A year ago today the world had been flipped on it’s head and shaken, not a single corner left unscathed. It was strange and scary time and remains rocky today, a year later. For many folks the pandemic prompted them to take time to make some internal reflections, one of those people was Megan Gregory.
Megan is a school teacher from Pittsburgh PA, though like many of you, her heart remains eternally tied to the salty shores of the Outer Banks, Hatteras Island to be exact. Megan grew up spending her Summers in Rodanthe, first RVing at her family’s seasonal spot at the Camp Hatteras Campground in Rodanthe and today in their Salvo family vacation home. She spent Summers as a teen working at many area shops and restaurants, but her most memorable are the summers as a hostess at the infamous Down Under Restaurant oceanfront at the Rodanthe Pier. Then, as a realtor for Outer Beaches Realty and living in Waves, she added real estate to the trifecta of recreation, restaurants and real estate. That is, until 2020…
For Megan this introspection pushed her towards her creative side as well as her Happy Place. For many years she’d rolled the idea around in her head but with life always moving at light speed it’s not always easy to focus on your entrepreneurial thoughts. That is until the world shuts down… Megan decided to give life to her ideas and Highway 12 Shirts was born! Being that most of her time is spent in the Southern OBX most of her first designs had a Hatteras lean but she really reached us all deep down in our NC barrier island loving souls with her play on the Old Bay tin! We just had to have it in our Spring OBX Box. And not to mention, who doesn’t need a Time Out!
Megan’s designs continue to grow and she continues to reach audiences further and further up and down Highway 12. We can’t wait to see what Megan dreams up next!
Be sure to check her out at www.highway12shirts.com and on FB and IG @highway12shirts, Blue Whale in Salvo is the first shop to carry 2 of her designs AND did we mention that she will also be popping up with Bus252 at various events too!
Highway12Shirts.com is offering a BOGO 50% Off Deal through the end of April! Get yourself ready for that OBX Vacay, order your gear today and use offer promocode BUS252 to claim the offer, hurry offer ends soon!
First, THANK YOU ALL for your kindness and patience in waiting for your boxes to be delivered by the USPS. The way you all responded made my heart full.
I hope that everyone had a lovely holiday! This year has been trying for many, most and dare I say all and it is my sincerest wish is that you were able to squeeze a little joy out of this holiday season and of course I hope the Holiday OBX Box could help! Albeit maybe a little late due to some USPSP delays… Now a little bit about this box…
There simply is not a better way to warm up than from the inside with a toasty beverage and what better way than with a mug designed with local Outer Banks art. The art on the front of your mug is from a wall mural painted by local OBX artist, Mitzi Mager aka @GypsyBlyss. The mural was painted on the wall in the back of the Muse Originals OBX storefront, it was used as the backdrop for our Santa photoshoots in 2019. I asked Mitzi to come create something that was Santa-esque but also beachy and to say she nailed it would be an understatement! I loved the mural so much that I had the photographer take pictures of it for future use and you are now the proud owner of the first piece! I hope each time you drink out of it you feel the perfect combination of the warmth of the holidays coupled with a Summer day in the OBX, all year long. *hand wash only*
Sweater Box Confections- Salted Chocolate Espresso Tea Cookies
No that is not a typo, Sweater Box Confections gets it’s name from the sweetest of holiday traditions from the baker, Chris’s, childhood. What is a Sweater Box you may be asking yourself… According to Chris it was a much anticipated vehicle for the most delightful treats from her grandmother each holiday season. A sweater box is like the box that a nice shirt comes in, only bigger. When she was a child, her grandmother used to give the families of each of her children a sweater box full of their favorite goodies for the holidays. They would gather as a family, consume the treats, re-tell old stories, and share new ones. It was her way of showing how much she loved her entire family because we each received our favorite treats. It is now a way of showing your own loved ones how much you care.
I chose the Salted Chocolate Espresso Tea Cookies for the holiday box because Chris told me she likes to think of these as our local love cookies. Sweater Box Confections’ love of cookies, and chocolate, locally harvested sea salt from Hatteras Saltworks and locally roasted espresso from Ashley’s Espresso Parlour. It’s a cookie trifecta from our little sandbar.
She waves her magic spatula over butter, sugar, flour and a Turkish grind of Ashley’s espresso roast. Adding in quality chocolate and solar evaporated sea salt at the very end. This means you get little bursts of salt as you enjoy each cookie.
