A Taste of the Heartland USA

Welcome to the Heartland... here Carolina Mama relaxes with the Tigers at her Mama's home.

One of the many stops along the way - Ohio University @ Athens, Ohio. A charming old town. Great lunch at Brenan's.

West Virginia take me home country roads....

It's going to be a good Corn Harvest this year. Just look at those stalks.

Love our country, whether you're in the North, South, East or West she's beautiful and there is much to see and enjoy!


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Weight Loss and the Hungry Girl Interview!

Hungry Girl

Hey y'all. Today's post is still in cue but this is way exciting so here goes. Check out the button above for Carolina Mama's breaking news. :) Can you tell we're a tad excited!

August 4th I get to interview the Hungry Girl and I'll be sharing the video with you here! Because I am such a Fiber One fan, I can't wait to use this coupon code and check out the new Yogurt with Fiber! Life just got better. So why wait. Get your coupon now...

Click here: Fiber One Yogurt Coupon!

This Weight Watcher Girl is thrilled for this healthy alternative and addition to my usual yogurt. While we're on a roll I'll let you in on this at my WW Meeting this week, I was down 3.6 pounds! That was after a week and a half since my last weigh in before the Wedding. So hey Wedding Cake isn't all bad if you continue to eat Perfect Oatmeal and Fiber One bars like I did even on vacation!

Girls we've got all the resources to live a healthy lifestyle right now. Let me know if you have questions about Fiber One, Hungry Girl, and Weight Watchers. This Hungry Girl Interview, healthy living and eating, WW, that's what I am Hooked On Friday! All my exciting news - what about you? Are you what are you hooked on? Please share. And I look forward to sharing the video, and hearing your thoughts on the new yogurt. Remember to print your coupon!


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Weight Watchers Girl Interviews Hungry Girl


That's right y'all! This is new news and even though we're setting up our details, I wanted you to know I am so excited that I get to interview the original Hungry Girl! You know how I love her products, advice, recipes and more. Hungry Girl has been such a great compliment to my Weight Watchers membership.

You all know how I love the WW products, snacks and community. I also love the community and information that Hungry Girl shares online and in her latest book. Now, you'll get a chance to see the Video. [passing the smelling salts] Yes, Video. Assuming techy and I get it all going, we'll be making our Video Interview available right here on Carolina Mama.

You get to participate - seriously, what questions are you burning to ask Hungry Girl? Let me hear you - diet, exercise, sugar, splenda, equal, stevia, etc. Recipe creations for healthy eaters? Please leave me a comment with your thoughts and questions.

I'll be sure to share Hungry Girl with you by bringing her your questions! And mine because believe me, it is a journey, a lifestyle and a joy to eat healthy, exercise and live healthfully in our God given bodies. Look forward to hearing from you. Now y'all excuse me, I am on the way to "weigh in" see all my friends. And Celebrate!

Y'all stay tuned an we'll see ya real soon!


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Winner and A NEW Giveaway: Sweet and Salty Granolas

Congratulations to the Winner of the Summer Bridge Activity Book is: Kelli @ Joy. These are awesome books year-round and you all will love them.

Now those who did not win can take heart because we have another lovely Giveaway from the awesome company Sunbelt's Giveaway - Sweet & Salty Chewy Peanut Granola Bars! Y'all these are so great. They are a quick and handy and nutritious snack My Tigers, boys y'all, get totally satisfied with these.

Here's what we do - for example, on our recent trip - I took a box for snacks along so anytime someone was hungry, there was my go-to box. Right on top were the Sunbelt Sweet & Salty Chewy Peanut Granola Bars and they were going quickly except that Sunbelt sent me half dozen boxes.

So we're good. Sweet & Salty Granola is a new granola bar to help families save a little when shopping for good things. It even includes fiber and protein… and has a melty chocolate flavor.

Sunbelt Sweet & Salty Chewy Peanut Granola Bars are chocolate dipped granola bars for $2.59 a box (8 individually wrapped bars). That’s 32 cents a bar. It’s different than other sweet and salty granola bars because of its chocolate and peanut combination.

They’re at grocery stores and discount centers nationwide. The website www.sunbeltsnacks.com has nutritional information. Sunbelt is part of McKee Foods, which also makes Little Debbie.


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Boredom Tip Summer Bridge Activities Books & Giveaway

Summertime, year-round - Anytime! Check out these amazing books....

My Tiger busy at work and it's Summer! That's right!

Whether you are on a traditional, year-round, homeschool or private track, you will be impressed with the Summer Bridge Activity Books! After all, we're in the middle of summer and look what the Tigers are doing - Summer Bridge Activity Books! Really! Guess what books were in their backpacks for our recent trip? Summer Bridge Activity Books! Here you see Tiger B who dove right into the books as soon as I handed them to him.

