Lake Norman Woman Magazine July 2024

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I LOVE SUMMER. I even love the 98-degree days…well, maybe I’m not head over heels with the 98 degrees part. But humidity notwithstanding, there is SO much to love about a Carolina summer. Flip flops, for example. I wear them every day in the summer. Every single day. But of all the things I love about summer, the beach is what I love the very most. (Sorry, watermelon…you are undoubtedly a close second.)

I adore the beach for a multitude of reasons: the salty air, the sand between my toes, the roar of the waves, the magical sunsets. But I particularly love the beach because I get to read amidst all that aforementioned glorious beachy stuff. I am the nerdiest of beach book nerds, diving not into the waves but into the pages of a good book.

In fact, in February, I start making a list of books I’ll read on our July beach vacation. And while I admit that this is a bit weird (um…perhaps it’s really weird) and only fellow bibliophiles will understand, I enjoy smelling each new book I’m about to read more than I fancy the smell of the oceany air. I put the book right up to my face, open to the middle, and inhale as deeply as I can.

Books and I go a long way back—I loved them even before I learned the alphabet. (I didn’t start smelling them until I was an adult though.) Instead of a teddy bear, as a toddler I carried around Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs & Ham.” I still carry around books as a grown woman, only now it’s three or four at a time in a tote that’s inscribed with “Books Are My Happy Place.”

The words on my bag are fitting, because for me, a book isn’t just a bundle of paper that smells heavenly, it is indeed a “place”—a magical one. And reading it is like having a passport to a safe haven where I am bound to get lost in the story and characters. In fact, I can get so drawn into a book that I not only feel like I know the characters in person, I consider them to be among my best friends. Being that emotionally connected, I often have a dialogue with them as I’m reading, rooting them on, laughing with them, and inevitably shedding a few tears with them, too. When I’m finished with the book, I actually experience some emotional trauma, wondering what I’ll do with my life now that my friends have moved on and my passport has expired.

Uh oh…I believe I have digressed a bit. This was supposed to be a letter to you about summer. But see? Books distract me! I hope Summer 2024 is your best one yet. Get out and enjoy the Carolina blue skies, or better yet, meet me at the beach…I’ll be the one with my nose in a book (literally) and seemingly talking to myself. Don’t call the paddy wagon though—I’m having the time of my life! w




orLife takes practice! And though they don’t always come wrapped in a shiny red bow, the lessons we learn along the way are invaluable gifts that are worth sharing. Here are a few noteworthy examples featured in this issue:



“Being proactive is more than taking initiative. It is recognizing that we are responsible for our own choices and have the freedom to choose based on principles and values rather than on moods or condition.” Flip on over to PAGE 28 to meet our spotlight power couple who are all about proactive health: Dr. Micah Kirscher and Dr. Coral Kirscher, founders and owners of Renew Specialty Group in Cornelius.


Lake Norman native Sheena Shaw (Team Leader/ Real Estate Entrepreneur, The Hometown TeamExp Luxury) has been a softball pitcher since she was 5 years old. Check out PAGE 40 to read how her success in softball paved the way for a career in real estate.

Be sure to read our leadership feature this month on PAGE 16 where we get some experienced insights from Eileen Stoner, head of The Stoner Group at Morgan Stanley in Cornelius. “With clients,” she explains, “I see my role from the perspective of how can I serve them? How can I ensure I fully understand them and their goals?”


As a licensed massage therapist and owner of Jill Borcich Massage Therapy, Jill gets great satisfaction from her chosen profession. Read her amazing story on PAGE 24 to see how she helps athletes and others restore range of motion, lessen pain, lower anxiety and stress, and foster a greater sense of wellbeing. w




JULY 3, 6PM-10PM

Lowe’s YMCA in Mooresville, on the lawn | 170 Joe V. Knox Ave.




. Ice for serving on the rocks or add to blender for frozen version

. 1/2 cup cubed, seedless watermelon

. 3 tablespoons light rum

. 2 tablespoons St. Germaine liqueur

. 1 lime, juiced (about 1 tablespoon) plus wedge for garnish

. 1 tablespoon superfine sugar


Mental health conditions do not discriminate; however, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. Visit WWW.CDC.GOV as they recognize and observe this very important awareness campaign.


July is National Blueberry Month, National Ice Cream Month, and National Hot Dog Month— all coming together for National Picnic Month!

16 ounces of honey requires 1,152 bees to travel 112,000 miles and visit 4.5 million flowers.

The queen bee can live up to five years, and she is busiest in the summer months when she lays up to 2,500 eggs per day.

The Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846; however, every July 4th it is symbolically tapped 13 times to represent the patriots from the 13 colonies.

Honeybees contribute $8-$10 billion to the U.S. economy every year.

