Savoring Summer

Tiger has big feet. This is a post camp photo. I stand amazed at the size of my little ones feet. We're savoring summer.

Sunday Scripture - Have a Blessed Day!

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.”- Psalm 138:8

Verse of the day from Bible Gateway.

Paula Deen, Carolina Mama's and McAlister's Sweet Tea

Paula Deen's Sweet Tea

7 tea bags

1 cup sugar

mint springs

lemon wedges

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a kettle. Add the 4 tea bags and turn off the heat immediately.

Place the lid on the kettle and allow the tea to steep for 1 hour. Remove the tea bags and pour the tea into a pitcher. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.

Add 4 cups water. Serve over ice with a spring of mint and a lemon wedge.

Makes 2 quarts, about 10 servings.

Carolina Mama's Sweet Tea

8 Luzanne Tea Bags (ode to the home State)

1 cup of Sugar

Lemon wedges

Bring a quart of water to boil in a tea kettle.  Pour over the tea bags in a glass container (Pyrex - herein lies my secret! :)

Steep for 10 minutes.  Remove tea bags.  Add sugar stir until dissolved.   In a glass pitcher pour a quart of cold water, and then pour the tea/sugar

mixture in and stir.  Serve over ice.  Add lemon if desired and we really do pick a sprig of Mint off of the back porch and put in occasionally. 

McAlister's Sweet Tea get there, get some and be converted! Live the life!
Keyword: Designer Plumbing

Thanks Jenny @ A Latte Talk got this started with her "Foody Friday" round up of favorite drinks. Water is primo but ya'll have to try the Southern Sweet Tea, Enjoy!
Warmly, Carolina Mama

Check The Buzz - Launches is an awesome new company. A virtual phone book. Everything in one location. Find your numbers here. Love it!

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - The Next Step

As Mr. Gates makes his exodus at MicroSoft, he enters with gusto the world of others. This is moving. How will you spend your retirement? If you had the choice the Gates have, what would you chose? What's your passion?

4th of July Preparation

We're all abuzz gearing up for family fun right her at Carolina Mama for July 4th! My wonderful brother and his family are all coming for the Holiday. We clearly can't wait. Can't wait to see them! And can't wait any longer to get prepared. So we are bustling around doing things like hanging our new homefront American Flag, working up the family favorites menu, etc

What are your July 4th plans? Entertaining or being entertained? Traveling? And most important, hot dogs or hamburgers?

**Reminder: Sign up for this weeks wonderful "Win It Wednesday" in the sidebar!

If Mr. Gates Is Leaving, I'm Leaving...

If Mr. Gates is Leaving, I'm Leaving....

Mommy Matters, Twins And Letting Go

Summer has me thinking of milestones and letting go. The boys are growing and getting so big. We've finished another school year. I have two first graders! I've never said that before now.

One of the things about being a mother of twins, twins being my only children, is that you are doing life all at once all.the.time! It's sort of like life and parenting in general. Yet, there are no 'do overs,' no doing it again, learning for next time around. Whether it's 9 months, or 2 years. Going at life at this pace, I truly try to savor each minute. Each milestone. Each day.

I have a confession to make. Though I love to teach my boys, I love to let them be boys, children as long as possible too. What's the rush to grow up. Sometimes it's easy to get in the mode of he walked early, he's talking early, he's running, reading, writing... we kind of have the bar set high. That's not even counting if you listen in to overly prideful parents at the playdate or birthday party bragging about thier child.

For us, we love to let the boys enjoy each season. Toward the end of this school year, I noticed that one of the Tigers was asking me to open snacks, juice boxes, etc. just like he had... well all along. Again being a Mom who does it all now at once, it never occurred to me for a while to have him open the box. Yet about May I thought, surely he can do this. And I also thought but I really want to help him. (notice some Mommy letting go angst?) So I continued opening snacks and juices. Then in May with school just a few weeks from ending, Tiger hands me a Rice Krispy Treat snack (yes, I finally discovered Sam's club sells them in variety and I do not have to make them from scratch each time. ;) and was just asking me to open it when he jumped and spun away saying, "I can do this Ms. W. taught me how...!"

