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a n i l o r a l C r i G Articles: Gift cards make the perfect present Tips to ensure your beauty last Become the ultimate cookie exchange host

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Contents Carolina Girl Of The Month 4 Carolina Girls Buy Local For Christmas 5 Mankind Is A Great And Immense Family 10 Gift Cards Make The Perfect Present 11 At Christmas...All Roads Lead Home 15 Expert Tips To Ensure Your Beauty 16 Santa Claus comes down through The Chimney 19 The Ultimate Cookie Exchange Host 20 Christmas waves a magic wond over the world 24 Save Some Green During The Holidays 25 I Wish We Could Put Some Of The Christmas Spirt In Jars 28 Staycations Discover Something Close To Home 29 The Best of All Gifts Around Any Christmas Tree 32 Bunker Shot Perfection 33 May Peace Be Your Gift At Christmas 35 Moving Beyond Your Divorce 36 Christmas Is Not As Much About Opening Presents 39 Carolina Girl 40 It Is Christmas In Our Hearts 42 Carolina Girls Know About Breast Cancer 43 Christmas Fulfils The Greatest Hunger Of Mankind 45 Carolina Girls Need Inexpensive Family Activites...Pronto! 46 Apple Pie 48 About Summerville 50 South Carolina Wedding and Event Planners 52 A One Tank Trip 55 Carolina Girls...Have Careers 58 Charleston's Office Of Cultural Affairs 60 Eat Your Veggies 62 Carolina Girl Resources 65 Carolina Girls Know Their State 71 Who Has Not Christmas In Her Heart 72 Time To Refinance Or Buy? 73 The Message Of Christmas Is... 75 Neighborhoods 76 Online Magazine | 2009 4

From The Editor Carolina Girls Buy Local For Christmas Promoting local business is as simple as having other company’s business cards or brochures posted on a board in your store. In an effort to promote your area, we are distributing decals that say “Check us out at,” in hopes that local shoppers will visit the site to find local restaurants, clothing, specials, coupons and more. We are doing our part, so please join us, and promote your local merchants, and everyone will benefit!

Top Ten reasons to Think Local Buy Local - Be Local – Help Local Businesses 1. Buy Local

Support yourself and South Carolina. Many studies have revealed when you buy from an independent, locally owned business in the your own area, rather than a nationally owned businesses, considerably more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses. Local businesses continue to strengthen the economic base of the local community. These include case studies showing that local owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact to the community and our tax base.

2.Support Local Area Community Groups

Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller Lexington area business owners than they do from large companies.

3. Keep Your Area Unique

Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind local businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character. Local tourism businesses also benefit. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust.

4. Reduce Environmental Impact

Locally owned businesses in your area can make more local purchases requiring less transportation. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

5. Create Additional Jobs

Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in the community, provide the most jobs to local residents.

6. Receive Better Service

Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products and services they offer, and take more time to get to know customers. Online Magazine | 2009 5

7.Invest in Your Community

Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, and they are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.

8. Put your Taxes to Good Use

Local businesses require a relatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering your area.

9. Buy What you Want, Not What Big Advertising Budgets Want you to Buy

A South Carolina marketplace comprised of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products and services based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, promises a much broader range of product choices.

10. Promote Local Prosperity

An escalating body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-akind businesses and distinctive character. Lisa Local Editor in Chief

a n i l o r l r a i C G Editor In Chief Larry Local Art Director Amy Coats Web Developers Matthew Coats Administration & Marketing Vivi Morillo Angie Woods

carolina media SERVICES

carolina media SERVICES


Copyright Š 2009 Carolina Media Services. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. 3290 Ashley Phosphate Road Charleston, SC 29418 Toll Free: (843) 720-9604 Fax: (843) 725-4734

Mankind is a great and immense family... This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas

Gift cards make the perfect present this holiday season

(ARA) - Tired of spending way too much on holiday gifts that end up shoved in the back of the recipient's closet? Still blushing after buying a size 14 for your size 8 cousin last year? Dread the idea of your thoughtful present ending up regifted? This year try giving everyone on your list - from the do-it-yourselfer to the one who has everything - just what they want while saving time and sticking to your budget.

Giving the gift of choice Gift cards that carry the name of a payment network such as Visa can be a great solution to gift-giving dilemmas. They can be used anywhere that brand's payments cards are accepted, so the recipient can shop for just what they want.

Giving gift cards can also help you stick to your holiday budget. Gift cards are available in a range of both set and selectable denominations so they are the right price whether giving a colleague a little something or splurging on someone special. It's easy to create a personalized gift card giving experience by getting creative with your presentation. For example, give your shopaholic sister a gift card wrapped in a shoebox so she can pick out the perfect new pair to go with her favorite dress. Gift cards are also great to have on hand during the holidays for last minute host and hostess gifts. A few tips can help shoppers present the perfect holiday gift this season: * One stop shop. Avoid long holiday lines and the last minute rush by picking up as many cards as needed in one convenient location. Quick shops, grocery stores, banks and online sites, like, provide easy access to fulfilling gift card needs. * Seek security. Look for cards that offer protections to ensure a card can be replaced if lost or stolen. * Share information. No matter how you wrap it, a gift card should be given with all the materials that came with the card at time of purchase, including terms and conditions. This information helps explain how to best use the card and what to do should it become lost or stolen.

Using the perfect gift Recipients of open loop gift cards will love the added convenience and flexibility that comes from being able to spend their gift card however, and wherever, they choose. If you receive a gift card this holiday season, you can get the most out of your gift card experience by following these helpful hints: * Activate. As soon as you receive your card, activate it by phone or on the Web, following the instructions in the materials that accompanied the card. Be sure to register it too if that's an option. * Know the balance. Before heading out the door, be sure to check your balance by calling the card issuer or logging on to the Web. * Keep it handy. Hang on to your card - even after the balance is depleted - just in case a retailer needs it to process any returns or credits. Likewise, be sure to keep the information you received with the card, such as the terms and conditions, card number and issuer's 1-800 number, in the event you need to report a lost or stolen card. From simplicity to security, gift cards that allow the recipient to choose where to shop have benefits for the giver as well as the receiver all wrapped up. For more information about Visa gift cards, visit

At Christmas... all roads lead home.



