Monthly Archives:

July 2018

Outlander North Carolina

2018 T-Shirt Design Contest

July 30, 2018

Hey Subscribers! I am so excited about this announcement! 

Outlander North Carolina (that would be me), the Outlander North Carolina Facebook Group & you, my wonderful blog subscribers, need our own unique t-shirt. This means we need the help of all you super-talented, artistic folks out there! The contest begins today at noon with entries being accepted between then and August 20.

Please read the official rules for complete information regarding requirements, how the winners will be selected, prizes, etc. The entry form is on the last page of the rules. The winning t-shirt will be sold through Teespring and net proceeds will go to the #SaveAlamance campaign, a very worthy cause indeed. 

We can’t wait to see what you all submit. Best of luck. Now, start designing!

Your Outlander Obsessed Friend,


Behind The Scenes Outlander North Carolina

A Peaker’s Story ~ How Outlander, Sam Heughan and MPC Changed My Life

July 24, 2018
Post by Contributing Author, Tara Heller

After I had my second child, I knew something needed to change. I was ready to get my body back-  the toned and fit me. Before I met my husband, I was always running, working out and trying to eat well. However, I did it on my own. This time around, I needed a swift kick in the butt. I needed motivation. Enter, Outlander. One day I was  looking around, minding my own business and reading behind the scenes information, when I happened upon an article about how Sam Heughan stays in shape. I quickly learned that he founded this program, a movement really, named ‘My Peak Challenge’. I did as I normally do, I researched the heck out of this thing. I wanted to know as much information as I could before I joined.

If you don’t know this already, Sam loves to be outside and stay in shape. Incidentally, that is how he maintains his ‘Jamie Fraser’ physique, well that and doing some in depth training at the gym. He loves to hike, go for a run through the mountains and basically be adventurous. Through this love of being active and staying healthy, he decided to create a positive exercise and nutrition program to encourage people to be healthy and get moving. That is when My Peak Challenge was born.

Details, Details, Details

I found out the membership for 2018 would cost $119 + tax and half  of the price goes to cancer research program called Bloodwise and Marie Curie- these are two of the charities that Sam supports. I knew this was an incredible deal because it was for a year. You could easily spend close to $99+ in three months for a gym membership!

What it includes:

  • Complete meal plan (suggestion)- this helps you balance your daily macros (proteins, fats and carbs) and helps you take the guess work out of  ‘What’s for dinner?’.
  • Exercise plan- these get sent out every month through your login on the website. You can tailor the exercises to your physical ability as there are many variations for each. They are developed by Sam’s trainer, John Valbonesi.
  • Access to the private Facebook page- this has been a tremendous support, encouragement and helps with motivation.
  • My Peak Challenge t-shirt and wristband

The Challenges

There are physical and non physical challenges. As far as physical challenges, there are many challenges (in addition to the daily training) that other Peakers propose and you can sign up. For instance, a lunge, squat or sit up month long challenge.  I sign up for at least one a month! I guess I like to torture  push myself!

I have also become a runner! I look forward to my biweekly runs. They refresh me and make me feel like I accomplished so much! In addition, I participated in the Lighthouse 5K in Corolla Light Village on the Outer Banks while we were on vacation! I want to challenge myself to sign up for many 5Ks and virtual 5Ks this year, yes virtual! Virtual 5Ks allow you to run them when your schedule allows (there are deadlines) and have the medal and/or t-shirt sent to you! It is on my bucket list to participate in a RunDisney event! There are even virtual runs through Scotland!

Non-physical challenges can be getting that knitting project done that you have been putting off, discovering your true passions, getting back into painting, working through a loss, and in my case, focus on your writing. I promised myself to focus on my blog in 2018 and so far I have been doing that and enjoying it! I also added, read at least ten books (can include audiobooks) in 2018.  So far I’m at 4!

The Facebook page has been an incredible motivation and support. Also, I found fellow Peakers on Instagram and have formed ‘online friendships’ with them. We support each other daily and it’s just been so wonderful to have these communities available.

If this whole fitness/work out/healthy eating idea makes you a bit intimidated, you DO NOT have to be afraid of failure. “Each day is a new start”, is the mantra in the group. Everyone is at a different level and a different point in the process. All the exercises and training can be tailored to your ability and fitness level! However, through the exercises you are definitely pushed to new limits and I love that! Hey, it isn’t called, My Peak Challenge for nothing- it is going to challenge you, but in a life changing- ‘mind, body and soul’ kind of way!

My Results

In about 3 months (February-July) I have lost 10 lbs, and almost 10 total inches over my body. I have gone down two pant sizes and one shirt/dress size. I have to say, I am now officially a shorts girl for the first time in over 10 years! There is no hiding these hard earned legs! For the first time ever, I was not scared to go swimsuit shopping! I wasn’t even sure what size I was going to be! It has given me incredible confidence and courage. I feel so much stronger and happier! I just want to keep going!

If it were not for Outlander…

I am so thankful for My Peak Challenge and how it has changed me, inside and out! If it weren’t for discovering Outlander, I’m not sure where I would be. Probably still searching for the right fitness and nutrition plan for me, I’m sure!

So thank you Sam Heughan, Coach John, My Peak Challenge and Outlander for helping me discover a program I love and have been able to stick with!

Are you a Peaker? If so, please share your story below. I’d love to hear from you!