Proud of my son, next felt that my son's childhood is 'fleeing' and the next thought was I could have taught him that. So the Mommy Guilt post will be for another day. But I was happy for him becoming a big boy. I vowed to go ahead and let him be more independent.

About two weeks later, Tiger was opening a snack, struggling. And then I had my chance. Tiger, I asked, let me show you something that makes this super easy, You see this little flap.... I was able to complete the lesson. Happy face for this mommy and son,

Do you struggle to let them go, teach independence at whatever age or level? Let me know. Of course, suggestions are a bonus.
Carolina Mama

"Win It Wednesday" The BondiBand Giveaway Enter Now

Like wearing headbands but can’t find one that matches your outfit or style?
Then try a Bondi Band

Introducing one of my favorite things "The Bondi Band"." These have sustained Carolina Mama during many Tiger outings, carline, mommy blogging days, jogging, biking and on. The beauty is they make you look like a million bucks even if you did just mop the floor, cut the lawn and chase the children. Obviously they are cute and fun. Here's the challenge try to pick just one. You can't. These are affordable and fun.

Bondi Band has generously offered these up for "Win It Wednesday" Giveaway. Here's how you enter: Go to Bondi Band and click "Go To Fabric Page." Pick your favorite and let me know the name of it and what you would primarily wear it for because believe me, you'll wear it all the time. Register by midnight on July 2nd. ;) *Two winners will receive two Bondi Bands. Good Luck!

Available online at Bondi Band's Home Page.

Garner Girl Wins Miss North Carolina and Other Beauty Thoughts

Let's be honest, how many of us, raised in the South, remember watching the Beauty Pagents?! I did and still think they are fun. (Challenging!:) You know in todays culture there is something to be learned from these. Grace, talent, etiquette, poise, self-confidence. A hearty Congratulations to Amanda Lauren Watson! The new representative for North Carolina. Onward to Miss USA!

Being one of five children, four girls, miracles my parents did not put us on the run way at 2 and head us to the Miss USA Pagent. (you know, it would have been that 'easy' - I gest. There was the time when I was a paid Judge for a Beauty Pagent - good times indeed. I was a "Kate Spade" Fragerance Model at the time. Living large. It was actually really fun. I was pampered and I l.o.v.e.d/love the product!) Yet the pagents were great fun to watch. Let's face it, the pagents have gotten bad raps through the years. Rightfully so in some scenarios. On the other hand, these girls work really hard, they do public service, some are quite talented, athletic, academically accelerated. In a nutshell, balanced achievers. And they accomplish this in the public eye and scrutiny.

With my opinion aired, meet Miss Garner turned Miss North Carolina.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Miss Garner, Amanda Lauren Watson was crowned the 2008 Miss North Carolina Saturday night at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.

Watson is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is on the Master's track for a degree in Music Education.

She also won the Community Service Award for her outstanding work as a national spokesperson for the ALS Association. The Association works to further the research and understanding of people living with "Lou Gehrig's Disease." Watson has traveled to Washington to lobby senators and representatives to pass the Department of Health and Human Services Appropriations bill which would establish an ALS registry.

The runners up were:
1st runner up - Miss UNC-Pembroke, Jamee Hunt
2nd runner up - Miss Mt. Holly, Katherine Southard
3rd runner up - Miss Central Carolina, Rasheeda Waddell
4th runner up - Miss Statesville, Kaitlan Cook
Story continues below

BooMama's Before and After at CarolinaMama

Okay, I'm in. It's a little scary, it's also a little and a lot necessary. :) I'm joining in on BooMama's Before and After and in her own words "It'll be just like HGTV. Except for the TV part." :) That's even better.

Another movating factor, that my wonderful brother and his family are coming to Carolina Mama and family's for July 4th. We're all excited and gleeful with anticipation... and there are also a couple of things that need to be done before said family fun.

Here's what I plan to do have to do by then. Oh, one more thing for all of you home improvement experts, no judgments on the length of this here little list.

*** Move and situate dresser and chest of drawers/furniture in the Master Bedroom. This is larger than it seems. Let me give a little detail here. This is a bigger feat than it seems. It's a total switch out - incoming dresser and chest of drawers = outgoing dresser and chest of drawers. It takes " manpower Mountain Man power" and a whole lot of organizing on Carolina Mama's part. Give away, throw away, etc.

