I'm Chopped with the Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off Raleigh 2014

We love North Carolina. All Things Carolina. North Carolina's Food Lion makes us proud. I am a long-time Food Lion Customer. They have excellent prices, customer service and products. It's a win-win.

Well, tomorrow night I am hoping for a Win of another sort. Food Lion invited me to join the Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off Raleigh 2014! It will be a blast, I got to invite a friend to be on my team. So meet, Christie Funchess of Small Steps Big Picture.  Christie is a Mom of 5 girls under 5! So, yes, we know frugal. We both love our families, our faith and cooking great food frugally for our families. And we love blogging about it all. So, we are up for the task with Food Lion.

Stay tuned. Here is the Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off 2013 to give you an idea of the fun!

We will be given a secret protein, at the last minute. Then we shop the Food Lion Cupboard and Cook it up. Thinking Chopped here! Thinking WINNING here!  This should be a blast. Our families are invited. Nothing like pressure to perform and WIN in front of our children!

We hope you'll be cheering for us as we tackle the making the tastiest of meals and the most frugal for a Food Lion win!  Thanks Christie for joining me.  Bon Appetite!

FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Food Lion. All opinions are my own. 

KOKOON Fall Fashion Event in Raleigh

You're Invited: KOKOON Fall Fashion Event.

Thursday, October 16th, 2014
6:00 pm - 8:00pm 

Gallery C
540 N Blount St
Raleigh, North Carolina 27604

"At KOKOON we like to include that we are an American made company with limited edition designs. We focus on creating unique and feminine designs for the modern woman. We bring individualized style to woman via personal pop-up shops and private appointment. And we are currently expanding! We are looking for stylish, savvy and social Sales Representatives in Raleigh.

The Glam Glam Leggings are life changing. Truly. 

KOKOON boutique without borders is an American made women's clothing line expanding in our area. KOKOONFASHION is having a fashion shopping event along with the opportunity to meet the designer! 

There will be informal modeling, sips and bites at Gallery C in Raleigh and we'd love for you to join us. 

KOKOON prides itself on creating feminine, limited edition designs for the modern woman and would love to be able to share these beautiful, affordable designs with you. 

To learn more about KOKOON and check out the line, you can go to www.kokoon.net  For more information about the event, you can go to KOKOON's Facebook Page: 

Hope to see you at the event. 


FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by KOKOON Raleigh. All opinions are my own. 

Rayovac Halloween Safety Tips For Everyone

Rayovac and Halloween Safety Go Hand-in-Hand.  Rayovac gives us a great way to light up the roads. Rayovac makes the way bright for cars to see pedestrians, all those Trick or Treaters.  It will make Halloween a more fun and safe experience for everyone.

Rayovac Glow In The Dark Flashlights

Here are Halloween Safety Tips to help your family stay safe and enjoy the festivities. 

1)  Light Up the Night with Rayovac.  Seriously, we have loved the many benefits of the bright options Rayovac offers. Check out the Glow in the Dark Flashlight from Rayovac. It's awesome! 

2)  Stay with your Trick or Treaters.  Be the Chaperone. It makes sense to be safe rather than sorry, it gets pretty busy out there. So grab your own Rayovac Flashlight and stay with your crew. I've noticed it is always more fun together and things run more smoothly that way. Add more Glow In The Dark materials like this cool Rayovac Tee Shirt. ;)

3) Talk with your children about Trick or Treat night. Let them know they need to be cautious. Let you know if they are aware of something questionable or too scary. It is not worth the heartache so be proactive with your children.  Let them know to stay together. 

4) Only Trick or Treat in well-lit neighborhoods. We always fall on the side of better be safe than sorry. There are plenty of good neighborhoods that light up well and keep it fun. So seek those out. Even if you finish up your neighborhood, drive to another that is well light and trick or treat a few houses. 

5) Less is More.  Know when to call it a night. Good trick or treating happens earlier. We have guests on Halloween start about 5pm and go until 7:30pm. Enjoy some fun trick or treating and call it a night. More houses and staying out later doesn't mean more fun. 

