Maria Shriver Sharing National Poetry Month

This Month has been National Poetry Month! The English major - Creative Writing - in me does not want to pass up this opportunity to share with you.

Maria Shriver has a huge passion for poetry and it really shows in this video I am sharing here. She challenged us - her Twitter followers - to read your favorite poem. As life and this month of April would have it - the post got set in my edit posts and I had it written out for you. However, given it is the final hour of "Poetry Month!" I am not lead to hop out of my warm cozy bed to YouTube my favorite poem. :)

So without much ado, I'll share Maria Shriver reading hers and you will find the favorite poem my father shared with my in junior high that I memorized for a project. Still with me today - just as he is!

And ironically, it's Arbor Day and I am sharing my "Trees!" poem. Things really do work out for good all the time! Enjoy!

by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Will you join me in planting a tree with Hanes! ? What is your favorite poem? Will you share it with Maria Shriver and me? Please comment below to join the fun.


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SImple North Carolina BBQ Chicken

Here's the latest BBQ Chicken we're eating in North Carolina - well at least at Carolina Mama.

You will not believe how easy it is. It is so easy you'll make it asap! You may call it Cololina or Carorado BBQ because the recipe came straight from my mother-in-love from Colorado! :)

Really! She is a great cook and she offered to make a great BBQ Chicken for the family tonight. I figured we were going to the store for a few items. Instead, she said this:

BBQ Chicken

5 Trader Joe's Chicken Breast Meat
1/2 bottle of favorite BBQ Sauce - we use Kraft Honey BBQ
Your Crock Pot!

You guessed it - literally place the chicken in the crock pot and cover with your favorite BBQ sauce and cook for three hours. Then shred the chicken and stir into the remaining sauce and heat on "warm" for an hour.

Enjoy with NC Cole Slaw as seen in this picture above!! Or enjoy with steamed broccoli and rice like we did! This summer I plan to make a light version of Paula Deen's Potato Salad and enjoy with Sweet Tea!

What is one of your favorite EZ meals?!

This menu is published at "Tasty Tuesday!" As part of Tasty Tuesday, I am answering the question: When did you learn to Cook?! My earliest memories are in middle school when my Mom taught me to cook and make what else - Sweet Tea for Sunday Dinner! Then those memories formed more and I fell in love with cooking as a Junior High Student taking "Home Economics!"

Yes, I am a proud Home Economics student of the 1980s! Wow, sounding dated! It's a small world! When did you learn to Cook? Do you have a favorite BBQ recipe you want to share?!


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Shirts That Go! Giveaway!

Shirts That Go!

We love this local company, Shirts That Go!, that recently partnered with Carolina Mama to share the great news about these very cool boys shirts! It's a North Carolina company which makes us smile! These shirts are super soft and comfy to our boys!

Look how cool the designs are: They are so unique and defined. We love them. And Shirts That Go! is offering a Giveaway to one lucky reader. See end of post.

Let me tell you about the quality and style. These shirts are soft and durable all in one. The Tigers adore them! And the pictures of "Things That Go!" are so real life and like no other.

Nick of Shirts That Go! says, "Currently we have a set of train shirts, truck shirts, and airplane shirts. You can quickly jump to the product pages using either the links on the left or the links included below if you want to see actual product pictures and pricing. Our initial 9 designs feature our favorite "core" vehicles. "

Here's the exciting thing: Shirts That Go! wants your input! And they are hosting a Giveaway for one lucky Winner! Please take the survey for a chance to win your own choice of a kids shirt from Shirts That Go! What Things That Go would your child and you like to see? They are involving you in the Survey for next designs! I'll tell you - the Tigers have already suggested the Rocket Ships! And Space Shuttles!

Take the Survey:

Then enter your name below for a chance to win your own Shirts That Go! of your choice!

Here's How To Enter To Win More Entries:
1) Tweet it;
2) Facebook it;
3) Blog it; and
4) Complete the short survey!

Enter once for each step you complete. All the best! Giveaway Contest closes April 30th @ Noon!

Not Me Monday! I didn't just publish this at Not Me Monday! just so more of you can enter this awesome Shirts That Go! Giveaway! No, Not Me!


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"It Is Well With My Soul!" by Whitley Phipps

Today I was moved again about the amazing story behind the song, "It Is Well with My Soul!"

"It is in the quiet crucible of your personal private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born and God's greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you have been through!" by Whitley Phipps

Whitley Phipps was a part of the Billy Graham Crusade as he calls it "hooked up from heaven!" Amen!