Honeybees can fly up to 15 miles per hour.

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe all died on July 4th. Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other in 1826 and Monroe years later in 1831. w




Eileen Stoner, CRPC®, CDFA®, is Executive Director/Financial Advisor of The Stoner Group at Morgan Stanley located at 17505 W. Catawba Ave. in Cornelius, NC. She and her team can be reached at 704.896.9138 or via their website at


"WHEN YOU ASK Eileen Stoner, head of The Stoner Group at Morgan Stanley in Cornelius, to name her leadership role model, a big smile emerges as she says, “My dad!” A quiet and kind man, Eileen says he worked hard but always had time for his family. “He was a bit of a renaissance man,” she explains. “He was in corporate HR and then ran his own consulting firm—he eventually taught business at a private college.”

Eileen and her husband moved to Lake Norman in 1995 and found it the ideal place to raise their sons. Having established herself in the financial world, she always knew this area was a great place to make a home and run her business ... and she is extremely grateful for both. She values her extraordinary team a great deal and sees the environment as wholly collaborative and always inspiring.

“I see myself with the responsibilities to lead the team,” she says, “but also to provide what they need so that they can be the best in their respective roles. We work together to get the job done. I enjoy listening to them talk with clients, and I’m so proud of these sharp, savvy colleagues. We can’t control the stock markets, but we can control how we serve our clients.”

In the community, Eileen leads the Lake Norman chapter of Second Saturday which is a non-profit workshop that helps women who are going through separation and divorce become more educated about the legal, financial, and emotional issues involved with the process. “For me,” she shares, “it is an important way to give back to the community. I’m a person of faith and part of a wonderful local church where there is fellowship, truth, and an opportunity to serve ... my faith keeps me grounded and motivated to prioritize what matters most.” w

The use of the CDFA® designation does not permit the rendering of legal advice by Morgan Stanley or its Financial Advisors which may only be done by a licensed attorney. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. CRC 6620014 05/24.

LIFE as a leader

FIRST JOB: Ticket booth cashier at Sea World

BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU RECEIVED: Don’t cry in front of those you lead.


LIFE/WORK MANTRA:  No one is promised tomorrow so seek balance in all things.

FAVORITE SNACK: Protein Power Bars

I WISH I HAD MORE:  Time in the day


LAST THING YOU RESEARCHED ON THE INTERNET: History of Israel, 1900 to today I see myself in more of a servant-leader framework. With clients, I see my role from the perspective of how can I serve them? How can I ensure I fully understand them and their goals? My job is to ensure my experience and skill is put to work in helping craft financial solutions that will enable them to successfully achieve their goals.”




DID YOU KNOW THAT 70% OF BANKRUPTCIES IN THE UNITED STATES are due to medical bills? That’s because a cancer diagnosis, a car accident, or even a broken bone can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Add to the increasing cost of healthcare itself the dramatic increase in the cost of health insurance, and it’s clear why many Americans are looking into alternatives to health insurance. One option that is worth exploring is a healthcare sharing program. We’ve invited Constance Henderson, a local representative of Impact Health Sharing, to answer some questions about how healthcare sharing works.

LKNW: What exactly is healthcare sharing?

Constance: Well, first of all, health sharing is NOT health insurance! Health sharing organizations such as Impact are communities of people who share and pay each other’s medical bills. Health sharing differs from insurance in that your money is going to help another member in need and you’ll have full visibility and transparency on how those funds are being used—there is no pooling of funds as practiced by insurance groups.

LKNW: How do healthcare sharing programs and health insurance differ in cost?

Constance: Whereas health insurance plans can be costly and restrictive, healthcare sharing programs are notfor-profit and don’t have exorbitant CEO and other executive-level salaries that add to costs. As a result, members can save between 30 and 50% of what they would pay for health insurance. In addition, Impact uses referencebased pricing, which also saves members money and provides peace of mind by allowing transparency and up-front knowledge of healthcare costs and paying providers a set amount regardless of the price the provider charges for care. For example, Impact has programs starting at $378 for families, which is significantly lower than a plan in health insurance programs.

LKNW: Can you get some of the “bells & whistles” that insurance companies now offer?

Constance: Yes! Impact, for instance, allows its members to choose their providers— there is no network! Instead, you can use the physician (including specialists) and hospital of your choice. And in addition, Impact offers a variety of other benefits including comprehensive medical, wholesale Rx, telemedicine, limited preventative and mental care, and industry-leading technology.

LKNW: Who would be a good fit for a healthcare sharing program?