Tara Heller is the mother of two boys, who lives in South Central Pennsylvania. However her heart is the South. Although she is fairly new to Outlander, she has truly immersed herself in it. She also loves history, especially the 18th century, genealogy, visiting the coast, spending time with family and blogging at
Drums Of Autumn Edenton

A Trip Back In Time To Colonial Edenton ~ Part One

July 17, 2018
Post by Contributing Author, Susan Jackson

Chowan County Courthouse (Photo By Kip Shaw)

Edenton, North Carolina. This town conjures up many images in my mind, including ones of original colonial architecture, old cemeteries, Christmas candlelight tours, the Annual Pilgrimage of Historic Sites and one of the South’s prettiest towns. Situated in the northeastern part of the state on the Albemarle Sound and Chowan River and located in Chowan County (the former and the latter are named for the Chowan Indians), Edenton is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, with 342 contributing buildings, 4 contributing sites, and 3 contributing structures.

Outlander readers are first introduced to Edenton in Drums of Autumn. Jamie & Claire have arrived in Wilmington and have been invited to attend a dinner party with Governor Tryon at the home of a Mr. Lillington. A young man, a “dandy” as Claire notes and his somewhat snarky sister are in attendance at the dinner. The man’s name is Phillip Wylie, a wealthy landowner from Edenton. Edenton’s history, however, goes back much further than the 18th century in which Claire finds herself so let’s do a little time traveling.

Settlers in the northern areas of the New World began to feel crowded, and started venturing south. It wasn’t easy to travel south past coastal Virginia because of the Dismal Swamp. (Yes, that would be the same Dismal Swamp where Young Ian and William find themselves in An Echo In The Bone). Not to be deterred, however, these determined early settlers were able to find a way to get to the area which is now Edenton by way of the Chowan & Roanoke Rivers and the Albemarle Sound plus the many tributaries and creeks which surround it. This was a wild territory but offered abundant food sources and fertile land for farming.

The earliest knowledge of settlers near the Chowan River is in the 1650’s. These people had to be pretty scrappy to live in this area – keeping peace with the native people, battling the abundant “muskeetoes,” withstanding hurricanes, and having to work themselves into the ground just to live. Visiting ministers noted that women dressed like “ladies,” but would man a boat barefooted, or carry a gun into the woods and bring home supper! (This was no Little House on the Prairie, y’all!) It was so sparsely populated, that people lived by their own rules, and some historians believe it was comparable to the Wild West of television. Someone, somewhere needed to take control of these unruly folks, keep the peace, and make some money off this rich and “goodly” land.

Enter King Charles II, great uncle to the Bonnie Prince. (Mark me, you can always count on a Stuart.)

King Charles II

In 1653, he issued a land grant to eight men, who he called the Lords Proprietors, for this newly formed tract of land named “Carolina” in honor of King Charles I. These men were:

1. John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton
2. Sir William Berkley (Poor guy came up shy in the title department)
3. Sir George Carteret, 1st Baronet
4. John Colleton, 1st Baronet
5. Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury
6. William Berkeley, 1st Earl of Craven
7. Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon
8. George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle

The Eight Lord Proprietors

Handsome devils, they, these Lords Proprietors were appointed not only to try to govern the lawless people there, but to make money from the sale of land that settlers from the north so badly wanted to live on. With titles such as Lord, Sir, Duke & Earl, it is easy to assume these men were already well off, but can one ever have enough money? And so, the Albemarle region, which included the area which is now Edenton, was created and the settlers came.

It took some time and money to get the people and land a little more organized. In 1712, present-day Edenton was named “ye towne on Queen Anne’s Creek,” and leaders put forth a motion to build a courthouse. The governing body would normally meet in plantation homes, but this was getting difficult, and they needed a home base. The stick frame courthouse was built, however, the Towne had little other proof they were “civilized”, except for half acre lots in the town around the courthouse. When Governor Charles Eden died in 1722, leaders decided to officially incorporate the town, and they called it Edenton, in honor of the deceased governor. The growing town became the capital for the North Carolina province from its incorporation to 1743.

The original courthouse was soon replaced by two more buildings. Apparently, the town board wasn’t happy with the location, or perhaps, the architecture – whoever knows? – and in 1767 (this would be the same year Jamie, Claire & clan came to North Carolina), replaced it with the simple but beautiful brick and mortar Georgian-style building we can see today.

Historic Chowan County Courthouse

Read more about historic Edenton and a tea party in part two!

Now is a perfect time to visit Edenton, named by Forbes Magazine as one of the South’s Prettiest Towns in 2008. They have a walking tour, as well as a trolley to hop on and tour the town. If you want to see original Colonial architecture and some of the most beautiful historic homes in the United States, Edenton is the place to go and spend a day, a weekend or even longer!

Would you be willing to step back in time to the beginnings of Edenton? Also, if you’ve visited Edenton, tell us about it in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Wait! Maybe you’ve never visited Historic Edenton but would you like to? Check out these links for more information on where to stay plus what to see and do:  Visit Edenton and Historic Edenton.

Susan Jackson is a mother of four who lives in coastal North Carolina, and is an avid Outlander fan.  Besides reading, she loves cooking and baking, and music.  She is a thyroid cancer survivor and has worked in education most of her life. She hopes to one day blog about her thyroid cancer journey. She is a contributing author for Outlander North Carolina and has previously written about the infamous Stede Bonnet in Will The Real Stephen Bonnet Please Stand Up?