April - May - June 2023 CIRCA Magazine

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“Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.” – Author Unknown

Many of us are afraid of change; we like things to stay as they are, providing us comfort, a sense of security and stability. But sometimes getting out of our comfort zones can be good. Change can bring about an exciting sense of renewal and rejuvenation. And what better time of year to welcome a bit of change into our lives than spring – after all, spring is the season when nature is revived. Chilly days transform into ones of warmth, trees are budding, flowers are blooming … all signs of change.

Throughout this issue, I’m excited to share with you ways to change and embrace all that spring signifies. Now keep in mind I’m not necessarily talking about big changes – sometimes small ones can have big impacts. For instance, consider breathing new life into your living spaces with the quick and simple suggestions offered in “Spring Forward With Home Décor.” Don’t miss “Décor Dilemma” for insight into remodeling projects that are sure to make your home the best it can be without breaking your back, or the bank. “Surface Selection” details how to choose the right countertop for your home, a change that can completely transform the look, feel, and functionality of your kitchen or bathroom.

And don’t forget about your outdoor living space as well – the perfect spot for soaking up spring’s sunshine and smelling those beautiful flowers. “Outdoor Oasis” features some of the top trends for creating the perfect outdoor living space. From Phantom screens to fireplaces to outdoor kitchens to pools (shout out to photographer Joseph Anthony for capturing our beautiful front cover photo featuring the stunning pool by Aquatic Artist and the magnificent home by Shail Construction), incorporating changes such as these into your outdoor living environment is a surefire way to enjoy the season. “Gardening Guru” and “Homegrown Herb Gardening” share tips for successful gardening and suggestions for horticultural and culinary additions to your warm weather garden, further enhancing the beauty and enjoyment of your outdoor living spaces. Additionally, “Proper Petscaping” illustrates how you can keep these lovely outdoor areas nice and manicured, while protecting your pup at the same time.

Looking to change up your menu now that the warmer weather is upon us? It’s time to say goodbye to the comfort foods that carried us through winter. Be sure to read “Spring Greens” for ideas on how to incorporate beautiful leafy greens into your seasonal cuisine – and I’m not just talking about the same ol’ spring salad. “Be A Barbecue Burger Grillmaster” shares a delicious slowcooker twist on the traditional recipe, so next time you’re entertaining, change it up a bit with this recipe – your guests will surely thank you! And to help quench your thirst this spring, “Secret Garden” features the perfect spring cocktail.

Now is the time to change out your closet – pack away those bulky sweaters until fall and check out “Fashion Forecast” for warm weather wardrobe trends … trends that are also popping up in interior design! Why not change up your home library and stock up on the latest literary works? “Good Reads” is here to help. Looking to make a career change? Check out “Franchising … Is It A Fit For You?” to see if this is the right path for you. Go after that smile you’ve always dreamed of – “A Stunning Smile – All About Veneers” details what you need to know if you’re ready to make that change.

These are just a handful of the wonderful articles for you to enjoy in this issue of CIRCA Magazine. No matter how you choose to spend your spring, please be sure to visit and support the incredible businesses – the backbone of our community – that advertise throughout the entire magazine. Just don’t forget to tell them you discovered them in CIRCA Magazine! See you this summer!

CIRCA Magazine is published quarterly by BallPointe Publishing & Design, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted without the written permission of the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within; however, BallPointe Publishing & Design assumes no liability for accuracy or omissions.
INFORMATION BallPointe Publishing & Design, LLC P.O. Box 1182 Wake Forest, NC 27588 919.453.2555 • info@circamagazine.com circamagazine.com
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Kent Lower & Mitch Lower Printed by Progress Printing Plus Front Cover Courtesy Of Photographer Joseph Anthony, Builder Shail Construction, and Pool Company Aquatic Artist Allison Caudle Abbott
Goss Bennai
Bow Wow
Kimberly Douglas
Lower APRIL • MAY • JUNE 2023 6 Spring Into Fun –Fill Your Calendar With Family-Friendly Fun 10 Spring Greens 12 Financial Focus –Don’t Let Fear Drive Investment Decisions 14 Outdoor Oasis –Top Trends To Create The Perfect Outdoor Living Space 16 Fashion Forecast –Warm Weather Trends For Your Closet And Your Decor 18 Gardening Guru 20 Seasonal Selling 22 Good Reads 24 Pollen Pollen Go Away 26 Secret Garden –The Perfect Spring Cocktail 28 Be A Barbecue Burger Grillmaster 30 Before The Storm – Tips To Prepare For Tornado Season 32 Spring Forward With Home Decor 36 Local Gems –Area Farmers Markets 38 Cooked In Tradition –Jump Up And Down For Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 40 Proper Petscaping – Creating A Safe, Pet-Friendly Outdoor Oasis For Fido 44 Driveable Destination –The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge 46 Let ’s Play Pickleball! The Fastest Growing Sport In America 48 The Great American Superfruit 50 Decor Dilemma – Design Tips, Tricks, And Helpful Hints 52 Pet Pest Prevention –Surviving Flea And Tick Season ... Don’t Be Caught Off Guard 54 Baffled By Bedwetting? Don’t Lose Sleep Over Wet Sheets 56 Surface Selection –Choosing The Right Countertop For Your Home 58 A Stunning Smile – What You Need To Know About Veneers 60 Franchising ... Is It A Fit For You? 62 Home Grown Herb Gardening 64 Understanding Lenses In The Digital Age 66 Our Heritage –A Local Basketball Legacy AD SPACE RESERVATIONS JULY / AUG / SEPT 2023: May 24, 2023 Suzanne Lucey Deora Lynn Brandon Mackie Tina Mast Stacey Moritz Ed Morris Todd Nelson Tom Piper Rhonda Benvie Plummer Dr. Edmond Suh Thomas Walters Town of Wake Forest WakeMed FOLLOW US! P R O U D M E M B E R

The Town of Wake Forest is excited to offer a full array of events guaranteed to help you spring into the season. From Friday Night on White to family movie nights at Joyner Park, there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities coming your way.


Friday Night on White (FNOW) returns to South White Street in historic downtown Wake Forest on April 14 with The Magic Pipers. The 2023 series continues May 12 with Sleeping Booty Band, June 9 with Love Tribe, July 14 with The Brickhouse Band, August 11 with Stone Age Romeos, and September 8 with Crush. The FNOW concerts get underway at 6:00 PM and conclude at 9:00 PM. While you’re enjoying the music, be sure to visit sponsor exhibits and enjoy delicious food at downtown’s outstanding dining establishments or from several food trucks that will be on-site. A special thank you to the Grand Sponsor, White Street Brewing Co., for their continued support. For more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Friday Night on White.”


This year marks the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre’s 10-year anniversary! The Renaissance Centre will commemorate the occasion with a series of 10 events over 10 months that highlight the venue’s impact as “the place” our community gathers to celebrate and enjoy the arts. Don’t miss your chance to see your favorites as many shows are expected to sell out fast. Tickets for the 2023-24 show season go on sale June 28 at 10:00 AM sharp. Would you like to get your tickets prior to June 28? Become a “Friend of the Centre” with a simple $100 tax-deductible donation. Your donation will allow you to purchase up to four tickets for each Main Stage Performance before they go on sale to the public. That’s not all – your name will also be displayed as a member of the “Friends of the Centre” on the Renaissance Centre website and on the screen prior to their Main Stage performances. Visit wakeforestrencen.org to become a “Friend of the Centre” and get your tickets before they sell out.


Pack a picnic, grab your lawn chairs, and head out to Joyner Park for Six Sundays in Spring. Scheduled from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM on



consecutive Sundays from April 30 – June 4 and co-sponsored by the PRCR Department and ARTS Wake Forest, these free concerts offer something for all music lovers. New this year is the Mini Art in the Park Market where several artists from the Wake Forest Guild of Artists will show and sell their artwork. A percentage of sales will go to support Six Sundays in Spring. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase or feel free to bring your own. For more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Six Sundays.”


Elementary, middle, and high school students and their parents are invited to Wake Forest’s STEM Saturday on April 29. Presented by the Wake Forest Wireless Research Center, this free event is scheduled from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Joyner Park Community Center (located at 701 Harris Road). Designed to expose students

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to a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career options, STEM Saturday will feature STEM-related exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on learning activities. For more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “STEM.”


The PRCR Department is delighted to offer Family Movie Nights at Joyner Park on the following Saturdays: May 27 (Lady and the Tramp – original), June 17 (Encanto), July 22 (Zootopia), and August 5 (Spiderman No Way Home). Family Movie Nights will also include movie-related pre-show activities beginning at 7:15 PM. Showtime is 8:30 PM and admission is free. Assorted food vendors will be on-site selling snacks and beverages. For more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Movie Nights.”


The Recreation Advisory Board will host National Trails Day on Saturday, June 3, at Joyner Park. Presented by Ting Internet, this family-friendly event will include a timed 5K/3K walk/run race for children and adults. Check-in on the day of the event starts at 7:00 AM, and the race begins at 8:00 AM. Funds raised through entry fees will be used to support the maintenance of current greenways and the development of new ones throughout Wake Forest. Registration is required. For more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Trails Day.”


Always be the first to know about Town of Wake Forest announcements, programs, and special events by signing up for E-Notifier, downloading the Town app, visiting the Wake Forest website, and/or following the Town on social media @TownofWakeForest. For complete details, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Communications.” 

Anna Bolton is the marketing and business relations specialist for the Town of Wake Forest. To learn more about Town events, sponsorship opportunities, and how you can be involved, contact Anna at 919-435-9422 or abolton@wakeforestnc.gov.

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A L L S P O N S O R E D B Y B R O K E R / O W N E R , R E A L T O R ® S O U T H E R N L U X L I V I N G

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S O U T H E R N L U X L I V I N G . C O M


Spring is here and everything feels fresh and new. Color abounds and it’s a great season to celebrate with a bright and colorful plate that is chock full of green goodness. I love the vibrant contrast that spring produce brings to the plate. It’s almost impossible not to eat healthy when it looks so crisp and yummy!

Beautiful leafy greens are a great way to kick off any meal, yet their use should not be limited to salads alone. Baby arugula, kale, spinach, and even microgreens can be used in so many ways to incorporate tons of color, texture, and nutrition to your main course recipes and to complement a variety of dishes. Think outside the salad plate and experiment with a light sauté to add dimension to your pasta or stir fry of choice, or as a base for grilled fish. A good quality olive oil is a must here, and a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar enhances the flavor of the greens.

One of my favorite ways to use spring greens is to make pesto –perfect to stir into soups, mix with softened butter to adorn your favorite fish or chicken, or as a sauce for a light pasta entrée. Simply toss a handful of fresh greens and/or herbs in the food processor and add a little quality olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt. Your concoction should keep in the fridge for a day or two, so for lunch the following day, mix it with a bit of mayo for a delicious condiment to top your sammie of choice. Splash a spoonful into your favorite vinaigrette to drizzle on a garden salad or to brighten a spring potato salad. Green pestos are perfect for tossing with noodles or tortellini for a beautiful pasta entrée. Add a handful of roasted tomatoes and some fresh grated cheese for a lovely luncheon salad or light spring dinner.

Pass the peas please! Spring peas are like nature’s candy. Fresh ones can be tossed into a salad or in a light stir fry, or mixed with rice for a delicious side dish for your favorite grilled meat. Tender peas require almost no cooking time, which helps them to maintain their vibrant color, making them a lovely garnish for any dish. Ditto for tender fresh green beans, which can be blanched in boiling water for two to three minutes, then plunged in ice water to stop the cooking process, leaving them bright green and just a little bit crispy. Drizzle with vinaigrette or toss with some roasted baby potatoes for a lovely side to a grilled steak.

Asparagus is another versatile addition to the spring plate and can be adapted to a variety of cooking methods. I am partial to steaming their thicker stalks, but asparagus also grills beautifully, bringing out a smoky flavor – drizzle with a little lemon and melted butter or top with a flavorful tapenade made with capers and roasted peppers. One of my favorite flatbreads includes roasted asparagus, prosciutto, and goat cheese with a sprinkle of olive oil and cracked pepper.

Doing some spring entertaining? An elegant appetizer is at your fingertips. Simply cut puff pastry or phyllo dough into squares, then sprinkle shaved parmesan onto blanched asparagus spears. Wrap the spears with the pastry squares and bake at about 400 degrees until the pastry is golden for a very impressive nibble for your guests.

Spring greens and produce can brighten just about any dish by adding an abundance of color and taste. A visit to your farmers market should be on your agenda this weekend so that no matter when the mood for a vibrant, delicious, and healthy dish hits, you can spring into cooking action! 

Stacey Moritz is the owner of The Lemon Tree Cafe, located at 113 S. White Street in Downtown Wake Forest (919-521-5806), offering freshly prepared salads, pastas, soups, and take-away fare. The Lemon Tree Cafe serves breakfast and lunch Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM and Saturdays 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM.

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In the past year, we’ve seen some big swings in the financial markets. This volatility may make you feel as if you have little control over your investment success. But the truth is, you have more control than you might think –as long as you don’t let fear guide your decisions.

Investment-related fear can manifest itself in a few different ways:

– FEAR OF LOSS: Some investors may emphasize avoiding losses more than achieving gains. Consequently, they might build portfolios they consider very low in risk, possibly containing a high percentage of CDs and U.S. Treasury securities. Yet, a highly conservative approach carries its own risk – the risk of not achieving enough growth to stay ahead of inflation, much less meet long-term goals such as a comfortable retirement. To reach these goals, you’ll want to construct a diversified portfolio containing different types of assets and investments – each of which may perform differently at different times. Your objective shouldn’t be to avoid all risk – which is impossible – but to create an investment strategy that accommodates your personal risk tolerance and time horizon.

