April - May - June 2024 CIRCA Magazine

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• cooking off the cuff • nostalgic revival • seasonal
paradise • shade-loving blooms • trash
treasure •
and refresh •
• embracing a plant-based menu • AND MORE circamagazine.com CIRCA
cultivating your spring garden wonderland
skincare shifts bald head island
your escape to coastal
blue jay point the rich legacy of baseball
riding the rails

As spring unfolds its vibrant hues and invigorating spirit, I’m thrilled to unveil the captivating bouquet of articles awaiting you here in our spring issue. With the world stirring from its winter slumber, our pages come alive with a colorful mix of features tailored to ignite your imagination and enrich your spring experience.

Immerse yourself in the world of gardening with expert tips for cultivating your spring garden and uncover the allure of shade-loving plants that thrive in the gentle sunlight of the season.

Pivot to the realm of fashion, where we unveil the latest trends, styles, and textiles to infuse your wardrobe with freshness, flair, and comfort. Prepare your palate for a culinary adventure as we explore the joys of cooking with spring-fresh produce, sharing mouthwatering recipes and culinary inspiration to celebrate the bounty of the season with each delectable bite.

Shifting gears, we pay homage to the enduring legacy of baseball in Wake Forest, weaving together the threads of history and culture that have made this beloved sport a cherished pastime for generations. And as we bid farewell to winter’s chill, embrace the ritual of spring cleaning and purging, ushering in a sense of renewal as we prepare our homes for the brighter days ahead. But spring isn’t merely a time for tidying up – it’s a season of transformation and renewal. Discover the world of home renovations and remodels as we provide expert insights and inspiration to help you breathe new life into your living spaces.

And as the days stretch longer and the air fills with the promise of adventure, let CIRCA serve as your guide to the best springtime activities and events. From outdoor concerts and movie nights to cultural events and exploring nature at this issue’s local gem, there’s no shortage of ways to fill your spring calendar with fun and excitement. Plus, discover a coastal paradise right here in our state, and make the most of the season’s warm breeze and sparkling waters, just a short drive (and boat ride) away. Let us inspire your springtime adventures and help you create memories that will last a lifetime.

But that’s not all … financial guidance, health and wellness insight, real estate advice, and much more await on the following pages. So read on, dive in, and discover a treasure trove of knowledge, inspiration, and practical wisdom.

Thank you for reading and for your continued support of our advertisers, whose contributions make this publication possible. I look forward to welcoming you back for the summer issue ... but in the meantime, happy reading, and may your spring be filled with joy, adventure, and endless possibilities.


Dr. Jennifer Murphy

Todd Nelson

Carla Payne

Courtney Pernell

Tom Piper

Rhonda Benvie Plummer

Carolyn Rice

Nunzio Scordo

Marissa Shattuck

Dr. Edmond Suh

Jimmy Tompkins

Town of Wake Forest


Thomas Walters

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. PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kent Lower CONTRIBUTING WRITERS CONTACT INFORMATION BallPointe Publishing & Design, LLC P.O. Box 1182 Wake Forest, NC 27588 919.453.2555 • info@circamagazine.com circamagazine.com ADVERTISING SALES 919.453.2555 • info@circamagazine.com MANAGERS Kent Lower & Mitch Lower Printed by Progress Printing Plus Allison Caudle Abbott Alicia Arritt Stephanie Blake Buck Buchanan Jason Cannon Sharon Cruz Vanessa Davis Tracy Dupler Pam Eagles Joni Falvey Dawn Glinsky-Futrell Samantha Luce Sue Lucey Yandry Mastromihalis Stacey Moritz APRIL • MAY • JUNE 2024 6 Spring Into Action –Exciting Events On The Horizon In Wake Forest 8 Harvesting Change – Embracing A Plant-Based Menu With Fresh Spring Produce 10 Financial Focus – When Should You Take Social Security? 12 Gardening Guru – Cultivating Your Spring Garden Wonderland 14 Trash To Treasure – Hosting The Best Garage Sale On The Block 16 Nostalgic Revival – Spring Fashion Trends That Blend Tradition With Innovation 18 Shake, Salt, And Sip 20 Protecting Young Hearts –Heart Screenings For Young Athletes 22 Riding The Rails – Wake Forest’s Passenger Rail Revival ... Boosting Economy And Quality Of Life 24 Cooking Off The Cuff With Farm-To-Table Ingredients 26 Swinging Through Time –The Rich Legacy Of Baseball In Wake Forest 30 Thriving In The Shadows –Shade-Loving Blooms For Spring 32 Driveable Destination –Bald Head Island ... Your Escape To Coastal Paradise 36 Luxury Living Made Easy 40 Insuring Happily Ever After 42 A Season Of Textures – Exploring Spring’s Rich Tapestry Of Textiles 44 Décor Dilemma? Design Tips, Tricks, And Helpful Hints 46 Aphrodite’s Tears 50 Thinking Of Selling? Insider Tips And Expert Home Selling Advice 52 Blooming In Caregiving –Nurturing Loved Ones And Yourself This Spring 54 Good Reads 56 Beyond The Spectrum –Understanding Color Blindness 58 The “Purr”fect Addition –Why Adopting A Cat Will Enrich Your Life 60 Declutter And Refresh – Get Ready For Your Spring Clean … A Room-By-Room Purge Guide 62 Cooked In Tradition –A Taste of Spring ... Family Recipes With A Fresh Twist 64 Local Gem – Blue Jay Point County Park 66 Seasonal Skincare Shifts –Adapting Your Routine For Radiant Skin Year-Round 68 Beyond The Brush – Innovations In Dental Health Technology 70 Pawsitive Touch 72 Juggling Act – How To Navigate Home Buying And Selling Without Dropping A Ball 74 Our Heritage –We Built This: Wake Forest AD SPACE RESERVATIONS JULY / AUG / SEPT 2024: May 18, 2024

The Town of Wake Forest is excited to offer a full lineup of events over the next several months guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step! From Friday Night on White and STEM Saturday to Six Sundays in Spring and 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 12 with The Magic Pipers. The 2024 series continues May 10 with Irresistible Groove, June 14 with Bounce! Party Band, July 12 with The Brickhouse Band, August 9 with Sleeping Booty Band, and September 13 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.”


Elementary, middle, and high school students and their parents are invited to Wake Forest’s STEM Saturday on April 27. Presented by the Wake Forest Wireless Research Center, this free family 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 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.”


You’re invited to help us celebrate three decades of foot-tapping, finger-snapping good times. Pack a picnic, grab your lawn chairs, and head out to Joyner Park for the 30th anniversary of Six Sundays in Spring! Scheduled from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM on consecu-


tive Sundays from April 28 through June 2 and co-sponsored by the PRCR Department and ARTS Wake Forest, these free outdoor concerts offer something for all music lovers. 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.”


The PRCR Department is delighted to offer Family Movie Nights at Joyner Park on the following Saturdays: May 25 (Beauty and the Beast – animated version), June 15 (Minions – The Rise of Gru), July 20 (Kung Fu Panda 4), and August 3 (Guardians of the Galaxy –Vol. 3). Family Movie Nights will also include movie-related preshow activities beginning at 7:30 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 Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Advisory Board will host National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1, at Joyner Park. Presented by Skylift Garage Doors, 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 greenways throughout Wake Forest. Registration is required. For more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Trails Day.”


The Renaissance Centre is excited to announce its new “Summer at the Centre” Performance Series. Tickets are expected to sell out fast, so don’t miss your opportunity to join them for some of the hottest shows around. On Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 PM, they welcome The Embers, featuring Craig Woolard. This awardwinning band put beach music on the map, so bring your dancing shoes and get ready for a night to remember.

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Next up, they’re excited to offer two Malpass Brothers performances on Saturday, July 27, at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM. Steeped in traditional country music, the Malpass Brothers feature a smooth vocal blend and skillful musicianship while performing in the styles of Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, and Hank Williams, Sr. They will end this amazing series on Saturday, August 24, with the “Fan of the Soap Opera: Mystery Dinner Theater,” a behind-the-scenes look at the soap opera set of “Oblivion,” featuring conflict, jealousy, cheating, deceit, and even murder! Due to an overwhelming response, two shows have been scheduled at noon and 6:30 PM.

Tickets for the 2024 “Summer at the Centre” Performance Series go on sale to the general public May 1 at 10:00 AM. How do you get the best seats in the house?

Glad you asked! Become a “Friend of the Centre” with a $100 tax-deductible donation and you can purchase up to four tickets before they go on sale to the general public. In addition, your name will be displayed as a member of the Friends of the Centre on the Renaissance Centre website and stage 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.


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.

7 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2024 | circamagazine.com 180908 Personalized service. Trusted advice. Walters Insurance Agency 919-554-0267 3207 Rogers Road, Ste. 100 Wake Forest thomaswalters@allstate.com Because I know the risks in the area, I’ll use my local expertise to help you choose the right amount of protection. And I’ll be there to help you as your coverage needs change. Call or stop in for a free, no-obligation Personalized Insurance Proposal today. Subject to terms, conditions and availability. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., Allstate Indemnity Co., Allstate Insurance Co. © 2016 Allstate Insurance Co. GET IN GOOD WITH AN EXPERT



As the vibrant hues of spring come into full bloom, there’s no better time to infuse your meals with the fresh, colorful flavors of the season. Spring produce offers a kaleidoscope of colors and textures, making it the perfect inspiration for creating bright and colorful plates bursting with green goodness. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or are just starting to explore plant-based eating, take advantage of all the season’s fresh veggies that are available at your favorite farmers market.

Focusing on plant-based foods doesn’t mean giving up meat, fish, and seafood altogether. Rather, it’s a gentle shift towards a plate adorned with an abundance of fruits, veggies, and greens that are the stars of the show. By skillfully balancing flavors and

textures and crafting dishes that both tantalize your taste buds and support your health and wellness goals, you can ramp up your repertoire of healthy meal options while still catering to your family’s cravings.

Spring indeed provides a plethora of opportunities to experiment and get creative with fresh produce and herbs, alongside your favorite staples. Potatoes, for example, serve as a versatile canvas for creating delicious side dishes, or even main course meals. We all have our favorite “go-to” potato salad that is perfect for a warmweather picnic, but you can add just about anything to a potato to create something truly exceptional. One of my favorite springtime recipes elevates the everyday roasted red potatoes by combining them with farm-fresh peas and a medley of delicious herbs. This harmonious dish serves as a delightful accompaniment to your favorite luncheon entrée, makes a great side dish for a grilled steak, and even a vibrant entrée salad nestled atop a bed of fresh lettuce. It’s a celebration of seasonal flavors that is sure to impress.

So embrace the season and let the vibrant bounty of spring produce ignite your culinary imagination. With a dash of creativity and an abundance of fresh ingredients, you can savor the flavors of springtime and nourish your body with every delicious bite.

– 2 pounds of baby potatoes, halved

– 1 cup fresh peas

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 2 teaspoons lemon juice

– 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

– Salt and pepper to taste

– Fresh mint leaves (or basil), chopped, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and halve the baby potatoes, ensuring they are similar in size for even cooking. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and toss with garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the seasoned potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy on the edges. Remember to toss the potatoes halfway through for uniform cooking. Remove potatoes from the oven and immediately toss with the fresh peas (you can use frozen peas, thawed, in a pinch). Whisk two tablespoons of olive oil with two teaspoons of lemon juice and toss with potatoes. Serve immediately or rest for a few minutes and serve at room temperature.

Add in your own ideas … freshly sliced radishes, pickled onions, microgreens … get creative, and have fun! 

Stacey Moritz is the owner of The Lemon Tree, located at 415 Brooks Street C in Downtown Wake Forest, offering freshly prepared salads, pastas, soups, and take-away fare. The Lemon Tree Cafe is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

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One of your most important sources of retirement income will likely be Social Security – but when should you start taking it? You can start collecting Social Security benefits at 62, but your checks will be considerably bigger if you wait until your full retirement age, which is likely between 66 and 67. You could even wait until you’re 70, at which point the payments will max out, except for yearly cost-of-living adjustments. But if you need the money, you need the money, even if you’re just 62 or any age before full retirement age.

However, if you have adequate financial resources to meet your monthly needs, whether through earned income, your investment portfolio, or a combination of the two, you could have some flexibility in choosing when

to take Social Security. In this case, you may want to weigh the following considerations.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: For all of us, it’s one of life’s great mysteries ... how long will we live? Of course, we can’t see into the future, so the question can’t be answered with total confidence. But to make an informed decision on when to take Social Security, you don’t need to know your exact lifespan – you just need to make a reasonably good estimate. So, for example, if you’re approaching 62, you’re enjoying excellent health, and you have a family history of longevity, you might conclude it’s worth waiting a few years to collect Social Security, so you can receive the bigger payments. Conversely, if your health is questionable and your family has not been fortunate in terms of longevity, you might want to start taking your benefits earlier.

EMPLOYMENT: You can certainly continue working and still receive Social Security benefits. However, if you’re under your full retirement age for the entire year, Social Security will deduct $1 from your benefits for every $2 you earn above the annual limit of $22,320. In the year you reach your full retirement age, Social Security will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above $59,520. So, you may want to keep these reductions in mind when deciding when to begin accepting benefits. Once you reach your full retirement age, you can earn any amount without losing benefits. (Also, at your full retirement age, Social Security will recalculate your benefit amount to credit you for the months you received reduced benefits because of your excess earnings.)

SPOUSE: Spouses can receive two types of Social Security benefits – spousal and survivor. With a spousal benefit, your spouse can receive up to 50% of your full retirement benefits, regardless of when you start taking them. (Your spouse’s benefit can be reduced by the amount of their own retirement benefit and whether they took Social Security before their full retirement age.) But with a survivor benefit, your decision about when to take Social Security can make a big difference. A surviving spouse can receive the larger of their own benefit or 100% of a deceased spouse’s benefit, so if you take benefits early and receive a permanent reduction, your spouse’s survivor benefit may also be reduced for their lifetime.

When to take Social Security is an important – and irrevocable –decision. So consider all the factors when making your choice. 

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/us-en/financial-advisor/ tom-piper.

