And, what if…
If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, and that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work…
That all is interconnected.
the virus is here to help us?
What is truly important.
Reconnecting with community.
Reconnecting with family, as there is more time at home.
And, what if…
Butterfly and herb gardens are on the rise in popularity and Mother Nature is thankful. We are helping our delicate butterfly populations continue to thrive. It’s been reported that the monarch habitat has dwindled to less than 10 percent of what it was 50 years ago, so planting butterfly gardens is a win-win situation.
Nectar plants, which produce droplets of sugar, and varieties of milkweed provide food to the butterflies allowing them to lay their eggs. Those eggs produce caterpillars and then, more butterflies! Herb gardens not only provide culinary delights for many human meals, they also play major roles in attracting bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. So they are important hosts, too.
Tired of hearing repetitive advice to stay healthy these days?
Yes, we know to wash our hands and not touch our faces.
But here are some other helpful tips to keep you safe and healthy:
Know your health insurance policy: Do you know your deductible? Copays? Is preauthorization required for anything? Who is in-network? The answer to most of these questions is in your insurer’s online member portal. Log in and look for things like Certificate of Coverage, FAQs, Policy Information, Provider Search, etc. You can also call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card, but with most everyone working virtually, you may have a longer wait.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
We Know You Can Do It!
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.
For Natalie Dixon, working at Marsh’s Edge senior living community on St. Simons Island is more than teaching fitness classes. Her goal is to be the wellness component that helps seniors live a longer, healthier and happier lives. As the community’s Wellness Director and veteran of the fitness industry, Natalie brings her knowledge and encouragement to members at Marsh’s Edge each day.
Natalie’s interest in fitness began in the early 1980s when her husband at the time was in the Air Force. They moved to England, and while on the Air Force base, she began to participate in a fitness dance class, “It was before Zumba, it was before dance fitness classes existed, before certifications existed!” Natalie enjoyed the classes and wanted to learn how to teach them, so when she relocated to Cheyenne, Wyoming, she became an instructor at Nautilus Fitness Center, landing her first role teaching dance fitness classes. Noticing the need for regulation and certification to prevent injuries, she was one of the earliest instructors to go through the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) certification process.
What Color is Water? Tales and Art About the Segregated South
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.
A Table Design Inspired by Local Scenery
Who doesn’t love to set a springtime table? With a nod to Easter and Earth Day, we gathered products in colors reflective of marsh grasses and local waters. Our four unique place settings, featuring materials such as bone china, ceramics, metal, crystal and plastics, are the creations by a few of our home decor ad partner experts: ACE Garden, Cunningham Jewelers, Market on Newcastle and St. Simons. A beautiful place setting adds visual excitement to any meal. It’s this kind of attention to detail which turns celebrations into memories. Spring is here! Ready. SET. Go make life extra special this spring!
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.
Today’s column was prompted by a young man, age 10, who asked me recently, “Do I have to send a thank-you note when someone gives me a gift?”
In these high-tech times, when text messaging and email are the preferred methods of written communication, my answer, in a word, was yes. It’s right; it’s proper; it’s good for you. We may be frugal, but we’ve got class.
It is neither difficult nor time-consuming to write a simple, heartfelt note of thanks in response to a gift or other act of kindness. Here are the elements of a well-written thank-you note:
Snap. Snap. Cold Snap
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.
There are worse things in the world than inner-thigh jiggle, but with shorts season on the way, it’s right up there.
The problem is weak and wobbly adductors—those oft-neglected inner-thigh muscles. Leave them alone and flab happens. You can’t lose it completely,but if you connect to them and make them stronger, you will not only look better at the beach but also feel more energy throughout your entire body.
Where are your adductors? One way to locate and appreciate them is the inner-thigh squeeze. It’s an isometric exercise that works wonders if you’re willing to focus your effort and be patient —squeezing, holding, breathing.
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.
A Novel By Susan Beckham Zurenda 1960s-‘70s Southern Coming-of-Age Tale Review
“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.
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.
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.
Top 5 Knit Hits
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kids Talk About Making a Difference
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
From $2 Stickers to a $200,000 Playroom: Organization Carries on Founder’s Work
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.
Everything You Need to Know About Microblading
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.
The More You Know—Start With The Lingo
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.
It’s Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period—Make Sure Your Policy Still Fits
“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:
When Your Energy Stalls, Flip a Switch
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.