Take Heart

Marilynn Preston

You're The Cupid You've Been Waiting For

Take Heart

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.

On the Scene in St. Augustine

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

A City For Lovers

On the Scene in St. Augustine

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.

Motivation & The Connectivity Challenge

Carrie Lewis

We Know You Can Do It!

Motivation & The Connectivity Challenge

Every year after Christmas has passed and the New Year is dawning, most of us begin some sort of self-reflection. Maybe we want to shed some weight, or start making the people in our lives more of a priority. The key ingredient to any of these resolutions ultimately is motivation.

Finding motivation can be a challenge for both old and young alike, but keeping the motivation is wherein the challenge lies. The old adage “A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion” is a scientific truth we can put to the test on a daily basis. It could be something like starting small and walking around the block in our neighborhood, or for someone with painful arthritis, a goal could be simply making it to the mailbox once a day to check it. There is no shame in starting small with these steps.

Annie Lucille Greene

Meredith M. Deal

What Color is Water? Tales and Art About the Segregated South

Annie Lucille Greene

Eighty-eight-year-old Annie Lucille Greene is reflective of her artwork.
She is woman of cultural heritage and significance. Annie uses stories from her childhood and young adult years as muses for her significant, admired, and often called unique, artwork.

Annie grew up in Hinesville, Georgia, in the 1940s. As a youngster, she would sit for hours quietly doodling with pencils and pens, as her mother played piano for the choir at church. Sharing in her love of art, Annie’s mother often bought her small supplies: paper, coloring books, watercolor sets and shared laughter at how Annie drew her subject’s exaggerated features. As an adult, Annie began showcasing her paintings on canvas, but has become well-known for her artistic talent in textile pointillism, better known as yarn art.

Sleep Is a Dreamy State

Marilynn Preston

for People With a Brain

Sleep Is a Dreamy State

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.

The Winter Coat Check

Sharon Mosley

Snap. Snap. Cold Snap

The Winter Coat Check

Snap. Snap. Cold snap ... and we’re reaching for the coat closet. If you didn’t receive a new coat for Christmas, you may want to snap your fingers and magically transform the chill chasers in your closet. With a new fashion cold front blasting its way into the season, it’s time to warm up to some new outerwear trends and heat up your wardrobe.

Snuggle up to Teddy. One of the biggest trends for the cold weather is the teddy coat. This fuzzy faux fur coat is named after—yes, you guessed it—that childhood favorite, the teddy bear. Comfort is the name of this coat, which comes in all kinds of retro ‘70s styles, from short, cropped pixie styles to full-length maxis.

Walking The Path:

Marilynn Preston

A Step-By-Step Guide to Transformation

Walking The Path:

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.

Bells for Eli

Meredith M. Deal

A Novel By Susan Beckham Zurenda 1960s-‘70s Southern Coming-of-Age Tale Review

Bells for Eli

“There are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” These lyrics by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant hold true to the devoted lives of the two main characters in Susan Zurenda’s Southern family’s tale of secrets, Bells For Eli [A Novel].

I was immediately transported back in time to the significant cultural challenges of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and how many survived those times, and some did not. And I could feel the heat as Susan described a small-town South Carolina summer with no air-conditioning and dusty front porches. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead as I read page after page, as Delia brought her story alive, just for me.

A Foolproof Formula to Fix Your Money in 2020

Mary Hunt

A Foolproof Formula to Fix Your Money in 2020

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.

The Big Closet Cleanout

Sharon Mosley

The Big Closet Cleanout

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.

Sweater Weather:

Sharon Mosley

Top 5 Knit Hits

Sweater Weather:

Don't come unraveled. Instead, enjoy the big chills of the season ahead in a big sweater. Save the coats to wear when the temperatures dip below freezing. Keep your fashion wits about you indoors and out with these cozy knit hits for fall and winter.

