Freedom, Safety and Berry Patriotic Cupcakes

We love 4th of July...and Labor Day...! We love our Freedom and the USA! Let's Celebrate!

Loved getting this email from Kraft for a new patriotic spin on their Flag Cake that we have loved on 4th of July's past! You can get the Kraft emails and information too. Just go to the link above and sign up for all this goodness.

These are cute and look really easy. We have a couple of fun parties going this weekend, and other festivities! :) So these will be a quick and convivial addition.

Kraft's Berry Patriotic Cupcakes

What you need
12 chocolate cupcakes, cooled
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
12 small strawberries, stems removed, each cut into 5 slices
1/4 cup blueberries
make it

SPREAD cupcakes evenly with whipped topping.

ARRANGE 5 of the strawberry slices on top of each cupcake to form a star.

FILL center of stars evenly with blueberries. Store in refrigerator.

Here is a little Carolina Mama Tip: Working with whip creams can be tricky. To look like the picture, I would decorate just before serving. And then store the extra in the refrigerator immediately. While it looks pretty, the lightness of whip cream can compromise the look. Otherwise, they are a guilt free option. They have great fat-free whip cream now. Or ate least Lite. Let me know what you decide.

What are some of your favorites? We love grilled corn so that will have to be on the plate! What's cooking at your home this 4th of July ? Have fun and keep safe! I am so excited to have a three-part safety series coming from the amazing media event at Underwriters Laboratories, North Carolina! UL is one great company working for safety at home - your home! Let me know if you have safety questions you would like to have answered and yes, we will have GiveawayS! See y'all soon!

*This recipe published at "Tasty Tuesday!" Check it out for more great recipes and tips!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Apple iPhone 4 Compare

Isn't she lovely...

Apple iPhone4

You know we are Apple fanatics here! So I bring you the scoop on the iPhone 4! it is beautiful! And since we have enjoyed "face time" so much. Voila! Apple's answer to face time:

With the updated iOS4 Software, it is all that. check out the comparison here:
Digital Inspiration's Comparison

Here you can Compare the iPhones: iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4! I am just happy with my lovely iSO4 software! So iPhone 4!

Here's the cool iPhone4 video
showing you why we love all things iPhone. Apple does it so well!

Are you an Apple fan?! We are laughing, we have for a long time, even blogged here about it that we love "Face Time!" Well, you would think that Steve Jobs works for me with this new iPhone Face Time marketing! It would be a whole new world if he did....

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Awesome Summertime Salad!

This is becoming a Summer Tradition here! Last year, we started this party and here we are again repeating the success!

We all loved Giada De Laurentiis' Antipasto Salad from the FoodNetwork! It's hot and we love that this is a quick and satisfying one plate meal! It's cool and yet fulfilling. And it even tastes better the next day. :) Good thing because it made enough for another day! Helpful!

Antipasto Salad
by Giada De Laurentiis

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and leaves chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Antipasto Salad:
1 pound fusilli pasta
1/2 cup hard salami, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup smoked turkey, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
1/4 cup provolone cheese, cut into strips
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons green olives, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vinaigrette: In a blender, add the basil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until the herbs are finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve.

We are all about simple and satisfying! And keeping it cool! We had this salad and watermelon after a great swim in the pool - the day we returned from the beach - the first day of Summer!

What's Summer looking like for you?

*This recipe is published at "Tasty Tuesday!" Enjoy!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Frito-Lays Picnic Basket WinnerS

Congratulations to our WinnerS of the Frito-Lays Picnic Basket! We are so excited to announce it here :

Carolina Mama

Promote Your Page Too

Carolina Mama Facebook!

Come join us! :) And let me know if you are on Facebook too.

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Best Swimsuits 2010: Lands' End Family Review

Here is my Best Swimsuit Review 2010! Really!

Lands' End hands down has the Best Swimsuits for your Family! We love Lands' End and have for a very long time i.e. before I had a blogging/sponsor relationship with them.

