An Emotional 2017 – Some of the Most Memorable Images of the Year

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2017 was a year we will never forget.? From the election of a massive underdog in U.S. politics, massacres in Las Vegas and Sutherland Falls, a season of Hurricanes that tore us down, brush fires in California that sent people evacuating to marches for justice in most major cities.? This was the year Houston got the World Series and the other team from California won the NBA title.? The year we saw the retirement of Dale Jr and lost many iconic celebrities.? This year, in many parts of the country, millions gathered to witness daytime darkness.

We compiled some of the most memorable images of the year so we can all look back and remember.

Las Vegas Massacre (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)


Howard University Cheerleaders Taking a Knee (Photo from NY Times)


Puerto Rico Hurricane Aftermath (Photo from NY Times)


Houston Astros World Series Parade (Photo by Houston Chronicle)


Changing of the Guards – A New U.S. President (Photo by BBC)


Protecting a Confederate Statue (Photo by ABC News)


California Fires (Photo from Time Magazine)


Warriors Win the Title (Photo by HoopsHype)


Dale Jr. Retires – Daytona Speedway (Photo by Hendrick Motorsports)


Water flows down Interstate 10 which has been inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Solar Eclipse (Photo credit:? Ted Hesser /


Sutherland Springs, TX Aftermath (Photo from Washington Post)


Hurricane Harvey (Photo from ABC News)


Women’s March on Washington (Photo from Curve Magazine)

Have a great 2018




Indaco: A Pasta Lover’s Dream – Charleston Feature Food Blogger: Cookin’ With Booze

Last week was my 2 year anniversary with my boyfriend, so we had to pick somewhere special for dinner. We are both pasta fanatics (idk who isn’t), so I knew that Italian was definitely the move. I have heard great reviews of Indaco from the grape vine, so I figured we should check it out. I also happened to meet one of the chefs at Indaco at the Pitmaster Throwdown, so the food from that reinforced the positive vibes I was already getting.

One major bonus of Indaco is that they actually take reservations, which I feel like is getting increasingly rare in Charleston. We were seated immediately and the service was on point. We decided to treat ourselves to some wine, which is rare because I usually don’t spend more than $5 on an entire bottle, let alone $9 for a glass. The $9 was definitely worth it because the Sauvignon Blanc we got (the cheapest wine on the menu) had a hint of peach flavor, which I really enjoyed.

We continued to treat ourselves with an appetizer and we decided on the crostini. The crostini was topped with fresh ricotta, local SC peaches, hazulnuts, honey, and fresh parsley. This crostini was the perfect way to start off the evening because it was a light and sweet treat. The fresh ricotta was creamy dreamy perfection and the local peaches were sweet and juicy.

bring on the pasta

After our crostini and wine sippin’, we had to decide on entrees. Before we got to the restaurant, Christian predicted that I would get the gnocchi (cause I always do), but I decided to branch out and try the Corn Mezzaluna. Christian decided on the Black Pepper Tagliatelle and we both made the right choice.

The Corn Mezzaluna was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in a while (bold statement, I know). When I taste dishes, I can usually think of something that would improve the dish (more salt, spice, etc), but with this dish, I couldn’t think of anything that would make it better. The sweetness of the corn was balanced by the spicy fresno chiles and although the sauce was super rich, the chiles gave it a pop of flavor. I had a bite of Christian’s Black Pepper tagliatelle and it was a rich and savory dish. If you’re looking for something comforting, that is definitely the dish to go for.

next time: Pizza

After that meal at Indaco, I will definitely be returning ASAP. We are already plotting to go back for their signature wood-fired pizzas and happy hour. Stay tuned to see where I end up next.





10 Must Have Appetizers / Snacks in Charleston, South Carolina

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By Mark A. Leon

How often is the appetizer the must indulgent part of the meal?? The savory essence of a truly amazing dining experience.? Often times, restaurants will offer up a preamble that outshines the meal, a piece of culinary heaven let us say.? There are some appetizers/snacks in the Low country that truly define the culinary arts in this foodie haven we call Charleston, SC.? We want to offer up some of the most indulgent, flavorful starters to whet your appetite.

We spoke to a number of locals and got their opinions and they were enthusiastic and ready to spill the beans on some of the best starter dishes.

This list is a keeper.? Spoiler alert, some of these items may raise your calories or cholesterol intake levels for the day.? You have been warned.