The Fair Isle sweater. It's THE sweater of the year. This classic is named after an island in the north of Scotland, where the softest heathered yarns were produced and used to make sweaters with yokes and cuffs in brightly colored patterns. The latest Fair Isle sweaters are updated in new colors and sophisticated designs. Take these sweaters with you on your next ski trip, or make them island-chic paired with short skirts and tall boots.

Make Your Vacation Last Longer— Your Body, Too

Marilynn Preston

Energy Express

Make Your Vacation Last Longer— Your Body, Too

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.

My Gifts to You: End-of-Year Wishes to Spark Joy, Bring Change

Marilynn Preston

My Gifts to You: End-of-Year Wishes to Spark Joy, Bring Change

It’s the holiday season. Still!

No one feels like doing work these last few weeks of the year, that’s for sure. The winter solstice helps shift us on a cellular level, and we realize the time between now and the dawn of 2020 is all about kicking back, spiking the eggnog and writing checks to charities you believe in.

So here are five end-of-year gifts, from me to I-believe-in-you. I offer them as steppingstones on your own personal path to well-being, however meandering it may have been this past year.

The only drawback? For these gifts to spark joy and provoke positive change, you have to do all the work.

What to Know Before You Go

Donne Paine

A Helpful List for Health and Travel

What to Know Before You Go

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.

From the Mouth of Babes

It's All Pink

Kids Talk About Making a Difference

From the Mouth of Babes

You don’t have to be an adult to make a difference. We asked local Beaufort County children how they make a difference and help others, or who has made a difference in their lives. Here’s what they had to say just in time to warm your heart and remind you of the miracle of the season.

“I help my mommy with the garbage and laundry. My favorite part is when I stand on my tippy toes, and I get to put all the clothes into the washer.”
 — Giovanni, Kindergarten

Leap for Kids

John Donohue

From $2 Stickers to a $200,000 Playroom: Organization Carries on Founder’s Work

Leap for Kids

The AJ Donohue Foundation began when a teenage cancer patient, who was receiving chemotherapy at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, decided to give back to the hospital that had given him so much and to create his own legacy.  AJ’s idea was simple: Buy a comfortable recliner for every patient room on the pediatric cancer floor so that family members and friends of patients could have somewhere nice to sit and sleep during visits.

AJ and his family and friends, or “Team AJ” as they would become known, began selling stickers and t-shirts in an effort to raise the $50,000 needed to purchase the recliners. AJ had learned to fly small aircraft while battling his illness, so an airplane themed logo was created for the Team. The price of the sticker: $2.  In just a few months, Team AJ met and exceeded its fundraising goal. On September 23, 2006, the morning after the $50,000 goal was surpassed, AJ passed away. He was 18.

Brow Know-How

Boni Ray Chaney, PMA

Everything You Need to Know About Microblading

Brow Know-How

Did you know Cleopatra had facial tattoos?  Discovery of ancient Egyptian mummies, have revealed some of the world’s earliest tattoos, proving the art is thousands of years old. Obviously, today’s advanced tattooing technology and techniques don’t even resemble the ancient process of sharpening sticks to a fine point, then dipping in black suet. Tattoos of all kinds, including cosmetic tattooing, has reached tremendous popularity and growth and with that have come better guidelines, restrictions and results. Cleopatra would be a fan!

Microblading is a relatively new term in the permanent cosmetics world. With its popularity on the rise, some may not understand what microblading is. Basically, it is tattooing the eyebrow area to make the eyebrows full, shapely and visible. The procedure is the same even though different practitioners call it by various names. Some names you may have heard include: permanent cosmetics; microblading; feather stroking; or cosmetic tattooing. Any time color is injected into the skin with any device, manual or machine, it is a tattoo.

