilogy. Janine always made us feel comfortable and seemed willing to go the extra mile to take care of our concerns.” -

“My end goal is to see everyone smiling – that smile when you know you’ve found the right home!”
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As Lake Norman’s most personable all-natural, organic residential cleaning services, Magic Maid exclusively uses eco-friendly products and procedures. A mother herself, Owner Aga Wegrzyn brings her concerns about her own children’s health to the business. The team operates with only organic products after Aga was inspired by watching Shark Tank, where she learned of Better Life Organic and Nature products. After every visit by a Magic Maid team member, you’ll know you, your loved ones and the LKN natural environment are all safer!

Originally from Poland, both Aga and her husband, Daniel, came to the United States at the age of 21 and

immediately found cleaning jobs while living in Rhode Island. The two opened their own business there after only six months, utilizing the economics and management degree Aga earned in Poland, as well as her masters degree in law and business administration.

“We started with restaurants and, after one year, we expanded to stores, offices and houses,” shares Aga. “So, we have altogether been in business since 2001, more than 23 years.”

In those early days, the energetic couple cleaned restaurants at night – seven nights a week – and went to school during the day to learn English.

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“It was hard because we worked at night and studied during the day, with not much time to rest,” Aga remembers. “We were young and ready to build our American dream!”

While they initially did all the cleaning work themselves, they eventually gathered enough business to contract more employees, and the Magic Maid team today numbers 16! Learning the cleaning industry from scratch, Aga also knows what it’s like not to be the boss – which she feels helps her appreciate how her current employees are feeling on a daily basis.

Later, they moved to Canada for 10 years, opening a successful cleaning company in the Toronto area. But, three years ago, they happily moved the family to North Carolina – including their three kids, Fabian, Alex and Bianca. The two older sons are involved in the business here, which provides meticulous services to restaurants, offices and homes at Lake Norman and around the Charlotte area. They also focus on vacation homes and Airbnb rentals.

Aga is the first to tell you the importance of client relationships and feeling a connection between clients and their Magic Maid team member.

“We choose our employees very carefully to select only the best,” she shares. “We have to trust them, and my clients need to feel the same way! Our relationship with many clients is that of friendship – when our employees arrive, clients hug them and treat them like family members – which is amazing!”

That relationship goes both ways, as the Magic Maid team cares for clients’ homes with the same respect they would their own homes!

“Each customer is an individual, and I always meet them in person first to see the house and understand their needs and preferences,” Aga adds. “We make it

a priority to achieve maximum effectiveness and see that any issues or concerns are taken seriously.”

With her strong work ethic and true fondness for people, Aga says she happily strives to be a friend to her employees and not just their boss.

“They know they can count on me! We try to have the best possible atmosphere at work because, together, we work as a team!”

With the mindset of continually improving their services and staying up-to-date on organic industry advancements, Magic Maid brings the peace of mind all-natural products provide, right to your doorstep. Based in Denver, NC, learn more about their services around Charlotte and the Lake Norman area at, email Magicmaidnc@ or call 704.616.6679. You can also follow them on Facebook @magicmaidnc.



Who doesn’t love the hopefulness of spring? After a long, gray, lonely winter, who among us isn’t ready to get out in the sunshine and make our living space more beautiful…inside and out! If your home and surroundings need a little sprucing up, there’s no time like the present to embark on a new project!

These budget-conscious ideas will have you admiring and enjoying your space for years to come. From funky garden planters and inexpensive outdoor furniture makeovers, to refreshed walls and cabinets inside, there are plenty of ways to improve your surroundings without spending a fortune.

• Find unconventional items around your house to use as garden planters—an old box spring, a wheelbarrow, a bass drum, crates, shelves, and pallets…all make wonderfully inventive planters and great conversation pieces! Design your vegetable, fruit, and herb garden using these inventive pieces.

• Make wire cloche covers to protect your vegetables/fruits or other plants from pests—use chicken wire or wood covered in chicken wire to make cloche covers that will keep the pests out! There are great DIY videos online showing a variety of designs and how to make them.

• Make window planters—you can really get creative with these! They can be as simple as a plain wooden box or one fashioned out of old pallets; you can buy

an inexpensive vinyl box ready to install, or adorn your boxes with ornamental iron features you love. Paint your boxes whatever color you choose, then pick out beautiful plants and blooming flowers that make you happy to look at each time you drive up the driveway.

• Change the hardware on your kitchen or bathroom cabinets; change out handles and knobs, and while you’re at it… change towel racks and even lighting fixtures. You can get great vintage fixtures online or at antique markets, or find brand new ones anywhere they sell home goods. There are so many varieties to suit your taste! What a difference a small change can make!

• Add peel-and-stick wallpaper to an accent wall or an entire room—anything you can dream up can be found in a peel-and-stick wallpaper these days. Bring the outside in with a forest scene, an English meadow, a tropical beach panorama, a night sky, or even go to the moon! Go anywhere you want to be! Create something amazing without breaking the bank.

• Paint your front door a color you love—make your house POP! What color would you choose? Red? Yellow? Orange? Blue? Imagine the possibilities!

• Incorporate old bricks and stones into your garden or backyard. Create a garden pathway, a small patio, a fire pit, or a place to set your café table and chairs. Wherever you need a hard surface or a focal point, use bricks or stones to make a fine-looking statement.

• Find “new to you” deck or patio furniture on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for a steal! Look for a giant umbrella to create comfortable shade and relax with friends over a lazy summer al fresco dinner.

• Install a birdbath and bird feeder. It doesn’t have to be your standardfare birdbath. You can get creative and make it match your decorating personality! Anything that holds water can be a birdbath…a pile of stones with a terra cotta saucer or galvanized pan, stacked bricks with a shallow bowl or pan on top, a hanging birdbath with any shallow thing that holds water.

• Tiny lights—across the yard, deck, patio, anywhere you want to make a magical atmosphere….string up tiny lights. There are so many varieties now to help you make your space beautiful.

Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your time spent making your surroundings beautiful! Then invite your favorite people to enjoy them with you.

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Since 2002, more homebuyers have chosen D.R. Horton than any other homebuilder, and a tour of Blackstone Bay gives you a glimpse into the company’s hallmark of building quintessential homes for a variety of lifestyles. The location, pricing and amenities are second to none.

New Home Specialists Ariel Nelson and Sarah Jenkins would love to show you one of the beautiful Blackstone Bay townhomes, boasting approximately 2,395 to 2,570 square feet of luxury living!

“We have two floor plans available, both two story, each with four bedrooms and two-car garages,” Ariel explains. “The Livia is the largest with three full baths, and the Sandra has two-and-a-half baths. The deciding factor for many homebuyers is that the Sandra plan’s primary bedroom is on the first floor, ideal for ‘first floor living’ since the laundry room is downstairs, too!”

In your new townhome, homeowners will experience superior craftsmanship, stylish design, luxurious granite in the kitchen, solid

surfaces in the living areas and sleek, stainless steel appliances. The spaciousness of each townhome gives all the feels and comfort of a single-family residence. Yet, owners can enjoy the time they’d be spending on lawn maintenance by the pool or cabana here instead! Furry family members will also love the recently finished dog park.

An all-around wonderful place to live, Sherrills Ford is located just north of Charlotte along Highway 150, near Interstate 77 and on the north side of Lake Norman. This beautiful new luxury townhome community is situated in a picturesque natural setting, near the much-loved lake known for endless water activities and amazing sunsets! But, don’t let the tucked away, tree lined setting fool you, the townhomes are conveniently located near every happening in Mooresville, including shopping, dining and entertainment.

For more information and to schedule a tour of your future new home, call the Blackstone Bay Sales Office at 704.679.6291. Office hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. For more information on the quality homes of D.R. Horton, America’s Builder, visit drhorton. com. D.R. Horton is an Equal Housing Opportunity Builder.

April 2024 | 45


This month’s featured creator is acrylic painter, Aimee Perry.

How would you describe your work?

My work serves as my personal journal, allowing me to break through my own barriers and distractions, ultimately gaining a deeper understanding of my own humanity, emotions, motivations and personal growth. I am captivated by the process of translating genuine emotions into tangible stories on canvas and embracing the challenge it brings.

Which other artists most inspired you?

As I began my journey in painting, I had the opportunity to learn from talented local artists at a nearby gallery. The experiences and teachings I received from them left a lasting impression on me. Not only were these artists immensely skilled, but they also exemplified admirable values. It is a rare find to come across artists who possess not only talent, but also integrity and a sense of security. Being their student opened my eyes to a whole new creative lens. While skill alone is impressive, it is truly awe-inspiring and uncommon to witness individuals who not only excel in their artistic abilities, but also demonstrate humility and unwavering principles. Whenever I encounter such extraordinary individuals, my admiration and inspiration reach new heights.

Where do you find your best sources of inspiration?

I draw inspiration from many sources, particularly matters of the heart, my faith,

the outdoors and creation itself. The stories of life unfold in every corner, and I am fascinated by them. I’m a storyteller. Collecting stories and strategizing on how to best illustrate or share them is what gives me inspiration. When they connect with another, that’s pretty cool, too.

What is the greatest compliment you’ve received about your work?

There was a commission piece I did for a woman who found me online. She’d given me little direction outside of colors, and asked me to lean into my imagination completely with it. This was unnerving

her words to heart and gave myself complete liberty. I sent it to her, and hours and hours went by in silence. I bit my nails off, and a headache started coming on. I was starting to panic when finally, my phone rang. I wish I could have pressed record so as to keep her words and encouragement locked inside for whenever I would need them. Through tears, she told me of a personal childhood experience and how my painting brought her back to one of the purest moments of her life and will be the greatest healing work of art she has ever owned.

What is one piece of creative advice you wish you had learned sooner than later?

The more I experience love for who I am, and have grace for where I am, the more secure I become. Here, is where authenticity lives, and that feels magical. Creating authentically is what allows me to flow in originality and find my voice. I’m allowed to enjoy all the mistakes and the victories of that creative journey instead of being tormented by my gift. It sure beats entering the rat race, living under my own critical eye, being competitive or feeling inadequate in any circles I find myself in.

You can experience Aimee’s pieces in person at Juelerye in Mooresville. Online, you can visit; @aimeeperry_art on Instagram or Aimee Perry Fine Art on Facebook.




