July 12, 2017

All Wrapped Up For The Holidays

We are working diligently on our Stephen T and Vikki Lee show… A bigger undertaking than we originally thought. We did get this clip edited in time to wish everyone an awesome holiday season. Be sure to watch all the way to the end… because I sing!!! (not a good thing) It really is a testament to one stepping out of their comfort zone for a laugh! Thanks Stephen T.

All Wrapped Up for the Holidays SS from Stephen Spurling on Vimeo.

The Tale of a Cocktail

Southern Smarts loves a good drink and a good story. We don’t know if there is a better combination of the two than a Midnight Moon cocktail, and the tale of its owner Junior Johnson. Johnson is the father of NASCAR, and was recently inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. Midnight Moon is a Johnson family recipe of perfected homemade moonshine, infused with your choice of seven different fruits.

For those of you who might have dabbled in NASCAR, and watched today’s stars race around a fancy track and enjoy all the glitz and glitter of today’s sports celebrities, it may intrigue you to know that NASCAR roots are in bootlegging. Junior Johnson and his family made moonshine to subsidize their farm, and a fast car outran a lawman every time. Junior began running liquor for the family at the age of 14, and tweaked his cars to keep him out of trouble. That didn’t always work, but it was the birth of racing and chasing.

We hope you click the link below for more details.  If you choose, try one of their recipe suggestions.  Do not sip before you explore the history.  You can then enjoy a delicious cocktail, and the taste of this intriguing  adventure.

http://www.juniorsmidnightmoon.com/

 

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A Conversation with Southern Smarts

Southern Smarts loves sharing our lifestyle ideas and experiences with our growing group of readers. Technology gives us a wonderful way to mass connect, and we are very excited about utilizing Southernsmarts TV to introduce you to the personality that is intent on bridging old-fashioned conversation and technology. We want this outreach to make you our follower and our friend.  Today is our first filming, and we hope you enjoy the evolving journey!

With: Stephen Tee and Vikki Lee

Karen Mosteller, Cinematographer/Producer. SouthernSmarts.com

 

Someone’s Junk Is Somebody Elses Treasure…

We have heard this saying a thousand times before, and that’s because it is so true! I have found many treasures that people have put out at the curb as a “give away” or worse as a “throw away”. Many times these items need a makeover that is beyond the owners capabilities or desires. I am a reconditioning fool, so finding someone’s else junk can be a fun and challenging to makeover. I can’t always use what I find, but I will always have reconditioned it to give away to someone else. It feels good to save or pass on a found ” treasure”! It’s value continues to exist! So the next time you see someones junk at the curb, remember it could be a treasure, and you better find it before me! Stephen Spurling

 

EcoSmart. Organic Insecticide

Here at Southernsmarts.com we are always on the look out for new products that are good for our environment and safe for our furry friends. Upon a trip to my local Lowes store, we found yet another product we would like to introduce you to.

EcoSmart Organic Insecticide. Now there is an organic insecticide that is safe around children and pets and will not harm the environment. EcoSmart Organic Mosquito fogger is made form a patented blend of organic plant oils. It kills fast and repels mosquitos and other pesky flying insects for hours, without any synthetic toxins or harmful residue. Its safe. Its effective. Its smart. Naturally

The fresh natural pleasant scent signals it’s working.

Upon using this product ourselves here at Southernsmarts.com we found it to be all it stated to be. Plus the scent was very pleasing and lingered for up to 8 hours.

Thanks for visiting and y’all come back now. You hear.

Steven J. Chaberek

 

Make your Hat your Own.

I think a hat on your head can take life into many different directions. It can change your course. Think of being presented with a college football helmet, a major league baseball cap, a beauty queen tiara, a British fascinator, or even a crown. Even a sun hat may mean a day at the beach, or fun in the sun, and that is a good thing. Our friends at haTZ of Mt. Pleasant, in Charleston, South Carolina get this. Their hats can make a statement for any event, and a great gift for yourself.  They have taken traditional headwear, and personalized it southern style. haTZ of Mt. Pleasant understands the magic that a little something on your head can hold.

 

Zoe and Theresa can customize any hat for your events, special occasions, or gifts. You can contact them at 843-478-7209, or 843-532-2354, You can also message them on their Facebook page, and enjoy more of their selections.

Andi Bartruff/Contributing writer and editor

 

 

 

A GREAT Local Artist and Friend

     

Rob grew up in Waynesboro, VA where he learned to love the outdoors. He attended and graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 1985 with a degree in Visual Communications.