Here one of the Tigers is competing in the Beach Hula Hoop Contest! After much coaxing he agreed and is even smiling about it! He won the Relay Race! :) Back to the cute swim gear!

Here for Big Boys are the awesome and long Swim Trunks! And the matching and protective Rash Guards! This combination saves my Tigers' skin! And they look cool while they are at it!

How awesome does Boulder Mountain Man look! Love it! He loves the generous length on the men's trunks. And he is crazy for these long-sleeved Rash Guards. They look so good and protect to the maximum!

Next meet One Mom's World - Jen and me! We all got to spend time on the beach together this weekend and Jen and I loved our Lands' End Swimsuits. We both chose different suits and we both loved our different styles and colors and that they are both classic suits.

Look at the beautiful colors! Jen's is the beautiful Lands' End Blackberry Tunic Swimsuit!
and mine is a classic Valletta Bandeau Twist in Deep Lagoon! Love this shade of blue! And click the link above to see the other view the model is wearing. She has the removable straps on.

I preferred to take the opportunity to fade the strap lines. And I love this look for me.

The Tigers in their Rash Guards and new trunks head down to the beach for some boogy boarding! I love the quality of Lands' End!

Favorite Things About Lands' End Swimsuits:

1) Quality, quality, quality!
2) All the perks, all the extras
3) Beautiful color choices
4) Love the details
5) The swimsuit stays in place!
6) Lots of variety in every category: mens, women, kids
7) Mine/the Ladies' Feels like Silk!

You know we are here at Ocean Isle Inn for the Miss Lori ACTIVATE Concert Weekend!

*This post is sponsored by Lands' End, the opinions and enthusiasm are all my own! Thank you Lands' End!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

ACTIVATE Concert Ocean Isle Inn Activate with Miss Lori

It have been an incredible weekend here at Ocean Isle Inn!

Today was the Miss Lori ACTIVATE Concert for Kids right beachside here at OII by the pool. So Poolside as well! That is the nice thing about OII is that they are beachside and poolside all in one!

We have been really activating Saturday at Ocean Isle Inn. The whole family has been on the go since about 9 am. We are so excited to be here at Ocean Isle Beach. It is amazing that even during the summer peak, it has such a laid back feel to it, it is not jam packed with tourists, yet there is plenty to do and people to see!

Miss Lori has a great program emphasizing the importance of healthy eating, exercise, and proper rest. It has been wonderful to actually follow that program throughout our weekend here at Ocean Isle Beach. The ocean is so beautiful, the sand and palm trees also. Last night provided an absolutely spectacular sunset.

This morning we had awesome games lead on the beach by Tracy of Ocean Isle Inn! We all loved these!

My boys have on their Lands' End Boys Swim Gear in this picture on the beach. See the two boys on the right side - one in the green rash guard and shorts and the other in the blue rash guard and shorts! That's the Tigers in Lands' End! It is awesome the "Rash Guards!" saved us from the 90 degree heat! More LE pictures to come.

Here is One Moms World and me with Trace of OII and the cool cake he had made for the pool party and "awards night!" tonight. It was really great fun!

Do you know Miss Lori from PBS Kids?! We do and she did an awesome Concert for all! Love the healthy and active lifestyle she is helping promote! We're all about wellness and healthy living!

Stay tuned - Tomorrow is Father's Day and we are planning on Church on the beach! And the Moms are taking the Dads to Father's Day lunch? Know where we're going? Guess!

Warmly,Carolina Mama

2nd Annual Ocean Isle Inn Beach Live-Blogging with Lands' End

Hello Summertime!

It's that time again, we are thrilled to be embarking on our 2nd Annual Ocean Isle Inn Live-Blogging the Beach with Lands' End! We call it

The Best of Carolina

We love working locally with North Carolina's Ocean Isle Inn. And with healthy living fans like Miss Lori formerly of PBS Kids.