We love that these are clear, colorful and simple to read do on their own. There is a great variety in each book and motivational help like stickers and much more fun! So my biggest tip for vanishing summer boredom is Summer Bridge Activity Books. Offer them early and often to your child if they are looking aimless or like they've got a little too much time on their hands. I guarantee you, you'll both be happy.

One lucky reader will receive a set of Summer Bridge Activity Books for your child - any child age PreK through 8th Grade is eligible.

Leave a comment telling me why your child could use one of these awesome books! And check out "Works For Me Wednesday" for more Tips and Fun.

Twitter the Giveaway and enter yourself a second time. Good luck! Someone will be very happy.


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Home Again & Lands' End Backpacks and Lunch Boxes Fall Fashion

We're home from the Wedding and there's lots to share. First of all, I wanted to share this helpful hint for those gearing up for School starting.

Lands' End Backpacks

With Summertime in full swing and Fall just around the corner, are you looking for the Best Backpacks and Best Lunch Boxes? Check out Lands' End for the Best of the School Season Fall 2009.

Click here to enjoy SAVINGS on each backpack you order:

Who made me the expert? We know from our own experience that these are tried and true. Take a look at the Tigers enjoying the Backpacks and Lunch Boxes.

As a Mama, I love these insulated lunch boxes. They are hip and cool in their style. And they have durable zippers and pockets. We've even used them this summer at the pool for box juices. :)

Lands' End Lunch Boxes

If you had any doubt, here are the Tigers in a candid moment with their lovely, new Best Backpacks by Lands' End. They both love their colors and the cool compartments and how solidly made they are. I do too.

They're also adjustable, have water bottle pockets, and can be monogramed. Use your coupon above and enjoy getting your children ready for school.

One more perk that is available beginning July 30th is Lands' End's Packland where kids can have a lot of fun designing their Lands' End Backpacks and personalizing them. Check this out:

Feel free to email or Twitter Carolina Mama with any questions. Enjoy!


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Reflecting On A Wedding Founded on Christ

My nephew was married yesterday and it was a blessed day. Here's a glimpse....

Steven Curtis Chapman "I Will Be Here"

"I Will Be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman

Tomorrow morning if you wake
up and the sun does not appear
I will be here
If in the dark, we lose sight of love
Hold my hand, and have no fear
'Cause I will be here

I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and trying
We'll be together
I will be here

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I will be here
Just as sure as seasons were made for change
Our lifetimes were made for these years
So I will be here

I will be here
And you can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I will be here
Oh, I will be here

They are on their honeymoon.... May it last forever. God Bless!


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It's National Cowboy Day

National Cowbow Day

Happy National Cowboy Day... and a beautiful family Wedding!

See you soon friends!


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Winners Winners Pre BlogHer Winners

Note: UNedited see below for details :)
Right on the brink of BlogHer's kick off, we have excitement for the locals.  Absolutely!  We're announcing the lovely Trix Swirls Winner and the Deck of Chores Winner!  Yes, it is midnight and I am aware we're on the way to the 23rd of July and these Winners are hot and ready.  What can I say a Family Wedding will do that. 
So without further ado...  the Trix Swirls Winner is: Congratulations to Jen @ OneMomsWorld!  Cool! (will link when back to my computer - wow this is a tough transition back to windows.) And the Deck of Chores Winner is:  Congratulations goes to! Number 2 - Ann.  (Will link you once I am back to my lovely Mac. Windows is being tres difficile tonight)
Now I have readers who will have shiny happy swirly colorful children who do all the Chores in an instant!  Now that's an accomplishment!  Thanks for entering, reading and for the fun.  And I might as well announce, it is going to be a bit sporadic over the Wedding festivities and yet, stay tuned because that's when you get the real fun like this post that is boring because I am working on Windows.  And no offense, Windows Girls, but when you're a Mac Girl, it's a tough situation.  I'll spare you the details of the upscale hotel that advertised WiFi included and failed to mention that Apple Fans are not included.  Okay, in light of world peace, I'll survive tonight. 
Stay tuned because we're up to a whole lot of fun. What about you - what are you up to these days?  And just to keep my routine a little familiar, This is my TIP:  When traveling and making hotel arrangements, ASK the Reservations Staff if it includes say Apple!  Want other tips at this late hour check out <a href="http://www.wearethatfamily.com/2009/07/wfmw-travel-tips.html">Works For Me Wednesday? </a>

Free Starbucks, Free Sweet Tea - Life Is Good

That's right, FREE Starbucks Pastry with Drink Purchase today! Did they know I am recovering from an awesome week of family visiting fun and preparing for a family Wedding!?! Do they know that any day I am looking for a good reason to frequent Starbucks one more time. Today's our day. Now to narrow down "which" pastry....

FREE Starbucks

While you're here at Carolina Mama getting all the Southern goodness news there's not only FREE Starbucks, there's FREE McAlister's Sweet Tea i.e. Tea Freaks! Right, just pay me later! Talk about a fun, full drink week.