Sweater Box’s delicious and uniquely flavored treats have been spreading across the beach since she began her journey in 2011 and have quickly become an important part of holiday celebrations here on the beach. While selecting items for our Holiday box this year we could think of nothing more appropriate than to share these scrumptious treats with you all! Available in a few select shops, including of course on Muse Originals OBX #bus252, she also ships her confections all over year round and her newest venture is a subscription service! Choose your items and how often you’d like to receive them and viola delectable indulgences from the Outer Banks are delivered direct to you as often as you wish. We even negotiated an Outer Banks Box exclusive offer and included it in your holiday box!
The Best Beach Towel Ever…
I was introduced to the Turkish beach towel this Summer and though they are not made in the Outer Banks, in fact they were ordered directly from a woman who hand makes them in Turkey, they are the PERFECT addition to your luggage for your next Outer Banks excursion! These towels are also known as peshtemal bath towels, foutas, pestemals, and hammams. Turkish Cotton is a premium cotton known for it’s extra long fibers. … Because of this unique material, Turkish towels are known to become even softer, fluffier, and more absorbent with successive washings. In fact you are advised to wash your towel before first use! Turkish towels are known to be the first iteration of a towel, how neat is that! Being handmade each is unique piece of artisan craftsmanship and are also quite versatile! These lovely pieces of handmade goodness can be used as a beach towel, a sarong, scarf, travel blanket, a throw to brighten up any room, table cover, you name it! I’d love to see photos how you are using yours! And finally, they are simply lightweight and so perfectly packable. I’ve seen those vehicles streaming in week after week, packed to the gills, ya’ll could use some lightweight towels and foldable beach bags to lighten the load!
Each year we include an ornament in our holiday box and this year we decided to do something a little different, being how different this year has been! With so many spending more and more time at home we thought why not send not only an Outer Banks ornament but a little activity to help you slow down, reflect and enjoy the moment and create your very own ornament! Choosing what colors to send with the ornaments was a bit perplexing, but after much consideration I came to the conclusion that the best course of action would be to help fuel your creativity by sending out random assortments of colors rather than the same group of colors to everyone! I can’t wait to see what you all create, please post pics and tag us on Facebook and Instagram @outerbanksbox #obxdelivered
Seaside Vacations $100 Off Outer Banks Box Exclusive Offer and Beach Bag
Everyone could use a little savings this year and being that so many missed out on their OBX vacations this past year we reached out to Seaside Realty to negotiate this special deal exclusively for our Outer Banks Box subscribers! And as an added bonus they also included these lovely and collapsible canvas and jute beach bags, again a perfect space saving beach necessity!
Founded in 1990, Seaside Vacations is a family owned and operated, full-service property management and vacation home provider, offering a wide variety of Outer Banks vacation rentals in Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Hatteras Island. From cozy condominiums to large private homes, you can choose from nearly 450 Outer Banks vacation rentals – each with their own special features. Whether you prefer luxurious living or simple seaside comfort, Seaside Vacations has the perfect Outer Banks vacation waiting for you.
Seaside Vacations’ mission is to be recognized by their guests, homeowners, employees, and community as simply the best vacation rental company on the Outer Banks. With a vision to be a world class customer care company that provides friendly, professional, “go the extra mile” service to help their owners, guests, and employees get more out of life. We hope we can help you make it a little more affordable to make it to the OBX this year!
A century-old island home turned coastal gift shop in the heart of Buxton on Hatteras Island. Offering shells, driftwood, yard art, plants, canned goods, coffee, handmade goods, and more. The old gray house is now a bright seafoam green but still houses the same island charm it always has with a youthful flare of course.
Owner, Mariah James, is a Hatteras native, may have set out for a bit to explore the world but soon longed for her seaside home… the island always draws you back. With the desire to create something on HI that would be uniquely hers she set out to find the perfect business model and stumbled upon an opportunity to restore an iconic spot in Buxton, Old Gray House Gifts and Shells! Fun fact, after the property was purchased Mr Dewey Parr and his wife Mary who had run the quaint little shop for decades, Mariah learned that Mr. Dewey actually bought the Gray House and gave it to Mary on the exact date of her birth in 1991… talk about kismet! Island Free Press wrote an in depth article about Mariah’s journey, the article is so eloquently written I’ve decided to simply share it here rather than paraphrase further.
The kitchen of the historic home turned gift shop today is called “The Pantry” where Mariah displays her tatsty goodies for sale, this is where I stumbled upon the delicious jam included in your Summer OBX Box! A large variety of items from sauces and marinades to local coffee and sweets and jams and jellies and anything in between! Some items are made in small batches on the island, in fact Mariah’s mom makes small batch jams for the shop but they sell too quickly to snatch up the number of jars we needed, other items she sources and designs with small companies across NC and are made exclusively for Old Gray House Gifts.
