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Spring on the crystal coast

Why Spring is a Great Time to Visit the Crystal Coast

Spring on the crystal coast

Spring on the Crystal Coast

Spring on the Crystal Coast is the perfect way to have fun in the sun on an early getaway! 

Are you planning a trip to the Crystal Coast during Spring? Here are a few reasons why the Spring on the Crystal Coast is a great time to visit!

  • Warmer Temps Mean An Abundance of Wildlife
    • As the water and the salty air warms up, the local birds and dolphins return to our coast. Pods of dolphins arrive and even a whale or two are known to skirt the coast in the spring. You may also see fawns on Coast Guard Road.
  • Warmer Temps Also Mean More Fun Outside
    • Warmer weather and waters mean comfortable weather for fishing. If you enjoy laying out in the sun with a nice cool breeze running across you, this is the time of year for you! Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are finally reasonable activities for those of us who like a little sun on an outing. Walking along the waterfronts of Beaufort, Swansboro, and Morehead City becomes a relaxing way to spend a day of sunshine in the Spring.
  • Everything Is Open
    • All the shops, stores, and restaurants that closed for the Winter are back open in the Spring. The piers open, flowers bloom, and you can beat the Summer rush of crowds during a spring trip! 
  • Small Crowds – Visiting during springtime is a great time to beat the heat and the crowds that usually swell at the start of the summer season.

Which town is your favorite to visit in the Spring? 

Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you! 

nc coast fishing
whale sighting crystal coast
coastal kayaking in nc

WATER TEMPERATURE

Average High 71F | Average Low 65F

AIR TEMPERATURE

Average High 70F | Average Low 55F

Be sure to check out the many budget friendly activities to do this Spring while visiting the Crystal Coast.


Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest


Beaufort Food & Wine Festival


100 Free Things To Do

cleaning for spring, spring cleaning, cleaning your coastal home for spring

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Coastal Home

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Coastal Home

We’re sharing some of our favorite tips for Spring cleaning your coastal home to help you get organized, de-clutter, and refresh!

Start From the Outside and Work Your Way In

You’re ready to begin Spring cleaning your coastal home. But, whether you’re planning on selling your home soon or keeping it forever, you probably want your home to be as clean on the outside as it is on the inside. Everyone loves a home with great curb appeal. Try and keep the next few weekends open, so that when the sunshine and 65° temperatures arrive you’ll be fully prepared for yard work.

Focus on the big things first, like any trees or bushes that need to be trimmed (or removed if hazardous), then move on to the leaf raking process and finish up with that first cut of the year. Picking up an edger might be worth the cost from Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, or Home Depot, especially if you’ve got a paved driveway and an abundance of road frontage (You can pick one up that runs on a rechargeable battery). Be sure to blow or sweep all the dirt off after to keep your driveway looking clean. (But don’t blow them into our waterways or drainage grates)

spring gardening

Tackle Weeds

Next, tackle any weeds you may have sprouted up over the wintertime. A garden stool (or 5 Gallon Bucket turned upside down) can go along way in saving your knees from the harsh surface of pine needles or mulch. Consider consulting with a landscaping professional if you’ve got an abundance of undesired plants in your yard. Moles have been especially present on island properties the last few years, your local hardware store should have some treatment remedies for these pesky critters.

Finally, turn to focus on your flower beds and pots. You might have to make the difficult decision of what to keep and try to revive versus what to just give up and start over with. Here in Carteret County, we are blessed with an abundance of garden centers that have a helpful staff dedicated to helping you find exactly the right plants for your home.

Once you’re all done, make sure to set a regular schedule for routine maintenance. Setting aside a few hours a week to dedicate to your yard will give you an excuse to get outside, and keep things looking great throughout the year! You’ll be in awe of your hard work every time you pull into your driveway, which will motivate you to keep the inside of your house clean and looking good, too.

Work From The Top Down

spring cleaning with kids, tips for spring cleaning

Focusing on small victories is key to Spring cleaning your coastal home. By starting at the top, you can concentrate on some of the particularly tricky aspects of de-cluttering and move to the normally easier aspects as you go.

