Grill Charms made in Charleston, SC

   Leslie Haywood is Founder and President of Charleston based Charmed Life Products, LLC, and the inventor of Grill Charms™.   She was a stay-at-home to two daughters until April of 2006 when a very spicy light bulb moment during a dinner party in her West Ashley home moment thrust her into the entrepreneurial ring.  Despite a diagnosis of breast cancer in June 2006 and a bilateral mastectomy in August 2006, she launched her product Grill Charms™ November of the following year.  Since the debut of Grill Charms™, she has garnered national media attention from shows like CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, and ABC's reality TV show "Shark Tank" as well as publications such as Everyday with Rachael Ray, Parenting Magazine, Inc Magazine, Health Magazine, Inventors Digest and many more.

   Grill Charms™ offer an entirely new concept in outdoor entertaining. Grill Charms™ are dime-sized solid stainless steel charms that are placed in food BEFORE grilling.  The serrated stem holds the charm in securely while flipping, moving and grilling food like the Grill Master normally does. Grill Charm™ food prior to cooking to distinguish spices and flavors, steak temperatures, or to avoid health or allergy issues. They stay in before, during and after grilling so when dinner comes to the table, simply look for your Grill Charm™, and everyone knows which one is theirs.  There are four "hot" collections to choose from and they make the perfect gift for just about any occasion. 

      Charleston business, Grill Charms can be purchased at  for $19.95 or at any of these fine retailers:   

Entasis Illusion

     The beauty of Charleston can offer a challenge to the eye of the beholder in Hiberian Hall in Charleston, SCsome of the city’s most historic landmarks. A number of the grand facades on the peninsula, such as the 1825 portico at South Carolina Society Hall, feature an ancient architectural illusion called entasis.
     This barely-noticeable feature entails a tapering decrease in circumference of portico columns at from bottom to top. It was first used by ancient Greeks to on their towering temples to compensate for a linear distance in perception that naturally tricks the eye. If columns are the same breadth all the way up, the width ratio appears concave from eye-level, and the solution is to reverse the image by making the column convex. 
     The word entasis comes from Greek, meaning “to stretch tight”. The concept was perpetrated in the designs of Andrea Palladio, whose work inspired the Classic, Roman and Greek architecture that is evident throughout Charleston today. Even the Rolls Royce company got in the entasis act by the 20th century, adding the illusion to grills on the front of its cars to give the frame a more substantial look.
     Most of the larger columns on Charleston’s historic buildings are made of brick, and covered with stucco, offering bricklayers a challenge in building courses and bonding with a taper that nevertheless had to hold up massive pediments. Several, such as the columns of Hibernian Hall, had to be rebuilt after the earthquake of 1886. 

Brookgreen Gardens

     Less than two hours drive north from Charleston, Brookgreen Gardens offers a remarkable day trip filled with visual splendor. The 9200-acre tract is a famed sculpture garden and natural habitat, boasting elegant metallic and stone figures that accentuate lush botanical backgrounds.

     Created from a group of former rice plantations by the Huntington family in 1931, the gardens now display more than 1200 featured works of such renowned sculptors as Adolph A. Weinman, who created the frieze of the US Supreme Court, and Glenna Goodacre, creator of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington DC. The largest sculpture at Brookgreen, Laura Gardin Fraser’s Pegasus, is carved from 1575 feet of white granite, and took nine years to complete.

     Brookgreen is an eye-catching palate, featuring a 250 year-old live oak allee’, sparkling fountain vistas in four separate garden regions, and a stunning wildlife preserve where otters, deer, ibis, and owls roam and fly. With tens of thousands of blooms, the gardens attract some of the most colorful assortment of butterflies ever seen. Dazzling Monarchs, Swallowtails, and Fritillaries add a dimension of colorful motion to the stunning surroundings.
     In warmer months, Brookgreen offers guided garden and wetland excursions by vehicle or boat, charging a fee extra to the very reasonable admission price.
     To get to Brookgreen Gardens, drive north on US highway 17 to Pawley’s Island, take the 17 bypass, and look for entrance signs across from Huntington Beach State Park, 70 miles north of Charleston.   