– FEAR OF MISSING OUT: You’re probably familiar with the term “herd mentality” – the idea that people will follow the lead of others for fear of missing out on something. This behavior is responsible for fads or the sudden emergence of “hot” products, and it’s also relevant to investing. In fact, herd mentality may contribute to sharp jumps in the financial markets as investors drive up prices by buying stocks to avoid being left behind. And the same may be true in reverse – when the market starts dropping, skittish investors may accelerate the decline by selling stocks so they, too, can get out before it’s too late. Buying or selling investments should be considered as needed to help advance your long-term financial strategy – not in response to what others are doing.

– FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN: Some investors fall victim to “familiarity bias” – the tendency to invest only in what they know, such as local or domestic companies. But this behavior can lead to under-diversified portfolios. If your portfolio is dominated by just a few investments, and these investments are fairly similar to each other, you could experience some losses when the inevitable market downturn occurs. To help reduce the impact of market volatility, it’s a good idea to spread your investment dollars across large and small companies in a range of industries and geographical regions. And that’s just on the equities side – it’s also wise to consider further diversifying your portfolio by owning bonds and government securities. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification can’t guarantee profits or protect against all losses.)

– FEAR OF ADMITTING FAILURE: Some individuals don’t like to admit when they’ve been wrong about something, and they may continue the same failed activities, hoping for eventual success. This behavior can be costly in the investment arena. Sometimes, a particular investment, or even an investment strategy, just doesn’t work out, but an investor is determined to stick with it – even if it ultimately means considerable financial loss. Don’t let this happen to you – if it becomes apparent you need to change your investment approach, move on to something better.

Fear can hold us back in many walks of life – but don’t let it keep you from making appropriate investment moves. 

Tom Piper is a financial advisor with Edward Jones, located at 3607 Falls River Avenue, Suite 113 in Raleigh. He may be reached at 919-792-0316 (office) or 386-299-2434 (cell). This article was written by Edward Jones, Member SIPC. For more information, visit edwardjones.com.

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In the world of real estate, we often ask new buyer clients to create a list of their wants and needs for their new home. And these days, we often see outdoor living spaces on their list as a “need.” For some, they simply want a little yard space to garden. Others need that space for their pets or a children’s play area. Many look for space to entertain or enjoy recreational activities. Regardless of their “why,” outdoor living spaces have become an increasingly popular item on people’s real estate wish list that can make or break their decision to buy a home. And in 2023, following are the outdoor living trends expected to top many buyers list.


I talked to Scott Bartos, the lead designer for Paragon Building Group, and Halle Tischler of Wildflower Landscape Design & Drafting, and both named indoor-to-outdoor living as a big trend for 2023. According to Tischler, clients are looking to bring the outdoors in with the use of folding glass doors and extra-luxe, comfortable outdoor furniture. For his clients, Scott says many want screened-in porches that offer the opportunity to close them off for colder months. Personally, I’m seeing today’s homebuyers include Phantom screens, fireplaces, and heaters on their outdoor living wish lists in order to allow them to maximize use and enjoyment of their outdoor spaces.


Speaking of maximizing outdoor spaces … Tischler also pointed to resort-style backyards as a trend that exploded during the pandemic as people spent more time at home, and continues to be popular today. According to her, pool installations skyrocketed in 2020 and brought with them features such as outdoor kitchens and even pizza ovens. Yet as the world has returned to something resembling normal, people continue to spend more time at home. And so creating an outdoor living space with touches of luxury, comfort, and convenience remains highly sought-after. These days you may even find backyard spaces with your own personal putting green!

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You don’t need a luxury-sized budget to incorporate another big trend for outdoor spaces. From trending colors to plant life, a return to more nature-inspired elements is increasingly popular right now.

According to Tischler, Garden Media Group’s color for 2023 is terra cotta/baked earth. Consider adding terra cotta planters and pots that can be easily transported inside or out throughout the year. We are also seeing a return to these more natural color tones with Sherwin Williams’ color of the year, Redend Point, and Behr’s color of the year, Blank Canvas. Natural stone accents –think pathways or landscape borders – will also be an easy way to incorporate this trend into any outdoor space. Tischler also recommended pulling in more of those natural elements by using greenery to soften harsher outdoor elements like fences or landscape walls.


For anyone who loves the idea of pretty landscaping but lacks a necessary green thumb, you’re in luck. Expect native and droughttolerant plant species to be popular this spring and summer. Find some great resources on these plant and flower types on the North Carolina Botanical Garden’s website (ncbg.unc.edu). A few species that you might look for during your next trip to the nursery include butterfly milkweed, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, eastern prickly-pear, downy phlox, and narrowleaf silkgrass.

Like Tischler said, using native and drought-tolerant plants will use less water and irrigation for your landscape and cut down on a chore at the same time.


More and more we find people are looking for ways to enjoy time spent in their own homes. Why go anywhere else when you can find your escape right in your own backyard? From more luxury-style elements to even the most simple touches, people want to maximize the time they spend outdoors. In a recent poll on my social media platform, a number of my past and current clients listed outdoor lighting as high on their list of wants for an outdoor space.

So from outdoor kitchens with pizza ovens to simple market lights, the trend for outdoor spaces in 2023 seems to be finding ways to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. 

Alicia Arritt is a real estate agent and marketing director with the Morgan Womble Group at Compass. She can be reached at 828707-4467 or alicia@morganwomblegroup.com. For more information, follow her on Instagram @themillennialrelestateagent and @morganwomblegroup.

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Wondering what the newest fashion trends are for spring and summer this year? You can check out the latest in fashion magazines, or … interior design magazines! That’s right, fashion doesn’t just start on the runway and make its way to your closet – it also shows up all over your home.

For warm weather trends that you will not only see in your favorite clothing boutiques, but also in home décor, read on.

Metallics, while not surprisingly seen during the autumn and winter months, especially when we were heading into party season, are not going anywhere now that the temperatures are on the rise. This spring, look for a range of shiny and shimmery golds in silvers from fabrics like lame, velvets, and leathers. To freshen up your wardrobe without breaking the bank, jump on this trend with a new pair of shiny chandelier earrings that touch your shoulders. In our homes, this is showing up in hardware, lighting, and even pillows. For an easy interior update in your home without having to tackle a major renovation, try switching out the old hardware in your kitchen for nickel or unlacquered brass.

The ’80s are back! In fashion, think Pretty in Pink … fluffy ruffles, pastel colors, ribbons, bows, and lace – things you probably hated when your mom made you wear them, but now you can’t wait for the excuse to put them on! Florals and ruffles were popular in the home in the ’80s too (remember Molly Ringwald’s bedroom in the iconic movie?) and Mario Buatta was the Prince of Chintz. Today “grand-millennial” style has us once again incorporating floral into our designs, although perhaps in a bit more sophisticated way … but we still love adding florals on fabrics and wallpapers.

Green has been big on the home decorating scene for a few years now, and this bold hue isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. From emerald to moss to moody dark greens, it works in classic formal settings as well as more modern décor. In boutiques, you’ll see a transition from emerald to bright yellow greens and chartreuse,



and watch for neon to make a splash from spring to summer!

Hardworking classics never really go out of style, but this season you can find them translating to traditional items such as white blouses, denim with a relaxed fit, and tailored suiting in modern cuts – envision timeless, effortless pieces. Regarding home design, we’re also witnessing a rise in classic design, moving away from short-lived trends and throwaway furniture and towards ageless, quality furniture and finishes. The white blouse translates to plaster vent hoods, tailored suits become tailored pleats on drapery panels, and relaxed denim becomes classic comfy upholstery that works for your life.

I love to update my closet each season with new pieces to keep things fresh, and freshening up our homes regularly will keep them fresh too. Living in a home that feels good helps us live happier and gives us a space to enjoy with the people we love. 

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Photos courtesy of Rylie Watson. Elizabeth Johnson is founder and owner of The Cotton Company and White Street Boutique, a multi-vendor clothing boutique in an upscale setting that features something for women of all sizes, shapes, and ages.


Happy spring gardening friends! We are well into our local planting season and are enjoying the warm weather that comes with it. Of course, with all gardening seasons, there is work to be done, so let’s talk about that a little bit.

You may recall from my last article that I touched upon soil testing. As of April 1, soil tests are available for free through November 30. If your soil is not healthy, your garden will not be the best it can be. If you have not tested in the past couple of years, your soil is due for a retest. Results will aid you in making the right decisions about fertilizing and soil amendment, as well as help with informed plant selection. Sample boxes can be picked up at our local extension office or the NCDA Agronomics Lab on Reedy Creek Road in Raleigh. Soil test kits are also available at any “Ask the Master Gardener” tent you might run across at local farmers markets or spring events throughout our community.

Speaking of community events, we are in the throes of one of my favorite times of the year – plant sales season, particularly via area high schools’ FFA Clubs. These help students learn about agriculture, while raising funds for these wonderful programs and providing lovely blooms for buyers – a win-win for school programs and local gardeners. I find they offer a great selection of annuals, perennials, and succulents, and even after years of gardening – or

plant collecting, as it should truly be labeled – I am always pleasantly surprised to find something new each season. Local garden clubs also host fundraising plant sales in April and May. Many times, you can discover treasures from local established gardeners’ personal gardens, which they have divided and potted at a great price, for you to enjoy in your own garden. Of course, you have to hit local garden centers for additional pops of color for your plant beds. After all, is there really such thing as too many plants?

For me, road trips with my garden club companions are also a staple each planting season. While we enjoy a periodic excursion a little ways from home, you certainly don’t need to dedicate an entire Saturday for your gardening journey … you can scour the countryside where you’re sure to discover lovely little places to purchase plants, trees, shrubs, flora, and more. Get out and enjoy the thrill of the horticultural hunt!

Now that you’ve determined that your soil is healthy and you’re all set to visit a number of community plant sales and local garden centers, consider if you are gardening in sun or shade before actually purchasing. For sun, following are a few plants to consider.

Baptisia and bleeding heart are both early spring bloomers and will die back (or they do in my garden), but are beautiful, reliable color providers in the early garden. Clematis (pictured) is a

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must-have flowering vine with many blossom shapes and colors; iris is easy to grow and blooms in colors galore; and as the season progresses, daylilies are hardy and reliable, and their colors are endless. Additionally, coneflowers and black-eyed Susans are a sun garden must. Incorporate some bee balm, foxglove, and salvia into your sunny spring garden, as they are quite lovely and their pollinators will love visiting your garden. If you are planting in mass or a border, be certain to read the tag material that comes with each plant. Knowing a bit about the plant’s habitat will help you place it for success and enjoyment. If your garden tends to be a bit more shady, azaleas are vibrant, easy-to-care-for, shade-loving, under-plant options. They come in a variety of colors to match any garden décor; consider rebloomers, such as Encore, for gorgeous garden color. No afternoon sun? You may want to incorporate some hellebores, heuchera, and astilbe. They are entirely different and each brings their own fun to the garden party.

While out scouting for plants, consider including a variety of annuals for lasting color throughout the spring season. Personally, I love coleus, not just for its flowers, but also beautiful, all-season foliage. Good for use in sun or shade, there are cultivars for each and colors across the spectrum. Plant with begonias, ferns, and caladiums for a shade garden riot; pop in a hosta or two, and you have a lovely garden landscape.

While creating your spring garden oasis, don’t forget about your garden containers – those wood, wicker, metal, terra cotta, and stone containers adorning your front porch or your back patio, or nestled in your plant beds, conveniently and beautifully displaying your favorite plants and flowers. Choose colors that shout to you and select pots that complement your garden and outdoor décor. I love a tree (think Japanese Maple) or shrub (like a variegated boxwood) in a large pot, underplanted with vivid annuals and perennials. When I bore of it in one spot in the garden, I can easily move it to another – voila, it’s new again! Once spring and summer have passed, I simply replace the annuals with something more autumnal to carry me through the cooler months. Many times, I collect cuttings from shrubbery – and even my Christmas tree – to fill them in over the winter season. Extra hint: do you have hydrangeas you love? If so, place cuttings in your containers for winter fill, as they root fairly easily. Come spring, move them to smaller pots, and by autumn you can probably place them in your garden.

Do that soil test. Get that garden going. Plant some tomatoes. Those fresh tomato sandwiches will be yummy in July! Gardeners, there are so many plants out there and so many ways to incorporate them into your garden. So visit those plant sales or get to a garden center and let your imagination go wild. Happy digging friends! 

Pam Eagles lives in Rolesville where she gardens with three dogs and a cat. She is a founding member of the Community Gardeners of Rolesville Garden Club and serves as a Wake County Master Gardener.

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Springtime is a great time to sell your home. Potential buyers have come out of winter hibernation and are ready to purchase a new property. If you’re planning on selling your home this spring, a little effort can go a long way to help you do so quickly and efficiently. Here are four tips to help you sell your home this season.

1. GET YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR IN TIP-TOP SHAPE: Potential buyers will often make up their minds about your home before they even step foot inside. The first thing they see when they pull up to your house is its exterior. Make sure you give them a good impression by sprucing up your home’s curb appeal. Power wash your siding, paint any faded surfaces, clear the rain gutters, break out the lawn mower, trim and prune overgrown shrubs and trees, clear away dirt and debris from walkways and driveways, lay down fresh mulch, and plant vibrant flowers for bright pops of color in your plant beds. Add additional colorful plants and flowers and throw pillows to your front porch to add a bit of warmth and happiness to the area. Make sure your front door is in pristine condition. Wipe away cobwebs and dust, and consider a fresh coat of paint to eliminate any scratches. Display a welcome mat in front of it and a spring wreath on it for an inviting vibe. Inside, add a fresh coat of neutral colored paint to your walls – this will

also help to create a clean, inviting atmosphere for those prospective buyers. Update light fixtures for a renewed look. And don’t forget to clean your windows – both inside and out.