The Kids Rooms

For most two-story homes, the kid’s rooms and playrooms are found on the top floor. These tend to be the parts of your house that gather the most ‘stuff’ and never seem organized. Purging gifts, toys, and clothes can be a particularly tricky situation for most, but if you go about it in the right way, it can be satisfying for everyone. Start by gathering a few large boxes and label them ‘Keep’, ‘Yard Sale/Donate’ and ‘Trash.’ Make it a game with your kids to decide which objects are going to go in which bin, and let them drop the items in themselves.

Depending on how much stuff you’ve accumulated in these areas, you might want to try and focus to spread the load out equally, or for every one item kept, two will go in the Yard Sale box. If your kids are fighting you on letting go, tell them that the money you raise from their items can go towards something big they’ve been dreaming for – basketball hoop, vacation, or even into their college fund.

When you’re all done, find a home for everything in the keep pile, and maybe invest in some shelving units to help clean things up a bit. Decide whether or not your willing to host a Yard Sale, and if not considering donating the items to a local non-profit, and reap the tax benefits. Saying your going to host a Yard Sale later in the year is easy, but will just add more clutter to some of your spaces- make the decision to try and sell everything or give it all away within the next few weeks!

TIP: Keep an Eye out for Community Yard Sale Days & Pages

Community Yard Sales

  • Emerald Isle always has one around the beginning of April. You can send a list of items you’ll have and the group will share it with their followers. It’s a totally free way to spread the word and clear some stuff out! Find more information on the Emerald Isle City Wide Yard Sale Facebook Page
  • Swansboro usually hosts theirs at the Municipal Park in May. There may be limited spots available so don’t wait to register! For more info visit the Town of Swansboro’s Facebook Page and check their events tab.
  • Search for a community Yard Sale Page in your neighborhood and post the items that you have for sale, just be sure to use caution if you plan on meeting anyone or having them to your house. Many local Police Stations have designated & monitored areas for internet sale exchanges.

Tackle Spring Cleaning Your Coastal Home by De-Cluttering the Closets

Picking out an outfit for the day can feel like one of the most difficult daily chores, but if your closet is clean and organized- the perfect pieces for the day will be popping up right in front of your face! Even if you’re not in your dream closet (yet), there are some simple and easy tricks to maximizing space and finding a place for everything.

Where to Start?

Start by removing all of the items you know you’ll never wear and pass them off to a friend or colleague that may enjoy them. (Or even a local domestic violence shelter) An easy way to figure out what you don’t ever really wear is to start with all of your clothes hangers facing the same way. Every time you wear something, turn the hanger the opposite way when you got to put it back. Everything that’s facing the original way after a few months may need to go. Color coordinating can go a long way in stimulating your visual triggers – and is highly recommended if your home is listed for sale. More times than not, a potential buyer is going to look and see what the closet space looks like, and if your clothes are neatly hung in order of light to dark- the space will feel much larger and they will want to do the same if they decide to purchase. Using the same style and colored hangers can also go along way in creating an aesthetic that is sure to please everyone.

TIP: Place a soda can tab over the hook of a hanger, and you’ll be able to hook another hanger onto the other hole. This way you can hang more clothes within the same amount of space.

What’s Next?

Next, focus on the shoes- and throw out any pairs that might be damaged beyond repair (especially with kids!). When you’ve narrowed it down to what you actually plan on wearing, find an easy storage solution like bookshelves or even a basket.

TIP: Use wine bottle box dividers to separate each shoe, so you don’t have to dig to the bottom every time you are looking for that perfect pair.

Scarves, ties, belts, can be stored efficiently by securing plastic shower curtain hooks onto a hanger. Loop the items through the hook and you’ll be able to fit multiple items in the same space as a shirt or pair of pants.

TIP: A belt rod on the back of a door, or secured to a small wall is a great way to store those accessories as well.

No Closet? No Problem!

Even rooms without closets can be clutter-free! Assign everything a place, and make sure that everything is where it’s supposed to be before you leave the room. If you assign everything its own space and not everything fits flush against the walls, you might have too many things and it might be time to catch up on the Marie Kondo method. (Thanks Netflix!)

Lastly, if you’ve got any extra storage space for clothes, jackets, or other accessories that might not be in season- it would be in your best interest to move them there. Knowing North Carolina weather and the sporadic temperatures it brings, you might want to keep a few things on-hand close by for those abnormal days we all love so much.