Are you in? Go here to join the fun.

Trailblazing North Carolina From The Mountains To The Sea

The News and Observers made it official today. The trailblazing begins...North Carolina will soon have a trail from the Mountains to the Sea. Check out the article below by Wade Rawlins who is covering a series of articles in the N&O.
Trail begins stretching across state
After decades of planning and perspiring, a 900-mile trail from Smokies to the shore takes shape
Wade Rawlins, Staff WriterComment on this story
GLENDALE SPRINGS - Following a line of orange surveyor flags, a half dozen volunteers use pickaxes and rakes to claw a narrow hiking trail along a wooded mountain slope near the Blue Ridge Parkway. The freshly turned dirt looks moistly dark and inviting to walk.
It's a long way from this breezy Appalachian mountainside to the sandy flanks of Jockey's Ridge, but one day, mile-by-mile, the two points will be connected as North Carolina's Mountains-to-Sea Trail edges closer to fulfilling its name.

Jim Hallsey, who helped envision the trail three decades ago as a state parks planner, is one of the trailblazers, wielding a pickax instead of the No. 2 pencil he once used to sketch the proposed corridor on a state map.

It's a lucky man who gets to chart an ambitious dream such as a 900-plus-mile hiking trail from the Smokies to the Outer Banks -- luckier still if 30 years later he gets to help realize that vision with his own hands.

Hallsey's crew of volunteers, who work one Saturday a month in Ashe County, are part of a dedicated group of trail builders who have quietly but steadily forged a footpath that connects the state from one end to the other.

"It captures the imagination of people who find peace and renewal in the out-of-doors and are sparked with the idea of being part of something bigger than they are," he says.

Meandering from the Smokies to the Outer Banks through 37 counties, the trail features some of North Carolina's most stunning landscapes: waterfalls, a gorge, three national parks, two wilderness areas and two bird-rich wildlife refuges.

"I like the real variety it has, mountains, foothills, swamps, beach," says hiker Scot "Taba" Ward, 33, of Palm Beach, Fla., who began the cross-state hike in late May. "It has a little bit of everything."

About 485 miles of trail have been completed, primarily in Western North Carolina. The remaining route follows roads. Much labor remains, as do the challenges of piecing together land amid the competing interests of development. After years of struggling, the trail has gained fresh legs, demonstrating how a hiking path gets built in the 21st century.

Connecting the paths

For the first time this spring, state parks leaders committed money to buy roughly 1,000 acres to help bridge gaps in the footpath across the Piedmont. Crews are approaching another milestone: 500 miles of completed trail. And local governments have joined in regional planning efforts. Routes through the Triad and Triangle have gathered momentum, with construction well under way.

It's a far different era than the 1930s, when the Civilian Conservation Corps helped complete great public works projects such as the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail and 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Atop Mount Mitchell, a plaque honors the service of the Civilian Conservation Corps -- "that magnificent army of youth and peace." The group helped complete the Appalachian Trail by 1937.

Today, hiking club volunteers shoulder the lifting and digging.

The 59-mile stretch of trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway was designed by longtime trail promoter Allen de Hart to reproduce the gentle grades and straightaways of the parkway itself. "It was a mission I felt we could do as a group," de Hart says of the trail.

Volunteers with the Carolina Mountain Club, one of the state's oldest hiking clubs, have given tens of thousands of hours and built about 135 miles of trail in the western part of the state. They are currently building a 15-mile section south of Asheville.

"We have five crews that go out one day a week year-round and work on the trail," says Don Walton, a retired finance officer who serves as Mountains-to-Sea Trail coordinator for the Carolina Mountain Club.

complete story at the or (919) 829-4528

Have A Blessed Sunday

“The LORD will keep you from all harm— He will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”- Psalm 121:7-8

Holy Bible or online @ BibleGateway

Finding My Blogging Voice - Carolina Mama Style

John Mayer Lyrics
Say What You Need To Say Lyrics

Surprisingly, a reader asked me, Carolina Mama, recently how do they find their voice, grow their blog, etc. And honesty, I would say the real bloggers know, Rocks In My Dryer, Big Mama, Boo Mama, etc. Or here. However, being asked the question definitely gives me pause to consider my own voice. Of course, there are many more and yet these all are consistently sharing things in common. (And I like their styles, nothing crass and profane.)

