"Fridays on the Front Porch" at The Carolina Inn Returns for 10th Season 2012

What's more Southern than the Front Porch!  It's community, it's neighborly...  it's fabulous at The Carolina Inn's "Fridays on the Front Porch!"

This year it's back for the 10th Season and we have the schedule. Check out the locals including the ever popular The Franklin Street Band! 

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.  (April 2012) –     The Carolina Inn begins the 10th season of its popular end-of-the-workweek celebration called “Fridays on the Front Porch” on Friday, April 27 from 5-8 p.m.

Live music creates the perfect atmosphere for kicking back, relaxing and getting a jump on the weekend. The Inn offers a picnic menu ($10 for adults/$5 for children) with beer, wine and drink specials, and plenty of comfortable seating under the shady oaks and magnolias on the Inn’s front lawn. There is no cover charge or reservations for the event.

Food and drink tickets are now available online for advance purchase at www.carolinainnestore.com, or may be bought the day of the event.

Fridays on the Front Porch features the music of some of North Carolina’s best bands for 25 consecutive Fridays through mid October. One of the area’s most popular musical groups, Big Fat Gap, starts things off on Friday, April 27. The lineup for the rest of the series includes Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojo, Down River, Franklin Street Band with Mick Mixon, The Gravy Boys and The Morning After.

2012 Schedule
April 27 – Big Fat Gap
May 4 – Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojo
May 11 – Down River
May 18 – Franklin Street Band with Mick Mixon
May 25 – The Gravy Boys
June 1 – Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojo
June 8 – The Gravy Boys
June 15 – Big Fat Gap
June 22 – The Morning After
June 29 – Franklin Street Band with Mick Mixon
July 6 – Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojo
July 13 – Big Fat Gap
July 20 – Big Fat Gap
July 27 – Franklin Street Band with Mick Mixon
August 3 – Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojo
August 10 – Big Fat Gap
August 17 – The Gravy Boys
August 24 – Franklin Street Band with Mick Mixon
August 31 – Down River
September 7 – The Gravy Boys
September 14 – Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojo
September 21 – Big Fat Gap
September 28 – Down River
October 5 – Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojo
October 12 – Big Fat Gap

Built on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill in 1924 by John Sprunt Hill – distinguished alumnus, successful businessman and University trustee – The Carolina Inn’s original concept was “to provide for the special wants and comforts of the University alumni...and University visitors.” The historical Carolina Inn features 185 charming and well-appointed guestrooms including 7 luxury suites. www.CarolinaInn.com
Destination Hotels & Resorts is a privately held hospitality management company headquartered in Colorado. With more than 35 independent, luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and golf clubs, Destination is the third largest hospitality management company in the country. The company’s portfolio features more than 8,970 guest rooms, 15 golf courses and 16 full-service spas. Destination Hotels & Resorts properties are located in key metropolitan and resort markets including Washington, D.C., Seattle, Denver, San Diego, Santa Fe, Aspen, Austin, Phoenix, Portland, Palm Springs, Palos Verdes, Maui and Lake Tahoe. The company is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment, development and management firm Lowe Enterprises. For a complete list of properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visitwww.DestinationHotels.com.

Contact: Martin Armes, 919-608-7260martinarmes@nc.rr.com

We are Carolina! And we love Carolina Inn!  We highly recommend it.  Remember our family visit when we fell hopelessly in love last year.  Yes! We love it that much! 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

*This post written because we Love The Carolina Inn and that's our opinion. You should check it out! :)

Summer Fashion with eBay and a Giveaway

*Edited to add Winner:  Congratulations to Nanette from A Mom Blog was #10 and our Winner chosen from Random.org. 

Summer is just around the corner.  I mean the Pool is open and school will be out in about 10 days.  It's time for the Seasons to change.  So yes, bring on the Summer Fashion! eBay can help you sell goods you are not using to purchase the Summer Fashion you will adore!

Nothing says Summer Fashion like classic navy and white strips found in this dress.   Now, you can update your Summer Wardrobe with eBay.  Get the latest in Fashion Trends with money you make selling items you do not use.  Or clothing you do not wear.  Remember, "your trash is someone else's treasure."  Sell on.  Of course, if you win the Giveaway, you can Buy on and get a dress like this.