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As we step into the enchanting world of spring gardening, full of blooming flora and buzzing fauna, it’s crucial to consider every detail, even down to the shoes on our feet. The average American spends $991 annually on footwear, but when it comes to gardening, functionality and safety should outweigh style and fashion.

I may need to heed this advice, as I’ve been known to sneak into my garden wearing flip-flops for a spur-of-the-moment check on my plants or other gardening tasks. Not the wisest move! No matter how lovely a garden may be, potential hazards may be lurking, like snakes slithering by or forgotten garden tools left lying around. Pollinators? Oh, I doubt a hummingbird or butterfly is going to attack my flip-flopped feet, but what about the unintentional foot contact with a bee or wasp? They too are pollinators! This spring, let’s leave the old tennis shoes behind – if they are no longer good for exercise or just right with a cute outfit, it’s probably time to discard them. For the garden, instead think waterproof, easy-to-clean, and durable ... durable in the muck we might encounter and durable in offering protection to our feet, and even our ankles. Sure, our feet may be tired and achy at the end of an early spring day in the garden, but we don’t want any injuries!

If the task at hand is more rugged than using the leaf blower or raking, it might be time to upgrade from waterproof garden clogs to water-resistant boots with a comfy lining and a lug sole. Whatever gardening footwear you choose, make sure it fits well and provides stability on uneven ground to avoid falls. I have found that once you reach a certain age, your doctor will harp on that subject – accessorize yourself appropriately and stay safe. Now, let’s move on to talking about plants!

Did you craft a plan during the winter months of how you envision your spring garden? Perhaps tidiness was a top priority. For instance, hellebores have been blooming beautifully for the past couple of months, but their evergreen leaves may have begun to look a little ragged … if so, use hand pruners to remove the spent leaves.

Once the oversized leaves are gone, the emerging greenery will look fresh and beautiful, allowing the flowers to shine even more.

If there are still some leftover autumn leaves scattered around, rake them out and mulch them with your lawnmower. Use the leaf “dust” as a mulch for your garden beds, or if you have only a small amount, let it enrich the soil in your lawn as a natural fertilizer and soil enhancer. Additionally, it’s important to note that you should have started fertilizing your fescue lawns by now too.

Spirea, azaleas, dogwoods, and rhododendrons will be blooming soon, if they have not yet begun to blossom. After they end their season, shape them up if any issues are identified. Handling this chore right after bloom time will keep you from destroying next spring’s show. Waiting too long will find you cutting off next year’s early developing buds.

Hostas will be emerging in early spring. In a pot or in the ground as warmer temperatures harken, so will the fresh, vibrant green of spring hosta tips. If you didn’t divide some of the larger clumps last fall, do so now. Lift and divide the clumps, returning some to their original home and replanting some of the root-bearing pieces in their new locations. This process – making a new plant from an existing one – is called division. You have just propagated! Depending on the plant, you may need to cut the roots if you cannot tickle them apart. A sharp garden shovel, spade, or a hori hori knife can assist with this task. You don’t have a hori hori? Next time you are shopping at your local garden center, search for this handy tool. Mine is serrated on one edge and smooth cut on the other … it even has inches marked on the blade. From weeding to planting and dividing, and even cutting the bindings on bales of pine straw and opening bags of mulch, this versatile gardening tool is indispensable for a variety of tasks. Try it and you’ll wonder how you ever gardened without one.

Do you have a bed full of perennials such as black-eyed Susans and snapdragons, or maybe some yarrow, liriope, or daylilies that need to be divided? Grasses that have overclumped in your garden

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benefit from division every few years. Ferns can be divided too – although, if you’re a fern purist and would rather germinate spores, you can take the time for that process. Either way, you would be propagating. Some plants, like coleus, begonias, and African violets, can be easily rooted … simply break off a stem with a leaf and put it in a small vase or jar of water. Make sure it receives adequate light – but not full sun – and watch for roots to begin forming after a week or so. For plants like azaleas, hydrangeas, and gardenias, rooting may take longer. Personally, I’ve had success with hydrangeas and gardenias in water, but have found a peat moss bog to be the most efficient rooting system for woody selections. My formula is using a half whisky barrel and filling it with peat moss. To truly fill it with peat moss, add a thick layer in the barrel, wet it down, then add more, and repeat. Continue these steps until the barrel is nearly full, leaving about an inch from the top. Drill holes about halfway down the barrel, spaced about two to three inches apart, to ensure proper drainage. In such a bog, I plant pitcher plants and Venus fly traps year-round. When I inadvertently break an ornamental sage or rosemary due to my occasional heavy-handedness and distraction in the garden, I simply stick it in the bog. Within a month or so, voila! I have another plant ready to transplant into my garden. It’s a win-win situation – double the pleasure of unique plants to enjoy and an area primed for propagation success.

Friends, we put our gardens to bed several months ago, and now it’s time to wake them up. However, let’s not expect to restore them to order without putting in several days of work. It’s early spring, and we have many months of garden chores ahead of us. You know the song, It’s a Jungle Out There. Well, it’s true … plan to tackle what you can, not win a gardening race. We’re all striving for that first vase of cut flowers and a fresh, juicy, tomato sandwich. Rather than racing to complete everything all at once, let’s focus on what we can realistically accomplish … starting with the basics of

site prep and soil amendment. Dare I ask again? Have you done your soil test? If not, head over to the local extension office or Saturday morning farmers market and pick up a kit from the Master Gardener tent. It’s a simple yet essential step to ensure your garden thrives this season.

And be on the lookout for local plant sales too. School FFA chapters, garden clubs, and various other organizations will be tempting us any day now. And keep an eye on your local garden centers – they’ll soon be stocking up on fresh new plants and even

introducing some exciting new varieties for us plant collectors. It’s the perfect opportunity to add some color to your garden and support your community at the same time.

Spring has sprung, garden buddies! Grab your muck boots or shoes, throw on your garden hat, and let’s enjoy the season together. Happy digging! 

Pam Eagles lives in Rolesville where she gardens with two 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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Garage sales – a treasure trove for bargain hunters, a chance to declutter your home, and potentially a goldmine for you. But hosting a successful one takes more than just throwing out boxes of stuff on your lawn. Fear not, decluttering guru and sales extraordinaire, for I’m here to guide you through the process of hosting the best garage sale your neighborhood has ever seen.


Declutter ruthlessly: Be honest, do you really need that third juicer? Sort ruthlessly, keeping only items in good condition and with some resale value. Donate or recycle the rest. Leftover items can be donated to charities or shelters, giving them a second life and earning you a tax deduction. Ask your real estate expert where to drop off your items.

Price to sell: Research online marketplaces like eBay or Facebook Marketplace to get an idea of fair prices. Remember, you want things to move, not gather dust. Selling for small amounts will really get things to move ... and if you do not want the item anymore, it’s not worth it to haggle. True story – my friend haggled a buyer over a doll for which she wanted $8. The buyer walked away, and guess what? She donated it anyway, not making a dime on that item.

Organize and categorize: Group similar items together (clothes by size, books by genre) and label them clearly. This saves shoppers time and makes your sale look more professional.

Presentation matters: Display items attractively on tables or folding racks. Iron wrinkled clothes, dust off dusty items, and make your space inviting. This may be time-consuming in the days ahead, but if you have worthy items, you will make it tenfold in return.

Spread the word: Advertise online (i.e. Facebook groups and Marketplace, Craigslist, NextDoor, and other community forums) and offline (flyers, posters, neighborhood listservs, etc.).


Start early: Be ready before potential customers arrive. Have change readily available, including small bills and coins. Trust me,



those buyers will show as you are trying to shove down your morning coffee and get your comfy shoes on.

Be friendly and welcoming: A smile and a greeting go far. Engage with shoppers, answer questions, and be open to negotiating.

Embrace the haggle: It’s part of the garage sale experience. Be prepared to negotiate but know your bottom line for each item.

Offer incentives: Bundles, discounts for multiple purchases, or a “free with purchase” bin can entice buyers and clear out more items.

Stay safe and secure: Keep an eye on your belongings and have a friend or family member help out, especially if you have cash.

Offer refreshments: Water, lemonade, or even homemade cookies can create a positive atmosphere and encourage people to linger. If you have a young entrepreneur, this is a great way to keep them engaged, busy, and excited about making their own money too.

Play music: Upbeat tunes create a fun and inviting vibe. Just keep ’em clean!

Accept different payment methods: Consider using payment apps like Venmo or Cash for contactless transactions. Please, however, never accept a payment beforehand to “hold” the product they wish to purchase. There are many scams that happen and you want to stay safe. In person, however, these payment apps are a surefire way to get exactly what you want for your product and a safe way to not have so much cash on hand.

By following these tips and adding your own creative flair, you can transform your garage sale from a random assortment of stuff into a treasure hunt for eager buyers. Remember, it’s about decluttering, making some money, and having fun – so relax, enjoy the process, and watch your “trash” turn into treasure. 

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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We’ve all heard the phrase “History always repeats itself.” You’ve even read about it here in CIRCA Magazine. Well, I’ll be the first to tell you … spring 2024 fashion trends are reflecting a blend of nostalgia and innovation. Expect to see a resurgence of vintage styles from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, but with a modern twist. Pastel colors such as soft pinks, lavender, and mint green are anticipated to dominate the color palette, along with bold and vibrant hues like electric blue and fiery red. Sustainable and eco-friendly fashion choices are likely to continue gaining momentum, with an emphasis on recycled materials and ethical production practices.

You may have already seen a preview of one of the most popular trends to hit this spring – bows! Yes, you heard me right, bows. I know, I was shocked as well, but it’s not exactly what may first come to mind. I’m not talking flashy, huge, bigger-than-your-head bows. Think more simple, yet colorful, schoolgirl fashion bows. This ultra-feminine trend has taken over ... be prepared to see them in any and all colors as they tie any outfit together with a sweet and playful final touch. Expect to see this timeless fashion statement not only in hair, but also as clothing details, shoe embellishments, jewelry, accessories, and even bow nail art, perfectly elevating your spring look.

You may be thinking, but why bows? One of the key trends in preppy fashion for 2024 is the revival of the aforementioned retro styles from decades past. Oversized blazers, pleated skirts, and statement collars are making a comeback in a fresh and contemporary way. Mixing and matching different textures and patterns is also popular, adding a playful and eclectic touch to the traditional preppy aesthetic. The preppy look, known for its clean lines, tailored silhouettes, and timeless patterns, has seen a resurgence in recent years. This year, we see a focus on sustainability and ethical fashion, with many preppy brands incorporating eco-friendly materials and production practices into their collections.

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16 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2024 | circamagazine.com
223 S. White Street Wake Forest, NC 27587 broadsidesandbrews.com

Accessories play a crucial role in completing the preppy look this year. From chunky gold jewelry to vintage-inspired handbags, the devil is in the details. Just as with preppy clothing items, sustainability is a driving force behind accessory choices, with a rise in demand for vegan leather shoes and recycled plastic sunglasses. In 2024, preppy fashion is not just about looking good – it’s about making a statement and supporting ethical practices in the fashion industry.

When it comes to patterns, playful ones such as tie-dye, florals, and geometric prints are forecasted to be popular this season. Additionally, as we step into the spring of 2024, the world of athletic wear, which has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, is buzzing with fresh trends and innovations. From advanced technical fabrics to stylish designs, this season promises to elevate both performance and style for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Athletic-wear brands are also focusing on sustainability, with ecofriendly materials and production processes taking the spotlight. Expect to see more versatile and fashionable athleisure pieces that seamlessly transition from workouts to everyday wear, catering to the on-the-go lifestyle of modern consumers.

Furthermore, the emphasis on health and wellness in today’s society has led more people to prioritize physical activity and exercise. As a result, the demand for comfortable, functional, and performance-enhancing yet fashionable athletic wear has skyrocketed. Brands have responded by creating innovative designs using moisture-wicking and breathable fabrics, compression technology, and trendy patterns that cater to both fitness enthusiasts and fashion-conscious individuals.

In terms of color palettes, be prepared for a mix of vibrant hues and calming neutrals, allowing athletes to express themselves while staying on-trend. Design details such as cut-outs, mesh inserts, and bold graphics add a touch of flair to traditional activewear silhouettes. Whether you’re hitting the gym, going for a run, or simply running errands, the athletic wear options for this year are designed to keep you looking and feeling your best.

As we navigate the spring fashion landscape of 2024, anticipate a delightful blend of nostalgia and innovation. From the revival of retro styles with a modern twist to the prominence of sustainable and eco-friendly choices, this season promises to be both stylish and conscientious. 

Marissa Shattuck is the owner of West & Main Boutique, an inlcusive boutique offering boho and western styles in sizes 1-22. West & Main Boutique is in The Stables Marketplace, located at 11 S. Main Street in Downtown Franklinton. She may be reached at 919-435-2052 or visit westandmainboutique.com for additional clothing and accessory items.

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“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do, I’m half crazy, all for the love of you.” – Bicycle Built for Two lyrics. When we hear that song, we presume the singer is singing about the lovely lady they are fond of, but could that lady be a cocktail? The origins of cocktails are often a mystery, and who doesn’t love a good mystery? Was it the Daisy in New York in the late 1800s? Was it the Mexican showgirl in 1938? The heiress in the Baja Cantina in 1941? The Dallas socialite during her 1948 Christmas party? Was it for Peggy Lee or a customer named Margaret? Regardless of who, what, when, where, why, or how, we all love a good margarita.

The earliest claim is that sometime in the early 1870s, just around the corner from the New York Stock Exchange, the Daisy was created. The Daisy is simply a shot of booze shaken up with some lemon juice and “orange cordial” (as Jerry Thomas’s 1876 recipe puts it), strained into a glass and topped off with a splash of soda. The original version, made with brandy or whiskey, is a close cousin to the sidecar, with its sugar rim, but everybody knew that you drank tequila with salt back then, so the tequila Daisy had a salted rim. And it may have been called a “margarita,” since that’s the Spanish word for “daisy.”