Take on the Kitchen

clean kitchen for spring, spring clean kitchen

Aside from the daily dish duties and spoiled food purges, you should pay close attention to the cleaning detail of your kitchen. It’s arguably where you spend a lot of your time at home- and it’s sure to be a gathering place when family and friends pay you a visit.

Depending on the size and layout of your kitchen, it might not be a bad idea to spend a day cleaning out all of the cabinets. Try to gather everything on your dining room table and wipe the inside of all your cabinets out, then turn the focus to the cabinets doors and drawer handles. 

TIP: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers might be the best trick if you have all white materials.

While you’re in the process of cleaning out your cabinets, take a second to think about the layout of what’s in each nook, and the size of the materials going in it. If you’re constantly cramming dishes into a single drawer, or fighting to remove the Crock-Pot from a corner cabinet- there might be better locations for bulky items. It might also be time to get rid of some of the items that don’t get used.

TIP: Try to give everything a specific place, and leave the countertops clear of everything except the essentials (Paper towels, soap, and a coffee maker- because that should always be handy and will probably help you clean the rest of the house).

Moving on to the Pantry

Spring clean the pantry, pantry spring clean

You should once again take everything out to inspect expiration dates, clean shelves, and make the decision to decide which items should be placed where. While everything is out, considering re-painting or touching up some scuff marks as necessary. Definitely don’t forget to sweep or vacuum those hard-to-reach areas which are sure to gather crumbs from the cookie monster in your house. Consider purchasing plastic containers or glass jars to hold awkwardly shaped and small items, especially if they’re going to be stored in a place that everyone will be able to see. If there’s plenty of room to spare after organizing your food items, consider making a space for bulkier kitchen appliances like Crock-Pots, Mixers, Air-Fryers, etc.

Cleaning the refrigerator out is certainly a chore, but one that might make the most impact in presenting your home. Once again, take everything out and place them in coolers if possible. Most of the racks and drawers are removable, so take those out and place them in the sink. Windex and paper towels or Clorox wipes are going to be best for scrubbing those sticky messes and cleaning up the occasional crumb. Just make sure to dry everything off so the moisture doesn’t build up over time.

TIP: Keep an opened box of Baking Soda in the fridge to help eliminate odors and replace it with a new package every 3 months.

The freezer is a bit trickier, but the biggest thing is to make sure that all items with freezer-burn are thrown away, and space is occupied properly.

Microwave and Stove Top Cleaning Tips

Finally, turn your focus to the microwave, oven, and stove-top. Since these are the areas that get the most use, they are going to need the most attention. Starting with your microwave, wipe the outside off with a mild cleaning solution, and make sure to scrub the buttons and handle, since they are always touched – and usually not with clean hands. One of the easiest tricks to cleaning the inside of your microwave is to cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a small glass bowl and add about a 1/2 cup of water. Place the lemons into the bowl and put them in the microwave for 3 minutes. Let the mixture stand for another 5 minutes, then pull it out and wipe all the walls with a rag or sponge. Always remember to cover items like soup with a wet paper towel to avoid messes the next time around.

Once the microwave is cleaned up, move down to the stove-top. If you’ve got a traditional stove-top with the coiled burners, it might be easier to replace the metal bowls underneath than to try and scrub them out. For those with the more modern glass-top stove, take a trip to your local hardware store for some Weiman Glass Cook Top Cleaner. Follow the instructions on the bottle and watch your stove return to that like-new stage once again. Wipe off all the outside edges which may have collected grease or dust over the last few months, and then open up the oven and get ready.

Most newer overs have a self-clean mode which will burn a majority of the gunk inside away. It’s a bit of a lengthy process, but you’ll want to make sure you’re around in case that anything happens. Fair warning – This process tends to produce a strong odor, make sure to keep your windows open if the weather permits, and put a few drops of Purification in your diffuser.  Once the cleaning is done and the oven has cooled off, remove the racks and scrape any leftover residue off. Wipe the glass off with a wet sponge or paper towel, and avoid using Windex on the inside (instead, you can use a combo of vinegar and water), but feel free to use it on the outside. If your oven has a storage space underneath for pots and pans, remove all those as well, clean, and organize.

Clean and wipe out the sink, make yourself a nice drink and warn the rest of the house that the kitchen is cleaned and they don’t want to see how mad you can get if they mess it up right after.

