Are Your Kids’ Extracurricular Activities Straining Your Budget?

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

Ask Carrie

Are Your Kids’ Extracurricular Activities Straining Your Budget?

Dear Carrie:
I’m the mother of a very creative 12-year-old daughter who wants to take classes in art, drama and dance, but I have a limited income. While we live a comfortable life, paying for all these extras is a real stretch. I don’t want to disappoint her, but I’m struggling. How can I handle this on top of everything else?  —A Reader

Dear Reader:
This is a question I’m sure a lot of parents can relate to. From sports to music to dance to computer coding, the world of kids’ extracurricular activities keeps growing—and getting more expensive. According to a recent survey, 46% of parents spend more than $1,000 annually on their kids’ activities, and 27% spend more than $2,000. Not only that, 62% go into debt to do it, with credit cards being the most popular form of payment.

Back to School is for Grown-Ups: Learn Something New

Marilynn Preston

Energy Express

Back to School is for Grown-Ups: Learn Something New

Even though I haven’t been in a classroom for years and years, I still have an inner alarm that plays in my brain when August ends and Labor Day reappears. The tune is so familiar, and so is the slight anxiety it creates.

It’s back-to-school time! Do I have my three-ring binder, my ruler, a pencil sharpener—three items that have no meaning whatsoever in classrooms today?  

And still, I find meaning in that back-to-school feeling, and I’ll bet plenty of you do, too. Summer is over. Your two weeks of vacation are a faint memory, though the smell of burgers and bug repellant lingers on. The kids are back to their routine, and I hope it includes some limits on small-screen media. It’s time to buckle down and get back to work.

7 Pleasantly Surprising Reasons to Decorate with Houseplants

Mary Hunt

Everyday Cheapskate

7 Pleasantly Surprising Reasons to Decorate with Houseplants


There’s something warm and inviting about a well-placed, thriving houseplant. Experts call this “interior landscaping,” and it’s becoming increasingly popular, not only in homes but in offices and other commercial settings. I would have assumed that’s because houseplants can be quite inexpensive. But now, we’re learning that houseplants offer surprising physical and mental benefits as well.

 

NO. 1: CLEAN INDOOR AIR
A number of studies reported by NASA give conclusive evidence that plants are excellent at removing toxins from the air -- over 80% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours. VOCs are chemical compounds often found in common household items such as carpets, toys, paint and more. These VOCs can evaporate and compromise air quality, posing health risks to inhabitants. One large plant—or two smaller plants—per 100 square feet is recommended for noticeably improved air quality.

How to Get Back at Your Creditors

Mary Hunt

How to Get Back at Your Creditors

Late fees, punitive interest rates, over-limit fees, loading up your credit report with negative information—it’s enough to make you scream! It’s not that your creditors are doing anything illegal. You just didn’t understand the power you gave them when you accepted that credit card. It was buried in the fine print. And now, it seems like they’re staying up all night looking for new ways to stick it to you. If you’ve just about had enough, maybe it’s time for you to turn the tables and get back at them.

PAY EARLY

According to industry research organization R.K. Hammer, in 2016, credit card companies hauled in $163 billion, 30% of which was derived from annual fees, late fees, and over-limit fees. You’d think they would be pretty satisfied with all that interest you send them each month. But no. They want more. The days when issuers allowed 10 or 15 days for a payment to arrive after a due date before charging a fee are long gone. Now, those fees kick in if you’re even five minutes late, and can be as high as $39 per occurrence.

When You Can't Take the Heat

It's All Pink

Tips to Stay Safe This Summer

When You Can't Take the Heat

We wouldn’t live in the South if we couldn’t handle a little heat, but how can you tell when it’s just too much? There’s no shame in admitting when you’ve reached the limit of your heat tolerance. Heat-related illnesses range from mild to severe and can affect even the toughest Southerner out there. As the summer heat peaks, it’s imperative to remember the importance of hot weather safety. Staying cool, hydrated and informed can make a big difference!

There are several types of heat-related illnesses, each with its own symptoms and treatments. Knowing which type you or a loved one may be suffering from can make a huge difference in deciding how to proceed. As you take advantage of all the fun summer activities available in the Lowcountry, be aware of the potential health hazards the sun, heat and humidity can bring on. Anyone can be susceptible to these effects of high temperatures, so familiarize yourself with the following facts before spending a significant amount of time outside. You could save a life, even your own!