Constance: Just about anyone who wants to save money on health insurance, but we’ve found healthcare sharing programs are particularly beneficial for:

Healthy families that rarely meet deductibles

People with no health insurance or who are under insured

Contractors, 1099 workers, and the selfemployed

Seniors who need something to come alongside Medicare

Businesses looking to lower healthcare costs w


Constance Henderson is an independent marketing representative for Impact Health Sharing. For more information about healthcare sharing programs, contact Constance at 704-779-1011 or

Constance Henderson

Home Staging T HE B ENEFITS OF

SELLING A HOME CAN BE AN EXCITING YET CHALLENGING PROCESS, especially in a competitive market. As an experienced real estate agent, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of home staging. Sellers that invest in staging benefit by elevating their property’s appeal, attracting more buyers, and ultimately securing a faster sale at a price that exceeds their expectations.

Enhancing First Impressions

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and this holds true when it comes to selling a home. Staging allows you to showcase your property’s full potential, creating an immediate wow factor that captivates prospective buyers. With strategically placed furniture, tasteful décor, and appealing color schemes, staging transforms an empty or cluttered space into a welcoming and inviting environment. These first impressions are crucial in capturing buyers’ attention and ensuring they envision themselves living in your home.

Highlighting Key Features

Every home has its unique selling points, and staging helps accentuate these features. Professional stagers have a keen eye for arranging furniture and décor to draw attention to architectural details such as a cozy fireplace, elegant crown molding, or stunning panoramic views. Expertly highlighting these attractive aspects through staging allows buyers to recognize the full benefits of your property.

Creating a Sense of Space

A Competitive Edge

In the realm of real estate, space sells. Staging helps maximize the perceived square footage of your home by utilizing appropriate furniture and layout techniques. By eliminating clutter, organizing belongings, and strategically arranging furniture, staging creates a sense of spaciousness and flow throughout the property. Buyers are often drawn to homes that feel open and airy, as it gives them a blank canvas to envision their own furniture and personal touches. The perception of space not only increases buyer interest but also allows for better-quality photographs, attracting more online attention.

Staging has become an indispensable tool for maximizing a home’s appeal and sale potential. So, if you want to sell your home faster and for top dollar, consider the benefits of staging as an invaluable investment in your selling strategy. w

LKN expert


Marlene Billesdon and Helen Adams Realty’s Market Ready program helps homeowners maximize the value of their homes with pre-listing improvements at zero up-front costs and zero interest. For more information, call Marlene at 704.351.7547 or visit

In today’s competitive market, staging can provide a distinct advantage. Staged homes stand out among the sea of listings, making a memorable impression on potential buyers. With online platforms playing a vital role in the home search process, staging helps your property shine in photographs and virtual tours, enticing buyers to schedule in-person visits. Furthermore, staged homes often receive more offers and tend to sell faster than their non-staged counterparts.

Lemi Aemotio Spa


From fundamentals to Vinyasa to Happy Hour, we have a Yoga class for everyone!

We are committed to using the most advanced and effective organic skincare methods to have you feeling your best inside and out

We’ve partnered with your favorite brands to extend your bliss at home

The most revolutionary spa equipment on the market. Combining the latest treatment technologies with a unique and modern design. Lemi Aemotio SPA features a Vichy rain bar and bolero, light and heat for countless wellness programs and exceptional aesthetic results. www driftwoodyogaspa com

When you look at your life, what gives you a sense of pride? First and foremost, my sons, Evan and Jake, who are both considerate, smart, balanced, and amazing young men. Professionally, I’m most proud of how my business has grown in the past decade and that I’ll graduate with a master’s degree in health and wellness management next spring. I also led a graduate research project on resilience training, and the findings were presented at an international nursing conference in Wisconsin. And I was more than honored when I was interviewed by a national publication for an article discussing the advantages of massage as an alternative to opioids. I am passionate about all things wellness and consider myself a lifelong learner.

How has exercise and healing shaped your life? I decided to pursue massage therapy due to the flexibility it offered and my desire to work with athletes and active adults. I believe a seed was planted many years ago, however, when I went for my first massage while living in San Diego after college. It was memorable because the therapist was able to release chronic knots in my upper back with sustained pressure (called neuromuscular or trigger point therapy), so it was life-altering for me. Growing up, I was an avid dancer and loved playing tennis, swimming, and bike riding. These days, I still place a heavy emphasis on physical activity, and I especially enjoy running and lifting weights.

In what ways does working with clients spark joy?

It’s an incredible feeling when I witness the immediate positive effects that my clients often experience. It’s gratifying to hear that a client had a successful race or weight-lifting competition due, in part, to our sessions together. Helping to restore range of motion, lessen pain, lower anxiety and stress, and foster a greater sense of wellbeing for my clients are what I strive for daily.

