3 Family-Friendly Cocktail Recipes for Your Next Party

Everybody loves a good cocktail at a party.

However, not every cocktail is a good match for all of your party attendees. Especially cocktail recipes that contain alcohol.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with mixing up your favorite spiked drink recipe.

But, as a party host, it’s always a good idea to have some family-friendly cocktails on hand for any children or adult party attendees who don’t/can’t drink liquor-based cocktails.

Ensure that everyone is able to participate in enjoying a delicious cocktail, and mix up some of our favorite family-friendly cocktail recipes below!

Frozen Watermelon Mint Daiquiri Recipe

A daiquiri is a classic, frozen, fruity cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round.

This specific virgin daiquiri is so flavorful and fresh, we have a feeling that people will be asking you for your secret recipe! Here’s how it’s made…

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Directions:

  1. Freeze watermelon.
  2. Once frozen, combine the watermelon cubes in a blender with 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of mint syrup and 1/2 cup of lime juice.
  3. Serve in stemmed glasses with a sprig of mint.

Mint syrup recipe:

  1. Heat 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Once the sugar is dissolved, strain what’s left through a sieve and let cool.

Recipe Source: https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/5-cool-kiddie-cocktails2.htm

Shirley Temple Recipe

A Shirley Temple is one of the most classic cocktail recipes of all time.

This light and refreshing drink, made with lemon lime soda, grenadine syrup, and a cherry, is always a crowd pleaser. Here’s how it’s made…

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces lemon-lime soda
  • 3 ounces ginger ale
  • 1/4 ounce grenadine
  • maraschino cherry for garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour grenadine into a glass with ice cubes.
  2. Top it with equal amounts of lemon-lime soda and ginger ale.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Garnish with a cherry.

Recipe Source: https://www.thespruce.com/shirley-temple-cocktail-recipe-760600

Appletini Recipe

If you prefer your cocktail to be tart and tangy, this alcohol-free appletini recipe might be right up your alley.

Made with fresh apple juice, simple syrup, and a hint of lemon, this recipe is bound to  impress your party guests. Here’s how you make it…

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces apple juice (freshly pressed)
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice
  • Garnish: sugar (for rimming)
  • Garnish: 1 apple slice

Directions:

  1. Rim a chilled cocktail glass with sugar.
  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into the prepared glass.
  5. Garnish with an apple slice.

Recipe Source: https://www.thespruce.com/designated-appletini-recipe-non-alcoholic-760355

What’s your favorite family-friendly cocktail recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!

5 Winter Safety Tips to Keep You Safe in the Cold Weather

Did you know that in most places across the United States, the end of January and the month of February are the coldest, most snowy months of the year?

It’s true! Even for us Southerners!

For that reason, we thought it would be a great time to share some winter safety tips as we prepare to head into the worst of winter.

Follow these tips to stay warm and safe this winter…

Tip #1 – Wear Layers When Going Out

During the winter, temperatures can often swing 15-20 degrees during the day.

For instance, it might be 25 degrees when you leave your house in the morning, but by 2:00 in the afternoon it could warm up to 45 degrees.

However, once the sun goes down around 5:00 in the evening, it can very quickly cool off again, dropping below freezing in a blink of an eye!

The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction is located in Charleston, SC…so we’re very familiar with these types of temperature swings.

To ensure we’re dressed for any type of weather, we like to dress in layers. It’s a smart way to make sure you stay warm enough during the day while also having the option to shed layers if it becomes too warm.

The basic rule of thumb is to have enough clothing on hand–like a winter jacket, hats, gloves, and sweaters–for the coldest part of the day. Then use your layers to adjust your wardrobe as necessary depending on the temperature swings.

Tip #2 – Salt Your Driveway/Sidewalk Before It Snows

Every year, thousands of people end up in the hospital after slipping and falling on icy sidewalks.

Don’t let that happen to you!

Prevent accidents by salting your sidewalk or driveway before bad weather arrives.

You can purchase sidewalk salt at just about any hardware store or grocery store.