Scrub the Bathrooms

bathroom spring clean, Deep spring clean

Oftentimes the shared bathroom mainly for guests will stay relatively clean, but the ones most used and usually connected to bedrooms tend to get neglected. As is the case with almost everything else, it’s so easy to keep the room tidy once it’s that way already. Products tend to accumulate over time and can sometimes get overwhelming. Start with a purge of what you don’t use, and find an appropriate place for all the products you do use.

TIP: There are plenty of useful makeup holders available at local retailers and across the internet.

Start with the shower and scrub off all the soap scum with a half vinegar & water solution in a spray bottle. Allow the mixture to sit on the affected areas for about 15 minutes, then use a soft-bristle brush to wipe off and rinse with hot water. You can use the same method for your glass shower door (if you have one), but make sure you dry it completely after.

TIP: Keep this area looking spotless, spray with Rain-x and rub in with a paper towel.

After each use, be sure to squeegee all the remaining water down to the shower floor. Wipe off all of the products you keep in the shower before placing them back on the shelf.

Then, move your focus to the toilet and take care of that. Take into consideration that the outside of the bowl can use a wipe-down as well. Once that area is conquered, wipe out the sinks and apply your favorite glass cleaner to all the mirrors. Finally, sweep or vacuum the floors, fill up your diffuser for a little aromatherapy, and enjoy the environment next time you go to use the restroom.

Grab a Drink and Call it a Day

Spring cocktails, Drinks for Spring

When you’re finally done Spring cleaning your coastal home it’s time to have some fun in the sun! Spend the rest of your day/evening enjoying some of the Crystal Coast’s awesome restaurants, or hit the beach for a family picnic. Just make sure to wipe your feet before you come back into the house!

Plan Your Spring Vacation

Spring Cleaning for Vacation Rentals

Spring Cleaning for your Vacation Rental

Springtime is here! Is your investment home ready for the season?  The Bluewater Quality Assurance Team has provided a compilation of tips and guidelines for you to follow to determine if it’s time to recycle replace clean or renovate the various aspects of your vacation rental property.  As we all know, wear and tear is part of the vacation rental process and something that is bound to be encountered at some point during the lifespan of your home.

The vacation rental industry is a hospitality business with high owner and guest expectations. Owners want to maximize cash flow, but may not be prepared for the wear and tear of a vacation rental.  Guests pay top dollar and expect well maintained, clean, immaculate accommodations as well as exceptional service. It is our task to join hands with you as the homeowner and guests to achieve maximum income and a pleasant vacation experience, while maintaining the property in the best condition possible.


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Sandy Feet in 15 Weeks

New vacation rental homeowners should view their home as an investment.  While you have a personal attachment to your property, it’s important to view it as a rental property that will generate income to pay for a portion of your investment.  Bluewater’s goal is to maximize each owner’s income potential. We will do our best to keep every unit rented, clean and well maintained. In order to meet this goal, homeowners should be proactive in evaluating and refurbishing their homes, where needed, on an annual basis.


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Openings and Closings of your Sleeper Sofa

 

Flooring:  Carpet vs. Hard Surface – The heavy traffic areas of carpeting need to be cleaned in mid-season, at a minimum, to ensure fresh clean appearance. Coffee and coke “dribbles” are normal wear and tear and must be expected. The guest that arrive in August deserve a home in as good a condition as those that vacationed the first of June. Plus your August guests are paying the higher rate for your home! If you rather not contend with the wear and tear associated with carpeting, hardwood flooring, vinyl plank and tile are all great alternatives, especially in high traffic areas such as living rooms, dining rooms, recreation rooms, kitchens and even stairways.

Electronics/Remotes:  Guests love to see nice stereo equipment and high end TVs in their rental homes. If your system is not an “all in one” set, please provide detailed instructions so that guests can easily operate the equipment. Not all guests will be able to follow the instructions and, inevitable, they will call us to assist. If remote controls are reported missing we will replace them and bill your account accordingly.

Baby Equipment : Providing baby equipment in your home encourages families with young children to rent your home, but plan to replace this equipment annually, as it will be used frequently throughout the season.  If you do choose to provide a crib, the pack and play version is much more conducive to a vacation rental environment.