According to tequila maker Jose Cuervo, the cocktail was invented in 1938 by a bartender in honor of Mexican showgirl Rita de la Rosa. As a matter of fact, Jose Cuervo ran ad campaigns for the margarita in 1945, with the slogan, “Margarita: It’s more than a girl’s name.”

Hussong’s Cantina in Baja, California, claims to have been the site

of the margarita’s creation. The bartender, Don Carlos Orozco, claimed that in 1941 he named a new drink after a regular customer, Mexican-German patron Margarita Henkel Cesena. Hussong’s has enjoyed widespread popularity as the original home of the margarita ever since.

Yet another claim was that Dallas socialite Margarita Sames invented the margarita when she concocted the drink for her guests at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948. This story claims that Tommy

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Hilton attended the party and brought the drink back to his chain of hotels.

A columnist for the Houston Chronicle wrote that “Santos Cruz … originated the drink in the 1940s at the Studio Lounge in Galveston,” mixing it for jazz singer Peggy Lee, when she asked for “a tequila drink without a lot of mess in it.” Cruz claimed he simply made her something he’d been playing with – a tequila version of a sidecar, bringing the recipe full circle.

In December 1953, found in the pages of  Esquire Magazine, was a column that read “She’s from Mexico, Señores, and her name is the Margarita Cocktail – and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative.” The recipe that followed was what we would recognize today as a standard “margarita, up” – tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and salt rim on the stemmed glass.

The margarita has clearly stood the test of time. Now a mainstay of every Taco Tuesday and a hit song by Jimmy Buffet, it is one of the most recognizable cocktails found in high-end lounges and dive bars alike, and it’s one that bartenders still love to make. Whether it be named for a Daisy, a showgirl, an heiress, a socialite, a jazz singer, or a bar patron named Margaret, we are all “half crazy, all for the love of you.”


– 2 ounces Blanco Tequila

– 1/2 ounce Cointreau

– 1/2 ounce agave

– 1 ounce lime juice

Fill shaker with ice. Add all ingredients to the shaker. Shake for 20 seconds and pour into ice-filled rocks glasses with a salt rim and lime wheel 

Joni Falvey is the owner of Broadsides & Brews, “Wake Forest’s living room,” offering books and gifts in a piano/cocktail lounge, located at 223 S. White Street in Downtown Wake Forest. Follow on social media @broadsidesandbrews and visit broadsidesandbrews.com.

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Spring sports are in full swing and summer leagues are gearing up for kids and young athletes. But when an unknown heart issue is present, this could put your child at risk for cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest can happen quickly and without warning. In fact, it is reported that a young, competitive athlete dies suddenly every three days in the United States. For young athletes, the risk is twice that of non-athletes. While no youth athlete wants to be taken out of the game, a simple, non-invasive test called an electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) can help save lives and provide life-changing medical insight for a child’s overall health and future. Read on as WakeMed pediatric cardiologist Jason Ho, MD, answers our questions about EKG screenings.


An EKG is a simple, painless, and non-invasive test that records heart rate and rhythm. It’s basically an electronic snapshot of the heart’s activity.


Any child can participate in an EKG screening. Those with a family history of cardiac issues should consider having their child screened. In addition, those participating in athletics, such as team sports or other individual athletic activities, should consider screening. Ideally, every child should undergo some form of clinical consultation before participating in athletics to discuss any symptoms and family history. Those with concerning findings are then referred for additional screening which involves an EKG.


The risk of sudden cardiac arrest for young athletes is twice that of non-athletes. For this reason, parents play a vital role in ensuring their child or children are screened. “We are potentially able to catch unknown heart health concerns in athletes and guide them to additional testing, treatment, and possibly life-saving procedures,” says Dr. Jason Ho.


It’s pretty quick and easy. Electrodes are placed on the patient’s skin to measure and record the heart’s electrical activity, which only takes a few minutes. “If we find anything of concern, we can do additional testing and provide a physician referral for the child,” explains Dr. Ho.



SCREENING? Parents and youths do not need to do anything to prepare for the screening. It does not take much time, and there is no reason to be overly worried. The results for most kids are normal, and the screening gives families a little extra peace of mind. However, the screenings can potentially catch previously unknown heart health concerns before a life-threatening situation occurs for a young athlete. There are often no symptoms despite the existence of a heart health condition that needs to be addressed, so these screenings can help prevent serious cardiac events and save lives.

If you’re considering an EKG for your child, reach out to your primary care provider or pediatrician. Dr. Ho also notes the importance of regular well-child visits and sports physicals as well as learning CPR and basic rescue skills. CPR can double or triple a person’s chances of survival – starting CPR as soon as possible is crucial. Organizations like Wake County EMS, the American Heart Association, the YMCA, WakeMed, and others offer CPR training classes throughout the year. 

WakeMed Children’s – Pediatric Cardiology is a specialty practice focused on providing comprehensive care and management of cardiac conditions in children, from pre-natal diagnosis through early adulthood. Whether it’s a congenital or acquired heart condition, their highly skilled providers are committed to offering individualized care that is patient and family-centered with the goal of helping children maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. For more information, visit wakemed.org.

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For centuries, transportation has connected people to the economies surrounding them. Countless research studies have proven the closely linked connections between transportation infrastructure and prosperity. Communities near safe, reliable transportation infrastructure experience greater economic growth, as evidenced by employment, workforce supply, and labor force participation rates.

Wake Forest’s local economy provides ample evidence that, even in a new era of hybrid work, accessibility remains vital. A network of roads and highways connects our businesses with employees and customers, our workers with jobs, and our citizens with educational opportunities and quality-of-life amenities throughout the Triangle. Easy proximity to RDU International Airport places Wake Forest firms and residents within minutes of a non-stop flight to 57 U.S. and global destinations.

Then there’s rail. While rail travel holds a storied place in Wake Forest’s rich history, it has largely been dormant since the 1960s, when America’s love affair with the automobile led Seaboard Airline Railroad to discontinue passenger service through our town and many others.

But this 200-year-old mode of transportation is set to return now that a $1.1 billion U.S. Department of Transportation grant is advancing to connect Wake Forest to The Piedmont line, North Carolina’s thrice-daily Charlotte-to-Raleigh train service.

Evidence abounds that passenger rail service can transform economies and industries. In Europe, Asia, and parts of North America, passenger rail positively impacts urban development and redevelopment – facilitating job creation, boosting productivity, and enhancing real estate markets. According to a 2015 study by the National Center for Intermodal Transportation for Economic Competitiveness, rail service also increases tourism.



Indeed, since its launch in the late 1990s, The Piedmont – which is owned by the State of North Carolina but operated by Amtrak – has generated noteworthy tourism activity in Burlington, Salisbury, Kannapolis, and other North Carolina towns the line serves. Wake Forest’s return as a player in intercity rail travel –this time at high speeds – will guarantee more visitors into our community from around the state.

Moreover, modern high-speed passenger trains are energyefficient and environmentally friendly, emitting few harmful exhaust gases. High-speed trains also save significant time for passengers and, importantly, reduce vehicle traffic congestion along nearby thoroughfares.

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Town officials are working closely with the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Rail Division in readying the 18-mile Raleigh-toWake Forest rail corridor for high-speed operation – forecasted within seven years. Over $1.8 billion in total funding will activate engineering design, right-of-way purchases, and track and crossing upgrades that will facilitate safe, convenient, and speedy passenger movement. Exploration of locations for the return of a Wake Forest depot, which will likely be owned and managed by NCDOT, is already well underway. A highly favored Downtown intermodal transit hub is among the priority options under consideration.

In time, additional federal funds will allow for the extension of the line north of Wake Forest, ultimately connecting to Richmond, Virginia, and the northeastern United States. Currently, Amtrak passenger service from Raleigh to Washington, D.C., as well as freight service, must veer east through Rocky Mount before heading north. These and upcoming rail investments are part of an ambitious generational strategy by the federal government to enhance passenger transit from Atlanta to D.C. These new rail assets could also boost additional freight service to and through Wake Forest, potentially opening up new local job creation opportunities in logistics and light manufacturing.

Significant credit to our mayor, Vivian Jones, is due for her vocal and steadfast advocacy for this vision across her tenure. She and our Board of Commissioners, along with other senior municipal officials, continue working closely with the NCDOT in the exhaustive planning process required of a project of this magnitude. They deserve ongoing support and appreciation for their results-oriented leadership and hard work.

The future is glaringly bright for Wake Forest. The return of passenger rail service to our community by 2030 is yet another feather in our cap. As we tackle the work that awaits to see this project to fruition, let’s also eagerly anticipate the new opportunities it is poised to bring us and celebrate this new milestone in our Town’s already rich history. 

Jason Cannon is the president of Wake Forest Business & Industry Partnership (WFBIP), a non-profit organization that promotes Wake Forest as a destination for business and industry through economic development activities that expand the tax base, increase job opportunities, and foster positive economic impact on the community. To learn more, visit discoverwakeforest.org.

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There’s nothing better than browsing the stands of local farmers markets on a spring day, fueling spontaneous culinary creations with peak-of-the-season produce. For chefs and home cooks alike, this is a dream, a true “kid in a candy store” moment.

My first taste of real farm-to-table cooking was in Birmingham, Alabama, where I had the good fortune of landing the chef position at the top restaurants that were working with farmers who grew produce just for the local upscale restaurants. When the trucks

arrived daily at our back doors, there was a rush of excitement to see what the farmers chose for us to kick start the inspiration for our daily menu. Ingredients like arugula, so crisp that it snapped in half when you broke it, and its intoxicating vapors that cleared your sinuses immediately. And asparagus, so fresh and perfect that it needed nothing more than a 20-second blanch in salt water to bring out its sweetness and bright green color. The herbs, fennel, multitudes of heirloom eggplants, countless varieties of freshly shucked field peas, and okra – each bursting with flavor and potential. And let’s not forget the tomatoes … oh the tomatoes! Mama Mia, the mix of perfect and imperfect tomatoes in all shapes, sizes, and colors was staggering.

It’s hard to mess up cooking when you’re working with great ingredients. As a chef, I know that great ingredients equals a great finished dish. This is the mindset of many European cultures, particularly the French and Italians, who understand the importance of starting with the best ingredients possible. This philosophy is also what prompted the farm-to-table movement in America, beginning in San Francisco in the 1970s with a little restaurant (and still my favorite), Chez Panisse. The core principle was simple – grow amazing heirloom fruits and vegetables, pick them at the moment of their peak ripeness, and treat them simply. For many of us, this is the way – the only way. Hence, the movement was born.

The spontaneity of cooking with the ever-changing availability of produce and forming the bond with the farmers is a unique and equitable connection. We get to learn and understand where and how our food is grown and the growers get to educate and support their customers with information and superior nutrition while making a living. The freedom to meander through the farmers market stalls sparks impromptu decisions in the kitchen. I would argue that spontaneous cooking is the best cooking.

So, what to do with this bounty of goodness available to us? Well, it’s all about keeping an open mind. Grab a few peppers, okra, eggplants, some different varieties of tomatoes, a few fresh herbs, take them home, and start roasting, slicing, stewing, spicing, and pickling. Let the okra become friends with the tomatoes and some of your favorite Indian spices. Make a delicious, out-of-the-box pesto with herbs that aren’t just basil for your grilled eggplant. Drizzle those perfectly ripe tomatoes with some good olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Buy that artisan sourdough to toast on the grill. Use ripe and overripe fruits and herbs to jazz up your summer cocktails. See how far you can push your boundaries and play with your food. There are no losers, only a delicious learning experience. 

Nunzio Scordo is the co-owner of Franko’s Italian Steakhouse (27 S. Main Street) and Eli’s Tavern and Smokehouse (20 S. Main Street), in Downtown Franklinton. Visit frankositalian.com and elistavernfranklinton.com.

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Baseball stands as one of the nation’s most cherished pastimes, weaving tales of camaraderie and timeless tradition. From the crack of the bat to the roar of the crowd, the sport embodies the spirit of unity and community that defines American culture. And within the Town of Wake Forest, it’s no different – baseball holds a special place in its heart and history.

Wake Forest College boasts a storied baseball legacy, dating back to its earliest intercollegiate matchups and its prestigious national championship. Today, this tradition echoes throughout the town, as Wake Forest remains a vibrant hub for baseball enthusiasts of all ages, with local middle and high school teams, a recreational league, and a collegiate summer program carrying the torch of this beloved pastime.

Wake Forest began fielding its baseball team back in 1891, marking the inception of a tradition that would help shape the town’s sporting identity. In that same year, Riddick Stadium at North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College (now NC State University) hosted the first intercollegiate baseball game in North Carolina. This historic event featured Wake Forest College and North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College, laying the groundwork for a longstanding tradition of collegiate baseball rivalry in the state. The significance of this inaugural matchup reverberated throughout North Carolina, setting the stage for future athletic encounters among its universities.

The athletic legacy of Wake Forest College has deep roots, tracing back to its humble beginnings on North Main Street with the establishment of “the playing grounds.” Initially serving as a hub for baseball, football, and military drill practices during World War I, the grounds evolved over time. In 1922, the Gore Athletic Field emerged as a modern facility, generously funded by the Gore family. This field, equipped with state-of-the-art amenities like a baseball diamond and football gridirons, became a focal



point for athletic activities. Subsequent expansions, courtesy of Henry H. Groves, further enhanced the field, doubling its size and adding additional facilities, transforming it into Groves Athletic Field. This venue remained integral to the college’s athletic pursuits until its relocation in 1956, serving various sports teams and local community groups.

One of the most notable moments in Wake Forest College baseball history came in 1951 when the team participated in the Pan American Games held in Argentina. According to the Wake Forest Historical Museum, the Games were groundbreaking – an Olympicstyle international competition designed to showcase America’s athletes, with the Wake Forest College baseball team chosen to represent the United States. Twelve players made the trip to Buenos

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Aires from February 25 - March 8. After claiming victory over Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela, their journey proudly ended in a second-place tie with Mexico, after losing to both Nicaragua and Cuba. Upon their return home, the players, boasting the silver medal, were hailed as heroes for “so openly and honestly representing their country in international competition.”

