Reader's Precious Pet Pics
Gardening is what well-being feels like, in spades. It's not aerobic, and it won't boost your fitness the way running, swimming and biking will, but it produces lots of pleasure, not to mention zucchinis, basil and the sweetest baby tomatoes you'll ever taste.
"I cannot say exactly how nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on our brains," writes neurologist Oliver Sacks, "but I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens."
Couldn't we all use a little healing these days? Gardening helps you cultivate a peaceful and focused mind while putting all the major muscles of your body to work digging, lifting and carrying.
What you need to know today is that even when things seem completely hopeless, there’s always a way out. That’s not to say that you should slip into denial when bad things happen. But good things also happen.
By learning how to control our thoughts and stepping back to see the bigger picture, we can climb out of that pit and into the sunshine of a new day. It’s all about learning how to get our perspective back on track.
Every family has at least one tradition—whether it is where the holiday meal takes place, who says the blessing, or the after dinner festivities. Commonly, traditions seem to be about what we should do, or what has been done for years. Customarily, we follow along with traditions, often forgetting the reason why. The core of a tradition often offers insight to the true meaning that it holds. It is not just about the custom, but about the meaning behind the custom and how it has come to future generations.
I am lucky enough to have been given a tradition to carry on. It holds a very special place in my heart and I would like to share it in hopes that others may grasp it and begin a new one of their own.
Denim Trends for Spring & Summer 2020
Be the girl with the pearls. If there’s one fashion favorite that most of us buy new every year, it’s denim. This year, designers go way beyond the basics, reinventing denim in not-so-basic ways to give this tried-and-true wardrobe staple a new lease on the stylish life. Take a look at the new blues on the denim horizon for the season:
The straight and narrow: Skinny jean lovers are in luck. This year, the body-hugging jeans are back in force. For some of us, they never went out of style, but with knee-high boots stepping out in a major way this year—even in the heat—the skinny jean tucked in and worn with a longer top is the silhouette of the season. The major update? A higher waist. Yes, it’s the key fashion trend no matter what style jean you’re wearing. See below!
Bicycling Hilton Head
Close your eyes and picture Hilton Head Island.
Now, try picturing it without bicycles.
Can’t do it? It’s no wonder. Bicycling the Island has become as much a part of Hilton Head as its world famous beaches and golf. In fact, Trip Advisor has ranked ‘Riding Hilton Head’s Bike Trails’ as the No. 1 attraction on the Island six years running, and Island Packet’s David Lauderdale recently named bicycling as one of the top 5 things that changed the way we live in Beaufort County.
Quite a leap from Charles Frasier’s modest goal of giving residents and guests greater access to Sea Pines by building the Island’s first leisure trails in 1970.
Spring 2020 Jewelry Trends
Have a fling with a little bling this spring!
Kick off the season by updating your jewelry box with a new piece or two.
Here are a few updates that will add a warm up to anything you wear.
Be the girl with the pearls. Pearls have long been a jewelry favorite, but this year, baroque styles get a modern update with mixed metals and lots of stones, giving them a whole new look. Get the look by layering semiprecious gemstone necklaces with your grandmother’s pearl strands or a pair of pearl-sprinkled gold or silver hoops. Featured: Monique double gold earrings with Mother of Pearl. Find them at Modern Jewelers, Downtown Beaufort.
The Sandbox Children’s Fun Museum
“Where kids learn to play and play to learn” is more than just a phrase for those who built and continue to build The Sandbox—it’s the motto that fully encapsulates their daily mission. The Sandbox is the Lowcountry’s only children’s museum. With two locations—one on Hilton Head Island and another in Bluffton—this non-profit organization is the perfect destination for children ages 4 to 12 to experience exploratory, hands-on play with an emphasis on education.
As it’s said, necessity is the mother of invention. In the case of creating The Sandbox, it was a group of mothers! In 2003, a set of women were looking for a safe, educational space where they could bring their children together to play. In getting together and formulating a plan, they also created a focus group study that confirmed the need for it and the support of the community to build it. By December 2005, The Sandbox became a registered 501(c)3 and eagerly opened their doors to the community.
We’ve Got the Fun on Miniature Gardening
Taking her love of gardening to another small, but significant level, Elizabeth Millen, our publisher, recently experienced a fun afternoon learning all about miniature gardening from the ACE Garden’s “miniature and all things gardening” expert Freda Tawney. ACE Garden Center is located in St. Simon’s Island, where Pink’s sister magazine, Paisley, is located. Elizabeth created her own miniature garden, and it has brought her great joy.
