local dining on the crystal coast

Local Dining on the Coast

local dining on the crystal coast

Local Dining on the Coast

As a coastal girl born and bred in Carteret County, I have a salty palette and know a thing or two about local dining on the coast; where to go and where to avoid. Our seaport community offers up so many options for treating our taste buds. I generally get to dine out with some friends of mine once a month, and we always choose a locally-owned restaurant, of course!

Pictured: Lauren, Shawna, Allison & Me at Front Street Grille in Beaufort

Pictured: Lauren, Shawna, Allison, and Me at Front Street Grille in Beaufort

 

Dine Like Locals

Allison, Lauren, Shawna, and I have known one another since birth, so this time together is always filled with laughter remembering some story of the time I did this or that time you did that. We are now Moms, juggling our home and professional lives. When we gather, it’s as if the stars have aligned and we have never missed a beat.

What I remember most is riding my bike all over Beaufort as a kid. We would ride bikes from our neighborhoods and get together at Famous Pizza (RIP) in the Beaufort Square Shopping Center on Saturday to have the best pizza buffet any 12-year-old girl has ever had. We would laugh and carry on about stuff that 12-year-old girls find funny. I can’t remember, but I’m sure Allison could tell you everything we talked about. She never forgets anything! After lunch, we would go to Rose’s for the latest single tape (I’m an 80’s child). The point of this is that we have been dining in Beaufort and beyond since we were 12, and we know where the food is fresh and where the food is good. We’re basically honorary Food Critics.

Happy Cakes

Allison is a property manager at Bluewater in the Atlantic Beach office. She is as smart as they come and procrastination isn’t really her style, it’s mine. For example, it’s April 21st, and I’m just writing my first blog post for the month. Allison and I may be different as night and day we still fight over which is better HoHo’s (gross) or Swiss Cake Rolls (delish), but we do share a love for Happy Cakes Oreo Overload and Cookie Dough cupcakes. Take our advice and have one while you’re here. You won’t regret it. Happy Cakes makes its cupcakes each day with no leftovers. There’s a calendar of flavors of the month so you can decide which day you want to swing in for your taste of choice.

Island Grille

dining out at Island Grille

Pictured: Me and my sweet husband, Benji at Island Grille for our Anniversary.

If you’re here on a Tuesday you MUST go to Island Grille in Atlantic Beach. Located on Money Island Drive, it’s a small establishment so make reservations. The Buy One, Get One special is a long-standing favorite. You can order the fresh catch special and the Filet stuffed with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, smoked bacon, and fresh basil, finished with a roasted red pepper cream sauce, chef’s potatoes and vegetable or my favorite the Seafood Trio which is cold water lobster meat, lump crab and sea scallops with Roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts and fresh baby spinach tossed in a basil cream sauce over linguini with shaved parmesan. Do yourself a favor and go there.

Front Street Grille

Sunset view from Front Street Grille

Sunset view from Front Street Grille at Still Water.

The next suggestion is Front Street Grille at Still Water in Beaufort. It’s waterfront. Do you really need more information than that or will waterfront work for you? Outdoor dining and COVERED outdoor dining, how’s that? They have indoor dining year-round as well. The sunsets at this place are Zen-like. Trust me on this. I have lived on the water my whole life, sunsets still take me away. Front Street Grille is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday and offers a Sunday brunch as well as dinner. The night we went ordered the Black Angus Cheeseburger which has smoked bacon, pimento cheese, onion, pickles, lettuce, tomato, parmesan truffle fries. Us southern girls love some pimento cheese. It was marvelous, you must try this! FSG also has the Rhum Bar. You can have cocktails at sunset to accompany your very own Zen moment. 

curb appeal, capitalize on curb appeal, curb appeal for your home

Capitalizing on Curb Appeal

curb appeal, capitalize on curb appeal, curb appeal for your home

If you’re looking to add some real wow factor to your home, consider capitalizing on curb appeal. Spending time making the outside of your home more appealing will take your home’s curb appeal to a whole other level. Your home will turn heads and be the envy of the neighborhood. 

In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how you can start capitalizing on curb appeal.