All you folks from "elsewhere," you know who you are, the ones who have made fun of our Southernness all these years! Now, is your chance to taste the goodness, become a Tea Freak! at your local McAlister's Deli. Because McAlister's is t.h.e BEST Sweet Tea on the planet aside from going by yo' Mamas. If there was ever any doubt, just check this out on your way over....

As you'll notice, we Southerners take our drinks seriously. Now, I have not gotten word of a FREE Southern Mint Julep day, stay tuned. Meanwhile, enjoy being Southern for just a day. Take in a little Old South.

Tell me your drink story?


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My McDonalds No, Not Me!

Today was a special day at our home. Four years ago today, the Tigers prayed to accept Christ as Savior. It was a big week in our family. The catalyst to this huge conversation came from our "Loss of the Roses." So the light in the darkness was clearly our young children starting their own walk of faith through this difficulty. (And though emotions run high, I tend to write about things once I have gotten a little distance between then. So suffice it to say we're had a reminiscent week.)

Fast forward to lunchtime today, I took the boys to McDonald's. After all, they still love the little miniature stuffties in the Happy Meal. And I am acutely aware that there tastes will change all too soon. The boys were ordering their own meals and paying for with the enthusiasm of an eight year old child.

Soon Tiger A realized he needed a cheeseburger to supplement his Happy Meal and so he was off to order. As I watched and waited, the Cashier asked "Are all of those yours?!" I finally got to see what all of my friends with six children feel like except I think there were seven total today. I smiled and said, "The Twins are mine." Knowing full well, if she couldn't recall just placing the order she surely didn't get who "the Twins" were. That was okay by me. Really I wanted to answer "I wish!" just to see her response. And partly because I do. :)

Then knowing the answer, I asked, "Do you have any?" As perdicted, she replied, "No." Then I didn't predict her to so readily refer to money in the context of children, "All of my money is for me." I was flabergasted.

No, Not me! I did not reply, "Because It's All About The Money!"
No, Not me!

And then as if I wasn't floored enough, she replied like we now understood each other, "Oh you know it, at 25, all the money is for me and it's mine." To which I could only manage a little 'okie dokie.' I mean what possesses people. As I was taught, "the Almighty Dollar." Believe me, I know we all need them and I was raised in a family that had many of them, yet as I walked away today, I couldn't help thinking I really had gotten an up close glimpse of the "me generation."

It was real obvious that this Cashier had never heard or been instilled these quotes:

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

This story had to make the No, Not Me! because for the first time a No Note Me momment happened, I actually thought this is such a No, Not me! moment!

What about you? How would you reply to that kind of question and conversation?! Do you have these "No, Not me!" moments? Please share them.


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"Stay With The Ship"

"Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away."

Acts 27:27-32

Today's Sermon was amazing. I loved this whole lesson from Acts 27. Pastor Richard Allen Farmer spoke about the Storms that come in life. The three stages of Storms: going into a storm, in a storm and coming out of a storm. It's inevitable. He made the point they dropped the anchors and prayed for daylight. And his finale was They stayed with the Ship! He said, "I'm staying with the Ship/Jesus/Church." Get this, even in and through the Storm. Heaven awaits.

He was also funny and entertaining in his sermon and in his singing and piano playing. And he's a pilot, too. Our boys loved it. They wanted to meet him afterwards.

It's not the most popular sermon and thought process today when people like Oprah want to talk about feelings, anything goes religion, creating your own religion and god. Happiness is religion. Me is the religion of choice. So in our generation, Staying the course with Christ regardless of the Storms of life - yea, it's pretty much a foreign concept. That's probably why we really soaked it all up.

How was your Sunday? Sermon? Scripture? Have a blessed day!


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Mother's Helper: Deck of Chores & Giveaway

Deck of Chores

Introducing my latest, Mother's Helper - enter Deck of Chores. These were a real delight to receive.

Believe me, I was so excited to get to participate in the Deck of Chores "Doing chores the fun way!" brand. They really were right on target with that quote. As soon as the Tigers got the package - they were intrigued and on board with the Deck of Chores. Your children have fun with their chores or play games for chores, parents can set out which chores need to be completed or have the entire family pick a card each for their daily chore. These cards are so well made and durable.

The Tigers jumped right in and chose chores and carried their card around while they worked. It was fun to see their excitement. I love that these are easy to use and understand. The chores are simple and yet basic enough to keep your family having fun and organized for all time. Deck of Chores comes with custom sized cards in a sturdy stand up holder that is attractive, fun, easy and great for the whole family.

You can follow Deck of Chores on Twitter @ Twitter/DeckofChores

What a great way to have fun with the entire family and get things done! That's always a winning combination at Carolina Mama! How about you? How do you get things done and get the children involved?

It's looking like "Giveaway Weekend!" around Carolina Mama! That's right, Deck of Chores is giving away a Deck of Chores to one lucky Carolina Mama reader:

Enter by Commenting the one Chore you'd love to see get done first! Contest ends Wednesday, July 22, 2009.

Good luck!


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