Congratulations to the Class of 2016!!

Grad cap red

I’ve been in a bit of a stupor the past few weeks as my youngest is getting ready to graduate from high school and preparing to leave home for college in the fall.  It alternates between rambling on and on about scholarships, financial aid, school choices, to just standing, staring off into space not able to speak because it’s a bit surreal that my baby girl is ready to make her place in the world.  Not to mention, the constant feeling of being on the edge of a very long, very ugly cry.

Given that my current situation is what’s weighing on my mind right now it seemed natural to ask graduates what they want their parent to know and how that might differ from what the parents want their student to know.   I posed this question to a group of college bound seniors who will graduate June 1, 2016.  Some answers were funny, some sweet and reassuring but all in all do address some of our concerns as parents.

What is the one thing that you would like to tell your parent to help ease their mind and assure them that you are prepared and ready to go to college? 

– Parker also assures his parents that “I’m not going to spend all my study hours playing video games! I promise!  God!”

-Terry knows that “Uber saves lives.”  Smart boy!

-J.J. says beer tastes gross and Parker adds that it goes through your system too quickly.

-Alexandria appreciates learning some basic life skills!  “Thanks for teaching me how to do laundry!”

-Zachary tells us that his parent already knows his future college roommate.  We’re assuming that is a positive statement.  

-Simply stated Eli says “I got this!”

-Anizia thanks her parent for helping her become a mature, independent adult capable of taking care of herself.

-Ashton acknowledges the hard work it takes to be a parent. “I appreciate all the hard work and endless nights towards making me become the successful young lady I am today and I will not underestimate my gift and knowledge to surpass all obstacles.

-Bailey affirms that her parents have taught her well and helped her make good decisions and now she knows how to make good decisions on her own.

-Jonathan shares this “It’s time to for me to grow up in a new and unknown world. You have prepared me for this since I was being held in your arms. But it’s now time to find who I truly am. I will make mistakes, I guarantee it. But it’s you who has taught me to learn from every experience. So thank you.”

-Maddie adds with a smile emoticon that she is ready for this time in her life and reminds her parents that she will always be their little girl.

There are conversations that we parents all want to have with our graduates but somehow don’t seem to be able to do so without coming off as overbearing, nagging, or simply more involved than we are desired to be at this point in our students lives.  So, graduating seniors, bear with your parents as we try to make sure we have taught you and told you everything that we feel like you need to know in the next few months before you leave home.

Your well-being and success in college is our only concern.  We just need to know that you are going to be okay.   We need to know that we did a good job raising you and that you are able to make good, intelligent, and safe choices.   We need to know that you understand that you are going to college for a purpose, not just a party.  Have fun but be smart and keep your studies your number one priority.  We need to know that you feel equipped to handle most of the things we have always done for you – kept your schedule posted on the fridge, given reminders of your commitments, emphasized the importance of your schoolwork, handled your finances, filled out your forms, washed your laundry.    We don’t want you to be scared of new experiences.  We want you to make lifelong friends and we want to be confident in your ability to do so.

Ultimately, we hope you come out of your college experience a happy, productive adult ready to embark on a career that is meaningful to you and allows you to support yourself in the manner that you desire.   That is all. – Gail

 

Spoleto Festival USA 2016

Once a year, gifted artists from around the world gather in Charleston, SC, for the Spoleto Festival USA. This year the festival takes place May 27 – June 12, 2016.

This is a festival our team looks forward to every year. If you’re in the area, or are visiting, we strongly recommend you check it out.

We love this event because it beautifully blends renowned artists with emerging performers and provides us with 17 wonderful days packed full of entertainment.

Over the 17 days, you’ll have opportunities to immerse yourself in theater, opera, concerts, and much more!

A few highlights of this year’s festival include…

  • A performance of The Importance of Being Earnest by the Dublin’s Gate Theatre.
  • Porgy and Bess, an opera conceived right here in our hometown of Charleston.
  • A vocal performance by the talented Westminster Choir.