The best part–sidewalk salt doesn’t go bad, so you can pick up a bag before the snow and ice become a problem and store it in your garage until it’s needed.

Tip #3 – Let Your Faucets Drip Overnight in Freezing Weather

Up north, plumbing is typically built to withstand freezing weather.

However, if you live in more Southern regions of the U.S. where it doesn’t often drop into the negatives, this isn’t the case.

For that reason, it’s important to let your faucets drip overnight so they don’t freeze, causing pipes to burst and flood your home.

News channels and weather stations will often alert people to when it’s important to keep their faucets dripping overnight. Or, if you rent your home, property managers will usually send out a warning via email or a newsletter.

In general, if it’s projected to drop below 15 degrees overnight, you should probably let your faucets drip.

The tiny amount of water drippage is enough the keep the water in your pipes moving so it doesn’t freeze and cause problems.

Tip #4 – Bring Pets Inside When It Drops Below Freezing

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you’re cold, they’re cold…bring your pets inside!”

And it’s true.

No animal should be left outside in cold winter weather, regardless of whether they have a dog house or any other structure to live in.

When it drops below freezing, your pet is at risk of freezing to death, suffering from hypothermia, or getting frostbite.

If you’re really against allowing pets in your home, the least you can do is allow your animal to sleep in your garage with some warm blankets.

Tip #5 – Keep an Extra Blanket/Warm Clothes in Your Car

A car breakdown is never fun.

But a breakdown in freezing weather can quickly turn from an unpleasant experience to a dangerous situation.

This is why we recommend that you always keep an extra blanket or two, along with an extra pair of gloves, a hat, and perhaps even an extra sweater in your car.

If for any reason you were to break down and help wasn’t able to get to you right away, these items would help keep you safe and warm while you wait.

Do you have any important winter safety tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Resolutions for a Happy and Healthy New Year

On behalf of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we want to wish you a very happy New Year!

We hope 2018 will be your best year yet!

And, with a little planning and a few New Year’s resolutions, we know it’s possible to ensure that this year will be filled with the things that matter most–time spent with loved ones, good health, and joy.

What should you add to your resolutions this year to help make 2018 one of the best years yet?

Check out the 5 resolutions we recommend trying to achieve this year.

Resolution #1 – Drink More Water

Every New Year thousands of people make resolutions to lose weight, tone their bodies, and improve their health.

In theory, these are great resolutions. However, the desire to lose weight and regain your health fast often leads to crash diets and unrealistic workout plans.

No good!

This year, we recommend that you make the resolution to simply drink more water.

Why? Because drinking water…

  • Increases muscle fuel.
  • Helps with calorie control.
  • Improves kidney function.
  • Helps keep skin clear and free from acne.
  • Boosts your brainpower.
  • And so much more!

All those health benefits, and all you have to do is try and drink about 64 ounces a day! Now that’s something anyone can try and do!

Tip: If you don’t like plain water, add lemon, lime, or other flavors to the water you drink to jazz it up! Here are a few recipes you might want to try!

Resolution #2 – Eat More Veggies and Fruits

Much like our first resolution to drink more water, the resolution to eat more fruits and veggies is a simple lifestyle change that anyone can make.

Not to mention, it’s also a super easy resolution to carry out through the entire year!

Here are a few ways to add more fruits and veggies into your diet…

  • Use a vegetable-based pasta while cooking.
  • Blend vegetables and fruits together to make a sweet and delicious smoothie.
  • Grab a piece of fruit as a sweet snack instead of a candy bar.
  • If you’re craving a salty snack, try out veggie chips–made with sweet potatoes, turnips, onions, and other veggies–instead of potato chips.
  • Substitute cauliflower for mashed potatoes or rice.
  • Top your oatmeal off with fresh berries for sweetness instead of sugar.
  • Preslice carrots, peppers, and cucumbers for an easy, grab-n-go snack.
  • Add one vegetarian meal to your meal plan every week.

Regardless of whether you love veggies and fruits or not, there’s a ton of ways you can sneak them into your meal plans so you can consume more of them on a regular basis.

