The Kirkley Hotel Lynchburg, Virginia the Best of Family Travel and Conference Center

Recently, we were hosted for a visit to an amazing boutique hotel in Lynchburg, Virginia. Now, I get to tell you all the things I love about it! My own opinion and favorites! We were so delighted with The Kirkley Hotel's affordable luxury!! Thank you Lynchburg, Virginia for hosting our visit as well!

The Kirkley Hotel is wonderful for Family Travel! From the warm welcome from the Front Desk Staff

... to the beautiful fresh flowers throughout the hotel, it was a beautiful experience. 

Let me tell you a little of the Kirkley Hotel history!
"In 2007 the Greenbergs purchased the Kirkley seeing its potential to give guests the opportunity to experience some aspects of the luxury they had consistently provided, but at a very affordable price.
The Kirkley Hotel and Conference Center in Lynchburg, Virginia is not like a chain such as Marriottor Hilton brand hotels. It is unique, personal, warm, and creative. All of the interiors, and much of the furnishings, have been designed by Peter. All items are residential in warm tones and lasting materials. The hotel features luxury bed linens, luxury bath towels, custom amenities and dozens of small touches that make the Kirkley a home away from home."

The Kirkley is located conveniently to all of these Lynchburg, Virginia attractions. We loved our spacious and comfortable room.

The room had plenty of room for a desk and two relaxing leather chairs. We had a view of the Smokey Mountains! The best! So fun, for those of us in the heart of the Triangle! 

The view was so pretty and the Blue Ridge Parkway was near by. The Blue Ridge Parkway is America's most scenic drive extending 470 miles linking the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks! 

Here are more of the Kirkley amenities that we loved: 
  • Luxury Bed Linens

  • Luxury Bath Linens - plenty of linens because I love extra towels!

  • Starbucks Coffee - even our favorite Verona! :) 

  • Elegant Furnishings

  • Complimentary Wifi

  • Complimentary Fitness Center 

  • Indoor Pool (pool renovations were happening) 

  • Free Parking

We enjoyed some down time in our room in the evenings after great explorations in Lynchburg and the area! 

The Kirkley is awesome for conferences. 

All the details make it a beautiful stay. 

Here is the Kirkley's The Great Room Restaurant! The restaurant is bright and modern and the food is outstanding! We loved their breakfast! 

The dining room was so clean and neat and inviting! It was very spacious and comfortable. There were several different seating options!

The Kirkley and The Great Room and beautiful fresh flowers throughout! 

Here is my beautiful omelette! It was delicious with spinach, peppers, and ham! 
I had to order the biscuit and sausage gravy side! Loved it! 

There was abundant fruit, yogurt and sweet bites! 

Our son ordered one of the incredible omelettes with sausage and he thought it was delicious and filling. That's good news for mom's of athlete's! 

We got up earlier and started breakfast first with coffee, of course!
We loved taking our time and visiting and enjoying the meal. The Great Room offers a 
full breakfast with unlimited fruits, yogurts, bagels and sweet rolls along WITH the 
choice of eggs and proteins! Also included is all of the juice, milk and coffee! 

Here is a view of the unlimited breakfast bar with all of the choices you can 
self serve as you wish. 

This was another beautiful part of the Kirkley! Here is a gorgeous room with outdoor and rustic appeal for campfire feel! We loved it! 

The conference rooms are available at the Kirkley. 

The property is spacious and the parking is abundant. We had beautiful weather in Lynchburg!

We loved visiting Percival Island Nature Area right on the James River in downtown Lynchburg! It was such a treat. The island has 15 miles of secluded hiking! We loved it! And we got to enjoy the LOVE sign of Virginia as loves! Virginia is for Lovers! 

The River was beautiful to cross over by foot hiking over to the Percival Island trails! 

Visit Lynchburg! There is so much to do! Visit Liberty University museums: Map:

Go to the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park : Appomattox Court House National Historical Park commemorates the heroic acts which took place in April of 1865 in this, the original village, to bring about the end of the Civil War. A walking tour is available.