For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with stunning performances. We hope to see you there!

Learn more about the Spoleto Festival USA.

Charleston Harbor Cruises: See the Seas of The Lowcountry  

 

SEA Charleston the right way. (See what we did there?) Puns aside, we’d like to talk with you about harbor cruises.

This is very serious stuff.

Harbor cruises allow you to enjoy spectacular views of our fair city and simultaneously enjoy the staggering beauty of the sea.

When you’re in a historic city like Charleston, it’s imperative to jump on a cruiser and gain a new perspective.

We at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction have a few ideas on the best harbor cruises Charleston has to offer.

So whether you live here or you’re in town visiting, dive in! (We did it again. Ha!)

Charleston Harbor Cruises

Charleston Harbor Cruises has a trip for every taste. In late May and early June, Charleston Harbor Cruises offers Blues Cruises.

You guessed it—you can hit the high seas and listen to live Blues music.

Boarding starts at 6:30 p.m. and you’ll cruise around until 9:00 p.m.

It’s a great time.

Book your tickets here.

Spiritline Cruises

A family-owned company, SpiritLine Cruises has taken over 12 million passengers on over 100,000 Charleston boat tours and events.

Whether you’re looking to cruise around with friends, or you’re celebrating an event, SpiritLine Cruises has you covered.

Ideal for romantic date nights, weddings, or even friends hanging out, these cruises accommodate you.

SpiritLine also handles corporate group events, family reunions, student dinner parties, fundraisers, or simply a group who wants to hit the high seas.

Really, we don’t think you need a reason to take a cruise at all. But we’re glad SpiritLine is so accommodating.

Book your tickets here.

Adventure Harbor Tours

Private boat charters.

Sunset cocktail cruises.

Morris Island boat tours.

Private boat charters.

Yeah, those are four perfect reasons to check out Adventure Harbor Tours. Now is the perfect time to have a little seaside adventure with family and friends.

One awesome thing about Adventure Harbor Tours is that you have a choice of boats—small, medium, and large—designed to fit your group and budget.

Book your tickets here.

Sandlapper Water Tours

Sandlapper offers numerous options for your harbor cruise.

The Palmetto

This option allows you to experience Charleston harbor’s rich history and heritage while you learn about maritime history and tideland treasures.

Charleston Dinner Cruise

Frogmore Stew, an Oyster Roast, or a Lowcountry Crab Boil…ummm, yes please!

Sandlapper Tours entertains you and your guests with a unique and authentic dinner that you can only get in Charleston.

Charleston Nature Tours

Charleston Nature Tours and Charleston Historic Tours allow you and other passengers to experience Charleston, its harbor, and Lowcountry living like never before.

Book your tickets here.

The Best Charleston Farmers’ Markets

 

 

Charleston Farmers’ Markets provide the perfect venue to sample local fair, get to know your neighbors, and discover new and exciting foods.

Take a day trip to any number of our Lowcountry farmers’ markets, and there’s a good chance you’ll see a member of our team. We’re the ones admiring the tomato pyramids or filling our baskets with fresh strawberries.

As Charleston is brimming with farmers’ markets, we’ve listed a few of our favorites—downtown, in Mount Pleasant, and one in North Charleston, too.

Hope to see you around!

Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market

Take a drive down Coleman Boulevard, and you’ll see a huge farmers’ market that’s bustling. The sea of people with the chill vibe is one of the reasons that the Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market is a landmark of the Mount Pleasant area.

With permanent sheds that still boast an open-air experience, this farmers’ market attracts visitors year-round. They even have a tremendous holiday market festival in December.

Learn more.

Charleston Farmers Market

In the summertime, you’ll find a beautiful array of peaches and tomatoes. But you better show up early, especially on Saturday!