Need to Adjust Your Financial Attitude? Start Here—Now!

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

Ask Carrie

Need to Adjust Your Financial Attitude? Start Here—Now!

Dear Carrie: I’m 28 and trying to be smart about my money. My problem is that as soon as I pay down my credit cards, I start running them up again. The result is I can’t seem to save, and I feel as if I’m fighting a losing battle. I know I need to adjust my financial attitude, but how? —A Reader

Dear Reader: First, realize that you’re not fighting a losing battle. The very fact that you see the problem and want to do something about it means you’re already starting on the solution. And you’re correct that it is a matter of attitude—because if you start now to think and act positively, you’ll be able to not only control your current debt, but also get started on saving and investing for the future.

Collecting, Creating and Conserving:

Michele Roldán-Shaw

The Palmetto Ocean Conservancy Bottlecap Mural

Collecting, Creating and Conserving:

Blue caps from bottled water become the ocean.
Yellow caps from sweet tea become a sea horse. Orange juice caps become crab claws and red Coca-Cola caps become the inside of a shark’s mouth. The transformation is artistic but also symbolic: trash that could have polluted our environment, instead becomes a touchstone for preserving it.

Life in a Crowded Nest

Mary Hunt

Everyday Cheapskate

Life in a Crowded Nest

It used to be that kids reaching adulthood could not wait to
leave home and be on their own. That worked out well
because their parents longed for an empty nest and quieter lives.
But these days, young people are spoiling these plans.


Estimates out there indicate that, currently, some 50% of U.S. college graduates plan to move back home with their parents after graduation. It’s possible the other 50% never moved out.

Many American homes have become very crowded nests. While parents are asking themselves what went wrong, the “boomerang” kids seem to be adjusting quite nicely. And why not? For lots of boomerangs, they get a boarding house without the rent, a laundromat with no slots for coins and a mini-storage facility—otherwise known as your garage.

The Joys of Cross-Training: Mix Your Sports, Nix Your Injuries

Marilynn Preston

Energy Express

The Joys of Cross-Training: Mix Your Sports, Nix Your Injuries

Are you hooked on your favorite sport?

Do you spend all your workout time either running, biking or swimming, believing that single-minded dedication is going to make you stronger and faster, better and better?

Sorry, dear reader. That’s not how it works. It’s time to learn about the benefits of cross-training, a fancy name for simply including a mix of activities in your exercise regimen.
Cross-training isn’t just for uber-exercisers or competitive triathletes. It’s for all the rest of us who want to live healthier, happier lives with more fun and fewer injuries.

Incredibly Simple Travel Tips

Mary Hunt

to Take Stress Out of Flying

Incredibly Simple Travel Tips

Flying is back.

More people boarded commercial planes in the U.S. this past Thursday than the comparable same pre-pandemic day in 2019. The Transportation Security Administration reported that 2,147,090 travelers passed through its security checkpoints, a good indicator for what's to come over the next few months. If you plan to travel by air anytime soon, one thing is for certain: You won't be alone. The TSA estimated that this summer’s air travel is going to break records.

How Can I Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck?

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

Ask Carrie

How Can I Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck?

Dear Carrie:
I’m a single mom with a decent income, but I’m always living paycheck to paycheck. How can I break that cycle and start to save, not only for an emergency but also for my bigger goals like retirement and maybe even a home? -A Reader

Dear Reader:
Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t uncommon these days. Recent studies suggest many Americans are doing just that, which makes it next to impossible to save and invest. Overspending can be part of the problem, but even more often, people get squeezed through no fault of their own—low wages, unpredictable income and high costs for essentials like childcare, health care, housing and college. On the other hand, even people with high incomes can find themselves caught in a seemingly never-ending cycle.

Fourth of July Makeover: 5 Ways to Let Freedom Ring

Marilynn Preston

Energy Express

Fourth of July Makeover: 5 Ways to Let Freedom Ring

I love the Fourth of July. Fat, juicy hot dogs, exploding firecrackers,
fried Oreo sandwiches with big scoops of strawberry ice cream on top.
These are a few of the things I avoid on this, our most John Philip Sousa of holidays.