Getting the Most Out of Your Healthcare Insurance

Brelynn DuMortier

The More You Know—Start With The Lingo

Getting the Most Out of Your Healthcare Insurance

Since most us have new, or renewed, health insurance policies that started January 1, now is a good time to get up to speed on your health insurance terminology. The more you know and understand your insurance, the more use and value you will get out of it. So here we go:

Allowable charge: How much the insurance company has agreed to pay your provider for certain medical expenses, and how much your provider has agreed to accept. Can be based on usual, customary and reasonable amounts.

Policy Checkup

Brelynn DuMortier

It’s Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period—Make Sure Your Policy Still Fits

Policy Checkup

“I think a change would do you good.” —Sheryl Crow

I may not have a lot on common with Sheryl Crow (definitely not the voice), but I like her music, and as an insurance agent/broker thick in the middle of the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), I have to agree with the above lyric.  It’s what I advise my clients: If you have Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D), or a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), a change might do you good!

AEP (Open Enrollment) runs from October 15 through December 7. Here’s why it’s important to look at your options during this time period:

Power-Ups!

Marilynn Preston

When Your Energy Stalls, Flip a Switch

Power-Ups!

I wish I could make you cut back on sugar, breathe away your stress or eat only grass-fed beef. But wishes are like dishes: You usually have to do them yourself. What I can do is introduce you to “power-ups”: moment-by-moment strategies to spark joy and boost your well-being this holiday season.


1) DANCE TO ENHANCE
The Setup: A stressful workday has ended. You’re exhausted. You’d planned to lift weights at the gym, but it takes all your strength just to stumble home and collapse on the couch. Where’s your energy? Where’s the remote? Where’s the wine?

The Power-Up: Start the music. As soon as you get home, crank up Lady Gaga or a playlist of your favorite tunes and—without thinking, without excuses—start dancing around the house. You don’t need a partner, shoes or even clothes.

Handing It Off:

Sharon Mosley

Handbag Trends Fall 2019

Handing It Off:

With just one switch of a handbag, you can change your whole fashion outlook on life this fall. A new handbag is one of the best attitude adjustments you can make for yourself and your wardrobe. Here are some of the big switches for the season ahead:

Handbags are probably one of the first new purchases many of us make every season. Since we carry them daily, they are our best accessory friends. This fall, crossbody bags are still utilitarian favorites, in all shapes and sizes. Check out the new saddlebag designs. Let’s face it, these bags are a lifesaver, leaving hands free.

The Proper Care & Feeding of the ONE Thing Every Home Must Have

Mary Hunt

The Proper Care & Feeding of the ONE Thing Every Home Must Have

My heart was pounding, and the smoke alarm was screaming, and I was in full-on panic mode. Flames were reaching toward the adjacent wood cabinets. It happened so fast! I didn’t have time to run to the pantry to search for baking soda.

I had a rip-roaring fire on my hands, and I was in slow motion thinking about how sad it would be to be homeless for Christmas.

I’d turned my back for a few seconds to find a utensil. When I returned, small flames were shooting from the burner. My quick thinking told me to smother the grease fire, so I grabbed a pot lid to do that. But the lid wasn’t airtight, and soon the flames were double the size—and spreading.
That’s when I locked eyeballs with the fire extinguisher that had been sitting on the counter for so long it blended into the decor.

Breast Construction After Cancer

Diane Bowen, MD

The News is Really Good

Breast Construction After Cancer

We have all heard of it, and most of us know others who have had it. But very few of us really expect it will happen to us. The diagnosis of breast cancer is a woman’s fears realized. Questions like why me? How bad? Will I survive?

Then a second wave of questions rushes in, like will I need chemo? Will I lose my hair? Will I have to lose my entire breast? What does reconstruction mean? Well, there is hope for these questions.

Ribbons of Scarlet

It's All Pink

A Novel of the French Revolution’s Women

Ribbons  of Scarlet

It isn’t unusual for a group of six women authors, who write in similar genres to be friends,  but to coordinate their talents and schedules to create what I predict soon to be a best-selling collaboration novel on the historical women of the French Revolution, is just pure genius.