Despite the busyness, the Charleston Farmers Market is a downtown favorite. If we had to guess, it’s not just the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that make this place such an event. You can also taste different coffees, enjoy some boiled peanuts, and check out all the arts and crafts.

Learn more.

Boone Hall Farms Market

Ah, the Boone Hall Farms Market. It’s open every day. And all year, too!

This quaint market is one of our favorites. In addition to the vendors, you will also get to pick your own fruits and vegetables.

In May, you can fill your basket with fresh strawberries. Come October, you can choose your own pumpkins.

If you’re not into manual labor, you can also check out the café located on the grounds.  (We recommend the local seafood—yum!)

Learn more.

Homegrown Johns Island

Even though it’s one of the newer farmers’ markets in town, the Homegrown Johns Island farmers’ market sits on one of Charleston’s oldest farms. It’s known for local cheese, yummy granola, and a variety of canned goods.

Held only on Saturday, it has games for the kiddos (and the adult kiddos, too)!

Learn more.

North Charleston Farmers’ Market

 Arts and crafts. Fruits and vegetables. Fun and games.

What’s not to love?

The North Charleston Farmers’ Market recently opened back up. Be sure to check the schedule, as there are various musical acts that play throughout the season.

Learn more.

Opportunities for Dancing in Charleston

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we’re all about putting more fun in our lives. What better way to enjoy life than to put a little boogie in your step?

We’re serious…

When was the last time you cut a rug?

Whether you live in town or you’re visiting, we think Charleston has some of the best dancing spots on the Eastern seaboard. Before we unveil a few upcoming opportunities to bust a move, here are a few major health benefits of dancing.

  • Dancing strengthens your bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Cutting a rug increases muscular strength, enhances your endurance level, and improves your motor functions.
  • Doing a jig every now and again is by far the most pleasurable way to squeeze in aerobics, so you gain twice the amount of endorphins from fun and exercise.
  • Busting a move creates healthier heart and lungs.
  • Boogying every once in a while helps you drop weight.

While you can always embark on an impromptu dance party right in your living room, you can also find some musical events around Charleston.

Introducing Shaggin’ on the Cooper

Put a little pep in your step at Shaggin’ on the Cooper at Mt. Pleasant Pier! These events take place from April to September—and always on Saturday. The events are $10 general admission and perfect for the whole family.

Saturday, May 14: Shem Creek Boogie Band

 What’s not to love about a group called the Shem Creek Boogie Band? These Charleston locals play ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s rock ‘n’ roll, soul, blues, country, and pop, so there’s something for everybody.

 Saturday, June 11: The Sugar Bees

 Sorry to be punny, but the Sugar Bees are pretty sweet. J

Another local musical group, The Sugar Bees play a variety of songs from multiple genres—rock, alternative, blues, beach much, and Americana tunes. You’re in for some seriously talented individuals, as this band has opened for…

  • Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs.
  • The Gatlin Brothers.
  • The Stylistics.
  • The Drifters.
  • The Tams.
  • The Embers.
  • The Platters.
  • Danny and the Juniors.
  • Joe Simon.
  • Chuck Berry, Jay Spell of Jimmy Buffets Coral Reefer Band.
  • Nappy Brown.
  • And more.

 Saturday, July 16: Recollections

 The Recollections aren’t your standard “beach band.” Though they’re all about getting you to move your feet, the Recollections also bring a lush texture to their music. Featuring guitar, bass, keyboard, brass instruments, woodwinds, and percussion, the band will ensure you have a grand time.

With seven highly trained musicians, the Recollections bring diversity to their music that will lift your spirits as you move about the dance floor.

 Saturday, August 13: Vinyl Daze

 We recommend a margarita to accompany your listening to Vinyl Daze. As the band’s name makes it clear, this group is all about fun. With a 70’s groove sound, listening to Vinyl Daze transports listeners to a time when music wasn’t streamed, downloaded, or confined to a laptop.