Grills: Gas or Charcoal? Many guests prefer the convenience of gas grills. If you provide a gas grill you must provide propane. Also keep in mind there is a high level of corrosion at the beach. You may need to replace your grill annually.

The following items are NOT recommended in rental properties:

  • DVD/Video Library
  • Garage Door Openers
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Heirlooms
  • Excessive knick-knacks, artificial plants, tchotchkes and décor items (keep it simple)
  • Food items left for renters and in between renters (these can easily be contaminate by a previous guest and/or attract bugs leaving your home in a bad disposition)
  • Cleaning products left for renters and/or homeowner housekeepers, these need to be locked and secured to avoid liability of a small child or person having contact with them

To assist you in scheduling and budgeting replacement in your property, we are providing the following industry standard Replacement Schedule. Please note that those suggestions are based on the average life expectancy for items in a short-term environment and will vary based on the quality and rental frequency.

Update Timeline

  • Cookware
    Update Annually
  • Kitchen Inventgory
    Update Annually
  • Appliances (Dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer)
    6-8 Year or as needed
  • Small Appliances
    Replace as needed

    Blenders and coffee makers will need replacement most often.

  • Carpet
    5-6 years maximum

    Padding should be 6 lb. density

    Clean twice per year (minimum) plus spot cleans as needed

  • Vinyl Flooring
    5-7 years maximum
  • Bedding
    Annual evaluation & update

    High quality not suggested, Quilts are more durable and are easier to maintain

    Mattress Pads , Pillows & Pillow Protectors (Annual Minimum)

    All bedding pieces should be labeled with the property name in indelible ink

  • Matresses
    4-8 years maximum
  • Upholstered Furniture
    3-5 years

    Scotch Guard recommended

    Period cleaning as needed

    Sleeper sofas should have innerspring mattresses and commercial frame mechanism for durability

  • Chairs (Bar stools, dining chairs)
    3-5 years

    Clean periodically as needed

    Upholstered discouraged, but if upholstered periodic cleaning will be required

  • Deck Furniture
    Longevity based on quality and type, wicker not recommended

    Plastic 1-2 years

    Wooden 4-6 years

    Plywood and similar products have a longer warranty by manufacturer

  • Interior Paint
    3-4 years

    Bi-Annual touch up

  • Exterior Paint
    5-7 years (this will vary greatly due to location and type of exterior finish)
  • Blinds
    Replace as needed, faux wood recommended faux for more durability versus traditional mini

    Tab top or grommet curtains are a more durable option overall than blinds and sliders

  • Draperies
    3-4 years

    Lined backing recommended

    Launder/dry clean as needed

  • Closets
    Should be neatly organized and should not be used as a means of owner storage

    Hangers should be a plastic or wood (not metal wire or hangers from a department store)

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

It’s that time of year!  Spring is right around the corner and we couldn’t be happier here at Bluewater.  We know you’re probably gearing up for spring cleaning, but have you also considered a spring maintenance checklist?

Following are some helpful tips to get your home in shape so that you can enjoy the beautiful weather on our Crystal Coast:

Exterior

  • Examine your siding and replace and/or repair any damaged, loose or missing siding.  Now would be a perfect time to power wash or scrub the outside of your home.  Inspect for any visual signs of termite damage.
  •  Look over your foundation for structural damage.
  • Ensure gutters are free of debris and are not loose or leaky.
  • Examine your roof for debris and replace any missing shingles.
  • Inspect your concrete driveway or sidewalk for cracks.
  • Clean your chimney and inspect the flashing.
  • Clean your dryer vent.
  • Check for leaks around windows and doors.
  • Inspect and repair your deck, steps and/or fences, if needed.
  • Drain your hot water heater.  Sediment can form in the bottom over time and prevent the drain valve from working properly.
  • Service your heat pump as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Trim tree branches that are hanging too close to your home.


Interior

  • Test and replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Inspect your attic and ensure attic fans are functioning properly.
  • Clean the inside or your fireplace.
  • Check your electrical outlets for potential fire hazards.
  • Check your fire extinguisher and ensure that it is operational.
  • Check and replace air filters, if needed.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils.

10 Housekeeping Hacks for Spring Cleaning

10 Housekeeping Hacks for Spring Cleaning

Here are 10 Housekeeping Hacks that you never knew. Plus you have everything you need already in your home to make it spotless.