In what ways do you “get away from it all”? In a wordtravel! I’ve been to England, Wales, Scotland, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Mexico, Canada, and all over the U.S. One of my favorite trips was to Jamaica last year where I jumped off a 35-foot cliff in Negril. To me, cliff jumping is a metaphor for overcoming fear in life. Being brave and taking risks is important and while too much impulsivity isn’t wise, if you hesitate and stand in place for too long you can get paralyzed with fear. Don’t overthink … just jump!



Jill Borcich, LMBT, CNMT, is a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist. Her services include sports massage therapy, integrative reflexology, infrared sauna, myofascial cupping, and more. She can be reached at 704.996.6498 or connect with her online at

Describe the words that lift you up. I love this quote from Dawn Staley, women’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina: “The disciplined person can do anything.” It resonates with me because I believe my professional and academic success stems from being disciplined and consistent — doing the things I need (but not always want) to do and doing them over and over. w

WRITER Lindsay Martell

Snoring, Sleep Apnea, and Your Overall Health

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT MORE THAN 90 MILLION PEOPLE IN North America snore, negatively affecting more than 160 million people and families. It is a common complaint and discussion with patients in my dental chair as we healthcare providers are better understanding how detrimental untreated snoring and related sleep apnea can be to one’s overall health.

What causes snoring?

Snoring happens when the flow of air through your mouth and/or nose is blocked. Some people snore occasionally during allergy season or when they have a sinus infection, due to temporary nasal congestion. However, most snoring is a result of reduced airway space in the throat. Muscles and soft tissues of the mouth relax during sleep, allowing the lower jaw to fall back, (especially with back-sleeping), compromising the amount of airflow. Tongue size and extra weight around the neck can compound the degree of obstruction. As air attempts to pass through the constricted space, its increased velocity vibrates the soft tissues of the throat, producing the snoring we hear. Snoring can itself be a symptom of a health problem called obstructive sleep apnea. Those with sleep apnea have multiple extended pauses in breath when they sleep. These breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s supply of oxygen, leading to potentially serious health consequences.


are the risks of untreated

snoring or sleep apnea?

Because of the affected oxygen balance in the body, untreated snoring and sleep apnea raises dangerous risks for various cardiovascular problems. Produced strain on the heart increases blood pressure, creating a greater risk of coronary artery disease, heart arrhythmias, heart attack, and stoke. GERD is also more likely to be present in those who snore due to disordered airway flow and pressure changes, which affect the contents of the stomach and esophagus. In addition, interrupted sleep is associated with mental and emotional challenges, such as anxiety and depression. Hormone imbalances and weight gain are tied to a lack of quality sleep. Sleepiness during the day can also interfere with mental awareness and increase risk for injury and accidents.

What can be done to stop snoring or correct sleep apnea?

Talk to a doctor or dentist if you are overly sleepy during the day, if you snore often or very loudly, or if a partner notices that you sometimes stop breathing altogether. You may be referred for a sleep study to confirm the degree of snoring and/or sleep apnea. If diagnosed with a problem, a common treatment is the nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. These devices push air through a mask and into the airway to keep it open during sleep. These are tolerated with varying degrees of difficulty. An effective alternative to a CPAP machine is a dentist-prescribed mouthpiece or snore guard. It is a less cumbersome, affordable, noninvasive snoring solution that has proven highly effective in maintaining airway space. It is a custom-fitted dental device, worn in the mouth as upper and lower trays connected by sidebars, which holds the lower jaw in a slightly forward position while sleeping. It can be adjusted by a sleep-trained dental professional for maximum comfort and effectiveness. w


Dr. Julianne Colvin is a family and cosmetic dentist who shares ownership of Crawford & Colvin Dentistry located at 16525 Birkdale Commons Parkway, Suite 300, in Huntersville. You can reach Dr. Colvin at 704.895.5850 or schedule online at



This poignant quote by author and businessman Stephen Covey sets the stage nicely for meeting our featured power couple this month: Dr. Micah Kirscher, DNP, FNP-C and Dr. Coral Kirscher, DNP, FNP-C, founders and owners of Renew Specialty Group in Cornelius.

No stranger to health challenges, Dr. Coral was diagnosed with autoimmune conditions including Hashimoto’s and lupus at a young age and after a lot of self-guided research, she realized her symptoms were caused by a medication she had been prescribed. “Unfortunately,” she recalls, “I did not get that knowledge from any of the doctors I was seeing at the time and was only met with adversity. That experience drives me to be an advocate for my patients. I want to make

sure they feel heard and know that I’m 100 percent on their health journey with them. We pride ourselves on being proactive (not reactive!) and are with our patients every step of the way.”

Dr. Coral’s expertise encompasses a broad spectrum of both traditional and holistic theory and practice. Her personal journey of healing gives her particular insight into unraveling the complex challenges that women face when symptoms are overwhelming and healing

feels elusive. “My goal,” she asserts, “is to empower my patients with meaningful information, cutting edge research, alternative perspectives, and a range of holistic options that offer the proper tools needed to heal and live a long and healthy life.”