Whether you love Maxi dresses, color blocked skirts, strappy sandals....Warm weather sparks the desire to upgrade your summer wardrobe.  Well, don't break the bank, with eBay Fashion you can Sell your way to great Summer Fashion.  

Parents go ahead and clean out your closets and fund your new seasonal additions.  That coat the children haven’t worn in years can fund a brand new floral dress that’s perfect for a warm day.

For me, its this brand new Samsung HMX-W190 Camcorder in Black/Red.  It is a waterproof pocket camcorder.  I am a MacBook Apple Geek and (gasp) this Camcorder is not compatible with the Mac so I turned to trusted eBay to make the sale. 

The sale of this Camcorder is going towards my Summer Fashion for BlogHer!  There you go, I am in on the Summer Fashion with eBay.  A girl can dream and plan and SELL!

So just to encourage you and your own Summer eBay Selling for Summer Fashino, we have an eBay GIVEAWAY!!!  Yes, it is true!  One of you will win at $100 eBay Giftcard!


Who: Anyone can enter. The more the merrier;

What: Win an eBay gift card of $100;

How: Enter to win by answering this question:  
     a) share a recent item you sold eBay;
     b) share how many listings you currently have live;
     c) how much money did you make in a recent sale; and
     d) tweet this link and share your tweet below.

Contest ends Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. You must be 18 or older and a U.S. resident. No purchase necessary. Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be notified via email. (Please be sure to provide a valid email address with your entry.) 

*All entries MUST include their eBay ID.

All the best to you and your Summer Fashion with eBay and with the Giveaway!

Warmly,  Carolina Mama

*I am on the eBay Parent Panel and am compensated for writing about my eBay experience.  Opinions are all my own.

Our Journey to Becoming a Fish Keeping Family

We are so delighted to be on this journey to being a "Fish Keeping Family!"  :)

Thanks to Smart Pet Guide, we're officially a "Fish Diaries Blogger" and here's our story on the site, Smart Pet Guide.  Check it out and enjoy all of the resources on the site for your own pet keeping!

Read More Here. :) 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

*I am a "Fish Diaries Blogger" with Smart Pet Guide and I couldn't be happier.  All opinions and our story is our own.

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope you have a lovely time with family and friends and freedom! Thank you to those who have served and do serve!

God Bless America!

Coca-Cola 600 Party Charlotte, NC

We are revving it up for the Coca~Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway!

We are inviting you and your friends, and our followers and fans to get revved up for NASCAR by following @CocaColaRacing on Twitter. You could even have fun and throw your own viewing parties and join in on the exciting Twitter conversations on race day.
Follow @CocaColaRacing on Twitter. @CocaColaRacing will be live Tweeting on May 27th interacting with NASCAR fanatics such as you, the Tigers and me! We cannot wait!

We will be LIVE TWEETING! @CarolinaMama

Let's show them all how real NASCAR fans watch the races. We'll be tweeting @CocaColaRacing and you know us, we'll most likely be sharing live footage of our viewing party. Join in and follow the #MYCOKERACE hashtag. Encourage your own guests and readers to do the same! It's a virtual Coca-Cola 600 Party!

Guess what? We will share a little secret - @CocaColaRacing has an “in” with some of NASCARS’s top drivers who will also be Tweeting, Seriously y'all, I love that the world is finally understanding Twitter. :) Come along and Retweet and joining in on the Twitter conversations before and after the race. You might just get to a shout-out from one of them! I know I totally will! :)

Carolina Mama

Drive One 4 UR School - Ford Motor Company Raises $1 Million

Ford never ceases to amaze me.  As you know, we "test drove" the Ford Edge to Florida for our i.See Kissimmee and Disney Social Media Moms trip.  It was fabulous to take along the amazing Ford Edge For the Road Trip!

It was comfortable, stylish and outfitted in the best of GPS, Keyless Entry Doors, my favorite, personalized Heated Leather Seats!  And now, Ford is helping out High Schools!