Stoking whimsical creativeness, miniature gardening has gained great popularity. There is an abundance of mini-garden creatures, characters (think tiny yard art) adorable cast trees and shrubs, reflecting balls, castles, huts, fairies of all sizes, as well as all shapes and sizes of containers, vessels, bowls, drawers, hanging containers, light and heavy pots to choose from out there in the gardening world. Add potting soil, rocks, gravel, sand and moss in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and it’s a garden—a very joyful garden each with a story to tell.
The Original Shopping With Wine Experience
Do you like to shop? Taste wine? Support great causes? If you answered yes to any of these three questions, you’re in luck. The Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival is March 9-15, and promises to be a week chock-full of daily and nightly events for all lovers of wine and food. It’s a delicious seven days, celebrating the world’s top wineries on gorgeous Hilton Head Island!
Ready, Set, Go Play In The Dirt!
Whether your idea of gardening is an elaborate design element in your landscape or simply caring for a single house plant, sunny spring days and blooming azaleas are an inspiration to connect with nature. Whether you have a green thumb, or you’re a novice, now is the time to get started.
The Lowcountry is filled with transplants from the North who move here because of the beauty and incredible weather. Unfortunately, gardening up North is very different from gardening here. For example, the forsythia, rhododendrons and lilacs that flourish in a cooler climate simply don’t do well here. It can be an expensive learning curve, so the best advice is to seek the advice of local experts.
Dear Readers: If I were to ask couples to name the top three things that keep them together, I don’t imagine that shared knowledge and interest in their finances would make the list. Yet money is often cited as one of the main causes of divorce. A recent survey by Policygenius found that 1 in 5 people say their partner is financially irresponsible. And these people are over 10 times more likely to break up over money issues than people who say their partner is good with money.
I always recommend that couples get to know each other financially at the beginning of their relationship, but that really is just the start. A relationship can be a lifelong journey, and your financial togetherness is an important part of it. There are bound to be gaps in each partner’s financial attitudes and know-how, so, to me, it’s essential for every couple to not only discuss their priorities but also increase their financial knowledge along the way. Because financial literacy is also a lifelong journey.
I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a few couples lately whose own experiences demonstrate how being financially aware and informed can bring people closer together. I thought you might be interested in their stories. (Of course, I’ve changed their names.)
A Helpful List for Health and Travel
When planning international travel there
is a recommended check list...
#1 Research: learning a little about where you are going is always to your advantage. Researching the country, their customs, culture and what is currently happening. Learning a few phrases in their language like “Hello”, “Thank you” and “Where is the bathroom” are helpful, as well.
#2 Be Prepared: Make sure your passport and driver’s license is valid for at least six months. Make copies of them on your phone, and hard copies to tuck in your luggage and leave a copy with someone at home.
Vacations make us happy, but when we get back home, the ho-hum takes over. One week, we're bicycling in France, free as a breeze, and the following Tuesday, we're back to carpool and a messy kitchen. Were we ever away? That feeling of fun is buried under loads of emails and a to-do list as long as a barbecue fork.
Do you wish you could prolong that happy state or bring it back whenever you want? You can, according to esteemed happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of "The How of Happiness."
One way is to give yourself a visual cue. Frame that picture of you in a helmet, screaming hysterically on a river raft in the Grand Canyon. Put it on the fridge.
Now that spring is in the air, it’s the perfect time to let go of all the extra stuff in our closets so we can really enjoy getting dressed for those sunny vacation days ahead.
There are always clothes you need to get out of your closet, drawers and wherever else you stash them—even the laundry bin. So, spend a little time behind closed closet doors ... and start spring cleaning early. But what to toss? Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
The no-brainers. These are the stained sweatshirts, the holey sweaters, the mismatched socks and the souvenir T-shirts from the summer of 1973. There are just some things you don’t need to hold onto forever. That shrunken crop top and low-slung jeans you looked so cute in five years ago before two kids came into your life have got to go. Donate them to the next generation of Britney Spearses.
Founded six months before women officially won the right to vote, in February 1920, by Suffragettes Carrie Chapman Catt and Jane Brooks, the League of Women Voters immediately jumped into action, and within a few short years, chapters all over the country were formed. One of their initial programs addressed the issue of US-born women’s citizenship rights if they married a non-U.S. citizen. At that time, the Expatriation Act forced married women to automatically become citizens of their husband’s country, and lose their U.S. status, even if they were Americans. Shortly after the voting rights bill was enacted, this was overturned, so all American women would remain US citizens and be eligible to vote.