  • Hush Puppies (Corn)Harold’s Cabin: 247 Congress Street, Charleston, SC – Corn hush puppies with pepper jam.? First, this is a meal in itself.? Each large hush puppy rests perfectly in the jam and celebrates the flavor of corn mashed and fried with extreme care.? This will only set you back $5.00.
  • Oysters RockefellerOak Steakhouse: 17 Broad Street, Charleston, SC – Guests are fortunate to be able to purchase a single Oyster Rockefeller for $3.00 each.? Whether you order one or six, each order is treated with dignity and pride.? These oysters are large and robust and deserve to come with an audience.? This indulgent treat is a must to begin your dining experience at Oak.
  • Scotch EggSpero: 616 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC – Disclaimer:? This is not a regular menu item, but if you are lucky enough to be at Spero on an evening it is being offered, you will consider yourself lucky.? It is described by one local as a “perfect molten 4 minute egg inside.? It’s a feat of modern cooking”.
  • Tuna LollipopsSol Southwest Kitchen: 1101 Stockade Lane, Mount Pleasant, SC – This dish is prepared with sushi-grade tuna, panko breaded, spicy
    Lobster Mac n' Cheese - Halls Chophouse
    Lobster Mac n’ Cheese – Halls Chophouse

    ponzu, creamy ginger cilantro sauce.? A regular offered up this to say, “They melt in your mouth.? They are crunchy and yummy.? I can’t get enough.”? This starter will cost $12.00.

  • Lobster Mac n’ CheeseHalls Chophouse:? 434 King Street, Charleston, SC – This accompany side dish at $20.00 is a rich and succulent addition to any meal at Halls.? Known for fine steaks and customer service along with an award winning menu, there are no bad selections, but if you only order one add on, make it this marriage of two of the most wonderful foods in the world.
  • Fried CalamariGrill 225:? 225 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC – The lightly fried calamari is prepared with sauteed peppers, white wine and garlic.? As a very proud Charleston foodie explained, “the garlic provides the zest that sets it apart.”? This starter is $14.00
  • Sweet Potato Fries at Sesame Burgers and Beer: 3 Area Locations? – Who doesn’t love sweet potato fries?? I certainly do.? If you have the ability to prepare a mouth watering batch, you have my vote.? These soft and only slightly crunchy pairings to many of the main dishes offers unique flavoring and topped to perfection with a dusting of fresh parmesan.
  • GyozaCo: 340 King Street, Charleston, SC – The pork and ginger gyoza sided with a soy scallion sauce set the Co gyoza apart from the fine offerings of Ichiban and Basil.? When asked why, a local resident replied, “It reminds me of ravioli or stuffed pastas which I love and when dipped, the flavors pop.”? This dish will start your evening at $5.00.
  • Ceviche167 Raw:? 289 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC –? This $14.00 dish changes daily.? So that being said, how can we add it to the list of some of our favorites if it changes?? Very simple, quality of ingredients and masterful understanding of how to make a truly memorable ceviche.? Starting with the homemade chips that are lightly toasted with the thickness and texture of pita and then add some of the freshest seafood and ingredients Charleston offers and you will walk away so very happy.
  • Beet SaladMaybank Public House: 1970 Maybank Highway, James Island, SC – Fresh Roasted Beets, Warm Pecan Encrusted Goat Cheese, Harit Coverts, Arugula, Maple Vinaigrette.? This is a insatiably refreshing and zesty salad at any time of day

There are more.? So many more.? Why rattle your brain risking the potential of a bad start to your evening.? Use this list.? Use it wisely as it comes with great power to satisfy.

Bon Appetite

Gyoza - Co
Gyoza – Co


Charleston Loses One of the Kindest Human Beings and the Family Needs Your Help

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Mike Miller, a gentle father and husband, caring friend, avid Yelper, lover of life, dancer and storyteller.? A true ambassador to the goodness of life.

Click Here to Support the Family

The Story

My name is Kayce James. I have known Jackie and Mike Miller since about 2008 when I worked at the Barrier Island Environmental Education Center. Jackie took me under her wing and was like a mother to me while I worked there. I got to know Mike through Jackie, who would invite me to go to swing dance lessons with them (despite my two left feet). I have since moved from the Charleston area to Alaska, but every time I came back to visit, Jackie and Mike have been more than welcoming. They often referred to me jokingly as “their Alaskan daughter.” I feel like although I only got to see the two of them every couple of years, everytime I came back to visit, we could pick back up where we left off.

