Bring In The New!

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It’s been a couple of years since the new convention center opened on Jekyll Island.  Many changes have continued as the island becomes a major center for conferences, tourists and visitors from around the world.  I recently had the pleasure of touring the new Holiday Inn Resort that opened its doors to the public several weeks ago.  What a beautiful job they have done!  The location is that of the old Oceanside Inn and the renovation and renewal  is nothing short of a miracle.  I took my buddy, Nancy Kirkpatrick, along to shoot some photos and she returned after the opening to get a few of the landscaped finish.

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The double height lobby with comfortable seating areas and a large fireplace for colder months is welcoming…..

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Espresso by day and martini’s by night, this bar offers it all with second floor views of the ocean…..

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Large guest rooms with the comfiest beds and linens…..

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Perfectly landscaped grounds…..

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A beautiful oceanside pool….

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The outdoor kitchen with delicious offerings of crabcake sliders and more!  This is part of the spread we delighted in at the end of our tour!

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The new Holiday Inn Resort on Jekyll Island opens its doors to locals for oceanfront dining.  The perfect little afternoon getaway as warmer weather returns!  Enjoy delicious libations and a menu that is full of yummy offerings.

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Ocean views are magnificent and the staff is top notch!  I think it’s the perfect idea for a little weekend vacation!  For more information go here:  http://www.ihg.com/holidayinnresorts/hotels/us/en/jekyll-island/bqkji/hoteldetail

To view more of Nancy Kirkpatrick’s photography:  www.nancykirkpatrickphotography.com or Facebook at Nancy Kirkpatrick Photography!

Let The Tasting Begin!

The King & Prince is once again the host for this year’s fabulous A Taste Of Glynn event!  Ed O’Grady and Kay Hampton are co-chairs for this year’s event.  Stambaugh Aviation is the top sponsor for this annual event that is the major fundraiser for the Community Crisis Center in Glynn County.

A Taste of Glynn 2014

A Taste of Glynn 2014

Some of Glynn Counties finest restaurant and food businesses will set up their booths and share delicious dishes for participants to enjoy.  Set up on the grounds of The King & Prince, the evening will begin at 5:00, oceanside, weather permitting.  You’ll be able to sample each groups culinary creations, wander along the beach and enjoy an evening at this great event.

 

This year there is wonderful entertainment on the schedule!  Michael Hulett will delight us all with his wonderful saxophone and mellow voice.  You’ll also enjoy music by Triage and Three of Us.

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And this year’s silent auction promises to have more offerings than ever before!  For tickets click here:  http://www.atasteofglynn.com/.

Join in the fun and help end domestic violence in Glynn County!

Celebrating Life!

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday!  I’ve taken a tip from Dr. Christiane Northrup and am no longer mentioning or counting the years.  It’s not that I’m upset by the number, I just don’t see the point in being “labeled” a certain age.  And, when you think of it, today I’m younger than I will ever be again!

IMG_0345The day started with delicious homemade birthday cake, fresh berries and mimosa’s at the home of one of my bestie’s, Miss P.

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Dear Heather, you bake the best cake in the world!  I want your grandmother’s recipe….now!  Knowing the story behind it makes it even more special!

Off to the Island Day Spa we went for a day of “the works”!  A fabulous facial and full body massage….ahhhhhhh, just the ticket for full relaxation!

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Do you like this OPI shade….”Muir Muir On The Wall”?  Suits me to a tea.  If I weren’t a blogger and author I’d want to write nail polish names for OPI, they are always so clever!

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The girls showing off their toes as well….we had way too much fun!

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Off to lunch at Tramici and dirty martini’s!  I don’t usually imbibe at lunch, but by the time we were finished at the spa it was after 2:00.  Cheers to a fabulous day!  Bring on the next one….I’m living it up!

 

A Spring Show of Art

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This coming weekend is not only the Cassina Garden Club “Cabin Fever” event, it’s also a great weekend for art!  Coastal Georgia has so many talented artists whose work we get to enjoy and add to our collections.  This weekend the Georgia Coastal Artist’s Guild presents its Spring Show and Sale!  The guild has been functioning as a place for professional artists to market their work since 1983.  Thirty-five artists now participate within this group of outstanding artists.

.Becky Tucker

Becky Tucker

There are sixteen gifted artists presenting their work during this weekend.

George Netherton

George Netherton

Each one has their own style……

Carol Jo Smidt

Carol Jo Smidt

Colorful landscapes…..

Jennifer Broadus

Jennifer Broadus

Local vistas and more.

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Joyce Ledingham

The event takes place at the new Glynn Visual Arts building.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for a great surprise!