The highlight of the Park is the McLean House where Generals Lee and Grant crafted and signed the terms of surrender, bringing an end to the bloodiest chapter of U.S. history.

Also see, Museum of the Confederacy: This American Civil War Museum interweaves the story of the Confederate States government, the military, civilians, and enslaved and free African-Americans.

You can also visit to visit the National Historic Districts listed on the provided map, the Old City
Cemetery Museums & Arboretum and the Lynchburg Museum.

We hope you get to visit The Kirkley Hotel! We know you'll love it and all of the amazing attractions in Lynchburg, Virginia and the Great Smokey Mountains!

Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure: As mentioned in the first paragraph, The Kirkely Hotel hosted our family for a Family Travel visit and review. This post is sponsored by The Kirkley Hotel and Visit Lynchburg, Virginia. All opinions are my own. 

Bold Cast VIII Guest Dr. BJ Lawson

Happy Father's Day to all of our Dads! I am honored to share with you Bold Cast with special guest Dr. BJ Lawson. Dr. Lawson is a long-time North Carolina resident and Duke University School of Medicine graduate. He is co-founder of EHOP Health and Journey 2 As I have shared here prior, I am so happy to be working with Journey 2 Health to spread the word about this incredible health and wellness resource to eat well, move well and live well! He is a family man so how appropriate to share his podcast with you this Father's Day weekend!

Dr. "BJ"Lawson, Co-Founder of Journey 2 Health

You'll love our chat. SO check it out here on iTunes or on our podcast syndication. You can follow Journey 2 Health on Facebook and Twitter:

Check out this episode!

Remember if you want to start your own Journey 2 Health with a private comprehensive coached team, go to . Everyone who signs up for a team now is able to receive a free Guided Journey for a family member or friend! Just use this Journey2gether link:

Again, Happy Father's Day!


FTC Disclosure: Again, sharing I work with Journey 2 Health. All opinions are my own and I invited Dr. Lawson to be on our Bold Cast as I would any other successful businessman. 

Father's Day at Bonefish Grill for Chef Paul Prudhomme's Creole-Style Redfish

Bonefish Grill always feels like a celebration! I have loved working with them through the years. so I had the idea of checking out the New Orleans Creole Blackened Redfish recipes by Paul Prudhomme, one of my favorites, and sharing my own thoughts and opinions with you! I'm sharing my full scoop with you here.

Bonefish Grill for Father's Day Creole Blackened Redfish would give Dad the special treatment! Let us tell you all the reasons you'll be glad you did! See the Bonefish Grill free gift cards offer at the end of the post! :)

For us, it's a family affair! Dad's love to share time together and have great food! :)

The seasonal specials available through June 19th . . . make your Father's Day plans now! You'll be thrilled! We arrived for an early lunch which was my Birthday lunch! It was ideal! We love the casual yet upscale atmosphere at Bonefish! 

The fresh fish experts at Bonefish Grill are spicing up summer with their new Creole-Style Redfish. Melding tastes from around the world for over the last 300 years, New Orleans creole cuisine is gaining popularity across America. As a leading tastemaker, Bonefish Grill is ratcheting this old world cooking up to new world tastes.
Redfish itself is a new type of fish on the polished casual favorite’s menu. The mild sweet fish with a medium firm texture was introduced in the 1980s in the New Orleans kitchen of famed Chef Paul Prudhomme. Bonefish Grill’s Creole-Style Redfish is topped with crawfish — a fresh water crustacean similar in taste to lobster and very popular in the South — then accented with a creole-style sauce and served with sweet corn spoonbread.
This dish took me back to New Orleans! 
Here is our Redfish dish! We are crazy for the Bonefish Garlic Mashed Potatoes so they were our side of choice with the incredible Blackened Redfish and Creole Crawfish sauce! 

