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The Wren's Nest

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By Laurie Bower Epps

When I had an interview down in Atlanta, I couldn't resist the temptation to find a hidden gem in Atlanta. Find a real gem, I did indeed. Since I started this blog modeling it after my friend Dana's fashion blog, I was hard pressed to find someplace she hadn't been. But due to my love of literature, the Wren's Nest was uncovered.

The Uncle Remus Stories was one of my first storybooks as a child. Much like Grimms Fairy Tales, most of the stories were originally based in oral traditions and also taught a moral lesson. But I loved the nutty stories of that kooky rabbit, Brer Rabbit. He was always getting into one scrape or another. Some of you maybe familiar with The Song of the South that was produced by Disney which was loosely based on the original stories.


Poinsett Bridge

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By Laurie Bower Epps

My dear brother Robert passed away on September 1, 2017 due to complications with cancer. I debated not doing this blog, but to clear my head, I went hiking this past Sunday with spectacular results. After reading many articles saying that GPS would steer me wrong, I worried a little bit about navigation. However, just off the Cherokee Foothills Highway, and 25 SC Highway interchange, the Poinsett Bridge is settled above the Cliffs Golf Course in plain sight from the road.

The medieval look about the bridge struck both my youngest and I immediately. We dreamed of everything from Camelot, to fairies with this magnificent bridge as our backdrop in the distance. The weather was perfect for such an outing as this... I imagined taking pictures of my middle daughter and her boyfriend here, and I hope to go back one day to do just that.

Carolina Raptor Center

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By Laurie Bower Epps

My dear friend invited me up to Charlotte for a girls weekend, and I couldn't resist the urge to go. However, I'd made plans with another friend for the weekend, and so I asked if I could bring her along. Since they're both dear friends of mine, they both responded, "Sure!" Undoubtedly, it was the most fun I've had all year. But I didn't forget all of you.... it also seemed to be the perfect opportunity to get in another fashion blog.

While we didn't get to see nearby Latta Plantation, I did get into see the Carolina Raptor Center up the street. From my homeschooling days, I was familiar with the area, and already knew of a few nearby possibilities.

Horseshoe Falls

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By Laurie Bower Epps

For those that know me, know that I'm a Girl Scout. I've participated with scouts for most of my life. I've even been a leader for all three of my daughter's troops. The oldest took to scouting, but due to custody battles, she wasn't able to attend things like sleepover camp due to a custody exchange or whatever. My middle child, instead chose dancing over Girl Scouts, and was a student of ballet for more than twelve years. My youngest, however, took it to a whole 'nother level! By the end of her first year, Chloe had more patches than both of her sisters combined spanning four years of scouting total. My Chloe is very into scouting as I was when I was a girl.

Why I'm telling you all this, is my youngest was at sleepaway camp for a week this summer, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to set out on an adventure. After picking her up from camp, we found a roadside barbeque place that just called to me. As we ate our lunch/dinner, we…

Sunflowers Over Clemson

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By Laurie Bower Epps

My affinity for sunflowers began as a lover of art. Very influenced by the Impressionists in my own painting, I loved the cheerful look of the sunflower as depicted by Van Gogh and Monet. I had hoped to see the famous fields that Monet recreated in some of his paintings while I was in France, but alas, I did not. 

My first experience witnessing them in the wild was while I was working as a tour guide for Lombardi's Ranch just north of Los Angeles in the quaint little suburb of Santa Clarita. They had massive display of them near Halloween called Scarecrow Alley, where local groups would stage scenes of everything from favorite movies to television shows. These groups would participate for prizes too, and mostly, it was just a lot of fun. 

Since moving to the upstate of South Carolina 11 years ago, about mid-summer, they can be viewed in the controlled wild in almost any direction of my home. I've come to look forward to seeing them every year, and I hope my f…

Traveler's Rest in Toccoa, GA

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Since my week off from work proved to be really hot and uneventful, my youngest and I set off on an adventure. Not to be confused with Traveler's Rest in South Carolina, instead this is a homestead in the Northern Georgia mountains. Throughout its history, Traveler's Rest served as a post office, an inn, and even a makeshift hospital. Evidence of this is throughout the property.

Just to share with my readers, although I live in South Carolina, I actually live quite a bit closer to many points in Georgia than in my own state. Anderson is very close to the border, and this frontier home in Toccoa was only about a 45 minutes drive total.

Cowpens National Battlefield

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Being a Southern girl, I've been bombarded with Civil War history my entire life. Not only is it a focal point of fifth grade history class, it becomes exasperated when you move to any other part of the country. It's as if my new school chums wanted me to defend the southern stance of The War of Northern Aggression. However, due to my passion for genealogy, my family lines are far more invested in the Revolutionary War. My ancestors are predominantly Tori's, but as most historians know and my family history will dictate, we have ancestors on both sides whom are usually brothers.

The first real history book I read out of school about the Revolutionary War is Jimmy Carter's book entitled, The Hornet's Nest. Through the years, my copy of the book has been lost, however, I did remember a crucial piece of information which places Cowpens National Battlefield at the turning point of the Revolutionary War. Due to this, I've been wanting to go since …