After college, Rob moved to Charlotte, NC and worked for several advertising agencies before joining one of the nations largest banking companies – eventually earned a creative director’s position. His career with the bank spanned 13 years, 3 corporate name changes and countless mergers.
Today, Rob makes his home in Charlotte, NC with his wife Heather, his children Morgan, John and their golden retrievers, Annie and Sophie.
If you don’t find him in the garden planting something colorful or on the lake fishing, he’s probably in his studio trying to put images to paper or canvas.

Where can you see more?
To view additional work, visit The Sleepy Poet where I maintain a permanent display.
 The Sleepy Poet was originally in Charlotte’s Southend but in March of 2008 moved to a larger location at 4450 South Blvd, near Woodlawn Rd. Along with my paintings, I have a large selection of bookends, books and furniture dating from the late 1800’s to mid-1900’s. If you have a day to spend looking for vintage or antique items this is the place to start. Look for me on isle 9 or ask someone at the front desk for assistance locating vendor BWD.           bluewater-design.com
    

5 Low Cost Kitchen Redos.

The kitchen is the focal point in many homes. And it’s one of the features, should you decide to ever sell, that potential buyers compare most closely when they are shopping for a home. Here are cost estimates for some low-cost kitchen upgrades that can give you a  real “POP” without breaking the bank.

1. Hardware

replacing cabinet hardware such as handles, knobs, and hinges is a quick, DIY way to enhance kitchen space. According to houselogic.com, an average kitchen is 200 sq feet with 30 linear feet of cabinetry,which equates to about 40 handles and knobs. averaging between $2.00 and $20.00 per knob or pull, a homeowner can expect to spend between $80.00 to $800.00 for this enhancement.

2. Faucet

There are a myriad options today in terms of height, spouts, pullout hoses and folding necks, with quality faucets starting at around $200.00.

3. Lighting

Adding an LED under-cabinet light can have a dramatic effect for around $40.00

4. Organization

Practical storage in the kitchen will go a long way. Over the door hooks, baskets in the Pantry, drawer organizers, wall hooks for pots and pans and stackable shelves for cabinets will add appeal, typically for less thank $100.00. Make your kitchen appear cook friendly.

5. Countertops

Laminate can mimic the contemporary look of granite at a significant discount. The cost for the average kitchen with 30 linear feet of laminate countertops is roughly $1575; the same space in granite would be about $2400.00

A Small Kitchen With A Big Bang!

 This small kitchen was turned into a dream kitchen without adding any square footage. So when working with limited space, does size really matter? No. What matters is how you design the space you have for your needs and what pizzazz you can create. Remember pizzazz fits in any space!  The most precious commodity in a small kitchen is the counter top space. This kitchen was designed with a built-in microwave cabinet below the counter top and an oversized single farm sink that holds large platters, both saving countertop space. The great contemporary/ traditional chandelier anchors the kitchen with “stand out” design. During the renovation we actually found an orignal plastered archway over the sink that had been hidden from  a previous renovation… Why???  I was so excited to find this original archway as it’s true architecture for the age of the house. What a classy design in a small space that works for the homeowner and the chandelier is the real icing on the cake! Stephen Spurling

Lean times call for a budget when it comes to Home Maintenance!

I am always on the hunt for articles and additional information to provide our readers that they may find helpful. This article from Money Magazine jumped off the page and I sure hope you all find it both helpful and informative.

(MONEY Magazine) — Lean times call for budgetary triage. But while you should clearly opt for orthodontics before Disneyland, the choice is tougher when it comes to home maintenance.

Should you get a paint job or a new furnace? “There’s no homeowner’s manual that tells you when to do what,” says Naperville, Ill., home inspector and structural engineer Mark Waldman

Emergencies aside, the project that could cause the most damage and expense if left unfixed is the priority. Below, the order in which to tackle your biggest repair needs.

1. Electrical system

Wiring problems claim the No. 1 spot for good reason: They can lead to fires and electrocution. “That trumps everything,” says Waldman.

Danger signs: Circuit breakers that trip frequently, lights that dim when you turn on the vacuum or outlets that are loose, hot, or accept only two-prong plugs.

How to check: Spend $300 to $500 for a licensed electrician to open up your main panel to look for trouble and to tighten any loose connections. He’ll also spot-check switches, outlets and light fixtures to ensure that the wiring is in safe working order

Replacement cost: $4,000 to $10,000 to rewire the house.