An absolute must stop shop, the perfect spot to find a local treasure to take home! Be sure to check them out online and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram and don’t forget to tell them the OBX Box sent ya!
Outer Banks Coasters
As I think many of you would agree, 2020 presented a myriad of challenges and here at the OBX Box we are not immune! We set out to create a Summer OBX Box with a culinary theme and thought a sweet coaster set as a reminder of your happy place would be a fun addition. We met that goal but maybe in a round about way… Half of our Summer box recipients received town specific engraved wooden coasters and due to a shipping snafu the other half received a set of vibrantly colored coasters designed and printed by OBX local artist Stephanie Kiker! Both equally Outer Banksy, yes I made that word up, and gorgeous, we hope you’ll enjoy your little table savers and will for years to come.
Stephanie Kiker’s designs are always uniquely distinguishable and are available in a myriad of mediums form the stickers and coasters in the Summer box to large wall pieces printed on metal and wood! Stephanie is a truly fascinating person to me, I always describe her as having ambidexterity of the mind because she seemingly has the ability to use both her right and left brain equally efficiently! She not only creates the art you see on her work but she also manufactures the products out of her home right here in Buxton!
Stephanie Kiker Stickers
A lot of folks unfortunately had to reschedule their annual Outer Banks vacation this year and from being a former visitor myself I know that picking up a local sticker on your trip is always on the agenda! That’s why we decided to include one of Stephanie’s vivid decals in our Summer box. Stick ‘um on your car windows, mirrors, glass doors, boats, mailboxes, mugs and glasses, laptops or anywhere your heart desires! Made our of thick, durable vinyl to protect the sticker from scratching, rain & sunlight.
Be sure to peruse Ms Kikers website next time you find yourself longing for the OBX and you will not be disappointed!
Cookbook: 25 Secrets – A Culinary Tour
Created by husband and wife team and Hatteras Locals, Kevin McCabe and Kim Mosher this cookbook fuses OBX style culinary flare with gorgeous Hatteras themed artwork. Kim’s beautiful cover art is just the beginning of this exciting new cookbook entitled ”25 Secrets Revealed-A Culinary Tour”. It was written by her husband Kevin and tells the interesting stories behind 25 of his most sought-after recipes. There is a favorite recipe just waiting to be found within it’s 38 pages.
The constantly changing colors and abundant wildlife of Hatteras Island and the entire Outer Banks are an inspiration for the artistic mind. Kim Mosher discovered this back in 1985 while visiting with her photography class from Virginia Commonwealth University. Shortly after graduating with a degree in Communication Arts and Design, and working as a photographer at Old Dominion University, she made Hatteras Island her home.
The history and heritage of this Island have always been centered on fishing, which inspired Kim to sketch many of the inshore fish in their natural habitat. Eventually, color pencil became her tool of choice. The fine point allows her to achieve superior detail which has become this artist’s trademark. However, fine lines also mean lots of time. Many of her originals have taken over five hundred hours to complete! Over the last several years, Kim has made her art available through limited edition prints, tiles, and fabrics. Her well-loved children’s book, “Pelican and Pelicant”, published in 2003 with Sarah Froeber, is also inspired by this magical land so far out in the ocean.
Kim and her husband, Kevin, have collaborated on both this cookbook and a children’s book, “My Rainy Day Cat”. Kevin writes and Kim designs the exquisitely detailed illustrations.
Kevin is an ardent supporter of Kim’s work. When he isn’t busy surf-casting for the area’s plentiful Red Drum and Speckled Trout, he is using his craftsmanship as a woodworker to custom frame her popular prints.
We couldn’t create a “taste of the OBX” box without a bag of ACTUAL Hatteras Sea Salt!
Brian, Shaena and Declan have been experimenting with different methods of producing solar evaporated sea salt for years. From the Caribbean, to the Pacific, and back to the Atlantic Ocean they have studied the crystals, evaporation methods, and practices possible to produce the most pure sea salt available. The quest lead them back to Hatteras Island, where they now strive to give you a clean, mineral rich ocean salt from their Solar oven farm. With a mission to strive for excellence, they’ve found that slow solar evaporation in solar ovens is the best method of reducing salt water for mineral retention, texture and flavor to capture the pure essence of the source. “Pure nutrient rich ocean water, yields pure nutrient rich ocean salt.”