As the CEO of PersonalizeDesign Interiors, Stephanie Dobson has curated a boutique design business with a strong trio of values – family, craftsmanship and integrity.

Stephanie brings a wealth of business experience to her creative designs that include streamlined communication and her personal touch of flawless attention to every beautiful detail.

“I live by the conviction that design is incredibly important work,” she shares. “It plays a vital role in enhancing daily living.”

Stephanie shares exciting details of her new office space in Cornelius – and a bit more about her passion for the design process.

How long have you been in your new office space (now conveniently located in Cornelius)?

Our business office relocated to The Blake House in Cornelius at the end of 2023 which has allowed me to be much closer to clients and to host project meetings

in the new space. The Charlotte area has been home to me since I was a kid, so being closer to the places and local businesses I love in the Lake Norman area is really special. The Blake House is a lovely property – close to the interstate, tons of great restaurants, plus plenty of onsite parking makes it super easy for our clients to visit. I couldn’t be happier with the decision to move!

A great believer in heart and home, we know you’re a fan of the phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats.” How does that mirror your philosophy?

I think it’s important when collaborating with clients to bring my ideas and opinions to the conversation, but to be their advocate throughout the project. Our clients are busy professionals with families and full lives – entertaining, traveling, attending board meetings –and they need someone who understands their needs. The collaboration and partnership with our trusted trade teams ensures their designs come to life with minimal disruption to their lives. Creating beautiful homes with heart and hospitality at the center is truly a group effort.

P ersonalize D esign INTERIORS
Continued on page 52. 50 |

Continued from page 50.

What’s involved in your initial first chat with a prospective client?

The first step in our process is a phone conversation, known as a Discovery Call, that typically lasts 30 to 45 minutes. I ask questions about the project, share some ideas and learn the client’s goals. It’s an educational conversation for both of us! We discuss budget ranges, and I share information to help them understand how best to plan. Design and construction of a home is very personal and, depending on the scope of the project, can be a relationship that lasts for a long time. It’s important to establish a connection and determine if we’re a good fit to work together. If it’s decided during the Discovery Call that we’re destined to work together, we schedule an in-home consultation to begin building the project scope.

Since your home designs ultimately enhance every single day of a family’s life together – what do you feel are most important in terms of creating a setting that not only comforts and soothes at the end of a long day, but also inspires clients to tap into their own creativity?

It’s so important to feel at home in your home! My goal is to create elevated interiors that function for our client’s lifestyle. Plus, I want them to feel luxurious and approachable. Our clients love to entertain, so they need beautiful homes where they are proud to host – and everyone who comes in feels immediately welcomed. Often, clients are beginning a new phase of life that has them rethinking how they spend time at home. Whether it’s putting down roots in the area or transitioning to the empty nest phase, I’m here to open their eyes to the possibilities for the next chapter.

Why do you feel color is such a powerful force in our daily living spaces?

Color is definitely something you’re going to see more of from PersonalizeDesign Interiors. I love patterns and

below: Jane Haas Photography

colors, and I’m passionate about introducing them to clients. Most of us want our homes to be unique and not like every other house on the block. Color and pattern play bring in a personal style that makes your home one-of-a-kind – while still being timeless. Thoughtfully curated homes layered in personality truly tell a client’s story – and that’s the goal. I feel it’s my responsibility to show clients options they haven’t thought of or didn’t know were available. To ensure they love our ideas and feel comfortable with them (it is their home, after all), we have “touch points” throughout the process where we’re reviewing the concept and tweaking as needed, until everyone feels ready to move forward. The samples and 3D realistic renderings we offer are very helpful in allowing clients to envision the future space.

Design can sometimes feel overwhelming. That’s where Stephanie’s stellar communication skills take over.

“When clients know where their project currently is in the process, they can relax. Those who work with me always know what’s coming next! I’m here to make their lives as enjoyable (and beautiful) as possible.”

PersonalizeDesign Interiors serves Concord, Lake Norman, Charlotte and beyond. Visit their new office at 21000 Torrence Chapel Road, Suite 211 in Cornelius, NC, online at Personalizedesigninteriors. com and on Instagram @personalizedesigninteriors. Reach Stephanie at 704.781.8377, or email

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When was the last time you cleaned your pantry from top to bottom? A deep, thorough cleaning of your pantry is helpful to do once or twice a year. If you cannot remember the last time you cleaned out the pantry, don’t worry, it’s okay. Most of us don’t think to deep clean our pantry like we do other areas of our house. What we know, however, is that foods tend to sit there for months and even years. Before we know it, we have expired food taking up space that could have been eaten or donated. Think of cleaning your pantry when you’re spring cleaning your house. Did you just finish getting rid of your winter clothes and coats that didn’t fit this season? Now, turn your attention to the food, spices and oils that you haven’t used in a while! It’s good to go through it all, donate what you do not think you will eat and plan to begin using some of the foods that have been tucked on the back of the shelf before it’s too late!

Spring cleaning your pantry can help you save money, help you feel organized, reduce the clutter of your pantry and kick-start your meal planning goals with the foods you have forgotten that were in there. You can do one big overhaul in a day, or you can tackle it shelf by shelf and do a little at a time. As you are pulling items off the shelves, not only are you able to clean up the food that is there, but you can wipe down any spills or residue on the shelves, as well. (We’re talking about you, honey container!) As you put the food back on the shelves, do you want to organize it like it was? Or do you find that you want to put some items in a bin, so they don’t tip over? Or maybe they need to be at a level that your children can get to. Rethink the storage of where foods are within your pantry, and make it make sense for yourself and your family.

When cleaning your pantry, make sure you look at expiration dates. Toss it if it’s expired. If it’s close to expiring, think about whether you are going to use it or not. If not, create a pile to donate. There are plenty of food pantries in the area that would love to have your unopened foods.

Tips for expiration dates:

• Spices and herbs should be used within a year of opening. If you are unsure how long a spice has been open, you may want to replace it with a new container. It can be helpful to write on the bottom of the spice or herb the date that you open it, so when you clean the pantry again, you know how long it’s been open.

• Some oils, especially if you are not using them frequently, can go rancid if sitting in the pantry unused. If it looks questionable and you can’t remember the last time it was used, toss it.

• For canned goods, organize them in order of expiration date as you’re putting them back in your pantry. The ones that expire sooner, put them at the front. Meal plan with those sooner than the canned goods at the back of the shelf.

• If you have nuts in your pantry, think about placing them in the freezer. They will last longer stored in the freezer than in the pantry.

• Some baking supplies, like baking soda, can be used for cleaning if it’s past its expiration date.

As you toss or place items in the donation pile, make sure you have your grocery list handy to write down what you need to replace. As you put food back on the shelves, look at what you might be missing that are staples for yourself and your family. Stock up on items that you use often, and plan meals for any items that will be expiring soon! It may be daunting now as you are going through each food item, but in the end, you will have a refreshed pantry, and you will feel good about the items that are in the pantry. You may even have a start on next week’s meal plan knowing some of the items are expiring soon. You’ve got this – happy spring cleaning!

April 2024 | 55


From window tinting to privacy frosted glass, wall graphics, architectural surface finishes and retro-fit security glass solutions, CoolVu offers a range of products to improve your most valued spaces. With coverage areas that include Mooresville, NC, all the way to Lancaster, SC, CoolVu also invites Lake Norman area residents to see what their rave reviews are all about!

Franchise Owners Chu Wong and Billy Phillips opened the Charlotte location in 2022 after their search for a new business venture left them immensely impressed with CoolVu’s quality solutions portfolio. With products manufactured in the United States, CoolVu is the franchise derivative of Window Film Depot, a leader in the window films and graphics industry for almost 30 years. Both Chu and Billy bring extensive business experience to the mix and were pleased with what had made the company so successful.

“The operation is lean and efficient, and we often get our inventory in 24-48 hours,” explains Chu. Because of their high-quality products and proven success, CoolVu can offer a lifetime warranty to residential customers and a 15year warranty to commercial customers, for most CoolVu branded products.

“Most important to us is that our products actually solve reallife, everyday problems,” Chu explains. “Whether for your home or work, we are proud to be a solution provider of quality products and services for solar, privacy or security concerns!”

Upgrading your home or business surfaces has never been easier – or sleeker – with architectural films for walls and

windows, window tinting, printed graphics, murals and custom wallpaper solutions. It’s easy to protect and refinish stone, wood and glass surfaces.

CoolVu not only offers you stylish options for renovating your old surfaces, but their products control heat and the damaging effects of UV rays while providing much-needed privacy and security, as well. Many clients find window film tinting to be a popular installation alternative to traditional window coverings such as blinds and curtains, providing energy efficiency, privacy, UV protection and few maintenance requirements.

CoolVu films reduce sun glare by up to 90%, and window films add more natural light in your home or office and help control energy costs. The CoolVu team will guide you in creating your own custom wallpaper or wall and window graphics for store windows or building lobbies – offering the best way to promote your brand. And, creating a mural for your space is also the perfect vehicle for self-expression!

Available in varied thickness, safety and security films are typically installed on the interior of existing window and door glass, creating a “clear shield” barrier to intruders and the elements. These retrofit security measures can significantly deter unwarranted entry, reduce stolen products and lessen harm to the premises or its occupants. Completing your project with ease and efficiency is at the heart of CoolVu’s mission, and they offer free consultations for both residential and commercial clients, sharing samples, taking measurements, providing free quotes and explaining the ease of installation.

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“We can fully leverage the experienced installers in the CoolVu network whenever we need installers on large projects,” she adds. “This gives us great flexibility to scale our crew size according to the job size. We can take care of smaller residential jobs, or we can quickly pull a big team of installers together to tackle big commercial jobs. This gives us a competitive advantage in this very fragmented industry with a lot of small ‘Mom & Pop’ operations, who may not have these additional resources.”

CoolVu Greater Charlotte is also proud to be an authorized reseller of DefenseLite® and BulletShield™ security products from its sister company, Impact Security. DefenseLite Pro is a clear, retrofit polycarbonate or security glass system engineered to prevent forced entry at commercial buildings. A bullet will go through the panel, but the intruders can’t enter. BulletShield is the ballistic resistant derivative of DefenseLite. BulletShield – for commercial

use – is bullet-resistant and can also stop forced entry. BulletShield’s retrofit design anchors onto existing glazing frames, offering impressive ballistic performance at a fraction of the cost of traditional fully rated bullet-resistant glass systems.