Several of those players remained on the team four years later when Wake Forest clinched the 1955 National Championship by defeating Western Michigan. Despite facing criticism for playing on a Sunday, Coach Taylor Sanford received the honor of national coach of the year, while catcher Linwood Holt earned the prestigious title of All-American. To this day, they stand as only one of two ACC baseball teams to have won the NCAA College Championship.

Today, Wake Forest FUNGO, the Town’s official collegiate summer woodbat baseball league, owned by town locals Joe John and Julie Kruse-John, continues the baseball tradition in Wake Forest, bringing together college athletes from different levels who compete during the summer season. Their mission is to bring the community together through the love of the sport. The team’s recruitment process involves scouting and vetting to ensure the highest quality athletes are selected, and their participation in the Old North State League college summer leagues contributes to the growth and recognition of collegiate summer baseball in the area.

FUNGO’s impact goes beyond the field and the bleachers, as they actively engage with the community through various initiatives. Partnerships with local businesses and involvement in community events highlight the team’s dedication to fostering community connections. Additionally, FUNGO’s renovations for Flaherty Park aim to transform it into a vibrant hub for leisure and community engagement, further enhancing the quality of life for area residents.

As Wake Forest FUNGO continues to evolve, it leaves a lasting legacy for the community it proudly represents. The baseball fields in Wake Forest continue to host renowned teams from Heritage High School and Wake Forest High School, preserving the tradition of excellence in athletics. Moreover, recreational t-ball and baseball leagues for youth ensure that the love for the game is passed down to future generations, further cementing Wake Forest’s reputation as a baseball destination with a rich and storied history. 

Special thanks to Carolyn Rice and the Wake Forest Historical Museum. To learn more about the history of baseball in Wake Forest, please stop by the Museum, located at 414 N. Main Street in Wake Forest, or visit wakeforestmuseum.org.

To learn more about Wake Forest FUNGO, including their summer schedule that kicks off in May, and to purchase advance tickets, visit wakeforestfungo.com.

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Landscaping your yard can pose challenges, especially when dealing with varying levels of sun and shade. Not all plants are suited for low-light environments, but there are several shade-loving options that thrive in our area.

Hydrangeas are versatile plants that flourish in both full sun and shade. Their large clusters of dense foliage and abundant flowers bloom in late spring and summer, providing a vibrant mix of color and texture to shady garden beds.

Pagoda dogwood trees are a common springtime sight in North Carolina, with their horizontal layers and beautiful flowers that transition into blue berries by late summer. These small trees, reaching heights of 15-25 feet, serve as stunning focal points in landscapes.

Rhododendrons are hardy, spring-blooming shrubs with glossy leaves and bell-shaped flowers known for their strong, pleasant scent. They thrive in shade and can withstand extreme cold, offering a variety of colors to brighten up shaded areas.

Mountain witch alders not only bloom with flowers in the spring, but also display spectacular fall colors. Their bluish-green foliage adds beauty to shaded spots throughout the summer, making them a delightful year-round choice for shade-loving plants.

Carolina allspice (pictured), offers a delightful sensory experience in spring. Its clusters of dark red to burgundy flowers emit a captivating fragrance reminiscent of strawberries or pineapple, attracting butterflies and bees. Its flowers turn into urn-shaped berries that can be seen throughout the fall and winter. Perhaps best of all, it is resistant to disease, insects, and hot temperatures.

Additionally, consider these shade-loving perennials:

– Hostas: Prized for their lush foliage, hostas come in various sizes and colors, making them popular choices for shaded gardens.

– Ferns: Lady ferns and Japanese painted ferns are among the many species that thrive in shade, adding texture and greenery.

– Lenten Roses (Hellebores): These early-blooming perennials produce delicate, bell-shaped flowers in shades of pink, white, and purple, ideal for shaded areas.

– Coral Bells (Heucheras): With colorful foliage and dainty flowers, coral bells thrive in partial to full shade, offering versatility to shaded landscapes.

With the right foliage selection, your shaded areas can become the highlight of your outdoor sanctuary, proving that beauty doesn’t just blossom in the sunlight – it thrives in the shadows too. 

Jimmy Tompkins is the owner of JT’s Landscaping and Lawncare. He may be reached at 919-453-2716, or visit jts-landscaping.com for more information.

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Be enchanted … by a driveable destination waiting to be discovered by those seeking the epitome of coastal charm and tranquility. Bald Head Island, a pristine oasis accessible only by passenger ferry or private boat (so perhaps I should call this a “boatable” destination) beckons travelers with promises of unparalleled natural beauty and relaxation.


… with a scenic ferry ride, offering a passing view of the quaint seaside town of Southport. This 25-minute excursion sets the stage for true escapism as you leave your car and your worries “back on the mainland.”

One of the most unique features of BHI can be noticed right away. Without cars as a means of transport, people use electric golf carts, bikes, and, of course, their own two feet to explore the island, filling every visitor with a sense of giddy and kid-like wonder as life slows down to the 18 mph island-wide speed limit.

Arriving on BHI is like stepping into a postcard-perfect paradise.

You’re instantly greeted with a picturesque marina and the iconic, historic Old Baldy lighthouse – North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse –as a backdrop. The island boasts 14 miles of pristine beaches, fringed by undisturbed sand dunes and swaying sea oats. Inland, a lush maritime forest awaits, where towering live oaks draped in Spanish moss create a canopy of stillness.


The uniqueness of Bald Head Island comes not only in its charming landscape, but its balance of convenience and conservancy. With a commitment to environmental preservation, the island’s beauty is a true testament to its dedication to conservation.

Views of the saltwater marshlands, the serenity of the ocean’s lapping waves, or the quiet comfort of the calming Maritime Forest can be enjoyed in perpetuity as 10,000 acres of this 12,000-acre island have been preserved and will remain undeveloped.

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Think there’s nothing to do on an island? Think again! For those seeking adventure, Bald Head Island offers a multitude of recreational activities catering to every taste. Tee off at the Bald Head Island Club’s championship golf course, offering coastal views and meticulously manicured greens. Explore the island’s waterways by kayak or paddleboard, or embark on a thrilling deep-sea fishing excursion.

Want to unwind? Booking a day of wellness treatments at the Island Retreat Spa & Salon is sure to leave you feeling refreshed.

With opportunities for workout classes, massages, hiking, biking, and wildlife watching, the island’s offerings promise excitement and relaxation in equal measure.


No luxury escape is complete without exquisite dining experiences, and Bald Head Island delivers in spades. Indulge your palate with cuisine showcasing fresh seafood and local ingredients at acclaimed restaurants such as the Shoals Club’s “Aqua” and the Bald Head Island Club’s “The Grille.” For a more casual dining experience, visit Jule’s Salty Grub and Island Pub in the Harbor for delicious coastal fare and waterfront views, or enjoy al fresco dining at Jailhouse Provisions. For the home chef, the Maritime Market is fully stocked with everything you need to create your own culinary masterpiece, including an extensive wine selection for the perfect pairing.


So much has been packed into a four-mile paradise, including a plethora of retail boutiques offering everything from local BHI gear to famous brands, to home décor and local artwork.

Basically, if you forgot to pack it, you can get it here. Stop in and peruse Turtle Central at the BHI Conservancy campus, where each purchase benefits the sea turtles.


Speaking of sea turtles … the Bald Head Island Conservancy is a long-standing institution that champions the sustainability of barrier islands through environmental research and stewardship. The BHIC is a place where environmental education comes to life through sea turtle nest excavations, nature tours, and handson opportunities to handle live animals.


Reflect on the joy in the simplicity of life on island time, with added comfort knowing that your family will be safe as they explore the community.

Bald Head Island can bring back memories of childhood wonder: riding bikes, stargazing, and playing in the sand. It is with a heart brimming with anticipation as I reflect on all the highlights of my own personal haven. It’s hard to fit an entire island in an article, and an in-person visit can express so much more than words. Whether your escape is relaxing on the beach, exploring the island’s natural beauty, or indulging in luxurious amenities, Bald Head Island promises experiences that transcend the ordinary, leaving you with memories to treasure for a lifetime. 

To learn more about Bald Head Island, visit baldheadisland.com/ island.

Stephanie Blake is a licensed real estate broker with Intracoastal Realty on Bald Head Island. She may be reached at 443-848-9811 or sblake@intracoastalrealty.com. For more information, visit SBlake.IntracoastalRealty.com.

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It’s a growing trend that we’re seeing more and more in luxury home design – high-end finishes alongside features designed with everyday living in mind. From maximizing the use of space to adding functional features, luxury custom builders in our area are striving to integrate easy living into their home designs.


Adding convenience to laundry spaces has been a major trend many builders are incorporating into their designs. By taking a chore their home buyers participate in frequently and designing their homes to ease that chore, builders are adding incredible value to their homes and these buyers’ lives. At the top end of the luxury spectrum, we have builders adding private laundry rooms onto the owner’s suite closet, with some installing stackable washer and dryer connections into these closets. Imagine, instead of hauling laundry across your home, you have a laundry room conveniently located right in your closet. Even in custom homes outside the luxury market, builders are including this aspect in their designs.


We all love that living in North Carolina allows us to experience all four seasons. But that also means spending less time enjoying our outdoor living spaces in the heat of summer and the dead of

winter … unless you own or are buying a home with an outdoor space designed to be enjoyed all year long.

While fireplaces on outdoor patios have been popular for quite a while, more and more builders are incorporating built-in heaters, fans, and retractable screens into their outdoor design. These design features bridge the gap between outdoor and indoor living, allowing homeowners to enjoy the space in almost any weather.


If you’ve ever cut off the circulation in your arms trying to take all of the groceries inside in one trip, you’ll appreciate this design feature. Called the “Costco door” or grocery passthrough (pictured), some builders are now installing a small door in between the pantry and the garage. So instead of hauling all of your groceries out of the trunk, into the house, and through the kitchen into the pantry, you can simply unload them straight from your trunk into the pantry.

And it’s not just luxury builders finding a way to add this feature into their design. Builders in the mainstream market are also featuring this convenient detail in their homes.

Here’s an insider tip – keep an eye out for some homes that will be featured in the 2024 Triangle Parade of Homes coming up this fall and you may spot some of these design features.

If there’s one thing we’re seeing with potential buyers’ reactions to these innovative designs that prioritize function and form, it’s that making life a little simpler can be appreciated at any price point. 

Alicia Arritt is a real estate agent and marketing director with the Morgan Womble Group at Compass. She can be reached at 828-7074467 or alicia@morganwomblegroup.com. For more, follow her on Instagram @themillennialrelestateagent and @morganwomblegroup.


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Special event insurance, often referred to as “wedding insurance,” serves as a valuable safeguard for your investment in private events, particularly weddings. With event insurance, you gain access to two essential coverage options: event cancellation and event liability protection. Let’s delve into how these coverages can provide crucial protection for your special day.


Special event cancellation coverage may help protect you from financial loss if your event needs to be canceled or postponed for a number of accidental or unexpected reasons, including weather that prevents the majority of guests from attending, a serious illness to the couple or immediate family, and the bride or groom being called for military deployment. If you have to reschedule your reception because the banquet hall has no power after a big storm, but the caterer has already prepared the food, special event insurance will typically reimburse you, up to your policy’s limits, for lost deposits and nonrefundable amounts for both the venue and the food. It may also help reimburse you for payments to a vendor, such as a photographer or DJ, or costs associated with a honeymoon if the wedding is canceled or postponed. And, even if your wedding takes place as scheduled,

it may also help provide coverage if your photographs or videos are lost or damaged before you receive copies. The costs to replace lost or damaged wedding gifts, repair or replace special attire and jewelry, like a tuxedo, wedding gown, or rings, may also be covered.


Special event liability coverage may also help protect you if you’re found legally responsible for damage to the venue or an injury to someone at the event. If one of your guests damages a wall at the banquet hall, or if your photographer trips and sprains his ankle trying to get a shot you requested, the resulting repairs or medical bills would likely be covered. Keep in mind that liability coverage is usually limited to a 24- to 48-hour period that ends when the reception is over. Coverage limits may vary by policy, so be sure to read yours so that you know how much your insurance covers. Contact your insurance agent or read your policy to learn what types of event coverage may be available to you.


While it may be helpful if a vendor goes belly up or you have to postpone your wedding due to severe weather, special event insurance does not cover everything. For example, if there’s a mix-up with the cake, it is not likely to provide protection. It’s also important to note that a change of heart by either of the betrothed is not typically covered, so don’t expect to be reimbursed for any expenses

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you’ve already incurred or any cancellation fees if the wedding is called off due to cold feet. Also, while event liability coverage may help protect equipment rented from your venue, it generally does not cover damage to equipment rented from an outside company.


If you’re having a small gathering, you may decide you don’t need event insurance. If you’re having a larger event, though, it may help give you peace of mind as you invest in your wedding day. Consider talking to your vendors about any insurance coverage they may have, and look into what kinds of liability coverage you may already have through your insurance company, credit cards, and warranties. If you’re going to purchase special event insurance, it’s a good idea to do it as soon as you start incurring expenses for your wedding. Keep in mind, though, that there may be restrictions on when you can purchase coverage – often no later than 15 days before the event, but no sooner than two years prior. You may be able to purchase liability coverage up to one day prior to the event.

Hopefully your wedding goes off just as you planned, but having special event insurance just in case may ease your mind so you can concentrate on getting ready for your big day. 

Thomas Walters is the owner of Walters Insurance Agency, located at 3207 Rogers, Road, Suite 100 in Wake Forest. Call 919-554-0267 or email twalters@allstate.com for help with all your insurance needs.

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We all have our favorite warm-weather wardrobe. For instance, that short-sleeved shirt you bought in a variety of colors, because you like its style and fabric so much, knowing that you won’t find it again if you pass it by. There’s no doubt that iconic spring and summer pieces include t-shirts, shorts, and swimsuits, but let’s not forget that dresses and resort wear are also significant for beating the heat. Semiformal clothing is also worn this time of year, so it’s crucial to choose fabrics wisely for durable, cool, and lightweight pieces suitable for various activities.