Make plans to put this wonderful show on your calendar.  Adding culture to our lives always enriches the way we see the world!

On The Radio

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We had way too much fun discussing this year’s Tour of Homes hosted by Christ Church.  Co-chairs Lynn Wade and Beth Smith joined me as we talked about all of the wonderful homes and events you’ll be treated to when you attend today!

Finally Friday!

In my ongoing effort to improve my family’s health and serve delicious food that is plant based, I’m sharing this easy to prepare recipe.  Mujadara is a Middle Eastern dish that is packed with flavor as well as protein.  This recipe fits perfectly into a Mediterranean eating program.  Lots of fresh veggies, legumes and fruit makes it easy!  I cut up fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and chopped lots of fresh cilantro to sprinkle over the top. The whole wheat pita bread is baked fresh in the local Harris Teeter bakery here on the island.  A dollop of good, plain Greek yogurt complete the meal.   I have also served a traditional cucumber raita with this dish and that is a wonderful side as well.  I hope you’ll try this and find it as filling and delicious as we do!   I think you’ll love the aromatic herbs and how they fill the kitchen with the most amazing fragrance as this cooks!

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Mujadara

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons sea salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over to remove any “stones” (you can soak these for a couple of hours if you wish, but I usually don’t find it necessary with lentils)

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice

2 cups of water

Place the olive oil in a large dutch oven.  Add the spices and minced garlic and let simmer for about five minutes.  Add the diced onion and cook for ten minutes, or until the onion is transparent and just beginning to brown.  Add the lentils and 2 cups of water, simmer for twenty minutes.  Add the rice and the remaining two cups of water, simmer for 1/2 hour, adding more liquid if needed.  You’ll want to adjust the flavors and add more salt if needed.  This is a wonderful warm weather meal, served with ice cold beer or sweet tea!

Just Say Yes!

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So much is said and written about women learning the art of saying no.  But what about the word YES?

The cutting garden: purple coneflower, daisies, foxglove, black-eyed susans, astilbe and hollyhocks. (All that purple . . . yum.)

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I, for one, am terrible about accepting help when it is offered.  Always the perfectionist, I tend to take on more than I can, in reality, do.  This leads to a feeling of utter frustration on my part.  Lately, I’m finding it easier to say no, but very difficult to say yes.  Whwn I had my knee replaced last June I never expected the recovery period to be so long.  I missed out on the whole gardening season, worrying about the flower beds that were growing wild and free.  I like order in my life but could not do the things to make that happen for several months.

PicMonkey Collage saying yes

When a friend of mine called me yesterday with a little pre-birthday surprise I felt hesitant to accept at first.  She knows I have a big week ahead and she knows that I like things to be just so.  For this reason she offered to come over and help me clean out my flower beds and prepare them for Spring planting.  I knew there were trees to trim and clean up as well, no small task!   My little self thought, “Gee, I should be able to take care of all of this by myself….”, but my new and better self thought, “How dear of her to want to help me get this done!”.  To be perfectly honest I was stressing over how I was going to get my yard cleaned up having been in bed with the flu for the past week!  And so I said YES!

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More Garden Dreaming

The afternoon was spent cleaning out weeds, trimming and discussing what to plant where.  I got to see perennial plants and flowers planted the year before last popping up through the soil.  This always makes me happy!  The outline of the flower beds is now visible once again and I feel so much better.

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We toasted the day with a vodka tonic, sitting on the back deck overlooking the lagoon.  All of this reminded me that friendship is a valuable thing and of how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends!  Mr. T and I will finish up with planting some new flowers and plants over the weekend.  The help I opened my heart to and accepted has given us a head start that is priceless!  Learn to say YES and feel the love filling your heart!

No Mere Footsteps…

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If you live in Coastal Georgia you see the many events that begin to appear on the local calendar this time of year.  Each has a wonderful cause all its own and our community supports them well.  I’m writing about an event you’ve heard of but may not grasp the breadth of.  Beginning on Friday, March 27th, a very special event entitled Cabin Fever begins.  For three days participants will be treated to a piece of Coastal Georgia history that makes up the very fabric of who we are today.

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At one time there were huge plantations all over the area.  At Gascoigne Point you would find the Hamilton Plantation.  Built in the late 1700’s, the great house no longer stands.  But two structures still remain that speak to the time, a time of slavery when African’s were rounded up, against their will, and brought to America to be put to work growing and harvesting rice and cotton.  These hearty people worked to make the plantations profitable for their owners.  They faced the extreme heat of our area during warm months, working in fields or seeing to the keeping of the great house.  Lest we forget, they provided the labor that enabled these plantations and their owners to thrive and prosper, many times paying the ultimate price, loss of their lives.