Bonefish Grill is spanning the globe of culinary inspiration for other items on its new seasonal menu, including:
·         Crab Cake Topped Wood-Grilled Atlantic Cobia – for a new twist, Bonefish Grill creates a delicious combination of flavors, pairing a popular starter with an interesting fish offering a rich, sweet flavor that is slightly firm, with a light flake. Served with a jalapeño bacon cream sauce it is finished with jalapeño slices and served with jasmine rice and French green beans.
Because this New Orleans girl loves her Red Fish, and Bonefish Grill wants their customers happy, they let me substitute Redfish with their Crab Cake! Heaven indeed! It was an incredibly delicious pairing! I love their steamed broccoli and potatoes au gratin to round out the meal! By the way, the jalapeño was the perfect seasoning. Truly just an accompaniment. 

·         Fresh Maryland Soft Shell Crabs - a delicacy only available a few weeks of the year, the Soft Shell Crab is sautéed crispy, stuffed with a Maryland-style crab cake and served with choice of two fresh sides.
·          Cedar Plank Norwegian Salmon –Sourced fresh from Norway, this Atlantic Salmon family is higher in fat content, Omega 3 fatty acid and has a velvety texture. Roasted on a western red cedar plank from the Pacific Northwest it is topped with a fresh, light citrus, honey-based glaze and served with a vegetable medley of asparagus, spring peas, pearl onions and button mushrooms.
·         Kate's Wild North Atlantic Haddock –This nostalgic favorite of loyal Bonefish Grill guests features this mildly sweet, wild white fish — cut in-house — garlic crumb dusted, wood-grilled, topped with feta and a lemon basil butter sauce.
Let me tell you how our teen sons love Bonefish Grill! They pretty much sum up our family spirit at Bonefish! Happy! :)  We paused for a moment before we were seated.

Our feelings exactly! :) I was so happy to get to spend my Birthday at Bonefish! Perfect timing and Thank you Bonefish Grill Cary! They served me their signature Dark Chocolate with pecans! Another favorite! 


Bonefish Salads are excellent as well! The lemon vinaigrette with pine nuts was something I wish they sold in a bottle! :) 


Bang Bang shrimp with green beans is one of our son's favorite things! 

A classic Bonefish Grill Half-Pound Wagyu Beef Burger* toasted brioche bun, fully dressed with sharp Cheddar and special sauce, add bacon is a favorite in our family, too! 


***Exclusively at Bonefish Grill restaurants June 15-18, when a guest purchases $50 in gift cards they’ll receive five additional $10 bonus cards for a total of $50 in value.

We hope you get to take your Father or someone special to Bonefish Grill for the Creole Redfish specialties! Enjoy! 


FTC Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Bonefish Grill. All opinions are my own. 

Join Me on a Journey 2 Health

Hope you all are having a great Spring! I love May! It is a beautiful time of year. Everything is green, fresh and new! I love to set goals and evaluate where I am in the year!

It is perfect timing to share my new work with Journey 2 Health. Journey 2 Health involves something near and dear to me, Health and wellness! I've loved my focus on fitness and wellness through the years on the blog, Weight Watchers, Shaklee, Gluten Free, etc. You all know I've shared my triumphs and challenges, my struggles with my consistency in these areas after experiencing grief and great loss. The timing could not be more perfect for me. Welcome to Journey 2 Health.

My role will be Social Media Consultant. As usual, I will be helping you to be the first to know all of the good things that Journey 2 Health has to offer. As an added bonus, I’ll be on one of the J2H Teams that launch June 5th!

You know my work ethic is to be connected to, working with and sharing about brands and products I believe in personally. I hope you will journey with us since Journey 2 Health is available to individuals now. Here is more of the scoop and why I’m honored to work with the Journey 2 Health team!

Journey 2 Health

For many people, individual coaching and engagement is the key to fostering positive lifestyle change. The Journey 2 Health program combines personal coaching and education with team-based engagement and encouragement.