Resolution #3 – Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Spouse/Significant Other

When there’s turmoil in your relationships, you’re bound to experience unnecessary stress, anxiety, or even depression.

The best way to avoid this is to make it a priority to work on your relationship with your spouse or significant other and strengthen the bond this year.

There are a few ways you can do this.

First of all, it’s important to have time together. This is extremely important for couples who have children, which makes it difficult to go out on a date night.

Make it a priority to have at least one night a month that you can spend alone with the one you love.

Second, communication is key.

Make sure you and your partner are taking the time to communicate with each other. Talk about your goals or dreams. Discuss the things that are driving you crazy, whether it’s something happening at work or in your family life. And continue to make sure to keep each other updated on what’s happening in your lives.

Third, consider taking a class or workshop that will give you the tools and strategies you need to strengthen your relationship.

We personally recommend The Love and Respect Video Marriage Conference.

Resolution #4 — Make Time for Self-Care

Self-care is a topic that we talk a lot about, and for good reason.

Without focusing on self-care, it’s easier to fall victim to stress, anxiety, depression, and even poor health.

So, what is self-care and how do you do it? Easy.

Self-care is simply making time for yourself every day or week.

It can be as simple as setting aside an hour of time to unwind in a hot bubble bath or as extravagant as planning a week-long vacation for yourself to rest and recoup.

For more information on self-care and simple things you can do, check out our blog post here.

Resolution # 5 — Schedule Your Yearly Physical

Going for a yearly physical is one of the best ways to help keep you safe and healthy.

At a yearly routine checkup, doctors will check for signs of serious health conditions like high/low blood pressure, unusual lumps or bruises, heart problems, and so much more!

It’s also a great time to bring up any health concerns that you have and chat with your doctor about the things you should be doing to improve your health during the year.

We know your schedule is busy! But, please, before you forget, get this resolution checked off and call your doctor’s office today!

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Let us know in the comments below!

The Benefits of Stillness: 5 Ways to Recuperate and Relax

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse!

The holiday excitement is over, the festivities have come to a close, you can finally rest now and get off of your toes.

The children are nestled all snug in their beds,while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

You’ve pulled off a holiday season to remember, one that’s worth a slow clap, now after all of the chaos, it’s time for a nap!

All silly rhymes aside, we’re serious about that nap!

After all, we’ve just come out of a season where many of us tend to run around like chickens with our heads cut off. And if you don’t take the time to recharge, you might start to suffer from exhaustion.

Stillness is so important for the body as it lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and allows the body to recoup. So, today, we thought we’d share some suggestions on how to “be still” after this crazy season.

Check them out…

Take a Hot Bath

There’s nothing more relaxing than a hot bath on a cold winter’s night.

This week, set aside an hour or so of uninterrupted time and take a hot bath. Then, grab your favorite book, turn on some music, or simply rest as you enjoy the comfort of a warm tub.

If you have children, we recommend you have your partner take the kids out for the evening to grab dinner or go see a movie. After all, the last thing you want is little Timmy interrupting your time of stillness because he can’t find the toilet paper!

Rest in Your Favorite Chair

Most people have a favorite chair that they like to to relax in. You know, the soft, cozy one that cradles you as you let your tired body sink into it?

The moment your house gets quiet, take advantage of that time by spending some quiet time in your favorite chair. Grab a soft blanket, and perhaps a cup of hot cocoa, coffee, or tea, and just sit.

Don’t turn on the TV or grab a book. Just be. Reflect on all the amazing holiday memories that you’ve made, breathe, relax, and enjoy the stillness.

Meditate

Meditation is proven to lower blood pressure and refocus your mind–two benefits people often need after a crazy holiday season.

Not to mention, a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison also indicates that meditation reduces the grey-matter density in areas of the brain related with anxiety and stress.

Clearly, meditation is the ultimate key to relaxation. So, how exactly do you meditate?

Check out this FREE 30-day  meditation program via YouTube that’s specifically for beginners.

