Saturday, December 20, 2014

Creative Mornings Charleston

Sometimes, something crosses our path that is REALLY cool!  Something we feel the need to share! This was my feeling yesterday morning as I headed out into a chilly morning to get to the Charleston Library Society by 8 am. Why?  Creative Mornings, Charleston!




One morning each month the group gets together, has some breakfast and listens to a speaker or presenter.  It is an amazing idea that can create change.  Each month has a different topic.

Change! I can feel it!  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of heading to this amazingly beautiful building on King Street!



People gathered around 8 to indulge in Counter Culture Coffee and amazing scones and biscuits offered by Cat Lamb and chat...



There are now 104 cities participating in Creative Mornings and at 8:30, we began.  We were joined yesterday by Edward Hart, a Charleston native and composer who is also a Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at the College of Charleston.  He spoke about "Finding Your Voice".  



His talk brought me back to my college days as a piano major....harmony, form, orchestration, counterpoint! But, the deeper meaning kept me present. Mindful. In the moment. 

We are all searching for our voice, looking for our own way to make a difference in this crazy world.  We all hope to speak words that resonate with others.  To create.  To compose. To be heard.  

Creative Charleston has several sponsors and is attended by many of the Charleston community.  We filled the space yesterday.  How exciting to be a part of something that has such amazing potential and tickets are free but limited!  

You can find and follow this group on social media....Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or just visit their website. I encourage you to check them out especially if you live in the area and want to experience this cool energy.

Creative Mornings, Charleston! Definitely something to check out. Hope you all are planning a restful, quiet week-end before this crazy, Christmas week begins.  Be mindful.  Be in the moment.  Be present.  Enjoy!!  Happy Saturday from Charleston Treasures :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Morning Walk to the Ashley


Sometimes, mindfulness can be found in a morning walk.  To the Ashley River.  I have been working on mindfulness.  On prayer.  On being present.  I have been working in the midst of distractions.  In chaos.  Organized chaos but nonetheless, chaos.  Renovations.  It's beautiful and loud and full of distractions.  So, I have had to return to mindfulness and all that this single word has brought into my life. 


Oneness.  Children of Spirit.  Beauty.  Green.  Growth.  Yes, today, I will be present.


Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Parade of Boats and Minero


Saturday evening.  South Battery.  We walked and waited and waited and walked.  It was supposed to be the Annual Parade of Boats.  We could see the boats lining up but they never really made it our way.  We enjoyed a beautiful sunset and some great time walking through our favorite streets.  So, our Parade of Boats turned into...


Minero.  155 East Bay Street.  Chef Sean Brock offers interesting small plates.  We LOVED it.  We would have loved the Parade of Boats, too, but, our evening worked out well anyway.  We tried several items...

Carolina Gold Arroz Rojo

Wedge Salad


Heirloom Pumpkin and Mushroom Mula, Benne Tortilla

Not the greatest food pictures that I've ever taken but we seemed to be eating before I could even get my phone out.  The guys also had a few steak tacos not pictured because they were consumed pretty quickly!

It's a neat place with a cool vibe and I always love the tin ceilings and brick walls.  We enjoyed the bites, the tastes, and the atmosphere.  It was a fun Saturday evening even without the boats...


And, I'm always a sucker for a Charleston sunset. God's artwork every time!


Hope you all have had a beautiful week-end and have gotten some time out in the sunshine and warm weather.  We did our first bit of Christmas shopping, cleaned up some more renovation left-overs and finally got our tree up. Yeah!

Have a great Monday and if you are looking for a good bite, try Minero on East Bay Street! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Motobar and Cooking Matters


Motobar.  487 King Street.  Our lunch today!  I was so excited to hear about this one opening!  Vegan.  Vegetarian.  Clean food.  Right down the street. This was today's menu...


The menu changes daily and is posted on Facebook...Cool, right?  The mister tried the Croque Monsieur and skipped the french salad and ordered fries.


Slightly different...remember it's vegan but it was totally yummy!  Fresh cut fries. Cold beer.  I ordered the winter salad with roasted sweet potatoes...