A little Glow In The Dark Rayovac Tee Shirt always helps things out....  My son loves this! He sleeps in it and brightens it with his Glow In The Dark Flashlight. Yes, he does. :)


BONUS TIP: Always Check the Candy. Only consume wrapped and untampered with items. If you know your friend next door make homemade Popcorn Balls, I'm pretty sure we're not talking about that. Use good and wise judgment. Again, better safe than sorry. 

Remember to check out the Rayovac Glow in the Dark Flashlight - Rayovac is offering a promotion of $1 for the month of October at Rayovac.com. Promo Code: GLOWINTHEDARK   

FREE Shipping on orders +$25.00. So enjoy! 

You can find the products, along with more information on Rayovac's Facebook Page. and Twitter @Rayovac

Let me know if I left out any of your favorite Halloween Safety Tips.  Enjoy your Halloween and Happy Trick or Treating! Safely, of course.  Happy Fall, Y'all! 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rayovac. I am a Rayovac Power Bogger.  All opinions are my own. 

Southern Dreamz Photography - Best of Charleston Maternity Photography

The Haynes Family Maternity Photo Shoot 
Charleston, South Carolina

Southern Dreamz Photography, Charleston, SC

Today, I am so honored to share a very professional and beautiful Maternity Photo Shoot from Charleston, South Carolina.  Then, Southern Dreamz Photography, Charleston, SC.....

Mike and Heidi Haynes Charleston, South Carolina
Southern Dreamz Photography

You already know how much we love Charleston, the Old South, the History and Southern Charm of this lovely city. Stephanie found this incredible Charleston gem for our photo shoot, Mepkin Abbey! This is such a treasure!

You have seen my niece, Heidi, here on Carolina Mama Blog as she Guest posts and works on location from Charleston for special events. We are so thankful to have her voice, enthusiasm and now her beautiful style as she shares with us.

"Living outside of historic Charleston, South Carolina, is beautiful. I have seen so many beautiful maternity pictures with our famous oak trees. Some of these oaks date back before George Washington's day. They are so lovely in the background of photo shoots I have seen!  

When my husband and I found out that we were expecting our third child, I secretly hoped that I would be able to get some similar pictures with our family with this pregnancy. Like many moms, I struggle to find a balance with our family's priorities. Personally, I could never justify spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on pictures of myself. However, for the moms who are able to do so, I think that is great!  I always enjoy seeing them. 

Since my due date is getting close, I thought we had missed the opportunity again.  A few weeks ago, I had pretty much given up on the thought that I would get my dream pictures, when one of my friends told me about Stephanie with Southern Dreamz Photography.  My friend really built her up, and since Stephanie's prices are so affordable, I thought, "Ok, now is my chance!"

We were so pleased. I can not tell you how happy our family was with our experience!  If you are a mom, you know that getting pictures taken with children can often be very stressful!  Many photographers already have set shots that they are determined to take, regardless of the clients ideas or preferences.  
We were so realized and having fun. Thank you, Stephanie! 

Southern Dreamz Photography
Charleston, SC

Stephanie of Southern Dreamz Photography was incredible. She listened to all of our ideas.  Stephanie had great ideas as well and lots of them. She was very easy to work with on the photo shoot. She made me feel very comfortable.... and beautiful.   

Mike and Heidi Haynes
Charleston, SC

Everything was all about us. So we felt special. She was there to serve. Look at the detail in her photography. She brought all of these awesome props. She was happy to let us choose to use them or not. We loved them. 

She did not rush us, and we were able to get every single shot that we wanted... plus many more!  I felt so special. 
Southern Dreamz Photography
Maternity Photography Charleston, SC

She brought snacks and bubbles to entertain our kids when I was getting my individual shots!  

She also took the pictures in the mid-morning on a Saturday, which was perfect for us and our schedule! 

God gave us a beautiful day; and taking the pictures in the morning not only allowed us to be comfortable without the sun being in our eyes, but it also allowed the children to be on their best behavior before their nap time. I felt so special, like it was my wedding day all over again!  
I am so thankful!  Here are some more of my favorite pictures!  Enjoy! 

Baby is almost here. I love thinking about her. 