2. DECLUTTER AND CLEAN EVERY ROOM: Decluttering is essential if you want buyers to appreciate the space in each room. When viewing your home, you want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves living there, and that can be hard to do when every surface is covered in stuff. So go through each room and get rid of any clutter. Donate items you don’t use anymore and put personal items away. Start with one room at a time and clean out anything that isn’t necessary – furniture, knick-knacks, mismatched dishes, junk drawers, even old clothes. The goal should be to make each room look spacious yet cozy so that people can easily envision themselves living there comfortably. And don’t forget to clean out the closets, attic, and garage. Buyers want to see the storage space available in homes, and a full closet, attic, and/or garage can make it feel like yours has limited storage options. After decluttering, dust and deep clean every shelf, cabinet, storage space, etc. And don’t forget ceiling fans and baseboards. Polish hardwoods so their years of wear and tear aren’t as noticeable.

3. PRICE YOUR HOME RIGHT: In order for your home to sell quickly, you need to price it right. With your real estate agent, look at recent comparable sales in your area and price accordingly. Many agents are happy to provide a comparable market analysis on your house which will leave you with a suggested price range dependent on additional factors of your specific home, such as upgrades, its condition, and your motivation for selling. Keep in mind that if you price too high, buyers will move on. And if you price too low, you’ll end up leaving money on the table. Work together to come up with a competitive asking price.

4. HIRE A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL: Even if you are experienced in real estate yourself, selling your home can be a daunting and emotional task. With a shifting market comes different language, options, and negotiating skills needed than what you experienced when you previously sold or purchased a house. There’s also a lot of paperwork involved, and properly marketing your home can be time-consuming. Save yourself the headache and appoint an experienced local real estate professional who has experienced a shifting market and can help guide you.

Year after year, spring is one of the best home selling seasons. By remembering these four tips – getting get your home in tip-top shape, decluttering and cleaning every room, pricing your home right, and hiring a real estate professional – you should have no problem getting your house sold quickly this season. 

20 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com
Allison Caudle Abbott is the owner and broker-in-charge of Southern Lux Living, serving buyers and sellers throughout the Triangle. She may be reached at 919-395-6186 or visit southernluxliving.com. BY ALLISON CAUDLE ABBOTT

There’s nothing more relaxing than lounging in the warmth with a good book. Whether you’re headed to the beach for spring break or are just looking for an excuse to put off that spring cleaning, there are a number of new books hitting the shelves this season – from true crime to fiction and fantasy to thrilling suspense, here are a few good suggestions for your reading pleasure.


Dolly Parton’s Billy the Kid Makes It Big by Dolly Parton and Erica S. Perl

This hilarious picture book by the legendary Dolly Parton shares the story of her God-dog and Instagram-famous pup Billy the Kid, who aspires to be a country music sensation. In true delightful Dolly fashion, this book that is perfect for anyone age 2-99 is about standing up to people (and dogs) who put you down, and finding the drive to achieve your dreams.

Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie By Kimberly and James Dean Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for some literary fun! In this new book, Pete the Cat discovers he’s at his grooviest when he’s just being himself. Full of bright illustrations, rhyming version, and a story that will leave you laughing out loud, it also includes step-by-step dance moves so you can boogie right along with Pete!

Once Upon a Tim by Stuart Gibbs

Stuart Gibbs has quite the following, thanks to fans of his Spy School series – and Once Upon a Tim is sure to draw in even the most reluctant reader. Join Tim and his friends in this hilarious journey on which they must be brave and stick together.


The Probability of Everything by Sarah Everett

As described by publisher Harper Collins, The Probability of Everything is “A heart-wrenching middle grade debut about Kemi, an aspiring scientist who loves statistics and facts, as she navigates grief and loss at a moment when life as she knows it changes forever.”

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness: The Wingfeather Saga

Book 1 by Andrew Peterson

This popular and fun fantasy tale of three smart and courageous kids and their dog Nugget is now available in paperback! Extra


features include a map of the fantastical world, interior illustrations, humorous footnotes, and a reader’s guide with discussion questions and writing activities.

A Breath of Mischief by MarcyKate Connolly

Aria grew up in a castle and was raised by the wind. But the wind has grown silent so she and her best friend must solve riddles and race against time to win it back. Boasting strong themes of friendship and fun, A Breath of Mischief is, as described on the author’s website (marcykate.com), “a new fantasy adventure brimming with danger and magic that will leave readers on the edge of their seats.”

Silver in the Bone by Alexandra Bracken

If you loved Lore, then you won’t want to miss the first book in this new, powerful series. Full of fantasy, romance, and a new take on King Arthur, Silver In The Bone is just what you need for an escape.

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Happy Place by Emily Henry

From the bestselling author of The People They Meet On Vacation comes the story of Harriet and Wyn. The perfect couple since college, they have been vacationing with their friends for over 10 years. But this year, when they break up for reasons they are not discussing, they vow to pretend they are still a couple for the sake of their friends. Can they do it?

In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

As described on the author’s website (tjklunebooks.com), “Inspired by Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, and like Swiss Family Robinson meets Wall-E, In the Lives of Puppets is a masterful stand-alone fantasy adventure.” Fantastical creatures are put together from spare parts in a dark forest and a nurse ratchet and sadistic Roomba named Rambo inherit a child with a wooden heart. You will laugh, cry, and feel all the feels as you turn each page.

The Soulmate: A Novel by Sally Hepwort

Are you a thriller fan? Then this book of marriage, betrayal, and dark secrets will be the summer hit for you. When Pippa and Gerard purchase the house of their dreams on the cliffs in Melbourne, they believe their lives are perfect. But when Gerard disappears while trying to save a woman from jumping off the cliffs, it becomes clear that nothing – and no one – is as it seems.

Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the Worlds by Gretchen Rubin

Per publisher Random House Group’s website, “For more than a decade, Gretchen Rubin had been studying happiness and human nature. Then, one day, a visit to her eye doctor made her realize that she’d been overlooking a key element of happiness: her five senses ... This epiphany lifted her from a state of foggy preoccupation into a world rediscovered by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching … Life in Five Senses is an absorbing, layered story of discovery filled with profound insights

and practical suggestions about how to heighten our senses and use our powers of perception to live fuller, richer lives – and, ultimately, how to move through the world with more vitality and love.”

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann

For all you true crime fans, this non-fiction book that reads like a novel is just for you. On January 28, 1742, a beat-up boat washed up on the coast of Brazil. Thirty emaciated men were found inside – the last survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, which had

left England two years prior on a secret mission during the war with Spain. It wrecked while chasing a Spanish vessel filled with treasure on a deserted island. After months of trying to put the boat back together, they set sell for over 100 days where they were treated as heroes. Six months later, another boat washes up on shore with three castaways who claimed the others were mutineers. You can’t make this stuff up!

Suzanne Lucey and her husband Dave own Page 158 Books, located at 415 S. Brooks St. in Wake Forest. She may be reached at 919435-1843 or visit www.page158books.com.

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The tell-tale sign of spring … that sticky, yellow stuff that covers just about everything in sight. Yes, I’m talking about spring pollen.

Aside from torturing allergy sufferers everywhere, spring pollen season can wreak havoc both in and outside your home, adding more dirt and grime to your regular cleaning chores. Here are eight quick tips for surviving the worst of it.

1. GET AHEAD OF THE FORECAST. Find a weather app that tracks and reports local pollen levels; on heavy days or when pollen “storms” are predicted, keep windows and doors closed.

2. CLEAN OUTSIDE. Pollen that settles in and around roofs, screens, and windows has a greater chance of eventually blowing its way inside. Likewise, pollen left to sit on drives, walkways, patios, decks, porches, and outside stairs will come in on shoes. Sweeping, hosing down, or power washing these outside areas can help to minimize the work you will need to do inside. Removing shoes upon entry will help as well.

3. CLEAN QUICKLY AND OFTEN. Like many other soils, when left untreated, pollen will harden into a film that gets



more difficult to remove over time. And, unlike many other soils, pollen stains both fabrics and surfaces.

4. CLEAN YOUR AIR. If spring allergies are a particular issue in your household, consider running a HEPA (high-efficiency

particulate air) filter, which is designed specifically to remove such allergens as pollen, pet dander, and dust mites from the air.

5. DO NOT DISTURB. If you have spring allergy sufferers living in your home, the

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focus needs to be on removing pollen grains with as little disturbance as possible, so avoid dusting or even vacuuming with anything but a HEPA-filtered machine, as these activities will drive pollen grains up into the air.

6. MICROFIBER IS YOUR FRIEND. To remove fresh pollen from hard surfaces, spray an everyday cleaning solution onto a high-quality microfiber cloth, which is built to trap and remove particles. Wipe slowly and carefully. Or borrow a page from the professional window cleaner’s playbook: spray, then use a squeegee to neatly and thoroughly remove all the offending yellow muck.

7. SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE. For pollen grains that have landed on fabrics, furniture upholstery, and carpet, avoid rubbing or wiping at all costs. First, if possible, take the item outside and shake vigorously to get rid of loose grains. Next, try a lint roller or postal packing tape to lift away the stickier grains. If you can still see a stain, soak the item for several hours and rinse thoroughly using cold water alone; if you can’t submerge the item in cold water, spritz then blot gently with a white cloth until the blotting cloth comes away clean. If all that fails, try an oxygen-based or specialized laundrystain solution, following package instructions for use. If the laundry solution fails, move on to a home dry-cleaning solution or take the item to a professional dry cleaner. Avoid heat drying (which will set the stain) until you are absolutely sure the pollen stain is gone.

8. REMEMBER THOSE OUTSIDE LIVING SPACES! For non-fabric patio and other outside furniture, a good, strong-spraying hose, clean rags, and dishwashing liquid will usually work to remove loosely settled pollen. For more stubborn pollen that has become set on these surfaces, a Magic Eraser or similar tool may also be needed. 

25 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com
Todd Nelson is the owner of MaidPro of the Triangle. Visit maidpro.com/raleigh-north or call 919-871-9996.



April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers bring the perfect, fresh ingredients for a lovely spring cocktail or mocktail. Whether for infused syrups or a beautiful edible garnish, flowers are the ideal addition to bring spring to your palate, and a secret garden cocktail will do just that. With a focus on flowers, there is no better spirit to use for a spring cocktail than gin. Now, you might be thinking, oooh, I don’t drink gin, it’s too strong for me. Gin of old was produced primarily for medicinal purposes, but is actually nothing more than a distilled alcoholic drink that derives its flavor from juniper berries. Gins of today are produced in many ways from a wide variety of herbal ingredients, including botanical, herbal, spice, floral, or fruit flavors. For one of my favorite secret garden cocktail recipes, we are really going “wild” with gin that is produced with butterfly pea flower, giving it a gorgeous indigo hue and a bright, refreshing, floral taste. This deep indigo hue can change to a fuchsia, bright lavender, or even a soft pink, depending on the ingredients with which it is mixed, creating an added piece of showmanship for the mixologist and a cocktail as exciting to the eyes as it is to the taste buds.

My initial introduction to butterfly pea blossom gin was Empress 1908 Gin, made by Victoria Distillers and inspired by the legendary Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. Now that this style of gin is trending, you can find it from a number of

local distillers, all possessing distinctly different flavor profiles, but sharing the wonderful floral notes and that beautiful indigo hue.

To add to the drama, floral theme, brilliant color, and delicious taste of the secret garden, we will be adding Crème de Violette. The taste and aroma are markedly floral and sweet, and reminiscent of the violet candies popular in the early to mid-20th century. Crème de Violette is made from Queen Charlotte and violet flowers from the Alps and has a regal dark violet color.

Finally, our delicious bouquet would not be complete without some elderflower liquer. As described on stgermainliqueur.com, “St-Germain is a French liqueur made with fresh elderflowers, hand-picked once a year in the late spring. To accomplish its exquisitely natural flavor, every bottle of St-Germain contains up to 1,000 of the very best elderflower blossoms, resulting in a finely crafted, perfectly balanced, and refined liqueur.” The sweet subtle taste adds to the sensory bouquet like a fine French perfume.

Ready to create a secret garden? Combine the butterfly pea flower gin, Crème de Violette, elderflower liqueur, some lavender syrup, and a splash of lime juice in a mixer with ice and shake for about 20 seconds or until well chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lavender sprig. For an added twist, top with Fentimans Elderflower Sparkling Water and/or a scoop of lemon or raspberry sorbet. Prefer a mocktail? Replace the gin with a non-alcoholic gin, or leave it out all together and just use cold brewed butterfly pea flower tea.

Cheers! April showers have brought all the splendor of spring flowers to your eyes, nose, and palate in our secret garden. Please remember to always drink responsibly.


– 11/2 ounces Empress 1908 gin

– ¼ ounce Crème de Violette

– ¼ ounce St. Germaine

– ¼ ounce lavender syrup

– ¼ ounce lime juice


– 4-6 ounces butterfly pea flower cold brewed tea

– 1/2 ounce lavender syrup

– 1/2 ounce elderflower syrup

– ¼ ounce lime juice

For both versions, shake all ingredients with ice for about 20 seconds. Strain into a tall glass over ice, top with Fentimans Elderflower Sparkling Water, and garnish with a lavender sprig. 