Veteran-owned and independently operated, CoolVu Greater Charlotte is located at 8322 Pineville Matthews Road, Suite 602 #1073, 833.426.6588. Hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Learn more about incorporating their glass and surface solutions into the life of your home or business at


April 2024 | 57


Every now and then, a change can be nice. It could be a change in scenery, color, or something else. When spring comes each year, it’s a time for renewal and fresh starts in your life. It can be the perfect time for a change.

This can also be true for your home. Every so often, you may feel as if your home needs a sprucing up. A new color on your kitchen wall, new accessories in your living room, or a new headboard in your bedroom. Dollar signs may be flashing in your head while reading and thinking about these home improvement projects. You may also be thinking about the amount of work these activities might take. No need to worry, you don’t have to be a Chip or Joanna Gaines or have a show on HGTV to complete DIY projects in your home with a low budget and no outside help. Here are three easy DIY projects for your home that are quick and simple, and satisfy the yearning for a change in your home.


This rope throw basket is the perfect accessory for your living room, family room, bedroom, or any space where you may need extra storage.


• Round laundry basket

• 1 jar metallic paint (color of your choosing)

• 50 feet of ½” jute rope

• 1 yard felt fleece or muslin

• Hot glue gun

• Utility knife

• Paintbrush


1. Using the utility knife, cut off the rim and handles of the laundry basket.

2. Flip the laundry basket upside down and, starting at the basket’s base, attach the felt up the sides of the basket using the hot glue gun. Leave the base alone. Fold and glue down

pleats around the basket. Cut off any excess material around the sides of the basket. Make sure to glue the seam up to the top of the basket. Don’t cut off the felt at the top—this will come in handy later. Fold the excess material at the top into the basket, lining the inside of the basket.

3. Beginning at the base, glue the rope around the entire basket, stopping when the rope is at the top of the basket.

4. Lastly, use metallic paint to cover the rope outside the basket. The rope may take a few coats to absorb the color. You can also create an ombre design or any design you wish to add more of a personalized touch to the basket.


Extra seating is a quick fix with this movable antique-style bench.


• Antique shutter

• Baseboard the same length as the shutter

• 6 wooden table legs

• 6 leg anchors

• Table saw

• Staple gun

• Any color of paint

• Paintbrushes


1. Measure the dimensions of the shutter and then cut the baseboard a tad shorter than the shutter. For example, if the shutter measures 14⅝” by 66¼”,

cut the baseboard to 12” by 66”.

2. Using the table saw, cut out a slot in the baseboard for the shutter pull to rest inside. Lay the shutter pull face down and cut a notch big enough for the shutter to sit flat against the baseboard.

3. Next, place two straight leg anchor plates at the bottom center and one leg at each of the four corners on the baseboard. Install using the proper fixtures, then put in the legs.

4. Paint the baseboard, now with the legs, and the shutter separately.

5. Once dry, place the shutter on top of the baseboard. Using the staple gun, secure the shutter in place.

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Are you juggling work, home, caregiving and struggling to keep all the balls in the air? If so, you are not alone. Six in 10 family caregivers of adults aged 50 and older work; and half of the workforce expects to be providing care for an elder in the next five years.

The following are five strategies to help you juggle all these responsibilities successfully.


Create a family calendar so everyone knows what’s happening, and use it to track activities and appointments. If possible, ask siblings and other family members to help and make a schedule that includes everyone.

In addition, try to be most efficient in the use of your time. You can do this by outsourcing things where you can (cooking, cleaning, etc.), organizing household tasks efficiently, running errands in batches and relaxing your cleaning standards.


Your company may have policies on caregiving, flexible work options and family medical leave that apply to you. Check your Employee Handbook or ask your Human Resources Manager about available resources. You may also have access to an Employee Assistance Program which can be a helpful resource. You should probably talk with your manager to make him/her aware of your caregiving responsibilities – but let them know that your job is still a big priority. Most managers will want to help and support you possibly through flexible work options or other strategies.


Visualize the components of your life as slices of a pie (career, spiritual, family, friends, community, hobbies, travel, health, etc.). Ask yourself the following questions:

• If I could focus on one thing and one thing only, what would that be?

• If I could add a second thing, what would that be?

• A third?

• A fourth?

• A fifth?

Now that you know your priorities, consider dropping any commitments and pursuits that didn’t make your list. Further, learn to say “no” to things that you don’t have bandwidth for or that don’t fit into your priorities.


You must take care of yourself before you can effectively take care of others. I like to encourage people to take their MEDS

• Meditate or do deep breathing to relieve stress and keep you grounded.

• Exercise most days of the week.

• Diet, meaning eat foods that fuel your body and avoid processed foods where you can.

• Sleep seven to nine hours per night.


You don’t have to do it all alone. Think of ways that others can help and ask! You will find that people like to help. In addition, bolster your support system by brainstorming all the support resources that you have access to and developing a plan to leverage or expand. Recognize that juggling all of this is hard! There is no shame in seeking help from a counselor, clergy or healthcare provider.

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We were told about how good the World War 2 (WWII) Museum in New Orleans was, so we put it on our to-do list. I was about 10 years old during the war, so I remember many things, like all the young men going into service and the stars the people displayed in their windows to show someone in the family was serving. But, everyone was serving in one way or another. I remember the shades in the houses were black, so no light would show outside at night; and the cars with the headlight’s half blacked out and rationing. Everything was rationed, gasoline and food specifically. The government issued stamps to allocate what people could purchase.

They literally showed all this at the museum. Germany attacked France in 1940, and the war was on. We tried to stay out of it, but the Japanese made it clear we were in it when they bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. We were at war. The United States Military was among the smallest of the nations at war. We had to gear up. They did that by inviting women into the factories and “Rosie the Riveter” was born.

We stayed in the hotel across the street from the WWII Museum called the Higgins Hotel. It was named to honor Andrew Higgins Boatbuilders. They came up with the LCVP – landing craft, vehicle and personnel. This was used extensively for water landings by the Allied military. It changed the way we fight a war. Now, the big ships could carry everything and go to any beach. They would launch the LCVP, load combat military or vehicles and run it up to the beach. The LCVP was 36’ long, 10’ wide and had a 3’ draft. It had a crew of three, and it could carry 36 combatequipped men, with a top speed of 12 knots. They had a LCVP on display at the museum.

Operation Overlord was the code name they used for the planning of the invasion of Normandy. This was a do or die

operation. There were no contingency plans made. General Eisenhower was elected supreme commander by the leaders of this group. It involved, and I quote, “More than 11,000 aircraft, 6,000 naval vessels and two million soldiers, sailors and airmen from 15 countries.” These numbers are staggering today, but even more so in 1944. It was a costly battle, but General Eisenhower took full responsibility for the order to start the invasion when they did. The Germans expected the invasion to occur just north of the Seine River in the Calais region where the English Channel is the narrowest. Normandy was a complete surprise.

The WWII Museum is housed by many buildings. It is hard to see everything in a day. So, we came back for the second day. I grew up with airplanes, and they had a building with all the planes of WWII except the B29. It was just too big. But, the B17 did most of the strategic bombing during the war, and they had one on display. In fact, all the planes were in a flying position, hung on cables. It was an awesome sight. I would recommend visiting the WWII Museum.

Here we are in New Orleans, and we haven’t seen the French Quarter yet. We rented a cab and went to Decatur Street and started shopping. That bottle of liquid spice gave us problems at the airport. It exceeded the four-ounce maximum permitted on the plane. We had to go back and check our bag to bring this with us. Good for security for picking this up.

Decatur Street hasn’t changed. It seemed like all the tourists gathered there. We did have a fantastic local dinner at the restaurant which was made up of Jambalaya, Beignets and Shrimp Creole. We finished with Creole Pralines. It’s hard to get any better if you’re looking for a taste of the area.

New Orleans is a great town, and the WWII Museum is the number one attraction. You don’t want to miss it.

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For April, I want to share a regular around my house that is always a big hit! Marinated, grilled skirt steak. This is marinated for a long time in some citrus juices, soy sauce and seasoning that gives it an unreal flavor once it hits that hot grill!


• 1 skirt steak

• Juice of 1 orange

• Juice of 1 lemon

• Juice of 1 lime

• ¾ cup chopped cilantro

• ½ cup soy sauce

• 2 T minced garlic

• ½ cup olive oil

• 1-2 T of Spicewalla Carne Asada Seasoning


1. In a large Ziploc or whatever kind of receptacle to marinate in, combine all above ingredients and let this sit in the fridge for at least a few hours, preferably a day. However, if you have a chamber vacuum sealer that has a marinate function, you can do a cycle that will complete in about 15 minutes that will be equally as flavorful (if not more) than sitting in the fridge for 24 hours – I highly recommend this method, if possible.

2. Once you’re ready to start prepping things, fire up the grill and let the steak sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes while the grill heats up.

3. Before it goes on the grill, I like

to put some of the carne asada seasoning on top of the steak, too. (Any kind of Mexican seasoning works as well or just a salt and pepper garlic mixture.)

4. For a skirt steak, you want to go hot and fast. I typically run my charcoal grill around 500-650 degrees and sear it off for about 15 minutes, flipping it periodically so it cooks evenly.

5. Pull it off once the thickest part of the steak is reading around 130135 internal temperature if you like a medium rare temperature.

6. Next, you’ll want to let the steak rest for about five minutes – and it will rise about five degrees during this time. Medium is my preference for a skirt steak, so pulling at 135 degrees after the rest should be at a perfect medium (140 degrees).

7. Lastly, the most important step, you’ll want to make one slice down the middle of the steak with the grain to then rotate it 90 degrees, so your individual slices will be cut against the grain. You want to make sure you’re cutting against the grain for your individual slices, so it will be nice and tender, not chewy.

8. Then, pile these delicious slices up on some tortillas or just eat them plain with some rice. I love these slices on a charred flour tortilla with some fresh cilantro and any other kind of taco toppings!