Start With The Big Picture Vision

If you’ve been planning any major renovations to your outdoor areas, now is a great time to get started. With warmer weather on the horizon, you’ll be motivated to get it done before the heat of the Summer comes around. Whether you’re looking to add a retaining wall, clean up your driveway, or just add a few flower beds- there’s no better time than the Spring to get started on these outdoor projects.

When we say focus on the big stuff, these are projects that can take at least a day to complete, and anything you might need a few extra hands to help out with. When it comes to a few certain areas, you’re much better off consulting with a professional who has the skills and tools required to get the job done right. These include large tree removal, a custom driveway or paved walkway installation, and landscape lighting. Although you may find yourself paying a little more for these services, the return on your investment can go a long way when it comes time to sell your home- not to mention the cost of having something go wrong if you were to handle it yourself.

Sometimes, a routine day in the yard is all you need to spruce up the outside of your home. Before you get started, make sure you have all your materials squared away and in proper working condition. If you’re in need of any tools or machines, in particular, make a list of what’s needed and then inventory your gardening supplies (flowers, fertilizer, pine straw, mulch, etc..) It’s easier to grab everything you need at once at the end of the day than get frustrated and have to head out into town right during the middle of your project. Also, make sure you have plenty of cold drinks to last you through the day, and of course, a few adult beverages to enjoy when you finish up and enjoy the rewards of the work you just put in.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Down and Dirty

It should be fully expected that when cleaning up your yard, you’re going to work up a sweat, but you also might need to dress accordingly for your clothes to accumulate some dirt. Start your focus with any flower beds you might have where weeds have built up over the months, or plants are just not living their best life. Think about what type of plants would be best designed for space, and what fits your budget at the time to make the best decision for your flower beds. Palm trees are a pretty common occurrence among high-end homes throughout The Crystal Coast and can make for a great low-maintenance addition to an empty yard.

Pine straw is a popular feature in most flower beds along the coast- it’s cheap, easy to lay down, and lasts a decent amount of time. Depending on your existing structure, mulch could always be an option- and rocks may not be the cheapest option, but probably is the easiest to maintain. Anything you can do to avoid exposed sand/dirt will go a long way in keeping your property clean and presentable at first glance. Grass can be difficult and expensive to grow right along the beach, but a healthy mixture of dirt, sod, and consistent water can help do the trick.

This is also a great time to focus on any pests you might have lingering around your homestead. Fire ants and moles are two of the most annoying and damaging animals to most yards in our area, but the local hardware stores are usually stocked with plenty of ways to prevent these nuisances from calling your home theirs as well. Deer are pretty prevalent in our coastal community as well, and can wreak havoc on your freshly planted flower beds- For that reason, it’s usually recommended to keep potted flowers on your porch or deck (Hanging plants is also a great option if you’re front entrance allows it). You can also choose the plants that help to deter deer.

Finding the Right Way to Deter Deer

Perennial “Deer Deterrent” Plants

  • Aster
  • Fern
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Iris
  • Lamb’s ears
  • Lavender
  • Lupine
  • Mint
  • Phlox
  • Oleander
  • Fountaingrass
  • Rosemary
  • Salvia
  • Thyme
  • Verbena
  • Veronica

Deer Deterring Trees

  • Cedar
  • False Cypress
  • Hackberry
  • Hawthorn
  • Japanese Maple
  • Magnolia
  • Oak
  • Palm trees

Deer Deterring Items for Your Yard

  • Thorny branches
  • Floodlights
  • Hidden fishing lines
  • Sprinklers
  • Reflective surfaces
  • Fences
  • Netting

Apply Some Pressure and Maybe Some Paint

One of the most visually satisfying things in the world is seeing all of the dirt and grime that has accumulated over the years vanish from your front porch, steps, and driveway. Pressure Washing is by far the quickest and easiest way to get this dirty job done. Not all power washers are built the same, but chances are – they’ll get the job done. Whether you’re using electricity or gas, it’s essential to exercise caution throughout this process. Depending on how comfortable you feel doing it yourself, it might be in your best interest to pay a professional to take care of this dirty job. Most crews usually have their own portable tank, with plenty of hose length for any job. If your whole house looks a completely different color than its original paint job- it might be time to bite the bullet and have the whole thing done. (If you do choose to take care of it yourself, make sure you’re protecting your feet, eyes, and hands from any misfires). Pro-Tip* The recommended PSI for decks and home exteriors is around 1500, while around 3000 PSI is necessary to get your driveway sparkling again.

