Planning A Funeral: Practicality

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Planning A Funeral: Practicality

"There's really no way to make funeral planning sound exciting.  We all know we will need to do it "someday" but we imagine that we have more time to think about it at a later date.  The truth is, when your loved one dies unexpectedly, you won't have time to do adequate research and a cost analysis on the different options you have with different vendors.  In fact, if it's a close loved one that dies, your brain won't even be fully functioning anymore.  Suddenly basic, commonplace decisions that you've made millions of times before will become much more difficult.  You'll have trouble remembering the names of people you've known for years, filling out simple forms for the funeral arrangements will seem like monumental tasks, and you could even experience physical symptoms associated with stress, such as an inability to taste or digest food (for more information on how grief affects the brain, click here).  Even if you aren't an overly emotional person, exhaustion will set in as you deal with the calls and visits of everyone that wants to console you on the loss of your loved one, exasperating the situation and making your brain fog even worse..."

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Planning A Funeral: Reality

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Planning A Funeral: Reality

"I can't wait for my Dad to read this," I thought to myself as I posted this blog on living authentically.  Little did I know, later that same day my Dad would suffer a massive stroke from which he would never recover.  Death, even when anticipated, has a way of sneaking up on us...

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My Mom's Wisest Advice

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My Mom's Wisest Advice

Descending from an English/Irish mother and a fully Italian father, my Mom is a 5-foot 2-inch, blonde haired, blue eyed woman with a no-nonsense approach to life.  Being a very logical person, my Mom self-admittedly has little room for emotions.  This means that she tells it to you like it is, but always gives you the reasoning behind her way of thinking (which means that even if your heart disagrees with her on some things in the present, there is a chance that your head will decide about 10 years from now that she was right all along...).  Mulling over some of the wisdom she has imparted to me over the years, I decided to share some of my Mom's wisest advice with you in case it proves to be as helpful to you as it has been to me...

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Living Authentically

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Living Authentically

"And just like that, the house sleeps."

That's what I thought to myself as I sang my daughter to sleep in her crib while hearing my husband's snoring in the other room.  Just 30 minutes before, I had a screaming toddler that was determined not to go to bed and a husband crying out in pain from a migraine.  Based on the sounds emanating from our home, you would have thought we lived in a torture chamber!  But within just 30 short minutes, the house had fallen silent.  "Thank you, Lord," I said sincerely.  I recognized the peace that had come over our house as a blessing that shouldn't be taken for granted...

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The 10 Best Places To Eat Around Asheville

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The 10 Best Places To Eat Around Asheville

Listed below (in no particular order) are the 10 best places to eat around Asheville.  One trick that I have learned about visiting restaurants is knowing when to go as much as what you should order.  For this reason, I have listed what I have found to be the best times to attend these restaurants along with what I order when I go there.  For more information on the restaurant itself, click on the restaurant name to be taken directly to their website (or Facebook page if they don't have a website)...

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Turning Dreams Into Reality

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Turning Dreams Into Reality

Every year I evaluate my life on two different occasions: my birthday and on New Year's Day.  I know many people don't believe in making New Year's resolutions since the success rate of actually following through with them is somewhere around 8%, but even if my wildest ambitions aren't actually attained, I feel accomplished just making some progress towards my end goals...

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Turkey Time

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Turkey Time

I just roasted my very first turkey and I couldn't be happier.  It was a complete success (if I do say so myself) because my brother (AKA: the Turkey Expert) helped me every step of the way.  Now I feel it is my duty to share the secrets of the turkey with you so you can master this seemingly-difficult-but-actually-simple task as well.  Even if you are an admitted stooge in the kitchen, I promise you that you will be able to pull this off...

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Winter Is Coming

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Winter Is Coming

Ah winter.  It happens at the same time each year, yet we never seem to be quite "ready" for it.  Do a Google search of what you need to do in order to get your home prepared for the season and you will be overwhelmed by the amount of information that is out there.  To make your life easier, I've perused list after list and have created a "master list" of the most important winter prep tasks that you need to begin doing this weekend...

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House Fire

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House Fire

Two words you never want to hear regarding your home.  "House fire."  My best friend suffered a total loss from a house fire a few years ago, so I have seen just how absolutely devastating they can be.  In her own words, she says, "None of us are in total control.  You think all you have to do are the 'right' things and a house fire won't happen to you, but that's just not true.  It can happen to anyone."...

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Different Perspectives

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Different Perspectives

Now that autumn is upon us, I am getting my house ready for the wintertime by going through absolutely everything we own.  I love fall cleaning because it signals that "winter is coming" (those quotation marks are for all of you Game of Thrones fans) and it ushers in a feeling of coziness, thinking of my family being nestled in a warm house while freezing winds swirl outside...

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Mountain Calling

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Mountain Calling

"The mountains are calling and I must go." -John Muir

I truly believe there is no more beautiful place to live on Earth than among the majesty of the Appalachian Mountains.  To live here is reminiscent of a simpler time when neighbors knew each other's names, community was important, and life was abundant...

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