Some of the most popular textiles for spring and summer are linen, cotton, and rayon, renowned for their comfort and breathability in warmer weather. Whether you’re browsing through your favorite local clothing boutique or prefer the personalized touch of garments crafted by your tailor, understanding these textiles will help you create the perfect warm-weather wardrobe. This insight ensures you make the right fabric picks, whether you’re choosing off-the-rack pieces or sourcing materials from your favorite fabric retailer.

LINEN: The elegance of linen makes it an iconic textile for spring and summer. Its natural appearance and resilience to the weather make it perfect for dresses, blouses, and pants. Linen is a natural fiber derived from the flax plant. A key characteristic is its loose weave, visibly forming small squares. This technique allows heat to escape from the body, preventing the fabric from clinging to it. Its look is quite pleasing, though it wrinkles easily. Before purchasing linen, check the label to ensure it specifies 100% linen and is not blended with any polyester.

COTTON: Cotton is a versatile and affordable fabric available in various forms, from price and colors to prints and outlets. Cotton comes from natural vegetable fiber obtained from the seed of the cotton plant. It can be used for different projects, ranging from clothing to home accessories. Its fine threads give it a light appearance with a gentle drape. Cotton is absorbent; however, if you sweat a lot, it may become damp and heavy. Stains from sweat



can appear on light-colored cotton in the armpits and neck areas. Check the content label to ensure it is 100% cotton and not mixed with any other polyester.

RAYON: Rayon is a stylish fabric, visually soft and unique in texture, gaining popularity these days. It’s a semi-synthetic fabric, derived from tree cellulose but undergoes a chemical process in its creation. Its fine threads make it very cool with a graceful drape. Dresses with ruffles, skirts, and blouses can be crafted from it. Rayon is comfortable, lightweight, and doesn’t cling to the body. Ironing is quite easy, and washing should be done with cold water to prevent shrinking.

POLYESTER AND NYLON: Polyester and nylon are thin strips of plastic, synthetic fabrics designed to address excess sweat and water. Their flexibility and durability make them favorites for sports and swimwear. They don’t wrinkle, dry quickly, and are long-lasting. Plastic fabric is a petroleum blend, which can be irritating for those with sensitive skin. Nylon and polyester are often incorporated into other natural fabrics to enhance durability and stretch. Therefore, it’s essential to read the label to verify the components.

TRENDS: The spring and summer seasons are set to be a lot of fun for fashion enthusiasts. We’ll witness a revival of retro styles, such as soft fabrics, lace, and wide hip belts. Colorful and abstract prints on dresses, pants, and blouses will pose a great challenge for color blocking. Fringes, short flutter sleeves, and blouse flares (peplums) will be more prevalent. One color combo to enjoy now that the temperatures are rising will be pinks and silvers. Certain styles never go out of fashion, including the maxi dress, shirt dress, midi dress, wrap dress, cotton eyelet pieces, and palazzo pants. The Pantone color trend for this year 2024 is Peach Fuzz, so be on the lookout for that hue as you’re shopping.

I hope you’ve gained the knowledge to choose your clothing pieces and understand the benefits of these textiles that are perfect for the warmer days and nights coming up. Have a fantastic on-trend spring and a fashionable summer. 

Sharon Cruz is a fashion designer and owner of Sharon Cruz Atelier, LLC, located at 1890 S. Main Street in Wake Forest, offering custom-made garments and alteration and modification services. She may be reached at 984-895-2737 and sharoncruzatelier.com.

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6-9 pm South White Street downtown wake forest | free admission wakeforestnc.gov MAY 10 – IRRESISTIBLE GROOVE | JUNE 14 – BOUNCE! PARTY BAND JULY 12 – THE BRICKHOUSE BAND | AUG 9 – SLEEPING BOOTY BAND | SEPT 13 – CRUSH S P O N S O R S live music | food | beer & wine begins April 12 with Magic Pipers 1st Choice Customized DJ Services | Cameron & Furman CPAs | Carolina Regenerative Health | Gutter Shutter | Kwench Juice Cafe ProAudio & Light | Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry | ShipOnSite of Wake Forest | Sylvan Learning Center of Wake Forest The Lindley at Grove 98 Apartments | Ting Internet | Wake Forest Area Chamber | Wake Forest Charter Academy | Wake Forest Federal North Wake Forest Heritage Village Wake Forest

Springtime is synonymous with fresh starts and new beginnings, manifesting in various ways for different people. For allergy sufferers, it may be time to start taking those allergy meds. Or it may be time to kick off a spring-cleaning spree and purge your closets of those items no longer needed. Garden enthusiasts eagerly anticipate planting new flowers, infusing their outdoor areas with the vibrant colors absent during the winter months. And for you homeowners, spring signals the perfect opportunity to tackle long-awaited remodeling projects, like that dream kitchen or bathroom renovation. If that’s you, it’s time to answer the call of home improvement and embrace the season of transformation.

Remodeling can be an overwhelming process, with many factors to consider such as time, budget, design, and selections, and knowing where to start can be the biggest challenge. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of common questions to help guide you through the process.

Q: I’m ready to remodel my kitchen, but I’m not sure if there are any other layout options besides the one I currently have. Whom should I contact first to kick-start the process and explore different layout possibilities?

A: In this scenario, I recommend reaching out to an interior designer as your initial step. One who specializes in home remodels can assess your space, offering insights into and determining the best layout options to maximize its potential. They’ll take into account your requirements and budget, crafting a customized plan tailored to your needs and preferences. Once you have finalized the plan, the next step is to engage a contractor to bring it to life. An interior designer collaborating with a contractor ensures a seamless project, blending their own spins and areas of expertise to achieve the best remodel for your space.



Q: I’m renovating my primary bathroom and have received quotes from three different contractors. The quotes are quite different, and I’m unsure if I am comparing apples to apples. I’m unfamiliar with much of the construction lingo and could use some assistance understanding all of it. Can you help?

A: Unfortunately, some contractors provide vague remodeling quotes, while others break down every detail line by line. As an interior designer specializing in remodels, I’m well-versed in deciphering these quotes. Any designer experienced in remodels should be able to assist you in understanding them.

One significant difference between quotes is often the allowances provided by contractors for necessary items in your renovation project. For instance, when you remodel your bathroom, you’ll need faucets, a tub, shower fixtures, tiles, lighting, mirrors, a shower door, cabinets, hardware, the countertop, and more. Allowances represent the amount allocated in the quote for these items. For example, one contractor may include a plumbing allowance of $5,000 to include everything related to plumbing, such as the faucets, tub, sinks, and toilet. Another contractor might offer only $3,000 for the plumbing allowance. This discrepancy matters. If you choose the $3,000 bid but your plumbing costs $5,000, you’ll have to pay the additional $2,000. Conversely, if you select the $5,000 bid but the plumbing costs only $4,000, you’ll pay the contractor $1,000 less as you didn’t use the full allowance.

Sometimes, contractors offer low allowances to present a lower total cost – but oftentimes, these allowances may not be realistic. For example, if you see a kitchen faucet allowance of $100, I can promise you the faucet will cost much more than that. It’s essential to understand that contractors can provide an exact number only if you’ve selected everything in advance and encounter no problems once the demolition starts. This hardly ever happens, so it’s always a smart idea to have a contingency fund. You never know what might be lurking behind the wall you are tearing down or if the floor is rotten under

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the 20-year-old shower. Moreover, you have the right to know the breakdown of the quote. Just giving you a bottom-line number and nothing else is not acceptable. You should receive a complete breakdown of the entire job, including what you’re paying the contractor/project manager.

Q: My contractor started my small bathroom remodel about three months ago and is still not finished. It is a small bathroom with only a vanity, toilet, and tub/shower. As you can imagine, we are very frustrated. Is this normal for such a renovation?

A: This is a loaded question. From my experience, some contractors are highly organized, while others, not so much. However, delays can arise from circumstances beyond their control, such as the sickness of a subcontractor, items arriving broken or damaged, etc. It’s crucial when working with a contractor to ensure that all your selections (like tiles or cabinets) are finalized, ordered, and received before beginning the demolition process. By doing so, you are not waiting on a backorder of tile or a cabinet that got destroyed in shipping, resulting in another four-week wait for its replacement. These situations can massacre a timeline, as subcontractors move on to their next job, leaving your remodel on hold until they can return. Now weeks have gone by, and your room is in total disarray as you wait.

As I always advise my clients, expect the unexpected. No matter how planned out the remodel is, things happen. It is construction. The key to managing these challenges lies in maintaining open and effective communication between the contractor and the homeowner.

So, all you homeowners out there who are contemplating a remodel, dive in! Beyond boosting your home’s market value, remodels enrich your personal living experience. Don’t put it off until you’re ready to sell – embark on your remodeling journey today and savor the transformation of your space. 

Rhonda Benvie Plummer is the owner of Help Me Rhonda Interiors and Open Door Furniture & Accents, a furniture and accessories store located at 119 Wind Chime Court, Suite 1 in Raleigh. Call 919-2639054 or visit helpmerhondainteriors.com or opendoorfurnitureandaccents.com. 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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They have long been revered in human culture, symbolizing love, purity, and health. From ancient times to present day, poets and musicians have sung their praises. There is even an entire holiday dedicated to their celebration. With their springtime arrival, the anticipation for one of the world’s most anticipated harvests reaches a fevered pitch.

To what could I possibly be referring? Strawberries, of course!

Strawberries are a delightful symbol of spring – representing renewal, freshness, and the arrival of warmer weather. Their early ripening makes them one of the first fruits to grace our tables after the winter months. The berries’ vibrant red color and sweet, juicy flavor bring a burst of color to our plates, inviting us to indulge in nature’s bounty after the recent winter chill.

Although the exact origins of cultivated strawberries remain uncertain, we do know that the Romans, Greeks, ancient Chinese, and just about every other group worldwide, spoke of the fruit. However, not all of the reviews were glowing – in the 12th century, St. Hildegard Von Binger deemed them unfit for consumption, as they were grown too close to the ground and contaminated by the frogs and snakes that frequented the gardens. Conversely, in Napolean’s court, Madame Tallien indulged in daily baths of fresh strawberry juice.

The word “strawberry” likely originated from the old English “streawberige,” because the plant sends out runners which could be likened to pieces of straw. However, it is also rumored that its etymology derived from merry old England, where children would string together berries on pieces of straw for easy sale in open-air markets as a treat. However, earlier mentions of strawberries focused not on culinary enjoyment, but rather on their medicinal uses. The leaves and roots of the wild strawberry were consumed to alleviate digestive issues and diarrhea, while the berries themselves were rubbed on the skin to soothe sunburn. And as crazy as it may sound, a strawberry paste was used to relieve gout. These

historical uses speak to the versatile and beneficial nature of the humble strawberry beyond its gastronomic appeal.

There are many stories and symbols of strawberries shared throughout history. Shakespeare linked the image of strawberry stains on a handkerchief to themes of virginity and fidelity. The plant itself has been used as a symbol of the divinity of God – its three-leaf structure symbolizing the Holy Trinity, the flower’s petals representing the five wounds of the crucifixion of Christ, and the drooping fruit representing drops of Christ’s blood. According to mythology, strawberries are linked to Aphrodite (Venus in Roman mythology), the goddess of love and beauty, because of

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their heart shape and red color, which are reminiscent of qualities attributed to the goddess. One myth suggests that strawberries originated from her tears, which fell to the ground as she grieved the death of Adonis, her lover. The tears, mixed with Adonis’s blood, are said to have given birth to the first strawberry plants. The association of strawberries with love made them a natural choice for inclusion in celebrations of love. The tradition of chocolate-covered strawberries as a romantic gift combines the fruit’s symbolic ties to love with the luxurious indulgence of chocolate, further cementing its status as a Valentine’s Day staple. Furthermore, an old wives’ tale dictates that if you break a double strawberry and share it with the object of your affection, you will fall in love with each other.

While strawberries can trigger allergic reactions in some people, leading to symptoms like itching; swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips; hives; and headaches (and even death), their health and nutritional benefits are significant. These fruits are rich in ellagitannins, known to slow down glucose digestion, which has shown to help prevent type 2 diabetes, and are loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids that have been linked to improved heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and improving cholesterol levels. Moreover, they are a valuable source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, B9 (folate), manganese, and potassium. Additionally, as they are low in calories and high in fiber, they are an excellent choice for weight management. Given these health benefits, as well as their deliciously sweet, juicy flavor, it may be worth tasting the mixture of the blood of Adonis and tears of Aphrodite!

When it comes to enjoying strawberries, the options are endless. One of the simplest and most satisfying ways is freshly sliced and served on their own, allowing their natural sweetness to shine. Add a burst of flavor and color to salads (they pair really well with spinach, arugula, mixed greens, goat cheese, nuts, and balsamic vinaigrette),

salsas, and grilled meats. Cook them down into a delicious sauce or jam that can be used as a topping for pancakes, waffles, yogurt, ice cream, or toast. Or blend into a refreshing smoothie or shake, muddle into cocktails, or infuse into water for a refreshing twist.

While all of these are delicious options, they can’t rival the simple yet irresistible pleasure of strawberry shortcake – a timeless dessert that perfectly showcases the sweetness and freshness of spring’s favorite fruit. Whether enjoyed as a delightful ending to a family meal or as a centerpiece at a festive gathering, strawberry shortcake is a beloved classic that never fails to delight the taste buds and evoke the joys of the season.

The origins of this sweet treat trace back to a Native American dish featuring strawberries atop cornbread. Over time, its roots have faded, but fear not – I’ve recreated a faithful rendition for you to enjoy.


– 2 cups cornmeal

– 1 tablespoon baking powder

– ¼ teaspoon salt

– 1/2 cup oil (I prefer butter melted)

– 1/3 cup honey

– 11/2 cup milk

– ¼ cup strawberries (crushed well)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the wet ingredients. Make a well in the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold them together. Add the strawberries and fold until well-mixed. Pour into a greased 9-inch round pan and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for 5 more minutes. Kick it up a notch by topping with additional freshly-sliced strawberries and a generous scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. 