Quaker memories

     This August 17th marks the 315th anniversary of John Archdale’s appointment as governor of Carolina(which was not divided until 1710). It is significant because Archdale was a Quaker in a colony founded by English Anglicans, and benefitted from Carolina’s rare colonial practice of religious liberty. The Fundamental Constitutions of the colony were the work of eminent English philosopher John Locke, who was a firm believer in the right to choose one’s on beliefs. His exceptional document even provided for the right to be atheist – quite a step from those being burned at the stake up in New England, where ironically, dominant Quakers were far less open-minded.

      Archdale was a pragmatist, however, and was among the first colonial officials to welcome Jews to Carolina – largely for their commercial acumen and the fact that many were families originally from the Iberian peninsula, and proved valuable as interpreters in negotiating with Spanish-speaking Indians to the south.
     The Archdale name is still an historic street in the old city where two of the oldest churches – St. John’ Lutheran the Unitarian Church – represent the first of those congregations in the South. Ironically, the former Friend Street, named in honor of the Quaker congregation, was changed to become part of Legare Street.
     The 18th century Quaker Meeting House burned in the great Charleston fire of 1861, and the original congregation no longer exists. A city parking garage now stands on the old site at King and Queen streets, which was formerly the northwest corner of what was Archdale Square.




     The annual Rockville Regatta on Aug. 7-8 will bring thousands of sun-bathing,partying onlookers aboard a flotilla of power boats to watch sailboat races along Bohicket Creek, a far cry from the inaugural event 120 years ago. The first race in 1890 involved a handful of boats, with a small audience of well-dressed ladies and gents observing from shaded banks of the creek.

     Rockville is the site where English explorer Robert Sandford claimed this land in 1666, for his King, Charles II, calling it “Carolina”. Named for deposits of iron ore that protrude from subterranean beds, the breezy bluff at the southern tip of Wadmalaw Island would become a seasonal respite for wealthy Charlestonians to escape the summer heat.
      Established as a village in 1835, Rockville is still a tiny community of fewer than 200 residents, and is famous for the historic homes that still sit elegantly under the shade along Bohicket Creek.
      The sailboat race, although a long-standing tradition, has long distanced itself from the staid image of yesteryear, however. Since the 1960’s, it has drawn massive crowds by car and by boat, and the party fervor around the old Sea Island Yacht Club pavilion is highlighted by bands and dances ‘til the wee hours. Sleek power craft anchor in a massive floating infield astride the sailing course, where partying patrons have the choice of ogling tanned bodies aboard or watching the sailors’ battle. Guess which is more popular.  
      Some people these days go to the Rockville Regatta and never see a sailboat, but the old tradition of a summer escape still holds on very well.   

charleston underground

      People are often surprised to find out, considering how close Charleston is to the sea, that many downtown houses have full cellars. The historic peninsula has several distinct low ridges that provide ample space from the water table, and along these are underground spaces with a colorful past. Under the Old Exchange, for example, is a vaulted brick cellar built before the Revolution as a storage area for imported goods unloaded from nearby wharves. During the Revolution, the British captured Charleston, and used the Exchange cellar to “store” more than sixty patriots, including two signers of the Declaration of Independence.

     At the corner of Church and Tradd streets, the cellar beneath that statuesque building was filled with casks of wine, whiskey and ale in the early 1800’s, as part of a liquor store. Beneath the old longshoremen’s hall on the corner of Chalmers and State streets, a trap door leads to a substantial underground space that legend says was a hideout for privateers before the Civil War.
     Many historic houses built in areas closer to the water have substantial above-ground spaces called “raised basements”. Originally intended to give the houses better views and circulation, many raised basements were built lofty enough to be redesigned as separate rooms. Today, quite a few old basements areas have been converted to family rooms, guest bedrooms, and rental units.