So, what are your plans for July Fourth? Since this only-in-America holiday is first and
foremost a celebration of freedom, why not liberate yourself from old ways of
thinking and create some new traditions. I’ve got some ideas:

Breezy Books for the Beach

Kelly Hunter

Breezy Books for the Beach

There’s no better way to spend a summer day than with your toes in the sand and your nose in a book. If you’ve read everything on your shelf, these five new novels should definitely be on your summer reading list!

Self Care

Dr. Rochelle Ringer

…More Than Just Words

Self Care

I’m too busy. I’m scared. It hurts. I’ll get to it soon.

1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed
with breast cancer in her lifetime.

These are the number of excuses we tell ourselves about getting mammograms. During the past year of craziness, it’s been challenging to take care of ourselves. There have been so many things going on, from the stress of working at home, to the loss of jobs, to homeschooling, most women have just focused on surviving the past year. As we are making our way to the halfway mark of 2021, I’m hopeful that we’re moving beyond Covid and ready to start taking care of ourselves again, which includes being kind to ourselves, both mentally and physically, allowing some treats, and yes, taking care of our medical health.

Silent Meditation Retreats:

Michele Roldán-Shaw

The Ultimate Adventure Within

Silent Meditation Retreats:

It’s 3:58 AM. Apart from the rural sounds of roosters crowing and the occasional rumble and whistle-blast of a passing train, all is peacefully silent. Then a gong rings, its long resonance drawing out in the dark. This is a wakeup call for the 4:30-6:30 meditation session.

Now it’s 6:40 AM. All is still silent but for the clinking of spoons in cereal bowls, the pop of the toaster and hot water steaming into tea mugs. No one is catching up on the morning news; no one is sharing their dreams from last night; no one is making to-do lists. The agenda here is very simple: meditate. Whether ambling silently around the walking paths, sitting cross-legged in the meditation hall, or laying quietly on their bed in their room, everyone is meditating.

30 Miles of Finish Lines, Friends & Fun

Mary Addison

And a Cool $1,000,000 for Life-saving Treatments & Early Detection for Lowcountry Women

30 Miles of Finish Lines, Friends & Fun

The cause might be part of the reason why the Lowcountry turns a sea of pink every October, but it's the four days of sun, shenanigans, and sisterhood that keep 1500 “flockstars” coming back year after year.

If you have only seen the scores of photos of smiling faces, you might think that Pledge the Pink is merely a 4-day party. You wouldn’t be wrong, but you also wouldn’t be entirely accurate in your assessment. Make no mistake, Pledge the Pink is very much a celebration, so go ahead and save the date—October 14-17, 2021.

Adventure Awaits in Our Great State

Edwina Hoyle

Five South Carolina Adventures You Don’t Want to Miss

Adventure Awaits in Our Great State

Whether you're 8 or 80 and have an adventurous spirit, you don't have to travel to exotic international destinations to quench your thirst for adventure. The Palmetto State has plenty of options for discovery, exploration, magic and wonder. Discover South Carolina! From the majesty of the mountains to the beaches and marshes and everything in between, there are so many options: hiking, scuba diving, water sports, backwoods camping, spelunking, fossil hunting and soaring in the sky. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions!

Men and Their Chairs

It's All Pink

14th Annual Celebration of Local Men

Men and Their Chairs

There’s just something about a man and his chair. If a man’s home is his castle, then the king must have his throne, right? From Archie Bunker’s iconic recliner to Sheldon Cooper’s carefully positioned “spot,” pop culture is filled with men and their chairs. Here at Pink, we usually focus on the women of our community, but each June we give the guys their time in the spotlight. Some of these gentlemen seem to be always on the move, never taking a moment to sit down, but our photographers managed to capture them with their favorite resting spots. They graciously answered our questions and opened up about themselves. We proudly present a few of the Lowcountry’s Men and their Chairs:

The Father/Daughter Outing of a Lifetime

Elizabeth Skenes Millen and Darlene Schuetz

Hospice Care Patient Gets One Last Visit to the Beach

The Father/Daughter Outing of a Lifetime

There wasn’t a dry eye around Joseph Eagers, Jr. (Joe)
at what was his last visit to the beach.