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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his spring, head on down to Downtown Wake Forest and discover all that awaits ... whether you’re looking to grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee, do some shopping, listen to some music, and more, you’re sure to find it here. It’s “Where Quaint Meets Cool” so come explore this unique variety of businesses, restaurants, shops, and more for yourself ... you’ll be glad you did! wakeforestnc.gov (search “experience downtown”) LIVE IT UP IN DOWNTOWN!



There are many reasons why you may consider selling your home. Perhaps you need more space, are downsizing, relocating, or had a lifestyle change. Before selling your home, there are a few things you can do to get it ready for the market –not only to be more appealing to buyers, but also specific things that could yield a higher sales price.

We sat down with Allison Caudle Abbott, realtor and owner of Southern Lux Living, to ask questions about what she would suggest to someone who is considering selling their home.

Q: If I could only repaint three rooms before putting my home on the market, which rooms should I choose to maximize appeal to buyers?

A: Focusing on the kitchen, living area, and primary bedroom can offer the most significant impact. These areas are where potential buyers often envision themselves spending a lot of their time, so fresh, neutral paint in these spaces can make your

home feel more inviting and spacious. There’s a saying in real estate – “Update anywhere the water flows,” as these areas have a stigma of being costly area updates. If your kitchen and bathroom have a fresh coat of paint, many buyers will feel more at ease versus a secondary bedroom needing to be painted after they purchase the home.

Q: Would I get my investment back if I opted for a full bathroom remodel before selling?

A: While a full bathroom remodel can enhance your home’s appeal, it’s crucial to consider the current market and your home’s value. Minor updates like replacing fixtures, repainting, and ensuring everything is in good working order often provide a better return on investment. A complete remodel might not always offer a dollar-for-dollar return, but it could make your home more competitive in the market, potentially reducing the time it spends listed.

Q: How can staging my home impact the sale price, and are there specific rooms I should focus on staging more than others?

A: Staging can significantly impact your home’s sale price by showcasing its potential and helping buyers envision living there. Focus on staging the living room, primary bedroom, and kitchen, as these are key areas of interest for buyers. Staging these spaces to feel welcoming and functional can help create a strong first impression and potentially increase your home’s sale price.

Q: What are the top features today’s homebuyers are looking for, and how can I highlight these features in my home without undergoing extensive renovations?

A: Today’s buyers often look for open floor plans, good lighting, updated kitchens, and nice bathrooms. Highlight these features by decluttering spaces to appear more open, maximizing natural light with mirrors and light window treatments, and making small updates like new hardware in kitchens. Making necessary updates to a bathroom can feel like quite an undertaking to potential buyers, so getting that completed for them is a bonus.

Q: Considering the current market conditions, how should I price my home to attract buyers while ensuring I don’t undervalue it?

A: Pricing your home correctly from the start is crucial. It involves a balance between attracting buyer interest and reflecting your home’s true market value. Your real estate agent will conduct a comparative market analysis, considering similar recently sold homes, current market trends, and your home’s condition and upgrades. This analysis will guide you in setting a competitive price that attracts buyers without leaving money on the table. 

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.

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51 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2024 | 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



Spring, a season of renewal and growth, is an ideal time for caregivers of aging loved ones to reflect on their journey and embrace the beauty of caregiving. However, it’s crucial for those caregivers to also take care of themselves. Read on for insights and practical tips for navigating the delicate balance of tending to loved ones and oneself, and join me as we explore rejuvenation, resilience, and self-care on this caregiving path.


Caring for aging loved ones parallels tending to a garden – requiring attention, time, and patience. Spring prompts a reassessment of the caregiving landscape. Review your caregiving plan, aligning it with evolving needs. Like planting seeds, effective caregiving involves thoughtful consideration of medical, emotional, and social aspects. Additionally, ensure legal documents such as Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney with Advance Directives are in order.


Much like the blooms of spring symbolize renewal, caregivers navigate the changing seasons in their loved ones’ lives. Adapt care plans and seek support. Engage in open communication with healthcare professionals, educate yourself on your loved one’s health, and connect with other caregivers for insights through local support groups.


Spring invites us outdoors, and caregivers must also step into the sunshine. Respite care is vital in preventing burnout. Arrange short breaks by enlisting family or professional caregivers. Recognize that delegating care is not a burden or cause for guilt but rather a gift, preventing health crises and allowing for thoughtful decision-making.


Caregivers, like flowers, thrive in a supportive environment. Cultivate relationships with fellow caregivers. Join local support groups or online communities to share experiences, exchange advice, and find solace in knowing you’re not alone on this journey.


Spring’s vibrant colors inspire joy and vitality. Prioritize mental and emotional well-being. Incorporate activities that bring joy –i.e. reading, mindfulness, or hobbies. Seek professional counseling when needed, recognizing that emotional health is crucial for effective caregiving.


Spring encourages physical activity, beneficial for both health and strengthening connections. Integrate simple exercises into routines, like a leisurely walk in the park or gentle yoga with your loved one.

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As homes undergo spring cleaning, caregivers can declutter their minds. Reflect on personal goals, assess priorities, and identify areas for improvement. This fosters personal growth, allowing caregivers to bloom alongside their loved ones.


Spring teaches the value of patience, mirroring the caregiver’s journey. Practice patience when facing challenges. Approach each day with compassion, acknowledging difficulties while appreciating small victories. Recognize that our loved ones’ capabilities are ever-changing, requiring adaptability and understanding ... and sometimes a private loud scream to release frustration.

Spring offers an opportunity for caregivers to bloom alongside their aging loved ones. Nurturing physical, emotional, and mental well-being, caregivers gracefully navigate changing seasons. As flowers blossom, relationships between caregivers and loved ones flourish, creating a vibrant, supportive environment sustaining both on their shared journey. 

Carla Payne is the owner of Aging Care Matters, LLC and Adult Day Center in Wake Forest, is a certified care manager, and is southeast chapter president of The Aging Life Care Association®. For more information, visit agingcarematters.com or call 919-525-6464.

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Spring reading brings a sense of renewal and possibility as we emerge from the depths of winter. With longer days and milder temperatures, there’s an undeniable allure to curling up with a good book and letting the world around us fade away. Whether it’s enjoying a novel outside amidst blooming flowers, delving into a thoughtprovoking non-fiction book during a lazy afternoon, or escaping into a thrilling mystery as the sun sets, spring offers the perfect backdrop for literary exploration.


They Call Me No Sam by Drew

Let me introduce you to Sam – a cheeky pug determined to protect his family at all costs. When the Petersons, scientists working on a top-secret project, welcome Sam into their home, they never anticipate that he’s actually a pooping machine with a penchant for hairdryer attacking. The family is at their wit’s end… that is until a pair of criminals target the Petersons in pursuit of their classified research. Perhaps Sam’s antics might just help save the day.

Not A Smiley Guy by

Not a Smiley Guy tells the tale of Ernest, a baby content with his loving family and the world around him, even though he wishes there are more elephants. Despite his family’s obsession with smiling at his milestones, Ernest refuses to smile back. Even drastic measures involving elephants fail to make him smile. Eventually, the family learns that expressing love sometimes requires compromise. Through witty storytelling and expressive illustrations, the book teaches children about the diversity of emotions and understanding each other’s perspectives.

Just Like Millie by Lauren Castillo

In this touching picture book, a shy girl struggles in her new city, preferring the safety of home to socializing. Despite her mother’s efforts, she feels overwhelmed when meeting new children. However, everything changes when she meets Millie, a kind rescue dog. With Millie’s support, the girl finds the courage to face her fears and open up to new friendships. Through tender prose and expressive illustrations, author Lauren Castillo explores themes of shyness, anxiety, and the transformative power of companionship.



The Things We Miss by Leah Stecher

Some never quite feel like they belong. Wrong clothes, wrong life. We’ve all had those days, those years. This poignant tale of friendship and acceptance will tug at your heartstrings. Seventh grade is tough. How do you cope? JP seeks solace by escaping into a magical future, skipping through all the hard parts of life. With the help of a friend, she navigates her struggles and discovers inner peace.

The Lilies by Quinn Diacon-Furtado

If you were a fan of Groundhog Day, then you’ll be drawn to this captivating tale of four teenagers trapped in a time-loop. This thrilling mystery delves into the destructive power of secrets, both for an establishment and its inhabitants.

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Demon of the Unrest by Erik Larson

As described on the author’s website (eriklarsonbooks.com), Demon of the Unrest “brings to life the pivotal five months between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the start of the Civil War – a slowburning crisis that finally tore a deeply divided nation in two.” Larson’s novels have you feeling as though you are part of the story – and Demon of the Unrest is no different, taking you on a journey through what was going on in the backrooms and the taprooms and giving you a completely new outlook on this time period.

An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s

Doris Kearns Goodwin, at 81, remains as sharp and witty as ever. In An Unfinished Love Story, she shares anecdotes from her over four-decade marriage, including the challenges of moving her husband’s 300 boxes of memories multiple times. Upon finally examining them, they discover a wealth of treasures. His life was rich and varied – he was friends with Bobby Kennedy during his assassination, worked for JFK, was a professor, and so much more. This book pays homage to the tumultuous 1960s while also offering a hopeful reminder that despite difficult times, we will persevere.

Red Helicopter by James Rhee

Businesses are evolving, and no longer is it relevant to only think with numbers and spreadsheets. James Rhee, a former lawyer and teacher, is now in the corporate world as a strong business leader and impact investor, proving time and time again that kindness can pivot the direction your business takes. His new book tackles kindness and math. Generating significant buzz in the business world, this book is a mustread to keep up with the changing times.

Also to consider … James Patterson presents The Secret Lives of Bookseller’s and Librarians: The True Stories of the Magic of Reading – my husband Dave and I are

featured in it! As described by the publisher (hachettebookgroup.com), “Step inside The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians and enter a world where you can feed your curiosities, discover new voices, find whatever you want or require. This place has the magic of rainbows and unicorns, but it’s also a business. The book business. Meet the smart and talented people who live between the pages – and who can’t wait to help you find your next favorite book.”

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Out with the bodice-ripping novels featuring Fabio on the cover, and in with the comedy! Emily Henry delivers the laughs in her latest book – and while I have loved all her novels, this may be her best yet. When Daphne meets and falls for Peter, she makes a big move to his small town, only for Peter to realize he’s still in love with his high school sweetheart. Whoops! Not wanting to leave her dream job as a children’s librarian, Daphne ends up becoming the roommate of her ex’s ex. Cue the shenanigans!

Last House by Jessica Shattuck

In 1953, WWII veteran Nick Taylor, now a company lawyer, sees oil as the key to the future. He provides for his family, including his wife, a former codebreaker turned housewife, and their children. They enjoy a peaceful life in the suburbs and escape to their secluded country retreat, Last House, in Vermont. Fast forward to 1968, America is undergoing significant social upheaval, with protests against the Vietnam War and racism. Katherine grapples with her upbringing and her evolving beliefs amidst the changing times. As the family navigates through multiple generations and nearly 80 years, Last House delves deep into questions of legacy, responsibility, and the complexities of progress in American history. 

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 page158books.com.

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We’ve all experienced having to look twice to differentiate the difference between navy and black … not to mention the infamous dress that somehow appeared both white and gold to some and blue and black to others. But does this mean we’re color blind? Usually not. However, what if distinguishing between red and green, or blue and yellow, presents a challenge? While some clues may be obvious, others are more subtle. Are you confident in your ability to perceive bright colors or differentiate between various shades? Symptoms of color vision deficiency are often so mild that they’re difficult to detect. That’s why so many people with color blindness don’t even know they have it. And people usually adjust to differences in how they see color.

Fortunately, color blindness – or, more accurately, color vision deficiency – is not a form of blindness at all. Most people deemed “color blind” can see colors, but certain hues appear washed out and are easily confused with others, depending on the type of color vision deficiency. In rare cases, individuals have complete color vision deficiency, rendering them unable to see colors altogether.

Color vision deficiency is predominantly an inherited condition that affects males more frequently than females. An estimated 8% of males and less than 1% of females are born with color vision problems, though the numbers tend to shift depending on a population’s heritage.

Following are some of the most common questions surrounding this condition.

What makes an eye different when you are color deficient?

Our eyes have two kinds of photoreceptors in the retina that are designed to absorb light. Named after their shapes, they are called rods and cones. Rods are the reason your eyes will adjust in a dark room, allowing you to see basic shapes. Cones are what give us fine detail and color. They work best in bright light. All types of color blindness are related to diminished (or absent) function in the cones.

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Can I lose my color vision? Yes, color vision deficiency can also happen if your eyes or the part of your brain that helps you see color gets damaged. Common causes of this are eye diseases like glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration (AMD); brain and nervous system diseases like Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis (MS); some medicines, like Plaquenil (a rheumatoid arthritis medicine); and eye or brain injuries, like retinal detachment and some kinds of tumors. Your color vision may also get worse as you develop cataracts (changes in the lens of the eye).

How do I know if I am color deficient? Many color vision tests are available online. Be aware that these online versions may be less accurate, based on the color accuracy of your display. For the most accurate color vision testing, see your eye doctor for an eye health examination and ask for a color vision test. It is administered by a trained professional using standardized testing materials under proper lighting.

When should I get my child’s eyes tested? It can be tricky to notice color vision problems in children. Get your child’s eyes tested if they have a family history of color vision deficiency or if they seem to be having trouble learning colors. Kids who have color vision deficiency may try to hide it. But having color vision issues can make it hard to read certain things at school or do other activities, so get your child’s eyes tested if you’re concerned. There may be modifications that can be made in the classroom and at home to help minimize the impact.

What are my options if I have problems with my color vision? There are glasses that have been developed to increase the contrast between colors, but unfortunately, no accessory can fix color deficiency. In the meantime, the University of Washington is researching gene therapy to study color blindness and reports progress.

While color vision deficiency presents its challenges, it’s not a barrier to a full, vibrant life. Early detection and modern solutions like specialized eyewear can make a significant difference. If you are worried about the health of your eyes or your vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. 

Jennifer Murphy, OD is with McPherson Family Eye Care, located at 3150 Rogers Road, Suite 100 in Wake Forest. She may be reached at 919-263-9163. Visit mcphersonfamilyeyecare.com for more information.