Check out the $1 Million they have raised for High Schools.  And schedule your school for a Drive One 4 UR School Fundraiser! :)


Ford Motor Company and Dealers Expect to Achieve $1 Million April Fundraising Goal for High Schools
DEARBORN, Mich., May 23, 2012 – In April, Ford and its dealers partnered in a special challenge to raise $1 million for local high school programs through more than 300 Drive One 4 UR School events throughout the U.S. Today, both announced that based on initial reports that are still coming in, they expect the $1 million goal will be achieved.
Since its inception in 2007, the Drive One 4 UR School initiative has raised at least $11 million and provides up to $6,000 per event through test drives of Ford products. More than 1,150 dealers have hosted more than 2,800 events, partnering with their local high schools to participate in the program. Funds raised can be applied to any area where the school needs support – athletics, music, even to fix damages from natural disasters. 
“We are excited to congratulate the schools, dealers and communities who worked so hard to reach this challenging goal in April,” said Tracy Magee, Ford Experiential Marketing manager. “The Drive One 4 UR School program was developed as a fun, engaging way to help high schools raise and apply money where they need it, and we realized that if we really focused our efforts in April, we could make a difference by raising money to protect important educational programs and services.”
How Drive One 4 UR School events work
For each Drive One 4 UR School event, Ford and Lincoln dealers work with a local high school to schedule a test-drive fundraising event. The dealers provide the cars to be test-driven, the high school organizes the event itself, and both work together to get the word out to their community. For every valid test drive completed, Ford Motor Company donates $20 to the participating high school, up to $6,000.
Click on the link below to watch a video and learn more about Drive One 4 UR School:
# # #
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

Warmly,  Carolina Mama

Wordless Wednesday - IKEA Goods

Our IKEA Fun!

This Sprint Called Motherhood

On a beautiful Spring night, I found myself among my handsome husband and dear friends who share our homeschooling journey. 

Most notable was the couple who mentors us along the way.  As we sat in their charming, quiet, expansive Southern home, relaxing, I relished not a tweet, a phone ringing, xbox, wii, or tv.  

In that quiet and stillness of yesteryear, I changed.  My heart was captured in a different way, regarding my children and husband and our family - our future.  I was forever moved. 

It was a classic Southern night, the beautiful pond, the ducks, a full moon, us out on the patio with great food and laughter.  Amazing home cooked meals, beautiful people, gorgeous home and acreage.  Yet, these were not the things that drew me in, it was the spirit. 

It has been a while since I have felt such a spirit of greatness in such a  small setting.  Thankfully, most Sundays I feel that blessing and community in our home church as we listen to amazing lessons by a pastor God ordained. 

Our hearts were eager, hungry for more from this classic, humble, knowledgable and grounded couple who's once young sons are now grown and finding their own way.  Their relationship was filled with frequent visits and calls and relationship with their
parents - sharing them with us here.  

There was something about the quiet calm and the company of greatness that was poignant.  As a boy mom, I knew that one day these same walls were targets for darts, and fingerprints, and paper airplanes.  These same walls held the hopes and fears of this then young mom as she raised her own generation "for such a time as this."  This same Mom had dreamed of order and sanity amongst the long, rambunctious life she undoubtedly had with two young boys. 

In some ways we stepped back in time, a classic original radio flyer red wagon here, wooden toys there, children's books everywhere.  They had it all.  A library, a play room, the perfect kitchen, bedrooms decked out, nooks and crannies, a dress up room.  

And times still marches on. 

As a nostalgic mom, I can stop here and cry.  Yet, my mind is on fire for the first words I heard as we listened with intent as the husband began to talk about the days, to our husbands, ....fathers.... "It's a sprint."  

"This is not a marathon.  You are on a sprint.  The sprint of your life and one day all too soon it will be over. And you'll be done.  Ours is over.....  

No parenting is never over.  You'll always be a part of their lives, but your everyday, the influence you had, the moment to moment togetherness, will be gone."  The wisdom in his voice of experience was sobering.  They had run hard and fast and well. I want to be like that.

Tears overcame me.  I knew this moment would change me. 

So rather than cry and wish for yesteryear and hold on to day - I knew I'd be different.  It is a sprint... he continued.  

I couldn't agree more.  I am in that sprint.  And I'm mid-lap.  Far enough in that I'm warmed up and close enough to the finish line that I'm gasping for breath.  After tonight, I know I am so close and the end comes so fast that I feel it in a way that makes me want to feel and live and love every second, every moment of today with my own two boys and husband I love.  

I want to be cognizant of every day - the moments - with our boys.  Our boys.  The ones who dance on the roof, and enjoy climbing walls, and an occasional swing from a ceiling fan.  I'm almost joking. Yet, there are moments when this "feels" true.  