As many of you already know, Mike had a massive stroke last Friday. Things seemed hopeful for a few days, but Jackie has sent me a message saying that he will be taken off life support within the next day. I know she is devastated, as anyone would be in this situation. If you know Jackie, she is not the kind of woman who would ask for help, but the fact is that there will be many expenses that she needs to cover during these hard times. On top of everything, Jackie had two surgeries a month or two ago (on her right wrist and left hand) and the medical bills were already starting to roll in before Mike had his stroke. I am hoping that the funds raised through this site will help relieve some of the stress associated with this sad turn of events. It will also allow her to take some time for grieving before returning to work. Any donation is welcome. I know Jackie and Mike are loved by so many people.

If you have any stories on how Jackie and Mike have graced your life, please share those as well. I know my experiences with the two of them are just the tip of the iceberg.

Also know that you don’t have to go through this website to donate funds. If you see Jackie and can make a donation directly, I am sure she would be grateful. I will keep everyone as updated as I possibly can if there are any other fundraisers going on for her.

Fund Raising Details


Dear Mayor Tecklenburg, we would like our city back

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Dear Mayor Tecklenburg,

As we look back at 2017, we witnessed record tourism in the Lowcountry, rises in sales tax to 9%, restaurant tax at 10.5%, alcohol restaurant tax at 15%, rising cost of parking garages, increases in parking ticket fines, heavier traffic, road construction throughout the peninsula, continued pollution of the skyline with cranes and building development, family businesses continuing to close their doors and locals turning their heads wondering why we are letting this all happen so fast without any type of regulation or control.

The conclusion is that a select few real estate investors are making a fortune off this record setting growth while the local-residents continue to suffer. Why are we taking a backseat to tourism and opportunistic greed?

Maybe, if all this investment money was staying locally in the South, we may have some level of justification, but a tremendous amount is coming from Northern investors. There is irony there given the negative sentiment many have of Northerners moving in and infiltrating our Southern home.

For the last year, we have seen daily esthetic pollution with Lockwood continuing to be an eye sore by the Ashley Bridge, the intimate Joe Riley Stadium being overrun by a massive building development project, Upper King a continued push North with building development and gentrification and new condos/apartments all around the Cooper River Bridge. But, none of this is new to you and your administration as you have been the Mayor of record as the historic city of Charleston is being destroyed dissolving hundreds of years of simple Southern charm.

It is ok, you are not alone. Folly Beach, Mount Pleasant and West Ashley are following suit. With the new digital sign at the entrance of Folly Beach and a giant chair sponsored by Coca Cola on the pier, Whole Foods in West Ashley, Starbucks on James Island and office buildings, condos and hotels in Mount Pleasant and a parking garage at Shem Creek, it seems the end is nowhere in sight.

For those that have lived for many years in the Lowcountry with reasonable rent increases, new pressures are being felt. Older apartments and condos are starting to capitalize on this greedy focused economy, by renovating old units and raising rents to compete with the new developments and cost of living that is rising much faster than the national average.

What are we doing to solve the flooding issue that has plagued our city for generations? Any progress there or just ideas? Maybe we can get money from the Dewberry or Spectator that is getting $450 – $650 a night for a hotel room or the $250 price tag for New Year’s Eve. Maybe the parking garages that have more than doubled in prices in the last two years could provide financial assistance. Just a thought.

How do we explain the 2017 Charleston County budget? The total spent on Economic Development, Education and Health / Welfare is 26.6 Million.? All three combined is 6.9 Million less than Culture and Recreational spending (26% more). We are hurting in our classrooms with academic rankings low and teacher to student ratios becoming unmanageable and yet only 6.6 Million of 480 Million is allocated for Education. Only 16.1 Million was set aside for Health and Welfare when Charleston County has the largest medical system in the state and we have an opioid epidemic that is alarming. It seems spending is not being properly utilized.

You must feel honored knowing in two short years you have already left such a memorable legacy as Mayor of Charleston. We have witnessed the most development since the post-Civil War reconstruction and bear witness to multi-generational family businesses being closed to make way for conglomerate Real Estate Trusts and Investment tycoons.

You are leading a city known for family and tradition into an era where Charleston is becoming a Southern amusement park of high end shopping, dining, hotels and corporate logos.

We hope next year yields some significant changes and the emphasis turns from tourism to the needs of those that live and reside here.