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Earth Day - What's Your Walk Score

Happy Earth Day!

We just discovered our home has a 50% walkability score! Ideally, it would be great to have a walkability score of 100%. I'd love to walk everywhere. I have lived in a community with 98% walkability. It was fantastic!

You can check your Walk Score by clicking below. Close the window that says no address and enter your own. It's fun!

This home’s Walk Score:TM

73 out of 100 — Very Walkable

View on

Walk Score House Icon Walk Score

Here is a family committed to leaving a lighter footprint on the earth. One day this husband to a family of four woke up and said, "We have seven sofas!..." which lead to an amazing project for them. Building a Green House!

In many ways, it is just another day here. For some time now, we have made an effort at going green, recycling - kudos to Mountain Man who recycles on our curb recycle pick-up and who weekly takes other items to the recycling center! It's a commitment and one he is sharing with our whole family.

Really! What man do you know that recycles anything he can find in the kitchen before he sits down to dinner. Did I say it is a commitment! Because I also have a commitment to serving homemade hot meals at home and sitting down to dinner together.

Sometimes I'll admit, it is easier to just throw things away. Than to break it down and put it in separate recycling containers, etc. Yet every little bit helps. We do some things naturally and we are adding things all the time to our greener home. We're also choosing more organic foods - for us that means going local! We love North Carolina homegrown vegetables and more.

Here are some simple ways things we have done to right-size our home and life that we want to share this Earth Day!

1) Have an accessible recycling center for all cereal boxes, oatmeal cartons, etc. that can be broken down and recycled.
2) Once a week, my husband and sons take all recycling that is not picked up by our neighborhood recycling services;
3) We use energy efficient light bulbs throughout our home - reducing energy use and cost;
4) Simply use the many logo bags and designer bags that you have to carry library books, groceries and other items;
5) Visit your local Farmer's Market for healthy local fare.
6) For the 12 1/2 years we have been married, we have used a Britta water cooler to filter our water in the refrigerator. We have filtered, cold water and we are constantly refilling water bottles, and glasses of water at home. (less plastic in landfills)
7) We made the choice of a wood-burning fire place in our home - for warmth, and sustainability and we love it! There's something about a real fire. And less energy used.

What are some of your favorite things to do to conserve the earth? Are you walking lightly?


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Interview with Todd Wilson of Family Man Ministries

We were blessed this weekend to have Todd Wison of Family Man Ministries give an awesome - sweet seminar on homeschooling. We felt like it was a great realationship seminar as well. :)

Todd touched on many different key points. Some of them were directed towards home schooling subjects. One of the key points that really touched Boulder Mountain Man and about getting your priorities in order. One of the most important priorities he talked about was a relationship with God then spouse first and foremost.

Todd talked about the lies homeschooling moms believe, which was very helpful to me. Mountain Man bought the book "Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe" for me - it's good to realize some of the subtle ways we buy into the negative thoughts and lies that come our way often by those meaning well yet not educated themselves on homeschooling and its awesome benefits for the whole family.

Loved getting a minute to interview Todd Wilson regarding his ministry and the weekly email for Dads! [why does YouTube consistently get the one shot of you talking mouth open to be the cover of each video. Who knows! :) Otherwise, enjoy!]

One of the most powerful statements made was "LOVE YOUR CHILDREN JUST THE WAY THEY ARE!" This is so true as a mom of multiples, as they are still two very different people! Our boys each surprise and delight me each day with their uniqueness. And they challenge me in so many awesome ways.

There are many more resources that you can check out at Family Man Ministries today! We had a great time, sometimes you just gotta say: Can learning really be this fun? You bet it can!


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Why Weight Watchers Works!

Admittedly, I was one of those who always said, "No, Not Me!" "I'll never tout certain weight loss 'products' or companies because we all know it's just healthy diet and exercise that matters." You know, "Calories in, calories out!"

Of course, if it were that easy, 1/3 of Americans would not struggle with obesity and more than that with their weight in general. So yes, after becoming a Mom to Twin sons and regaining my pre-pregnancy figure and number :) back "on my own!" I have to tell you - surprisingly, it has been Weight Watchers that has walked me through living it, loving it and staying on track with my eating and the exercise!

Even though I grew up loving exercise - eating healthily all.the.time makes me love my exercise more! Something I let sway even training for and running my Marathon!

So check out Weight Watchers and this awesome video of success and see why more and more parents chose WW! And did I tell you about the Friendships!! The relationships have been awesome. I look forward to seeing my WW buddies just like I did sorority, Tri Delta Days! and Mom Bloggers and more.

