Do you find yourself standing in the kitchen singing “Packin’ the Lunchbox Blues” — and the school year hasn’t even started yet? Lunchboxes might do things these days they never did before — like light up and emit sounds, — but they still don’t pack themselves. The predictable meal of a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich, mozzarella stick, juice box and yogurt becomes quite unappealing to young children after a while, like going to a restaurant where the menu never changes. For most of us, the most exciting part about opening our lunchboxes every day was discovering what Mom or Dad had packed for dessert — not the processed cheese sandwich. Trading away lunch was a common pastime in the cafeteria.

Here in the Lowcountry, there can be a false sense of “we know what we’re doing” when it comes to the sun. Most of us know the acronyms UVA, UVB, SPF and the times we’re supposed to avoid the sun’s harshest rays. We live here after all, on this picturesque island situated at 32 degrees north of the equator. Some of us even realize we’re at the same latitude as beautiful Bermuda and toasty Tucson, Arizona.

So why, despite daily UV Index warnings and countless sunscreen options available to us, do we have such a high rate of skin cancer? In statistics released by the federal Environmental Protection Agency several years ago, Beaufort County had the highest rate of new melanoma diagnoses in the state and ranked among the highest 4 percent of counties nationwide.

Whether you’re hitting one of our Island’s award winning beaches, cruising our waterways or sitting pretty poolside, stock up on summer essentials made with all natural ingredients like peppermint oil with these simple DIY recipes.

Confidence boosters

CONFIDENCE — that feeling of self-assurance that comes from within—helps us weather all that life brings. Confidence tells us we can cope with what's going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy.

A person’s level of self-confidence is revealed in behavior, body language, tone of voice and more. Feeling good about how we look is only one component of self-confidence, but studies shows that people who are satisfied with their personal appearance are more willing to take personal and professional risks.

Walter Wilkins was standing on a beach in Maui when he discovered stand up paddle boarding (SUP). “I watched Laird Hamilton in his backyard break and, needless to say, it was pretty cool. The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘This [sport] is how I can spend more time on the water.’” Since then Wilkins, a lifelong Hilton Head resident and water enthusiast, has tried just about every incarnation of SUP—from fishing to fitness.


An old pair of blue jeans and two cherished shirts have been given new life and will now serve as keepsakes for a grieving family in the Lowcountry.

eye diseases

As the U.S. population ages, the number of Americans with major eye diseases is increasing, and vision loss is becoming a major public health problem, according to the National Eye Institute.

By the year 2020, the number of people who are blind or have low vision is projected to increase substantially, according to the Archives of Ophthalmology. Blindness or low vision affects 3.3 million Americans age 40 and over, or one in 28, according to study authors. This figure is projected to reach 5.5 million by the year 2020.

RunningRunning for even five to 10 minutes a day, once or twice a week, or at slow speeds was associated with substantial mortality benefits over 15 years, a prospective study showed.

Runners overall had 30% and 45% lower adjusted risks of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, respectively, over that period and had three years longer life expectancy compared with non-runners, Duckchul Lee, PhD of Iowa State University found.

According to the History Channel, “historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.” Apparently, “people who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to Jan. 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.” In honor of all those poor souls who endured “having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as ‘poisson d’avril’ (April fish),” let’s debunk some of the most common fitness myths. To help us with this timely task, fitness guru Laura Fromdahl of TriStrong Coaching shares her wellness wisdom.

Palmetto Heart Walk

One person dies of cardiovascular disease every 39 seconds. That’s 2,200 people each day in the U.S.  

To raise funds and awareness to fight cardiovascular disease, the Charleston & Coastal South Carolina Chapter of the American Heart Association will hold the Palmetto Heart Walk on April 29 at Shelter Cove Community Park on Hilton Head Island. The event has a 1-mile loop and a 5K option. More than 800 attendees are expected this year, said Jennifer Waites, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association.