As a former Columnist here and with a Creative Writing degree from the University of South Carolina. My journals of my childhood carried on through life. And on into Journalism. It was always a natural phenonenon. I've always had something to say. So much so that I have fallen madly in love with John Mayer's "Say" which vocalizes me. You see, being raised a Southern Belle in this Southern City of Charm. It wasn't always easy to be the little girl who took after her gregarious attorney father.

It is important to be impeccable in our word. As a believer, I know there is a time for quiet, a time for few words and I have come to full-terms with the person God has made me and I usually have something to 'say.' Maybe many words, maybe little. So when John Mayer came along with "Say" recently, it spoke to my heart. "You better know that in the end, it is better to say too much than to never say what you need to say," Again, as a Christian with a home in heaven, this speaks to me much. I want to say what I need to say in this life. I want to be the girl God created me to be. I want to have the courage and boldness to speak up and say even when it is easier and to maybe not say a word. And so I write.

My experience as a Columnist was delightful as were my years studying at the University of South Carolina and University of Colorado.
I loved being a Columnist because I could say what I needed to say. And of course with this great Editor, Robyn Jackson, writing was good. :) Editors are the real writers. They are amazing because they bring everything together in this wonderful way that meets the reader where they are. I was fortunate with Robyn, she is an excellent writer, has 25 years plus experience in publishing and she was an exceptional Editor, Mentor and Writing Coach to me. Read about her first published novel, Lakota Moon and see Robyn's own work. I learned a lot in my days of writing for The American. One thing, again, that was great for me was to be able to be myself. I had an arena where I could share my voice and reach out to other mothers, two passions of mine.

Fast forward a few years of raising the Tigers. I entered the world of blogging for a specific information portal for me at that time in my life. It felt wonderful to be back to writing. Eventually, like most writers, I couldn't stop writing. So of course I have fallen head-over-heels for blogging. It is a different medium than the written word and writing as a columnist. And it is beautiful all the same. So I'll keep writing. And you'll keep writing. And we'll "say what we need to say." In the words of a dear friend, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss Blog on! Warmly, Carolina Mama

More Basketball Camp All-Star

Voila! Another All-Star Tiger in action.

Basketball Camp For The Tigers

My week has been full. Full of two little boys eager to play basketball at their first sports camp. I know my a the Associated Press hear it loud and clear, two seven year olds attending their 'first' sport camp. We're an active family and they've probably been exposed to more sports than say a major NBA player.

Nonetheless, it's been an awesome week. I'm off for the last pick up and the celebratory lunch with 'other player/friends' afterwards. Here's what it looked like. Enjoy!

*p.s. blogger is not befriending my second photo, so yes, ideally I would have a photo of each Tiger....

Exciting "Win It Wednesday" Giveaway Scoop

Welcome to the BondiBand! :) One of my favorite Mom products.
Are these not adorable! Again, I love this product and have been a customer for some time. :) Call this a teaser but Heather, the lovely originator of the Bondi Band, and I are getting details together. So gear up for another chance to win an awesome product! (Her dog's pretty cute too!)

Sun Without The Cancer

The Body Shop

Here's what Works For Me Wednesday (and most days ;) here in the South. It's summer, it's hot and we all love the pool, outdoor activities. Well, rather than continue overexpose my face to the rays that are cancercausing... Carolina Mama loves a good bronzer. This one is my latest find at The Body Shop. Dash on with a cosmetic brush and you look like you're just rejuvinated on a Hawaiian vacation. Works For Me Wednesday and most days.

Who Is 38?!