Check out another great success story and why WW works!

Thanks to Wells Dairy the producer of Weight Watcher's Novelty Ice Cream who has partnered with Carolina Mama this year, 2010, I received these awesome and amazing frozen treats that are all only 2 points! Trust me thats good news and goodness in every bite!

Every months Wells Dairy Novelty WW Ice Cream sends us their awesome ice cream! Thank you Wells Dairy!

Here's what it looks like at our house when The Tigers discover "the box!" I tell you, it's better than the ice cream truck! :)

They really spoiled us this month with this chocolate heaven....

My Reasons WW Works:

1) I attend meetings and love them!
2) I track my healthy eating - on my iPhone - love it!
3) I exercise and enjoy it!

Are you a WW Fan?! What works for you? This post is published at "Not Me Monday!"


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Got Milk?! Milk the Moment North Carolina

We were recently invited to the "Got Milk?" initiative "Milk the Moment!" Healthy eating and activity habits for children.

The "Food Revolution's Jamie Oliver!" would be proud!

We had a wonderful time seeing our "Got Milk?" friends again. Katie you were missed this year. However, we are proud of "Got Milk?" and you that you were on assignment right here in Wilmington, North Carolina to encourage and award local schools for keeping healthy living options available for school children!

North Carolina believes in "Fresh Foods NOT French Fries!" And the Got Milk? Campaign supports that with their award for schools making a difference.

At any rate, here we are at the "Milk the Moment!" with our boys taking the challenge and thankfully, far succeeding, at the calisthenics. It was super fun. I loved that the Tigers had so much fun.

Not that anyone asked for my opinion, but since it's my blog, I'll go ahead with how awful I think it is that the schools are selling coca-colas, sodas of any and many varieties to the children! And they sell ice cream, cookies, chips, on any given lunch hour to the elementary school children. Sad. Moms we have to set the pace and make a difference. Call it what it is. And the more we educate our children and offer than healthy and whole foods the more they will chose them.

You can check out the Got Milk? 's Craft Corral for recycling. Do you recycle? Those trusty milk jugs and milk cartons can be used for many cool things and that helps our planet. Eating well, living well and recycling well = make the world a better place. Thanks Got Milk? for leading the charge.

Again this year, we were enthused about "Got Milk? encouraging the children to drink milk, eat a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and to be fit. We love this campaign.

Thanks Michel! We all had a blast and are super charged for good things like "Milk the Moment!"

Is all of this overwhelming for you? We all start somewhere. Think of one thing you can do this week. What changes will you make for your family? Feel free to share in the comments or email me if you have questions. I've got a great source in Boulder Mountain Man of Eat This, Recycle That.


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Huggies InspiredMoms Inventors

Huggies MomInspired
.... Calling all Mom Inventors!

Huggies is awarding Grants to inventive Moms up to $15,000 for business product development! Really! Huggies gets it with Moms and inventions and they are supporting Motherhood.

You can sign up to be the first to enter the First Round of Submissions! Get your inventive ideas flowing! Follow the Huggies MomInspired link to be a part of this exciting new opportunity.

More companies will surely take note of Huggies excellence with Moms and let's all enjoy where this takes Moms and families who are inventive!

Are you innovative? Signing up? This is published at "Works For Me Wednesday!"


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Starbucks Free Coffee Day - April 15th

Thank you Starbucks!

Some companies like Starbucks give back! And today Starbucks is showing us all have to give back to our planet too. Today is "The Big Picture - Make A Difference Day!"

Join the movement. On April 15th, bring a reusable travel mug into your local Starbucks and get a free brewed coffee.

One person can save trees, together we can save forests.

For the good of the planet, Starbucks is encouraging everyone to switch from paper cups to reusable travel mugs. One day in March thousands of New Yorkers made the switch. Join them now by taking a pledge to do the same.

This global movement is taking place in locations around the world including East China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, UK, Ireland, Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico.

Offer varies by country, ask your barista for details.

These facts and figures were taken from the Environmental Defense Fund, Water Council Systems, and the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Who's going?!


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0 Points Italian Spinach Soup with Kick

Wholesome goodness! With a 0 Weight Watchers Points Value! As my excellent WW Leader says, "That's what I'm Talking About!"

Italian Spinach Soup With Kick by Weight Watchers

0 POINT Value
Slow-Cooker Soup
@ ) Points PER SERVING I PREP: 20 MIN I COOK: 5 HOURS I Serves 8

An Italian spin on our (Weight Watchers) famous 0 POINTS'J value soup.