(ARA) - What woman doesn't dream of looking as fresh at the end of the day as she did when she looked in the mirror that morning, with perfect hair and makeup? Invariably, however, by the end of the day, hair goes flat, mascara smudges and manicures chip. As a result, women hunt for tips to maintain a beautiful look that will outlast a full day and still look great into the evening. Ying Chu, beauty and health director for "Marie Claire" magazine, sees this dilemma first-hand. "Women are busier than ever these days juggling multiple commitments," she says, "and as a result it has become a priority to seek out beauty buys from trusted brands that are not only long-lasting, but budget friendly."

Follow her beauty tips to achieve a fresh look that will outlast even the busiest schedule:

* Before applying your makeup, use a mattifying primer first. Because it absorbs oil throughout the day, it prevents oil from breaking down your makeup, making it last longer. * To help face and eye makeup last throughout the day, apply a cream formula first, then layer on a powder over top to set it, like CoverGirl TruBlend MicroMinerals Finishing Veil.

* Fresh breath and a sparkling smile are always a must to top off your look. New Scope Outlast mouthwash and Crest Extra White Plus Scope Outlast toothpaste feature Outlast technology that delivers a cool, minty sensation for a fresh breath feeling that lasts up to five times longer than brushing alone with ordinary toothpaste. * Long, full eyelashes can enhance any look. To ensure your lashes remain lengthy and curled, start by layering a waterproof sealant, like Clarins Double Fix mascara, or any waterproof mascara over your regular mascara. It will make your mascara last without being impossible to remove. * Keep your nails in tip-top shape and extend the life of a manicure or pedicure by adding a clear topcoat to your nails every other day like Essie Good To Go! Topcoat. This will help avoid chipping as you go about your busy schedule. * Fragrance is a way for a woman to express herself. To make sure your signature scent lasts, choose fragrances that have high concentrations, such as a parfum, over an eau de toilette. Fragrance will last longer on well-moisturized skin, so layer a complementary body cream or oil on your skin before spraying. With these long-lasting insider beauty tips, you will be sure to outlast any whirlwind of events and still look fresh.

They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart



(ARA) - Cookie exchange parties are a holiday tradition that provides a fun-filled reason for friends and family to enjoy each other's company and fill up their holiday cookie trays. This season, bakers and holiday entertainers can visit to find a one-stop shop for receiving and sharing holiday baking and party planning tips that are sure to sweeten any holiday get-together. For those looking to create the ultimate cookie exchange, the experts at Hershey's Kisses Brand Chocolates offer the following tips to turn any holiday party into a sweet success. The iconic chocolate treat also will serve as the party-planning partner for holiday hosts by sponsoring 1,000 cookie exchange parties nationwide. To apply to host a Hershey's Kisses Chocolates Cookie Exchange and for recipes and additional party tips visit

Cookie exchange tips: * When sending out invitations, include a unique cookie recipe for each guest as a suggestion. Also ask your guests to RSVP with the recipe they plan to make so that you can be sure not to double up on a specific type of cookie. You can find a variety of creative recipes at * Once you have all the RSVPs, inform your guests how many cookies they need to bring. One dozen per guest is a good start, but if you're having a large party, it might be a good idea to reduce this quantity to only a half-dozen cookies so that guests aren't overwhelmed with baking. * Encourage your guests to bring copies of their recipe for everyone. Also ask them to bring along sealable containers for the cookies they're taking home. Have a few extra containers on hand in case someone forgets.

* To give your party added fun, set out gift tags, gift bags, ribbons and pens so that your guests can create gifts for co-workers, neighbors, teachers and friends. * Play holiday music and offer simple refreshments like hot cocoa, warm apple cider, coffee, tea and eggnog to keep the holiday ambiance going. To get your party planning started, consider the following recipes for your cookie exchange:

Kisses Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes four dozen cookies

Ingredients Cookies: 48 Hershey's Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates 1 cup softened butter ¹/³ cup granulated sugar ¹/³ cup packed light brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups flour 1 cup Hershey's Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolates Chocolate drizzle: ¼ cup Hershey's Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolates 1 teaspoon shortening Directions Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the wrappers from the milk chocolates. Beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until well blended. Add flour and blend until smooth. Stir in the mini chips. Mold scant tablespoons of dough around the milk chocolates, covering completely. Shape into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool completely.

Prepare chocolate drizzle by placing the mini chips and shortening in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at medium heat for 30 seconds and stir. If necessary, microwave at a medium heat for an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth when stirred. Drizzle mixture over each cookie.

Chocolate Almond Thumbprint Cookies Makes three and one half dozen cookies

Ingredients Cookies: 1 cup softened butter ²/³cup sugar 2 egg yolks ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups flour ¼ cup Hershey's Cocoa ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup finely chopped almonds Chocolate filling: 42 Hershey's Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates with Almonds ½ cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon Hershey's Cocoa 1 tablespoon softened butter 2 ½ teaspoons milk ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract Directions Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the wrappers from the milk chocolates. Beat together butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract together until well blended. Stir together flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl and mix into the butter mixture. Roll dough into one-inch balls and roll in chopped almonds. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and press thumb gently into the center of each cookie. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely. Prepare chocolate filling by combining powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Beat mixture until smooth. Spoon or pipe about ¼ teaspoon of the chocolate filling into each thumbprint on the cooled cookies. Gently press one milk chocolate into the center of each cookie.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world and behold...everything is softer and more beautiful. Online Magazine | 2009 24

Save some green while living green during the holidays (ARA) - Many people perceive a high cost associated with a "green" lifestyle. However, this holiday season, you can embrace eco-friendly living while actually saving money. Below are a few easy tips to make this holiday season green and cheery.

Give green holiday cards

Holiday cards are supposed to be from the heart, so take some extra time and attention and make them earth-friendly. Send holiday cards by using recycled paper which can be purchased on sites like, or, even better, use e-cards like those from for a paper-free option.

Give gifts that promote green living

There are many perfect, green gift options for everyone on your list. Look into things like bamboo cookware for the chef, hand-cranking flashlights for outdoor enthusiasts and all-natural baked goods for foodies. Organic bath products will be popular with the women in your life and eco-friendly clothing made from hemp, organic cotton and bamboo is perfect for the fashionistas. makes it easy to be eco-friendly while saving money. Browse through fashion, beauty and lifestyle products, which are all featured with discounts of up to 70 percent off.