For more recipes and demos, follow Tanner on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook @919backyardbbq

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April 2024 | 67

I’m a 32-year-old woman with a seven-month-old baby boy. I’m writing to you instead of talking to my family or friends for fear of being judged or labeled “a bad mom” when I’m actually a good mom. I took maternity leave after my baby was born, so I could spend at least six months with him before I went back to work. I now spend the majority of my time with him while my husband works. He’s a good dad and spends a great deal of time with the baby, however, he works long hours six days a week. I’m good with his desire to go fishing, golfing or have quality guy time with his friends to recharge so he doesn’t resent me and the baby.

Fortunately, we’re in a position where I don’t have to work. My husband has asked me to quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom. At first, I was excited about the prospect of staying home and raising my child, however, my feelings have changed. I didn’t realize how much work is involved. I thought I would love the newborn phase, but I didn’t. Breastfeeding, lack of sleep, cleaning the house and preparing meals for my husband and our little eating, peeing and pooping machine left me exhausted. Don’t get me wrong; I love my baby boy and wouldn’t change being his mom for the world. While he’s getting older and more responsive, and I’m enjoying motherhood more, I’m realizing it’s not enough to satisfy me, I need more in my life. Some people are destined to be full time moms, and that’s great for them, but not for me. I loved my job and miss going into the office and seeing my friends and co-workers. I miss adult time. I’m afraid to discuss this with my husband out of fear of disappointing him and my family and being criticized and considered a bad mom. The guilt I feel has left me depressed, anxious and confused. How do I express this to my husband, and am I a bad person for wanting more than to just be a mom?


Hey Sarah,

This is not an unusual situation and one that many couples face. Women who choose to become stay-at-home moms aren’t necessarily just moms, there are usually more facets to them and who they are. Raising their children gives them a sense of purpose, and we all need purpose. For you, being a stay-at-home mom is a facet of your life, yet it doesn’t give you purpose, and that’s okay. You shouldn’t feel bad or sorry for how you feel, and you’re definitely not a bad person or bad mom for feeling the way you do; feelings are not wrong. What you need to explore is what it is that made you feel that way and reconcile that situation; that will bring clarity and enhance your ability to make good decisions and choices that are good for you, your husband and the baby. The challenge in life is always to find balance, and the addition of children escalates that challenge. What compromises with your husband will help you find contentment and purpose? Notice I didn’t say happiness because it’s a fleeting moment; contentment is longer term.

Healthy relationships are about clear communication and compromise, not sacrifice. Your husband is golfing, fishing and spending time with his buddies to recharge, so he can give his best at work and to you and the baby. What are you doing to feed your soul, and to become the best version of yourself? If the answer is nothing, you’re sacrificing and you’ll break down physically, mentally and emotionally. That’s when the possibility of becoming a bad parent or wife comes into play because of your inability to be present for them. Only you know what gives you purpose, so ignore those who criticize, judge or label. Most of the time, they’re envious or jealous of opportunities you have created for yourself, or trying to transfer negative feelings about themselves onto you. That can only happen if you allow it, so don’t allow it. Don’t look outside yourself for answers – look inside. Only you know what’s best for you. Unfortunately, people will criticize and judge without knowledge of your history and without walking in your shoes. If you choose to buy into their narrative, it creates fear and negatively affects your choices. If you choose to do anything in life based on fear, you’ll lose every time.

Your husband can’t read your mind, and you certainly can’t read his. Some conversations are uncomfortable, yet important. This is one of those. It’s vital to let him know how you feel, so you can come up with a solution you can both agree on. In the meantime, look for local mom groups for support like “Mommy and me” classes for you and your baby. Engage in exercise, yoga, dance, music classes or work. Find something that gives you purpose. Going to the grocery store and running household errands doesn’t count. The most important investment of your time is to engage in activities that feed your soul, time for yourself and me time. By finding purpose and feeding your soul, you’ll be giving back to humanity, society and your loved ones the greatest gift you can give them – the best version of you that you can possibly be.

Keith O’Neill Ph.D., C.Ht is a Psychotherapist, Professional Speaker, Author, Clinical and Sports Hypnotherapist, Mental Performance/Self-Esteem Coach and survivor of a life threatening head injury. If you’re struggling emotionally, need a speaker or a mental performance coach, visit for more information.

If you have questions for Dr. Keith, email them to

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In the heart of Albemarle, North Carolina, a young girl’s love affair with music began amidst the familiar tunes of her parents’ neon Wurlitzer jukebox. From the legendary sounds of Aerosmith and Trisha Yearwood to the infectious beats of Little Richard and Shania Twain, Pressley Laton’s upbringing was a symphony of diverse influences that would shape her musical destiny.

From singing in the church choir to being inspired by Kellie Pickler’s rise on American Idol, Pressley’s journey through music has been a colorful one. Her passion for performance blossomed during high school, where she sought out local singing competitions. A chance encounter at a karaoke night during her senior year at Appalachian State University (App State) altered her plans, leading her to stay in Boone after graduation. This decision opened doors to a career in the university’s Office of Admissions and her first stint playing in a band.

Though unsure of how to pursue a music career, Pressley found stability in higher education. However, the absence of music in her life left a persistent longing. Meeting her husband during that fateful karaoke night added another layer to her musical journey. Introduced to a variety of artists by her partner, Pressley found solace in the raw storytelling of red dirt and alternative country music.

In 2022, Pressley left App State to work for her father’s business as her Pawpaw Tommy’s Alzheimer’s worsened. This transition reignited her desire for music, spurred by memories of her grandfather attending her first show. With her family’s unwavering support, she reconnected with former bandmates, Ray Edmonds, drums, Daniel Ames, guitar, and Austin Summers, bass, and began performing again.

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April 2024 | 71

Continued from page 70.

By 2023, Pressley was ready to fully commit to her musical aspirations. She and her band embarked on recording her debut EP, Didn’t Stand a Chance, drawing from her life experiences and loved ones. Recorded at Sioux Sioux Studio with Charlotte-based producer Jason Scavone, the EP came to life.

Pressley’s musical journey is a testament to the power of collaboration and authenticity. Reflecting on her path, she credits her bandmates for refining her songs, with the title track, “Didn’t Stand a Chance,” holding special significance as it recounts the night she met her husband. With unwavering determination and support, Pressley embraces her musical path, crafting heartfelt melodies that resonate with listeners. Be sure to listen to her latest single “Mountain Man,” a song that echoes with passion and love while mixing truth with fiction.

From whimsical tales like “Ol’ George” to poignant ballads like “Gypsy Soul,” Pressley’s songwriting captures the depth of human emotion with raw sincerity. Through her music, she invites audiences to journey alongside her through love, loss and the pursuit of dreams.

As she prepares to take the stage at The Appalachian Theatre, opening for country artist Adam Church on May 10th, Pressley’s star continues to rise, serving as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring musicians everywhere. With a resilient spirit as enduring as the Appalachian hills, she reminds us of the transformative power of music in telling stories and touching hearts.

In the ever-evolving tapestry of the music industry, Pressley Laton stands as a testament to the enduring power of passion, perseverance and the timeless allure of a well-crafted melody. As she continues to write her musical narrative, one can’t help but be captivated by the harmonious symphony of her journey from childhood melodies to center stage. Attempting to build a name for herself over the last year and a half, having had wonderful performance experiences such as at Boone’s High Country Beer Fest, Wilkesboro’s Key City Sessions and Statesville’s Roots in the Round Singers & Songbirds Songwriting Festival in 2023, this year’s schedule includes performances at the new East Boone Listening Room, the historic Jones House in Boone, Catawba’s Waterside Bar & Grill’s Rock the Dock Music Festival, Whiskey Bent Entertainment’s “Hot Rods in Harmony” event and the Antlers & Acorns: The Boone Songwriters Festival.

To follow Pressley Laton’s music career and keep up with her performance schedule, follow her at

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time when child wellness and child welfare organizations across the United States bring awareness to the importance of creating programs that put children and families first to prevent child abuse. We always think that bad things happen “elsewhere” and not where we live, but child sexual abuse is a growing epidemic that is happening right in our own backyards. One such local organization striving to bring change right here in our communities is Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center. Dove House is designed to minimize the trauma that children and their non-offending

family members can suffer during the investigation and intervention process. They receive, on average, four new cases of child sexual abuse every week from Iredell and Alexander Counties – quite a sobering statistic. However, it’s incredibly important to be aware that while four new cases come in every week, statistically, there are many more that go unreported.

Previously, when a child would report sexual abuse, the ensuing steps of talking to their teacher, principal, school nurse, police officers, hospital nurses, doctors, counselors and lawyers and going to each of their offices only served to re-traumatize

the child, despite the best efforts of each organization. Dove House creates a space where each of those agencies comes to the child, instead of the other way around. Located in Statesville, Dove House looks and feels like a home with toys, a library, comfortable furniture and cozy spaces designed to help victims feel safe. As a result of the creation of Dove House, the District Attorney’s office has successfully prosecuted 85-90% of cases of child sexual abuse since 2003. Prior to the existence of Dove House, only 20% of cases were successfully prosecuted. Dove House continues to make a tremendous impact on the prosecution rate of perpetrators of abuse. Successful prosecution of perpetrators is key in protecting other children from becoming victims of abuse themselves.

As a 501(c)(3) organization, under the direction of Executive Director, Beth McKeithan, Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center relies heavily on individual and corporate donations as well as one annual fundraiser. Every year, in April, Dove House hosts a gala called “An Evening for Dove House.” This event generates half of the annual budget that Dove House needs to operate. Hosted at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in downtown Mooresville, each year, this event has grown and allowed Dove House to help more and more children who have suffered sexual abuse. This year’s theme is “Be the Light” and is taking place on April 20th.

Over the past 22 years of hosting this event, Dove House has had many incredible sponsors. This year, Big Beverages Contract Manufacturing is the title sponsor at the Heal level. The Goff family has been a friend and supporter of Dove House for many years, and Dove House is thrilled to have them as their sole title sponsor this year! Several businesses donated at the Hope level, including Corvid Technologies, G. Campbell Construction, Giving with Grace Foundation, Lowe’s Corporation, Sloop

Left: “The Return to Innocence” by Aimee Perry photographed by Stephanie Wiseman Photography

Farm, Walmart and Tacc, Inc. Quite a few other sponsors donated at the Advocacy, Protect and Compassion levels. Many local businesses have donated money, items for the live and silent auctions, as well as their time and effort into making this event spectacular. This event could not happen without them, and everyone at Dove House is so thankful for the outpouring of community support.