Visit Your Favorite Outdoor Spot and Sit Quietly in Nature

There’s something magically rejuvenating about the stillness of a winter’s day.

If you live in a cold climate, the simple act of sitting on the cool ground while watching snowflakes fall from the sky is peaceful and relaxing.

And, if you live in a warmer climate, you can enjoy the same serenity while watching leaves rustle on the ground or birds flying from tree to tree.

Nature is the perfect environment for being still, letting your mind rest, and reenergizing as you silently watch the beauty that’s all around you. Take a trip to your favorite outdoor spot, soak in the peace and calm, and leave feeling renewed.

Relax While Listening to Your Favorite Peaceful Music

Did you know that music has the ability to disorient rhythmic brain activity in the thalamus and the brain’s outer cortex?

It’s this phenomenon that enables music to make us feel happy and relaxed when we listen to peaceful, calm music.

Schedule some time this week and lie in a dark, quiet room. Then, plug in your headphones and play some classical music or calm music from your favorite genre.

Note: This is not the time for headbanger music, even if it’s your favorite music. Stick to soft, gentle tunes. Otherwise, the sounds of loud, chaotic music will have a reverse effect and the potential to hype you up instead of settling you down.

What is your favorite way to relax and be still? Let us know in the comments below!

 

3 Delicious Hot Cocoa Recipes with a Twist

Winter has arrived, a cool chill is in the air, and it’s the perfect time to cozy up with a steaming cup of hot cocoa.

While we love a classic cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows, we know we have an entire season of sipping this yummy beverage ahead of us. So, we thought it would be fun to share some ideas on how you can add a twist to a classic cocoa recipe.

This year, mix things up and try our recipes that put a twist on one of the world’s most favorite winter drinks.

Enjoy…

Raspberry Hot Chocolate Recipe

Fruit and chocolate are a match made in heaven. So, it’s no surprise that this raspberry hot chocolate recipe is nothing short of amazing.

Give it a try…

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces (roughly 3 1/2 cups) fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Mini marshmallows or whipped cream, for topping

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil then boil for 3-5 minutes or until the raspberries are cooked down and the mixture thickens.
  2. Remove from the heat and push through a strainer or sieve, discarding the seeds left behind. You should have roughly 1 cup puree.
  3. In another medium saucepan, heat the milk until hot (but not boiling).
  4. Whisk in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and raspberry puree. Serve immediately.
  5. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream.

Recipe Source:
https://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2014/12/29/raspberry-hot-chocolate/

Vegan Chai Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot chai tea or a steaming cup of cocoa…how can you possibly choose? The good news is that with this recipe you don’t have to! Get the best of both worlds by mixing up this vegan chai hot chocolate recipe.

Check it out…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk, sweetened
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chai Spice

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium size saucepan.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil and stir until spices and cocoa powder have dissolved.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe source:
https://fitfoodiefinds.com/2014/09/vegan-chai-hot-chocolate/#_a5y_p=2519397

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate Recipe

This red velvet hot chocolate recipe combines two classics–a traditional cup of hot chocolate and the delicious taste of red velvet cake. And boy is it delicious! “Have your cake and drink it too” with this tasty drink.

Give it a try…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 teaspoon red gel no-taste food coloring

Ingredients for whipping cream:

  • Vanilla sugar
  • Vanilla sugar whipped cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (No vanilla sugar? Add regular sugar and a drop of vanilla extract)

Directions:

For whipped cream:

  1. Add heavy cream and vanilla sugar to a cold metal bowl. Either whip by hand with whisk or with hand-held mixer until soft peaks form.

For hot chocolate:

  1. In a small pan, combine milk, chocolate morsels and food coloring. Gently simmer until hot and all the chocolate is melted.
  2. Top with freshly whipped cream.

Recipe Source:
http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/850687/red-velvet-hot-chocolate-recipe

What’s your favorite hot cocoa recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!

Things to do – Independence Day 2015 in South Carolina

(Thanks to AppleOne Employment Services for sending this fantastic Weekend Recs e-blast for us to share!) 