If your front porch is mainly made of wood, chances are you’ll have already made your mind up in the paint vs. stain debate. Re-evaluate your decision to make sure it’s showing the home in its best light, and still in line with your budget. Regardless of what you choose, chances are that you’ll need to redo the process every few years to keep it looking fresh. White paint is great but will show the effects of wear and tear before almost anything else. If your wooden porch is uncovered, adding a stain is probably your best option to keep you and your guests safe in bad weather conditions.

Your front door should also be a topic of discussion during the curb-appealing process. A unique color can make a home stand out from the crowd and initiate a great start to home showings to potential clients. If you decide to choose something out-of-the-norm, be sure that it flows with the rest of your house in some way or another. Regardless of your decision, be sure to take your time and do the necessary prep work. A few coats should do the trick, and if there’s any leftover paint- use it to cover a few new flowerpots and continue the color trend throughout the entranceway. New doorknobs and locks can also make a big difference on the first impression, especially if they’re sticky or becoming corroded. Keyless entry has been a big trend in the housing market recently, and simply re-programming an entry code can make it that much easier for new buyers to secure their new home after the sale.

Reduce the Yard Art

A lot of people living on the coast love to display unique items around their house to showcase their various interests and random things they come across. Derelict boats, bikes, can really make a home stand out among the crowd, but there’s a pretty fine line between adding style to your lawn and creating the illusion of a junkyard.

Stick with things that have true meaning to you. If you love birds and want to have a birdhouse, feeder, or birdbath outside your front door- do it! These are things that everyone can understand, and with some simple routine maintenance, can add a sense of charm to your coastal cottage. If squirrels get the word and start snacking on your seeds, try and avoid the temptation to erect a squirrel proofing system underneath, and just remove the problem.

An old wooden boat nicely propped up with colorful flowers on the inside can be the cutest thing a potential buyer has seen throughout their buying process. On the flip-side, a rusty trailer with a mildewed boat and no motor can make a potential buyer say- would we have to pay to move this thing out of here? Keep in mind, that there is absolutely no shame in storing your boat in your driveway or designated space in your yard- it can actually be a great leeway for lookers who might start to get the wheels turning on buying a boat of their own along with your home. Just keep in mind that if you don’t use it, or keep up with it a few times a year- chances are it’s losing value and cluttering up valuable open space around your home.

Designated areas for activity (sandboxes, swing sets, gardens, cornhole boards & soccer goals) can be a great way for potential buyers to visualize their families enjoying the spaces you’ve created. Just make sure that outdoor amenities are safe and well-kept throughout the year.

Clean the Screens (and Everything Else While You’re At It)

Don’t forget to take care of the little things that can make a big difference. You’ll want your home to have a light and airy feel for yourself and guests upon arrival, and having clean windows is crucial to capture that essence. With dirty window screens, sills, and trim is a two-sided issue- it’s definitely not one that you want to overlook. Garage doors, light fixtures, gutters, and any seating areas you have around the front of your home should also be cleaned and painted if necessary.

If you happen to have a screened porch, you’ll want to make sure that the entire screen system is attached and any holes are patched if possible. The ever-popular Carolina Room windows should be thoroughly cleaned as well, even if the room isn’t visible from the front because it’s a natural gathering space for potential buyers and guests.

K9s and Coffee on Emerald Isle

Muttigans K9s and Coffee: Emerald Isle

K9s and Coffee on Emerald Isle

Muttigans K9s and Coffee: Emerald Isle

Who doesn’t love dogs and coffee? The owners of Muttigans K9s and Coffee have combined their love for both into an inviting new shop in downtown Emerald Isle.

If all you want to do is shop, drink coffee, and pet dogs, this is the perfect spot on the island. All dogs are welcome, small to extra large! Enjoy your coffee and snack inside or outside on the covered porch with rockers and swings.

coffee at a pet-friendly coffee shop

K9s and Coffee was formerly Salty Dogs Pet Boutique. They now have a new location and coffee! On March 30th, K9s and Coffee held their ribbon cutting, with the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce, for the new location and shop. A large group, many with dogs, gathered to support the owners on this wonderful adventure. Many explored the shop, which offers a wide variety of pet food, treats, toys, and pet supplies; others enjoyed a refreshing smoothie or coffee.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Goody bags full of dog food samples, treats, and a travel bowl were handed out to everyone. Such a kind gesture!