A unique aspect of this gala is the number of artists who are giving their time and talent to bringing light and beauty to this event. Artists such as Aimee Perry, Pam White, Elijah Kell, Sandra Gittleman, Melissa Herriott, Christopher McIntosh and others have generously created beautiful works of art to be auctioned off at the gala. Many of these artists have come to Dove House through the owners of a local art gallery, Juelerye Artisan Gallery and Gifts, in downtown Mooresville. Aimee Perry created “The Return to Innocence” an exceptional work of art painted on a wedding dress. Perry found the dress at a thrift store and was encouraged by one of the employees there to paint it. The mediums used include spray paint, acrylic liquid and real gold leaf to create this one-of-akind, magnificent dress. In the artist’s words, “As I added birds to the design, I found myself reflecting on innocence, feeling the power of curiosity awaken, alongside the wonder and freedom of childhood boldness. Inspired by this boldness, I named the dress ‘The Return

to Innocence.’ It was during this moment of meditation that I decided to donate the dress to Dove House, an organization that works tirelessly to support children who have endured unspeakable trauma. Their efforts in returning pieces of innocence to these children made the act of creating this dress even more meaningful to me.”

Pam White is another artist that will be featured at the gala, as she will be painting live at the event. White is an encaustic wax artist creating her interpretation of nature using beeswax, resin and pigment. Her encaustic works made with beeswax and fire create texture and translucency that cannot be duplicated in other mediums. Looking at her art, you can feel the spirit of nature coursing through you – waves crashing on the beach, cool breezes ruffling Spanish Moss off of old oak trees and storms rolling over the marsh grasses. White’s process will be a remarkable experience for this year’s gala guests.

Along with all the incredible donors and artists, “An Evening for Dove House” will feature 15 local restaurants as well as other amazing dessert vendors, a DJ, dancing, silent auction and a dynamic live auction emceed by the one-and-only Larry Sprinkle. One of the items being featured in the live auction, graciously donated by Donald Haack Diamonds of Charlotte, is a hinged cuff bracelet made of solid 18-karat white gold with 84 natural diamonds (a retail value of $5,800). Other live auction donors include a Charleston fishing

excursion, furniture by Sweet Dreams Furniture & Mattress and LKN Patio & Game Rooms, Sloop Farm event center, a weekend getaway in the mountains, Tim “The Brew Chef” Schafer with Side Car Provisions in-home chef experience, Kell Glass, Big Oh! Balloons and many other wonderful items and experiences.

Donations of items for both the silent and live auctions are still very much needed; if you have an item, service or experience to donate, please contact Director of Development Amy Stevens at amy@ Dove House anticipates bidding on items in the silent auction will begin a week prior to the event. Use the following website to begin bidding on April 13th: If you are interested in a preview of the live auction packages, please contact Amy Stevens to place proxy bids if you are unable to attend. Additionally, Dove House is still looking for volunteers for event set up on Friday, April 19th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and working the event on Saturday, April 20th from 3:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. This year’s “An Evening for Dove House” is sold out! Anyone who would like to join the waitlist as seats become available can reach out to Amy Stevens as well. This is sure to be a marvelous event that will benefit children in crisis and the Iredell County community at large.

Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center 704-883-9814

April 2024 | 75
Below: Artist Pam White



Movement. Actions or activity. The change in position. Necessary for human vitality and health. The average American walks just 3,000-4,000 steps per day. Walking is one of the easiest and best sources of movement for proactive health. Do you know what your step count is?

Harvard Health tells us that sitting for long, uninterrupted periods of time may leave you more prone to cardiovascular problems.

The AHA and CDC tell us that we should engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week; which has been the recommendation for decades. I might argue that it should be more now, considering how much more people are sitting compared to when the guidelines were originally established.

Everywhere we turn, there is talk about the importance of exercise and of simply moving your body. Exercise and increased movement (walking) stimulates the release of endorphins – neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness and reduce stress and anxiety. Evidence suggests that prioritizing movement and activity over sedentary work is not just a luxury, but a necessity for optimal health and wellbeing, as well. Movement throughout the day reduces the risk of chronic disease, enhances mental clarity and productivity, stimulates neural pathways, boosts mood and supports immune health.

As CEOs, business owners and leaders, we have got to be implementing a culture of vitality and health for the long haul. We know when people are healthy and happy at work, there’s a ripple effect on their home life, their community, in their business and beyond.

There has to be congruence between health (mind and body) and business. If they do not align, one will inevitably take the other.

As individuals, parents, community advocates and teachers/ coaches, the choice of healthier habits and more movement should be a no-brainer! If you want to improve your quality of life, you must get up and start moving.

Statistics show that people who are “somewhat active” lower their all-cause mortality risk by 30%. I’ll take that for some extra steps each day.

What can you do to incorporate more movement into your day?

• Ideally, if your schedule allows, work in 90-minute “jam sessions” with 15-30 minute breaks in between. This promotes concentration, productivity and creativity. Sitting for longer periods at a time creates a stiff and slow body and brain. The Harvard Business Journal reports supporting this type of positive work structure to keep your body moving.

• Concentrate on increased range of motion around the joints; especially if you sit at a desk most of the day. Set a timer on your phone to get up throughout the day. Walk, squat, jump and dance.

• Listen to your body, and it will tell you what it needs; stretching, foam rolling, a walk, a 10-minute workout. As fascia through the muscle stiffens with age, especially as we sit, foam rolling can be a game changer.

• Schedule 10-minute walks; before work, midday and after work.

How are you going to incorporate more movement into your day? It is the small habits over time that make a difference. Make the commitment to create a new habit and move more daily.

If you are ready to take control of your mind, body, and/or business through Lindsey’s Mindpower coaching programs, wellness workshops and speaking engagements contact her directly at

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Ancient, but not archaic, mushrooms have made their way back into the spotlight for health, healing and wellness. Mushrooms are trending for good reason. From boosting immunity to improving skin health, mushrooms provide a powerhouse of nutrients that can do wonders for your health, healing and overall well-being.

Health Benefits Of Mushrooms

Used in traditional medicine throughout centuries, mushrooms have recently regained popularity in the form of tea and beauty products. With a wide variety of mushrooms available, each with unique health benefits, mushrooms are an ideal immune and healthboosting addition to daily living. In addition to boosting immunity, mushrooms are known to improve cognitive function, reduce stress and anxiety and boost energy levels.

Popular Types Of Mushrooms

It is estimated there are more than 14,000 kinds of mushrooms, but the most popular include reishi, chaga, lion’s mane and cordyceps. Each mushroom has its own unique health benefits, so choose the type of mushroom that best suits your needs, including:

• Reishi Mushroom: Known as the “King of Mushrooms,” reishi has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its immuneboosting properties. It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help fight off infections and diseases.

• Chaga Mushroom: This mushroom is a rich source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. It is known for its anti-aging properties and can help improve skin health, reduce inflammation and boost energy levels.

• Lion’s Mane Mushroom: This unique-looking mushroom is not only delicious but has numerous health benefits, as well. It contains compounds that can improve cognitive function, promote nerve regeneration and even reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

• Cordyceps Mushroom: Used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, cordyceps is known for its ability to increase energy levels and improve athletic performance. It can also help manage blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.

Mushroom Tea For Tea-rrific & Bountiful Benefits

Making mushroom tea is easy, straightforward and simple. You will need fresh, dried or powdered mushrooms, hot water and a tea strainer. The steps are straightforward and simple. Place tea ingredients plus sliced, dried or powdered mushrooms in a teapot or mug, add hot water, let steep for five to 10 minutes, strain and enjoy. To incorporate mushrooms into your daily routine, try these easy DIY mushroom tea recipes at home:

• Reishi and Ginger Tea: Brew a cup of ginger tea and add a slice of reishi mushroom to it. Let it steep for a few minutes and enjoy the immune-boosting benefits of this tea.

• Chaga and Cinnamon Tea: Add a teaspoon of chaga mushroom powder and a cinnamon stick to a cup of hot water. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes and sip on this delicious and antioxidant-rich tea.

• Lion’s Mane and Mint Tea: Add a teaspoon of lion’s mane mushroom powder to a cup of hot water and mix in some fresh mint leaves or dried peppermint or spearmint leaves. Let steep for three to five minutes to enjoy this refreshing mushroom-enhanced herbal tea with added brain-boosting benefits.

• Cordyceps and Lemon Tea: Brew a cup of your favorite lemon or lemon-inspired tea (such as lemon balm, lemon peel and/or lemongrass), and add a teaspoon of cordyceps mushroom powder. This energizing tea is perfect for a citrusy midday pick-me-up.

DIY Mushroom Beauty Product Recipes

DIY Mushroom Tea Facial Mask: This mask is great for hydrating and brightening skin. Mix together one tablespoon of mushroom tea powder with one tablespoon honey and one tablespoon yogurt. Apply to your face and let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and apply toner.

Mushroom Coffee Body Scrub:


• 1 cup dried or powdered mushrooms (such as shiitake, maitake or reishi)

• ½ cup sugar, brown sugar or salt

• ½ cup coffee grounds

• ¼ cup olive oil or other plant-based oil

• Optional essential oils to add additional benefits and pleasing aroma


1. If dried, grind mushrooms into a fine powder in a food processor.

2. Add brown sugar and olive oil to the mushroom powder and mix well.

3. Store in an airtight container.

Apply the scrub to your face and body in the shower or bath. Massage gently in circular motions, then rinse thoroughly. Follow with toner and moisturizer.

Enjoy multiple benefits of mushrooms and be creative in working them into beauty DIY recipes as natural, effective and affordable ways to beautify your skin and hair. Not just beautifying, mushroom tea is a delicious and nutritious way to boost your health, healing and well-being. Add mushrooms to your grocery list, health goals and teas, and be healthier and happier for it!

McAllister, Owner, Bees of Lake Norman Purchase online at
Local honey made from the abundant variety of flowering plants growing around Lake Norman. “The taste of local honey is something you will never forget. It stays with you like a fond memory.”
April 2024 | 79



“In Japanese, Kanpai means ‘cheers,’ so our owners chose the name for the simple fact we wanted to bring everyone together to celebrate and dine in the most pleasurable way possible,” shares General Manager Haley Denton. “Two of the four owners of Kanpai also own Sushi at the Lake Too in Mooresville and were interested in opening a high-end sushi and tapas restaurant in Denver – something new and refreshing that local residents would love!

