young man with a black face mask on

DIY Face Masks Provided by a Local Teacher

young man with a black face mask on

DIY Face Masks

A local art teacher Janesa White, has been quite busy over these last few weeks. While Mrs. White is not chasing after 2 young boys, running a thriving Etsy shop, and virtually teaching her art students during the day – she has been taking some of her “quaran-time” to create a DIY Face Mask Tutorial. She has also dedicated a great deal of her time to making these DIY face masks for others on the front lines and in desperate need of protection from the public, they serve each and every day. She has made over 185 masks for others thus far and isn’t stopping there!

Mrs. White says this DIY face mask is a “10-minute project with stuff around your house! It is fashionable and helps you not touch your face a bajillion times an hour.”

Please visit her site for the FREE printable DIY face mask pattern.

If you do not feel comfortable making your own, she is making them and shipping them to those in need for just $1 each and asking for donations to continue making more.

Thank you so much, Mrs. White, for this fabulous way of giving back to your local community as well as supporting those in need during these difficult and uncertain times!


  • Fabric (You Can Even Recycle from Items Around Your Home)

  • Sewing Machine or Sewing Needle With Thread

  • Headband (Hair Ties/Scrunchies May Work As Well)

DIY face masks provided by a local teacher

Meet Janesa White

DIY face masks provided by a local teacher

“Burning the midnight oil on a rush order for a family who needs to spend these precious moments with their loved one. So blessed to be able to help.” – Janesa White

DIY face masks provided by a local teacher

Face mask cut from her template and waiting to be sewn.

DIY face masks provided by a local teacher

Janesa’s assistant and husband Derrick

10 Reasons to Spend Spring Break on the Crystal Coast

10 Reasons to Spend Spring Break on the Crystal Coast

Spring break on the Crystal Coast is the perfect time to vacation with us. The air is a bit cooler, vacation season isn’t in full swing, and everything is available to you without much of a wait. It is one of the best times to spend time on the southern Outer Banks. That said, we’re sharing 10 reasons you should spend your Spring break with us on the Crystal Coast.

10 Reasons for a Spring Vacation on the Crystal Coast

Here are 10 Reasons to Spend Spring Break on the Crystal Coast

  1. Lower vacation rental prices – beat the peak season prices!
  2. We have several vacation rental discounts and specials you can take advantage of to save BIG! 
  3. No need to make reservations for outdoor activities such as Jet Skiing, Parasailing, or Eco Tours.
  4. Fewer crowds on the beach ensure you will have your sandy spot on the beach! 
  5. It may be warm, but not blazing hot!
  6. Taste local restaurants at “Bites and Blues” in Morehead City! Be sure to get your tickets early! 
  7. If you are here celebrating Easter, there are plenty of local churches to choose from and even more Easter egg hunts to enjoy. 
  8. Enjoy a movie most towns host FREE Flicks on Fridays. 
  9. Don’t want to go to the beach? Enjoy the many local festivals taking place. Check out our Events Calendar for more.
  10. No need to plan for an additional 30 minutes to get somewhere; tourist season begins a bit later in the year.

ALSO SEE: Fun Things to Do on the Crystal Coast this Spring

Did we miss anything? What would you include on this list? Let us know in the comments below.  Know someone who should spend Spring break on the Crystal Coast? Share this blog post with them.



NC Coast Spring Vacation

Romantic getaway for valentine's day on the crystal coast

A Valentine’s Day Getaway on the Crystal Coast

Romantic getaway for valentine's day on the crystal coast

A Valentine’s Day Getaway on the Crystal Coast

Looking to add a bit more romance to your relationship this year? How about a Valentine’s Day getaway on the Crystal Coast? The Crystal Coast is the perfect place to spend this heart-filled holiday with the one you love! We’re sharing some ideas to make your romantic beach getaway one to remember.