• 10 02 baby spinach leaves • 2 medium carrots, chopped • 2 medium celery ribs, chopped • 1 large onion, chopped 1 medium garlic clove, minced • 4 cups vegetable broth • 28 02 canned diced tomatoes 2 bay leaves 1 Tbsp dried basil 1 tsp dried oregano y, tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker; cover and cook on high for 5 hours. Remove bay leaves, stir, and serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.
GOOD IDEA: If you don't have a slow cooker, or want the soup fast,
" simply add the prepped ingredients to a large pot on the stove top. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low; simmer, partly covered, about 10 minutes. Done!

My family l.o.v.e.d this recipe! I added 1 can of our favorite beans - Great Northern Beans! It was just right and still kept it at 0 points given the amount of servings and vegetables included! I like that! We also added a French Baguette for each person. So a two point dinner full of fresh vegetables was delightful! What are your favorite Dinner Meals that are healthy living?

This is published at Tasty Tuesday!


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Beauty and the Beast on Broadway in Durham

The Triangle attracts the amazing production of "Beauty and the Beast on Broadway!" production!

Growing up, my parents loved the Arts and made every effort to take us to productions in New Orleans. I still remember with glee seing "My Fair Lady" with Julie Andrews at the Saenger Theatre in NOLA as a young girl.

Today, we're looking forward to "Beauty and the Beast" in all its grandeur with our young sons right here in Raleigh. The town where my parents married years ago. (heart beats faster!)

Take a look here at the Durham Performing Arts Center

Now surprise to you, we're surprising the Tigers! We all love Beauty and the Beast and cannot wait to see this Broadway production right here in North Carolina. And it's near my birthday - it can't get any better!

Beauty and the Beast

Hope you are planning to enjoy this smash hit Broadway production right here in North Carolina! Are you an Arts loving family? This would be a good starting point I think.

*Beauty and the Beast Broadway has sponsored Carolina Mama for this event. My enthusiasm is all my own. Reviews will be my personal opinion.


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Phil Mickelson the Master at the Masters

Proud of Phil Mickelson Masters 2010 Champion!!! Congratulations Phil and Amy!!

... who actively supports his wife through breast cancer. (note to Tiger here) When "Mickelson's wife, Amy, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Mickelson said he would suspend his PGA Tour schedule indefinitely.

And again when his own mother was diagnosed with breast cancer the same year!

Happy to see "someone who takes care of his family" win the Masters!

Thrilled Phil Mickelson as won the Masters 2010!


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My Ultimate Blog Party Post - Welcome to Carolina Mama!

Welcome to the South! Welcome to Carolina Mama's "My Ultimate Blog Party Post with 5 Minutes for Moms!" As a New Orleans native, we love a good party! If you haven't read it already - I've had the advantage of the "best of both worlds" a native Louisiana father and a native North Carolina mother. Life is great!

Hi, I am Malise of Carolina Mama right here in the heart of lovely North Carolina! I'm known to live-blog the mountains and beaches of North Carolina! You know, home of NCAA Champions Team Duke and the outstanding UNC Tar Heels!

Our family adores time together. Meet the family:

Family who loves Arts

Love our Tigers

Love the Outdoors & this Museum :)

We are a Sports family! Really! We love to watch the local times and a national favorites. We also love sporting together. We love to swim, play tennis, bike ride, hike... and snow too! We are "Faith, Family and Fun!" And a whole lot more.

Blogging at Carolina Mama has meant so much more to me than writing about my favorite things, yet it is relationships with amazing friends, old and new. Incredible companies who want to connect with moms and families. What more could I ask for in a writing project.

My Favorite Things Are All Things:
The South
Faith and

Love my Mountain Man, my Tigers (my Twin Sons!) and my iPhone!

5MinutesforMom are so nice, they're asking in advance what prizes I like! Should I win any of the awesome #UBP10 Prizes, here's my Wish List:

US31 – A $20 Amazon gift certificate.
US32 – $25 Target Gift Card!
US39 -Be My Guest certificate ($250 value) for one lucky winner, (2 night stay for a family of four) at any Hilton Garden Inn.
US105 – Get Fit Pack: One “lucky” winner will get a triple threat of Jillian Michaels.
US107 – $25 Gift Card to Target – See how much you can get using coupons and watching for sales.
US112 – $50 Amazon Gift card
US113 – $25 Walmart Gift Certificate
US114 – $25 Walmart Gift Certificate

We are happy you stopped by. Look forward to hearing from you! All the best via Carolina Mama,


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