26 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com
Joni Falvey is the owner of Broadsides & Brews, located at 223 S. White Street in Downtown Wake Forest. Follow on social media @broadsidesandbrews and visit broadsidesandbrews.com.
PRIVATE | GATED | LUXURY www.GrandHighlandLiving.com | (919) 457-9002 | GrandHighland@MorganWombleGroup.com Wake Forest, North Carolina

Gathering with friends and family is a springtime staple, an opportunity to welcome the season with good food, good drinks, and good company. As the weather warms, I find myself fondly remembering spring get-togethers at my parents’ house as I was growing up. Windows and doors were open, natural air wafting through the house. Kids and adults wandering indoors and out, striking up different conversations as they mingled. The garage was open, filled with its own congregation of chatting guests. In the yard, children were running around, while some older folks enjoyed a fun game of cornhole or bocce ball. Beers were in the cooler, ice cold. Laughter and love formed a bubble around the home.

Abig part of these get-togethers was the food. My family is strewn with chefs and food industry alums, so it’s only natural that food has played such a large role in our growth and development. At each event hosted at our home, guests would contribute sides and desserts to share, and my parents would provide the main dish. While everything about these childhood gatherings will forever be cherished, there is one particular star of the show that I will always warmly recall … my dad’s famous barbecue burgers, and his slow-cooker twist. As soon as the guests were notified of the menu, their eyes would immediately widen at the news that they were being served. While Dad has historically been known as a grill master, who knew he was also so adept at slow cooker meals as well?

The barbecue burger is a super easy way to make yourself look like a culinary pro. I want to share this dish, not only to give accolades to my dad, but to provide you with a simple, delicious, and transportable contribution to any party or gathering. Perhaps it may become a staple for your springtime fun with family and friends too.

The recipe should yield 16-20 burgers, depending on desired size. The best grind for these burgers is an 85/15 (or 80/20). This ratio


is going to add some fat and flavor, while still being tender and not resulting in overly greasy burgers. This recipe calls for four pounds. Put the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Then chop one medium white onion, one-half red pepper, one-half green pepper, and one cup of parsley – add to the beef. Finally, add two whisked eggs, one-half cup of milk, one tablespoon of Worcestershire (how do you even say that?), and kosher salt and crushed black pepper to taste. Now it’s time to get your hands dirty! Mix all the ingredients until they are evenly distributed throughout the ground beef. After completion, patty out your burgers. Make sure they are the proper size for the buns you are using. You don’t want too much bread for your first couple of bites. After all, the first bite, much like a first kiss, is memorable. I enjoy these burgers on a soft kaiser roll, a potato roll, or even a nice brioche bun.

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There are two different ways to initiate the cooking process, with the first being in the oven. You will need a sheet tray with parchment paper (or spray). Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then evenly place the patties on the tray. When the oven reaches 350 degrees, insert the burgers and set your timer for five minutes. At this point, you will have time to run and grab a beer and possibly contribute a witty remark to an ongoing conversation. It is all about entertaining, remember.

At the five-minute mark, pull out the burgers, flip, and put them back in for five more minutes. When the burgers have reached 10 minutes of cook time, they are ready to go into the slow cooker.

In the slow cooker (set to low), you are going to pour a base layer of your favorite barbecue sauce, to ensure the burgers are not only surrounded in sauce, but also to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. For the sauce, I like a thick, sweet barbecue sauce with a touch of heat. Some prefer a traditional sauce, or one that is spicier. Of course, it is dealer’s choice.

You may choose to add sliced onions to the sauce for a tasty burger topping. If you like a little kick, don’t hesitate to throw in three or four whole jalapeños – cut in quarters the long way, or slicing is a good option as well. This not only adds spice, but results in another appetizing garnish for your barbecue burgers. You may also sprinkle in some crushed red pepper for added zest.

Place the first level of patties into the pot and pour in another layer of sauce. Continue this process until all the burgers are swimming in a pool of barbecue delight. Let the burgers slowly cook in the slow cooker for about 11/2 - 2 hours. The optimal internal temperature for the finished burgers will be 135-140 degrees.

A professional tip for building your burger is to add pickle slices to the bottom bun. If you can source a spicy pickle slice, well

even better. Place the burger atop the pickles, grab a few slices of onion and jalapeño, and drizzle some sauce from the pot onto the burger. My goodness, I can almost taste it while writing this!

The second option to initiate the cooking process is on the grill. Pre-heat the grill to high, and when ready, turn to medium and cook the burgers for about three minutes on each side. This method will give you a little sear on the burgers, adding a bit more flavor. Either way, you are going to have a delectable dish for your guests to indulge.

There are many opportunities coming up to give this future mainstay its big break.

Major League Baseball, the Masters, graduations, and just a beautiful Saturday evening when Mother Nature beckons you outside. Regardless of the reason for your springtime gathering, I hope you enjoy this classic dish with loved ones, as I have and continue to do. 

Will Barnack is the general manager of The Butcher's Market – Heritage, located at 1898 S. Franklin Street, Suite 100 in Wake Forest. He may be reached at 919-263-9367 or visit thebutchersmarket.com.

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Tornadoes can cause damage to buildings and injuries to people, so it’s important to know what to do if one is in the area. While you can’t control the weather, you can take steps to help prepare your home and keep your family safe during tornado season. Here are some tips on what you can do to be prepared and some safety measures to consider if a tornado does strike.


While tornadoes can happen at any time of the year, peak tornado season in the U.S. is in the spring and summer – here in North Carolina, tornadoes are most common between March and June, according to the NC Disaster Information Center. But even though we are currently in the throes of tornado season, it’s never too late to make your home secure. For instance, trim trees so that diseased or damaged limbs are removed, install permanent shutters on windows that you can close quickly, and have your garage door strengthened. Sign up to receive notifications from our local warning system or the Emergency Alert System. If you have time before a tornado approaches, move or secure debris and other loose items, such as lawn furniture and firewood, that may become a projectile during a tornado. You don’t want your patio set or lawn decorations to potentially become a source of danger for your family or neighbors.


Practicing where to go may help keep everyone in your household safe. Your drill should include a discussion of which rooms in your home are the safest in the event of a tornado. For example, if your

home has a basement, you should seek shelter there, avoid windows, and use sturdy protection as cover. If you don’t have a basement or can’t get to one, then go to the lowest floor in the building, or a small center room without windows, like a bathroom or closet. Other options include going under stairwells or to an interior hallway. Cover yourself with something like a mattress or blankets that can act as padding against debris.


If you’re in a car when a tornado is spotted, pull over and seek shelter in a sturdy building. If that’s not possible, the Red Cross advises pulling over, staying in the parked car with your seat belt on, and keeping your head below the windows. Next, cover your head with your hands and a blanket. Also, you should avoid seeking shelter under a bridge or overpass, as flying debris can become “dangerous missiles.” In addition, the passage underneath an overpass may increase the wind speed, potentially making it an unsafe location to seek shelter. If you find yourself outside of the car during a tornado, lie flat on the ground with your face down and your hands and arms protecting the back of your head. If possible, get in an area that is lower than the roadway, such as a ditch.


If a tornado touches down in your area, power might be knocked out. It might be a few days before you have electricity and clean

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running water in your home, so it’s a good idea to prepare a basic, all-purpose emergency kit for everyone in your household, including at least one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days and enough food for each person. The food supplies should also be enough to last at least three days. It’s also recommended to have a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, as well as a NOAA Weather Radio, close at hand so you can stay up-to-date on tornado movements, as well as receive information when it’s safe to leave your shelter. You may also want to include a flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, and local maps in your emergency kit.


If a tornado is on the way to your area, don’t wait to take shelter. It is not safe to go outside and check on the storm or even watch it from inside. Avoid windows if a tornado is near. Don’t waste time opening windows to “equalize air pressure,” which is a tornado myth. Get into an interior room in the lowest level of your home. If you lose power, use flashlights instead of candles.


When a tornado is in your area, stay sheltered until the tornado warning has expired. When you do have the all clear to leave your shelter, you’ll need to check for any damage to your home, vehicle, and other property. Use caution when inspecting your property, and contact the authorities if debris is preventing you from exiting your home, you see downed power lines, or you think there is a safety issue with the utilities, such as a potential gas leak or fire hazard.

By taking a few steps to prepare your home and emergency kit before a tornado strikes, and practicing what to do during a tornado, your family can be better prepared when one is in your area. 

Thomas Walters is the owner of Walters Insurance Agency, located at 3207 Rogers, Road, Suite 100 in Wake Forest. Call 919554-0267 or email twalters@allstate.com for help with all your insurance needs.

31 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com designdevelopment.com | 919 •848•4474 | Raleigh NC …drawing out your vision designdevelopment.com




While cold weather beckons the need for cozy environments, the light and warmth of spring lends itself to airy and bright spaces. Although this winter wasn’t particularly cold, temperatures are on the rise. It’s time to put away the chunky blankets, heavy fabrics, and dark colors and make changes to create a fresh look for the hot months ahead. Here are a handful of quick and easy ways to transform and prepare your home for spring and summer.


COLOR ME COOLER: Color not only impacts a person’s moods and emotions, but studies have shown that it can also influence your perception of the temperature of a space. It’s not surprising that cool colors are best for warmer months. We associate blue with the coolness of water and green with the fresh tranquility of forests. Including colors on the cool spectrum around your home, such as blue, green, and purple, can be more soothing during the hotter months. Even using light bulbs that cast a cooler light will subconsciously make a person feel refreshed in that space.

SMALL CHANGES WITH A BIG IMPACT: Incorporating easy and cost-effective seasonal investments can make a big impact without a big expense. Here are some suggestions for small but big-splash changes:

– Drape lightweight blankets across the back of furniture or have a basket of them in the living room for texture and color, as well as ready-to-grab comfort on those early cool spring evenings.

– Change pillow covers out for ones in fun or serene colors from the cool spectrum to welcome light and freshness to the room.

– Use pillow inserts so you can quickly swap out said pillow covers. Swapping out covers only allows for easy storage until seasons change and it’s time for another pillow cover switch.

– Take down heavy curtains and replace them with sheers. This

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will bring in much more light and allow you to take advantage of the longer days.

– Use reflective surfaces such as glass bowls to bounce the light around the room.

– A centerpiece of citrus fruit makes for a fresh and yummy pop of color in your decor.

BRING THE OUTDOORS IN: Nothing says spring more than Mother Nature’s blooming flowers and the transformation of trees into lush green beauties. Here are some ideas to bring the outdoors inside:

– Use fresh cut blooms as the centerpiece for your table, or any space that needs brightening up.

– If you don’t have much floor space, use hanging plants to bring life to any room.

– For those not born with a green thumb, use artificial plants to introduce a splash of color. Artificial plants have come a long way and often look as real as live plants but don’t require the same upkeep.


PATIO AND PORCH FACELIFT: Not all of your time should be spent inside enjoying the air conditioning. For when you do want to be outside, here are a few ways to make it more enjoyable:

– Keep a basket of all the warm weather essentials nearby. Some items to consider adding to the basket include bug spray, sunscreen, old-school handheld fans, and a wide-brimmed hat or two.

– Use the same throw pillow cover trick outdoors as you did indoors. Use lighter and brighter colors to freshen up the space and give off happy warm weather vibes.

– Add a touch of color with a new doormat and a wreath on the door.

CLEAN UP TIME: There is nothing fun about doing maintenance in scorching temperatures, so get busy with these ideas to ensure the exterior of your home is ready for the season’s sun and rain.

– Let the sunshine in by cleaning your windows. You may be surprised what a difference this makes. For a good cleaning, mix two cups of water, ¼ cup of white

vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of dish detergent and scrub with a sponge to remove all that window grime. Be sure to rinse off the solution before it dries to avoid streaks.

– Rid your gutters of leaves and other debris before we welcome the rain showers that are bound to show up throughout spring and summer.

– Power wash your deck and porches. Even if you don’t have a power washer, you can still use power washer soap and a garden hose (especially on a higher pressure setting) to rinse it off.

There is no better time to refresh your home than now, when days are long, trees turn green, and flowers bloom. By focusing on the areas in which you plan to spend the most time and on the projects that will bring you the most joy, you can easily welcome spring and breathe freshness and life into your home. In the words of Leo Tolstoy, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” 

Robyn Goss-Bennai is a local writer with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. She can be reached at robyngossbennai@gmail.com.

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Throughout history, farming and agriculture have been important to North Carolina’s economy. Today, North Carolina’s agriculture industry, including food, fiber, and forestry, contributes around $76 billion to the state’s economy. Supporting our local farmers helps them sustain their place in the industry. A great way to support our local farmers (and artisans) is by visiting farmers markets. Woven throughout each one of these local gem’s missions is the opp ortunity to provide a place for residents to buy fresh and buy local. While there are many options in the area, here are a few suggestions of local farmer markets to explore.

WAKE FOREST FARMERS MARKET: This farmers market was started over 20 years ago by a farmer and baker who wanted to offer a way for local residents to buy quality food. Their mission has only blossomed since with the growth of the market. The current vendors own, operate, and fund the market. According to their website, this producers-only farmers market offers locally-grown produce such as “fresh baked bread, fresh cut flowers, homegrown herbs, locally raised honey, antibiotic- and hormone-free pasture-raised meats, free-range eggs, fresh cut flowers, jams and jellies, soaps and candles, local craftspeople and musicians, chef demonstrations, and special educational events.” Their mission statement reads, “The Wake Forest Farmers Market is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating our community about the value of local farms and the importance of local food systems.”

The market is located in downtown Wake Forest at 235 S. Taylor Street. Regular market hours (year-round) are 8:00 AM – Noon (April - September) and winter hours are 10:00 AM – Noon (October - March).

THE DOWNTOWN ROLESVILLE FARMERS MARKET: This seasonal outdoor farmers market started out small and has grown significantly over the years, now featuring dozens of vendors each week. They are dog-friendly and also accept SNAP, which allows everyone the opportunity to buy fresh food locally.

The market is located at 302 S. Main Street in Rolesville and is held every Saturday from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM March through October.

