The following is an article from the January 2017 issue of "Get Your Ducks in a Row" Carolina Family Estate Planning's free newsletter. You can read the rest of the issue, as well as back issues of our newsletter online at or subscribe for free at


Happy New Year!


Toward the end of 2016, we closed the office for a couple days to plan for the new year. According to our newsletter plan, I was going to write an article for this issue that covered post-election predictions of future law changes in Estate Planning and Long Term Care. But as I sat down to write the article, I couldn’t do it. I suspect I’m not the only one who is a bit burnt out on election coverage. So I’ve decided to shelve the predictions article for a bit. Instead, in the spirit of focusing on a few simple things that bring us joy, I thought I would kick off the new year by telling you about a few of my new favorite things and an interesting book I’ve been reading lately.


Kitchen Gadget: The Spiralizer


Spiralizer kitchen gadgetLike many, Dan and I strive to eat healthy and get enough veggies each day. One gadget that has become a workhorse in our house is the Paderno Vegetable Spiralizer. Depending on the model, you can purchase one online for $25-40. The spiralizer cuts vegetables and fruits into “noodles” of various size. It’s a breeze to use. Our favorite is zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) because they’re so versatile—you can swap them for pretty much any recipe that uses pasta, and they always come out al dente. My favorite source for new spiralizer recipes is which also includes great preparation and storage advice. Check out Aimee’s recipe inside for a great zoodle recipe.


In the Car: Cell Phone Mount


Car cell phone mountAnother recent winner has been a magnetic, air-vent car mount for my phone. There are a few different manufacturers out there, and they all seem more or less equivalent. You can find them on Amazon for about $8-10. They’re super easy to use. The mount just hangs on your vent with no adhesive or hardware, and once in place, you can just pop your phone on the mount and go. We drove some friends to lunch a few weeks ago, and after seeing my cell phone mount, each one of them ordered one when they got home!


Book: The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran


Lots of people engage in goal setting around the beginning of the new year. This book I recently read can help you keep your goals on track. Though repetitive at times, The 12 Week Year is a quick read. The basic premise is that typical annual goal-setting becomes overwhelming, non-specific, and often inaccurate, as it can be hard to predict curve balls that might arise over the course of the year. Instead, the idea is to focus your goal setting on 12 weeks—creating large but manageable goals and then breaking them down into specific tasks for the next 12 weeks, with sub-tasks assigned to Week 1, Week 2, and so forth. The 13th week then becomes a “reset” week for you to wrap up any lingering tasks and set your goals for the upcoming 12-week period. If you’ve struggled with goal setting in the past, you should give it a read.


I hope this article helps you make 2017 great!

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Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning
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