Power up with rechargeable batteries

With all the electronics and toys that find their way under the tree and the millions of digital pictures sure to be taken over the holiday season, Americans will spend nearly $700 million on batteries during this time. Rechargeable batteries can be used in any electronic device and save both money and space in landfills. One rechargeable battery can replace up to 1,000 disposable batteries. Rayovac, the nation's fastest growing brand of rechargeable batteries, offers affordable rechargeable options for digital cameras, which tend to use batteries faster than any other device, and costs less than other rechargeable brands. Plus, Rayovac offers Hybrid rechargeable batteries which come precharged and hold their charge for up to six months when not in use, unlike other rechargeable batteries. This makes rechargeable batteries a great option for all devices.

Share a piece of yourself

Sometimes the best gifts are not about the monetary value, but about the sentimental value. Save money and resources by skipping to the local mall, and instead give gifts of you. Create coupons that are redeemable for your time whether it be baby-sitting, a date or shoveling snow.

Get creative when wrapping gifts

Don't rely on the standard tradition of opening a new roll of wrapping paper just for the holidays. Get creative and use materials found around the house like magazines, newspapers and fabric. Re-using old gift bags or purchasing reusable bags are great options for reducing your waste as well. If you still prefer traditional wrapping paper, this year opt for purchasing recycled gift wrap. Look for some earth-friendly options at

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month. Online Magazine | 2009 28

Staycations Discover Something Close to Home Because of the economy, and the possibility of the return of high gas prices, you may decide to make this year summer a stay at home vacation or as it is now being called -- a staycation. So you get on the internet and search out some not so distant and inexpensive attractions you and your family can discover and enjoy. The State of South Carolina has hundreds of unique and fascinating areas filled with history, fun and enjoyment, that there is sure to be something for everyone in your family. Here are some ideas:

Everyone has friends with homes other places in South Carolina.

The next time they go out of town, offer them your services to check their mail, keep the dog, and house sit in a different city. Not only are you doing a favor, you are giving yourself and your family the opportunity to see another area of the State, that you may never have seen. This could be within 50 miles of where you live right now and you’ll have enjoyed a little staycation from your everyday grind. Folks that live in Greenville

can go up in the Hills. If you live near the water, ask a friend that lives on the water, or in a golf community.

Learn to experiment a little.

If you have never gone fishing, try it. South Carolina has some of the best fresh and salt water fishing in the country. Have you ever done any backpacking? The hills in the western part of the State are wonderful for all day or half day backpacking adventures. You can also experiment by doing things like surfing, canoeing, camping, hunting, and even bird watching.

Try a Bed and Breakfast.

You may be surprised how much you can learn by staying in a B&B because the people running the home generally love to share their knowledge, and they are never shy about telling you about their experiences. This is especially good in areas where there is a lot of history. The B&B may also have many tours lined up for the residents, so you may want to ask in advance.

Try going on tours.

The tour industry in South Carolina is a very large industry, and many of us would be surprised to learn about some of the history in the towns where they live. Whether you go on a ghost tour, or a plantation tour, there will be something that you can learn about our forefathers.

Take a trip to our Capital, Columbia. Whether or not the Government is in session, you can learn a lot about one of the first States in the Union, and visit the Museums, The Capital Building, and the University of South Carolina. You may be able to catch a Football or Basketball game with the Gamecocks. No matter what you do, a Staycation is still an opportunity to be with your family and enjoy some of the best restaurants in the South. Whether you like seafood or steak, South Carolina has such a variety that you will always be able to find a great assortment of places to dine, for reasonable prices.

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.

Bunker Shot Perfection: Blast Your Way to a Better Golf Score Bunker shots can be daunting but it’s really all in your head! Use these simple techniques the next time you’re in the bunker and blast your way to a better score. Golf ScoreFirst, don’t change your swing. Use the loft of the club and your back swing to determine your distance. Of course this will take some practice so you know how to shorten your backswing to get

the distance you need. You use your back swing to adjust your distance because you always want to accelerate through the ball. You never want to the club head to decelerate. Also open the club face if needed to decrease the distance the ball will travel.

hitting the ball out of the sand.

Use the “bounce” on the club to launch the ball out of the sand. Don’t worry too much about the definition of bounce but try this the next time in the practice sand trap. Take your sand wedge and swing at the sand. Vary the angle the club hits the sand. When you bring the club down steeply you’ll take a lot of sand and leave a large “divot” in the sand. Decrease the angle that you strike the sand until you can feel the club almost bounce off the sand. Feeling that is more important than the actual definition of bounce. The key is to have this bounce feel when

Keep the weight on your left foot and don’t try to lift the ball, let the club do the work; trust me the club will lift the ball.

Open the club face and aim slightly right with an open stance with the ball forward in your stance, slightly off of your left heel for right handed golfers. When you swing follow the line of your feet.

Hit about 1 inch behind the ball. The key is to get sand between the club face and the ball. This is where that bounce comes in to play. Also, expect more roll on the ball when faced with a down hill lie in the bunker because the ball won’t get as much spin and tend to roll quite a bit. Use and practice these techniques to get yourself off the beach and onto the green. For more helpful tips, advice, or to add some Golf Tips and Suggestions of your own - you are invited to visit the South Carolina Golfers Blog at

Follow on Twitter and Facebook, by clicking the links below Online Magazine | 2009 33 Online Magazine | 2009 34

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through

Moving Beyond Your Divorce The most powerful stumbling block to moving beyond a divorce into a new life is the inability to accept your new reality. Acceptance is the hardest part of the divorce recovery process, and requires total honesty, courage and the willingness to let go of the life that no longer exists. Without that acceptance, we cannot move forward and create a new life. How do you learn acceptance? How do you move forward? How long should it take? Should you do it alone?

1) It’s

about you.

2) Get

One of the most powerful lessons in your life is the knowledge that you have control over one person and one person only…yourself. If you are looking outside of yourself to move forward, you won’t. You can’t change, nor do you have power anyone, but yourself. So turn inward and do the work on yourself and you will be able to effect dramatic and positive changes in your life. Being a victim means giving away all of your control and power. If you continue to blame someone else for your situation, then you are powerless to do anything about it because your choice to absolve yourself of any responsibility. So stop trying to change your ex, this is about YOU!