Charleston Daily

Charleston, SC Ranks #4 for Best Mid-Sized Cities for Jobs Growth in 2018 According to New Study

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New Geography ranks Charleston, South Carolina #4 among mid-sized cities for Best Cities for Jobs Growth in 2018 moving up 3 ranking points from last years study


The methodology for our 2017 ranking,?which seeks to measure the robustness of metro areas’ growth both recently and over time, largely corresponds to that used in previous years. The ranking is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “state and area” unadjusted employment data reported from November 2005 to January 2017.

The data reflect the North American Industry Classification System categories, including total non-farm employment, manufacturing, financial services, business and professional services, educational and health services, information, retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality, and government.

We used five measures of growth to rank MSAs over the past 10 years. “Large” areas include those with a current non-farm employment base of at least 450,000 jobs. “Midsize” areas range from 150,000 to 450,000 jobs. “Small” areas have as many as 150,000 jobs. The total number of MSAs included in this year’s rankings is 421.

The index is calculated from a normalized, weighted summary of: 1) recent growth trend: the current and prior year’s employment growth rates, with the current year emphasized (two points); 2) mid-term growth: the average annual 2011-2016 growth rate (two points); 3) long-term momentum: the sum of the 2011-2016 and 2005-2010 employment growth rates multiplied by the ratio of the 2005-2010 growth rate over the 2011-2016 growth rate (one point); 4) current year growth (one point); and 5) the average of each year’s growth rate, normalized annually, for the last 10 years (two points).? The goal of our methodology is to capture a snapshot of the present and prospective employment outlook in each MSA, and these revisions allow the reader to have a better sense of the employment climate in each.

Complete list of Top 98 cities

GALLERY: Quietest Day in Charleston, SC: Christmas Day

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Ask any resident what the quietest day on the peninsula is and most, if not all, will say Christmas. If you live here, it feels like Will Smith in “I Am Legend” or Tom Cruise at the beginning of “Vanilla Sky”. It is also a magical time, when you can admire the architecture, walk the middle of the streets and take in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, the crown jewel of the South.

Come with us as we take you on a photo gallery ride through the quiet streets of Charleston, SC on Christmas Day 2017.

Christmas Day – Charleston, South Carolina










Even the Charleston Harbor was empty….

Merry Christmas Charleston and everyone around the world.




December 25th – This Day in History

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Not only is today Christmas, but it is a significant day in world history.? From film to birthdays to world events, this day holds special meaning.

Here are some of the most significant things that happened on December 25th, throughout history

This Day, December 25th


  • 20 Years Ago Today, December 25, 1997, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Deniro that even fake war can seem real with the theatrical release of “Wag the Dog”
  • December 25, 1963 Walt Disney’s “The Sword in the Stone” is released
  • 55 Years Ago Today, December 25, 1962 “To Kill a Mockingbird”, a film adaptation of the novel by Harper Lee, directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck, is released (Gregory Peck – Best Actor Academy Awards 1963)
  • December 25, 1973 “The Sting” directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford premieres in Los Angeles and New York (Best Picture 1974)
  • December 25, 2013 “The Wolf of Wall Street”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, is released


  • 375 Years Ago Today, December 25, 1642, Sir Isaac Newton was born
  • 99 Years Ago Today, December 25, 1918, Former Egyptian Leader Anwar Sadat was born
  • Today would mark the 196th birthday of Clara Barton, Founder of the American Red Cross born December 25, 1821 in New Oxford, Massachusetts
  • Believe it or Not, Robert Ripley was born December 25, 1890
  • “Here’s Lookin’ at You Kid” – Humphrey Bogart born December 25, 1899
  • You have not entered the “Twilight Zone”, but Rod Serling, writer and host was born December 25, 1924
  • Come Monday, it’ll be alright…. Jimmy Buffett is celebrating 71 years today, born December 25, 1946
  • Don’t mess with Carrie…. Sissy Spacek celebrates 68 years, born December 25, 1949
  • Don’t blink or he will steal your base – Baseball legend and stolen base leader Rickey Henderson was born on December 25, 1958
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turns 46 today (December 25, 1971)


  • 40 years ago today, we said goodbye to Silent Film pioneer Charlie Chaplin who died on December 25, 1977
  • On December 25, 1989, we tragically lost Baseball great Billy Martin at age 61
  • On December 25, 1995, Dean Martin gave his last bow at age 78
  • It was 11 years ago today, December 25, 2006, we said farewell to the great James Brown
  • 1 Year ago, George Michael left this Earth, December 25, 2016