VANCE COUNTY REGIONAL FARMERS MARKET: This farmers market is part of the NC Cooperative Extension. Expect to be greeted by friendly vendors happy to meet your needs. While most shoppers are looking for locally-grown fruit and produce, they will also find handmade crafts, baked goods, jams and jellies, plants, and more at this market.

This market is located at 210 Southpark Drive in Henderson, and is open on Saturdays from mid-April through mid-December, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM, and also on Wednesdays from June through early September, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM.

STATE FARMERS MARKET: While this market is a tad bit further away in downtown Raleigh, it is worth visiting if you’re in the area. Considered one of the nation’s best and most modern markets, visitors enjoy 75 acres of indoor/outdoor specialty shops, restaurants, and a garden center, with fruits, vegetables, meats, and gift products from across the state. There are multiple buildings on the site, the largest of which is the Farmers Building – 30,000 square feet of space for North Carolina farmers to sell fresh produce, plants, and other specialty items produced by local farms. Plants are sold seasonally and local fruits and vegetables are sold throughout the growing season. This is where you can find the widest variety of produce and plants in the area. Another building houses the market shops. It’s a 15,600 square foot enclosed climate-controlled building. According to their website, you can expect to find “fresh produce from around the country here as well as meats, cheeses, crafts, bakery items, custom picture framing, a market grill, and N.C. wines. There is a wide variety of specialty shops with oldfashioned candies, N.C. gifts, soaps, and lotions.”

The State Farmers Market is located at 1201 Agriculture Street in Raleigh, and is open year-round Monday through Saturday, 5:00 AM – 7:00 PM, and Sundays 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. 

36 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com
Robyn Goss-Bennai is a local writer. She can be reached at robyngossbennai@gmail.com.
37 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com S O U T H E R N L U X L I V I N G . C O M W e w i l l w o r k t o g e t h e r t h r o u g h t h e r e a l e s t a t e p r o c e s s A f t e r y o u r c l o s i n g , a d o n a t i o n w i l l b e g i v e n t o o n e o f t h r e e s p e c i a l c h C a l l S o m m e r D o n a h o e 9 1 9 - 4 2 6 - 1 7 6 2 V a l u e , t r u s t & e x p e r i e n c e i s w h a t I b r i n g m y c l i e n t s , w h e n y o u a r e r e a d y t o b u y , s e l l i n v e s t i n a h o u s e o r l a n d



If you check out National Today (nationaltoday.com), you’ll quickly see there is a day for just about anything you can think of. While many sound pretty far-fetched but provide an excuse for us to celebrate well, pretty much everything, there are some “National Days” that I find particularly worth celebrating – especially those that include some of my favorite foods, including the deliciously tropical, sweet, and juicy, perfect-for-spring, pineapple. April 20 is “National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day,” a day that, as nationalday.com states, “encourages you to tingle your taste buds … if you’ve never tried this dessert, today, you have no excuse. It has been dubbed one of the most popular recipes of the 20th century and there are dozens of variations that will fit the needs of any palate.” The perfect pineapple upside-down cake is moist, fruity, sticky, and sweet –and super simple to make. It’s no wonder it’s been a tried-and-true favorite for generations!

So come April 20, or anytime you find yourself craving the sweet juiciness of the delectable pineapple or need to take the perfect dessert to the next neighborhood potluck, give this easy pineapple upside-down cake recipe that has been shared throughout my

family for years a shot. It’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Or if you’re tired of the same ol’ Saturday breakfast of pancakes or waffles, pineapple upside-down biscuits (recipe shared from a family friend) is a quick and easy breakfast option that is sure to start off everyone’s day right.


– 1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

– ¼ cup butter, melted

– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

– 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple slices, undrained

– 5 maraschino cherries, drained and halved

– 1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix

– Water

– 3 eggs

– 1/3 cup vegetable oil

– Whipping cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop nuts and set aside. Combine butter and brown sugar in 9x12 baking dish. Mix well and spread over bottom of dish. Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set aside. Arrange pineapple slices over sugar mixture. Place a cherry half in the center of each pineapple slice. Sprinkle with nuts. Add enough water to the pineapple juice to make 11/3 cups liquid. Combine cake mix, liquid, eggs, and oil; whisk until wellblended and smooth. Pour over fruit mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes. Carefully loosen edges of cake; invert onto grooved cutting board. Cool slightly. Serve with whipped cream (optional).


– 1 10-ounce can crushed pineapple

– 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

– 4 tablespoons butter

– 10 maraschino cherries

– 1 10-count package

refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

Preheat oven according to biscuit package. Spray 10 cups of a muffin tin with oil. Drain the crushed pineapple, reserving juice. Combine the pineapple, brown sugar, and butter. Divide pineapple mixture among the muffin cups. Place a cherry in the center of each cup, ensuring it touches the bottom. Place a biscuit on top of each cup. Brush biscuits with reserved juice, using a pastry brush. Bake 9-12 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown. Cool at least 2 minutes; invert the pan onto a large plate. 

If you make either of these recipes, snap a photo and email it to info@circamagazine.com, or tag us on social media. We can’t wait to see your culinary creations! And if you have any favorite recipes you would like to share in a future issue of CIRCA Magazine, please contact us at info@circamagazine.com for consideration!

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Springtime means warmer temperatures, longer days, and more outdoor time for dogs. It’s also a time when you may start gardening or lawn upkeep which can create hazards for your pups. Dogs love to investigate new smells and gardens tend to be chock full of them, so it’s common to see dogs become curious and get into their pet parents’ garden. To keep your pups safe during gardening season –and to protect your beautiful plantings and lovely manicured lawn – here’s a list of tips and reminders for you to consider as you plan out your garden.

It’s best to keep any garden beds or boxes in an enclosed area where your dog doesn’t have access. This is the easiest way to prevent dogs from damaging your plants or injuring themselves. If you don’t have this option, you’ll need to monitor your pup when outside to ensure he doesn’t dig, eat, or destroy your plants or soil.

Be sure to avoid keeping hazardous plants where dogs can get to them. Even if they don’t seem enticing or you don’t think your dog will eat them, it’s not worth the risk. Do your research before purchasing plants so you can keep your pets safe. The ASPCA has a comprehensive list of plants and their potential hazards at aspca.org/ pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants.

If you plant fruits or veggies, be aware that some dogs may try to eat these. You can place these in a secure area away from your dog or use plant cloches or protectors. Some fruits and veggies are toxic to dogs, particularly in large quantities, so make sure any hazardous foods are out of your dog’s reach.

Look for gardening products with a pet-safe label. Avoid cocoa mulch or fertilizers with iron, organophosphates, and carbamates, as these are toxic to dogs.

Even though we try to get rid of weeds, keep in mind many weed

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killers are toxic to dogs. Be sure to read the label and not allow your dog contact with any weed killer. Also, there are some petfriendly weed killers available. Some weeds are difficult to eliminate and particularly harsh for dogs. Foxtails (also called grass awns) are a major culprit of spring and summer veterinary visits.

Make sure your pup stays indoors while you mow the lawn, weed whack, or use other, sharp, or heavy gardening tools. Some dogs may be overly curious about these items and become injured if they get too close, so it’s best to keep them separated.

If you currently have or plan to install edging in your yard, make sure you opt for a style with a rolled top and is plastic, or consider an alternative like brick pavers to avoid sharp edges that could cause injury to your dog.

Your yard and garden can be both pristine and the perfect spring space for your pup to frolick, relax, and exercise. With just a little know-how and effort, you can create a safe outdoor oasis for your furry friend, while simultaneously protecting it from your curious canine.

Camp Bow Wow – where a dog can be a dog – offers doggy daycare, overnight boarding, and full service grooming. Camp Bow Wow is located at The Factory, 1839 S. Main Street in Wake Forest. To book your reservation, visit campbowwow.com/wake-forest.

41 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com
42 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com 6-9 pm South White Street downtown wake forest | free admission wakeforestnc.gov MAY 12 – SLEEPING BOOTY BAND | JUNE 9 – LOVE TRIBE JULY 14 – THE BRICKHOUSE BAND | AUG 11 – STONE AGE ROMEOS | SEPT 8 – CRUSH S P O N S O R S live music | food | beer & wine begins April 14 with Magic Pipers North Wake Forest Heritage Village Wake Forest Carolina Regenerative Health | Civic Federal Credit Union | First Choice DJ Services | Planet Smoothie | ProAudio & Light Renewal by Andersen | Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce | Wake Forest Federal



Did you know that North Carolina’s coastal region is home to nine national wildlife refuges? Our state’s rich ecology, brimming with diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes, provides countless opportunities for outdoor education and entertainment. The coastal plain and tidal regions alone have estuaries; wetlands; mangrove, swamp, and tidal forests; vegetated shorelines; and other types of ecosystems.

One such environment is the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Located between the Alligator River Bridge on Highway 64 and the intersection of Highways 64 and 264 approaching the Outer Banks, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge offers a broad range of activities to do, places to see, and things to learn.

The refuge was established in 1984 to protect rare pocosin wetlands and accompanying wildlife; as explained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), a pocosin wetland

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is a rare ecosystem formed by the accumulation of organic matter over thousands of years. Pocosin wetlands provide habitats for a vast number of species, protect against fires and flooding, and sequester excess carbon and other elements. Unfortunately, the prevalence of pocosin wetlands in the southeast has diminished severely in recent decades for the purpose of land and resource development. However, refuges like Alligator River are working towards protecting these ecosystems and the organisms that reside within them. Not to mention, wildlife refuges maintain a range of activities for visitors to enjoy and to help promote environmental stewardship in the coastal region and beyond.

If you’re on your way to a beach vacation at the Outer Banks or you find yourself in North Carolina’s captivating coastal region for any other reason, consider stopping by the Alligator River Refuge for a day of outdoor adventure. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s online page detailing the Refuge shares a list of activities to enjoy while visiting, including:

– Driveable tour of the refuge;

– Open-air tram tours;

– Canoeing or kayaking (15+ miles of color-coded paddling trails);

– Wildlife watching;

– Ranger-led programs;

– Hiking (two universally-accessible, halfmile, one-way trails – Sandy Ridge Wild life and Creef Cut Wildlife Trails; refuge roads and open exploration are available for walking as well);

– Fishing;

– Birdwatching;

– Non-motorized and motorized boating;

– Photography;

– Biking;

– Educational programs (check out the event calendar online);

– Horseback riding.

Be sure to do some quick research to check when the above activities are allowed, and if you’ll need to acquire a permit before your visit.

I hope you’ll consider taking a day trip to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge or adding it as a stop on your way to one of North Carolina’s many beautiful beaches. Additionally, consider checking out the other national wildlife refuges in North Carolina as well (Pea Island, Pocosin Lakes, Mattamuskeet, Swanquarter, Cedar Island, Mackay Island, Currituck, and Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuges).

Now go out and explore all that nature has to offer, and take part in environmental stewardship in North Carolina! 

Special thanks to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (fws.gov/refuge/alligator-river) and the National Ocean Service of NOAA (oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/pocosin.html) for information included in this article.

If you have any favorite excursions we should consider for future Driveable Destination features, please share them with us at info@circamagazine.com.

Grace Lower is a student at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, studying Biology and Environmental Health Sciences. She also enjoys dance, theater, and writing for CIRCA Magazine.

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Are you ready to join the hottest trend in the U.S. sports scene? It’s time to grab your paddle and get in the game because pickleball is calling your name! Discover some of the best pickleball courts in the area and get ready to step up your game today.


Picture this: tennis, ping pong, racquetball, and badminton, all rolled into one exciting sport. That’s exactly what pickleball is all about. The sport is typically played in doubles on a smaller court than tennis, and involves using a paddle to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. What sets it apart from other sports is its simplicity and social aspect, making it a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re looking for a new way to stay active or just want to have fun with friends, pickleball is a great choice.

Despite its quirky name, pickleball is no joke. This sport is seriously taking off in the U.S. and is even going global. In fact, there are around 36.5 million people playing pickleball in the country alone, and fans are already petitioning to see it in the Olympics. That’s how big this sport is getting.

Rachel Simon, a Wake County local and the author of Pickleball for All: Everything But the Kitchen Sink, reminisces about playing

pickleball as a child aend reconnecting with the sport in 2020. She was amazed to discover that not only were many people interested in the game, but they were also passionate about it. She emphasized that pickleball’s popularity is “just getting bigger and bigger.”


The popularity of pickleball shows no signs of slowing down, as evidenced by the steady increase in new courts being built nationwide. There are currently over 11,000 places to play this exciting sport. If you’re interested in joining the bandwagon, you’re in luck! There are plenty of options in our area, so don’t hesitate to explore some of the available pickleball courts nearby, including the following.

FLAHERTY PARK COMMUNITY CENTER: An excellent spot for recreation, offering 15 public hard courts, 12 of which are located outdoors, and three indoors. Aside from pickleball, visitors can take advantage of other amenities provided, including a 100-acre park, playground, picnic shelter, and two ponds for bank fishing. The park has nearby restroom facilities, ensuring visitors’ convenience and comfort.

THE VILLAGE AT ROLESVILLE : A single-family community that offers residents exclusive access to a private outdoor pickleball court. Residents can also enjoy a range of other fantastic on-site

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amenities, including a junior Olympic-size swimming pool, clubhouse, tennis court, and children’s playground.

MILLBROOK EXCHANGE PARK COMMUNITY CENTER: The one-stop-shop for all your recreational needs, featuring 23 free-to-use outdoor pickleball courts, three indoor courts, and a variety of other amenities to keep you entertained. Take your pick from a range of adult classes and courses, including fitness, dance, art, and technology. When you need a break, dive into the pool for a refreshing swim, enjoy a picnic with friends and family, or let your furry friend run free in the park.