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For centuries, people have owned cats for the pleasure of companionship and the low maintenance of having a family pet. In all actuality, there are so many more benefits to having a sweet furball around the house. In the craziness of everyday life, cats can bring joy that is unparalleled to other animals. They have a knack for being fairly selfsufficient and can always find the best way to entertain themselves. They can also be quite playful, entertaining, inquisitive, and interesting to watch and admire. Cats are incredibly adaptable creatures, able to thrive in various environments and living situations. They self-clean, don’t require formal training, and are easy to care for.

You may say, “Well, I’m not really a cat person” – but that may be because either you’ve never had the pleasure of being head-bunted by a friendly feline or you may have encountered a situation that has made you uneasy about them. Sure, cats can be intimidating because of their independent nature; however, they also find a way to communicate with their people and bring unconditional love. This can be rewarding to a human looking to alleviate loneliness and fulfill a need for companionship. Just the sheer topic of discussing your cat can increase interactions and socialization with other people. Caring for one also provides a sense of purpose and motivation for a person who needs to feel a sense of accomplishment.

Did you know that there are health benefits to owning a cat? It’s true! Cats can have a “pawsitive” effect on reducing blood pressure, and their presence alone can bring down stress levels. Endorphins lower stress, which can improve our mental well-being. It has

been scientifically proven that a cat’s purr can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, by 30%.

The vibrations of a cat’s purr are typically at a frequency of 20140HZ. Frequencies within a range of 18 - 35HZ have been shown to have a positive effect on joint and muscle injury. Therapeutic healing for human bones and muscles from a cat’s purr ... who knew that was a thing? Well, scientists have started studying this more and how it can help humans.

See, cats are pretty great, right? But why adopt? It boils down to saving a life. Shelters across the United States are at their limits due to pet overpopulation, exacerbated by the lack of spaying/neutering. As a result, shelters and rescue organizations are overflowing with cats of every color, size, age, breed, and gender. Fortunately, with such a variety, there is sure to be a cat to suit any lifestyle. These cats are generally well-socialized and accustomed to human interaction, ensuring they are ready to become beloved companions in their new homes. By adopting from shelters and rescue groups, individuals and families not only find a perfect furry friend, but also play a crucial role in giving these animals a second chance at a happy life.

One of the wonderful aspects of adoption is the dedicated volunteers who truly get to know the animals in their care. Through close interaction and observation, they become familiar with each cat’s personality traits. This includes understanding whether a cat will thrive in a single-cat household or enjoy the company of other felines, if it gets the zoomies, or prefers lounging and watching the world go by. By gaining insight into the behaviors and preferences of each cat, these volunteers can match them with suitable forever homes, ensuring a harmonious fit between pet and owner.

So many cats are finding themselves in shelters and rescues waiting for their own loving family. The importance of adoption extends far beyond welcoming a new furry friend into your home. When you adopt, you not only save a loving animal, but you also open up space at shelters and rescue groups for another who may desperately need it. It’s a full-circle benefit – the animal gains a loving family, the adopter gains a cherished companion, and the community gains relief from overpopulation pressures. Adoption fees are lower, and cover essential services like vaccinations, microchipping, and spaying or neutering, helping to break the cycle of overpopulation and contributing to the reduction of euthanasia rates of animals that are in the shelters. Adopting a cat not only gives them a second chance at living a loving and fulling life, but also positively impacts the lives of countless other animals in need and fosters a more compassionate community, one purr at a time! 

Dawn Glinsky-Futrell is the owner of Frabjous Catfe, a cat adoption cafe, located at 12261 Capital Boulevard in Wake Forest. For more information, visit frabjouscatfe.com.

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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 .

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

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As you gear up for the rejuvenating ritual of spring cleaning, it’s essential to begin sorting through and decluttering the various items that have accumulated over the past year. Beyond just tackling your clothes closets and drawers, numerous other areas of your home warrant attention. To help streamline the process, here’s a handy room-by-room checklist outlining what to prioritize purging for spring.

KITCHEN: From cabinets, pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, inspect and toss all foods that are past their sell- or use-by dates. If canned food is undated, decide based on: Is the packaging damaged or deteriorated in any way? Does the food appear discolored? Can you remember buying it? And, are you likely to ever consume it? When in doubt, throw it out!

Other things to purge in the kitchen include unmatched food storage containers and lids, chipped and cracked crockery, and recipes and cookbooks you no longer use. Don’t forget to clean out the junk drawer too. Spring is also a great time to replace water filters and to have cooking and carving knives professionally sharpened.

BATHROOM: In addition to disposing (safely and securely) of expired over-the-



counter and prescription medications, be sure to inspect and replace all aging cosmetics, toothbrushes, flossers, and so forth.

FAMILY LIVING AREAS: Look to purge broken toys and games and puzzles that are missing pieces. With yard-sale season upon us, it’s also a great time to sort through

and donate bulky media, such as books, magazines, and video games. If you didn’t already do so with the change to daylight saving time, test and replace batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

LAUNDRY: Say goodbye to all those perpetually unmatched socks and dingy whites.

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Discard or fix garments with holes, missing buttons, and broken zippers. While you’re at it, clear out accumulated lint in the vent that extends from your dryer to the outside (which is a big fire hazard).


Especially if you’ve got kids, there’s a good chance you have lots of outgrown (or unmatched) shoes, jackets, mittens, gloves, and other gear you can move along to free up space. It’s also a great time to take stock of all the spring and summer stuff you saved from last year – such as sporting equipment, flip flops, sunscreens, bug sprays, and so forth – to see what might need replacing.

CRAFT AREA: Sort through all your supplies, from fabrics and papers to paints and ribbons. Purge any items that you no longer need or use, and organize the remaining supplies in a way that makes them easily accessible. Clearing out clutter from your craft space will not only make it more functional but also inspire creativity and productivity for your next project.


Once your tax returns are filed, many of the paper records you’ve been hanging onto can be safely shredded and recycled. Pick a rainy spring day to focus on cleaning up electronic devices – purging old emails, archiving files, downloading and organizing photos, and deleting those never-used apps.

Spring cleaning isn't just about tidying up –it’s a chance to clear out the clutter and create a more organized and functional living space. By purging items you no longer need or use, you can free up valuable space and reduce stress in your home. So, roll up your sleeves, tackle those cluttered closets and overflowing drawers, and enjoy the benefits of a cleaner and more streamlined living environment. 

Todd Nelson is the owner of MaidPro of the Triangle. Visit maidpro.com/raleighnorth or call 919-871-9996.

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Spring ushers in not just blooming flowers and warmer days, but also a bounty of fresh produce that can transform any meal into a celebration of the season. Delving into my mother’s cookbook, a cherished family heirloom, brimming with generations of culinary wisdom, I’ve revitalized two of her classic dishes featuring the vibrant flavors of spring – steak tacos with avocado-corn salsa, perfect for Cinco de Mayo festivities, and a mixed berry salad, an ideal complement to any spring table.


The first recipe is a flavorful twist on traditional steak tacos, incorporating the fresh, zesty flavors of spring with a homemade avocado-corn salsa. Here’s how to bring this dish to life.

– 1 tablespoon chili powder

– 11/2 teaspoons ground cumin – ¼ teaspoon black pepper

– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided – 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 11/2 pound skirt steak

– 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears), or 3 cups canned – 2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/2 inch pieces – ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

– 1 teaspoon lime zest plus 3 tablespoons fresh juice (about 2 limes)

– 6 scallions

– 12 (6-inch) tortillas, warmed – Lime wedges

Preheat grill to medium-high. Stir together chili powder, cumin, pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Rub oil over steak, coat with spice mixture, and let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the salsa, stir together corn kernels, avocados, chopped cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.

Place steak on oiled grate, and grill, uncovered, to desired degree of doneness (2-3 minutes on each side for medium-rare). Let

stand 5 minutes. Place scallions on grate, and grill, uncovered, and turn occasionally until charred and tender, about 2 minutes.

Cut steak across the grain into strips and divide evenly among tortillas. Chop scallions, and sprinkle over steak. Top with salsa and serve with lime wedges.

Complete your Cinco de Mayo celebration by pairing with the perfect margarita featured on page 18 for a refreshing and festive foodie experience.

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Speaking of avocado, the second recipe is a mixed berry salad that elegantly pairs its creamy texture with the sweet and tart flavors of spring berries – a refreshing side dish or a light meal on its own.


– 5 ounces spring mix, minimum

– 1 cup strawberries, quartered

– 1 cup raspberries

– 1 cup blueberries

– 1 avocado, diced

– 1/3 cup candied or toasted almonds, walnuts, or pecans

In a large bowl, combine spring mix, berries, avocado, and nuts. Drizzle with about half of the dressing and toss to combine, adding additional dressing as desired.

To take your mixed berry salad to new flavor heights, mix in proteins or cheeses that complement its fresh profile. Grilled chicken or shrimp can add a smoky depth, making the salad a more substantial meal, while the crispy saltiness of bacon can contrast deliciously with the sweet and tart berries. For a touch of creamy indulgence, sprinkle in some feta or goat cheese.


– 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

– 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (not bottled)

– 2 tablespoons honey or agave

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– ¼ teaspoon pepper

– 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

– 4 tablespoons avocado oil (or another neutral oil, like canola)

In a small bowl or jar, combine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine, then continue to whisk as you slowly drizzle in the avocado oil, whisking until the dressing is fully combined. Whisk or shake dressing to recombine before using as needed. Dressing will keep for one week in the refrigerator.

Whether you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo with these vibrant steak tacos or enjoying a lovely spring dinner featuring this delicious mixed berry salad, these dishes boasting fresh seasonal ingredients are sure to bring joy and a taste of spring to your table. 

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Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite retreats, a lovely place that never fails to fill me with joy. As a parent and a small business owner, finding moments to escape is a rarity, but this local gem is a haven just a five-minute drive from my shop.

Blue Jay Point County Park is nestled within a sprawling 236-acre site adjacent to Falls Lake, situated on land leased from the US Army Corps of Engineers through NC State Parks. Once primarily agricultural land, the park is steeped in a rich history of nurturing agrarian communities; that is until the Falls Lake project began in the early 1970s.

The park offers a diverse range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. One highlight is a section of the North Carolina

Mountains-to-Sea Trail, running through the park and providing picturesque hikes and nature walks (my personal favorite). Additionally, after Christmas, the park collects discarded Christmas trees to create mulch for the trails, filling the air with a delightful aroma reminiscent of a magical wonderland. Beyond hiking trails, visitors can explore gardens, enjoy the nature center, and unwind at the playground and open fields. Picnic areas invite relaxation, while shoreline fishing provides opportunities for angling enthusiasts. For those seeking a bit of a thrill, the Go Ape Treetop Adventure offers an exhilarating experience amidst the park’s natural beauty.

This preserved land has enriched my life over and over. My introduction to its history occurred during my time as a Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management major at NC State. As a student, I spent a great deal of time volunteering with the park system and learning about the endless benefits of recreational areas. As I transitioned into adulthood, I began to experientially understand those benefits. When my son was four (he’s now 18), I began raising him as a single parent, and Blue Jay Point was such a cherished gift for us both. He wasn’t particularly an outdoor kid, but I could always entice him to take a little walk down to the lake to throw pebbles into the water. It became a place where we gathered with friends, enjoying a leisurely lunch as the kids played on the playground. And now, a little later in life, spending time hiking there helps get me through the darkest days of winter and the hottest days of summer.

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It provides emotional shelter during times when life’s burdens get a little heavier than I like. Blue Jay Point has evolved into more than just a recreational space – it is therapy, a gathering space to meet with friends, a healing sanctuary. I return to it time and time again, seeking to recenter myself, find beauty, and clear my mind.

In 2019, I was honored with the task of painting the hiking mileage signpost for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Blue Jay Point (pictured). This project ignited a sense of excitement within me and helped to bolster my confidence. Witnessing the smiles it brought to people and seeing the joyous photos taken in front of it filled me with great joy, fostering a deep sense of connection to the community and inspiring me to become more involved with it. It was one of the nudges that encouraged me to start my own business, a space where local artists are supported, and the community is engaged and connected. So every time I see the signpost, I am grateful all over again.

This recreational land is a part of our wonderful state … it’s one for which I am incredibly proud to be a part. I love that we have this gem so close to home, and I hope it will bring you as much joy as it brings me.

The park grounds are open from 8:00 AM until sunset every day of the week, providing ample opportunity for outdoor activities and exploration. Additionally, the Education Center Exhibit welcomes guests daily from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, ensuring visitors can learn and engage with exhibits throughout the week (closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day). Located at 3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd in Raleigh, the park can be reached at 919-870-4330 or via email at BlueJayPoint@wake.gov for inquiries and information. For additional information, visit wake.gov/departmentsgovernment/parks-recreation-open-space/ all-parks-trails/blue-jay-point-county-park.

Those curious about the history of Falls Lake can delve deeper into the subject through Janet Steddum’s excellent book, The Battle for Falls Lake. Furthermore, individuals keen on learning more about the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail can find comprehensive information on the trail’s official website at mountainstoseatrail.org. 

Courtney Pernell is the owner of Bayleaf Market, located at 11723 Bayleaf Road in Raleigh. Visit bayleafmarketraleigh.com and follow @bayleafmarketraleigh.

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The days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising – and as you trade out your winter boots for summer sandals, it’s important to also remember to adjust your skincare. In winter, you should focus on hydration and heavier products to combat the dryness from both the cold air outside and indoor heating. As the weather turns hot and humid, thick products are no longer needed and can cause clogged pores and breakouts. Even your regular skincare treatments should change with the seasons. As you spend more time outside enjoying the nice weather, it is best to postpone more intense skincare treatments like chemical peels, microneedling, or laser. Sun exposure after such treatments can make your skin worse and more susceptible to damage.

Transitioning your skincare for the spring season ensures your skin remains healthy, clear, and radiant. Here are some simple ways to shift your skincare routine for the changing weather.