Let’s face it, gifts are great but making memories with a shared experience is even better! With unique south-facing beaches and breathtaking sunsets, the Crystal Coast stretches over 85 miles of sand and sun along the coast of North Carolina, making it the perfect setting for making memories that last a lifetime. Plan a long weekend romantic getaway starting on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and enjoy an entire week with your sweetheart. 

What to do on Your Valentine’s Day Getaway on the Crystal Coast

Take that romantic walk on the beach to the next level with a surprise picnic. Local companies like Carolina Picnic Co. will set up a luxury picnic with just about anything your heart desires. Sip champagne, nibble on chocolate, and, most importantly, get cozy with your cutie. You can put a twist on this idea and have a picnic in your private vacation rental vs. the beach, too. Let your imagination run wild.

ALSO SEE: Create Your Romantic Itinerary on the Crystal Coast

How about enjoying conversation and charcuterie with your beach babe while you’re both snuggled up watching a long list of romcoms? The good folks at TheGrazingTray can make all your charcuterie dreams come true. If you’re a foodie this will delight you! 

If you prefer to spend the night out, why not dine at one of the incredible restaurants in the area? We love the ambiance at Table 9, Bahia House and Surf Bar, or even Caribsea, right in Emerald Isle. 

ALSO SEE: 5 of the Best Atlantic Beach Seafood Restaurants

Adventures and Activities During Your Getaway

Experience a thrilling adventure together with a fun day on the water with Island Water Sports. Rent jet skis and ride the waves, or enjoy the excitement of a Banana Boat ride! They even have kayaks and stand-up paddle boards for even more fun. Doesn’t that sound like the makings of a fun-filled Valentine’s Day getaway on the Crystal Coast?

Another idea for the brave and bold might be to try hang gliding together. That’s definitely an exhilarating experience you won’t soon forget.

Biking along the Crystal Coast is another nice option for two. You can peddle your way through paradise or try an eclectic bike and enjoy the ride. Either way, you’ll be doing it together and having fun.

A few other options to consider – Bowling, racing, or putt-putt gold at MacDaddys, feeding the sharks at the Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores during their behind-the-scenes tour, or take an EcoTour with Crystal Coast Ecotours.

Shopping During Your Valentine’s Day Getaway on the Crystal Coast

If you’re interested in a bit of shopping for your sweetheart while you’re visiting with us, you’ll love our newest shopping community at Village West. There you’ll find all the makings for a great shipping day and plenty of options to create the ultimate gift basket, too. Start your day with coffee and a Liege Waffle at Milk Road, then look through their shop for local goodies. Next, head over to EJW Outdoors for all the beach essentials and more. Don’t miss Style the Day Boutique for the latest fashions for her and Enchanted Interiors for a unique way to bring a bit of the coast home with you! Before you head out, grab some lunch at No Name Pizza and Subs, then some sweet treats at Rocket Fizz! 

Haven’t got your fill of retail therapy? Emerald Plantation shopping plaza should be your next stop. There’s a wide variety of shops, and you’ll find everything from jewelry to fresh premium olive oils. You’re sure to find something perfect for the one you love. 

Ready to spend a long romantic week with us on the Crystal Coast? Learn about our vacation specials, promotions, and discounts, and get ready to plan a Valentine’s Day getaway on the Crystal Coast!

January 2020 | Market Reports

January 2020 Market Report

The summary: The number of listings are up and they are not on the market for long!

Across the county, the number of listings increased! More listings hit the market in January 2020 compared to January 2019. Properties listed on the mainland increased by 41%. The beach properties saw an increase of 35% in January 2020 over January 2019.
The average days on market have decreased! Which means that the available listings are being scooped up by buyers faster than last year. Properties on the island are selling on average 63 days faster than they were in 2019!
What does this mean for sellers? Now is the perfect time to sell your home! With less time on the market you are able to sell your home faster than you could in 2019.
What does this mean for buyers? If you love something – put in an offer now before someone beats you to it! Properties, especially on the beach, are not on the market for long.