With a lifelong passion for helping others, Dr. Micah was just 17 years old when he knew he wanted to be in the medical profession. Working as a first responder volunteer in rural Wisconsin where he grew up, young Micah knew this was the path for him. After graduating high school, he spent four years in the U.S. Coast Guard flying search and rescue missions with a flight crew on a HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. He later received his doctorate


degree from Frontier University in Lexington, Kentucky, graduating with a family nurse practitioner degree (Doctor of Nursing Practice).

“This is also where I met Coral,” he smiles, “as we attended our doctorate program together. She has been the most influential person in my life and has definitely inspired me the most. She is thoughtful, logical, and always sees different ways to solve problems. We make a great team! Our daughter, Habor, just turned 1 and we are enjoying this active age. She likes reading, being outside, and playing with our dogs, Eloi and Cody.”

With their homelife as busy as ever, work is also on the move. Their practice continues to grow at a rapid rate, and this is in no small part due to the successes they’ve had with their unique anti-aging and weight-loss programs. “We have recently been revamped,” Dr. Micah says, “to now include a weightloss maintenance program which most clinics do not offer but is crucial to maintaining results. This includes a low dose of semaglutide to not only maintain weight loss but also to offer other health benefits such as lower inflammation, lower A1C, reduced cardiovascular risk, reduced cognitive decline, better glycemic control, increased metabolism, and protective effects in kidney and respiratory health. We also work with patients suffering from weight loss resistance, helping them address the root cause of weight struggles and achieve their goals.”

Another addition to their program is NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide).

NAD+ is the powerhouse behind cellular health. From boosting energy levels to supporting DNA repair and promoting longevity, NAD+ is the true jack of all trades, Dr. Coral explains: “Science has shown that boosting NAD+ levels can rejuvenate old cells back to a state of youth, leading to multiple beneficial effects against aging and age-related disease. Also, it is important to point out that NAD+ is much more beneficial with the injection rather than the oral route. With the oral route our bodies metabolize the active component via the first pass effect, so the body does not absorb much at all. With the painless intramuscular injection, we are absorbing 100 percent; as a result, the oral option wastes a lot of money when someone can get IM injections for almost the same cost.”

The Kirschers are proud to be a leading and progressive healthcare solution for patients who have been failed by traditional medicine. Running their business as a true private practice (which is unheard of these days!), they are able to keep things patient focused. Possessing a deep knowledge of how intricately connected mental and physical health are, their desire and ability to learn, grow, and change direction as needed is indeed inspiring and, quite literally, lifesaving.

“Our passion has and will always be our patients,” the couple agrees. “It is our goal and purpose to help people navigate the essential yet delicate journey of health and wellness. We have committed our lives to it ... just as we have to our team at work, our community, each other, our family, and God.” w

Anti-Aging and Cognitive Decline

HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY (HBOT) has proven to be effective in reversing biological aging in humans. Cognitive function usually peaks around the age of 30— from there it is a subtle decline. By the time we reach 60, half of us report a decline in cognitive abilities including slowness in thinking, difficulties sustaining attention, problem solving, and short-term memory issues. This decline can unfortunately culminate in dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Body tissues’ lack of oxygen/energy:

Dr. Shai Efrati and his team have been the leading researchers in hyperbaric medicine for the last 20 years. In 2020 they produced a study that showed that by doing 60 HBOT sessions 5 days per week with 3 five-minute air breaks, there was an increase in telomere length of 20% proving that aging can be targeted and reversed at the basic cellular-biological level.

Mitochondria Disfunction:

Contributing aging factors and how HBOT

can help:

Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the lumen of the blood vessels) occurs in all our blood vessels starting from childhood and progressing throughout life, resulting in decreased blood supply and lack of oxygen in body tissue (hypoxia)—similar to clogging pipes in an aging home.

HBOT: Because it increases tissue oxygenation 15-20 times, this high amount of dissolved oxygen diffuses through the capillary walls to the mitochondria in all cells, bypassing the narrowed blood vessels caused by the atherosclerosis process. The protocol stimulates the mitochondria and the production of several enzymes that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in the tissues where normal blood flow was decreased. This slows the progression of atherosclerosis and restores the supply of oxygen/energy and nutrients to the aging tissues.

Mitochondria located in each cell of our body are the primary generators of energy. As we age, the number of mitochondria decreases along with the efficiency of each remaining mitochondrial function. This accelerates atherosclerosis and tissue hypoxia and the aging process.

HBOT: Both human and animal studies have shown that HBOT improves and restores the decreased mitochondrial function in different tissues in the body including the brain.

