Author: Ashley Bryant

16 May 2017

Go from patio to party-o

Looking for ways to turn your backyard into the entertainment area you’ve dreamed of? Keep reading to create the perfect patio. Or should I say party-o?   Turn up the heat Add some warmth to your space with an outdoor fireplace. Hit up your local hardware store or scan the internet for a wide variety of options, or if you’re up for a challenge and you’d like to save some cash, go the DIY route. Don’t worry about not being too handy to make this fire pit— it’s designed for beginners and yields a beautiful result. You’re one step closer to enjoying s’mores this weekend! Pack a punch with pavers Updating a concrete patio slab with pavers is a relatively inexpensive way to add...
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4 May 2017

Throw the best garden party!

Maybe you’d like to show off your new patio or maybe you just bought a huge fancy hat that you’re dying to wear or maybe, you’ll look for any excuse to throw a party— whatever the reason may be, there’s no better time than early spring to host the perfect garden party. First things first, some of you are probably wondering what a garden party even is; if that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up all the tips and tricks to help you successfully throw your first garden party gathering. Set a theme What’s a party without a theme? Picking a theme helps give your gathering a cohesive feeling, and it helps you with decisions. What should you...
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3 Mar 2017

Tax deductions for homeowners

You’ve known this was coming; all the same, familiar signs have been haunting you for weeks.  And after driving around seeing folks dressed up in teal green robes waving frantically as you speed by, and receiving shiny flyers with Uncle Sam angrily pointing in your direction--you can’t ignore the facts anymore: It’s tax time, ready or not. But don’t sweat it too much, because as a homeowner you’ll likely be able to qualify for tax deductions related to owning a home. Not quite sure what deductions apply to you? For expert advice, I talked with Lisa Green, VP of Loan Origination with Allen Tate Mortgage to learn about the different deductions available to homeowners. Mortgage interest “The largest tax break available to homeowners...
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10 Feb 2017

#FBF Great reads for Carolinians

With the weekend upon us, I'm counting down the hours until I can retreat to a quiet spot and curl up with a good book. Recently, I read that reading relaxes the mind, so much so that it is actually proven to reduce stress: a study conducted at the University of Sussex showed that participants experienced a slower heart rate and significantly less muscle tension after only six minutes of quiet reading. Interestingly enough, the study also proved that reading was the most effective way to reduce stress, and beat out other typical stress-reducing techniques like listening to music, having a cup of coffee or taking a walk. Reduce stress and lose yourself in a good book with our picks...
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3 Feb 2017

Big game grub

Would it surprise you to find out that, on average, a whopping 52 percent of viewers tuning into the big game aren’t even football fans. Fifty-two percent? How can that be? One word, people: food. I can certainly appreciate any event that heavily emphasizes highly addictive, artery-clogging food, and it seems I’m not alone — our friends at the Chicken Council say Americans are expected to chow down on nearly 1.25 billion chicken wings this Sunday. And if you’re in to math (because, who isn’t?), based on the average number of people who will be glued to their TVs, that’s roughly 11 chicken wings per person.   Tired of serving up the same appetizers year after year? Take the guesswork out of...
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