If you think you can do this all by yourself ,you may be in for a big surprise. Getting support in any challenging endeavor leads to more success. Whether you choose a divorce support group, a therapist, a member of the clergy or a Life Coach, just do it. If you think that you have to handle life’s challenges on your own because somehow you equate support with weakness, it is not. It is the first step to move onward with your life.

3) Feelings,

facts and


The toughest part of a divorce is to get through the initial stages of a loss (assuming you believe it is a loss) that includes denial, grief, anger, depression and whatever else you might be feeling early Online Magazine | 2009 36

in the divorce process. These emotions are all natural and necessary states that you may experience. They are the norm versus the exception. There must be an ending before a new beginning. Remember, that there is a difference between experiencing an emotional state. Again, get support. Next you may need help to examine your situation, and separate the facts from your belief or interpretation, which may not be reality.

4) Take

responsibility for

your marriage, divorce and life.

It is always easy to blame someone else. Being honest

requires one to accept something that they want to believe is otherwise. You must first set aside your ego, and look at your life for what it actually is, and not what you wanted it to be. This is the only way to accept full responsibility for your life. Responsibility is power and the freedom to choose what you, granting you the power to take control of you new life.

5) Learn


It may take time, but you will learn to forgive. You will eventually forgive your ex, his relatives and friends, and more importantly, yourself. Forgiveness will take a big load off your shoulders, and allow you to use your energy for positive

things. This does not mean that you condone bad behavior, it simply means you forgive. If you separate the person from the behavior it becomes much easier to forgive.

6) Make

your own

conscious decisions.

Making your own conscious decisions based in free choice means that you are not letting your past, or your emotional wounds, or your interpretations of reality, or others, control your new life. Conscious living allows for incredible freedom and the ability to create extraordinary changes in your new life. Online Magazine | 2009 37

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.

Carolina  Girl: A female from the

Carolinas who has respect for her family and friends.  She usually has a career and/or family. She can manage all that comes in life.

You Should Be

So Lucky To Meet One.

Carolina Girls are

The Best In The World!

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.

The chances that you will get breast cancer has a lot to do with your genetic disposition (you’re more likely to get breast cancer if your grandmother or another relative was diagnosed with it), but it also has to do with your environment. The incidence of breast cancer varies greatly around the world, lessening in less developed countries and increasing in more developed countries. In South Carolina, your chances are 124.1 in 100,000 if you are Caucasian, and 109.7 if you are African American, according to a 2004 report by the American Cancer Society. Chances go up with age, with 77% of breast cancer incidences occurring in women over the age of 50. Leading risks for breast cancer include a family history, atypical hyperplasia, delaying pregnancy until after age 30 or never becoming pregnant, early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after age 55), current use or use in the last ten years of oral contraceptives, and daily consumption of alcohol.

Early detection is important! Early detection of breast cancer, through your monthly self examination and your yearly mammogram after the age of 40 are your best chances for surviving breast cancer if you are diagnosed. About 96% of women who find and treat breast cancer early will be cancer free in five years. You are never too young to start checking for breast cancer. Although over 80% of breast lumps are not cancerous, regular self-examinations starting at the age of 20 will help you become familiar with your breasts and help you in detecting early-forming lumps.

Carolina Girls Know About Breast Cancer Prevention There are plenty of ways to help prevent your risks for breast cancer, and most of those are things you should already be doing, like exercising, eating healthy food and not drinking in excess. If you at risk for breast cancer because of family history or you are over the age of 50, here are a few suggestions to help keep you fit and cancer free: 1) Maintain a BMI (Body Mass Index) below 25 throughout your life. Overweight individuals are at a much higher risk for breast cancer than average or underweight individuals. 2) Minimize your consumption of alcohol. A recent Harvard Nurses Health Study reported that more than one alcoholic beverage a day increases your chances for breast cancer by 20 – 25%. 3) Eat your fruits and veggies! 4) Exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes five times a week. This could be a nice, brisk walk with the dog or a jaunt up to the corner store. If the president of the United States can find 30 minutes a day to exercise, so can you. 5) Minimize your exposure to pharmacological and xeno-estrogrens. Estrogen can be found in more than just your birth control pills: poultry, red meat and dairy products are all quite likely to have estrogen in them unless they’re labeled organic. Be sure to thoroughly wash all of your fruits and veggies before eating them, since common pesticides and industrial chemicals are likely to contain chemically-created estrogen. Online Magazine | 2009 43

(843)720-9604 Fax: (843)725-4734

For the spirit of Christmas fulfils the greatest hunger of mankind.

Whether you have one delightful bundle of joy or fourteen, you are always looking for fun, inexpensive ways to kill an afternoon and hopefully inject some learning at the same time. Luckily, South Carolina is full of fun, low-cost activities and most of the time, their educational as well. Visit a County Park Every county in South Carolina has a park or two to its name. Charleston County has at least seven and they’re only a dollar per person to visit. Drop by a local used book store or locally owned book store and grab a copy of the Audubon Guide to South Carolina Plants, or the Audubon Guide to South Carolina Birds, and let your kids use it to identify all the plants and/or birds you pass by as you walk. You might be surprised at how excited they become when they identify a mockingbird all on their own, or a maple tree by its leaves on the forest floor. Make Flower Pots or Start a Garden This is a great lead in to teaching your kids about gardening and plant growth. Just go by your local dollar store and grab some small flower pots, either plastic or clay, and a couple decorative items such as tumbled stones, stickers, plastic stick-on jewels and glitter, and a bottle of Elmer’s or another non-toxic glue. Most dollar stores also have basic seed packets such as sunflowers, lima beans or wildflowers; grab one of these for planting in the pots later. Let the kids decorate the pots with glue and decorations and have them sign the bottom of the pots with their age and the date. Fill the pot either with soil from your yard/garden or with garden soil from the local gardening center. Plant the seeds and let the kids watch as their plants grow from tiny seedlings to beautiful flowers and/or edible vegetables. Even better, when it’s time to harvest the vegetables, show the kids some basic recipes for preparing them; they will appreciate that side of peas far more if it came from their own personal garden. Teach them origami has some great tutorials on how to make origami birds, boxes (that actually hold things!), boats, planes and frogs. Spend some time learning how to make them with your child,

then leave them to make as many as they want. Not only do they learn about shapes, they’re also learning basic construction principles, including perspectives, which is great preparation for the day they take their SATs. If you’re feeling up to it, briefly read up on the origin of origami before you start your first project and tell you kids some fun facts while they play. Make your own play dough What’s great about this play dough that you know it’s edible, though you probably wouldn’t want to make a meal out of it. The basic recipe for homemade play dough is: 4 cups flour 1 cup salt 4 cups water 4 tablespoons oil 1/2 cup cream of tartar The secret ingredient is the cream of tartar. It keeps the play dough smooth and allows it to keep for a longer time. Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan. Cook and stir over low/medium heat until play dough is completely formed and no longer sticky. Allow to cool slightly before storing in an air tight container or zip lock bag. Variations: Add a couple drops of food coloring for color and one package of unsweetened powdered Kool-Aid for a great smell. Online Magazine | 2009 46