Stem Cell Exhaustion:

The body naturally produces stem cells that can differentiate into any cell that is sending a signal for a need to be repaired. As we age, the number of stem cells the body produces decreases as does the ability of the stem cells to regenerate damaged tissue. Aging is also a failure of the body to repair and regenerate damaged tissue.

HBOT: HBOT increases the number of stem cells up to eight times above normal. It also stimulates differentiation of stem cells to the different tissues such as heart, muscle, kidney, and brain for tissue repair. HBOT is a medical treatment administered in a chamber where the patient breathes 100% oxygen under pressure. It is extremely safe and effective. w

call 704.471.4100 or visit

“When my son needed urgent care,


When Melissa’s son, Ethan, was injured during a soccer game, she chose the experienced providers at her local, independent health system

“It was our first experience at Iredell Urgent Care and it was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for better service.”

This is your health — choose the best.

70years of healing



IN THE REALM OF HOME IMPROVEMENT, there exists a notorious phrase that strikes fear into the heart of a seasoned designer: "I have a guy." Oh, how those four little words can send shivers down one's spine, signaling the imminent arrival of chaos and calamity.

You see, when a client utters those fateful words, what often follows is a cascade of miscommunication, missed deadlines, and mismatched expectations. It's a recipe for disaster worthy of Shakespearean tragedy, only instead of star-crossed lovers, we have hapless homeowners and dubious handymen.

The first act in this drama of errors typically unfolds with the client's unwavering conviction that their "guy" is the solution to all their renovation woes. They speak of him in reverent tones, as if he possesses the divine power to transform a dilapidated basement into a marble-clad paradise with the wave of a magic hammer.

But alas, reality has a cruel way of intruding upon such lofty dreams. As the project gets underway, cracks begin to appear in the façade of confidence. Deadlines come and go like ships in the night, leaving behind a wake of frustration and finger-pointing. "I thought you were handling that," the client laments, while the "guy" shrugs in feigned innocence.

And let's not forget the everpresent specter of quality control—or lack thereof.

From crooked tiles to leaky faucets, the aftermath of a "guy"-led renovation can resemble a slapstick comedy of errors, with the homeowner cast in the role of unwitting protagonist. One of my designer friends tells the story of the client who bought very expensive fabric from her but had a “her guy” make her drapery. It came out so badly that the drapery sat under her bed for years because she spent so much money on

So, the next time someone utters those infamous words—"I have a guy"—let it serve as a cautionary tale.

the fabric she could not bear to donate the ruined drapery. Another friend had a client buy beautiful luxury wallpaper to have it hung by a handyman. Professional wallpaper hangers understand the materials to use so that the paper will come off when you are ready to change it. They know how to panel grasscloth and finish seams. This client ended up with an uncentered mess and complained to the designer. Oy!

In the end, what started as a simple home improvement project can spiral into a saga of epic proportions, complete with plot twists and cliffhangers aplenty. Will the kitchen ever be finished? Will the bathroom tiles ever match? Will the drapery fall straight or buckle? Will the client ever regain their sanity? How much will it cost to fix?

But fear not, for amidst the chaos lies a valuable lesson: trust, but verify. While it's certainly tempting to take the easy route and rely on a friend of a friend's recommendation, the wise homeowner knows better. They do their due diligence, vetting contractors with the precision of a seasoned detective and demanding references like a Hollywood diva demands green M&M's in her dressing room.

So, the next time someone utters those infamous words—"I have a guy"—let it serve as a cautionary tale. For in the world of construction and installations, the path to renovation nirvana is paved not with blind faith, but with careful planning and a healthy dose of skepticism. w

Our resident home-design expert, Starr Miller, has garnered local and national acclaim with more than 30 industry honors. An alumnus of the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York, Starr has built a strong following as the principal of her sought-after design firm, located in Cornelius, NC.

She feels the composition of a space must originate with the client’s unique perspective. Along with that perspective she brings together her team’s collaboration, design skills and refined processes in a way which results in truly captivating homes for her clients.

StarrMiller Interior Design specializes in full-service interior design projects.


Outdoor Play safe fun!

LIVING BY THE LAKE AND IN THE BEAUTIFUL state of North Carolina, we get to enjoy the outdoors a lot of the year … this means our little ones are going to need a few reminders about staying safe—whether it’s on the playground at school, boating on the lake, or just playing in their own backyard, here are some things to reiterate:

KEEP YOUR HANDS to yourself (no pushing, shoving, roughhousing, etc.). As the old adage goes, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.”

NO JUMPING OFF any structure of any height … period.

BE MINDFUL OF rackets, bats, balls, and other sports equipment … hit the ball, not each other!

BE AWARE OF SMALLER CHILDREN, use the buddy system, and stick up for others.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY. While she may want to wear her princess dress 24/7, it is NOT a good idea for outdoor play … choose clothing that is durable and does not have accessories or fabric that could get caught or tangled.