Charleston

Fourth of July Fireworks on Folly Beachindependence day

 A holiday tradition on the Edge of America, the annual 4th of July fireworks display is set to take place on Folly Beach next Saturday. The fireworks will be set off at the Folly Beach County Park, at the west end of the island. Locals and visitors are invited to enjoy the Independence Day display, which will begin at 9:30pm. For more information about the 4th of July fireworks display on Folly Beach, please go to www.visitfolly.com or download the free ‘Visit Folly’ smart phone app.

When: 7/4/15 starting at 9:30pm

Where: Folly Beach-Folly Beach County Park- West end of Island

 

July Fourth on the Pride

Enjoy this Fourth of July with a sunset sail while watching the fireworks from the best seat in the house! Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Bring a snack or picnic aboard if you choose. Buy tickets by calling the number provided (843-722-1112) or visiting the website: http://www.schoonerpride.com/

When: 7/4/15 from 7pm to 9pm

Where: The Schooner Pride-Aquarium Wharf

Admission: $55 per person-book now as space is limited

 

North Charleston 4th of July Festival

The City of North Charleston is once again hosting the July 4th celebration at the Riverfront Park on July 4, 2015 from 3:30 PM – 9:45 PM. This year’s event features exciting musical guests, children activities, food trucks, craft vendors, and the Lowcountry’s largest 4th of July fireworks show. The Festival is presented free of charge to the public with all general admission for attendees. Guests attending the Festival are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets, as there is no seating provided. Food trucks, beer and wine stations, and ATMs will be widely available. Children activities are available free of charge, including inflatable jump castles, games, the play area, the giant sandbox, and the water fountain. Beer and wine stations will be set up throughout the park, as well as ATMs for participants. For more information, please visit the website: http://www.northcharleston.org/Residents/Special-Events/4th-of-July-Festival.aspx

Festival performance schedule:
3:30 – Gates open
3:30 – Soul Fish (rock quartet)
5:00 – Blacklion (reggae)
6:30 – Dangermuffin (Americana)
8:00 – Funk Factory 5 (Mo-town/Top 40)
9:10 – Spectacular Fireworks show by Zambelli’s

When: 7/4/15 from 3:30pm to 9:45pm

Where: Riverfront Park-1001 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston

 

Patriots Point 4th of July Blast

 For those who want to enjoy the fireworks on the Yorktown, all Flight deck tickets are now SOLD OUT, but visitors are still allowed to watch the event landside and enjoy the celebration there! Parking is $10/vehicle.

When: 7/4/15 starting about 9pm

Where: Patriots Point40 Patriots Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

 

Columbia

Lake Murray Fireworks Celebration

Beginning at dusk (approximately 9:15 pm) South Carolina’s largest fireworks display on beautiful Lake Murray. Fireworks will be set off from two great locations: Spence Island and Dreher Island State Park. The show is choreographed to a patriotic concert that will air simultaneously on B106.7. The best places to view the fireworks are Dreher Island State Park and both parks at the Lake Murray dam. Bring a chair or blanket, picnics are welcomed- NO Alcohol Permitted at any of the locations.

Admission (based on park):

Dreher Island State Park– $2 for adults, $1.25 SC Seniors, FREE for children 15 years and younger (Gates close at 8pm).

Lake Murray Dam park sites– open until they reach capacity- $3 per car.

The walking path on the dam will also be open. (Fireworks DO NOT launch from the park sites at the dam).

 

When: July 04, 2015 from 9pm to 10:30pm
Admission: Admission Based on Park

 

Lake Murray Patriotic Boat Parade

 Get ready for the 26th Annual 4th of July Celebration on Lake Murray on Saturday, July 4th!! CCLMC is trying to break our all-time record this year with over 150 boats and inclusion within the Guinness Book of World Records! We hope that you and your family will join us and participate to make this a special year! For more information, please visit the website: http://www.lakemurraycountry.com/things-to-do/events/lake-murray-boat-parade

 When: July 04, 2015 from 12pm to 3pm
Where: Bomb Island, Lake Murray, SC 29072
Admission: Free, but if watching from Lake Murray Dam park sites admissions is $2/car

 

Slide the City and Capital City Beach Party!