The organization has grown exponentially over the last century, despite a couple of decades when there were setbacks due to World War II, and later, a socio-cultural rift that sought to tear down much of what the League had already accomplished. Nonetheless, this organization continued to prosper and grow to its current 700 chapters around the country and 500,000 active members in all 50 states. Counting among its member’s notables are Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The LWV continues to encourage women to run for office to achieve a more accurate representation of the nation’s gender demographic.
To celebrate the achievements and upcoming plans for what the local Hilton Head-Bluffton LWV Chapter considers most urgent facing voters in the Lowcountry is a list of important 2020 programs to make a difference:
Prepared. Aware. Ready.
Many people think estate planning is only for the wealthy or elderly, but the truth is everyone has an estate; and no matter how large or how modest, how old or how young, you can’t take it with you when you die. An estate plan helps ensure that your wishes for yourself, your family and your assets are carried out in the event of your illness or death.
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of one’s assets. Modern estate planning also protects your estate in the event of incapacity. Common estate planning tools include Wills and Trusts, Beneficiary Designations, Durable Powers of Attorneys and Health Care Powers of Attorney.
A Last Will and Testament is one of the most basic tools, and it’s one that many people are familiar with. A Will allows you to provide instructions for the distribution of your property at death, and names one or more persons to manage your estate until final distribution. If you are the parent of a minor child, a Will also provides the opportunity for you to name a guardian.
Prepared. Aware. Ready.
The current trends in the Lowcountry real estate market are remarkable, definitely a wave you want to ride if you have any thoughts of buying, selling, upsizing, or downsizing. As we look at 2020, according to the Annual Report on the Hilton Head Housing Market released by the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors, “Continued low mortgage rates and a healthy economy is giving a great start to housing.” If you have driven around the Lowcountry, it is easy to see new construction—both commercial and single family homes—sprouting up everywhere. This growth is expected to help loosen up the inventory available for purchase. A healthy market will often tighten up the number of homes for sale, which also can lead to a shorter time span between listing and selling. In other words, you’re in luck if you’re buying or selling!
Prepared. Aware. Ready.
What is skilled nursing? Skilled nursing is a collection of services, including, but not limited to, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. These services are aimed to return a patient back to their prior level of functioning before an injury, or illness.
How do I qualify for a skilled nursing stay? If you are admitted into the hospital, or have had a recent stay in the hospital in the last 30 days, and you and your medical team agree that you need 24-hour nursing care and rehabilitation prior to returning home, then you may be a good candidate. Your hospital case manager, or the case manager at the facility you choose, can run your insurance and let you know if you qualify. To qualify for skilled nursing benefits from Medicare, the patient must have a 3-night stay at a hospital before being covered. If the patient has a managed care insurance, a pre-authorization is required.
Prepared. Aware. Ready.
Think that owning a second home or vacation rental property on Hilton Head Island and your new, 2020 stress-free life are mutually exclusive? Honestly, they aren’t. Owning a home or villa on Hilton Head can be a hugely rewarding experience, a great long-term investment, and a lot of fun. But, as with most things in life, you will need a trusted guide and great support system in order to achieve peace with purchase and ongoing good nights of sleep.
Students, here’s your course syllabus:
Prepared. Aware. Ready.
Technically, you don’t “need” an estate plan. Every state has laws in place to handle situations when an individual dies, or becomes incapacitated and has no estate documents.
For example, in South Carolina, if you become incompetent or disabled, and have no Financial or Healthcare Power of Attorneys, your parents, spouse, friend, partner, etc. can go to the Probate Court and petition the Court to be appointed as your Conservator (Finances) and/or your Guardian (healthcare/everything else). Similarly, if you die with no will or trust in place, South Carolina’s intestacy laws will control and dictate how your estate is distributed.
If you, like so many out there, find that leaving decisions up to the discretion of the State to be less than satisfactory, then you should speak with an estate planning attorney to get your affairs in order.
Here’s a breakdown of estate planning for certain age groups:
A City For Lovers
St. Augustine is for lovers. Lovers of history, architecture, art, food, nature, beaches and shopping. It is also romantic, truly perfect for lovers in every way. However, my trip to St. Augustine was a girls’ trip, and boy, did I have a full cultural experience and a lot of fun!
St. Augustine, Florida, is only three and a half hours down the coast, an easy drive, but a world away. I had spent time at the lovely beaches there before, but this trip was all about the cozy, historic town, where I felt like I had stepped back into an old-world, European village, complete with cobblestone streets, fabulous architecture and rich history, dating back to the 1500s.