Charleston, SC Maternity Photography

This one is so reminiscent of our Wedding when my nephews, Carolina Mama's Twin Sons, were our Ring Bearers and they covered their eyes while we kissed on our Wedding Day.  Now, there are our own children covering their eyes while we kiss while expecting our third child. Many blessings to be thankful for indeed.

 She captured some precious moments with my amazing husband, Mike, like this one. I love having special moments with him in photo to cherish.

This third pregnancy has been such a blessing. I am thankful I could relax and reflect during this maternity photo shoot with Southern Dreamz. Also, it was beautiful to enjoy this in our lovely city of Charleston, South Carolina.

Carolina Mama Maternity Photos Charleston, South Carolina 

 This was so fun by the water and then Stephanie posted it in sepia which give it a timeless look.

Carolina Mama Maternity Photos
Heidi Haynes Charleston, SC
Southern Dreamz Photography

 I will cherish these forever.

Thank you, Stephanie! This was incredible! Baby Helena Mae, we are ready to meet you! 

Your Brother and Sister are ready to Greet you with so much Love! 

Thank you, Heidi! These were spectacular! We are so excited four Helena May! And all of you. Thank you for sharing and Thank you Stephanie at Southern Dreamz for the incredible photography!

If you would like to book your own photo shoot with Stephanie email here at: SouthernDreamzPhotography@gmail.com. Then, check our her Facebook Page: Southern Dreamz Photography. 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure:  As stated, Heidi works with Carolina Mama Blog on location in Charleston, South Carolina. All opinions are her own. And I am blessed she is my Niece. 

The Haynes Family, Charleston, SC 

Awesome Ghirardelli Chocolate Bundt Cakes Old-Fashioned Homemade

Ghirardellhi Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake by AllRecipes made our night! This was 
PERFECT for our weekend! It was so simple and a small bundt so we had our treat 
and then it was gone.G.O.N.E.  Gone because it was amazing and because it is a 
smaller cake. Check it out. If you want a regular size Bundt Cake, double this 
recipe and you are set! Get ready for tasty cake.

         1 cup all purpose flour 
         1 cup sugar, plus 2 Tablespoons sugar 
         1/2 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
         1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
         1/4 teaspoon salt 
         6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft, not melted
         2 tablespoons flavorless vegetable oil (such as canola or safflower)
         2 large eggs 
         1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
         1/2 cup cold water 
         1/2 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips 

         *optional: powdered sugar to sprinkle 

Bake at 325 degrees. I just blended the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then added in the wet ingredients one at a time. Blend evenly and smoothly with each addition. Then stir in chocolate chips. Pour evenly into a greased Bundt Pan and bake. Cool and sprinkle with Confectioners Sugar. Enjoy!

This is how we enjoy our Bundt Cakes. This one was very smooth and the rating was easy! And Chocolaty which is a win for us!

Here are some other awesome sounding Bundt Cakes!

Andes Mint Chocolate Bundt Cake by Real Life Dinner is something my niece and I have to check out. I didn't know there was a thing. Given our obsession with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, I have a feeling this will be a win-win for us.

Andes Mint Chocolate Bundt Cake
Cream Cheese Pound Cake by Elizabeth's Edible Expert is the cake I grew up eating. A classic, Southern Pound Cake. I am not posting my family recipe here. However, ours looks like this. It's a moist and tasty pound cake. No bowl of icing on top, no candy bars added, no sprinkles on top. Truly, this is a family favorite. We usually add fresh fruit and homemade whip cream. Delicious.

Cream Cheese Pound Bundt Cake

What is your favorite Cake?!


AT&T GoPhone Partnership Opportunity and NC State Fair Tickets GIVEAWAY

FTC DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored. All products mentioned and reviewed on this page are compliments of AT&T. All opinions of the products are my own.

Fall in North Carolina means one thing, it's North Carolina State Fair time!  We love our Fair the livestock, the working water wheel with homemade NC Hush Puppies, the Competitions, from Essays, to the best Homemade goods, to Knitting and more.  Of course there is more, the food and the rides! What will we Fry this year!