An accessible park with three indoor hard courts, complete with permanent lines and portable nets that you can enjoy for a onetime fee. The park also boasts a stunning nature amphitheater, perfect for events and gatherings. And don’t worry about the little ones, because it features playgrounds where

they can run, climb, and play to their heart’s content while you focus on your game.

YOUNGSVILLE PARKS & REC: A top-notch destination for pickleball enthusiasts, featuring six wood courts, including three indoor and three outdoor courts with permanent lines. While the courts are free to use, bring your own nets as they are not provided. Additionally, the facility offers sports programs for kids aged three to 18, making it an ideal destination for families looking to enjoy the sport together.

Ready to hit the courts and show off your skills? Don’t wait any longer! Get out and play pickleball today! 

Brandon Mackie is the co-founder of Pickleheads. For more information about pickleball, tips and strategies for learning and improving your game, help finding pickleball courts nearby – whether at home or on the road, and more – visit pickleheads.com, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @pickleheadsofficial, and on TikTok and Twitter @pickleheads_.

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That’s right – America has it’s very own superfruit – a nutrient-rich crop considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. It helps protect against aging, cancer, is rich in antioxidants, and is a good source of vitamin C and K, as well as manganese. It is high in soluble fiber, which helps manage cholesterol. It’s lower in sugar compared to other fruits so it can potentially help manage blood sugar, and it aids in reducing blood pressure. A tea concocted from it is said to be beneficial for your blood, while its juice is great for relieving coughs.

And in Steven King’s blockbuster movie, Stand By Me, this national superfruit had its own starring role. In the pie-eating contest, it was front and center … and I do mean all over the front row and all down the center of everything! Do you yet know to which fruit I am referring? Yes, I’m talking about the blueberry. The beautiful and delicious blueberry, with its long history, took its starring role in stride and has continued to be the nation’s second favorite berry, following the strawberry. In recent interviews, the humble blueberry, when asked about playing second fiddle to the strawberry, answered, saying, and I quote “The strawberry has a great agent and does a lot of good in the world for all of us – but has it ever been in a Steven King movie?”

With nearly one billion pounds grown in the United States annually, the blueberry is definitely a big hit nationwide. And our own North Carolina is among the top producers of it. In fact, more than 2.8 million pounds are cultivated every year in our state, making it the sixth largest producer in America. However, even though blueberries have been around for thousands of years – Native Americans were the first to recognize their versatility and health benefits, using them for medicinal purposes and as natural flavoring – they weren’t grown in our state until less than 100 years ago. In 1936, a fella from New Jersey, Mr. Harold Graham Huntington, purchased a portion of the Corbett Plantation in Pender County, about 1640 acres, and began growing what would eventually become one of the state’s top crops. Mr. Huntington is known for the mass root

cutting methods that he used for plant reproduction. His love for the berries helped him become one of the top growers and originator of many varieties, including the Wolcott and Murphy.

This bright and delicious berry isn’t just a hit here in America, though – other big blueberry-producing countries include New Zealand, Mexico, Colombia, and Canada (in fact, our northern neighbors rank second in production). There are a number of varieties of this superfruit grown worldwide, including some of the funny-named Bilberry, Cowberry, Cranberry, Crowberry, Farkleberry, Partridgeberry, Huckleberry (although true huckleberries are not blueberries at all), Whortleberry, and Sparkleberry.

Here in our region of North Carolina, blueberry season kicks off in May for the Rabbiteye variety, which is perfect for canning and

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freezing, and runs through August. Highbush, the berries that are so tasty you can eat them right off the bush, are available for picking in June and July.

If you are looking for a homegrown superfruit to lower your cholesterol, up your fiber intake, boost your vitamin C and K levels, or increase the antioxidants in your diet –or if you simply crave fresh, sweet juiciness on a warm sunny day, look no further than the lovely, healthy North Carolina-grown blueberry.

Here are a couple of springtime recipes to help you celebrate this delicious superfruit.


– 2 pints of blueberries

– 3 tablespoons flour

– 2 tablespoons sugar

– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

– 6 tablespoons butter

– 1 cup rolled oats

– 1/2 cup flour

– 1/2 cup brown sugar

– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Combine the first four ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix roughly (you’ll want to break some berries). Then mix the next five ingredients together in a mixer or food processor until well blended.

Pour the berry mixture into a 9x7 greased baking dish, and distribute the oat mixture on top, (don’t press it down). Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the blueberry mixture is bubbly and the oats are toasted brown.


For the cheesecake:

– 18 graham crackers

– 1/2 cup butter, melted

– 8 ounces cream cheese (room temp)

– 1 cup heavy cream

– 1 cup powdered sugar

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Crush graham crackers in food processor then add the butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Combine the rest of the ingredients in an electric mixer until creamy and stiff. Pour over the crust and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

For the blueberry sauce:

– 2 cups blueberries

– 1/3 cup sugar

– 2 teaspoons lemon juice

– 1/2 cup water

– 4 teaspoons cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes, then remove and cool. Pour over top of the cheesecake, slice, and serve.

Note: If the sauce is too thick, thin it with 1 teaspoon of water and stir. Add 1 teaspoon of water until desired thickness is achieved. 

Buck Buchanan is the owner of Lumpy’s Ice Cream, located at 306 Wait Avenue in Downtown Wake Forest. Follow them on social media and visit lumpysicecream.com.

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Springtime – that word is synonymous with freshness, cleanliness, and renewal. We think about spring cleaning our homes to freshen up spaces that have been closed up during the winter. We also think about a fresh, new look for some of those spaces – think new art or updated accessories. However, many of us find ourselves in remodel mode this time of year. And with higher interest rates and home prices, some who were considering selling their houses and buying new are now on the fence about doing so. Thus, what better time to start remodeling your home to make it the best it can be?

Q: My 20-year-old home needs a bit of a facelift. I don’t envision this as my forever home, but I do want to love it while I am here. But I also want to be smart about what I do to ensure a good return on my investment when I decide to sell. What renovations do you suggest, especially if no updates have ever been done?

A: This depends on many factors. First, it’s important to not price yourself out of your neighborhood. But you’ll also want to consider that an updated home will compare to other updated ones nearby when it is time to sell. That being said, bathrooms and kitchens always get the best bang for the buck. Make sure that the updates are on par with newer homes in the area. For example, if the newer homes that you are competing with in the same price range have quartz or granite countertops, you should install counters of equal or better-quality material. If their bathroom showers are full tile, then yours should be as well.

Another factor to consider is the style of your home. The inside needs to reflect the style on the outside. Sometimes that means that in order to truly update your home, some tweaks may need to be made on its exterior as well. This may be as simple as a new front door and updated light fixtures. It may mean painting the brick or a new paint color on the siding and a different style of shutters. An interior designer who specializes in remodels will be instrumental in looking at the space and helping you visualize what you want your space to be and your needs.

Q: I have a fear that doing a remodel will have a domino effect –before I know it, I will have basically rebuilt the entire house. How can I tackle an update without changing everything in my home at one time?



A: When I discuss remodels with clients, I dig deep with my questions in order to gain a comprehensive idea about what they desire and intend to do. I inquire about their budget, what rooms they love, and what rooms they could do without. I ask if there is new furniture in the future. When considering your own remodel, it’s important to think about these things because you want to make sure that you are updating your house – but you also want to make sure that the remodel still matches it. For example, maybe you want to update your large kitchen, but all new cabinets are not in the budget. New countertops, new tile backsplash, new knobs and pulls, a new faucet, and new accessories can help transform the space, so it’s ok to skip that aspect. When making these selections, look for updated materials that still match the core of your home’s style. The dominoes can start to fall slowly over time – make little tweaks here and

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there until your home is refreshed without being totally redone. I like to point out that owning a home is constant upkeep. Do a little all the time along the way and your home will always be fresh and current. If you wait and do nothing and then 20 years pass, then an overhaul becomes overwhelming and expensive.

Q: My home is only seven years old, but it is a builder basic home with not much personality. How can I do some easy updates since I don’t yet need any remodeling?

A: Many builder-basic houses simply need a few little “extras” in order to feel updated and more personal. One of the first things that comes to mind for me is lighting, as it’s usually lacking in style, to say the least. You can dramatically change the look of a space by replacing the light fixtures with ones of the correct size for the room or of a more current feel. Switch out plain faucets and cabinet knobs and pulls with ones in a trending finish or updated style. Coordinating faucets, knobs, and lighting will have you feeling like you live in a whole new house. If your kitchen doesn’t currently have a tile backsplash, then I would consider adding that to the budget. It adds a lot of texture and personality, as well as more cleanability. Builder basic homes also tend to have one paint color throughout, so repainting with color will give any room a much-needed facelift. If you feel like this is out of your comfort zone or wheelhouse, a qualified interior designer can help you pull it all together so that it matches your décor, the house, and your personality. 

Rhonda Benvie Plummer is the owner of Help Me Rhonda Interiors and Open Door Furniture & Accents, a furniture and accessories store located at 11605 Durant Road in Raleigh. Visit helpmerhondainteriors.com or opendoorfurnitureandaccents.com or call 919-263-9054. Rhonda is also a regular guest on WPTF’s “Making Your Home Great” radio show, the second Saturday of every month, when you can call in with any design questions you may have.

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It’s that time of year again. Spring means April showers and lovely May flowers – but it also means flea and tick season. During the warmer months, it’s common for their activity to peak. In fact, April through September marks the height of flea and tick season in North Carolina. Nothing is more of a nuisance to a dog than those pesky pests burrowing on their warm body – and for you pet owners, the idea of a flea or tick infestation in your home and on your furry friend is one of worry and dread. Now that spring has sprung, how can you avoid the problems caused by these pests, and the diseases they bring? Read on to learn how you can effectively manage and survive flea and tick season.

Start by utilizing a product to prevent flea and tick infestation. Fleas and ticks are common parasites that can cause a variety of health problems for your pet, including skin irritation, itching, and in some cases, serious illnesses. Prevention treatments to keep your pet from infestations occurring in the first place can keep it healthy and comfortable and save you a lot of time and energy getting rid of an infestation later.

There are a few options when it comes to flea and tick prevention. Topical prevention treatments, as well as oral preventative medications, are available over the counter or from your veterinarian. There are a variety of collars, sprays, and shampoos that can also help prevent infestations. Regular brushing and grooming of your pet and checking for fleas and ticks is recommended. Additionally, take steps in your outdoor environment to prevent flea and tick populations by following helpful hints such as these by the CDC: mow frequently, avoid over-watering, remove leaf litter and tall weeds, and discourage potentially pest-carrying wild and stray animals from entering your yard or hanging around your home.


If you find yourself facing a flea infestation, don’t panic. There are many products – both all-natural and chemical – available to help. You will need to treat your pet as well as their environment in order to prevent a reinfestation. A flea bath and flea comb can help to remove the fleas that are currently attached to your pet. Vacuum regularly and consider steam cleaning carpets. Linens and bedding should be thoroughly cleaned. Home flea treatments may also be necessary. Monitor your pet closely to ensure the fleas don’t return.


Find a tick on your dog? If so, it is important to remove it immediately. The best way to do this is to use a pair of tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull it straight out, being careful not to twist or jerk it. Once the tick has been removed, submerge it in rubbing alcohol, place it in a sealed bag/ container, and safely dispose of it. Clean the area where the tick was removed with an antiseptic or soap and water. If you are concerned about your dog’s health, contact your veterinarian for advice.

Flea and tick bites are not only painful and itchy, they can also lead to allergic reactions and tick bites can cause skin wounds that may lead to bacterial infections and can also cause anemia – not to mention they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. It’s important to take the steps to prevent these infestations to avoid these issues in your pets 

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Vanessa Davis is the founder and CEO of Dirty Dogs Spa, with locations in Wake Forest (929 Heritage Lake Road, Suite 500) and Raleigh (Stonehenge Market, 7490 Creedmoor Road). For more information, visit dirtydogsspa.com.
53 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com DOWN TOWN EXPER IENCE #where quaint meets cool UNIQUE SHOPS n RESTAURANTS ORIGINAL ART n LIVE MUSIC FOOD& BEVERAGE SHOPPING ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT wakeforestnc.gov, search “experience downtown” follow Wake Forest Downtown

If your family is losing sleep over wet sheets, you’re not alone. Millions of children wet the bed, and there’s no onesize-fits-all answer, because bedwetting can happen for a variety of reasons. But you don’t need to figure it all out by yourself. We spoke with Timothy Bukowski, MD, a pediatric urologist with WakeMed Children’s, about bedwetting, when to be concerned, and the best solutions for your family.


Dr. Bukowski says the most important thing to remember is that it’s not your child’s fault. Children vary so much in how they grow and develop, and some simply don’t mature as fast as others when it comes to bladder control. Parents should never make their child feel bad about wetting accidents, and it is important not to compare one child to another when it comes to daytime or nighttime accidents.


Any type of wetting disorder can be a source of distress. The key to figuring out when to be concerned is to pay attention to when it is happening – and communicate with your child’s pediatrician. They can help you understand what’s normal versus a cause for concern.

Wetting accidents for kids under the age of five are fairly common. If a child is having daily struggles or continues to have accidents after age five, especially with UTIs, don’t delay in seeking medical advice. “Children with daytime and nighttime wetting accidents along with constipation should get checked as soon as possible,” says Dr. Bukowski. Wetting can definitely be the symptom of seemingly unrelated health issues, and left unaddressed for too long can develop into serious illness.