Delicious and good for you! Unlike table salt, good quality unrefined, pure, sea salt can contain up to 87 trace minerals. These minerals are a crucial contribution to our immune, digestive and circulatory systems as well as many other benefits to our health. We believe that the ocean provides us with many of the Natural Minerals we need and it is important to us to share these health benefits with you.
OBX Tea Towel
We all spend A LOT of time in the kitchen, and if you are anything like me during this quarantine it has felt like I’ve spent ALL of my time in the kitchen! With that in mind we created these tea towels to hang in your kitchen as a simple reminder of all things Outer Banks. If you can’t be where your heart is hopefully we can keep the feeling of that happy place in your heart all year long…
We do hope you enjoyed the Summer OBX Box. The box is a labor of love for my family of 6, it is a pleasure to source the items for each box and though we know it isn’t possible to please every single subscriber every single time we do continue to strive to do just that! Our assembly line each quarter is evolving into a pretty impressive little system, a well oiled machine even… lol ok maybe I wouldn’t go that far but we’ll get there. Up next FALL 2020, CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOURS NOW!
Well if this isn’t the strangest Spring the OBX has ever seen… This box took on a special meaning with the closures and current situation and oddly it ended up being very fitting for the time! A locally made soap to keep your hands clean and moisturized, a zen doodle coloring book by a local OBX artist to keep you busy during quarantine, a print of a local painting of every visitor’s favorite signs, a shaker of the famous JK’s Seasoning to sprinkle on those home cooked quarantine meals, a pint glass from our local wind powered brewery to power down with, a sticker for your water bottle created from a local artist and reminding you that you belong somewhere you feel free and the final addition was a last minute add and a real family affair… On the day we decided to pack the boxes we decided that if our guests couldn’t make it to the OBX right now that we would at least send a little bit of the OBX to you, we gathered all 4 kids and a friend, teenagers don’t do anything without a friend, and we filled 300 little mermaid boxes with sand and shells from the beach! I truly hope you enjoyed this box as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Milk Street Soap Co. is a well loved, fast growing, family
owned, handcrafted soap company on The Outer Banks of North Carolina. Inspired
by the extraordinary, waterfront town we belong to, we believe in the magic of
majestic natural beauty, strong local communities, honest premium products and
deeply satisfying relationships. We believe in the synergy of feeling, looking
and doing your best!
We craft our bars and green living products in small, fresh batches, using
only the most luxurious and meticulously sourced Earth Conscience ingredients;
organic, sustainable, fair trade, animal friendly & honoring, and
biodegradable. Everything counts in our bar, even the wrappers are post
consumer and the ink compost-able.
Kim began making soap because of skin issues in her family. Her little son
had eczema in his bends and folds. They had tried many things with little
return and the situation looked to be escalating to more medical intervention.
Then, what seemed like an unrelated gift happened; a humble, beautiful, old
library book with a soap recipe for just such a skin aliment in it. With the
help of their local Island hardware store and a pantry full of organics, she
made the first bar of soap (the now refined Mocha Milk soap bar). Toward the
end of this first little wonky bar, they saw skin healing progress. Two bars
later and they didn’t look back!
This addition to the box ended up being the timeliest with
all of the orders to wash your hands, we hope we could help keep your hands clean
and moisturized while you are keeping yourself and your family safe!
Your beautiful turtle sticker
was created using an original painting by OBX Local Artist, Mitzi Mager aka
GypsyByss. Mitzi’s love of art came at
an early age from her grandmother who would entertain her with sketches and
encourage her creativity. From watercolors & acrylics to creating
jewelry to resin creations she is best known for her love of ocean creatures,
especially mermaids, and capturing their beauty on a variety of surfaces
including surfboards. You can find Mitzi on the beach sharing her passion
by the way of art classes or on her school bus home on wheels creating art for
As the sticker says, You
Belong Somewhere You Feel Free, we hope to see you all again real soon!
Carolina Coto was “born and
raised” in Costa Rica, she now resided on the beautiful Outer Banks of
North Carolina, where she moved to be with her (awesome) husband.
She is an
artist at heart and an artist by profession; she graduated with a BFA with
emphasis in painting from Universidad de Costa Rica in 2007. Carolina has always had a penchant for traveling
and it is evident in many of her works and sometimes her scenes are just the
result of an artist’s imagination.
Her work is filled with contrasting colors, circles, spirals, dots and many other elements that are important symbols in her art and represent hope, positivity and dreams, among other things. We included Carolina’s zen doodle book in our latest box and in our current times it seems even more fitting!
We hope you will enjoy some peace and quiet with this book, we all deserve some peace right now.