We're coming to you live from one of the best beaches in North Carolina! Look out for fashions for Men by Boulder Mountain Man, Women by One Moms World and Carolina Mama and for Children by the Tigers!

Here's a hint, I've test driven mine here in town at the pool and they are a hit! Lands' End swimsuits are like silk with style! They have the best staying power of any other - you know what I mean! Moms really appreciate that! And everyone else too for that matter. :)

Get a preview now and look 40% Off - Really!

Now we're are road-tripping to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina right now! Tonight is the ACTIVATE Concert with Miss Lori formerly of PBS Kids! We can't wait! I'm like a kid over this! Look for us and join us at our Twitter Party tonight from 6:00-8:00pm EST.


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Going Digital! JVC Sweepstakes!

Going Digital is a Powerful Thing! Let's talk about the power of Video - the Vlog! :) We're Bloggers and when we video we're Vloggers!

When I Vlog, I have received very positive responses! Vlogging gives you the inside - in real life 411 of the Vlogger! I love that! And I love sharing it with you! Do you vlog?

Check this out! If you are a Social Media Mom like me, you will be interested to know that JVC is hosting the JVC BlogHer Sweepstakes! Really!

Here are a few details:

Prize and Eligibility Details
Contest runs from May 14, 2010 through June 20, 2010.
Four winners (one from each blog category) will be selected at random from among the submissions.
Each winner receives:
BlogHer ’10 Conference registration
Roundtrip airfare to the BlogHer ’10 Conference in New York, NY
Hotel accommodations for three nights
Food allowance ($100 value)
A JVC HD Everio GZ-HD620 camera
Eligibility is limited to bloggers residing in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia
Winners will be posted here on June 23, 2010 and winners will be notified by e-mail.

BlogHer is for Moms who are interested in Social Media and more!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

My Race for the Cure Raleigh, North Carolina

Many of you followed along as we dreamed it, formed it and grew our team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Raleigh, North Carolina. We were proud to represent and be sponsored by the lovely and local, Hanes Comfort! We had the best looking Tee Shirts on the race course! Thank you Hanes!

We wanted to share just how small a world it can be through the community bonds of Social Media Moms. Team Colvin - NC Mom Bloggers was united in supporting our run to Krista Colvin of Portland, Oregon. She is a young Mom like most of us who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Aggressive Breast Cancer just this past March.

The Race exceeded my wildest expectations. Some of you know I love running and have done lots of races in my days. And that this was my first race since my Marathon and Half-Marathon Season three years ago! Really! It was monumental for me ... this is not about me though.

This is about the many, the Warriors - Thanks to "Ford Cares" we learned "Warriors" are those battling cancer, Angel Wings - honor the angels who have passed after their fight against breast cancer, etc. We loved their Symbols of the Warrior and our "Warriors in Pink" scarves they gave to support the many touched by breast cancer.

As you view my video of the day, and even a few of the pre and post race, you'll see a whole love of emotion and fun. Just know that this represents real lives, real women fighting a serious disease.

There were tears. And there are other stories, like the paraplegic who jogged along ahead us, or the family running with in Memory of their young Mom shirts, and the list goes on.

Then within our group there were many stories of breast cancer, of course, our honoree Krista Colvin, and there was a mother gone before, a daughter survivor, a Mom survivor a Grandfather gone before, a mother and sister survivor, just in our small team/ group.

It was an honor to represent Krista Colvin, and be supported by Hanes! And a real thrill to run with my fellow blogging friend, Molly Gold of Go Mom Inc, my lovely Weight Watchers leader and the other friends who support this community.

Thank you for following and encouraging our journey. Plan on it - next year will be a tradition - we're thinking bigger and bolder for our team! We'd love to have you! Are you running with us next year?! Walking? Have you walk/run a Komen Race?

And more importantly, has your life been touched in some way by cancer? Family, friends? Please share!