I love that this program offers you the health and wellness through its three pillars of success: "Eat Well, Move Well and Live Well!"  Basically, it’s forever because the Journey 2 Health philosophy is for life. It is truly an education and active lifestyle for life. I am so excited to learn new things. Of course, it helps that the co-founders are friends of ours. They live the life, walk the walk, which makes it that much more attractive. I am excited to learn.

You may know of the corporate side of Journey 2 Health which is EHOP Health.  They have been around transforming lives for a while now and are making it available at the individual level so everyone can benefit!

In my past endeavors of health and wellness, I have not had the overall picture of health and wellness in mind. WW was great for points and checking boxes to meet a goal, Shaklee has great products, gluten free was pretty clean.  However, with Journey 2 Health, I am awakened to the overall understanding of health and wellness for long term with the foods we eat!

journey2gether with me #Journey2Health

Get ready! The next Journey Launch Day is June 5th! Would you like to join us? 

We’re putting together teams which include one of the Journey 2 Health wellness and nutrition coaches! Get on board and journey to your health and wellness for life. These are private groups with accountability and coaching and resources available to you any time.  I've seen the J2H App! It totally rocks and this techy loves the App side for education, support and accountability.

I’m really thrilled to share a promotion for you to highlight the launch:


Everyone who signs up for the June 5th launch using the link below will be part of the journey2gether promotion:

Everyone signing up for a Coached Journey will receive a free Guided Journey so that your spouse or special "journey partner" can join your team with you at no extra charge. How fun is that!  

Journey2gether is a great way to get the whole family on board -- that way both the mom and dad are getting the lessons, able to interact and ask questions in the J2H app, and take full advantage of the curriculum.

If you have any questions or want to talk to one of the health coaches, fill out the Contact Us form so you can get ALL the scoop pre-launch! You'll see the monthly plans so you can choose what is best for your lifestyle, goals and budget! I'm thrilled to see that the most generous plan is less than the cost of a Health and Wellness Coaching or Counseling session. I know you get a personal telephone Coaching session each month, and you can communicate with your coach whenever you like through the J2H App! There’s the ROI!  

So you know, because I am excited to get to participate as part of my work benefits, I am excited to share. I am choosing to share a before picture and I'll be updating you all every month with how I improve in mind, body and spirit as I "Eat Well, Move Well and Live Well!"

Let me know! Are you in Team Journey 2 Health?! I'd be honored to do this together! A huge Thank You to Journey 2 Health for reaching out to partner and work together on this great mission to wellness for life.

Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure:  This post is my disclosure of my working relationship with Journey 2 Health. I am choosing to share my own opinions and experience with Journey 2 Health.

Bold Cast VII Guest Lynn Custer Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I have a special Bold Cast podcast with a well known, respected and loved Raleigh Mom, Lynn Custer! Lynn is a wife, mom and mentor to many Moms in North Carolina through her "Season's of a Mother's Heart" by Sally Clarkson Mom Groups! Meet Lynn!

Lynn Custer, Raleigh, North Carolina

If you know Lynn, you'll love our chat! If you haven't met her, this is a great welcome and introduction! I know you'll be blessed to hear Lynn either way! She shares a wealth of wisdom! Enjoy!

Here Lynn and I are in a Christmas Choir with Keith and Kristyn Getty of Getty Music at DPAC Durham, North Carolina. We performed together - isn't that awesome - at DPAC for "An Irish Christmas" with the Gettys! Now, we're chatting on podcast! :)

CarolinaMama and Lynn Custer, DPAC, Durham, NC
in Choir at Getty Concert "An Irish Christmas"

Bold Cast is excited to host the very special, loved and respected, Lynn Custer for a Happy Mother's Day surprise! Welcome Lynn! Lynn shares about her "Season's of a Mother's Heart" groups she mentors. If you would like to join a group click here, or email:  Listen in, you be delighted! Lynn mentions Storyformed by Sarah Clarkson, Sally's daughter. Storyformed "What starts in a story, grows into a life!" is an amazing and hearty resource!

Check out this episode!

Again, Happy Mother's Day!