Faucets

We found on In This Crazy Life a great idea for keeping faucets clean:  Rubbing a faucet with waxed paper prevents water spots and finger prints.

Baseboards

Apartment Therapy shows us 6 easy ways to clean baseboards.  Find them out here.

Showers

DIY Home Sweet Home shows us an EASY way to keep those showers clean!  Find out how here.

Windows

Ask Anna gives detailed instructions (with photos) on how to thoroughly clean windows.

Baseboards

CleanMama.net shows us how to clean baseboards 3 different ways.  Find out how here.

Blinds

Hometalk.com shows us in great detail the easy way to clean blinds.

Carpets

Got carpet stains?  Try one of these carpet stain solutions from Real Simple.

Ceiling Fans

Glamour shows you how to clean your ceiling fans while keeping your hair dust-free in the process.

Toilets

Using Coke to clean a toilet?  Find out how it’s done here.

Stove Burners


The VSpotBlog.com shows us the no-scrub way to clean your stove burners.

tips spring gardening, spring gardening, spring gardens, spring flowers

Spring Gardening Tips

With all that is going on in our world right now, we sincerely hope that you are healthy and practicing the recommended social distancing strategies.  With so many staying at home right now and the beautiful weather of Spring in the air, we thought this would be a good time to share some helpful gardening tips. Cathy Sheaffer, our Emerald Isle Broker in Charge took some time to share the secrets she’s used to helping her plants live their best lives!

Spring Gardening Tips

Many of my friends and family are amazing gardeners and have shared tips with me over the years.  My husband got his love of gardening from his mother, who is 94 and still producing the most beautiful flower gardens ever!

spring gardening

I started composting last year by putting most food scraps, peels, newspaper, cardboard, non-colored paper, dried leaves, etc into a big container outside and toss it around occasionally. It takes time to break down to usable dirt but really helps the quality of the soil. Did you know that you can add dryer lint and hair to your compost?  Read this for more tips on composting:

If you don’t compost, I’ve been told that Black Kow is one of the best to buy.  It is organic composted cow manure and helps hold moisture and nutrients around the roots.

I try to plant seeds inside to get a head start and add some outside later as well.

spring garden flowers, gardening in spring

Some of my favorite flowers that do well here along the Crystal Coast are zinnias, sunflowers, impatiens, (annuals), Shasta daisies, lantana, verbena, hydrangea, knock out roses, Mexican sage (salvia), Mexican petunia, muhly grass, Vitex (Chaste tree) and spiraea bush. My most favorite, but a little tough to grow here, is statice, which is used as a filler in flower arrangements.  It also dries and keeps its color extremely well. Some statice flowers are perennials and come back heartier each year (unless you have a hurricane- which is what unfortunately killed mine after 4 years). I just ordered more seeds to start a new batch this season and look forward to seeing which colors I end up with. The purple seems to be the hardiest, although I had a couple of white, pink, and yellow that showed up the first year.

It is recommended to put mulch on top of your soil to hold the moisture in and prevent weeds from sprouting up.  The soil here is sandy, so in the summer you will most likely need to water your plants daily to keep the flowers at their best.  Fertilize your plants with Miracle Grow or Triple 20 once a month and get the container that you can put on your hose to make it easier, but be careful if you use 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 because it can burn your plants if you use too much!

spring garden tips

Of course, you’ll be able to enjoy the sights and smells of your flowers, but one of the best things about having a healthy garden is noticing how quickly the butterflies, bees (some can come from up to 5 miles away), dragonflies, hummingbirds, and more come to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Hopefully, you won’t have problems with grasshoppers- as they can chew through leaves, stems, and petals. One summer my grandson and I grabbed 90 grasshoppers of all sizes from two of my flower beds in two days! Our chickens were so excited when we emptied each jar-full into their area. Only a few escaped and probably made their way back to my flowers.

sunflowers and spring

With that being said, patience is probably the most important thing to remember when finding your green thumb. Be open to explore a few different options before figuring out exactly what plants work best in your area. If something is not working in a specific area of your yard, remember that it can usually be replanted somewhere else. With so many local landscaping experts and Garden Centers in our area, it’s easy to maintain a beautiful garden throughout the Spring and Summer months!