“Approximately 10 percent of kids have some type of wetting issue, and 15 percent of seven-year-olds have nighttime wetting issues,” he adds. “That number decreases by about 15 percent a year until age 15, so it is not believed to have anything to do with puberty.” Bedwetting is not typically treated until age seven, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be looked into to rule out related health conditions. Many times, young children aren’t concerned with their wetting is-


sues, but it often becomes more of a concern as they get old enough for overnight stays at camps or the homes of friends and family.


Many bedwetting issues are considered to be associated with a sleep issue. A child might have a bladder capacity issue or wet the bed due to stress or a traumatic event, but Dr. Bukowski says those cases are not as common. “More than likely children with nighttime wetting issues are also sound sleepers,” he explains. “Until they start waking up when their body signals it’s time to go, the accidents continue.”


Parents often wonder what’s a normal frequency of urination for

54 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com
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kids. Dr. Bukowski provided these basic guidelines to help families notice when something might be wrong: newborns, every hour; at six months, every three hours; and when potty trained, five times a day.

To help keep young children on track, Dr. Bukowski also recommends parents encourage the following schedule for going to the bathroom: when they wake up, midmorning, lunchtime, afternoon/afterschool, and before bed.


Most families try a number of things with sleep routines to troubleshoot, but many times they aren’t able to find a rhyme or reason on their own. A referral to a pediatric urologist can be helpful in ruling out causes, alleviating concerns, and navigating next steps for possible bedwetting solutions. “The first thing we do is make sure the child doesn’t have a physical problem that would lead to bedwetting,” says Dr. Bukowski. “Concerns would include anything anatomical or spinal that could require surgery.” Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are also a concern that parents should be aware of and watch for any signs or symptoms. If a child’s bedwetting is due to an overactive bladder, they might respond well to medication. A pediatric urologist will likely prescribe something to try for a short period of time and assess if it is helping to reduce or stop the nighttime accidents.

Bedwetting alarms are another option that helps some kids wake up when they start to go so their brains begin to recognize the sensation, but Dr. Bukowski explains they won’t do much good if the child sleeps through the alarm sound. “However, there have been some recent advances in technology for wearable device options that help track and predict nighttime bedwetting.” 

WakeMed Children’s – Pediatric Urology provides comprehensive care and services –from diagnoses to treatment and management – for pediatric patients with common or complex urological issues. For more information about pediatric urology services, or to make an appointment, call 919-235-1940.

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Designing a new kitchen or bathroom can be a fun and exciting project. One of the many reasons I get a kick out of helping buyers with custom-built homes is this right here – the design process.

If you are building a new home or thinking 2023 is your year to renovate your own kitchen or bathroom, it’s important to determine your needs when choosing your countertops. Start by assessing your specific needs, as well as your design preferences. How do you plan to use the space? Do you entertain frequently? What is your style? Modern? Traditional? Eclectic? Do you enjoy cooking elaborate meals? Consider your lifestyle and how your kitchen can best serve your requirements and wishes. There are many types of countertops available, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Following are some of the most popular options available to homeowners today.

1. GRANITE: Granite is a natural stone that is durable and heatresistant, making it a popular choice for kitchen countertops. Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, granite adds a luxurious look to any kitchen. This countertop option does require you to seal it at least once a year – the process is inexpensive, easy, and will preserve the life of this natural stone. The colors and patterns vary widely, so keep in mind when looking

at samples that what you see in a small square may not fully showcase what you will see on an actual large-scale counter, so always ask the builder or sales associate what colors are truly in that stone. Pro tip: ask to see several samples of the same stone to ensure you will be happy with the finished product.

2. QUARTZ: Quartz countertops are man-made and engineered from ground quartz, resins, and pigments. Durable and stainresistant, they are ideal for busy kitchens. Probably the most popular and higher-end choice in most big-name new construction homes, quartz is an excellent option for resale value. Get creative and opt for a light color against a dark cabinet, or vice versa. My favorite brand is Cambria, offering a wide variety of color options – even countertops with gold!

3. MARBLE: Marble is a natural stone that is elegant and timeless. It’s softer than granite and can scratch and stain easily, so it’s important to use coasters atop marble countertops, and quickly clean up any spills. You may walk into a showroom or custombuilt homes and see shiny marble materials as well as dull marble ones (usually in bathrooms). Unpolished marble is a nice choice; however, I urge you to steer clear if you are cautious of staining – and do not leave a hot curling iron on a marble surface like I did (insert awkward face emoji here).

4. SOLID SURFACE: Solid surface countertops are made from a blend of acrylic and polyester materials, making them quite durable and extremely affordable. Available in a range of colors

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and patterns, they can be seamlessly integrated with sinks and backsplashes and allow for you to get really creative when designing your space.

5. BUTCHER BLOCK: Butcher block countertops are made from wood and add warmth and character to any kitchen. They require regular maintenance as they can be easily scratched or stained. Personally, I think butcher block countertops look gorgeous when paired with black cabinets. No matter which cabinet color you choose, a butcher block countertop will provide a natural look and enable you to welcome an earthy nature into your home. If you don’t mind the upkeep, they are a beautifully natural choice.

6. CONCRETE: Concrete countertops are a modern and versatile option. They can be customized with colors, textures, and inlays and are extremely durable. This one is a fun material to put in your kitchen. Let your imagination go wild for a truly eclectic look or go with a more sleek, modern one. The sky’s the limit when it comes to concrete.

7. STAINLESS STEEL: Stainless steel countertops create a sleek and hygienic aesthetic. While heat-resistant and easy to clean, stainless steel can scratch and dent easily. So although they are very durable when it comes to heat (think professional kitchens), if you’re a heavy hitter in the kitchen, this may be the wrong choice for you.

8. LAMINATE: Laminate countertops are an affordable option and are available in a wide range of hues and patterns. They are easy to clean, but can chip or scratch over time. Even so, they are interchangeable and affordable. This is a great choice for those hard-to-decide kitchen designers on a budget.

Another thing to consider when determining which countertop best fits your needs is the weight. Some materials can be extremely heavy, so when adding square footage to a counter, it’s imperative to be mindful of what your builder or contractor recommends. Depending on the floor of the room you are changing, the size and weight of materials can hinder what you choose. For example, a large bathroom counter on the second floor may not support a granite or quartz countertop. Large kitchens with two islands may need some extra support to hold the same.

Once you have decided on which material best fits your wants and needs, choosing the perfect color can be incredibly fun. So enjoy the process, whether building, designing, or renovating. Remember, a well-designed kitchen can add value to your home and make cooking and entertaining more enjoyable. Take the time to plan your design carefully and choose materials and appliances that will serve you well for years to come. 

Tracy Dupler, a luxury real estate agent serving the Triangle area, is the owner of Tracy Dupler Realty Group, LLC. She may be reached at 919-948-9019 or email tracy.dupler@exprealty.com. For more information, visit tracyduplerrealtygroup.com.

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Veneers are a popular choice for those looking to enhance the appearance of their natural teeth. Used to correct gaps, chips, discoloration, and other dental issues, they can give you a stunning new smile. But what do you really know about them?


Veneers come in two main types: porcelain and composite. Composite veneers are made from a composite material and are much less expensive than porcelain ones. However, composite veneers are more prone to staining and may need to be replaced more often. Porcelain veneers are made from actual porcelain, are durable and more resistant to staining. This option may cost more upfront, but they often last longer than their composite counterpart; on the other hand, composite veneers are more affordable, but may need to be replaced more often.


Their longevity depends on a few factors, including the type of material used and the level of care taken. Generally speaking, porcelain veneers can last for up to 15 years or longer with proper care. Meanwhile, composite veneers only last for five to eight years with proper care. Additionally, lifestyle can also affect longevity. Those who are more active or participate in contact sports may find their veneers more prone to damage. And those who frequently drink



or eat acidic foods or beverages may find theirs becoming discolored more quickly. Keep in mind these are just estimates, and the actual lifespan may be shorter or longer depending on the individual.


Caring for your veneers is essential to ensuring they last as long as possible, regardless of the material. Here are some tips to help you take good care of them to maintain their integrity and appearance:

– Brush and floss regularly to remove plaque and food particles that can cause staining and discoloration;

– Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice;

– Avoid biting your nails or using your teeth to open packages;

– Avoid smoking or drinking dark-colored beverages such as coffee or tea;

– Avoid eating or drinking acidic foods or drinks that can cause discoloration;

– Visit your dentist for regular checkups to ensure your veneers are in good condition.

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Veneers are not the only option for those looking to enhance the appearance of their teeth. Other cosmetic solutions such as crowns, bridges, and implants may also be used to improve the appearance of a smile. However, veneers are often the preferred choice due to their affordability and ease of application. They can also correct minor flaws such as chips and gaps without having to replace the entire tooth.


As with any cosmetic procedure, there are both pros and cons to getting veneers. On the plus side, veneers can give you a stunning new smile in a relatively short amount of time. They are also easy to apply and far less invasive than other cosmetic procedures. Additionally, veneers are often much more affordable than other options. On the downside, veneers are not permanent and as I mentioned previously, may need to be replaced after a few years, and can be

prone to staining and discoloration over time. Additionally, veneers may not be suitable for those with severely damaged or decayed teeth.

Veneers are an excellent option for those looking to enhance the appearance of their teeth. Depending on the type of material used and the level of care taken, veneers can provide you with a stunning new smile for many years to come. It is essential to understand the different types available and the maintenance requirements for each, the pros and cons, and the cost of the procedure before making a decision – keeping all of these factors in mind will help to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

Dr. Edmond Suh, DDS is with Supremia Dentistry, located at 1704 S. Main Street in Wake Forest. He is an international lecturer on contemporary dental techniques. At Supremia Dentistry, expect something different as they welcome you to their patient family. Call 919-556-6200 to learn more or schedule an appointment. You can also visit supremiadentistry.com.

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Is being safe risky? It can be, especially when it comes to career choices. Many people assume that a traditional job is the safest option, but in reality, even seemingly secure jobs can be precarious. On the other hand, starting a business from scratch can be very challenging, including investing in a franchise. However, if you’re looking for an opportunity to “be your own boss,” this may actually be a safer option.

Let’s start with traditional jobs. Many people choose to pursue careers in fields like finance, law, or medicine, envisioning jobs such as these are always stable and secure. However, even in these types of fields there are risks. For instance, economic downturns can lead to layoffs or salary cuts, and industries can change rapidly, leaving some professionals with outdated skills that make them less employable. In addition, the rise of automation and artificial intelligence means that even white-collar jobs are not immune to disruption.

For many, being an entrepreneur is the dream of a lifetime –owning their own business and creating their own path to success. But starting a business from the ground up comes with its own

high level of risk. According to the Small Business Administration, about 20% of small businesses fail within their first year, and about 50% fail within their fifth year. Starting a business requires a significant investment of time and money, and even with a solid business plan, there are many factors that can derail your efforts. From competition to unexpected expenses to a lack of demand for your product or service, there are many obstacles that can make it difficult to succeed.

Franchising, on the other hand, can be a less risky way to start a business. While franchising may conjure up images of burgers, fries, and shakes – certainly a good and viable business option –there are actually franchises in many different industries and verticals, such as home improvement, business services, child-related, and pet-related, to name a few. When you invest in a franchise, you get the benefit of an established brand and business model, as well as training and support from the franchisor. Arguably the most important resource franchises will give you is the knowhow when it comes to marketing and driving customers to your business.

Of course, not all franchises are created equal, and there are risks to consider. Some may be poorly run or poorly managed, which can lead to failure. In addition, franchise agreements can be complex, and it’s important to understand the terms before investing. To add to the confusion, a franchise that is a great fit for one person may not be a good fit for you, which is why the question “What is the hot franchise?” isn’t easy to answer. Do your research and due diligence to find one that is a good fit for your goals and your budget.

Seek the advice of experts, such as franchise attorneys who specialize in franchise law and CPAs. These professionals can provide you with legal and financial advice that can help you navigate the complexities of the franchise industry. Also utilize a franchise consultant who can be a helpful advisor in understanding the world of franchising and finding the right fit for your interests, skills, and financial situation. By working with trusted advisors, you can make more informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls, giving you a greater peace of mind as you embark on your franchise journey.

Playing it safe can be risky when it comes to career choices. Traditional jobs may seem stable and secure but can be uncertain due to factors like automation and economic downturns. Starting a business from scratch is a high-risk, high-reward proposition, while franchising can be a less risky way to start a business, with the benefit of an established brand and business model. As you plan your career goals, if you choose the franchise route, know that it’s important to do your research and choose a franchise that is a good fit for your goals and your budget. 

Deora Lynn is a certified franchise advisor with The Entrepreneur Authority. She may be reached at 919-366-4096, DL@eAuth.com, or visit eAuth.com.

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61 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com putting brands in motion GENERA TE DESIGNGENERA TE DESIGNwww.generatedesign.com 919.845.6310 Draw a straight line between your marketing dollars and results.


Growing herbs is an easy – and deliciously edible – way to garden. Sprinkling the fruits (or should I say spices) of your labor on your favorite dish adds not only spectacular fresh flavor, but also satisfaction knowing you grew them yourself. Keep reading to learn how to harvest, dry, and store your homegrown herbs, as well a few common culinary cultivars you may choose to include in your herb garden.

Herbs thrive in sunny, well-drained locations. Composted pine bark can improve soil drainage, as do raised beds, berms, and some containers. While fertilizing will produce attractive foliage, it can also diminish flavor. Apply compost side-dressing only once or twice per season, or occasional half-strength fertilizer. Plants will be smaller, but flavor will be better. Removing flower buds from leafy herbs will inhibit seed formation, and help direct the plant’s energy to the production of leaves. To save seeds, allow late season flowers to develop.


Herbs harvested for their leaves have the greatest concentration of essential oils just before flower buds open. This is the ideal time to harvest. Herbs grown for flowers should be harvested when in full bloom. Herb seeds should be harvested after the seeds have turned brown. Use sharp scissors or shears to harvest them. If collecting

leaves, cut whole stems with leaves on, not single leaves. Harvest in the morning, when the concentration of essential oils is highest.


