7 Quick Ways to Prep Your Kitchen for Thanksgiving Day

Are you getting ready for a busy day of cooking tomorrow? Instead of running around like a turkey on Thanksgiving Day, take a little bit of time to prep your kitchen and dining area the day before. Here are our best tips on preparing your kitchen for Thanksgiving the day before. Some of this might seem a little bit tedious, but we promise you’ll be glad you took the time to prepare the little things in advance.


1. Finalize your menu and take stock of ingredients. Hopefully all your shopping is done by now, but do a quick sweep through the kitchen to make sure nothing got left off your list. It’ll save you that infamous last-minute trip to the store in the morning.

2. Plan for leftovers. If you haven’t thought about storage for all the yummy leftovers, you might want to think about running out and grabbing some disposable containers. This will make it easy to box up extra turkey and other delicious sides for guests to take home.

3. Clean out the fridge and freezer. You’re going to need room for the aforementioned leftovers, and there will undoubtedly be a few dishes or drinks that need to chill before serving. It won’t do to have last week’s casserole and that spoiled carton of milk taking up valuable real estate in the fridge!

4. Clear all countertops. Make sure there’s enough room for prep work and completed dishes.

5. Organize your tools. This might not seem like a huge timesaver, but setting out your mixing bowls and spoons in designated areas the night before can save you a little bit of time digging through cupboards in the morning.

6. Prep serving dishes and silverware. Make sure everything’s clean, polished, and ready to go.

7. Set the table. You’ll thank yourself for getting this out of the way. Set out decorations, dishes, and place cards if you’re using them, or if you prefer to go buffet style, make sure there’s a planned place for everything.

Friday Five // November 20th, 2015

We’re back with the Friday Five, where we bring you five fun things to do throughout the Lowcountry over the weekend. Enjoy an outdoor movie in Santa’s Village, shuck some oysters, see Mickey and Minnie Mouse on ice skates, and more! Click the links for more information on each event.


11th Annual Palmetto Society Oyster Roast

What: Enjoy yummy oysters and live music at the Charleston Visitor Center Bus Shed Friday evening. Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door and include all food, beer, and wine.

When: Friday, November 20th  7pm-11pm

Where: Charleston Visitor’s Center Bus Shed (375 Meeting Street)


Outdoor Movie Night at Santa’s Village

What: Driving through the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park is one of our most favorite traditions for the holiday season. We’re especially looking forward to outdoor movie night when we stop at Santa’s Village. This week’s movie is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and it will be shown continuously from 6pm onward.

When: Friday, November 20th, 6pm

Where: James Island County Park Holiday Festival of Lights


Buy Local Block Party

What: Lowcountry Local First presents the Buy Local Block Party on Saturday from 11am until 5pm. The event will highlight locally owned independent businesses with live music, local artists, indie retailers, film, and of course local food, beverages, and a beer garden. Get your Christmas shopping done early and support local businesses!

When: Saturday, November 21st, 11am-5pm

Where: Lowcountry Local First (1630 Meeting Street Rd.)


Tinsel Trot Holiday Fun Run

What: This two-mile fun run provides a “sneaker preview” of the Celebrate the Seasons Holiday Driving Tour at Old Santee Canal Park in Moncks Corner. This event is family friendly and features a guest appearance from Santa Claus, glow necklaces for all participants, and more. Children’s activities and food will be offered, and costumes are encouraged.

When: Saturday, November 21st, 5:30pm-8pm

Where: Old Santee Canal Park


Disney on Ice Presents “Let’s Celebrate”

What: Make an ordinary day extraordinary! Celebrate with more than 50 characters from 16 Disney stories live on ice. Choose from multiple showings all weekend long.

When: Multiple showings daily through November 22nd

Where: North Charleston Coliseum

4 Ways to Save for a Down Payment

If you’ve been putting off buying a home because you don’t think you can afford a down payment, it’s time to think again. There are loan options out there that don’t require any down payment at all, but it’s a good idea to start saving as soon as possible just in case. Advice like brown-bagging it for lunch is common, but here’s how to save big bucks and get that twenty percent saved up sooner.


  1. Slash big expenses. While it’s all well and good to cut back in areas like food and entertainment, going after the big expenses will really help you save. If you live alone, consider getting a roommate and putting away the money you save on rent. If getting a roommate’s not in the cards, look into downsizing on rent. A smaller place with cheaper rent should be fine for the meantime and will really pay off in the long run.