A pple Pie Leeanne O'Neel | Aiken, South Carolina INGREDIENTS

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie 1/2 cup unsalted butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Carolina GIrl Recipe of the Month

About Summerville South Carolina

Summerville SC features year round activities and promotions. Enjoy unique shops and dining experiences that will grab your attention and satisfy your taste buds. Downtown Summerville is well known for its heritage and natural beauty. The close knit community still gathers at Town Square for the 4th of July celebrations. Friday night local high school football attracts a spirited, overflowing crowd cheering on friends, family and favorite teams. In early December, the holiday season is unveiled in when town folks meet at Town Square for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting when thousands of white lights are turned on to brighten the downtown district and bring holiday cheer to the town. Summerville... great restaurants, charming shops, outdoor recreation, and historic sites... the amenities are endless! In Downtown Summerville, you will find a warm and welcoming community filled with great respect for its past and dedication to its future. Summerville, South Carolina is located 24 miles outside of Charleston, making it a close day trip location to add to your itinerary. Unique shopping and dining businesses add to Summerville’s charm, and you’ll be pleased with the diversity of. Southern charm and historic flavor makes Summerville and Dorchester County a ‘must-see’ destination. Summerville is host to several exclusive events, like Sculpture in the South, the Flowertown Festival, and Taste of the Town – all held in beautiful Azalea Park, a 12-acre oasis in the heart of town with peaceful ponds, paths, fountains, tennis courts, and an astonishing collection of permanent sculpture. With more than 700 homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, Summerville is famed for its historic character. Enjoy and experience the kind of charm and hospitality one expects from a pleasant, small Southern town with “big” charm -- a town like Summerville, South Carolina.

South Carolina Wedding & Event Planners: Career Outlook Can you imagine a more exciting career than being the person who helps to plan a couple’s happiest day together and makes them lasting memories for the rest of their life? Or planning a Corporate Event for some of the largest companies in South Carolina. The best part is you are creating an event that you do not have to pay for. If you are interested in a career as a wedding or event planner, read on to discover general description, educational requirements, and your job outlook information.

Wedding and Event Planner Job Description Wedding or Event planners, as the name implies, handle many or all of the details of setting up a wedding or other event from coordinating the caterers to directing the dinners. The term wedding planner is a classification of how involved the person is with their clients’ wedding. There are two other classifications which are wedding consultants and wedding directors. Wedding consultants allow couples to plan the wedding and offer only their advice and expertise. Wedding planners oversee and are responsible for much of the work of the wedding from beginning to end, but the couple is still involved. Wedding directors take care of the entire wedding event, which affords the couple getting married to only focus on getting married. Wedding directors sometimes usually attend the wedding to make sure the day goes exactly as planned. If it rains on the day of an outdoor wedding, the wedding director will have an alternate plan already in place.

Wedding planners, specifically, perform a variety of tasks. They make appointments with clients and vendors, provide gown options, provide wedding theme options, and plan for the unforeseen among other things. The business side of wedding planning involves staying within your budget, and making sure the vendors get paid. Wedding planners who handle all aspects of the event are mostly self-employed working both part-time and full-time. However, special event centers, wineries, hotels, and other hospitality facilities also offer employment opportunities. Wedding planners must also write contracts and be efficient marketers of their business. The best wedding planner in South Carolina must get their name known, and can only handle a certain amount of weddings in any given time. An event planner does the same basic tasks as the wedding planner, but the event will dictate what is different. A big corporate event may require several sound and video systems. A golf tournament may require many sponsors being adequately recognized. Whatever the event, having alternative plans when things go not as planned is the mark of a good planner. This means that you must have a long list of suppliers and people in the service industries that can stand in when problems arise.

“Music Creates Memorable Dining Since 1976”

World-Class Cuisine Superb Service Romantic Ambiance

5 Course Dinner with Wine Pairings Live Pianist and Vocalist

182 East Bay St. Historic Charleston

(843) 577-7565 R29-60554 Online Magazine | 2009 52

Educational Requirements for Wedding & Event Planners There are no federal, state, or local laws requiring wedding or event planners to have anything other than a business license. Very few colleges/universities offer degrees or certificates in wedding and planning. Online schools offer training; however, carefully research the online school prior to paying any fees or signing up for classes. The best schooling is the College of OJT ( On the Job Training). Working for a wedding or event planner and learning from the ground up is the only way to truly learn the business. Certification is increasingly becoming sought after because clients want to make sure their special day is handled by a professional.

Job Outlook for Wedding & Event Planners Wedding and event planning in South Carolina is a growing field with more and more opportunities. Creating a profitable business is a slow process. Attracting clientele takes time, but there is always plenty of work for good planners. Online Magazine | 2009 53

A One Tank Trip Got the vacation blues? South Carolina abounds with destinations you can visit on one tank of gas…trips that showcase the Palmetto State’s beauty without busting your budget. What a rich, exotic place South Carolina is. One of the original American Colonies, the state has an abundance of historical sites that bring our nation’s past to vivid life. The outdoors lover can enjoy a variety of activities such as kayaking, hiking, saltwater

fishing, even scuba diving in the company of alligators. The state’s culture has been shaped by its European, African and Caribbean settlers, as evidenced especially by the food, which is some of the most delicious we’ll ever have the pleasure of eating.