St. Augustine is the oldest city in America and will celebrate its 455th anniversary this year. This city has managed to maintain its old-world charm and modernize at the same time, offering a balance of plenty to do, with the pull to retreat and spend time writing, reading, resting and strolling.
TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) began in 1984 and quickly evolved into a worldwide conference with speakers presenting in more than 100 languages. Independently run TEDx events, including TEDxHiltonHeadWOMEN Bold + Brilliant, held at the Harbourtown Clubhouse at Sea Pines Resort last December, continue to share “ideas worth spreading” thanks to organizer Rex Gale. As Rex says: “The thing about TED is, it’s not like your normal presentation – it’s an idea. What are the experiences you’ve had in your life? What are the situations you’ve found yourself in?” Bringing these experiences to the TEDx stage can be empowering, as I learned on a personal level when I attended to hear all the ladies’ ideas.
You're The Cupid You've Been Waiting For
I’m taking Valentine’s Day to heart this year for one good reason: So many hearts are feeling the stress of all that’s going on. Anxiety is the cheesy chicken-fried steak of the healthy heart, the open heart, the heart that is so at ease, you barely flinch when someone cuts in line or steals your parking place.
Whether it comes from politics, the stock market, the office or the ongoing dramas and traumas in your own house, stress strains the heart and gets in the way of your personal well-being. Big-time.
From Beaufort High School Class of 1969
Great Love. . . the closing words Author Pat Conroy always used in signing off with his friends,
either on the telephone, or in handwritten letters. The Great Love continues with a donation from his former students to the Pat Conroy Literary Center to continue Pat’s work with students, teachers, writers and readers.
The Beaufort High Class of 1969, which I proudly belong to, had its 50th reunion last October during the Shrimp Festival. The weather was perfect, the turnout was great, and due to meticulous budgeting and generous donors, we ended up with a surplus.
Vote For Your Favorite in the Garden Tour Art Show
On Saturday, May 16, 2020, from 10am to 4pm, the All Saints Episcopal Church on Hilton Head Island will be presenting its eagerly awaited 33rd Annual Garden Tour. An event not to be missed, the Garden Tour will feature seven stunning gardens throughout Hilton Head and Bluffton, as well as lunch and a stop at a boutique.
The famous Garden Tour was brought about in the earliest years of the church’s existence, with a commitment to create togetherness and joy, bringing the congregation together on a common project. After two incredible years of success, it was decided to expand the organization of this growing project in order to benefit charities in the local community. Since then, the All Saints Garden Tour has donated more than $500,000 to organizations in need, focusing on non-profit groups that work to combat homelessness, hunger, aging and illiteracy. The 2020 grant recipients are The Hunger Coalition of the Lowcountry, The Antioch Educational Center, St. Stephens United Methodist Church Outreach Foodbank, Family Promise, Crossroads Community Support Services and Safe Harbour.
For a New Decade
According to a survey conducted by Offers.com, the top two New Year’s resolutions in the U.S. for 2019 came in almost tied, with exercise more/lose weight at 38 percent and save money at 37 percent. So, how did that work out for you? Is your financial picture better now than it was 12 months ago? Are you more fit and lean?
The reason I love New Year’s is it feels like a clean slate—a fresh start. Whether you did great in 2019 or blew it altogether, I have good news. Today’s a new day—a new year—and a chance to start over or to do even better. We’ve been granted another opportunity. As for that saving money part, I have a great formula that’s been working for me and thousands of people I’ve led out of debt and into a lifestyle where they consistently live below their means.
for People With a Brain
Sleep is the new black. It’s trending up, and if you haven’t woken up to how essential it is—for your physical and mental well-being—that’s probably because you’re not getting enough of it.
And what is enough? Aim for 8 hours or more a night. WHAT? It was easier before, when humans just naturally rose with the sun and bedded down with the moon, but now we’re living in an electrified, digitized, brain-fried 24/7 world. And for many reasons, it’s getting in the way of our deepest, most restful sleep.
It’s up to you—your awareness, your actions—to change that dynamic. At least sleep on it.
Because the science is clear: 5, 6, 7 hours isn’t enough. Your body and your brain need time to rest, to restore, to nurture, or else, over time, they break down in unpleasant ways.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Transformation
Everything about walking is good for your well-being—unless you're doing it with a bag of Oreos. It builds strength, reduces your risk of heart disease, juices up your joints, calms your mind and helps you and your cocker spaniel live longer, happier lives.
Some scoff at walking, dismissing it as exercise lite, not cool, maybe even a waste of your recreational time. These people should be taken with a gram of pink Himalayan salt.