I am very excited about this place being on the island! It will be an incredible asset to this dog-friendly beach town. Everyone was very kind and helpful throughout the ribbon-cutting event.

ALSO SEE: Pet-Friendly Places on the Crystal Coast

 

 
 
 
 
 
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So many delicious drinks were on the menu, and even more tasty treats for your dog. The unique nautical collars and leashes will be great for accessorizing your pet in the summer or any time of the year! Seasonal frosted treats for your pet and water toys for your dog will be a hit! I can’t wait to bring my pup to shop and enjoy a pup cup. I have already written on my calendar to stop and get a birthday cake for my Ruger when he turns 1!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you are a resident or visiting, you MUST check this place out!  Enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, smoothie, or Frappe. Try a scone, muffin, or cookie while you’re there. Each week they offer weekly baked specials.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Don’t forget your best friend! They offer pup cups as well. Let your dog enjoy whip cream with a choice of lamb, beef, or peanut butter biscuit.

Shop Muttigans K9s and Coffee: Emerald Isle

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Find grain-free, organic dog and cat food and treats. Toys, collars, leashes, nail polish, bandannas, birthday cakes, and much more can be found in this adorable pet shop! Looking for a gift? Check out the t-shirts, magnets, cards, and more for any dog or cat lover.

Paws and Enjoy Life! Grab a cup of coffee and shop with your sidekick at K9s and Coffee.  – Guest Authored by Bluewater Marketing Coordinator, Erica Dubois 

Muttigans K9s and Coffee: Emerald Isle

8101 Emerald Drive
Emerald Isle, NC 28594
 

Dogs Stay Free and Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals on the Crystal Coast

Beach vacations are meant to be enjoyed by everyone in the family when you vacation Crystal Coast-style! Explore our pet-friendly, dogs-stay-free vacation rentals below and book your next Crystal Coast beach vacation today! You’ll find our inclusive dogs-stay-free vacation homes all along our coast from Swansboro to Beaufort, NC. If you have any questions, give us a call.

Go ahead, bring your best friend! We look forward to having their paws in the sand. 

 

Have you visited Muttigans yet? If so, did you bring your pet? Let us know. Start the conversation below.

 

SAVE FOR LATER

coffee shop that is pet-friendly on the crystal coast

Bluewater Sales Awards Banquet

Celebrating a Fantastic Year


On the evening of Thursday, February 7th, our Bluewater Real Estate Sales Team gathered at Kathryn’s Bistro & Martini Bar in Emerald Isle for our annual Awards Dinner. It was a night filled with good food, great drinks, and the best company you could ask for. After a rough few months since Hurricane Florence, it was so rewarding to look back on all of the outstanding accomplishments of our team over the last year, and how we overcame adversity to have one of our best years yet. Scroll through the photo slideshow below to see all of the smiling faces from those in attendance. Award Recipients are highlighted below the photo slideshow. Congratulations to our awesome team of agents for all of their hard work and dedication to their clients!

2018 Bluewater Top Producer & Most Closed Units per Agent

Kitch Ayre


Kitch continues to be a great example of the success of our company- as this year marked her 19th year as Top Producer. With over $17.6 million in Total Sales Volume for 2018, she ranks among the top REALTORS® in Carteret County. Kitch represented over 40 clients last year, and she has sold $354,602,821 in her 21 years at Bluewater. We’d like to take this opportunity to applaud Kitch for all of her hard-work throughout her career here at Bluewater, and say congratulations again for all of her well-deserved success. If you’d like to do the same, or learn more about her, you can by clicking the button below.


2018 Bluewater Top Producing Team

The Star Team- Coastal Property Specialists in Atlantic Beach Logo

 

The Star Team


The Star Team of Bluewater Real Estate amassed over $15.5 million in Total Sales Volume over the course of 2018. This is an incredible achievement for one of the top real estate teams in Carteret County. We are so proud to have OK & Lugean Hogan, Angie Varner, and Louis Weil as members of Bluewater Real Estate, and are always appreciative of their helpful insight to market & industry trends. The Star Team continues to identify as a Top Producing Real Estate Team in Carteret County, and we’re looking forward to seeing them grow and excel into new heights.