Grab your tickets for Shaggin’ on the Cooper at Mt. Pleasant Pier!

Mother’s Day Fun in the Lowcountry

This coming Sunday is one of our favorite holidays…Mother’s Day.

We certainly hope you have something special planned for the lady who changed your stinky diapers and smiled all throughout your various “phases.”

If you’re hanging out around Charleston, there are plenty of fun things to do with mom.

Before we list a few ideas, it’s important to remember why this special lady deserves to be celebrated.

#1 Mom wants you to be happy. In fact, she’s dedicated a large part of her life to making you happy, and she’s sacrificed a lot. So dedicate this day to putting a smile on her face.

#2 Mom is underappreciated. Really, you can never to do enough for your mama. She did give you life after all.

#3 Mom gave up a lot. Before you (and maybe your siblings) were born, your mom had much more free time. Even though you’ve flown the coop, mom still spends so much of her time thinking about your well-being.

#4 Mom deserves all the love she can get. Not to get sad, but our time is short on this earth. Let’s show the people we care about that we acknowledge and honor them.

Now that being said, where are you going to take this extra special lady? We at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction have a few ideas:

Friday, May 6 – Tuesday, May 29: Rock of Ages

 You know deep down that mom’s a rock-and-roller. Well, if she’s more of the Beethoven type, we promise that she’ll still have a grand time during a performance of Rock of Ages.

This play features the hit songs from a cornucopia of artists—Journey, Foreigner, Styx, Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi and more. Even if the music doesn’t do it, the story will.

Featured at the Woolfe Street Playhouse and nominated for a Tony award, this play follows the story of a young woman set out to achieve her dreams. Mom will love it!

Grab your tickets to Rock of Ages.

 Saturday, May 7: North Charleston Arts Festival

 If your mom is a Charleston aficionado or a lover of the arts, this festival is the perfect opportunity. Though the last day of the North Charleston Arts Festival is the day before Mother’s Day, you all will still have an awesome time. (In fact, it makes a great “pre-gift!”)

The history of this event alone is worth a look-see. According to our Charleston mayor R. Keith Summey:

“As Mayor of the City of North Charleston, I am excited to welcome you to the 34th Annual North Charleston Arts Fest. From humble beginnings as a half-day community celebration at Park Circle, the event has matured into one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in South Carolina featuring nine full days of free and ticketed programming throughout the City.”

“We look forward to this event each year as it allows both residents and visitors access to the talents of local, regional, and national artists in the areas of performing, visual, media, and literary arts.”

That sounds like a fun time, right? Take mom out for a pre-Mother’s Day celebration!

Click here for more info on the North Charleston Arts Festival.

Tell us about your mom in the comments below! We want to hear your stories.

Your Charleston Vacation: Where to Stay

 

There is so much to do and see in Charleston, SC. From walking on the beach to checking out the nightlife, there are so many activities that will help you celebrate life and enjoy some serious unwinding time.

If you’re coming to visit the Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, or you simply want to enjoy the Lowcountry culture, we’ve got your hotel research covered.

We’ve compiled a list of places to stay in Charleston—for both long-term stays and short visits. No matter what your budget is, or whether your prefer economy lodging or luxury suites, check out the information below to find out where to stay in the Lowcountry.

[Visitor’s Tip: As Charleston is a beach town, our city experiences high travel in the late spring and summer months, so you check hotel pricing often for price fluctuations.]

French Quarter Inn—Luxury Meets History

Charleston is labeled as a historic city—and for good reason. Take a stroll on the boardwalk, and you’ll see architecture and antebellum houses that look as if they come from archival photographs.

If old-world charm is your thing, we recommend the French Quarter Inn—a beautiful boutique hotel located in the center of historic Charleston.

Book your room here.

John Rutledge Inn—Historic Restoration at its Finest

The John Rutledge House is a landmark hotel that is not only the home of a US Constitution signer, but also a gorgeous bed and breakfast.