Historic Events

  • December 25, 1741 Astronomer Anders Celsius introduces Centigrade temperature scale
  • December 25, 1776 George Washington crosses Delaware, surprises and defeats 1,400 Hessians
  • December 25, 1831 Louisiana & Arkansas are first states to observe Christmas as holiday
  • December 25, 1868 Despite bitter opposition, US President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all persons involved in Southern rebellion (Civil War)
  • December 25, 1926 Prince-regent Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan (1926-1989) upon the death of his father Yoshihito
  • December 25, 1977 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Egypt
  • December 25, 1990 The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web
  • December 25, 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev formally resigns as President of USSR in a televised speech
  • December 25, 1999 Comedian Jerry Seinfeld (45) marries PR executive Jessica Sklar (28)

Enjoy this little Christmas Day HIstory Lesson

Charleston Affirmations – Quotes and Photos Inspired by our home

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“With the love of Southern soil, a tree becomes a symbol of beauty and a foundation of strength”

“In a world surrounded by hate, sometimes love has a way of creeping up on you and lighting your darkness”

“Take a moment to be thankful for our home, the people and the love we share”

“Find inspiration in the embrace of a neighbor; find comfort in choosing peace; find faith in the sun and the stars and always remember your Southern home”

“Let hope guide you; let persistence and motivation take you to the finish line”

“Charleston, where moments take your breath away”

“Charleston taught us to trust the soul of a person; not the color of their skin”

“Live with passion; act with promise; dream without limits; succeed without compromise.? You will define your path”

“Aim high.? Dream for the clouds.? Never limit the realm of possibility”

“The human spirit is blessed with the exceptional power to meet adversity with the greatest strength on Earth; love”

“Let yourself be swept away by the cool breeze of the ocean; the radiance of the sun.? Let the sand sprinkle your toes for paradise is found”

“Where will the day take you?? Life’s greatest journeys begin with the courage to take one step”

My Charleston Home – Original Poem



Benefitfocus Wins Gold in the 2017 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards in Technology

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CHARLESTON, S.C., Dec. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), a leading provider of cloud-based benefits management software, today announced the BENEFITFOCUS? Marketplace won a Brandon Hall Group gold medal award for the Best Advance in Compensation and Benefits and/or Payroll Administration category. More than 903 large employers currently use Benefitfocus Marketplace, which Benefitfocus updated this year to include more sophisticated analytics, algorithms and cost estimator tools for improved insight into benefit costs and usage.

“We’re at a juncture where designing a more creative benefits program that manages cost while providing for an increasingly diverse, multi-generational workforce – and each person’s unique situation and needs – is more important than ever,” said Ray August, President & COO, Benefitfocus. “We are thrilled to be recognized by Brandon Hall for our data-driven tools that give employers and employees better insight into their benefits options.”

A panel of independent senior industry experts and?Brandon Hall Group?senior analysts and executives evaluated the entries based the product’s breakthrough innovations, unique differentiators, value proposition and measurable results and benefits for customers.

“Human capital management is evolving faster than at any time in its history, and it is powered by innovative technology developed and implemented by organizations big and small,” said Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program. “The technology innovators who won Excellence Awards this year were focused on providing users with a better overall experience. That is what our research says employers want, and our award winners are leading the way.”

Mike Cooke, Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group, said, “Our technology award winners are truly outstanding and set a high bar for others. We have learned a great deal from what they have accomplished. The awards programs supplement our quantitative research in providing our team with unique insights to share with our members and clients.”

Learn more about Benefitfocus’ solutions at

About Benefitfocus

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ: BNFT) provides a leading cloud-based benefits management platform that simplifies how organizations and individuals shop for, enroll in, manage and exchange benefits.? Every day leading employers, insurance companies and the consumers they serve rely on our platform to manage, scale and exchange benefits data seamlessly.?In an increasingly complex benefits landscape, we bring order to chaos so our clients and their employees have access to better information, make better decisions and lead better lives. Learn more at, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results or performance might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: the need to innovate and provide useful products and services; changes in government regulations; our ability to compete effectively; the immature and volatile nature of the market for our products and services and other factors that could impact our anticipated growth; management of growth; fluctuations in our financial results; general economic risks; reliance on key personnel; our ability to maintain our culture and recruit and retain qualified personnel; privacy, security and other risks associated with our business; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in our SEC filings, copies of which are available free of charge within the Investor Relations section of the Benefitfocus website at upon request from our investor relations department. Benefitfocus assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.