2018 Bluewater Most Closed Units per Team

Copeland & Bernauer Real Estate Team Logo

 
Allison Bernauer- Broker/Realtor with Copeland & Bernauer team at Bluewater Real Estate in Atlantic Beach, NC

Copeland & Bernauer Real Estate Team


In their first year of existence, the Copeland & Bernauer Real Estate Team represented buyers and sellers in over 50 transactions, which is quite the accomplishment. Pat Copeland, Eleanor Copeland, and Allison Bernauer have formed quite a bond and we can’t wait to see where this new journey takes them. With over $11.6 million in Total Sales Volume, this team is already well on their way to becoming one of the area’s most qualified Real Estate teams. With over 40 combined years of Real Estate Sales experience, this team is destined to follow a path of continued greatness for many years to come!


2018 Outstanding Achievement Award- Atlantic Beach Office

Jim Bailey


Jim Bailey had an incredible year in 2018, and we chose to honor him with our Outstanding Achievement Award for the Atlantic Beach Office. His production nearly double from 2017 to 2018, going from almost $3.6 million to just shy of $8 million respectively. Jim has been a huge asset to our organization, with first-hand knowledge of the Atlantic Beach & Morehead City areas and a wealth of information in regards to building regulations. Jim is the go-to agent for information on the Townhomes and Duplexes at Seaside Villas and we certainly appreciate his efforts to keep the entire team involved in construction updates and timelines.


2018 Outstanding Achievement Award- Emerald Isle Office

Ron Webb


In just a few short years, Ron Webb has established himself as one of the area’s top REALTORS®. With over $8 million in Total Sales Volume, and representing more than 25 transaction sides, Ron has proven that his knowledge of the area and ability to work well with all kinds of people are huge assets to his success. Between his second and third year selling Real Estate, Ron jumped from $2.2 million to over $8 million- which is a truly remarkable feat. We love having Ron and his willingness to help anyone out around our Emerald Isle office. We wish him the best of luck as he continues down the path to success and congratulate him on his numerous accomplishments thus far!


homeowners insurance rate hikes

Help Keep NC Homeowners Insurance Rates Down

homeowners insurance rate hikes

Help Keep NC Homeowners Insurance Rates Down

The NC Homeowners Alliance works to protect the interests of property owners in the NC General Assembly, while increasing awareness of issues and potential legislation that directly affect consumers’ most important and often most valuable investment – their home.

The Alliance supports common-sense measures that are geared to improving the everyday lives of all North Carolina residents. In order to increase the state economy and defend the rights of its citizens, the General Assembly should support legislation that will protect the rights of the millions on NC property owners and encourage more home ownership while keep home and property insurance rates fair and affordable.

If you’d like to help take part in their grassroots efforts to protect the rights of property owners and help keep homeowners insurance rates down, join the NC Homeowners Alliance. You won’t get spammed, as the Alliance is committed to sending information strictly deemed relevant and interesting. They’ll keep you updated on legislation that will affect your bottom line, such as new insurance rate rules, mortgage interest deduction, and local development initiatives. They’ll also let you know about opportunities to meet with legislators, advocate on their behalf, and make your voice heard in regards to your home and its insurance costs.

Action Needed!

With help from the NC Homeowners Alliance last year, they were able to convince Insurance Commissioner, Mike Causey, to block an unreasonable homeowners insurance rate hike. The increase would’ve brought the proposed average to over 18%.  The Comission heard the outcry and responded to only a 4% increase for most homeowners. We need your help to do it again!

The latest proposal from insurance companies would increase rates by an average of 17.4 percent, but for some, consumers the increase could exceed 30 PERCENT!