This year, I am so excited to partner with the AT&T GoPhone Freedom Network!  AT&T has been our preferred carrier for a long time - Go GoPhone!  At Carolina Mama, we are test driving the GoPhone 4G LTE most reliable network!

Have you tried a GoPhone? We LOVE it!  GoPhone is a prepaid service where you can choose the amount of money, minutes, and data you use each month. I will be sharing with on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GoPhone. Please join us!  And the GoPhone Freedom Team is making its way to the North Carolina State Fair October 16-26th!

Enter to Win (2) Tickets to the N.C. State Fair! 

1) Tweet AT&T GoPhone with the hashtag #GoPhone;
2) Leave a comment below state if you have tried GoPhone and will you? :)
3) Tweet the Link to this Giveaway with #GoPhone
4) Share it on your Facebook page;
5) Post a pic on Instagram and has tag it with #GoPhone

Contest closes Tuesday, September 23rd at 1pm EST. Leave a comment below with each step you completed to use as an entry. 

Remember to check out the GoPhone Freedom Team Touring at the NC State Fair!

The GoPhone Freedom Tour team will be at the North Carolina State Fair from October 16 – 26, 2014. The team will be offering one-on-one introductions to GoPhone and live hands-on demonstrations of the latest smartphone devices on the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. Guests can visit the GoPhone 4G LTE Fast Grab Booth for a chance to win a GoPhone prize pack and be entered for a chance to win a brand new device!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored. All products mentioned and reviewed on this page are compliments of AT&T. All opinions of the products are my own.

Gluten-Free Southern Buttermilk OvenFried Chicken

Growing up Southern, my mother used to make us, homemade, fried chicken for Sunday Dinners! It was quite a laborious and delicious task! We loved her real food, real Fried Chicken. Meander into the 21st century and we don't fry with grease. So, I figured out a way to make the best of the Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken and put my Gluten Free spin on it and even a great short cut to bring you this delicacy....

Southern Gluten-Free Buttermilk OvenFried Chicken


Forgive me, I have abandoned the whole chicken for this simple recipe. You'll be happy about this, trust me.  So, really this should be titled the Southern Gluten-Free Buttermilk Fried Chicken Nuggets! :)  You know, similar to Southern icon, Mrs. Kay from Duck Dynasty and her Buttermilk Frog Legs. 

For today, let's just make this Southern Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken. :) 

Here we go: 

1 1/2 .lbs Chicken Breasts - boneless skinless and sliced into desired nugget size, or not
1 c. Buttermilk 
2 T. Crystal Hot Sauce from New Orleans :)              
1 t. black pepper
1 t. white pepper
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (if you are me, more! :)
4 garlic cloves mashed 
1 1/2 cups Almond meal (100% almond "flour)
2 T. Butter (whole, real and salted)
2 T. canola oil
Salt and Pepper 

This is Crystal Hot Sauce
from New Orleans

Preheat oven to 425 degrees when ready to Bake the Chicken. 

First, place chicken breasts in pyrex; in a small bowl mix the buttermilk, Crystal hot sauce, black, white and cayenne peppers, and garlic. Stir to mix. Then pour over the chicken breasts in the pyrex; cover and place in the refrigerator; let marinate over night or at least a few hours. 
Next, place the 2 T. of canola oil in ANOTHER 9x13 pyrex and let it cover the bottom of pan. Then, take tongs and, one at a time, dredge the chicken in the almond meal in a small bowl. Cover the chicken breast with the almond meal. Then, place in the pyrex with canola oil in the bottom. (I found this system worked well for me even though it involved two dishes. Someone may want to use the same pyrex dish.)

After all chicken nuggets are coated in almond meal and placed in the pyrex, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Also, drizzle melted butter, a little on each slice. 

Mine look like this going INTO the oven/UNcooked. 

Bake in Oven uncovered for 35 minutes. Oven temperatures vary, bake until golden brown and cooked throughout like mine pictured here. 


This is a new family favorite! And we don't miss out on fried chicken. We also do not have to compromise for over greasy and over cooked processed fried chicken you buy out. 

Let me know if you try the recipe. We LOVE it! Cheers! 

Carolina Mama