Chick peas. Quinoa.  Sugar snap peas. Sprouts.  An amazing dressing...Totally hit the spot!  This place is retro, cool, biker bar-ish, interesting, different. You get the idea.  Just cool.


They also have a well-stocked bar and a super friendly staff.  Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Vegan and vegetarian friendly.  Definitely one to check out!  We enjoyed our lunch, some Portlandia on the projector and some cold beer while we discussed tile and grout and paint colors and, you know, that fun renovation stuff!


I also want to send a huge shout out to these fantastic women!  They graduated today from Cooking Matters and did a fantastic job in the program!  

Cooking Matters is run by the Lowcountry Foodback and teaches people in the area how to eat healthy and shop wisely.  If you ever have the chance to donate to or work with the Lowcountry Food Bank or Cooking Matters, jump on it!  They are great organizations run by fantastic, dedicated people!!


I hope this finds you preparing for the holidays and remembering to take time out to breathe, relax and really enjoy each moment of the holidays. 

Happy Wednesday from Charleston Treasures!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Preparation

It's Saturday.  My house is totally empty.  Quiet.  The dishwasher is running.  The washing machine is cranking and the dryer is humming.  My floors have all been swept.  With a house full of kiddos between 16 and 22, the fridge is about out of left-overs.  It's peace.

This has been a beautiful, crazy, loud, energizing and blessed Thanksgiving for us.  We were seven this year.


 We spent it in our house with our beautiful new bathroom and open staircase.  We shared the specialness of it in person with four kids and by phone and skype with many close friends and family members.  As the kids are getting older, it is more and more difficult to get all of us in one place at one time.  So, I have chosen to cherish every moment of every holiday and simply be grateful for whomever shows up.

We ate.  Too much.  We drank.  We played board games and video games and went shopping and tried a few new restaurants and enjoyed each others company.  Now, on this Saturday, my thoughts turn toward Christmas.  

I begin every holiday season thinking that this one will be the best yet.  And, sometimes, it's true.  Sometimes, it's not.  We are family and that alone says it all!!  However, as my mind begins to gear up for the next holiday, thoughts of being mindful and grateful and humble begin to manifest themselves.  I (like always) want to make memories instead of credit card bills.  I want to share time together instead of sharing useless items.  I want us to cook together and hang out and pull in little snippets of fun that can be relived throughout the upcoming year.

Advent begins tomorrow!?!  No, I am not prepared but I plan on being ready by dinner tomorrow night.  What better way to prepare for such a beautiful, amazing holiday than by spending a few moments before dinner each evening, reminding ourselves why we even celebrate to begin with.  Religious or not, we all have had wonderful events in the past year for which to be grateful.  We all have shared joys and grief and blessings that can be reviewed and revisited and put to rest or cherished again.  I hope you will take time this December to fully prepare for this holiday season.

I want to share two links that I find appropriate and just reread in the spirit of the upcoming holidays. This one is all about helping children (and many adults) learn to control the "I Want That" attitude of the holidays.  She offers some great ideas, tricks and tools for young and old!  This one offers a very unique idea for celebrating the holiday and eating with new and old friends.  I'm not sure I would totally open up to this but would love to try it with some variations.  If you visit either link, please let me know what you think.  The Art of Simple is a great blog especially for families and those interested in "living holistically with your life's purpose".  Check them out!

On that note, I am heading out into the crowds simply to find some fragrant pine to decorate my advent candles for tomorrow night's dinner.  I hope you have all had a blessed Thanksgiving and are beginning to prepare for the month of December.  Happy Saturday from Charleston Treasures!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Blue Pearl Farms in McClellanville




I mentioned that I wanted to share the healthy things that catch my eye.....Blue Pearl Farms in McClellanville, South Carolina is topping the list today.  Blueberries.  Bees. Blue Crab.  Yes, I was at our beautiful Charleston Farmer's Market on Saturday and have seen this stand before but never stopped.

The thing is I feel like I have done nothing but clean and wipe down walls and window sills and....well, it's a renovation people. What can I say?  My hands felt like sand paper.  And, I have been doing a lot of reading about how much our skin really does absorb the toxins in things like soaps and lotions. So....