Please let your voice be heard and tell Commissioner Causey to SAY NO to the insurance companies’ request. You can easily send an email to Commissioner Causey. You’ll just need to input your information, and a pre-drafted E-mail will send in just a few seconds. If you’d prefer to craft your own message, you can email it to commissioner@ncdoi.gov or drop a letter in the mail to:

NC Department of Insurance
Commissioner’s Office
1201Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1201

If you need a quote for home, auto or boat insurance, the dedicated team at Bluewater Insurance is there to provide that for you. You and your family deserve undivided attention with all questions thoroughly answered, and that’s the level of service that Bluewater Insurance strives to provide. Learn more by visiting Bluewater Insurance today.

NC Seafood Festival 2017

2017 NC Seafood Festival

NC Seafood Festival 2017

2017 NC Seafood Festival

It’s time for our 2017 NC Seafood Festival recap. Good food, good friends, and good fun! We somehow manage to make it to the NC Seafood Festival every year; each year is better than the last.

2017 southern salt menu

About the NC Seafood Festival 

The North Carolina Seafood Festival is a not-for-profit organization of Carteret County citizens and businesses in Morehead City. Recognizing the importance of seafood to eastern North Carolina, Seafood Festival, Inc. organized to develop and conduct a festival every year. This festival is held every year on the first weekend of October to promote the seafood industry’s positive social and economic impact on our community.

Our Experience

It honestly surprises me how we did this with two little boys. I thought there was no way we would manage this, but we did. We even went with a pair of friends who have a 1-month-old! I know! Two strollers deep, we waded through the masses and actually enjoyed ourselves. The Morehead City waterfront is more than capable of holding the growing numbers of visitors to the NC Seafood Festival each year comfortably, and I really appreciate that.

We have found our way to the NC Seafood Festival every year since I met my husband in 2012. We were actually not planning on making it this year, but after a slight (not really) twist of my arm, we decided to go on opening night, even though we were headed to the Asheboro Zoo at 7 AM the following morning.

Festival veteran 2-year-old Jettson

nc seafood festival prizes

We had a blast, ate good food, and learned that our nearly 2-year-old Jettson has a mean left arm when it comes to ring toss. I think in his mind, he won all the stuffed toys in the carnival from his “good” throws. – Guest post by Bluewater’s Marketing Coordinator, Jay White

Let’s Hear From You!

Have you ever been to the NC Seafood Festival? If so, what year did you attend, and what was your favorite part? Don’t miss our monthly Crystal Coast calendar of events for more local festivals and fresh events. 

paint brushes with paint in a cup

Wine and Design

paint brushes with paint in a cup

Are you ready to unleash the inner artist in yourself on your vacation? Well, we found the perfect place for you! Sign up, show up, sip up, and PAINT! At Wine & Design in Morehead City, you can have fun and socialize all while you sip on a tasty glass of wine and paint something absolutely beautiful! These group painting classes are taught by local artists and are so much fun! Show up with friends or go alone, you are sure to have a great time.

 

The Wine and Design Art Studio

The Wine and Design studio is a quaint little “hole in the wall” located at 412 Evans Street, Unit B in Morehead City. When you walk in you instantly feel like you’re ready to create something unique to your style and taste. The walls are lined with beautiful paintings by the artists themselves and also by those who have attended the classes. The artwork doesn’t even stop there! If you walk into the restroom, it’s covered in colorful canvases! Even though it’s small, it is a very inspiring little space.

This whimsical studio allows you to bring your favorite beverage of choice: beer, wine, soda, juice, or water. You can also feel free to bring your favorite snacks, appetizers or even catering – any of your favorite eats! There is plenty of table space for food and drinks, so go crazy! Luckily, the studio provides the plastic cups and the corkscrew! Of course, you must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol, but people of all ages are welcome.

The more the merrier! Come alone or bring a group! I went with my mom, who is as much of a wine “enthusiast” as I am. We got to mingle with the other members of the class and it was so much fun! It’s best to arrive at the studio 15 minutes prior to getting signed in, fix a glass of your favorite drink, and mingle with the others. When we walked in we were immediately greeted by the artist, Rhonda. She was a sweetheart and you could tell she really enjoyed teaching this class. She made sure to make a personal connection with each of us and made us all feel warm and welcome. This really is the perfect place to sip, chat and paint!

Just remember, there are 3 very important rules! 

  1. There are no mistakes! Take your creativity to infinity and beyond!
  2. Paintbrushes go in the water – not in your wine!
  3. HAVE FUN!