For more information on keeping kids safe and other parenting strategies, visit

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! Even in cooler temps, kids need plenty of fluids. Have them pick out a cute, stylish water bottle that they can easily carry in their backpacks.

BE YOUR OWN INSPECTOR. Make sure playground equipment is age appropriate and in good condition, not only at your home but at ALL playgrounds you visit.

WATCH THAT SUN, particularly between 10 am and 4 pm. Get your kids into the habit of putting on a broad-based UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher before they go out to play.

LEARN AND TEACH FIRST AID to your children. Even preschoolers can dial 9-1-1 and learn to put pressure on a wound. But as they grow, teach them age-appropriate first aid techniques. w

Hello Summer!

Dr. Michael Coleman & Dr. Michael Foran

of Her

Own A League


SHAW (Team Leader/Real Estate Entrepreneur, The Hometown TeamExp Luxury) has been swinging for the fences her entire life. Stepping up to the plate—or pitcher’s mound in her case—since she was just 5 years old, Sheena went on to receive a college scholarship as a pitcher for Pfeiffer University where she competed in fastpitch softball.

“As a pitcher,” Sheena shares, “I always had to take extra time beyond team practices and games to perfect my craft. I would pitch 100 strikes a day nearly every day. My parents pushed me, thankfully, even though at the time I was not so thankful. But they helped me to develop my work ethic, tenacity, and grit for achieving high-level results. Being in a team atmosphere, I learned so much, not only about the true meaning of teamwork, but about leading by example, overcoming hurdles, and how to grow from my losses and make myself stronger—how to push through the hard and never give up. Ultimately these skills spilled over into my real estate career and have been the survival tools needed to journey through all the craziness and busyness of life.”

After college, Sheena moved back to Mooresville with her husband. She received her real estate license in 2008. With a passion for homes and helping people, Sheena found her niche in real estate, especially when she entered motherhood. “My intent,” she explains,

“was to be able to have a job that provided enough income while at the same time being able to raise my children—Ezra, 8, and Saige, 4. I thought I was a hard worker

has been inspired by her chosen career. Not only does she enjoy helping clients achieve their dreams, but she loves being able to show other moms/businesswomen that they can have the life they desire ... it’s achievable if you put the work in, remain consistent, and trust the process.

''Ultimately these skills spilled over into my real estate career and have been the survival tools needed to journey through all the craziness and busyness of life.”

before kids but I tell you, when I had them a fire was lit like never before. They are my WHY. I want to create a life by design and be hands-on with my kids ... show up and be present.”

Celebrating 10 years of being a fulltime real estate agent, Sheena

“Thankfully,” she adds, “I have such a wonderful and supportive husband, Jeremy, and while I was developing as a real estate agent, he was building his business, The Cedar Stump Pub. We have established businesses and brands that we worked so very hard for, and I am proud that with all we have built we are blessed to be able to help lift up other businesses and families in the community along the way ... giving back and paying it forward. I am still on my journey but am living proof that you can create the life you want with hard work, perseverance, passion, and faith in God.” w

Sheena Shaw

determination and discipline are common themes as Charlene describes what it was like lying in a hospital for months, enduring countless surgeries, coming to terms with her altered body and face, and learning to love and embrace life again. Her account will not only make readers smile, laugh, cry, and cheer, they will learn how it is possible to overcome seemingly insurmountable tragedy when one is willing to take life one agonizing minute at a time and simply never give up.

Make no mistake, though—it is clear through the heart-wrenching grief Charlene felt over not only the death of her fiancé but her life as she knew it, as well as the tremendous hurdles she had to overcome, that her journey was anything but easy. But with her faith, family, and indomitable spirit, she was able to keep moving forward. Ultimately,

I encourage you to immerse yourself in Charlene’s story. After all, we all endure hardship during this walk of life. Charlene’s example shows us that we don’t have to be defined by it.

PELL is the founder of Facing Forward, a nonpro t dedicated to helping individuals with facial or physical di erences cope with staring and communicate con dently. In 1994, Pell survived a plane crash that burned her body, severely injuring her face and hands. As a result of her dis gurement and the lack of resources available to her during her recovery, Pell created a nationwide program to help herself and others.

“Charlene’s journey has been . . . is is a must read for recovery and growth!”

—Michael Peck, MD, Board of Trustees

“In this moving, vulnerable tion to the testimony of human —Booklife

“Charlene Pell has given us about overcoming unthinkable dis gured, and disabled by a ed her lovely face and hands, focus, character, con dence, for anyone with a big challenge, who love them . . . It’s a great where you need to be, all the

—Belleruth Naparstek, of Health Journeys,

“Not only will this amazing you in awe as it did me, but and encouragement to those physical ‘di erence.’”