 Columbia is Famously Hot, so we’re bringing you a Surprisingly Cool way to have fun this Independence Day while supporting 2 great causes!  Slide the City is a 1000 foot water slide that will go from Blanding & Gadsden to Hampton & Gadsden Streets.  The chosen charities SC Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Celebrate Freedom Foundation will benefit each time you purchase a registration using the promo code FREEDOM, and you will receive $5 off! After you slide, go check out the Capital City Beach Party beginning in Finlay Park at 2PM. Water and Food vendors will be available for purchase at noon. Want to slide for free while helping out the charities? Sign up as a volunteer here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/slide-the-city-columbia-sc-volnteer-tickets-17332899168

When: July 04, 2015 starting at 11am
Where: Finlay Park-930 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Greenville

Wells Fargo Red, White and Blue Festival

A barrage of colors illuminates the sky every 4th of July in downtown Greenville for the annual Wells Fargo Red, White and Blue, presented by AT&T. As one of the largest fireworks displays in South Carolina, the celebration features live music, food and a variety of family activities. A long-standing tradition, Wells Fargo Red, White & Blue represents a remarkable opportunity to support a free patriotic event that is enjoyed by the Greenville community. Sponsors have long recognized this event as a unique way to showcase their brand while enjoying hospitality and a celebration that only happens once a year. Wells Fargo Red, White and Blue presented by AT&T is Greenville’s premier 4th of July celebration, showcasing one of the state’s largest fireworks displays, sponsored by Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. The free event, scheduled for Saturday, July 4, 2015, from 5 to 10 p.m., features live music on two stages, fun-filled activities in the Zaxby’s Kidz Zone and a variety of popular food and beverage vendors. The event takes place in downtown Greenville from Court to Camperdown Streets and will encompass Broad Street, from Laurens to Falls Streets, and Falls Park.

When: 7/4/2015 from 5pm to 10:30pm

Where: City of Greenville-Downtown Greenville

 

Red, White and Bluegrass

Red, White and Bluegrass is a FREE 4th of July Celebration in downtown Fountain Inn. This event will begin at 7:00 p.m. with two bands performing: Justice Family Bluegrass Band and the Upstate Senior Band. Fireworks will begin at dark. There will be food, Italian ice and craft beer for purchase. We will have a special time to honor all veterans at this event. For more information, please visit the website: http://www.fountaininn.org/scs

When: 7/4/2015 starting at 7pm

Where: City of Fountain Inn-Commerce Park-110 Depot Street, Fountain Inn, SC 29644

Admission: Free!

 

A Night with Darryl Worley

 Honoring our heroes. Gates open at 5pm. Music starts at 6 pm.

Admission is free for military & first responders (military personnel, retired military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians). Regular admission is $20 per car (maximum 6 people per car). **Going on now!** Soldier care package campaign to collect items for local soldiers serving overseas. For more information and to get involved, see website. Collection total will be announced at the Darryl Worley concert to honor heroes on July 4th! Concert tickets on sale NOW! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: http://charterspectrumamphitheatre.com/event/a-night-with-darryl-worley/

When: 7/4/2015- Gates open at 5pm, Music at 6pm

Where: Charter Spectrum Amphitheatre-861 Southeast Main Street, Simpsonville, SC 29681

Admission: $20/car

How do you plan to celebrate? We’d love for you to share suggestions with our readers!

“A Learning Experience” In HIS Words

by:  Richard M. Kline Jr., M.D.

learning is a giftI think the biggest thing I learned was how important it is to have providers you trust when you are facing surgery. For me, this was relatively easy, as my wife worked with these people all the time, and I found them immediately likeable when I met them. But how is a lay person to know who to place their trust in? I think the initial step is selecting your surgeon. He or she should immediately look you in the eyes, really listen to everything you say, answer questions honestly, and never be afraid to say “I don’t know.” I think it can help if they have already operated on people you know (as I mentioned, this surgeon had operated on my Dad), but that’s usually not going to be the case. Once you have found a surgeon you trust, the rest should start to fall into place, because they will select the best team they can to help them take care of you. As it turned out, my surgery took longer than expected because it they couldn’t do it laparoscopically, and had to “open me up.” This bothered my surgeon, but it didn’t bother me. I had trust in my team, and felt that however it worked out, it was for the best.