Here is a simple answer.  These tiny tins of Buzz Cream.  8 bucks and guess what?  I recognize EVERY, single ingredient listed!  Happy me :)  Pure water, olive oil, coconut oil, Blue Pearl Farms Beeswax, cocoa butter, honey from our bees, and sweet almond oil.....no chemicals, no preservatives.  LOVE IT!



A quick glimpse of their Farmer's Market stand?  Blueberry compote, honey, beeswax candles, blueberry chipotle bbq sauce, lip balm, and, OMG, totally amazing Brittle Buzz!!  A peanut brittle made from honey that is so light, it melts in your mouth.  You can order it all online here as well.

Blue Pearl Farms
9760 Randall Road
McClellanville, SC 29458

Hope everyone is gearing up for a fabulous Thanksgiving!!  Happy Monday from Charleston Treasures!

Friday, November 14, 2014

We're Baaaack!

I know.  I know.  March 5th, my last blog post, was a pretty long time ago.  Well, the truth is I've been pretty busy.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

So, in March, we were searching for a downtown property, beginning a tour business, thinking about nutrition workshops and raising our six kiddos.  Since that time, well, the list is endless.  I'm going to give you the short version.  Okay?

We had three contracts on three properties in downtown and they each fell through.  All by the grace of God I say now while looking back.  We did find a house.  THE house. THE PERFECT HOUSE. We bought it.  We packed up. We moved in.  All within the last three weeks of our rental contract expiring.  Pretty impressive, right?  That was July.  

We had a greatly successful first summer tour season, started an add-on company for ghost tours (www.beyondthelighttours.com), got settled into our house, got one kid into high school, got three kids settled into college, taught some summer kids cooking workshops and then, made plans to totally tear up said house. 

Now, it is November and almost Thanksgiving.  We have an amazing contractor and crew who are plugging away daily at the to-do list.  It looks kind of like this....*Create a second full bath, do a ton of painting, redo the laundry room, open and replace the stair case, replace a lot of rotted siding, completely remake two driveways, build a deck for morning coffee, create an outdoor teaching/eating space with an attached grill and relocate a storage building. Did I mention that all the while we are living in said house while getting to know this constant stream of hard-working people who are striving each day to create our sanctuary?

So, I suppose you might be asking the question "Why are you back? Why the blog?"  Well, I have decided to take Charleston Treasures in a new direction.  The direction of our future actually.  We focus daily on health and wellness and living a unique and sustainable life.  We are trying to cut back on our garbage, grow a lot of our own food, bike instead of drive when possible, and basically reuse, reduce and recycle as much as possible.  There.  I said it all.  I really believe that some days I am turning into a hippie but it all feels right so, I'm good with that :)

Sooo, on my blog these days, you can expect to learn as I learn just as you explored as we explored when we first moved to South Carolina.  What really is the growing season for fruits and veggies in the south?  How in the world do I compost?  (I really don't even like worms!) Is meditation really a way to reduce my stress levels?  Yoga?  Of course, there will be recipes and pictures of our kids but also, ways to feel better about your self and this crazy world in which we live.  

I leave you with some pictures of the current state of my backyard.  Remember that it is still a construction zone for another few weeks.  But, as soon as that is finished, the planting and organizing and growing or planning to grow will begin.


We do have a lot and a half and a good bit of space for some raised beds and fruit trees.  (Especially when our beautiful purple porta-potty goes back home!)  Right now, I am in the planning stages and am studying and learning each day.  What a process!  But, just like remodeling, the end result is going to be amazing.  And, I have gotten to know the librarians fairly well at the Charleston Co. library...


Oh, Chicken Health?  You caught that, huh?  That one has been an ongoing debate in our house for about five years.  I am still wanting fresh eggs daily and am going to continue to learn so when the mister finally agrees, I am ready.  And, yes, you actually can house chickens downtown according to the ordinance...with a few stipulations.  We will see....

For now, thank you so much for coming back to Charleston Treasures to see what's up.  We are plugging away, creating our lives and reinventing ourselves each day and life just keeps getting better and better!!  Have a great week-end! 
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