January 2020 Carteret County, NC Market Update- Prepared by Bluewater Real Estate

January 2020 Island Market Update- Prepared by Bluewater Real Estate

Looking for a more in-depth Market Analysis for your neighborhood? Fill out the form below and one of our agents will contact you shortly to help you learn more about the value of your home!

Tips for Selling Your Home with Pets

Tips for Selling Your Home with Pets

Tips for Selling Your Home with Pets

Here are a few tips on selling your home with pets. If you have a dog or a cat, it’s hard to comprehend anyone not loving pets.  Not all buyers entering your home will be animal lovers.  The following tips will help you prepare your home for potential buyers that may not be keen on pets.

The outside of your home is the first thing people will see.  Fill in any holes that your dog may have dug and remove dog waste from your yard.

People that do not have pets will most likely immediately smell if there’s a dog or cat living in your home.  Our sense of smell has a huge impact on our emotions, so it is important to eliminate any all pet odors.  Remove odors by washing dog bed covers and blankets.  Have your carpets professionally cleaned and all stains removed.

Repair any damage your pet may have caused, such as scratch marks and damage from chewing.

It is best to remove your pet from your home during a showing.  Buyers may be allergic to or afraid of your pet.  Take your dog for a walk or to the park.  If you’re working the day of the showing, treat your dog to a fun day at doggy day care.  If you aren’t able to remove your pet from your home, place them in a crate or a designated area of the house that the showing agent is aware of.

Before a showing, put away dog beds, toys and food bowls.  Pack up any cages or pet carriers.  Ensure that cat litter boxes are clean and out of sight.

Selling a home with pets isn’t always easy, but following these simple tips could make or break the sale of your home.

Carteret County Tax Re-Evaluation

A Quick Look Inside the Carteret County Tax Re-Evaluation Process

What to Expect

Property owners in Carteret County will soon receive a re-evaluation of their assets from the County Tax Office.

The re-evaluation process was pushed back one year due to the widespread damage due to Hurricane Florence in the Fall of 2018 and is the first adjustment since 2015.

Property appraisals will be calculated as close to their current status as of January 1st, 2020 as possible- and value letters will be sent out sometime within the first or second week in February.

The appeal process will then begin, with tax bills being mailed mid-fall once the rates are established by the County Commissioners.

Did you know? For 2019, Carteret County residents enjoyed the lowest property tax rate in the state of North Carolina. The rate of .31% was unchanged from 2018.

* Image above is courtesy of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners

Duties of the Assessor

The Assessor evaluates all property subject to taxation. The Assessor is required by North Carolina law to list, appraise and assess all property within the county at 100% of market value. In addition to the over 58,000 parcels of real property (land, homes, commercial buildings), the Assessor must value business personal property (approximately 7,000 businesses, ranging from multi‐million dollar enterprises to one-person operations). There are over 7,549 manufactured homes, over 77 aircraft, and over 26,129 boats, motors, and jet skis, and any other personal property which is taxable. There are over 6,500 motor vehicles that are billed monthly.

The Carteret County Tax Assessor’s Office creates over 150,000 tax notices annually. Because there is such a volatile real estate market, reappraisal for Carteret County is done every four years. The revaluation will include the use of county maps, aerial photography, street-level images, sales analysis, field visits, and other tools to gather data used in determining fair market value. Carteret County appraisers will review and analyze the information including comparable sales within your neighborhood.

Market Value is the most probable or most likely price that the property would sell for. It is not the highest, lowest, or average price. It requires a willing buyer and a willing seller with neither under any pressure to buy or sell. It implies that the buyer and the seller are fully informed of all the purposes to which the property is best adapted and is capable of being used. It recognizes the property’s current use as well as its potential use.

Appeal Process

If you agree with the Market Value stated in the Notice of Assessed Value, no further action is required.