Aiken Do you like horses, the City of Aiken is your destination. Explore the Thoroughbred Hall of Fame & Racing Museum; the facility presents the history of thoroughbred racing, spanning more than a century. Admission is free. Also in Aiken, is the DuPont Planetarium, located

on the grounds of the University of South Carolina. The 30-foot dome has fully-automated, stateof-the-art projection systems; an observatory is also on hand, featuring a variety of powerful telescopes for stargazing purposes. Downtown Aiken is filled with southern charm. The restaurants, antique shops, and local stores will fill anyone’s afternoon.

Greenwood Continuing on your trip and take Highway 19 towards Greenwood. On the way you will pass by the Ninety-Six National Historic Site, where two battles of the Online Magazine | 2009 55

Revolutionary War were fought and where settlers braved harsh winters and Indians to stake their claim. Now, visitors can experience it for themselves in the original Star Fort, built in 1781, the Stockade Fort and siege trenches, or by strolling through the original town sites of Cambridge and Ninety-Six. This historic site is a fascinating look at the way things were when our nation was in its infancy. Well worth the time to explore! Get back on Highway 19, and continue on to the US-25 which leads you to Greenwood. This town, with its fresh air and sunny skies is a great place to pull over and enjoy some of the many outdoor activities to

be found here. The Heritage Trail is a 2-mile paved path, perfect for walking, jogging, or biking. Lake Greenwood is a fine place to break out the rod and reel and try your luck with the catch of the day. By night, you can dine at any one of the myriad of fine restaurants, which showcase cuisines from Europe, the Caribbean, or good oldfashioned American steak and potatoes.

Clemson Get back on the US-25, and merge with the US-178 to Clemson. (Thirty miles later via the US-123 and you are in Greenville). Both cities offer

more opportunities for fishing, golfing and fine dining. In Clemson, you should take a day to enjoy the natural wonders of Paris Mountain, with its 1200-acre grounds, majestic, monument-like peak, and the Sulphur Springs hiking trail which makes for an excellent workout. Truly, South Carolina offers visitors a chance to enjoy the modern age while giving us a glimpse into our nation’s past; it’s the perfect place to enjoy the best of all possible worlds for just One Tank of Gas! Online Magazine | 2009 56 Online Magazine | 2009 57

Carolina Girls…Have Careers Why shouldn’t we? Double income houses are no longer a luxury; they’re practically a necessity. But there’s no reason you should have a career you hate just to make the mortgage payment.

Assess Yourself What sort of career would be the most satisfying for you? If you don’t even know where to start, there are endless free career tests available online, including the Myers-Briggs which is one of the most comprehensive assessments available; a simplified version of which can be found online. The complete version, however, should be administered by a professional. According to the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center, the top most satisfying careers of 2009 are: Physical Therapist Special Education Teacher Firefighter School Principal Artist (fine art) Teacher Author Psychologist

Careers in South Carolina Around South Carolina, jobs are as varied as the colors in a peacock’s plumage. After you’ve taken a career assessment test and/or considered all of your top choices, create a list and look into the requirements and availability of each choice. Be sure to check what education levels/degrees are required and whether or not they are available in your area. If you’re absolutely strapped and have no idea where to start, the top industries in South Carolina that will be growing through 2014 are “travel agent” and pretty much anything in the health industry.

Specifically, the top hiring jobs in South Carolina in 2009 are: Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Psychiatric Technicians Surgical Technologists Dental Assistants Physical Therapist Assistant Psychiatric aides Dental Hygienists Nuclear Medical Technologists Radiologic Technologists and Technicians Finally, the top employers in South Carolina, offering 3,000 – 15,000 jobs yearly, are: US Department of Energy Medical University of SC Siemens Diesel System Tech Chest Pain Center of Greenville Corrections Department Greenville Hospital System Spartanburg Regional Med Center University of South Carolina Spartanburg Regional Healthcare

Do a little more research Once you’ve narrowed the list down to a few top choices, feel free to conduct some informal interviews over the phone either with a hiring agent or with someone in the industry. Find out the top job requirements, what you would be doing on a day to day basis, and if you found someone in your chosen industry, ask them their top likes and dislikes about their job. Last step, find an opening and set up a series of interviews. It’s better not to put all your eggs in one basket by only interviewing at one or two jobs. If you happen to find the perfect job at the first interview, great! But it often takes a couple tries, so don’t get discouraged.

Charleston’s Office Of Cultural Affairs launches, as thier new arts Web Site From: Charleston Currents The City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs has launched, a companion Web site to the OCA’s primary page at the city’s official site. will be updated daily with information and features, including an arts calendar that users can search by date, artist, presenting group or venue; social networking widgets; and a directory of local arts and cultural organizations and venues. “We are hopeful that will be a major benefit to local artists and arts organizations by disseminating information about their events with the most up-to-date information to a broader public,” said Ellen Dressler Moryl, director of the Office of Cultural Affairs. Other options for users at include the following: • Arts organizations can download forms from the Office of Cultural Affairs, submit events, update contact information and compare performance dates with other area organizations. • The Tools for Professional section of the Web site features job listings for arts professionals, including full time and part time work as well as internships and volunteer opportunities with arts and cultural organizations in the tri-county area. • Updated grant opportunities for arts organizations, with detailed information, including deadlines, application and contact information. • Call for Submissions and Call for Auditions pages with details about the location, deadlines, fees and additional requirements. The new Web site also hosts connecting pages for general information on the Office of Cultural Affairs and its projects: the Charleston Farmers Market, the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Holiday Magic, Happy New Year Charleston!, the Holiday Parade of Boats, the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant Program, Piccolo Spoleto and the MOJA Arts Festival. The Web Site was developed and is being hosted by Carolina Media Services ( .

Eat your Veggies! Simple Cooking Methods

When your mother told you to eat you veggies, she knew best. Vegetables add color, taste, texture and bulk to your daily diet. South Carolina has dozens of different vegetables that can be prepared in literally hundreds of ways. Since there is no best way to prepare them, the thing to do is to eat your vegetables, lots of them, every day in a wide variety of ways, and prepare them in a variety of ways. Raw: Many vegetables taste fabulous just the way they are straight out of the garden. Lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, celery, onions, radish, carrots are obvious choices here. But they are just as likely to find themselves next to peas, beans and zucchini on a starter platter with dips. You can always make a salad.