Ribbons of Scarlet, with foreword by Allison Pataki (which makes seven women writers) is written by Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb and E. Knight, all New York Times bestselling authors and storytellers extraordinaire.

Happy Halloween! 10 Tips To Treat Yourself To a More Secure Financial Future

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

Happy Halloween! 10 Tips To Treat Yourself To a More Secure Financial Future

Dear Readers: If you’re like most people, you’ve made a few hare-brained money decisions in your time. That’s just being human. However, if you’re striving to get yourself on track, I suggest that you review these ten smart money management tips. This Halloween, treat yourself to a more secure financial future!

Stick to your budget, no matter how large or small: Living beyond your means is dangerous no matter how much money you make. So even if you’re lucky enough to earn a big paycheck, it’s important to create—and stick to—a realistic budget. Use an online budget tool and make a list of your essential expenses and another list of your nice-to-haves. If your income won’t cover both, start crossing off the extras you can live without. And don’t be tempted to pull out the credit cards to cover any excess. Keeping on top of debt is an important part of smart budgeting. While you’re thinking about debt control, remember to stay on top of any student loans!

Autumn is for Rebooting

Marilynn Preston

As Seasons Change, So Can We

Autumn is for Rebooting


Autumn is one of my favorite times of year, and it’s not just the oversized taffy apples. I’m talking crispy cool days that call for turtlenecks and yoga tights, a seasonal shift to fading colors and falling leaves, and great sales on outdoor furniture.

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree,” writes Emily Bronte.

“This is the season of the harvest,” writes Elson M. Haas, “the fruition of all the growth of spring and summer.”

Quick Picks:

Sharon Mosley

Fall Fashion’s Top 10 Favorites

Quick Picks:

Fall is fashion’s favorite time of year. Designers roll out the runways with updates on the classics and totally new inspirations that will give you a wardrobe ready for the season ahead. Check out these 10 must-have items to add right now:

A Big Blouse 
The blouse is back, and it is big ... in volume, that is. Drama is the name of the blouse game, with billowy sleeves, big bows and standout collars. Romantic is the look of this fashion trend.
A plaid jacket   Designers are mad for plaid this fall, and the plaid jacket is one of the season’s key pieces. Top off pants and skirts with a roomy jacket in menswear plaids or checks. Then, for a new twist, cinch it with a skinny or wide leather belt.

The ‘Why’ Behind Working Out

Charlyn Fargo

Nutrition News

The ‘Why’ Behind Working Out

I think we’ve been looking at physical activity all wrong. We often link it with losing weight, but to be honest, it takes a lot of moving to lose a pound or two. As I’ve learned, the value of physical activity is that it makes you feel better, makes you move better, gives you a sense of joy.

The bottom line? Including some sort of daily physical activity in your life keeps you healthy. That’s really why we should be doing it. Knowing that may be more of a motivator than watching the scale.
Most of us have that backward. We work out to lose weight and then quit when we don’t. But maybe the key is to turn our thinking around: We work out to be healthy, and every day we do, we’re healthier.

A recent study found that increased activity in middle age and beyond may decrease the risk for death from all causes—cardiovascular disease and cancer—according to a study published recently in The BMJ.

Halloween

It's All Pink

It’s not all ghosts, goblins and ghouls...

Halloween

Halloween is one of the most successful and widely celebrated holidays in the United States, coming second only to Christmas.  Many of us have grown accustomed to the traditions that come with Halloween, complete with Trick-or-treating, costumes, parties and jack-o’-lanterns. But where did these customs come from? In many cultures, there is a day for honoring the dead. It is said that on this day, the “veil” is thinner and spirits walk among us. This day, although often landing on different dates in other cultures, goes by many names: Samhain, All Saints Day, All Hallows Eve, Dia de los Muertos (Mexico’s Day of the Dead—a 3-day holiday) and, of course, Halloween.

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