Seriously… This is like painting by numbers, but for adults, with wine. Are you convinced yet?

The fun doesn’t stop here! Another great thing about the studio location is that it’s right near the Morehead City waterfront. Here, you can take in beautiful views and also grab a great bite to eat at one of Morehead’s well-known restaurants. My personal favorite is the Ruddy Duck and it’s within walking distance of the studio!




The Canvas

blank canvas

The Artists

Wine and Design in Morehead City is the perfect thing to do to bring out your creative side and sip some tasty wine! A wonderful attraction in Morehead right by the waterfront with a beautiful view, right down the street from divine restaurants with mouthwatering dishes, and entertaining activity for an evening out. How could you go wrong?!

I had so much fun spending my evening at Wine and Design and I cannot wait to go back again and bring more friends! I found the inner artist in myself and now you can too!

banner image of an adorable baby on the beach

What You Need for a Day at the Beach with Your Baby

banner image of an adorable baby on the beach

What You Need for a Day at the Beach with Your Baby

Ready to hit the beach with your babe? I’m sharing what you need for a day at the beach with your baby. 

The thing about going to the beach with your baby is, you have to think as we locals do. Minimize the wagon, cooler, or dump truck full of things you want to bring, and just consider the basics. As long as your little one is happy, the day will go wonderfully. What’s nice about the beaches on the Crystal Coast is there will ALWAYS be a breeze. Thank goodness. So be prepared for a little cooler temperatures, especially if you have an outdoor living room set up as we did ;). But remember, cooler does not by any means, mean cold. It is still North Carolina Hot.

baby tent for a Day at the Beach with Your Baby

We make our beach trips rather short because of the temperature. This day we stayed for about 2 hours with only brief stents of shear sun with the little man. Be sure to hydrate yourself and your little person. Jettson now LOVES water, the colder the better, so we made sure to take 1 or 2 breaks to water him down. Besides that, he was completely happy with his crackers, a fake phone, and an empty wipes package…he likes how it sounds.


Top Items to Bring for a Day at the Beach with your Baby

  • Baby sunscreen 
  • Baby hat or beach cover
  • Swim diapers
  • Baby wipes or corn starch
  • Insulated drink cup & drinks
  • Snacks
  • Favorite toy
  • Beach umbrella or tent

Be sure to save our handy packing list to your mobile device for quick and easy reference before you head to the beach with your baby.

Packing list for a day at the beach with your baby

We also discovered that Jettson loves how the sand feels. So this meant plenty of baby wipes were necessary to keep his sandy hands away from those big pretty eyes.


We like to bring our Sunbrella with us to the beach if at all possible. It is simple to set up and anchors into the sand.

TIP: If it is a windy day make sure to open the vents on the side to keep it from flying away.

We pack-muled our way down to the sandy shore but did decide we needed to add a wagon to our Amazon shopping cart. So learn from our mistakes and make your load a little lighter.

Hang Glider banner image for ride the wind with kitty hawk kites

Ride the Wind with Kitty Hawk Kites

Hang Glider banner image for ride the wind with kitty hawk kites

Ride the Wind with Kitty Hawk Kites

Hello! My name is Mimi and I’m a 37-year-old mother of 2, a loving wife to Benji, and a Crystal Coast local. Join me as I ride the wind with Kitty Hawk Kites.

I lead a pretty uneventful life. The days of wild adventures and long weekends are few and far between. Most weekends of the summer are spent looking for ways to keep my family entertained and activities to keep my children’s minds wide open to the possibilities life can present to them. When I was given the opportunity to experience something new courtesy of Kitty Hawk Kites, I accepted. Not only for the break in the norm, but to set an example for my kids to get out there and LIVE! You have to take risks to get rewards.

This is the first year Kitty Hawk Kites offered Hang Gliding in Beaufort. The flagship center on the Outer Banks has been “teaching the world to fly since 1974.” Boasting that students from ages 4-92, both male and female have participated in some form of flight, from hang gliding, kiteboarding, parasailing to paragliding. From the physically fit to physically challenged, all it takes is the desire to learn and fly. This opportunity ties in well with Ride the Wind Day.