“When death is coming, there are few material things that matter,” said Maggie Clark, Hospice Care of the Lowcountry Volunteer Coordinator. “What is important are experiences, family, love and comfort.”

Joe Eagers, a long time Hilton Head Island resident, and his daughter, Jan Eagers, spent the last year of his life reminiscing, reflecting, and sharing their bond for each other. Joe, who lead a very active life up until last year, had been bed bound for nearly 16 months, in hospice care, with death imminent. At Jan’s direction, Hospice Care of the Lowcountry carried out her final wish for her father—a trip to the beach in Joe’s longtime neighborhood, Sea Pines.

Sum-Sum-Summertime: Play Now or Pay Later

Marilynn Preston

Energy Express

Sum-Sum-Summertime: Play Now or Pay Later

It’s summer. Yippee. Run to the hammock and let’s play a game. I want you to lie back and relax into thinking about something you want to accomplish this summer. Here’s the sentence.

Fill in the blank:
“This is the summer I want to ...”

What? Name your heart’s desire. Keep it clean. Think about your own well-being.

Want to run a 10k? (Great for the body.)

Learn to play guitar? (Good for the brain.)

Meditate for 15 minutes a day? (Marvelous for equanimity and everything else.)

You know my theory: When the seasons change, so can we. In summer especially, we tend to take more time for ourselves, play more and have more fun. If you’re ready this summer, you can create new habits and attitudes that make your life richer and riper.

Body Wisdom 101:

Marilynn Preston

Align Your Spine and You'll Be Fine

Body Wisdom 101:

It's time to roll my shoulders, press through the balls of my feet and take a strong stand on proper posture. It's super-important to your health and wellness—right up there with eating real food and getting enough sleep—but it's just not top of mind when we think of ways to boost our energy and prevent pain. When it comes to awareness of the awesomeness of body alignment, the country is in a slump.

So let's look at a few things everyone with a spine ought to know about posture and why it matters, inspired by an article in IDEA Fitness Journal by personal-training specialist Ryan Halvorson.

Garage Makeover & Clutter Takeover

It's All Pink

Garage Makeover & Clutter Takeover

My garage was so overwhelming I began dreaming about it. In my dream I got swallowed whole by the mound of stuff piled high and bubbling over like an erupted volcano. All I wanted was to find the bicycle pump—probably to pull my bike out and escape the garage forever.
The garage has not always been a disaster. There have been times when I parked my car in there, or had a ping pong table set up when the children were still at home. But then came the perfect storm.

Remember Hurricane Matthew? Well, that’s when things got bad. When two gigantic pine trees came through the roof of the house, everything that was salvageable had to be moved out. Every. Thing. The garage was one of only two rooms undamaged. So all the stuff—14 years of family-of-four-stuff went into the garage and two Pods that sat in the driveway for the next 18 months. Those 18 months held another disaster—divorce. There’s nothing like splitting everything up when it’s all stacked up as tall as it is wide. As such, most of it got left behind for lucky me.

Reunion Beach

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

Coming Together For Author Dorothea Benton Frank

Reunion Beach

Adored author Dorothea Benton Frank was a mama bear in every sense of the word. Her protective motherly spirit not only applied to her two children, but also lovingly extended to her friends, family, Southern roots and ever-growing circle of fellow writers. She gave so much love, laughter and instant friendship while living, that in her death, her friends and family still feel the immense authentic embrace that Dottie so naturally enveloped people in.

Out this month, Reunion Beach, sure to be a No. 1 bestseller, pays homage to Dottie, holding vigil her legacy for all who love her. “When Dottie died in the fall of 2019, her friends in the literary community were bereft. Her loss was a hole in their lives that could not be filled. Inspired by the title Dorothea Benton Frank planned for her next book—Reunion Beach—these close friends and colleagues channeled their creativity, admiration and grief into stories and poems that celebrate this remarkable woman and her abiding love for the lush Lowcountry of her native South Carolina—a land of beauty, history, charm and Gullah magic she so brilliantly brought to life in her acclaimed novels.”

Pockets Full of Sunshine

Michele Roldán-Shaw

Focusing on the Abilities, Not the Disabilities

Pockets Full of Sunshine

Imagine if you could be happy every day, unaffected by the world’s problems and absorbed in the simple joys of creativity and friendship, spreading light and smiles to everyone who crossed your path. Now imagine being stuck at home with nothing to do, no one to talk to, and no sense of purpose in your life. The contrast between these two possibilities is as stark as sunshine and darkness.