Most herbs dry well in dark, well-ventilated locations like a garage or an attic. Hang bunches on wire, holding shrinking stems with rubber bands. Or, spread herbs on a screen, stirring daily, for 7-10 days. Herbs may also be dried in a gas oven with the pilot light on. Arrange a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Or, dry at 100 degrees, stirring every half hour. Remove when crispy, but not brown. To dry herb seeds for eating, blanch to remove any unseen pests. Place in a sieve over the sink, and pour boiling water over. Spread on paper or mesh screen, and dry in the sun.

Always store dried herbs in airtight containers. Glass jars with suction lids or rubber seals are ideal. Resealable plastic bags also work well. Some herbs freeze well, such as basil, dill, parsley, oregano, marjoram, mint, thyme, lemongrass, and fennel.

To prep herbs, wash, pat dry, and chop. Lay them flat inside resealable plastic bags, remove air, seal, and freeze. To store herbs for soups or stews, puree in water or oil, then freeze in ice cube trays. Store in resealable bags. Pureed basil mixed with oil stores in the freezer, or in the refrigerator for a shorter time. Top the mixture with oil protected from air. This makes great pesto!


– BASIL: Thrives in heat sun, and rich, moist soil. Use sweet basil in pesto and Italian cuisine and Thai basil in Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Greek Column basil does not go to seed.

– CHIVES: Add to butters or sauces, toss in salads, or use as a topping. Flowers can be used as garnish, and in champagne vinegar. Add at the end of recipes, as heat will destroy flavor. Plant in sun in rich, well-drained soil.

– CILANTRO/CORIANDER: Generally, the leaves are “cilantro” and the seeds are “coriander.” Used in Chinese, Indian, and Vietnamese cuisines, as well as guacamole and salsa. Plant in sun to part shade in moderately rich, well-drained soil.

– DILL: Use leaves with fish, eggs, seafood, butters, sauces, and dressings. Use flowerheads and small stems in pickling. Dill is a hardy annual best grown in full sun in a rich, well-drained soil. Attracts beneficial insects.

– FENNEL: Used in fish dishes and some Italian recipes. The seed (culinary anise) is used in baking. Grown ornamentally for its feathery leaves. Plant in full sun in humus-rich, well-drained soil. Attracts beneficial insects.

– LEMON BALM: Lemon-scented leaves can be used in fruit salads, or dried for tea or sachets. Plant in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil.

– MARJORAM: An aromatic herb with a mild oregano taste. Plant in sun in well-drained soil. Dried marjoram retains its flavor well

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and can be used as a substitute for oregano.

– MINT: Plant in containers to control invasiveness. Many flavors and varieties, used extensively in cooking and beverages. Plant in sun to part shade.

– OREGANO: A favorite in the herb garden, and popular for its uses in the kitchen – particularly in Mexican, Greek, and Italian cooking. Plant in well-drained, average garden soil in sun.

– PARSLEY: Italian flat-leaf parsley has a more pungent flavor than the curly variety. Plant in full sun to part shade. May be planted in pots and brought indoors in winter. It is a biennial, usually grown as an annual. To harvest, start from the outside of the mound and work inward, cutting stems at the base.

– ROSEMARY: Delicious with meats, potatoes, stews, and breads. Plant in full sun to part shade in a light, well-drained soil. Grows well in containers. Upright forms tend to be more hardy than creeping types. If planting creepers, make sure drainage is good to prevent winter rot.

– SAGE: Many varieties are available, from sweet pineapple to delicious common sage. Ornamental sages are beautiful in the garden. ‘Bergarten’ is one of the best culinary sages for Southern gardens, as it resists fungal invasion. Plant in sun to part shade in well-drained soil.

– TARRAGON: True tarragon produces sterile seed. Buy transplants for culinary tarragon. Great with fish, chicken, eggs, dressings, sauces, and vinegars. Texas “tarragon” (in the marigold family) offers tarragon flavor, but is more heat tolerant. Plant in full sun to partial shade in welldrained soil.

– THYME: English thyme is excellent in soups, and with poultry and other meats. Lemon thyme is good with fish and chicken, and is delicious minced and added to the top layer of lemon bars. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil. 

Tina Mast is communications director for Homewood Nursery & Garden Center in Raleigh and can be reached at 919-847-0117 or info@homewoodnursery.com. For more information, visit homewoodnursery.com.

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Do you find yourself constantly looking for a pair of readers that are never where they should be? We can relate! Do you find yourself constantly switching between multiple pairs of glasses or continually taking your glasses on and off? We see you! Please know that you are not alone in this struggle … we are here to help. Let’s get down to the basics and discuss ways to make your life much easier by improving your visual needs.


Unfortunately, this really is a thing. As we age, our visual system stops working as efficiently as it once did. The lens inside the eye starts to cloud and harden, making it less clear and flexible. This in turn makes it much harder to focus on small details up close. This does happen to everyone to some degree, but it may occur at different times. Your overall vision and health of your eyes do affect the onset of these symptoms. Eye doctors generally say that you will start noticing these changes between the ages of 40 and 45, but this may look different for everyone.

Many find that this phenomenon can happen almost overnight. When these changes start to occur, we begin talking about the need for bifocals and progressives. We are all familiar with the traditional lined bifocal, but we are going to focus on a variety of options we now have with “no-line” progressive lenses.

STANDARD PROGRESSIVE LENSES (PALS): Traditional or standard progressives were first successfully introduced in the 1960s. Those same lenses are still being used today and are also known as multifocals, varifocals, PALs, or no-lined bifocals. These glasses are essentially three glasses in one, allowing you to see distance, computer range, and reading out of one pair of lenses. No more on and off with multiple pairs of glasses. No more peering over your glasses like your third grade teacher.

You will sometimes hear horror stories about people who cannot adapt to PALs, but this is not the majority, and not all PALs are the same. With these lenses, there is a gradual change from your distance prescription to your reading prescription as you move further down the lens. Hence, the lens “progressively” changes from one power to another, without any visible lines in the lenses. That


gradual change in PALs allows you to get more of an intermediate range that is missing with a traditional lined bifocal. There is a seamless, more natural transition when using these lenses and they can also be made as sunglasses.

It is important to understand that there is an adaptation period to progressive lenses. You will find that even going up and down stairs or curbs will take some time to adjust. Typically, we advise patients to allow one to two weeks to truly adapt to these lenses. Learning to move your eyes within the lens and not your head takes time. The type of progressive lens also makes a difference. Some allow for wider areas of usable distance and near vision, while others are more task-oriented and target particular ranges, such as computer or occupational progressives.


For patients with more targeted needs or a history of trouble adapting to PALs, the digital PAL may be a great option. These are customizable lenses that help to optimize your vision. Digital technology started coming to the forefront in the 1980s and is now considered “freeform.” With these lenses they utilize both the front and the back of the lenses to customize them for your prescription. This means that personalized lenses will have your exact measurements based on where the frames sit on you. Standard lenses will have generalized measurements instead. Using a digital lens can mean the difference between a digital television screen and a 4K one. Freeform progressive lenses are like going from a box TV to a flat screen.

Digitally finished lenses are computer-engineered lenses that ensure the most precise prescription, taking into account face shape, the position of the frame on your face, and how your eyes are centered within the lenses. As a result, they offer a wider, more usable corridor of clear vision in comparison to more standard PALs. Also, a huge benefit of these lenses is that you often gain more clarity in the intermediate/computer zone.


For people who spend most of their day at the desk, this type of lens can be very useful. These can be made as digital or standard lenses. With a standard PAL, as the reading power increases, the available space for your intermediate/computer zone decreases.

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So, if you are spending a lot of time in that zone, then you could benefit from a separate pair of PALs specifically for that task. As the saying goes, trying to use one pair of glasses for everything would be like expecting your stilettos to work for running a marathon.

The computer PALs use the top portion of the lens as your intermediate instead of the distance, and the bottom still has increased magnification for reading. This lens gives you wider, more usable zones providing better clarity when going from the computer to a document or your phone. For these lenses, we also recommend blue-blocking filters and anti-reflective coatings to help reduce additional glare and minimize blue light that has been shown to cause eyestrain and fatigue.


While we feel that progressives can be wonderful tools in enhancing your visual ability, we realize that they are not for everyone. We are all very different, and not everyone can adapt. We will cover a few tips to make adapting to PALs easier. The price point on progressive lenses can also often be a determining factor; however, we also have to remember that this one pair of lenses can often eliminate the need for multiple glasses.

Fitting a PAL requires exact measurements, which is why we highly discourage online ordering for these types of lenses. In order for this to work like it should, the alignment of your pupils and the lenses’ optical centers must correlate. You also want a proper size and positioned frame that truly cannot be accomplished without the assistance of an optician to take the appropriate measurements.

lenses, as PALs will have peripheral distortion – you must physically turn your head;

– Wear them as much as possible without resorting back to your old pair;

– Lower your eyes when reading instead of your head.

Here’s a tip: Try watching TV while keeping a book or an iPad on your lap. Look down at your device or book during the commercial breaks to help train your brain to figure out how to use progressives faster.

As technology continuously improves, so

does the availability and accessibility to premium lenses. So, if you have tried them in the past without success or have been too terrified to even give them a shot, we hope this article provides you with a little clarity and a lot more optimism about all these lenses have to offer. Here’s to no more carrying five pairs of glasses in your bag! 

If you are new to PALs, let’s discuss a few secrets to help you through this process:

– Always point your nose at what you are looking;

– Do not look through the sides of the

mation, visit mcphersonfamilyeyecare.com.

65 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com
Kimberly Douglas, OD, FAAO and Angela Brinkman, LDO are with McPherson Family Eye Care, located at 3150 Rogers Road, Suite 100 in Wake Forest. They may be reached at 919-263-9163. For more infor-



All you basketball fans out there, as well as you history buffs … this one’s for you. Our local history has no less a case of March Madness than the Road to the Final Four. The town of Youngsville, Wake Forest’s neighbor just to the north, has a long history and a close relationship to Wake Forest and to Wake Forest College and University in so many ways, but none more so than in basketball. For decades, the tiny Franklin County town was a basketball powerhouse. Youngsville High School won the state 1A basketball championship in 1956, 1968, and 1970. Former Youngsville High players frequently were recruited to play college ball for Wake Forest University, both before and after the move to Winston Salem. Among Youngsville standouts were coaches Al DePorter and Larry Lindsey, along with players like Jerry Mitchell and Marshall Winston “Twig” Wiggins (pictured).

The 1956 team started what you might call a dynasty. Jerry Mitchell played for Youngsville High School and went on to play for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Likewise, so did Twig Wiggins. Among the other standout players on that 1956 team was legendary high school coach Larry Lindsey. All played under and credit Youngsville High School coach Al DePorter for their success in basketball, business, and life. To say coach DePorter stuck with his team is an understatement – he left his position at Youngsville High School and followed Wiggins and Mitchell to Wake Forest University in its first year in Winston-Salem to be assistant coach under the legendary Coach Horace “Bones” McKinney. Bones McKinney was such a colorful character that he could be the subject of another entire article. Once Mitchell and Wiggins graduated from Wake Forest, DePorter returned to his beloved Youngsville that he still calls home today.

Larry Lindsey played college ball at Pembroke after having to turn down a basketball scholarship at NC State due to an ankle injury. He returned to his native Youngsville to coach his high school alma mater to two more state championships in 1968 and 1970. After the 1970 championship, he moved down the road to coach at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School, now again Wake Forest High School. In 28 years of coaching Lindsey had 610 wins and 156 losses. In 1972, Lindsey was named the top prep coach in the nation by Sports Illustrated. His teams made the state championship playoffs 28 times and won

eight state champion titles. In 2011, Lindsey was named to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, an honor usually given to the pros in big time North Carolina sports. Perhaps for Lindsey, even a greater honor was that in 2003 the gymnasium at Wake Forest High School was named for him.

Twig Wiggins, after graduation from Wake Forest University, went on to coach basketball at both the high school and college level. In 1970, Wiggins left the head coaching job at Elon University and returned to the Wake Forest area where he started a business based in his native Youngsville. He has played a major role in the development of recreation programs in the area. Wiggins, along with former teammate Larry Lindsey and friend Lin Green, formed a recreation board to promote and advise the town on recreational programs. He did not totally give up coaching – he has coached his two daughters and his grandchildren’s teams as well.

By the way, Wiggins, Lindsey, Mitchell and Coach DePorter all continued to play competitive sports. In 1995, the four, along with friends Bob MacGillavray and Alley Hart – both also former Youngsville basketball standouts – won the North Carolina Senior Games and went on to win the national title in Chicago that same year. The team was named the Fifty Sixers for their high school championship year. Twig continued to be a phenomenon in the Senior Games, winning an additional five national gold medals in 2001, 2003, 2013, 2017, and 2022. In addition, the Fifty Sixers won two silver medals and one bronze medal. Twig is not the only member of the Wiggins household with National Gold – Sarah, his high school sweetheart, won National Gold with a team of Franklin County ladies in 1999. Sarah and Twig married after their sophomore year at Wake Forest College.

Today, Twig Wiggins is the only member of the group who still plays competitive basketball. Jerry Mitchell passed away in 2007. Wiggins and Lindsey live in Wake Forest, MacGillavray lives in Raleigh, Hart resides in Wilmington, and DePorter still calls Youngsville home. 

Ed Morris is executive director of the Wake Forest Historical Museum and Wake Forest College Birthplace, located at 414 N. Main Street. For more information, visit wakeforestmuseum.org.

66 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2023 | circamagazine.com