And the Winner of the lovely "JJ" by Janie is... Kristi @ All That I Could Ask Or Imagine

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-06-18 12:06:16 UTC

A very hearty "Thank You" Janie for "The JJ" for this giveaway. And to BooMama for the lovely shout out from your tens of millions. ;) You are kind to consider little CarolinaMama. Thank you everyone for entering the "Win It Wednesday" giveaway. There's more where that came from so see you Wednesday. :)

**p.s. If you didn't win, just head over to Janie's and get you one. You will be thrilled.

Not At All How We Thought It Was Supposed To Be

A couple of years ago, I was invited into a Book Club with my cousins and a couple of other girls. We had just moved here with our small children. The Cherubs were just three. Our first meeting that I joined the Book Club was at the Panera Bread Reston. I loved the Panera in Texas so I was eager to check out the one in my new hometown. The Town Center is so well done with its Italian Plaza and Square Fountain. It was an exciting time for our family. Mountain Man had an exciting work assignment here which took him into the city. It was great fun.

The 'Book Club' was virtually a girls night out if we were honest. We were all moms of small children, Believers and seeking the Lord's guidance in raising our children and in our family lives. We were goofy and silly and stoic at times. We chose books, discussed them or not. And always had a full discussion on what restaurant we would visit next on our Club night. It was a bonus for me - being the "newby" I got to enjoy meeting and getting to know the new girls and to spend extra time with my cousins. Cherished times !

Everyone know I am thrilled and blessed to be back in the South again. However, as I reflect on our Virginia days it is with great joy and delight. Not everyone gets to live at the epicenter of the world and partake. There are lots of stories for other posts. Today I am reflecting especially on this time with these girls because I have a heavy heart for one of the girls and her family.

When I joined these girls, they had been meeting for a year or so already, and I eagerly joined. I'll admit I joined for fun. I joined to see "the cuzzies" and I joined for girltime. Laughs. Oh yes to read a few good books. We enjoyed all of the above, we shared our lives, challenges and basically supported and built each other up. I was blessed.

What we did not anticipate was what the future would hold. Isn't that life! There were six of us and over the next few years, even up until this most recent prayer request that has my heart heavy for one of the girls and her family. Here's what we didn't expect and yet these were roads we were called to travel:

- major depression with prescription medication
- miscarriage
- a child diagnosed with a rare and major syndrome with physical and medical setbacks
- Katrina decending upon one's hometown w/family still there
- job loss, husbands parent loss, and
- cancer including mastectomy

Did we see it coming? As Mary Beth said here, "This is not at all how we thought it was supposed to be." None of us can remotely relate to what the Chapman family is walking through and yet, we can each grow, learn from them and be comforted by the song listed below that SCC wrote before their tragedy.

As for the girls and me, we continue to love on each other, pray for each other and share things like these lyrics knowing that God does show up and He does deliver. So whether we expected it or thought it was supposed to be or not. We rest in the Hope of Him, His deliverence. And we will not let go of the hope of His promises. God Bless.

"With Hope"
by Steven Curtis Chapman

This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...

So we can cry with hope
And say goodbye with hope

We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

Tar Heels Baseball To The Top - So Long LSU

Tar Heels all the way! We knew the UNC Tar Heels Baseball team was getting really comfy in Omaha! Now, they sent home LSU. That's a big one. Believe me, this Louisiana native finds it hard to say so long to LSU! Business is business and we did. Of course, it makes it easier when your Mama is a North Carolina nativei and a UNC Alumni! ;) Now onward to the College World Series Winners Title! Read more about it here.

Going Global With IAFL India - From Carolina to well, India

Father's Day had me focusing on the men in my family. It occurred to me that there are five men family and friends of ours who recently have work and/or a business in India, right now. And my girlfriend's husband Raj is a native and first generation American. Fortune 500 companies are increasingly having a presence in India. At Carolina Mama, I find that fascinating. Isn't it cool! It takes 'going global' to a whole new level for me. Just ten years ago, I did not have that reality. "It's a small world" takes on a whole new meaning. Where would Carolina Mama even begin?