Prolong its life: Flip every circuit breaker off and on again once a year to prevent corrosion. Add new circuits ($100 to $500 each) to take the heaviest electrical loads, like window air conditioners, off the old wires.

2. Basement

Structural problems downstairs mean shifting and cracking upstairs — at the very least — so there’s little point in doing other repairs until you’ve fixed the building’s foundation.

Danger signs: Bowed or split beams, rotted posts, piles of sawdust (evidence of wood-boring insects), tiny mud trails (indications of termites), or large cracks in the masonry foundation — especially if the cracks are horizontal, which tends to indicate a bigger problem.

How to check: A contractor will usually take a look free of charge. If he recommends significant repairs, hire a home inspection engineer (find one at nabie.org) to investigate ($350 to $500).

Replacement cost: Major foundation work can cost $3,500 to $8,000; new posts or beams could run $1,200 to $2,500.

Prolong its life: Water is the cause of cracked concrete, rotten timbers and wood-eating pests. So keep your basement dry by making sure the landscape slopes away from the house and maintaining the next two items on the list: the roof and gutters.

3. Roof

Water leaking into your home from above can lead to a host of pricey problems: rot, insects, electrical shorts and mold.

Danger signs: Dampness or stains on ceilings; curling, missing, or broken shingles; smooth spots where the granules have worn away; green algae growth.

How to check: Have a roofer inspect your home. This is typically free, but the pro, of course, is looking for business. So check the company’s reputation at angieslist.com ($5 a month).

Replacement cost: $5,000 to $15,000

Prolong its life: Prune tree limbs so they’re at least 10 feet from the roof to keep squirrels away and to let moisture evaporate quickly after storms. If shingles blow off, replace them immediately, and repair small leaks promptly.

4. Gutters

Your gutters are just as important as the roof. The only reason they’re lower on this list is that if you replace gutters first, they’re likely to get damaged when you reroof later. So if you need a roof too, it’s better to wait — or do both projects at the same time.

Danger signs: Dented or disconnected gutters, pooled water around your home’s foundation, or basement flooding near the downspouts.

How to check: Head outside during a rainstorm and watch the gutters in action, says Caitlin Corkins, stewardship manager for Historic New England, which maintains dozens of historic properties. “The best time to see clogs and overflows is when the system is working,” she says.

Replacement cost: $1,500 to $3,000

Prolong its life: Hire a gutter company to clean, check, and repair your gutters ($100 to $200) at least once a year — two or three times if you’re in a wooded area. And have someone clear the eaves of deep snow to prevent icing, which can split open gutters or rip them right off the house.

5. Exterior walls

“People think paint is just a decorative element, so they let it go,” says Robert Niemeyer, a Winston-Salem, N.C., handyman, contractor, and electrician. But without a weather-tight seal, water can infiltrate the siding, causing rot.

and attracting wood-damaging insects. Still, leaks from a vertical surface generally aren’t as quick or lethal as ones from a roof and gutter.

Danger signs: Paint that’s peeling, cracking or blistering

Replacement cost: $4,000 to $10,000; make sure the painters replace loose putty around the window glass and caulking gaps around molding

Prolong its life: Hire a pro to do touchups every year. Trim foliage so it’s at least a foot from the house, and kill any mildew growth with a bleach-and-water solution.

6. Aging equipment

An old heating or cooling system is costly to operate — and the risk of a breakdown increases with age. But as long as your old furnace, boiler, or AC is operating safely, there’s no rush to upgrade.

Danger signs: The system cycles on and off frequently to hold your thermostat setting; you spot corrosion on the vent pipe; the natural-gas flames are yellow or orange instead of pure blue.

How to check: Get a repair estimate: if it’s more than a third of the replacement cost, spring for a new machine, says Indianapolis plumber Larry Howald.

Replacement cost: Typically $2,000 to $4,000 for a furnace (forced air); $4,000 to $8,000 for a boiler (hot water); $1,000 to $3,000 for a water heater; $6,000 to $10,000 for an air conditioner.

Prolong its life: Have your systems cleaned and tuned annually, including flushing the water heater to remove sludge, replacing all filters and lubricating any pumps

Replacement cost: Typically $2,000 to $4,000 for a furnace (forced air); $4,000 to $8,000 for a boiler (hot water); $1,000 to $3,000 for a water heater; $6,000 to $10,000 for an air conditioner.

Prolong its life: Have your systems cleaned and tuned annually, including flushing the water heater to remove sludge, replacing all filters and lubricating any pumps.

Hope you found this informative. Best! Steven C