  2. Set up an auto-draft for savings. It’s much easier to save money when you don’t see it leaving your bank account. Check with your boss or payroll department and see if a portion of your paycheck can be deposited directly into a separate savings account.

  3. Cut back on retirement savings...temporarily! Reduce the amount you contribute to your retirement savings each month and stash some of that money in a separate savings account for homebuying expenses. Once you’ve got your down payment saved up, you can always readjust your monthly contribution.

  4. Ask for help. If all else fails, look to gift funds. Through websites like GoFundMe, would-be homeowners can set up an account for friends and family to send money to. This is a great idea for an engaged or newlywed couple in lieu of wedding gifts.

Charleston Among Business-Friendly Cities For Youngsters Starting Up

If you're a young entrepreneur looking to start a business, you can't do much better than Charleston, according to an annual survey.

Thumbtack, a company that helps pair independent contractors with businesses and individuals that need work, surveyed what they termed "Generation Startup." Thumbtack said one-quarter of younger workers are self-employed, and millenials launch more than 150,000 startups per month.

All those startups need a place to start up, so Thumbtack asked where they like doing business, and Charleston hit the list. The Thumbtackers said the survey measures how millennials see government working best and on their behalf.

"Based on survey responses from 18,000 small-business owners nationwide, we asked questions about the friendliness of local tax laws, licensing rules and the regulatory environment, and we try to get a sense of what they see as the opportunities for training and networking in their area," the company said in a news release.



1. Birmingham, Alabama

2. Boise, Idaho

3. Boulder, Colorado

4. Nashville, Tennessee

5. Manchester, New Hampshire

6. Charleston, South Carolina

7. Knoxville, Tennessee

8. Austin, Texas

9. Durham, North Carolina

10. Richmond, Virginia

700-Acre Industrial Park Planned Near Ravenel

A large land developer is looking to build a 700-acre industrial park in the western portion of Charleston County and possibly follow up with a 2,000-acre mixed-use development.


WestRock Land and Development - which was known as MWV Community Development and Land Management until MWV merged with RockTenn Co. to create WestRock Co. earlier this summer - has been working for almost nine years on a vision plan for the 72,000 acres of land it owns in the East Edisto area of Charleston and Dorchester counties.

After hosting more than two dozen public meetings, the company decided to preserve 75% of the area as permanently rural by enforcing density restrictions, according to Ken Seeger, president of WestRock Land and Development. The first phase of the development in Dorchester County is called Summers Corner, and construction is underway already.

But the next phase, in Charleston County, is just getting started.

"There's a very limited area of potential development in Charleston County along Highway 17 and adjacent to the towns of Ravenel and Hollywood. That limited development area down there is what we call Spring Grove," Seeger said.

WestRock plans to permanently derestrict about 27,500 acres in Charleston County to low or rural densities. Seegers said rural densities could mean no more than one home per 200 acres, 50 acres or 25 acres depending on location.

"It still has use as recreational property or as agricultural property for growing timber," he said.

The property, which was owned by MWV and now WestRock for almost 100 years, is mostly being used to harvest timber. It was originally purchased to supply trees and fiber for MWV's  paper mill plant in North Charleston, which is now owned by KapStone.

About 3,500 acres of the timber property is scheduled for what Seeger called "cluster development." He said 700 of those acres are slated for an economic development area or industrial park to create jobs for people who live in that part of the county.

"We're working with the economic development folks at the state and the county. Many times it's a competitive bid situation," Seeger said. "Once the zoning has been approved, which we hope will be later this year, we'll be in a position to have zoned, industrial land that can be used for economic development."

The industrial park will likely be built along the existing CSX rail line adjacent to the town of Ravenel. The company will begin planning phase one of the park immediately after Charleston County approves rezoning the area for industrial development and agrees to a proposed development agreement.

A special planning commission meeting will be help September 28, and a public hearing will take place the following day. Charleston County Council will likely review the proposed Spring Grove development in October and November.

"How fast that (industrial park) will move forward will depend upon a number of prospects that the county and the state and we are able to find," Seeger.

In addition to the industrial park, WestRock is planning to keep about 800 acres wetlands and build a mixed-use development on the remaining 2,000 acres. It will likely include retail, commercial and residential space similar to what is being built at Summers Corner, Seeger said. It could take 50 years to build out.

"As far as the residential and mixed-use, I think that will be market-driven. We don't have immediate plans to start construction of that part of the project," he said. "I would say it's more likely to be in the three-to-six-year range before we would start anything, and I think a lot of it will literally depend on whether we think the market is ready for it."




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