Well, check this out - I discovered IAFL India, a company that has Interpretation and Translation Services. IAFL India is India based company offering India translation, interpretation and subtitling services. They have Indian translations, Arabic translation, Farsi translation and Hindi translation and interpretation services. And they do subtitling. Being a New Orleans native, I typically use French subtitles, now, voila, we can have our own at this IAFL India company. And that makes the world feel a bit smaller. And me a whole lot smarter. So the next time I talk with my girlfriend's husband, Raj, I am not going to have as many questions to ask. If I do, maybe I'll just consult IAFL India for a little interpretation. ;)

Lunch With My Men

Daddy chose the dining and the Tigers chose the seating. Mommy documented. It was a fine day. I reflected on the joy and blessings in my life. My own wonderful father, my awesome husband - father to our twin sons - and for the Cherubs we call Tigers. God is good all the time. I aspire to be grateful all the time. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Mountain Man, The Tigers and Father's Day

Eight years ago we started this journey called parenting. Eight years ago, we were shocked with surprise and sheer bliss at the announcement that we were expecting Twins. Together, we had interviewed the Doctor prior to expecting and found out the reason our friends had so wholeheartedly recommended him to us. We were seven and a half weeks 'expecting' and we had gone together to our 'first' OB/GYN appointment. This day our doctor calmly and quietly spoke the seven words that would forever shape our lives "It looks like there are two of 'them.'" You comprehended what was just said way sooner than I would. Your first words were "We were hoping for Twins." It's funny to me because I didn't immediately recall the conversation where we were 'hoping' were you told me of all of the Twins in your family tree. This left me even more surprised and delighted. Leaving his office that first day, we were walking on clouds. It was surreal. I remember thinking "me" "us!" We knew we were blessed.

You took such good care of me, of us. You were so proud to be a father and a father of twins. It was the end of your Freshman year of College. We took the road less traveled. We followed our dream of my staying home with our children. Many wondered. Many questioned. We carried on. We had our Hands Full. You jumped right in and have been going ever since. It has been a wild ride. A great one. Thank you for being the loving, caring father you are to our twin sons. Happy Father's Day!

Thank you for all you do. Thank you for the time well spent - together. "It's better when we're together...."

University of North Carolina Basketball Museum Summer Hours Greatness

After another stellar basketball season this year... all the locals are excited about this increase in hours at the University of North Carolina Basketball Museum! Have fun!

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., June 13, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ ----The University of North Carolina Basketball Museum will be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning on July 12, 2008. The museum, located on the first floor of the Ernie Williamson Athletics Center adjacent to the Dean Smith Center, has attracted nearly 25,000 visitors since it opened in January.

(Photo: )

Starting the week of July 7, the museum will be open each Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday mornings, except for University holidays. Admission remains free. Parking is across the street in the Smith Lot.

The museum chronicles the history of UNC Basketball and includes nearly 500 authentic artifacts, hundreds of photographs, and videos of various players, coaches, championships and historic moments.

Museum hours on home football Saturdays and home basketball games will be announced at a later date and posted on

Groups of 20 or more people should contact Clara Andrews at (919) 843-9921 to coordinate scheduling. For details about the museum visit For information on traveling to the Chapel Hill, NC area or to request a free 2008 Visitors Guide, please visit

SOURCE Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Copyright

Win It Wednesday! The JJJanie Enter Here

The JJJanie is this weeks "Win It Wednesday!" Janie's work is amazing and as you can see, I just couldn't stop at just one picture of these darling jewlery cases. I fell for these last Fall when Janie's sister-in-law, BooMama featured them on her lovely blog. I love mine so much I even use it daily! I fell in love with the Giraffe as soon as I saw it! Love it! You know a jewlery box is not enough. By the way, if you are not amongst the millions who read BooMama's blog already, head on over after reading about the JJJanie and see what these awesome girls are up to in the real world and sharing here in our blogworld.

Okay, back to the details of "Win It Wednesday" here at CarolinaMama, check out the JJJanie blog and let me know which design you prefer. Enter by commenting below. Good luck and see you next Wednesday. Open 'til midnight Wednesday, June 18th. And a huge Thank You goes out To Janie @ JJJanie.

Win It Wednesday Winner!

... and the winner of Win It Wednesday is Jackie @ Our Moments, Our Memories! Congratulations and enjoy being a part of the Lisa Leonard Designs - handmade jewlery crowd! I love everything I have bought from her. Remember to check out her website and her blog and be inspired. Thanks everyone for looking, entering and enjoying.

