Category: Carolinas

27 Jan 2017

#FBF Before closing, don’t do these 5 things

You’re approved! The contract is signed on the house, the closing date is set and you are ready to go! But hold on. Don’t go buying new appliances for the new house or a new car for the new commute just yet! Why? Because your credit is monitored right up to the day you sign the contract. Lenders will question any big transaction or change in financial status until you have the keys in hand. So be aware that not only is a credit check run when you apply for a mortgage, but another is run just before you close. So avoid these 5 things before closing on your home—or risk losing it before it’s even yours! Don't change your job status. Banks...
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20 Jan 2017

Beat the blues. Banish the blahs.

So it’s winter in the Carolinas. And yep, our friends and family in more hostile climates make fun of us when we whine, pout and post memes of how much we want to be at the beach with bare feet. Nevertheless, the struggle is real, and winter woes can sneak up on us before we can say “Jack Frost.” Science agrees. According to WebMD, the gloomy and shorter days each winter in much of the country is biologically felt to some degree by an estimated one in four of us, magically ending by April and the coming of springtime weather. For most people, it manifests as the winter blahs, and keeps you in an "I-can't-wait-for-winter-to-end" state of mind. It can also...
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4 Jan 2017

Living healthy in the new year

It’s the new year, but instead of talking about eye roll-worthy topics such as dieting, dropping bad habits or joining the gym, what about exploring a few things in 2017 that make real sense for real life? First step’s a doozy Did you find a fancy step-tracking device under the tree this holiday season? Or are you just curious how the generally recommended 10,000 steps a day changes up things in your day? Are you thinking about starting at 3,000 steps a day and working up from there? No matter your motivations, just get moving. Healthcare professionals pretty much agree it’s good for you, whatever your age or body type. And you don’t have to go all high tech. A $9 pedometer from...
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23 Dec 2016

#FBF Get some fresh air

In our area, many bright winter days call us outside, into the crisp air and under Carolina blue skies to get a breath of fresh air. Luckily, our area has an extensive network of greenways to make it fun and easy. The Swamp Rabbit Trail in Upstate South Carolina goes roughly from Greenville Tech to Furman University. It is popular with walkers, runners and bicyclists and features routes through Cleveland Park and the opportunity to detour to Swamp Rabbit Brewery in Traveler’s Rest. The Rails to Trails Conservancy is active in the NC Triangle, creating and maintaining greenways and trails including the 22-mile American Tobacco Trail. Escapes into the great outdoors in the NC Triad area are accessed via 11 miles of Piedmont...
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16 Dec 2016

#FBF Keeping it fresh

Keeping meals healthy and fresh—even through the winter months—has never been easier in the Carolinas. From year round farmers’ markets to home delivery services, you can get the homegrown goodness you crave even in winter! Year-round Farmer’s Markets For fresh produce, farm to fork meats, cheese and more, the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market is open all year and features North and South Carolina growers. At the Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, you’ll find a variety of vegetables, fruit, herbs, eggs, meat, pastries, honey, tea, coffee and beer grown or made within 60 miles of Chapel Hill. The Market at 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro, NC is an indoor facility with free admission, Wi-Fi, and plenty of free parking. They are open Saturdays 7 a.m.-12 noon year round. The...
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12 Dec 2016

Tips for hosting the perfect holiday gathering

For those of us whose lineage includes Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, and the like, the opportunity to entertain a group of friends or family is likely a welcomed request; while for others, the thought of hosting a dinner party is akin to getting a root canal--in other words, it’s not so pretty. Whether you’re a hostess with the mostess or a hot mess, here are some tips for a successful party. Ambiance Create a relaxing atmosphere by building a playlist of your favorite tunes prior to guests arriving. Make sure the music is loud enough to be appreciated but no so loud that your guests have to strain their ears during a conversation. Looking for a way to kick...
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28 Nov 2016

Cozy up to December in the Carolinas

  Looking for more cozy than commercial this holiday season? We are, too and found these less stressful events and things to do for those of you who are looking to go from overloaded to overjoyed. Sanctuary Chef Vivian Howard of the PBS A Chef’s Life fame recommends the Love Feast at Old Salem, both for the special celebration and the sweet cake that follows. There will also be two Love Feasts at Wake Forest on Sunday, December 4. On December 6, in the stained glass Sanctuary at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, tenor Emmet Cahill of Celtic Thunder will present Christmas in Ireland. Winter Solstice occurs on December 21st this year. Greeting the winter with a simple celebration of lights—think luminaries, candlelit dinner...
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23 Nov 2016

Thanksgiving trivia

Generally, conversations on politics and religion, or comments about absentee family members or friends should be avoided at the Thanksgiving table. So what does that leave you to talk about? Maybe start here, and share these Thanksgiving fun facts to help keep the day light, civil and peaceful. History Most historians agree the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in what is now the state of Massachusetts, in 1621. The feasting and togetherness lasted for three days. Over 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. The declaration was largely due to the campaigning of magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, who also wrote the nursery rhyme, Mary had a Little...
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18 Nov 2016

Thanksgiving Carolina Classics

The Carolinas are home to people from all over the country, even the world. So if you’re looking for new traditions to make your Thanksgiving fare reflect this beautiful area we live in, here are some Carolina classics for your table. Sides According to Garden & Gun magazine, cooks all over the country turn to sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, but nowhere do they taste more like home than in the Carolinas. North Carolina grows more sweet potatoes than any other state, and locals have come up with plenty of ways to use them. “I never knew the versatility of the sweet potato until I moved here,” says Scott Crawford, of Standard Foods in Raleigh. And chef Kevin Callaghan of Acme Food & Beverage Co.; Carrboro,...
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31 Oct 2016

A November to remember in the Carolinas

There are so many places to explore in the Carolinas! Consider these places to go and things to do in November: Places to go The Whirligig Festival home is an energetic street festival focusing on arts and whirligigs. You’ll be in the company of 20,000 of your new best friends when you travel to Wilson, NC the first full weekend of November. Feeling artsy? The 22nd Annual Orange County Artists Guild Open Studio Tour will be held November 5-6 and 12-13, with 82 artists at 66 studio locations throughout Orange County, NC. At the Carolina Renaissance Festival, history comes alive in Mecklenburg County with medieval entertainment, arts and crafts, games and rides, jousting and feasting. Save room for a giant turkey leg. The festival is open...
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