Looking back on that night I strive to not forget. To have that "glow!" that I ran, fast and hard and well.  

At the end of the day ( or a life) that is the difference I want to make, a difference in lives, people. My people. I too want  make a difference for the next generation - my own. Everyday I to know I am in this "sprint" as we "raise greatness!" "For such a time as this." 

Are you there?  In the Sprint? 

Carolina Mama 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Raleigh Flea Market

Raleigh Tradition continues at the Raleigh Flea Market! 

"The Raleigh Flea Market at the Historic State Fairgrounds has been a Triangle tradition since 1971. Our fun, family-friendly atmosphere draws tens of thousands of shoppers every weekend. The flea market showcases more than 600 vendors, offering everything from antiques and collectibles to handicrafts, furniture, homemade goodies, clothing, jewelry, 
and…well, the list just goes on and on!"

Who knew!   We decided to check out the Raleigh Flea Market today. 
As it turns out, Saturdays are great days and there was still plenty of free parking. 

See, look at this fun!  "SALE!" 

This fun Giraffe print caught my attention as well art he whimsical Lamp! Love! 

The Kettle Corn is only the beginning of the food offerings!  Remember, this is the South y'all. 
So "FOOD" is going to be a large part of the story. And see it... Sweet Tea! 

So of course, my eyes caught this beautiful tureen from China. Isn't she beautiful! 

My "missing Disney" me, spotted these adorable Mickey and Minnie Mouse statutes and 
made me daydream of our Disney Social Media Moms days in April! 

Then my inner Designer fell in love with this ....

And see every kitchen needs this Welcome Bird - the Pink Flamingo! :)  I laughed so hard. 
The Tigers wanted to buy it for me but my inner, "neat girl" said no!  Thank heavens! :) 

The beauty looks like it would brighten anyone's day, every day! 
I love all the sunny colors. 

Then I took a quick and unexpected walk down memory lane, 
Raggedy Ann!  Yes!  A real-life Raggedy Ann!  

She is adorable!  The boys have such big hearts, I heard them again 
saying, "Dad, we 'need' to get that for Mom."  So precious.... so no mistaking, I do not 
need or want this sweet little girl!  Even though I have good memories of her hay day. 

So I told the boys one of my mottos, "I loved my childhood but I do not 
need to relive it!" i.e. do not buy this doll. :) 

We we can look at how cute she is!  My older sister had the set of 
Raggedy Ann and Andy. So fun! 

I almost think they would still be in our Doll House at the Homestead....


Then I came home and got my game on to my gourmet cooking side! 
That was complete success! 

Cajun Tilapia, Fresh Grilled NC Corn, Roasted Broccoli and Kale with 
Fresh Watermelon and Berries. 

Life is good and Summer is coming!  

How was your Saturday?!  Did I tell you we broke a record today, 
20 Yard Sales BEFORE the Raleigh Flea Market!  Yes and it was all a total bust! 
And I am done!  I love a good bargain but not at this cost! :)  However, it 
was fun. And lead to some family conversations about staying focused on what
we set out for early that morning.  :) 

Tell me what your Saturday looked like.  Were you "yarding?" 

Warmly, Carolina Mama 

Homeschool Mom's Night Out

We both agreed we needed a night out. For us a night out means, a night off from cooking dinner and cleaning. ;) And answering to, "Mom, hey, umm, Mom, I've got a question...." ;)

As much as I love it, at the end o a semester, a girl/homeschool mom needs a few hours out. And after all, we needed to celebrate another great and blessed year.

My girlfriend and I were on the same schedule - it's time. School's end, testing, end-of-semester!

So we met at a little Italian Restaurant. It was perfect. We talked over sweet tea and pasta.

And we were both rejuvenated get out get together.

How do you get away for a few hours? Do you need it, love it? Of course, I miss my family, yet it is a helpful thing to do.


Rayovac On-The-Go Charger and Six Flags Giveaway

Edited Update  Six Flags Tickets Winner:  Congratulations! Girl With The Curlz #3 

This Spring has been golden.  As you know, we had the amazing Disney Social Media Moms Conference in Orlando last month at Disney World.  Rayovac surprised us all with these amazing Universal USB Chargers.  They get powering up Moms. So this was perfect for the conference and playing in the Disney Parks. Who doesn't need another Power charger for the car or the wall!