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-06-12 03:26:49 UTC

***Today's "Win It Wednesday" will post tomorrow. :) That's whta happens when I try to post from the seashore...maybe it's the crashing of the waves. {because I should only be "Twitter" -ing. ;) See ya'll tomorrow. See how lucky can you get.) Until then it's clear Carolina blue skies and sunny. gotta boogy - literally.

Tar Heels Take It To Omaha To Win

Tar Heels are taking it to Omaha to win! OK, we're still talking about it, excited about it and waiting to win. We're counting on it. Sipping on sweet tea while we visualize our victory.

And the Tigers have charged full-on into Summer. We've completed another year with Habitat Exhibits, Tiger A - Emperor Penguins. Not your ordinary Penguins, Emperor Penguins and they are four feet tall, at least. Tiger B - Walruses. And Walruses group together and to put it in the words of my very astute first grader, they 'cuddle up together.' Complete with snow! It was a fine time as our temperatures soared past 100 degrees.

We also celebrated Family Picnic - indoors - and it was so nice. Didn't miss the heat one bit. Can we just keep going here? Just to make sure our kids know we love them, and you know they aren't deprived or anything, we then had an Ice Cream Sundae finale. It was a really fun, rewarding, busy and exciting time. Can I just tell you Carolina Mama is ready for summer.

Now excuse me, we're off to the Beach for a while - unplugged. Don't expect it. However, I'll be looking to use my Starbucks Wi-Fi on the way. ;)

Carolina Skies Are Hot and UNC World Series Blue

100 Degree temperatures spiked as the UNC Tar Heels advanced to their third straight World Series! After a third straight year to the World Serires, they're calling it "Back Home in Omaha!" Adam Warren rocked on the pitching mound.... Go here to get the N&O low down!

Awesome Asian Noodle Salad Is A Big Carolina Hit

This is a great standby for company and for these 100 degree Carolina days. I received it from a friend who apparently received it from Jamie Oliver. ;) I've added it at "Foody Friday" - check it out and let me know if you join in and/or if you try the recipe.

Asian Noodle Salad
adapted from Jamie Oliver

2 packages cooked, rinsed, and cooled linguini noodles.

1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage
1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin (if available)
1 small bag bean sprouts (also called “mung bean sprouts”)
3 sliced scallions
3 peeled, sliced cucumbers (I didn’t have a cucumber for the photos above, but they’re yummy in the salad)
LOTS of chopped cilantro—up to one bunch
1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet (again, I didn’t have them for the photos, but have used them before and they’re…sublime.)


Juice of 1 lime
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 hot peppers or jalapeƱos, chopped
More chopped cilantro—LOTS

Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter.
*Dressing keeps up to three days before serving, WITHOUT cilantro.


Progress Energy Seeks Rate Increase in North Carolina

It's official the fuel hike is effecting Carolina as well. Of course, it may not help matters the rate of growth we're experiencing. Although the bigger news here today is our heat wave. We tracked hovering right at 99 degrees all day. It's a big switch from the nice Spring we have had. ;)

Progress Energy seeks 16 pct rate hike in NC
Progress Energy wants to raise North Carolina residential rates by average of 16 percent
June 06, 2008: 04:13 PM EST

NEW YORK (Associated Press) - Progress Energy Corp. asked for permission Friday to increase residential electricity rates in North Carolina by an average of 16.2 percent, largely to recoup rising fuel expenses.

The proposed $424 million rate hike requested by subsidiary Progress Energy Carolinas would take effect Dec. 1. It would also help pay for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy portfolio standards ordered by the General Assembly last year.

The change, which must be approved by the state Utilities Commission, would boost a monthly residential bill of $96.86 a month to $112.57, the Raleigh-based company said. Commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina would see a rate increase of at least 13.6 percent.

The price of coal, which Progress uses to generate about half its electricity in the Carolinas, has soared in recent months. Prices for natural gas and fuel oil, which account for about 5 percent of output, have also risen drastically.

"Any price increase has an impact on our customers, and we are very sensitive to that fact," Progress Energy Carolinas chief executive Lloyd Yates said in statement. "Rising fuel prices are a new energy reality, and we will continue to work to meet the challenges of a growing service area reliably, affordably and in an environmentally sound manner."

Progress Energy Carolinas said it doesn't make a profit from the fuel cost component of the rates. The company files annually to recover fuel costs. This year's filing reflects anticipated future costs given continued higher prices.