The incredible architectural details and period décor make you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. This perfect restoration is phenomenal, but the staff doesn’t skimp on the luxury element or modern amenities. Stay at this B&B, and you’ll enjoy the epitome of hospitality.

Reserve your room here.

The Cottages on Charleston Harbor—Great for Extended Stays

For travelers looking to stay a week or longer, there’s no better home away from home than The Cottages on Charleston Harbor. As there are 10 luxurious harborfront cottages, space is limited, so book sooner rather than later.

Each two-bedroom, three-bath cottage is equipped with a fully functional kitchen, living room, and screened-in porch complete with rocking chairs. If that’s not enough, you’ll also enjoy a hammock and outdoor table and chairs.

Book your cottage for an extended stay.

Beachside Boutique Inn—Close to Our Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction

As always, we welcome visitors to our Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction. If you plan to visit our office—whether you’re coming in for a procedure or a consultation—we want you to enjoy convenience.

The Beachside Boutique Inn is located steps away from our office! While the location helps streamline your visit, the amenities are another benefit. At this hotel, you are close to premier restaurants and the finest shopping in Charleston.

Secure your room.

Hilton Garden Inn—An Economic Choice

Booking an economical hotel doesn’t mean skimping on the amenities. If you’re not looking for a bottle of champagne in your room every night, the Hilton Garden Inn is a fine choice.

At this location, you’re close to Harborage at the Ashley Marina and the Charleston City Marina. You’ll also enjoy an in-room refrigerator and an LCD television—ideal if you’re recovering from a procedure or simple want to veg out.

Reserve your room here.

 

If you know someone headed to the Lowcountry, send them this resource!

The Perfect Rainy Day in Charleston: What to Do for Fun

 

Charleston is a vibrant and beautiful city—bustling with culture, food, events, and fun. And that’s true even when it rains. If you’re looking for something fun, even though the weather isn’t playing nice, don’t worry.

The staff at the Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction considers themselves unofficial Charleston concierges. So what if you’re not walking downtown, or taking in the rows of beautiful antebellum houses Charleston has to offer?

The next time it rains, here are few ideas to have a marvelous time and stay dry.

South Carolina Aquarium

With a daily dive show and exhibits galore, the South Carolina Aquarium is the perfect rainy day activity for all ages.

The exhibits take you from the mountains to the sea, and the first one you’ll see, the mountain forest exhibit, features majestic eagles and playful otters frolicking in the hilly forest.

You’ll see the flora and fauna in the piedmont, coastal plain, and salt marsh areas before you hit the coast and ocean to have close encounters with sharks and pufferfish.

The Touch Tank allows you to see and touch water creatures such as stingrays and sea urchins.

Theatre 99 Comedy

Nothing better to lighten up a dreary day than a few belly laughs. Held on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, Theatre 99’s comedy showcases bring audiences to their knees.

The basis for these shows is improv, so you’ll never know what’s going to happen. As stated on the website, most performances are PG-13, so you may want to leave the little ones with a sitter.

Tour the Yorktown

The focal point of the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum is the World War II aircraft carrier USS Yorktown.

The museum is home to a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships and the Cold War Memorial. Patriots Point also houses the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Medal of Honor Museum.

Aboard the Yorktown, you can tour the flight deck and bridge, living quarters, brig, and engine room. The Charleston Navy Shipyard Museum and Medal of Honor Museum are on board, and individual memorials are scattered around the ship.

The hangar bay holds vintage aircraft, and if you’d like to try flying yourself, you’ll want to try the flight simulator.

Rock Paper Scissors Studio

If you’re feeling creative, there’s no better place than Rock Paper Scissors Studio. Located in Mount Pleasant, this studio supplies visitors with all the tools and material to create crafts.

All you have to bring is your lovely self!

As a bonus, you can indulge with wine and beer as you make crafts.