Keith Fisher is
a recent Outer Banks resident, originally from Virginia Beach Keith moved down
after retiring from the Marine Corps. To
Keith, art is therapy, in recovering from a stroke a little over a year ago a
passion for painting that he had almost forgotten reemerged. He’s been dabbling in several mediums, from
oil pastels to watercolor and acrylics to oil paints, Keith is finding his footing
in the art world and quite gracefully.
He titled the print you received in your OBX Box, “Welcome to Paradise”
and it’s hard to think of a better name than that!
Again this item ended up being as perfectly timed as the soap and the zen doodle book, as many folks are not able to get to their happy place right now we are so pleased to be able to send a little sign of happier times to come! See what we did there….
JK’s Cowboy Blend and Smoky Chipotle Seasoning are savory,
crowd-pleasing offerings that have made them a national favorite. Sling it on
ribs, poultry, steak, seafood for a tried and true great taste. Grill or bake
to perfection. It’s that easy!
Winston-Salem, North Carolina native, J.K. Norfleet left the investment banking business after several years to pursue restaurant investments. Having been born into a food and entertainment-oriented family, he capitalized on his love and talent of cooking and opened JK’s Restaurant on the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina in 1984. He put JK’s Dry Rub Seasoning to use in the restaurant and given its popularity, he decided to market it and the seasoning can now be found in small specialty shops, supermarkets and online.
Long before the Outer Banks grew into the year-round coastal community it is today, JK’s Restaurant opened quietly in 1984 and rocked the seasonal dining available from the spring to late fall by offering a fine raw product, introducing live wood-fired grills and laying claim to its local audience by staying open year-round. Time has made such excellence and year-round availability more of the norm along the Banks, but anyone with long-time roots along these shores will testify to the fact that when JK’s opened, the dining and food culture along these treasured waters was transformed and there was no turning back.
Since we are all cooking more at home right now than ever
before we hope you’ll enjoy some OBX flavor on your next meal!
The Outer Banks Brewing Station is the first wind powered
brewery in the United States! We were also the first business to produce wind
power on the Outer Banks. We pride ourselves in being innovative and conscious
about the environment, while helping others learn as much as they can
about renewable energy and sustainability. Want to know more about our Outer
Banks wind powered brewery?
and brewery began as a concept in 1992 while the founders, Eric Reece and
Aubrey Davis were Peace Corps volunteers alongside Tina Mackenzie in Thailand.
Aubrey had grown up spending summers at his grandparents’ place on the Outer
Banks, and felt it was the perfect place to start a brew pub. The Outer Banks
Brewing station is now a staple in the OBX restaurant landscape.
A must visit place on the OBX we hope you’ll be able to
swing by and drop a few Brew Bucks soon!
Feeling like you missed out!!?? You don’t have to! We have a few extra Spring OBX Boxes ready to ship, ORDER HERE and let us send you a little piece of your happy place!
You opened your latest Beach Box and you found…..beef jerky?
Yes! The beefy jerky was provided by Amy McDonnell, her father Vince, and husband Kevin McCoy from their shop, Beef Jerky Outlet – Outer Banks.
Amy McDonnell first came to the Carolina coast in college when she was participating in a summer study program at Cape Lookout. Then following years of vacationing on the Outer Banks, she and Kevin moved here full-time in December of 2016.
Originally from just outside Chicago, Amy and husband Kevin, who is from Northeastern Tennessee, lived in the Washington DC area for 12 years before making the move to the Outer Banks. And once they did, they wasted no time. A short 7 months later (June of 2017) they opened their first Beef Jerky Outlet location at milepost 4.5 in Kitty Hawk. Then just a year later the family opened another location in Corolla.
Beefy Jerky may seem like a strange business to be involved in, but Amy says it really isn’t. “My husband (Kevin) has always been a fan of jerky and especially loves Beef Jerky Outlet jerky. We looked into it and found it was a small, family-run company that makes their own jerky in Tennessee and Michigan. We liked the product and the people, and we wanted to introduce the entire Outer Banks to the best jerky in the world!”
But you will find more than just beef jerky at the Beef Jerky Outlet. For the more adventurous eaters, they also have a wide variety of wild game jerky. Consider trying elk, bison, alligator, and kangaroo. You can also find sauces and seasonings along with an assortment of popcorns, hot sauces, jams, jellies and a whole lot more.
Both Amy and Kevin are practicing lawyers in addition to owning and operating their Beef Jerky Outlet stores and they want to stress that they have a great team at the stores and couldn’t do this without them.
Looking for an interesting jerky fact you can use to amaze you’re family and friends? It takes 3 pounds of meat to make 1 pound of jerky!