1. Lighten up your moisturizer: Swap out heavy creams for lighter moisturizers. This will prevent your skin from feeling overloaded and allow it to breathe better in the humidity.

2. Exfoliate. Clearing away dead skin cells will allow your products to better absorb. Be sure to choose a gentle exfoliant to avoid irritation. Always make sure it was designed for the face (body scrubs are too harsh) and remember, it doesn’t have to be a scrub! Gentle ingredients like lactic acid or gluconolactone can exfoliate without irritation and actually work better for those with sensitive skin or active acne.

3. Don’t skip the sunscreen. Although you should be wearing



sunscreen 365 days a year, it is especially important in the spring and summer as we spend more time outside. Sunscreen is the #1 product you can use to prevent premature aging – look for products that are at least SPF 30+.

4. Incorporate vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient that not only helps to brighten the skin, it also has antioxidant properties that work to prevent cellular damage and premature aging from the sun. Use a product with vitamin C (ideally a serum or moisturizer) in the morning before your sunscreen for extra protection.

5. Purge products. Go through your products and throw away

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#where quaint meets cool wakeforestnc.gov search “experience downtown” follow Wake Forest Downtown

anything that has expired. Products lose their effectiveness past their expiration date; at best, they aren’t doing much for your skin, and at worst, they can cause irritation as ingredients start to break down.

6. Refresh with a sheet mask. Few things feel better than a cool sheet mask (kept in the fridge for extra chill) on your face after a long day in the sun. Put the mask on after you wash your face and before you put on moisturizer.

7. When in doubt, keep it simple. Your skincare routine doesn’t have to be long and complicated. There are just three basics everyone should be using – cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Just make sure you are choosing quality products that suit your skin type.

Are you confused about what products are best for your skin?

Overwhelmed by the number of different products on the market? Book an appointment with a licensed esthetician who is trained to analyze your skin and help you build a routine to achieve your skincare goals. 

Samantha Luce is the owner of Jubilation Skincare & Massage located in Downtown Wake Forest. You can book an appointment at jubilationspa.com or follow on social media @jubilationspa.

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In the realm of dental health, innovation is the name of the game. Dentists are constantly striving to stay at the forefront of these advancements, investing in new tools and techniques to better serve their patients. From early cavity detection to precision treatment of bite problems and non-invasive solutions for gum disease, state-of-the-art tools and cutting-edge technology help to ensure that patients receive the very best in efficient, effective, and comfortable treatment experiences. Join me as we explore a range of examples of dental health technology, each designed to elevate the standard of care, and when used appropriately and in the right situation, can be utilized for the benefit and safety of patients.

TEKSCAN: Tekscan is a computerized diagnostic tool that revolutionizes the identification and treatment of bite problems. By providing real-time insights into how a patient’s teeth interact during biting, Tekscan allows for highly customized treatment plans tailored to individual bite irregularities, ensuring optimal oral health restoration.

DIAGNODENT: A groundbreaking solution for early cavity detection, DIAGNOdent utilizes laser technology to identify and treat cavities in their earliest stages with unparalleled accuracy. This early detection capability translates into fewer visits to the dentist and more conservative treatment approaches, ultimately benefiting patients with superior oral health outcomes.

BIOPAK: Taking neuromuscular dentistry to new heights, BioPak provides comprehensive data on jaw functionality to inform precise treatment plans for temporomandibular joint (TMJ/TMD) issues. By tailoring therapies with unprecedented accuracy, it empowers dentists to alleviate discomfort and improve the overall quality of life for their patients.

ORAL DNA : Representing a paradigm shift in periodontal care, oral DNA offers a non-invasive solution to gum disease through salivary testing. By providing comprehensive insights into the oral microbiome, Oral DNA enables dentists to diagnose and treat periodontal disease with unparalleled efficacy, revolutionizing the patient experience.

MICROLUX TRANSILLUMINATOR: A cutting-edge solution for detecting cavities and cracks, MICROLUX Transilluminator minimizes the reliance on conventional x-rays while providing clear insights into oral health issues. This device empowers dentists to

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diagnose and treat patients with confidence, prioritizing efficiency and patient comfort.

DIGITAL X-RAYS: Revolutionizing dental imaging by providing immediate access to high-quality images, digital x-rays enhance diagnostic accuracy and reduce radiation exposure. By capturing images instantly, dentists can streamline analysis and treatment planning, delivering efficient and precise care while prioritizing patient well-being.

CO2 LASER: Setting a new standard for precision and comfort in dental soft tissue removal, CO2 lasers minimize discomfort for patients and ensure smoother healing. With its gentle and effective treatment approach, the CO2 laser exemplifies the modernization of dental care, emphasizing patient comfort and satisfaction.

The advancements in dental technology showcased here underscore the commit-

ment of dentists to providing exceptional care to their patients. When used appropriately and under the correct circumstances, these innovative tools and techniques are transforming the landscape of dental health. With each breakthrough, dentists are better equipped to deliver efficient, effective, and comfortable treatment experiences, ultimately improving outcomes and enhancing the overall quality of care. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the possibilities for enhancing oral health and well-being, ensuring that patients receive the very best that dentistry has to offer.

Dr. Edmond Suh, DDS is with Supremia Dentistry, located at 1704 S. Main Street in Wake Forest. Dr. Suh is an international lecturer on contemporary dental techniques, as well as extremely conservative techniques for veneers, and has been performing such cases since 1999. At Supremia Dentistry, expect something different. Visit supremiadentistry.com to learn more or call 919-556-6200 to schedule an appointment.

69 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2024 | circamagazine.com


Massage – an indulgence that can relieve tension, reduce pain, and promote relaxation. It’s a pampering experience that promotes overall well-being, leaving you refreshed, invigorated, and ready to face the world anew. But this therapeutic practice that rejuvenates both the body and the mind isn’t just for humans. Just like us, dogs can benefit from the soothing touch of massage therapy.

When you massage your pup, you’re engaging in the gentle rubbing and kneading of their muscles and soft tissues. There are two primary techniques for canine massage. The first is known as effleurage, which involves a long, gliding stroke along the length of the muscle. This gentle gliding motion encourages blood flow in the area and helps your dog to relax. This technique also provides

the opportunity for you to feel for any areas of muscle tightness that may need extra attention.

The second massage method is called petrissage, a firm kneading and rolling motion that mimics a typical relaxing massage. This technique has the same effect on your dog’s muscles as it does on yours – improved blood flow and reduced muscle tension.

Less commonly used in dogs is tapotement, also known as percussion, when you rhythmically, lightly tap on your pup’s body using the sides of your hands or with cupped hands, stimulating circulation and invigorating your furry friend.


Research has shown that dogs, like humans, respond positively to touch. Stroking and massaging your dog can reduce his stress levels, decrease his pain, and increase his flexibility. It triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin levels in his brain, making him feel relaxed and helping him sleep. Massage benefits all dogs, but is particularly good for elderly animals with arthritis.


There are certain circumstances when you should avoid massaging your dog. If there is an area of active inflammation or a bone fracture, massage will be painful and make her condition worse. Dogs with bleeding problems should also not be massaged because the firm pressure on their muscles can cause further hemorrhaging.


For senior dogs, massage will make them physically more comfortable and mentally more relaxed. However, it’s not the only thing you can do to care for them. Other ways in which you can improve your senior dog’s quality of life are:

– Provide a soft, warm bed that keeps him off the hard floor. Make sure it is low enough for him to easily get in and out.

– Keep her weight in check. Her joints are more likely to be sore if she has to carry around a few extra pounds.

– Give him a product called “Joint Resolution” regularly. This product contains collagen, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin to improve joint health and mobility.

Canine massage offers numerous benefits, promoting relaxation, reducing pain, and improving overall well-being. By practicing proper techniques, you can provide your furry family member with a soothing and therapeutic experience that enhances his quality of life. Just remember to be mindful of any existing health conditions and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns. 

Vanessa Davis is the founder and CEO of Dirty Dogs Spa, with locations in Wake Forest (929 Heritage Lake Rd., Ste. 500), Raleigh (Stonehenge Market, 7490 Creedmoor Rd.), and Wendell (1932 Wendell Falls Pkwy.). For more information, visit dirtydogsspa.com

70 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2024 | circamagazine.com
71 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2024 | 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.



Navigating the real estate market to simultaneously sell your current home and purchase a new one is akin to a juggling act where precision and timing are paramount. This dual transaction process demands not only a keen understanding of the market dynamics but also an ability to coordinate logistical details, all while keeping the financial implications firmly in hand. The challenge lies in ensuring that neither ball drops – selling for an optimal price while securing your next dream home. Fortunately, with a few straightforward tips, it’s possible to streamline this convoluted process, allowing you to transition from your current residence to your new home with minimal stress.


AGENT: Working with a real estate agent who has experience in managing concurrent buy-sell transactions can be invaluable. They understand the intricacies of timing, can negotiate on your behalf, and will coordinate the moving parts of both transactions. Their expertise can be the difference between a seamless transition and a logistical nightmare.

MONEY MATTERS: Once you’ve hired your real estate agent, consult with them to de-

termine how much money to anticipate receiving from your home sale. Next, ensure you’re comfortable with the new mortgage –the monthly payments, the interest rate, and so forth. Having all your financial ducks in a row is crucial before diving into this transition.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: When it comes to real estate, things don’t always go as planned. Consider having a home inspection and address any necessary repairs –this will not only enhance your property’s appeal to potential buyers, but it can potentially expedite the sale process.

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KNOW WHAT YOU WANT: Know precisely what you’re looking for in a new home. Reflect on your current living situation to identify must-haves and deal breakers for your next house. Once your current house is under contract, there isn’t a lot of decision-making time for buying.

TIMING IS KEY: Getting the timing right is crucial – do all you can to line up the sale of your old house with the purchase of your new one, allowing you to avoid the stress of not having anywhere to live or paying two mortgages at once. Or discuss strategies with your agent, like negotiating a leaseback to remain in your current home after closing for a short period if necessary.

COMMUNICATE: Maintain regular and clear communication with your real estate agent, lender, and all parties involved. Prompt and concise exchanges can prevent delays and keep your transaction on track.

ORGANIZE METICULOUSLY: Document every critical milestone, such as the listing date, inspection schedules, and deadlines. Keeping a detailed record and organizing important documents ensures you’re the one in charge, not the other way around.

STAY GROUNDED: It’s essential to manage your stress levels and keep realistic expectations. Understand that there will be ups and downs, and some aspects will be beyond your control. Stay focused on the end goal –securing your new home while maximizing the return on your current property.

Juggling the sale and purchase of homes simultaneously is no small feat. However, with thorough planning, clear communication, and a proactive approach, you can navigate it smoothly. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to a smooth sale and a successful move. 

Yandry Mastromihalis is a realtor with eXp Realty. She may be reached at 646875-0076 and yandrymastro@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook and Intstagram @yandryrealtor.

73 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2024 | circamagazine.com



The Wake Forest Historical Museum will host We Built This: Profiles of Black Architects and Builders in North Carolina, an exhibit created by Preservation North Carolina from April through July. We Built This highlights the stories of those who constructed and designed many of North Carolina’s most treasured historic sites, including Julian Francis Abele and Oliver Nestus Freeman. This exhibit explores pivotal moments in our history, including slavery and Reconstruction, the founding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Black churches, and Jim Crow segregation.

Black men and women built some of Wake Forest’s most well-known and iconic structures, including the Calvin Jones House, the South Brick House, and the stone wall that encircles Wake Forest College’s original campus, now home to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and College (SEBTS). In bringing We Built This to Wake Forest, we hope to highlight the skill, creativity, and struggle of the Black craftsmen and women who helped build our community.

the campus. Thomas Jeffreys was born enslaved on a plantation in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, around 1846. After working as a tenant farmer in Virginia, he moved to Wake Forest around 1880. From 1884 to his death in 1927, he worked as a groundskeeper and janitor at Wake Forest College. Len Crenshaw was born into slavery at Waterfall Plantation, located to the west of Wake Forest. He and his parents, Allen and Lender Crenshaw, were enslaved by William Crenshaw, one of the original trustees of Wake Forest College. Len worked at Wake Forest College from about 1878 to his death in February 1890.

In 1835, Wake Forest College trustees hired John Berry, a builder from Hillsborough, to construct a new college building at the center of campus. Upon accepting the contract, John Berry relocated 10 to 20 enslaved laborers to the campus to complete the work. During the construction process, there was a fatal accident that claimed the lives of two enslaved African American men. Yet, few records document where their burials were.

From 1835 to about 1840, enslaved men repaired or remodeled several wooden structures across the campus and constructed two faculty homes, including the South Brick House, which still stands today. The college building (pictured), later renamed Wait Hall, was destroyed by a fire in May 1933 and replaced by a new building.

Wake Forest College’s development continued as Thomas Jeffreys and Len Crenshaw built the stone wall (also pictured) that surrounds

Beginning in the 1880s, Jeffreys and Crenshaw started the section of the stone wall on the east side of campus, facing the railroad tracks. This wall served as a physical boundary from the road to the campus and became a source of pride for students and faculty due to its aesthetic appeal. However, this pride failed to translate into adequate recognition for Jeffreys and Crenshaw. In 1934, students erected a plaque in honor of Jeffreys on the north side of campus for his service to the University. The plaque omits Jeffreys’ full name, Thomas Jeffreys, stating only “Doctor Tom.” There is no mention of Len Crenshaw’s contribution to building the wall.

To fully capture the architectural history of Wake Forest, it is important to recognize and honor the contributions of Black builders such as Thomas Jeffreys, Len Crenshaw, and the enslaved men who constructed the Wake Forest College campus. By acknowledging the labor and craftsmanship of those who physically built the structures, rather than solely attributing recognition to building owners, we can ensure that the legacies of North Carolina’s Black builders will not be forgotten. 

Carolyn Rice is manager of operations and external relations of the Wake Forest Historical Museum and Wake Forest College Birthplace, located at 414 N. Main Street.

For exhibit hours and events, check out wakeforestmuseum.org.

74 CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2024 | circamagazine.com
CIRCA Magazine | April • May • June 2024 | circamagazine.com
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