Ride the Wind Day is an unofficial national holiday in the US, celebrated on August 23rd, that commemorates the anniversary of the first human-powered flight to win the Kremer prize. Established in 1959 by industrialist, Henry Kremer, for pioneers of human-powered flight, the first of which was given to Dr. Paul MacCready when his Gossamer Condor, piloted by Bryan Allen was the first aircraft to fly a figure eight around two markers a half-mile apart and a least 10 feet above the ground. But I’ve decided I’m going to think of it as commemorating Kitty Hawk and the first flight of The Wright Brothers, even though that was December 17, 1903. Just go with it! Ha!

I’m celebrating the holiday early and in my own way – Come with me … Here’s my day.



7:45 I’m awake, I need coffee. What do I wear for this? Yoga pants and a t-shirt … sure, sounds good. Everyone in my house is still asleep, um bye guys!

9:00 Arrive at Michael J. Smith Airfield, Beaufort. Oh gosh, I hope I’m in the right place. Why have I never been down here before? Oh, there’s a sign for hang gliding; that was easy.

9:02 I walked through the office to a picnic table under a shaded tree. My first thought … are all these people hang gliding today? Answer: YES! Even that 11-year-old: YES! Second thought these people are so cool, laid back, excited, and not even a little scared. This is the perfect scenario for my nerves. They’ve been sky diving too? YES!

Ok, I’ve got this.

9:18 A voice comes over the walkie that sits at the end of the picnic table. “Hey, is anyone there? If so, pick up the pink walkie with the seashell” We reply, “Yes, there are people here, over.” Moments later we meet James, a super high-spirited guy from Chattanooga, TN. We go over paperwork, sign waivers, get basic information about the flight as well as receive our US Hang Gliding & Paragliding Assn., Student / Affiliate Membership.

9:25 Golf cart escort with James to the center of the field where to gear up for the flight. I get to go first? Oh my gosh, I’m so excited at this point.

9:28 Gearing up and introductions from Richard and Chris. Chris is the pilot of the Bailey-Moyes Dragonfly aircraft. This thing is so basic-looking compared to planes I’ve seen before. It has an open cockpit and looked like it had pretty basic controls and this will pull the North Wing Freedom 220 hang glider up to 2,000 feet and let us go.

Richard, oh sweet kind Richard. He is amazing. This guy’s job is to allow people to experience a bird’s eye view of Beaufort and Beyond. Amazing, where do I sign up?

9:33 You ready, Mimi? Let’s GO!

Mimi and ride the wind with kitty hawk kites

9:34 -9:43 My flight lasted 10 minutes. I moved my head the entire time. I wanted to absorb as much as I could, knowing that it would be over way too soon. I’ve always known that I was lucky to be born and raised in this area but when you see it from the air, it’s like art. I could see almost to Emerald Isle, thanks to the clouds that had lifted for better visibility, Fort Macon, Beaufort Waterfront, Shackleford Banks – all were in a second’s view of one another. The wind and air temperature were about 10-15 degrees cooler, it felt amazing! Once we reached 2000 feet, Chris released us.

In that moment, I was jarred. I’m really soaring. It was just me, Richard, and some metal and canvas. I was surprisingly ok with this fact. A moment later Richard asked, “Do you want to steer?” Um, yeah! He tells me to place my hands on both sides and pull my weight forward gently. This motion takes us slowly and steadily down. My next instruction is to shift and pull my weight to the left to steer us left then right slightly to even us out.

I did it! I flew that darn thing! Richard gives me kudos for staying calm, he said that was the hardest part, getting people to remain calm. Thanks, Richard. You were a great coach.

As we got closer to the ground, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. Everything about this experience was positive. Every single encounter was positive. I just went hang gliding! Oh gosh, I’m going to have to do this again! And with that thought, Richard brought us safely and perfectly to the earth.

The first thing I did was lay on the ground, just lay there. The contrast between the two feelings was the ultimate high. Parting from Richard, I insisted we hug. We both laughed and he wished me good luck on my blog. My response was “don’t get too excited, I’m not much of a writer” His reply was better “Well I’m not much of a pilot” Touché, sir, touché.

For more information about hang gliding with Richard & Chris check out the website.



Me and Richard pre-flight



Savannah, age 11 and the Dragonfly aircraft




Chris Bodin, our pilot



Me getting into the gear