Bold Cast VI Guest Leigh Hines

Check out this episode!

Welcome to Bold Cast VI! Our 6th podcast episode features our very own, North Carolina native, Mom and business woman, Leigh Hines! It was a joy to interview Leigh! Leigh and I are colleagues and fellow travel bloggers with lots in common. You can imagine the fun we had talking about all the things.

As an upscale travel blogger, Leigh will tell you where to go for the best stays and deals! She shares a lot of great information to help you navigate travel! She's passionate about her love of Beauty Counter and how good it is for you!

Meet Leigh!

Malise Terrell of Carolina Mama Blog is so happy to host Leigh Hines, North Carolina native and entrepreneur. Leigh's interview highlights her Mom adventures as PTA President, Upscale Travel Blogging and Beauty Counter Consultant. You'll want to hear Leigh! She is a North Carolina native, lives in Raleigh,is a Blogger, creator of #OutAboutNC , and is a PTA President and more.

Carolina Mama

My Parents 60th Wedding Anniversary

My Parents' 60th Anniversary of their Wedding here in Raleigh at Hayes Barton Methodist Church was last month. My brother, sisters and I have always celebrated this special occasion. You may have seen my fun video toast on my Instagram that day.

"Happy 60th to My Parents!"

We always expect feelings of gratitude, admiration and wistfulness for days gone by. We want to remember. This year, I wasn't prepared for the happy I felt .... even for just moments. Do you know how happy this little Instagram post made me feel?! For a moment, I was celebrating "My Parents!" Just saying "My Parents" felt so beautiful.  In fact, I didn't expect to be overcome with emotion from referring to my parents.

You see it has been my entire adult lifetime since I have been able to refer to "my parents" when both of my parents were living. They shared a beautiful life, an extraordinary love and legacy.  I've written about losing my Daddy, our Daddy, Husband, Leader, Friend, Advocate, Attorney, Deacon, sooooo much more lost way too soon. Then, I've shared about my Mommy, our Mommy, Wife, Leader, Friend, Advocate, Teacher, Community Leader and Builder, Music Ministry leader, soooo much more lost later and always to soon to their child. Even as an adult child.

There have been many stages through the years. This year, on our parents' - "my parents" - anniversary, these feelings caused me to pause....  For a moment. I saw us celebrating our parents, the party we created, the travel to get us together, the speeches we were making, the gifts we were giving, the food, all the favorite perennial, Southern dishes that our mother had prepared for so many years. Then, the photos.... oh, the selfies and family selfies we would take. The children, the grandchildren and the great grandchildren what joy!

They were beautiful and ecstatic moments!  Naturally, too soon I was brought back to reality and the aching was real which reminded me of the Emily Dickinson poem my mother introduced us to when our Daddy went on to heaven. If you have lost a loved one and had the instant decisions of life to make in the middle of the fervent emotions, you understand The Bustle in a House the morning after death....

The Bustle in a House #1108

Related Poem Content Details

The Bustle in a House 
The Morning after Death 
Is solemnest of industries 
Enacted upon Earth – 

The Sweeping up the Heart 
And putting Love away 
We shall not want to use again 
Until Eternity – 

As painful as the loss is, I'm so grateful we had the love and life we did! I've found the beauty in the truth that those who go before live on in those lives they've left here.  They loved life and family! I love their contagious smiles here! 

Since writing this, Prince Harry revealed that he finally sought grief counseling many chaotic years after tragically losing his dear mother, Princess Diana. I well understand. Like Prince Harry, I learned the chaos of  traumatic loss and the benefit of counseling, and more counseling. Thankfully, I've experienced the beauty of time, life, family and love growing beautifully after a season. 

Like "The Bustle In A House," I look forward to the love I've swept up in my heart being "used" again in Eternity when I see "my parents!" 

Carolina Mama

* Resource I have shared prior is "Grief Share."GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone." 

Not sponsored. I shared the success of my own Grief Share journey after many years. You could even use the course and resources on your own. The daily email is encouraging as well.