 

I also noticed that, by and large, everyone I came in contact with on the day of my surgery seemed to be “tuned in” to how I was likely feeling at an unusually vulnerable time. I had previously lacked firsthand experience of the importance of that empathy to patients.

 

I think that I also gained some appreciation for how the patient can sometimes contribute to a good outcome. I think my preoperative efforts to lower my blood pressure and improve my overall fitness were helpful.  On the morning of surgery my blood pressure was normal, and I think my postoperative course might have been a little easier because I was in a little bit better shape due to the exercise.

 

And I will still prescribe to my patients those Lovenox shots, because I care about their safety – but I will do it with much more sympathy.

Hey doc how are you

Recovery daze…..

By:  Richard M. Kline Jr., M.D

 

pain scaleI woke up and wasn’t sure where I was. I thought about it a while, and finally asked. A nurse said “the recovery room.” I asked how long I had been there, and she said “30 minutes.” I asked how long the surgery took, and they said “about two hours”. I knew this was longer than was planned, but I didn’t worry about it, as I felt pretty intact. They asked what my pain was on a scale of (0-10), and I said “3.5.” She asked if I wanted some Dilaudid, or if I wanted to go back to the room without it. I said I wanted it, so they gave me 1 mg i.v. While the pain hadn’t been terrible, it was significant, and the Dilaudid did a great job of reducing it. It didn’t get rid of it completely, but it did produce a kind of “warmth” that made me not care too much about the residual pain.

I then went back to the same room I’d been in before surgery, and stayed only briefly before deciding I was ready to go home. When I got up to get dressed, I immediately got nauseous. The bubbly i.v. specialist nurse was there again, and she came over and held an alcohol wipe to my nose until the nausea went away. Then home I went, happy that it was over, and not feeling too badly.

For the first few days it hurt to get out of bed. I would lie there thinking about getting up for several minutes, planning the best way to do it, and only then proceeding. Once I was up, though, moving around wasn’t bad.

About two weeks postop, I noticed that coughing or sneezing didn’t make my incision hurt any more. I started walking on the treadmill at the gym. It hurt a little, but not bad. After that, I started to forget about the surgery.

The final installment of this 4 part series will post April 30.

The Doctor is Out…..

the doctor is outNo worries – he’s back already!  Dr. Kline shares with us his personal experience as a surgical patient and what he has learned from being on the other side of the exam table that will enhance the personal care of his own patients.

“The Doctor is Out” is part 1 of this 4 part series.  Enjoy and have a happy day! – Gail

Three weeks before my surgery, everything was fine. I felt good, a little heavier at 56 than at 26, but still hale and vigorous. Then, while operating late one afternoon, I felt a pain in my groin. “Probably just too much strenuous exercise,” I thought, and dismissed it. It didn’t go away. The next day, it was worse. I felt a bulge. DAMN. I had a hernia.

The whole concept of needing to get treatment, instead of needing to deliver it, was foreign and unsettling. For decades I’d been used to helping other people. Now, whether I liked it or not, I was potentially going to have to sit down and let others help me.

I called the same general surgeon who fixed my 86 year old Dad’s hernia last year (why did mine have to come 30 years sooner?). He told me there was no danger in watching the hernia for a while, and that if I wanted to try and lose some weight it might get better, but it was a long shot.  As it turned out, I didn’t actually have time to try and lose weight, because it started to get worse hurt towards the end of long workdays. I turned over all my long cases to my partner, and I started looking for the soonest, least disruptive time I could find to get it fixed.