This delightful laid-back gathering spot is a treasure of Asian cuisine, paired with an equally colorful bar menu. Mix in the fun of live music, karaoke or a DJ at least twice a week (typically Fridays and Saturdays), and you’ve found the perfect spot for lunch, dinner or nothing more than a relaxed evening sharing good times with your favorite people. Insider tip: Watch for updates on social media, as past Voice contestant John Sullivan often drops by Kanpai!

“The restaurant is unique in so many ways,” adds Haley. “It has been designed with an overall aesthetic that feels like a breath of fresh air!”

The Kanpai staff loves offering a dining experience that you can’t find anywhere else on this side of the lake, and that includes the finest quality food and beverages, but also unmatched personal attention to customers and a photoworthy presentation of your favorite Asian dishes.

Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes include the Spicy Edamame, Tuna Tower, Kanpai Scallops, Cucumber Wraps, L.A. Galbi, Kanpai Roll, Carolina Roll and Tempura, along with Hibachi for dinner. Sake Bombs and Sapporo beer are always on the menu, along with daily drink specials – Martini Mondays, Tequila Tuesdays and Wine Wednesdays – and accompanying appetizer specials. The newest food special on Martini Mondays is “buy any menu item and get a second of equal or lesser value at 50% off” – the perfect way to start off a new week!

Savor a wonderful Kanpai Sushi & Tapas experience soon and say “cheers!” to the gift of spending time with family and friends! Kanpai is located at 7260 NC-73, Suite 112 in Denver, 704.951.8026. Follow the restaurant for food, beverage and live music updates on Facebook @Kanpaidenver and on Instagram @kanpai_denver. Restaurant hours are Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.. and 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

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Kanpai in Japanese means cheers. Here at Kanpai, we want to give you a new experience in dining.



7260 HWY 73, DENVER, NC 28037

Best Seafood in Mooresville! Table reservatons, pickup & delivery.




Daily lunch specials, soups, specialty salads & sandwiches!



Fresh food, daily specials, full-service catering, live entertainment & a fun, friendly atmosphere!



2495 S NC-16 HWY, DENVER, NC

40 years of serving awesome customers! Daily specials. Fresh ingredients. Family owned.



6020 NC-16 S, MAIDEN, NC


Showcase your business to thousands of readers with our special dining guide!


Family owned nutrition club serving protein shakes, coffee, energizing drinks & more.






North Carolina, the Tar Heel State, is famous for many things, from sports to food to music and everything in between. A true North Carolinian knows that our state is the homestate of Andy Griffith, that the first successful flight by man took place at Kitty Hawk by the Wright Brothers and that North Carolina is home to the tallest peak east of the Mississippi River, Mount Mitchell. However, there are some Tar Heel tidbits only a few residents of our state know. These facts are just as impressive as the more well-known ones and deserve just as much attention. Have you heard any of the Tar Heel tidbits below? Only a true North Carolinian would know these facts…until now.

1. The Old North State is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the United States.

2. We also lead the country in production of furniture, tobacco, brick and textiles.

3. Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.

4. The first Putt-Putt golf course was also built in Fayetteville in 1954 by Don Clayton.

5. Many people think gold was first found in the United States out west, but actually, the first nugget of gold was discovered in Cabarrus County in 1799.

6. North Carolina is named after King Charles I of England. “Carolus” is the Latin word for Charles.

7. Within our mountains, there are more than 300 waterfalls and 120 species of trees.

8. Raleigh is currently the capital of North Carolina, but that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, Bath was the first nominal capital. Then, in 1766, New Bern was established as the first permanent capital until 1792 when the move to Raleigh occurred.

9. Our state motto is “Esse Quam Videri.” This Latin phrase can be translated to “To be rather than to seem.”

10. It is common knowledge that North Carolina’s state bird is the cardinal and the state flower is the dogwood. However, we also have a state beverage: milk, a state butterfly: the Eastern tiger swallowtail, a state fossil: megalodon teeth, a state gemstone: emerald, a state reptile: Eastern box turtle, and a state shell: the Scotch Bonnet.

11. The first state art museum in the United States was built in Raleigh.

12. Vick’s VapoRub was developed in 1905 and first sold in Greensboro by the Richardson-Vicks brand.

13. During the Revolutionary War, Cherokee Native Americans who resided in our state sided with the

British. The tribes hoped that they would receive protection from being resettled.

14. The Outer Banks is allegedly where the pirate Blackbeard died due to the rough storms, thus giving them the nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” This nickname comes from the number of storms, dangerous waters and multiple shipwrecks that happen off the coast.

15. Speaking of the Outer Banks, did you know residents have their own dialect? The High Tider dialect or the Hoi Toider is spoken in this region, as well as the Pamlico Sound. It is a version of English with a twang of the Southwestern England dialect added in.

16. The highest number of breweries per capita of the southern states comes from North Carolina. Within our state, there are more than 140 breweries and brewpubs and 159 wineries. Today, the Yadkin Valley is a major wine destination. Yet, by the time the Civil War broke out in America, North Carolina already had 25 wineries open.

17. We are the “Moonshine Capital of the World,” thanks to the citizens of Wilkes County during Prohibition. During this time, people in Wilkes County produced and sold illegal alcohol. In order to sell their productions, they had to outrun local and federal law enforcement, causing them to modify their vehicles for faster speed. These modifications soon gave birth to stock-car racing and NASCAR.

18. Lastly, North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England, not Rhode Island as it is commonly thought. With the Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775, the Tar Heel State proclaimed independence from Great Britain.

The Tar Heel State is a favorite among many people. The area offers the best of both worlds – the mountains, the coast and everything in between. Just like the richness of our land, North Carolina is full of history that continues to expand with each passing day. The list of Tar Heel tidbits is always ever growing.

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April 2024 | 83


“With Westmoreland Wheelhouse, we hope to make a change! Caregivers need to be compassionate and reliable, and the goal for our home is to treat residents and caregivers like family.”

With a heartfelt dream and a wealth of personal experience, Kasey Westmoreland and his long-time caregiver and friend, Candace Small, are giving back in a big way!

Introducing Westmoreland Wheelhouse, their non-profit organization with plans to provide a communal, fully accessible home for adults with spinal cord injuries – including the presence of full-time caregivers.

“In 2002, at the age of 16, I suffered a spinal cord injury during a beach accident and became paralyzed from the chest down,” said Kasey. “I have continually struggled with finding – and keeping –reliable caregivers. While I have a very supportive circle of family and friends, having to turn to them too frequently makes it difficult to lead an independent life.”

A local hospital employee, Candace began providing care for Kasey in 2011 after seeing his ad on Craigslist and finding the hours perfect for her schedule. Experienced with caregiving for all ages, medication management and administrative responsibilities, Candace has since become familiar with the trials and tribulations of a quadriplegic’s struggles, and she and Kasey have become fast friends.

“For many years, the caregiver industry has been greatly underfunded, understaffed and subject to poor accountability,” said Kasey. “We hope to change this with Westmoreland Wheelhouse.”

Their hope is to provide six individuals with apartment-style living designed to give residents independence and privacy, allowing them to lead a more purpose-filled life. Although experiences vary, people with SCI are capable of furthering their education, employment and enjoyment of life. Westmoreland Wheelhouse will also provide age-appropriate activities for its residents, who will also have the independence to leave the home to do normal activities, as if they were living by themselves.

While extra assistance already exists for children and the elderly, Westmoreland Wheelhouse will aim to house individuals from 18 to 55 years old, but every unique situation will be considered.

“It’s also important to add that, with dependable care, individuals with spinal cord injuries can have careers and be productive citizens,” said Candace. “Kasey has a college degree but hasn’t been able to depend on his caregivers to help him put his talents to use.”

“Being a caregiver is one of the most underpaid and underappreciated jobs,” said Candace. “With Westmoreland Wheelhouse, we hope to make a change! Caregivers need to be compassionate and reliable, and the goal for our home is to treat residents and caregivers like family.”

Kasey and Candace would like to have land purchased and construction started by the end of 2024, with the home opening in 2025. They are currently raising funds for land purchase and construction, while spreading the word and building relationships with partners in the community. Kasey’s story certainly touches the heart, and the hope is for companies and community leaders to continue expanding their support of the project.

Westmoreland Wheelhouse has the following events scheduled for 2024:

• HiWire Brewery Cornhole Tournament on April 27th

• Lowe’s Foods in Huntersville Giveback on May 20th

• Lead Slinging Classic on May 11th

• Golf Tournament in Mooresville on September 26th

They also hope to hold an appreciation gala for supporters in the fall. Kasey and Candace would welcome community support to become more involved with local events, and they hope to schedule online events, as well. The success of Westmoreland Wheelhouse depends on working together with friends and businesses in the area – with the longterm blessing of changing lives!

For more information about how you can become involved with the mission, or to make a donation, visit, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @ westmoreland.wheelhouse. Westmoreland Wheelhouse is located at 13420 Westmoreland Road in Huntersville.



A generation is a group of people who share birth years and similar experiences of major external events during their adolescent and early adult years. The generation gap has become an undeniable tension in the U.S. workplace and can result in cracks in engagement, productivity and even turnover if not addressed.

Let’s learn more about the generations in the workplace and how we can work towards leveraging these differences as a strategic advantage.


• Barack Obama

• Cyberbullying

• Financial crisis

• Reality TV

• Terrorism

• Globalization

• YouTube

• Rise of technology



• New Millennium

• Healthy economy

• Oklahoma City

• School shootings

• Technology

• Clinton/Lewinsky

• Protective parents

• 9/11

GENERATION Z (1996 TO 2015)


• Gaming

• Technology and social media

• Recession, financial crises, war, terror threats, school shootings, pandemic and political polarization

• Most racially diverse generation in history

• Very tolerant

• Fluid (identities, gender preferences, etc.)