If you wish to request an informal appeal, please chose from one of the three methods below:
1. An online appeal can be completed and submitted on the Carteret County Tax website
2. Email a scanned informal appeal form and any supporting documentation to
3. Mail the completed Informal Appeal Form and supporting documentation to:

Carteret County Tax Department
2020 Revaluation Appeal
302 Courthouse Square
Beaufort, NC 28516

*Online and emailed appeals will receive a confirmation email that the appeal was received by the Tax Department. All appeals will be reviewed by staff appraisers in the order that they are received. Your right to appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review is protected during the time the Tax Office is processing your Informal Appeal.


Valid Reasons to Appeal the Assessed Value
1. The market value substantially exceeds the actual market value of the property.
2. The market value is inconsistent with the market value of similar properties within your

Invalid Reasons to Appeal the Assessed Value
1. The market value increased too much compared to the previous market value.
2. The market value is more than the insurance value.
3. The market value is just too high.
4. The owner does not have the financial ability to pay the taxes.

*All information courtesy of the Carteret County Tax Office. Please contact them if you have any questions, or are interested in beginning the appeal process.

Tax Office Divisions
Business Personal 252-728-8486
Collections 252-728-8525
Land Records / Mapping 252-728-8490
Personal Property 252-728-8486
Western Tax Office 252-222-5833
Fax 252-732-2064

bluwater's toys for tots toy drive banner

Bluewater’s Toys for Tots Drive

Bluewater’s Toys for Tots Drive

This season is all about gratitude. Gratitude for family, friends, and all the goodness of the holiday season. Our 2019 Toys for Tots Drive has brought so many people together to aid the cause and give toys to those less fortunate. From Bluewater employees, guests, friends, and locals – our community has made this year’s Toys for Tots drive one of the best, yet!

If you didn’t get a chance to participate with us this year, we look forward to you joining us in 2020.

We’re looking forward to making next year’s Toys for Tots drive, and each thereafter, bigger and better than the one before.

Being a community surrounded by two Marine Corps Bases – We proudly support the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

About the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

Toys for Tots Drive, Toys for Tots

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity, is the fundraising, funding, and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991 and supplemented local campaigns with tens of millions of toys valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. For more information, visit


The mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U. S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas.  This assistance includes supporting the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program by raising funds to provide toys to supplement the collections of local Toys for Tots campaigns, to provide promotional, and support material, and defray the costs of conducting annual Toys for Tots campaigns.  Other Foundation support includes providing administrative, advisory, financial, logistical, and promotional support to local Toys for Tots Coordinators; managing funds raised and monies donated based on the use of Toys for Tots name or logo; providing other support the Marine Corps, as a federal agency, cannot provide; and conducting public education and information programs about Toys for Tots that call the general public to action in support of this patriotic community action program.

USMC Marching Band

Veteran’s Day Tribute

As a military wife of over 15 years, I have seen far too much of what our Veterans and their families experience.  Veteran’s Day (originally called Armistice day) was proclaimed on November 11, 1919, by Woodrow Wilson to celebrate the ending of World War 1. This National Holiday pays tribute to all who have served in America’s Armed forces.

What Veteran’s Day Means to Me

When I think of Veteran’s Day a wave of emotions, memories, and flashbacks come to mind. I think of ceremonies, promotions, Marine Corps Balls… I think of the heaviness of deployments.  I think of the brokenness in my boys’ eyes when they hug their Daddy before getting “on that bus.” I think of the sadness each military service member feels when they leave their loved ones behind- often missing holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, their children’s “firsts” etc.  I think of children growing up without a parent, and often even their extended family. I think of the joy, anticipation, preparation, and arrival of those who come home. I think of the heartache for those whose loved ones come home scarred..or not at all… You see, Veteran’s Day is far more than a day off of work or school.