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It’s easy to sweep such thoughts out of our minds but we cannot.  The two remaining tabby slave cabins that still stand on the grounds of the original plantation at Gascoigne Point have to be preserved so that history continues to tell its story.  The Cassina Garden Club, established in 1932, lovingly cares for and maintains these two historic structures to the best of their abilities.  But time takes its toll and the tabby construction of these cabins must be restored so we do not lose this valuable piece of our history.

You can join in this event and take part in learning more of our history this coming weekend.  Joseph McGill, founder of The Slave Dwelling Project, will be the guest of honor.  Mr. McGill has made it his business to not only discover the slave cabins that still stand in various parts of our country, but to visit them and sleep in them.   He taps into the energy of the place and the people who called these small structures their homes.  The weekend begins with a dinner on Friday evening at the A.W. Jones Heritage Center here on St. Simons Island.  The video you’ll hear when you click on the arrow in the frame above will allow you to hear about Mr. McGill’s  project.  Joseph McGill is dedicated to ensuring that the years of slavery these cabins represent are remembered as more than a mere footstep, they are a footprint, never to be forgotten.

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On Saturday you’ll be treated to a trolley tour that will take you to the African-American historic sites that remain standing on the island with a potluck lunch on the grounds of the cabins.  Saturday evening is the crowning event as guests will experience the culinary magic of the time, prepared by our favorite chefarmer Matthew Raiford.  Chef Raiford has worked with the members of Cassina Garden Club using recipes from the original cookbook that have been passed down over the decades.  First printed in 1937, this book is full of delicious recipes provided by members at the time.  These recipes find their roots in a bygone era when female slaves worked in outdoor kitchens to create the meals their master’s then dined on.  If you choose to you can even spend the night on the cabin grounds with Joseph McGill as your host.

Cassina Cabins Logo & Name

Sunday morning will bring an end to the weekend’s events with a Riverside Daybreak Service, a non-denominational event that gives a time to worship, pray  and praise together.  This is an event that has been in the planning for many months by the members of the club that was deeded the property in 1950.  They tirelessly work to maintain this piece of history that is in their care.  Please join them and attend as many of the events as you can!

For more information and to order tickets:  http://www.cassinagardenclub.org/

Top ‘O The Mornin’ To Ya!

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We’re well into the month of March and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!  I found this precious picture on-line.  This little girl’s precious face makes me smile.  Her eyes are positively smiling with joy and mischief!

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I think everyone is familiar with the famous tune “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”.  The words to this popular song were written by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr., set to music composed by Ernest Ball, for Olcott’s production of The Isle O’ Dreams.  First published in 1912, the song has lasted through the years as a tribute to the Emerald Isles and the hearty people who live there.  My own heritage is predominately Scots/Irish so a visit to the place of my ancestry is on my list for the not too distant future.

St. Patrick’s Day is always a time for fun, revelry and great celebration.  Beer will be green and corned beef will be on the menu!  It seems we celebrate one holiday or another each month in the United States.  Perhaps that is because this has always been the great melting pot, the place that opened its arms to the tired and weary of the world.  We have always offered a helping hand and a safe haven.

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I can’t begin this day without letting my precious Wheaton Terrier, Murphy, offer a little Irish blessing for the occasion!  Wheaton’s come from Ireland where they are used for herding.  They are smart, quick and easily trained.  Most of you know Murphy is a rescue dog from New Orleans, discovered on-line by my step-daughter.  He’s a major character in my children’s book series as well.  With the help of the app “My Talking Pet” and my daughter, we were able to let him share this blessing with you!

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The Process of Spring

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It may not be the official beginning of Spring, but the season is upon us here on the island

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The lagoon on our property is buzzing with activity…..

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And swirling with pollen……..

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Great gusts of thick yellow, sneeze making pine pollen waft through the air causing a veil like effect.  Hmmm…no wonder I’ve been a bit under the weather!

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Rock wrens are busy tunneling into a potted plant to prepare a nest for their wee eggs to rest and mature.  I’m always struck by the wonder of how those tiny little fledgling birds will literally spring from the nest and spread their wings as Mama teaches them to do.

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And this little fellow literally posed for the camera!  Oh Geico…a new star…n’est-ce pas?

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I love this season!  It is the month of my birth, a time of renewal and I’m in full celebration mode!  Wearing my green tomorrow and feeling so blessed just to BE!!!!!  Join me in embracing this glorious season!  Take some time to walk barefoot in the grass or sand.  Reconnect with nature!