Steamed: Steaming heats the vegetable and softens it’s texture. It is gentler than boiling and allows the vegetables to maintain their color, if not overdone. Use a stainless steel steamer that will fit into most good size sauce pans. Make sure you use a pan with a tight fitting lid. There should be enough water to just touch the bottom of the steamer. Water should be simmering the whole time the vegetables are being cooked. Boiling: Boiling vegetables is really going out of fashion, but it’s a legitimate preparation method. The big concern is loss of nutrients. All cooking methods result in the loss of some goodness from the vegetables. If boiling, try to find a way to use the water the vegetables have been boiled in (i.e. to make a gravy or sauce) to bring those nutrients back to the table. Vegetables should be barely covered with water. Bring the water to a boil (covered) then slow to a simmer until vegetables are tender. Microwave: Very popular for vegetables as it retains color, flavor and nutrients. Trial and error will be your guide with microwaving as there are plenty of variables involved. Online Magazine | 2009 62

However, a few guidelines will help... The more food you put into the oven, the longer it will take to cook. Underestimate your cooking time rather than overestimate. Undercooked food can be cooked some more. Over-cooked food is ruined. Food straight from the fridge will take longer to cook than that at room temperature. Stir Fry: Very rapid method of quick frying vegetables, meat (optional) and sauces in one pan to make a meal. The key to doing this well is preparation. All items to be cooked should be chopped to a size that will allow them to cook quickly in the wok. It is also important that the wok is heated to a high, consistent temperature throughout. Vegetables maintain their color and crispness with this sort of cooking. Baking: Baking is especially good for those ‘root’ vegetables like potatoes, turnips, carrots and beetroot. Chop into similar size pieces, brush lightly with olive oil and put in a hot oven to roast. Size of

the pieces will determine the cooking time but expect at least 40 minutes. Outside is chewy, inside is moist and fluffy. Barbeque: If you are going to barbeque chicken or ribs, why not your veggies. This is primarily open flame cooking, so it could apply to a campfire as well. Cooking outside changes everything about food. You will need foil, fire and fresh veggies. Grease your foil, chop your veggies and put the closed packages on the grill. Add some butter and spices and be adventurous, it’s really hard to mess this up. Online Magazine | 2009 63

Carolina Girl Resources

Business Resources American Association of Home-Based Businesses • American Business Women’s Association • Better Business Bureau • Biztalk • Business Carolina • FastTrac SC • Federally Employed Women • First Gov • Go Daddy • National Association for Female Executives • National Association for the Self-Employed • National Association for Women Business Owners • National Association of Working Women• National Women’s Business Council • The NeighborWorks Network • SC Employment Security Commission • SC Government • SC Minority Business • SC Statewide Minority Business Development Center • SC Women’s Business Center • SC World Trade Center • Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) • Small Business Administration (SBA) • SBA Online Women’s Business Center • US Department of Labor Women’s Bureau • US Women’s Chamber of Commerce • USC Small Business Development Center • Women@Work! Professional Network • Women Impacting Public Policy •Working Online Magazine | 2009 65

Health Resources Aging Active Services Corporation - Adult Day Health Services • Administration on Aging • Aging Solutions • Arthritis Foundation • Carolina Senior • Center for Medicare and Medicaid • Children of Aging Parents • Medicare • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke • National Institute on Aging • National Osteoporosis Foundation National Stroke Association North American Menopause Society

Cancer American Cancer Society • American Lung Association • Happy Days and Special Times HPV Vaccine and Prevention of Cervical Cancer • MyBiopsy • National Cancer Institute •SC Ovarian Cancer Foundation • Women’s Cancer Network

Family and Children American Association of Poison Control • American Fertility Association •Before Pregnancy • Birthright International •DHEC Women, Infants and Children (WIC) • Girlology • KidsHealth • Ovulation Calendar • Planned Parenthood • Professional Doulas of Charleston • Resolve: The National Infertility Association • Southeastern Fertility Center

Local and State Center for Medication Safety • SC Department of Health and Human Services • Healthy South Carolina Challenge • Professional Doulas of Charleston •SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) •Southeastern Fertility Center

Heart American Heart Association •Heart Info • The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease Online Magazine | 2009 66

Mental Health and Addiction National Institute of Drug Abuse • National Institute of Mental Health

Sexually Transmitted Diseases American Social Health Association

Women American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists • American Fertility Association • American Medical Women’s Association • Before Pregnancy • Black Women’s Health Imperative •Center for Endometriosis Care • DHEC Women, Infants and Children (WIC) • Health Square • National Asian Women’s Health Organization •National Women’s Health Information Center • National Women’s Health Resource Center •Office on Women’s Health • Professional Doulas of Charleston •Resolve: The National Infertility Association • The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease • Wisewoman • Women’s Health Project • Women Speak

Others Acupuncture Works • American Dental Association •American Diabetic Association • American Dietetic Association •American Obesity Association • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America •Association for the Blind •Center for Disease Control and Prevention • Complementary and Alternative Medicine • National Eating Disorders Association • National Foundation for Treatment of Pain • National Headache Foundation •National Institute of Drug Abuse • National Institutes of Health • National Institute of Mental Health • US Department of Health Services Online Magazine | 2009 67

Legal National Women's Law Center • Pro Bono Legal Services • SC Bar Public Services • SC Legal Services • SC Collaborative Law Association • SC Law Help • SC Legal Services Programs •WomensLaw Divorce Divorce Net • Divorce Online • Divorce Support • Divorce Source Millennium Divorce

Parenting A Chosen Child Adoption Services • Adoption Network • Carolina Adoption Services •Carolina Children's Charity •Carolina Youth Development Center • Children in Crisis • Darkness to Light •Exchange Club Parent/Child Resource Center • Families Anonymous •Family Services • Family Violence Treatment Centre • Focus Adolescent Services • Family Help in SC • Girlology • Girls on the Run • Make-A-Wish Foundation • March of Dimes in SC •Mothers and More-National • North American Council on Adoptable Children • Net Mom • Parents Anonymous of SC • Parents Guide to the Internet • Parents Without Partners • SC Department of Social Services (DSS) •SC DSS Adotpion Services • WINGS for kids

Stepfamilies Bonus Families • Stepfamily Foundation •Stepfamily inFormation • Stepfamily Network