The utility, with 1.25 million customers in North Carolina, made a similar fuel expense filing in South Carolina in April.

Teacher and state employee raises...Remember to Thank a Teacher

We all know they are priceless. Remember to Thank the Teachers! They do amazing things. Carolina schools are ready for summer, beaches, sno cones and fun. Are your children out of school?
**sign up for the LisaLeonardDesigns giveaway @ sidebar or on June 3rd post. Good luck!

Carolina Peaches

Carolina Peaches... in our own backyard.  Aren't Weren't they beautiful!  And oh, they were so tasty!   Of course, you'll notice that lovely Carolina Blue sky.  The Tigers picked peaches and promptly shared with the neighbors after feeding the rabbit.  Happy June ya'll! 
Carolina Mama

Works-For-Me-Wednesday - Battling Boredom This Summer

With four days left of school, I am quickly joining all the other moms with discovering one more great idea for beating boredom this summer. Maybe even learning something in the mean time. Reading extra or just having an awesome list to chose from when the time comes.

Honestly, we can't visualize 'boredom' here. We're all so eager to let the Summer begin. However, to ensure the creativity, I've joined in on my first ever "Works For Me Wednesday." Though I've been a regular reader of Rocks In My Dryer for some time, this Wednesday, I'm feel the need.

Here's one great thing we're planning to do and the boys can't stop talking about it. The Tigers are in the 1st grade. I help at school on Thursdays with their Centers and Book-and-a-Bite. The Center time is fun for them. They rotate, computers, reading, etc. So when we were talking about the things we wanted to do this summer that we already do at school. Computers, Reading and Writing came up. So Carolina Mama and Tigers will be holding "Summer Centers" all summer with their favorite school activities. Top of the list: computers, reading and writing. And I plan to work a little arithmetic in there for posterity. This "Works For Me Wednesday" and I'm happy to share it.

Let me know if you participate in WFMW. Check it out here @ Rocks In My Dryer.

Welcome To Win It Wednesday!

Welcome to "Win It Wednesday" here at Carolina Mama! This is our inaugural week of Win It Wednesday, we are featuring one of my very own favorites, Lisa Leonard Designs. Lisa is an awesome craftswoman. This Win It Wednesday, we have featured her Teenie Tiny Initials Necklace. Sterling pea-size initals are strung with a freshwater pearl. So darn cute! Choose chain length. Two charms standard.

As a very happy customer of Lisa Leonard Designs, I can say you will love to be a winner here this week. To Enter: Leave a comment below after looking here and tell me which product is your favorite. Enter by June 11th @ Noon. Drawing by Random Integer Generator Enjoy!

Sesame Street Live, Jim Kelly and MIX101.5

Thanks to MIX101.5, we all enjoyed SesameStreetLive recently! We were all so pleased that SesameStreetLive brought their show to North Carolina kids! It was a ball and everything you and your little ones would imagine. It was really neat they were right her in Carolina Country. All of the big names, the Tigers were over the moon!

MIX101.5 even set us all up with a Lunch with the Characters before the Show! And we got to meet another real live character, MIX101.5's Jim Kelly and his family. What a treat. The entire day was as Jim would say "forgetaboutit!" good. ;) Thanks MIX101.5!

Senator Kennedy's Successful Surgery in North Carolina

Senator Kennedy's successful surgery
Get the story Senator Kennedy's successful surgeryhere.

Senator Kennedy is such an American icon, it's good news all around that he was treated successfully here at Duke University Medical Center today. Tidbit of the day, I met Teddy Kennedy, Jr. in West Palm Beach, Florida, Spring Break, Cir. 1988. And that's a whole other blog post. {for those wondering, it was a brief, public and photoed encounter) Best to the Kennedys from Carolina!

Prayer For The Chapman Family "Grief Beyond Words" People Magazine

... even Carolina Mama's short on words on this topic. Here is the gracious interview with People Magazine. Those sweet girls. As whole lot of us tune in to Cinderella in a different way, please keep lifting up this great family in prayer as Steven's words have lifted us so many times before. Did I mention I received the "This Moment" CD for Christmas!