I greatly respect the people I work with daily, but I didn’t want to have surgery at the hospital where I usually worked, because I wanted things to be as routine as possible for everyone. I felt that it would be much less stressful on me (and probably everyone else) if I wasn’t in an environment where I was used to giving the orders.

Fortunately for me, my wife is a surgeon, and she regularly works at a hospital I rarely visit. I thought this might be the best place to go – my wife could kind of “watch over” things, but I would not know anyone involved in my care personally.

When I visited the surgeon for my preoperative appointment, he examined me and confirmed that I did in fact have a hernia.  We discussed options, and decided to attempt a laparoscopic repair of the hernia. He advised me that it might turn out that it was too difficult to do the surgery laparoscopically, and that they might have to “open me up.” I assured him that after 20+ years of practicing surgery, I was well aware that things are not strictly predictable, and I asked him to please do whatever he felt he needed to at the time. This was the first time I started to “loosen up” a little bit, and I was actually kind of glad that it would be him, and not me, worrying about the details in surgery that day.

I also found out in his office that I had high blood pressure, for which they put me on medication. I began to limit my salt intake, and cut back on calories. Fortunately, jogging did not aggravate the hernia, so I also increased my aerobic exercise until two days before surgery. Yes, I was “in training” for this.

On the night before surgery, I went to bed early, woke at 2 a.m., and didn’t sleep the rest of the night.

(Part 2 of this series will post April 16)

 

Places to Stay Fit and Healthy in Charleston

Every city has its “go-to” places to stay fit and healthy, and Charleston is no different. In fact, because of Charleston’s charm, the places shared below go above and beyond your average gym or healthy eatery.

Health and fitness have always been an important part of our world. From the use of natural herbs to thwart illnesses, to the ancient Eastern tradition of yoga, humans have a vast history that includes thousands of ways people lived and practiced healthy living.

However, in the recent decade, health has been front and center of our culture. Some would say the growth of the Internet led to the spread of important information about staying fit and healthy. And as a result of America’s deep interest in fitness and health, dozens of new health-focused businesses — as well as already established businesses — have successfully grown here in Charleston.

We’d like to highlight those below.

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OrangeTheory Fitness

OrangeTheory Fitness applies a unique approach to working out.

According to their website, Orange Theory is:

Backed by the science of post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), our heart-rate monitored training is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours after your workout!

Their healthy living claim is they can “produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate.” And we know a lot of Charleston locals and guests would be interested in getting better results in less time.

To try this unique approach to working out, check out OrangeTheory Fitness: http://www.orangetheoryfitness.com/

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EcoFitness

EcoFitness is a locally owned and operated health club that offers:

  •  Indoor cycling
  •  Core Barre
  •  Group exercising
  •  Blue turtle yoga
  •  Personal training

When we looked at their website, we discovered they have a ton of different activities and dozens of instructors to choose from. If you’re looking for flexibility in your workouts, and want to make sure you have a trainer available to fit your schedule, EcoFitness is worth checking out.

View more about EcoFitness on their contact page: http://www.ecofitness.com/about/contact/

Alluette’s Cafe (Holistic Soul Food)<alt="Alluette’s Cafe"/>

Did you know there’s a southern food eatery in Charleston that’s both mouth-watering delicious AND healthy?

Alluette’s takes southern favorites and transforms them into healthier specialties by using natural ingredients. They also avoid frying their foods, yet they still find a way to make it just as good as the “real thing.”

Just about everything is homemade, including the ketchup and cole slaw (with no mayo). You can even finish off your meal with freshly baked vegan cookies — what a treat!

Hmm… farm fresh, vegan friendly, and tasty food. This one’s definitely staying on our list!

Find more info about Alluette’s here: http://www.alluettescafe.com/contact

Charleston Farmers Market

Last, but not least, on our list is the amazing Charleston Farmers Market. There was absolutely no way we could leave this one out.

At the Charleston Farmers Market, you’ll always find what’s in season. You can be sure to find the latest produce as well as live entertainment each Saturday at Marion Square. Come check it out!

Details and times included in the following link:

http://www.charlestonfarmersmarket.com/