Historic Charleston City Market

The Charleston City Market has been part of Charleston’s history for over two centuries. The majestic Market Hall building houses the Daughters of the Confederacy museum.

Grab your umbrella and head to this amazing open-air market that sells everything from jewelry to food to sweetgrass baskets. With over 100 vendors, the market has something for everyone, and is the perfect place to have a coffee and do some people watching.

Our resident Canadian Geese are back and are expecting!

 

It’s  “Baby Watch” 2016 at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction!!!

 

 Meet Edith and Archie. These beautiful geese reside outside of our Mt. Pleasant office.  Edith began resting on her nest just a few weeks ago with her mate Archie right by her side protecting her and their eggs from harm.  Believe me, Archie will let you know when you get too close for comfort.  This picture was taken while he was warning me!    

We’ll keep an eye out on them over the next few months and share their progress aloing with lots of photos once the babies arrive.    

Keep watching & Happy Spring!!  

 

Gail

Our residents Edith and Archie                         archie goose

All Things Charleston: Hiking in the Lowcountry

 

Here at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we’re always brainstorming strategies to help women reduce stress and promote wellness.

Sometimes we feel the need to revert to a classic approach.

So here’s a not-so-off-the-wall idea…

Go for a walk.

Call us biased, but there’s no better place to go for a walk or hike (or bike!) than Charleston, S.C., and the surrounding Lowcountry. This area provides countless opportunities to enjoy breathtaking natural beauty, historic sites, and gorgeous antebellum homes and mansions.

While walking or hiking in Charleston and the surrounding area is a great way to unwind, it also provides a simple but effective exercise. (Let’s call that a win-win.)

That said…

If you’re a person who cares about a breast cancer survivor or somebody who’s recently gone through a mastectomy, take her hiking in this beautiful part of the country.

Here are a handful of our favorite places to calm the mind, appreciate this incredible corner of the world, and spend time with the important people in your life.

Awendaw Passage

As part of the Francis Marion National Forest, Awendaw Passage of the Palmetto Trail offers both mountain and sea views. As you take the 7-mile trek, you will cross through pines and palmettos.

When you reach the terminus, you’ll be treated to a tropical view. Oh, and to gain an up-close look at wildlife and natural details, don’t forget your binoculars.

I’on Swamp Trail

Also a part of the Francis Marion National Forest, the I’on Swamp trail is an easy, 2-mile loop that follows the abandoned rice fields that once made up the Witheywood Plantation.

As you take this gorgeous walk, you’ll pass through bald cypress wetlands that allow you to observe migrating songbirds.

Swamp Fox Passage

One of the Lowcountry’s oldest trails, the Swamp Fox Passage offers a long, flat, one-way journey through coastal pine forests and wetlands. Located in the Francis Marion National Forest, this trail is the longest option of the refuge.

However, if you’re not into the idea of hiking 40+ miles, you can walk until you feel like turning around.

Bull Island

Touted as an easy two-mile loop trail, Bull Island is part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Keep in mind: this is an island, so you’ll need to catch a ferry in order to check it out.

When you walk this trail, you’ll see a variety of Lowcountry topography—including forests, wetlands, and beaches.

West Ashley Bikeway

If you and your friends are more cyclists than walkers, the West Ashley Bikeway is the perfect place for you to be. What’s particularly spectacular about this trail is not its beauty, but its story.

Once a dumping ground for torn-up mattresses, discarded appliances, and other trash, this path has experienced a transformation as Charleston locals sought to create something beautiful and replace litter with lush scenery.

Downtown Charleston

Maybe you’re not a nature person. Or perhaps you simply want to take in all the historic sights, architecture, and breathtaking homes Charleston has to offer. You’re in luck, because downtown has been called a “living museum.”

Rightfully so. When you stroll along the peninsula, you’ll see shops, beautiful churches, plantations, museums, and historic landmarks.

What’s your favorite place to walk or hike in Charleston?

Tell our Facebook community all about it!