Gardening-Tips-During-Spring

I love growing flowers that you can pick and really enjoy making arrangements for my home or better yet, for giving away to someone to brighten their day!

Here are some simple and quick arrangements that I’ve put together over the years.

Thank you for reading! – Cathy Sheaffer

Bluewater Cathy Sheaffer

 

spring break 2019

Destination Spring Break 2019

Are you ready for Spring Break 2019? The sun is shining, the weather is warming up and best of all, spring break is approaching! The Crystal Coast is the perfect destination for your week away from home where you can make unforgettable memories and spend your days on the beach soaking up plenty of Vitamin D. Vacation rental rates are still less expensive than summer and the beaches are still pretty empty. Shake your winter blues away while visiting and be sure to check out the cool happening on the coast this Spring.

Four events that you won’t want to miss in Spring 2019!

Four places that you will want to visit this Spring Break 2019!


St. Patrick’s Day Festival | 3.16.19 | 9AM-6PM | Emerald Plantation Shopping Center

The perfect Spring Break 2019 event! Proudly presented by Transportation Impact, this year’s festival will feature over 75 arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, amusement rides, face painters, and many other fun, family-oriented activities. No pets on festival grounds. The main tent is open to 21 years and up, no strollers allowed in the beer tent. Admission to the festival and parking is free.



Emerald Isle Marathon | 3.30.19 | 7AM

The 6th Annual Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K is a great event that has attracted approximately 1,500 runners each year and has raised more than $200,000 for bicycle path improvements and health-related charities over the past 5 years. This year’s event will benefit the Emerald Isle bicycle path and SECU Family House, at UNC Hospitals, an organization that provides lodging and support services to patients receiving medical treatment far from their home communities.



Easter Eggstreme | 4.13.19 | 10AM | Emerald Isle Parks & Recreation

Join the EI Bunny for festivities including a bounce house, Easter Basket raffle, Cake Walk, Egg and spoon races, and more! Children should bring an Easter basket to collect prize. Photos with the EI Bunny! (Please note that no official egg hunt will take place but everyone will leave with Easter treats!) Everyone is invited!  No registration is required.



Beaufort Wine and Food Festival | 4.23-28.19 | Beaufort Wine and Food

Beaufort Wine and Food’s signature event will feature an exciting five days of tastings, seminars, dinners, live and silent auctions, and more. Talent from around the world descends on Beaufort to be paired up with some of the Crystal Coast’s best restaurants for an unforgettable experience – All in the name of charity! The festival combines the public’s appreciation for wine and food with its drive to support worthy local organizations and has positioned itself as one of the area’s premier tourism events. All attendees must be at least 21 years of age to attend any Beaufort Wine and Food events. Tickets are non-refundable as these events are for charity.


Cape Lookout Lighthouse

Cape Lookout National Seashore preserves a 56-mile long section of the Southern Outer Banks, running from Ocracoke Inlet on the northeast to Beaufort Inlet on the southeast. Three undeveloped barrier islands make up the seashore – North and South Core Banks and Shackleford Banks. The seashore includes two historic villages on Core Banks, Shackleford’s wild horses, and the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, which has a black-and-white diamond pattern, is known as the Diamond Lady.



Ft. Macon State Park

Fort Macon State Park is a North Carolina state park in Carteret County, North Carolina, in the United States. Located on Bogue Banks near Atlantic Beach, the park opened in 1936. Fort Macon State Park is the second most visited state park in North Carolina, with an annual visitation of 1.3 million, despite being one of the smallest state parks in North Carolina with 424 acres. Fort Macon was built as part of the Third System of US fortifications.



North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

Enjoy 50 exhibits and more than 4,000 animals as the NC Aquarium takes you on an aquatic journey from the mountains to the sea. Watch river otters play, touch a stingray and talk to divers as they swim among giant sharks and other marine life. Animal feedings, animal encounters, and other activities are included with admission.



Bogue Inlet Pier

The Bogue Island Fishing Pier is a legendary landmark for long-time Emerald Isle vacationers. Built in the late 1950s, and operated by the same family for well over 40 years, the fishing pier is a paradise for anglers who want to take advantage of the fantastic fishing conditions that have lured in fishermen to this small coastal town for decades.