Education American Association of University Women • Association for Continuing Higher Education • The Citadel • Clemson University • College of Charleston • George Street Observer Online • Columbia College • Women's Studies at Columbia College • Communities in Schools • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Charleston AFB • Furman University • Women's Studies at Furman University • Life Management Center • Limestone College • Lowcountry Graduate Center •Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) • MUSC Catalyst • National Women's Studies Association • SC Department of Education • Springfield College - Charleston • Trident Technical College • Continuing Education at Trident Technical College •Division of Continuing Education Summer Camps (Age 6-16) • University of South Carolina •Women's Studies at University of South Carolina •Webster University - Charleston •Webster University - Charleston Air Force Base • Winthrop University

Support Alcoholics Anonymous • B-WHO-U-R Network • Compassionate Friends • Darkness to Light •Florence Crittenton Programs of SC •GovBenefits • People Against Rape (PAR) •Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) •Women of Color

Domestic Violence My Sister's House •National Coalition Against Domestic Violence • National Domestic Violence Hotline

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s ’ l r Gi nd Be rie n F a C st Be

Carolina Girls … Know their State A recent discussion about the South Carolina state mammal has sparked many residents to ask “What are our other state symbols?” South Carolina actually has more than 35 state symbols in all sorts of interesting categories. Following are a few of the categories, as provided by the South Carolina State House:

Plants & Edibles

State Hospitality Beverage: Tea

South Carolina was the first state to grow tea in the United States. Tea continues to be produced at the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina from plants descended from some of the original South Carolina plants.

State Snack: Boiled Peanut

There are dairy farmers in almost every county of South Carolina, and the dairy industry provides a yearly $100,000,000 income for the state.

South Carolinians began boiling peanuts in the 1800’s, making use of any surplus peanuts after the crops were harvested and sold. Boiled peanuts are a snack that can be found throughout South Carolina at roadside stands, festivals, produce stands and stores.

State Flower: Yellow Jessamine

State Tree: Palmetto Tree

State Beverage: Milk

The Yellow Jessamine is indigenous to every part of the State. It is a climbing woody vine with evergreen leaves and blooms small, yellow, tubular, fragrant clusters.

The Palmetto was symbolical of the defeat of the British fleet at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island. The fort was built of Palmetto logs, which absorbed the impact of the cannon balls.

State Fruit: Peach

The South Carolina Palmetto is classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “Inodes Palmetto“ (also called Sabal Palmetto) and commonly known as the “Cabbage Palmetto.”

South Carolina grows over thirty varieties of peaches and ranks second in fresh peach production in the United States behind California. Peaches have been commercially grown in South Carolina since the 1860’s.

State Grass: Indian Grass Indian Grass is a native, perennial, warm-season grass that grows 3 to 5 feet tall.

State Wildflower: Goldenrod Goldenrod is a hardy plant having a bright yellow flower that blooms in late summer and early fall. It is found throughout the State in fields, meadows, and along roadsides.

She who has not Christmas in her heart will never find it under a tree.

rate with the tax advantages of a mortgage, and you have an incredibly cheap way to build wealth, but you better act now.

Time to Refinance Buy !?


Right now, mortgage rates are at their lowest level since 1971. Think about that. Twenty-five years ago, homeowners were paying as much as 18% on a 30-year fixed. Today it’s just a little over 5%.Combine that

Real estate guru Barbara Corcoran has already seen a tremendous surge in refinance applications – more than triple the average – and the number of people getting approved is astronomically higher as well, she says. But that doesn’t mean the low rates are a panacea for the ills of the housing market. It is only once home prices start to go up that we will finally see a light at the end of tunnel, Corcoran says. Until that happens, we are still going to have to crawl out of this mess. “[Low interest rates are] a not a lifesaver,” Corcoran says. “This is just a helping hand.”

David Kittle, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, has this advice to homeowners looking to refinance: Do it. Don’t get greedy searching for another quarter-point. Lock in rates now. He is seeing applications soar over 125% just since Thanksgiving due to the low rates. Of course, you should only refinance if it saves you at least 3/8 on the rate and if you plan on staying in your home for at least four years, Kittle says. Along with good credit, proof of income and money by means of a down payment or equity in the home, there are certain things every homeowner needs regardless of interest rate levels. Online Magazine | 2009 73

The message of Christmas is that the visible material world is bound to the invisible spiritual world.

Don’t buy the house, buy the neighborhood. Russian Proverb

1. Neighborhoods are where we all grew up a long time ago. Today, because of golf courses, shopping areas, subdivisions, jobs, schools, and a transient society, a neighborhood means different things to different folks. 2. Neighborhoods can be as small as a dozen or so houses, and be as many as thousands of homes. 3. Neighborhoods are common, and perhaps close to universal, since most people in urbanized areas would probably consider themselves to be living in one. 4. Neighborhoods are convenient, and always accessible, since you are already in your neighborhood when you walk out your door. 5. Successful neighborhood action frequently requires little specialized technical skill, and often little or no money. Action may call for an investment of time, but material costs are often low. 6. With neighborhood action, compared to activity on larger scales, results are more likely to be visible and quickly forthcoming. The streets are generally cleaner; the crosswalks are painted; the trees are planted; a festival draws a crowd.

7. Visible and swift results are indicators of success; and since success is reinforcing, the probability of subsequent neighborhood action is increased. 8. Because neighborhood action usually involves others, such actions create or strengthen connections and relationships with other neighbors, leading in turn to a variety of potentially positive effects, often hard to predict. 9. Over and above these community advantages, neighborhood activity may simply be enjoyable and fun for those taking part. But in addition to these benefits, considerable research indicates that strong and cohesive neighborhoods and communities are linked –quite possibly causally linked – to decreases in crime, better outcomes for children, and improved physical and mental health. The social support that a strong neighborhood may provide can serve as a buffer against various forms of adversity. Sometimes a neighborhood isn’t a neighborhood until an event occurs, which draws people together, to become “neighbors”. Online Magazine | 2009 76

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Final Words

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly. Andy Rooney Online Magazine | 2009 78

Carolina Girl Nov/Dec 2009 - Charleston Issue  

To read the current edition of the Charlston Issue of Carolina Girl Magazine visit

Carolina Girl Nov/Dec 2009 - Charleston Issue  

To read the current edition of the Charlston Issue of Carolina Girl Magazine visit