In this dual reality faced by adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, the second scenario is all too common. But it’s also the reason for the first scenario, created by a trio of big-hearted women who have made the sun shine on a lot of very special people.

Come Play in The Sandbox

Jacie Elizabeth Millen

You Won’t Forget it

Come Play in The Sandbox

In 2005, Hilton Head Island was introduced to a new kind of play for children. The Sandbox, a non-profit, interactive children’s museum, opened its doors, welcoming in all local and visiting children to come learn while having a whole lot of fun.

Now, The Sandbox has been disguising learning as fun for more than 16 years with each child offered a choice of activities and space while playing at the museum. With so many interactive and hands-on activities, kids are guaranteed to have the best time. And, they all leave with pieces of wisdom they didn't come in with. But children are not the only ones who enjoy the museum. Parents are often wowed by the positive stimulation the museum provides in the form of playing and they maybe even learn something themselves.

Celebrate Earth Day!

It's All Pink

April 22nd

Celebrate Earth Day!

Here are 10 small ways to volunteer and
make a difference this Earth Day:

1. Clean up a local beach.
Over 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the ocean each year. Help clean it up.

2. Plant a garden at your home or school.
Another fun way to give Mother Earth some love this Earth Day!

Fun, Food & Farm to Table

Lindsay Gifford

Meet Me at the Farmer's Market

Fun, Food & Farm to Table

Fun, infectious cheer delightfully mixed with
enlivening fresh air as you frolic among the oaks...
did that just describe your last visit for groceries? It did mine!

Nestled in the center of Port Royal, outside the Naval Hospital, you’ll find beautiful Naval Heritage Park. Its oak-filled space and tranquility is inviting throughout the week, but come Saturday morning, the park takes on a complete transformation. It’s a weekly event you don’t want to miss—The Port Royal Farmer’s Market. Stocked with vendors (but safely spread out for social distancing), you’ll find tables laden with beautiful fruits and vegetables, homemade baked goods and steaming fresh food. And best of all, whether they’re beaming with pride, or buyers excited to purchase healthful and homemade goods, you’ll find passion-filled people.

Kayaking 7th Graders, New Oyster Reefs & Extraordinaire Trash Removers

It's All Pink

How Getting Outside Makes a Huge Difference Through The Outside Foundation

Kayaking 7th Graders, New Oyster Reefs & Extraordinaire Trash Removers

Our beaches are world-class destinations for tourists, and our communities are growing like mushrooms as more and more people relocate here for the quality of life. It’s the beauty and wonder of our ecosystems that draw us all to the Lowcountry. Kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, the beach and nature walks allow us to learn and appreciate the magical, yet fragile world around us—and we certainly enjoy the fresh, local oysters and shrimp.

It’s the mission of The Outdoor Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, to preserve and protect our local environment and to get kids outside to help them become aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy environment by showing them how to protect and preserve—and enjoy— our coastal ecosystem. 

Is Your Financial Planner Listening to You?

Marc Stuckart and Creighton Stuckart

Is Your Financial Planner Listening to You?

What are your financial goals? This is the first thing any financial planner should know about you. Many may think everyone’s goal is to make the most money possible, but surprisingly it’s not. People have different priorities in how they want their assets protected and their nest egg to grow. Some want to ensure they can have the same lifestyle in retirement as they did during their working years. Some want to see their assets create a legacy and last for generations to come. Others want to ensure their grandchildren have higher education opportunities. And then there are those—lots of those—who just don’t want to lose any money. Everyone’s situation is different, and a financial planner who listens, understands the difference, and plans accordingly.

Insurance Cost & Availability...

Terry L. Tadlock

What to Expect

Insurance Cost & Availability...

Most of us are happy to bid last year farewell. 2020 will live in infamy for years to come, and will go down as the year that COVID-19 considerably changed our lives and the way we conduct business, if we have been able to conduct business at all. Well, the insurance industry is no different. We have not only felt affects of COVID-19, but we have also had the worst year in history of tropical storms and hurricanes. There were 30 named storms, of which 12 made landfall in the U.S.