So this charges so easily in the car!  So we stayed Powered Up in Florida.


With Summer approaching, parents are always trying to find fun activities to do as a family that don’t break the bank. Rayovac returns this Summer with their ever-so-popular Six Flags Sweepstakes.

They also make Powering Up a priority!  So not only is Summer Fun important to Rayovac so is power - a Mom Blogger's "Juice!"

This is Rayovac's newest Portable Power product, the keychain On-The-Go Charger!  It's Instant power to keep on your keychain, in your purse, pocket or car; never go without Power when you need it most! Charge your Apple or micro-USB device for any emergency situation.

Insanely great!

I love that the Rayovac On-The-Go Charger is white! It is so pretty to this Apple loving girl. So white is a yes! And it is light-weight.  It is simple to use and it COMES powered up already! Thanks Rayovac!  Also, Bonus:

You do not have to take off your Otter Box case to charge it.  The charger fits over the Otter box Case!  Thank you Rayovac.  Also, it comes pre-charged already!  Double bonus!

Enter to Win the Rayovac Six Flags Sweepstakes Details -  
When: May 9 through May 30th;
Where: Rayovac’s Facebook page for a chance to win;
What:  Family Fun Pack which includes 4 general admission tickets, a regular Flash Pass for 4, one     Family Meal Pack along with free parking to a location of the winners choice!
How: Enter to Win on the FB.  The Tickets are valid at US Locations and Expire at the end of 2012.

BONUE GIVEAWAY!  Giving away (4) Rayovac Six Flags Tickets good in the US and tickets expire at the end of 2012.

1) Leave a Comment on Carolina Mama;
2) Carolina Mama Facebook saying when you want to go to Six Flags before the end of 2012.
3) Tweet this link so others know. (share link to tweet in comments below)
4) Pin it! :) (share link to pin in comments below).

Good luck in this fun Giveaway!

*Enter once for each. Contest open until May 21st.  Open to US Residents.

For more Rayovac Fun you can join the conversation: 
Rayovac Facebook Page  and the Rayovac Twitter. 

See I told you we were powered up in Disney!  Here are kids are using their Indestructible Flashlights to check out the Globe at the Disney Yacht Club.  So fun!


* FTC Disclosure: I am a proud Rayovac Power Blogger. Opinions are all my own. 

National Women's Health Week Goodness

It’s National Women’s Health Week this week – May 13-19th

We like to celebrate Health and Wellness like this! :) 

As always, I oved our hike around the pond! :) 

You know we LOVE being active.  It is a part of our days we love together!  So this week we are taking extra necessary steps to get active, get enough sleep and to eat healthy.  So this is good news for Mama, I got a great night's sleep last night - except for the thunderstorm and it was a huge loud and bright lightning storm!  Anyway, I slept well, drank lots of big cups of cold water, 

We start with breakfast to begin to treat your self to good health:

Do you think you don’t have time for breakfast? Blend your favorite fruits with 100 percent Florida orange juice  for a convenient, on-the-go smoothie.  Want to jazz up your weekend breakfast? Substitute orange juice for water in your whole wheat pancake batter to give your meal a zesty, new taste.

You know how much we love Smoothies! :)  Here’s a great Florida orange Juice Breakfast Boost smoothie recipe to kick start your day as well as other healthy breakfast tips:

I remember visiting the Orange Groves as a child!  Love Florida Orange Juice!  Now, for more yummy recipes including Florida OJ, Please visit http://floridajuice.com/recipes.php

Warmly,Carolina Mama

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day and Blessings to all!

Royal Tea and Fashion Show

Today was fabulous. I got to MC the 1st Annual Royal Tea and Fashion Show at our Church!

It was outstanding! Some of the most beautiful outfits and models. And feminine, classic, casual, dressy and modest clothing! It was great!!!

Am I the only one tired of seeing young women dressed (UNdressed) in see-through, cut-offs, scooped out tops and clothing?! It's heinous!

We heard an awesome and funny Speaker, Shari Minke! She was great and shared wonderful news and scriptures about friendship!

Enjoy of few pictures! Where do you get Fashion ideas? ;)

"You Are What You Wear!"

Love this season...beautiful birds, flowers, 70s. Spring is in the Air!

And "You are what you wear!" Love it and these adorable fashions from Polyvore!

Mom Fashion at its finest! Throw in some pearls and you are golden!