• Mental health issues

• Cautious and hardened by economic and social turbulence

• Reinvention

• Entrepreneurial

• Independent

• Connected 24/7

MILLENNIALS (1981 TO 1995)

• Grew up with technology

• Busiest generation of children ever

• Grew up seeing the world as global, connected and 24/7

• Parents put children first

• Lots of exposure to multiculturalism

• Constantly coached and praised for participation

• Confident

• Respect for diversity

• Change masters

• Achievement oriented

• High levels of social concern

• Need a purpose

• Technical

• Welcome diversity

• Like remote work

• Shorter attention spans

• Limited interpersonal skills

• Creative

• Want career growth/ frequent feedback/purpose

• Want a flexible lifestyle

• Committed to social responsibility

• Want coaches, not bosses

• High expectations of job

• Great multi-taskers and team players

• Like electronic communication/social media

• Used to meeting high expectations

• Appreciate flexibility/ freedom/career growth/ feedback

• Want immediate gratification

• Will change jobs easily

• Welcome diversity

• Want meaningful work

• Want coaches, not bosses

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• Fall of Berlin Wall

• Women’s Liberation

• Watergate


• Persian Gulf War

• Energy crisis

• Massive layoffs

• Invention of PC


GENERATION X (1965 TO 1980)


• National leaders lied to public

• Uncertain economy

• Grew up guarded

• Many mothers worked outside the home

• Many affected by divorce

• Latchkey kids

• Value diversity

• Adaptable

• Balance

• Techno Literacy

• Guarded in relationships

• Self-reliance/autonomy

• Cynical

• Education is key

• Embrace change

BABY BOOMERS (1946 TO 1964)

• Tend to change jobs frequently

• Independent approach to work

• Don’t offer “blind” loyalty to a company

• Want work/life balance

• Task-oriented

• Enjoy achieving measurable results and streamlining processes


• Civil rights movement

• Space travel

• Cold War

• Vietnam War

• Sexual revolution

• Assassinations

• TV

• Rock ‘n’ roll

• Hopeful mood after war

• Raised under Dr. Spock’s views to let children express ideas

• Information was more accessible

• Grew up with TV

• First generation to be graded on “works well with others”


1. Be Humble - Be open to input from others and listen to them. Recognize that you don’t know it all and that we are all human and flawed.

2. Show Respect - Demonstrate that you esteem others and feel that they add value.

3. Be Curious - Enter conversations with an open mind and be curious about others’ perspectives. 4.Develop mentoring programs to help members of each generation coach and support one another.

• Optimism

• Personal gratification

• Team orientation

• High expectations

• Competitive

• Question authority

• Independent

• Competitive and hardworking

• Team players, love to have meetings

• Focused on personal achievement

• Focused on money/title/ recognition

• “Get it done at all costs” attitude

• Strong work ethic


1. Develop bosses to be coaches by giving positive and developmental feedback effectively, listening well and guiding others towards solutions.

2. Help younger generations develop the soft skills to be most successful.

3. Provide education on generational differences and have conversations about them in your organization.

4. Develop mentoring programs to help members of each generation coach and support one another.

5. See people as individuals and don’t categorize by stereotypes – leverage the strengths of each person!



“Being able to smell the fresh air and disconnect from the news and your phone – there’s nothing like it.”

Within the picturesque landscapes of North Carolina lies a sanctuary of natural beauty and historical intrigue. Located in Wayne County, 15 miles southeast of Goldsboro, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park sits on 90-foot bluffs overlooking the Neuse River. Layers of sand, clay, seashells, shale and gravel create a spectrum of colors on the face of the cliff. This enchanting destination beckons travelers from far and wide to immerse themselves in its captivating landscapes and delve into its storied past. From the towering cliffs that overlook the tranquil waters of the Neuse River to the myriad recreational opportunities that await within its borders, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park provides many chances to enjoy the enduring allure of the great outdoors.


The tale of Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is one that spans millions of years, shaped by the forces of nature and the passage of time. The striking cliffs that give the park its name are the result of millennia of erosion, sculpted from limestone and sandstone to form a breathtaking natural vista. However, it was not until the early 20th century that efforts were made to preserve this natural wonder for future generations.

In 1945, Cliffs of the Neuse officially became a state park, thanks to the dedication and foresight of local conservationists. Since then, it has served as a beacon of conservation and outdoor recreation,

offering visitors a glimpse into the geological and cultural history of the region.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park offers a wealth of recreational opportunities to suit every taste and preference with seven biking and hiking trails that meander through verdant forests, leading adventurers to panoramic overlooks. The park’s diverse terrain provides ample opportunities for exploration, from leisurely strolls along the riverbank to challenging treks through rugged terrain.

An 11-acre lake and the Neuse River provide opportunities for water recreation. Anglers will find solace in the park’s pristine waters where bass, catfish and sunfish abound. Boaters can navigate the gentle currents of the Neuse River, while swimmers can cool off in the designated swimming area on the lake, complete with a sandy beach perfect for sunbathing and picnicking. The park offers canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and stand-up paddleboards for the lake in season. The cost is $10 per equipment per hour; and they accept cash only.


What sets Cliffs of the Neuse State Park apart is its remarkable blend of natural beauty and cultural significance. The towering cliffs that frame the park’s landscape offer a striking contrast to the gentle flow of the Neuse River below, providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor adventures and scenic vistas.

In addition to its geological wonders, the park is home to a rich diversity of plant and

animal life, including rare and endangered species. Birdwatchers will delight in the fact that the park is on the NC Birding Trail and offers a chance to spot woodpeckers, warblers and other avian inhabitants as they explore the park’s trails, while nature lovers can marvel at the vibrant display of wildflowers that carpet the forest floor.

The new visitor center at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is LEED certified and hosts museum-quality exhibits that explore the natural history and the unique geological events that shaped the landscape of the park.


After a full day at the Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, visitors are invited to gather around crackling campfires and share stories beneath the starlit sky. Whether camping beneath the canopy of trees or retreating to cozy cabins, there’s no better way to end a day of adventure than by immersing oneself in the tranquility of nature.

Cliffs of the Neuse State Park offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, recreational opportunities and rich history that makes it a true gem of North Carolina. Whether you’re seeking solace amidst the wilderness or adrenaline-fueled excitement, this park has something to offer everyone. So go explore, unwind and create memories that will last a lifetime at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.

Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is located at 240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs, NC, 28578. To contact the park about hours and information, you can email cliffs. or call 919.778.6234.

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To say that I was utterly speechless for at least five minutes is no exaggeration. Just seeing her lovely head flat out on the pavement, while her torso balanced on the dolly was devastating. Of course, it wasn’t her fault, and my dear husband was doing his best, but honestly, I felt a huge sense of defeat.

I had coveted “Isabelle” for years. Yes – no shame here – I coveted her, along with the two antique garden benches that flanked her in the yard up the street. When the elderly resident moved on to a nursing home, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen with the house, and, more particularly, with Isabelle. She was about two feet high and bore the innocent air of a wee French girl. Passing her on my daily walks for at least five years, I knew that if there were an estate sale, I would do everything in my power to claim her, to bring her to my own backyard where she would help me cultivate the old-world style I longed to create.

I did what I had to do...

“Oh, hi. I live two doors down and couldn’t help but notice all of the activity. House going on the market?”

“Well, yes, but we’re actually here to tag everything for the sale.” I could barely contain myself.

“Oh, when is that?”

“Next weekend.”

“I’ll be there.”

The next Saturday, I set out extra early on that chilly morning to claim Isabelle and the benches. While the sign said the doors would open at eight, and to “Please form a line,” I couldn’t risk missing out on the prize. Trying not to be too obnoxious, I lingered by the house – long before eight. Sure enough, the same guy who told me about the sale appeared.

“Oh hi. What a great day for the sale. Um, I’m the lady who lives two doors down, and I am REALLY interested in that statue and those two benches. What do you want for them?”

I knew this could go one of two ways: he’d either think I was an annoying, pushy thing and suggest that I start the line, OR, he’d be happy to sell off three “big” items, lickety-split. It was the latter!

Honestly, I don’t typically act like this. Well, only when covetousness takes over. I didn’t care about haggling much; a fair price was all I was after. After the gentleman consulted with the boss lady, the deal was sealed!

I was giddy as I told my husband about what I’d just done. The only challenge was getting these heavy pieces home. Once that plan was finally established, Dean loaded Isabelle onto the dolly to relocate her to her new home amongst the early spring blooms in our backyard.

And, that’s when it happened: just as he was opening the gate, Isabelle demonstrated her feisty side by toppling from that temporary perch. Dean was crestfallen. I took a deep breath, held back my tip-of-the-tongue words and considered the situation. What now? Could we salvage her? And would I still love her, flawed as she was?

Thanks to my lovely man, in a matter of days, Isabelle regained her lovely head while still bearing the unmistakable evidence of her injury. Yes, we salvaged her and yes, I loved her.

I visit Isabelle daily, while filling the bird feeder and taking in the first light of morning. I sometimes think that I love her more for her imperfection because she silently reminds me of how imperfection is the true nature of things – of you, of me, of the things we long for and those we covet. Everything has its time, and everything changes. Even our lovely Isabelle. I don’t know where she will land once I have moved on, but what I do know is that, like us, she has a story.

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ahcuotn moc.azzi 704-483-9737 6020 NC-16 S, Maiden, NC 28650 Intersection of HWYS 16 & 150 TUES - THUR 11:00 am - 9:00 pm FRI - SAT 11:00 am - 9:30 pm, SUN 11:00 am - 9:00 pm Closed Mondays 40 Years of Serving Awesome Customers! DAILY SPECIALS FRESH INGREDIENTS FAMILY OWNED LOYAL TO LOCAL SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 7083 HUNTERS BLUFF DR., DENVER 704-591-6353 The finest clothing alterations & tailoring for men, women & children! Contact for a custom quote. Uniforms Hems Zippers Costumes Gowns and more! CLASSIC AMERICAN FOOD PICKUP & DELIVERY TABLE RESERVATIONS MON-THU 11AM - 8 PM FRI-SAT 11AM - 8:15 PM CLOSED SUNDAY 704 660 5577 120 MARKETPLACE AVE, MOORESVILLE BLUSTARGRILL.COM BEST SEAFOOD IN MOORESVILLE April 2024 | 91


Dates and details subject to change, please connect with event host for the most up-todate information.