—Delwyn Breslau, of the Burn Support Breslau, the late

Photo ©
Joey Seawell


Cherry Delight


1 bag of vanilla wafers

8 ounces of softened cream cheese

⅓ cup sugar

8-ounce tub cool whip

½ cup cherry preserves

1 can cherry pie filling


Get cheery this summer with this cherry dessert that is sure to please. Whether it’s a family reunion, a picnic by the lake, or just a cool treat for a hot day, this is the cherry on top!

1 Line a loaf pan with vanilla wafers across bottom.

2 In a mixer beat cream cheese and sugar.

3 When smooth, fold in cool whip.

4 Spread half the cheesecake mixture over the cookies.

5 Stir the preserves to loosen them and dollop over the cheesecake mixture. Spread gently.

6 Add another layer of vanilla wafers and top with the rest of the cheesecake mix.

7 Pour on the cherry pie filling and then in the fridge to chill overnight. Top with whipped cream before serving ... and of course a cherry on top!

WORDS matter

Words are magic. They actually change our brain chemistry! As wordsmiths here at LKNW, we are especially fond of words that will resonate with our readers, in hopes they will help guide & inspire you.

Cut these out & use whereverinspirationfor you need it!

We know how busy life can get—kids, work, family, friends … sometimes just getting dinner on the table is a Herculean feat! So in an effort to save our readers some time, effort, and money here are a few tips, tricks, and hacks that might come in handy in your busy world!


Set up a small inflatable kiddie pool on your slice of beach ... the kids can play safely while you enjoy a little R&R.


If you don’t like or are sensitive to the chemicals in most store-bought sunscreen, you can make your own. See recipe below, and you can add skin-safe essential oils for extra benefits and scents but do your research. Citrus oils including lemon, orange, and bergamot are particularly dangerous—they can be phototoxic, meaning they react to UV light and can cause skin to burn and blister. Cinnamon bark, clove, lemongrass, oregano, peppermint, and jasmine oils are also known to cause irritation. Some safe oils include lavender, frankincense, or sandalwood.



Pint-size mason jar with lid


Use a fitted sheet and



½ cup sweet almond oil (or avocado oil or olive oil)

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup beeswax pellets

2 TBSP non-nano zinc oxide powder

1 tsp red raspberry seed oil (or less, optional)

1 tsp carrot seed oil (or less, optional)

2 TBSP shea butter

25 drops essential oils (not phototoxic ones)

¼ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp vitamin E oil

sensitive items, just place in a Ziplock baggie. The touchscreen on your phone will work through the plastic, and it also helps protect against sand and wind.


Put some of your favorite fruits into bottled water and freeze. Not only will it help keep other items cold in the cooler, but the fruity water will be ice-cold when you’re ready for a refreshing beverage.

MIND body spirit

By mixing the ingredients of attitude and action, we can change the flavor of our own lives. Learn to nurture your body and soul to lead a more balanced life.



WHAT EXACTLY IS FOREST BATHING? Is it a fitness trend or a mindfulness practice ... or perhaps it’s a bit of both. The term originated in Japan in the 1980s as a psychological exercise called shinrinyoku (“forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”). The practice was meant to offer a natural antidote to “tech-boom burnout” in the workplace and to inspire people to reconnect with and protect the forests.

Researchers have studied the physiological benefits of forest bathing, providing the science to support what we as humans already knew: time spent in nature is good for us. Many cultures have recognized the importance of the natural world to human health, and it seems we are in need of it today more than ever!

Forest bathing is not just for the outdoorsy types ... it’s about being in any natural environment and consciously connecting with what’s around you. Here are a few tips:

Turn off or leave behind any devices, including your phone!

Walk slowly ... you want to absorb the nature as you go.

Notice your breathing. Take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth—it gives your brain the “ok” to relax.

Find a particularly beautiful and peaceful spot to sit quietly for a while using mindful observation as you bathe in the forest.

Observe all the colors around you. Studies have shown that colors in nature (such as greens and blues) can soothe the nervous system.

Use your senses. What does it smell like? What flowers and plants can you identify? Pay attention to the sounds as well, from an acorn dropping to the various and wondrous bird songs. w

Mike Griffin, CEO Mooresville
Kortney Houston Statesville
Freda Sobon Mooresville
John Caldwell, VP Mooresville
Paul Renegar Statesville
Tonya Shook Hickory
Logan Canipe Lincolnton
Leon Brown, III Statesville
Leyda Martinez Denver
Shana Vielie Statesville
Lauren Yount Maiden
Melissa Armstrong Mooresville
Dennis Long Statesville
Barbi Dellinger Lincolnton
Rich Schrader Mount Holly

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