What You Can Do to Honor a Local Veteran

What special meaning does Veterans Day hold for you? What emotions are evoked in you when you hear the word “Veteran”.  Below are just a few meaningful ways of how you can show your love and support:

1. Accompany a Veteran to a Veteran’s Day Parade

2. Seek out a Veteran to spend time with

3. Visit a senior Veteran in a nursing home or senior housing area

4. Help a Veteran check with the Veteran’s Benefits Administration for any unclaimed


5. Take a warm meal or dessert to someone you know is a Veteran

6 Offer to watch the children of a Veteran so the parents can have a nice date

7. Donate to a Veteran charity/organization

8. If time or distance makes it hard for you to spend time with your Veteran loved one you can reach out via phone, email, text, mail, etc.


Do you have any special way you honor our past and present military? Please feel free to share!

Many Blessings, and to those who have served or are currently serving… Thank You.

Crystal Shaw- Broker/Realtor at Bluewater Real Estate in Emerald Isle, NC

This blog post was written and prepared by Crystal Shaw, a Broker/REALTOR® at Bluewater Real Estate and proud Military spouse. She and her husband have relocated frequently due to new orders, but have been blessed to call The Crystal Coast their home for the last 9 years.

Cell Phone | (740) 973-6693

Email |

Local events for Veteran’s Day:

The Carteret County Veterans Day Parade will be held in Morehead City on Saturday, November 9, and will start at 11 a.m. No invitation is required to enter – everyone is invited! The parade committee will no longer be sending out written invitations but is shifting to social media for notification/information. If you or your organization would like to participate in this patriotic event or for more information, please visit, email, or contact the Carteret County Veterans Services Office at 252-728-8440 for more information. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the number above and we will assist you in completing your entry form.

A small group of re-enactors will be in the fort Saturday afternoon and Sunday showing what Fort Macon would have looked like during WWII.  Uniform talks, weapons demonstrations, and other short talks and presentations will be given throughout the day. November 9th: 2-5 PM & November 10th: 10 AM- 4 PM

From Carteret County Speedway: We are proud and committed to carrying out Bobby Watson’s legacy and dream here at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway. Providing the Crystal Coast with the region’s finest short track facility and entertainment park. In the final race we will be honoring our active military and veterans. Join us for the final race on Saturday, Nov. 16, for a family military night of fun and entertainment. Located right off Highway 58 in Peletier. Visit or call 252-436-7223 for more information.

banner image of the docks at beaufort for the much ado about beaufort blog post

Much Ado About Beaufort

banner image of the docks at beaufort for the much ado about beaufort blog post

There’s Much Ado About Beaufort





Restaurants and Dining Out and About Beaufort

Spouter Inn – A high-class restaurant with water views (deck seating available) and reasonable prices.

Beaufort Grocery – Excellent food just off of Front Street.

(both Spouter-Inn and Beaufort Grocery serve Sunday Brunch)

Stillwater/Rhum Bar – – Premium atmosphere meets amazing food (accessible by boat or land)- – If you give Stillwater a chance, be sure to sample the Tuna Tacos.

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about beaufort maritime museum

Check out the Maritime Museum to soak up some of our area’s history, including artifacts from Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge wreckage recovered near Beaufort Inlet.

Activities and Adventures

Pay a visit to the Cape Lookout lighthouse as well as the Wild Ponies on Shackleford Banks by way of Lookout Ferry Service.

Beaufort_Activities  RibbonOfSand

shackleford horse  horses

Take a leisurely cruise of our local waterways with the crew of the Crystal Coast Lady. Cruise packages include but are not limited to: “Brunch with Dolphins”, “Sunset Dinner Cruise”, and “Half Day Fishing”.

crystal coast ladyIf you are looking to get your heart rate up, Beaufort Inlet Water Sports rents kayaks at reasonable prices.  If you’d like more of an aerial view, they also offer Parasailing.  There’s no better way to see all of Beaufort’s beauty.




Nightlife and Entertainment

For nightlife, I would recommend the famous Dock House (located on the water; offering live entertainment), Cru Bar, and Back Street Pub all located on Middle lane.

Dock House