165 N. Main Street Mooresville, NC 28115

Every Thursday morning veterans get together and enjoy each other’s company and a free coffee



9am-12pm 165 N. Main Street Mooresville, NC 28115

On Saturdays we have a Music Jam session, where anyone is welcome to come in and either play or have a cup of coffee, or just enjoy the music!




Everest Gymnastics Training Center

Everest Gymnastics is proud to offer your child a healthy, happy and safe environment to meet their afterschool needs. We offer a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5-day program, along with an afternoon snack, juice/water each day, homework/reading time and supervised gym time. Relax as you pick up your child knowing that homework is complete and playtime enjoyed. You and your family can enjoy a stress-free evening! Programs are offered at both of our locations in Cornelius and Huntersville.

APRIL 1-30



816 Brawley School Road in Mooresville

We have moved and have added infrared sauna to our list of services! Please see our website to book targeted cryotherapy, infrared sauna and compression therapy sessions. Not just for athletes – we all can benefit! Packages and memberships now available!




Downtown Mooresville

Featuring wine & craft beer tastings at participating Downtown Mooresville businesses, an Art Walk where local artists display and sell works along Broad & Main Streets, PLUS live music, store specials and light appetizers. Wine & craft beer tasting is a ticketed part of the event, enjoying live music, art and visiting businesses is free.



12-4 pm

Sweet Grass

We’re offering a fantastic opportunity for you to design your very own unique trucker hat. With a wide selection of patches available, you can choose the ones that best showcase your personality and style. Whether you’re looking for something funny, sporty, or artsy, we’ve got you covered. Don’t miss out on this chance to personalize your hat and make a statement that’s uniquely you!




Bethel Presbyterian Church, 19920 Bethel Church Road in Cornelius

This dance event is for the Special Needs population you serve and is for ages 16 and up. This is a free event. We will be serving a buffet meal (BBQ sliders, chicken nuggets, veggie and fruit trays, sandwiches, cookies, brownies, chips/salsa), etc. All the guests need to do is to come eat, dance and enjoy. Register online on the Bethel Presbyterian Church website.




Downtown Mooresville

Gourmet fare from a bunch of trucks + live music + social district beverages & treats! It gets crowded so bring a chair, bring a friend, hang out in the street, delight in these awesome food trucks.

HAVE AN EVENT TO SHARE? Scan the QR code above or visit to submit an event. 828-464-6128 The Green Room Community Theatre is a funded affiliate of The United Arts Council of Catawba County and is located in historic downtown Newton, NC. April 2024 | 93


Dates and details subject to change, please connect with event host for the most up-todate information.




Cain Center for the Arts, 21348 Catawba Avenue in Cornelius

Join Joanne Shaw Taylor and her stellar band performing songs from her critically acclaimed studio album, “Nobody’s Fool,” as well as songs from the upcoming new album. Her guitar prowess, vocal abilities and songwriting talents reach new heights as she presents a bold slate of material at the peak of her career




Cain Center for the Arts, 21348 Catawba Avenue in Cornelius

John Oates is known as one half of the best-selling duo of all time, Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist. Tickets: $55-$75/person.




215 North Main Street in Mooresville

Mooresville Parks & Recreation is excited to bring “Always Loretta” The Ultimate Loretta Lynn Tribute Show to the Joe V. Knox Auditorium at the Charles Mack Citizen Center. For more information or tickets, visit




Cain Center for the Arts, 21348 Catawba Avenue in Cornelius

After a sell-out performance this fall, Jeff Allen returns to Cain Center for the Arts for another leg of his “Are We There Yet?” tour! Jeff’s rapid-fire humor, which centers on marriage and family, is a hit with all ages. Tickets: $30-$60/person; $60 VIP ticket includes preshow meet and greet.


Scan the QR code above or visit to submit an event.



2pm & 6pm

Cain Center for the Arts, 21348 Catawba Avenue in Cornelius

This cast of performers and stunt dogs will delight audiences of all ages, with high energy excitement from beginning to end. The experience has amazing dog tricks, big air stunts, Frisbee dogs, comedy antics, dancing dogs, athletic feats and is the most entertaining show of its kind! Tickets: $25-40/person.




Bliss By The Lake Boutique in Mooresville

Want to add a little sparkle to your look? In just minutes, the Finklepott Fairy fuses Fairy Hair to one strand of hair. Fairy Hair lasts until that hair falls out. It can last months or a day: when you lose that hair, who can say? You can wash it, brush it, comb it, curl it, flat iron, (up to 450°), color it, straighten it, perm it, blow it dry, get your haircut, etc. Sign up at BlissbytheLakeMooresville.




Sweet Grass

Join us a for an a-nora-ble event! Nora Fleming will be in the building to meet you and sign your special pieces!! To make your visit even more enjoyable, we’ll be serving light snacks for you to nibble on while you explore our NF collection. And that’s not all! To show our appreciation for our customers, we’ll be offering gifts with purchases (while supplies last).




Cain Center for the Arts, 21348 Catawba Avenue in Cornelius

Originally from Athens, Georgia, Comedian Karen Morgan is a former trial attorney who got her start as a finalist on Nickelodeon’s “Search for the Funniest Mom in America.” Since then, Morgan has performed in comedy clubs and theaters from New York to Hollywood, has been featured on numerous TV programs and brings laughter to radio listeners around the country with her comedy specials. Tickets: $25-45/person.

Garden Center and Charming Gifts Located in the Heart of Denver, NC

Expert Advice

Vibrant Local Inventory

Gifts and Decor


704.966.0087 3344 N HWY 16-Business Denver, NC 28037 Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Saturday, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM NOW OPEN FOR THE Spring SEASON! Rooted in the Community: RidgeCrest Garden Center Your Local Source for Stunning Gardens! April 2024 | 95


Dates and details subject to change, please connect with event host for the most up-todate information.



This is a one-day, self-guided crawl to boutiques around the Lake Norman area! There will be 14 participating stores ready to roll out the red carpet for you and your crew! Your general admission ticket is your all-access pass to exclusive discounts, specials and refreshments at all participating boutiques! There will also be gift card giveaways, door prizes at every stop and a grand prize giveaway! But wait, there’s more! Start the day at our pre-game party, details coming SOON!




18501 Harbor Light Boulevard

Join us for an unforgettable day of maritime marvels and automotive wonders at the Safe Harbor Peninsula Yacht Club Car and Boat Show! Whether you’re a fan of classic cars or sleek boats, this event promises a visual feast for all enthusiasts.




Charles Mack Citizen Center, HealthReach Community Clinic

Our annualHealthReach Heroes Luncheon will take place in downtown Mooresville! Join us in celebrating the volunteers and partners who make our work possible!



5-7:30pm CoCo Couture

CoCo Couture’s spring event will bring together the best fashion of the season, gift ideas for Mother’s Day, unforgettable wedding guest looks and dazzling accessories for prom! Grab a free drink from Bar CoCo, explore our designer collections and get your wardrobe ready for summer fun. Gift with purchase.




Bliss By The Lake Boutique

Join us for an evening of fun! Food, drinks, discounts, drawings and social time. Browse our new spring arrivals and shop from sales racks.





Cain Center for the Arts, 21348 Catawba Avenue in Cornelius

Crowd favorites Mark and Maggie O’Connor return to Cain Center for the Arts for a special performance in support of their new album, “Life After Life.” The new album is an Americana project of several original vocal songs they sing together, other popular songs reimagined and all of them supported by a small universe of acoustic instruments they’ve brushed up on in the time off the road over the past few years.




Broken Arrow Farm

Join us this spring for a fun-filled day with vendors, food and fun! We are still accepting vendor applications. If you are interested, please email

MAY 11


Downtown Newton

Family friendly art festival showcasing a variety of local and regional contemporary folk artists whose work will be for sale. The Foothills Folk Art Festival is a unique experience with art demos, hands on art activities for children, live music, variety of regional food trucks and area restaurants offering food selections, beer garden and more!

MAY 15



Patterson Farms @ Sweet Grass Home

We are teaming up with Patterson farms and Arias Army for a “berry” special day! Come by and grab some strawberries! All strawberry sales (100%) will go to Aria’s Pride. Aria’s Pride is a local nonprofit group of people who have been touched by pediatric cancer in some way and want to help families experiencing this life-altering news.


Scan the QR code above or visit to submit an event.

April 2024 | 97



Near the end of October, we moved from the lake to Sydney, Australia. I think October is low-key the best month on the lake with its cooler days, water still warm enough to swim and zero crowds, but I was still happy to skip fall and jump right back into spring on the other side of the world. Sounds nice, right? Well, for the most part, it is. But, there have been a few things that have been a few surprises, good and bad.

Wearing my summer wardrobe for an entire year has raised a few issues. I’ve had three pairs of shorts in rotation for that entire time, and it was cut down to two pairs of shorts. While we were at the Australian Open, someone covered my bike seat in the complimentary sunscreen they were handing out at the gate, and I didn’t notice until I got home. No amount of washing could get rid of the grease stain, but hey, you have to love them for giving out free sunscreen. Also, the eight black T-shirts I have in rotation are getting a bit tired. I put on a pink T-shirt the other day for a change and, when my kid saw me, he yelled, “Whoa! Why are you so dressed up?” I have set the bar pretty low when it comes to fashion.

Without the natural cadence of the seasons, everything has been thrown off. I’ll hear someone mention a date or holiday – any date or holiday

from any time of the year – and I’ll think, “is that coming up soon?” Just after we arrived, the Aussies celebrated a huge New Year’s Eve with a massive fireworks display, and I haven’t been able to stop calling it “The Fourth of July” since it happened in mid-summer.

Soon it will be fall in Sydney, but there won’t be much of a change. It’s pretty warm and sunny all year, which is nice but it compounds the confusion. It’s going to get even worse when the 2024 Summer Olympics start at the height of our winter. It never occurred to me that half of the globe participates in the Summer Olympics during their winter. Or so I thought. I checked into it yesterday, and it turns out that 90% of people on Earth live in the Northern Hemisphere, so it makes sense we’d align the Olympics to the masses.

So, as the lake enters spring and here we descend into fall, I’m missing the joy that comes with the end of winter and first warm days around the lake. Enjoy the spring at the lake especially, and I’ll try to keep in mind that everything at the lake is probably covered in an inch of pollen, and I wouldn’t be able to breathe even if I were there to enjoy it.

98 |

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