Carolina Mama

Win It Wednesday: Frito-Lay Fat-Free Bean Dip Recipe and Giveaway

Here's a fun "Win It Wednesday!" Giveaway!

Mom's, here is a chance for you to win a fun basket of Frito-Lay products for your weekend grill-outs and summer get togethers. These products have been a staple around the house for snack-time and bbq time for a long time now.

There is something that you need to know: Finger foods can be healthier than you think. Remember, not all chips are created equal: Classic Frito-Lay snacks such as Tostitos Scoops! tortilla chips and Lay’s Classic potato chips are made with only three simple ingredients: potatoes or corn, healthier oils and salt-that’s it! Combine that with some healthier dips, and you are in business for some great, healthier snacking this summer.

Pair your favorite chips with nutrient-rich dips such as veggie-packed salsa or guacamole. There are lots of different combinations to choose from. Below is one such awesome dip.

Baked Bean Dip
• 1 slice bacon (FYI I use Veggie Bacon that tastes great and is Fat Free :)
• 1 (15 ounce) can baked beans
• 1 tablespoon grape jelly

Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, crumble and set aside. Drain
bacon grease but do not wipe out pan. Add can of baked beans (including sauce). Bring beans
to a boil. Stir in grape jelly and reduce heat. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half
(about 5 minutes). Mash beans with a fork or potato masher and allow liquid to absorb. Add crumbled bacon. Serve with Fritos corn chips. Makes 8 appetizer servings

Nutrition analysis: 86 calories per 2 oz. serving, 2g fat (0.7g saturated fat) per 2 oz. serving, 3 mg cholesterol per 2 oz. serving, 283 mg sodium per 2 oz. serving, 13.2 g carbohydrate per 2 oz. serving, 2.8 g fiber per 2 oz. serving, 3.8 g protein per 2 oz. serving.

Here's How You Enter the Giveaway:

1) leave a comment below;
2) tweet it out!

Good Luck!

How about you - What are some of your favorite chips & dips? Do you like to grill-out? Giveaway is open through Father's Day. Winner announced on Monday, June 21st. This contest is published at "Works For Me Wednesday!"


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Raleigh Susan G. Komen Race - "Team Colvin" NC Mom Bloggers

We are on the eve of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - 1st Annual "NC Mom Bloggers" run for "Team Colvin!"

Thank you for following along our journey. Krista Colvin is an awesome mom who just this past April was diagnosed with Stage 3 Aggressive Breast Cancer. My friend, Molly Gold, a local NC Mom Blogger as well and I wanted to support Krista! And share with others the close community of social media moms.

Thank you friends at MomActive for sharing and supporting our run as well! Blessings to all!

We are blessed and inspired by Hanes Comfort for sponsoring our team! We are delighted to work with Hanes at any opportunity. Hanes loves Moms and families and you! :) Thank you Hanes, our custom "Team Colvin" tees rock!



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Tale As Old As Time, Beauty & The Beast

"Tale as old as time, true as it can be.
Barely even friends, then somebody bends unexpectedly. "
Beauty & the Beast, Mrs. Potts

It's here! Durham Performing Arts Center 's Opening Night of the On Broadway Musical "Beauty and the Beast," Live on Stage! Look at how amazing is the set! We were in awe. The colors were just this vivid and "sparkly!" as the Tigers say! :)

Our family on the red carpet!

You know we love the Orchestra Pit! Here is a shot I got of the Piano! Love this with the B&B music at the ready. The live music was truly a treat.

One of the orchestra members told us that he loved DPAC - "it's an outstanding center!" That's saying something coming from New York City!

Of course, it was at this point that I made sure he knew he must try "Sweet Tea" while in North Carolina! He was highly amused by this. And said, "I love it - get some sweet tea!" We represent! What can I say, he met a real Southern Belle! :)

The Durham Performing Arts Center in downtown Durham has done it again. This relatively new facility really attracts some class acts. The latest phenomenal hit is Beauty & The Beast. Get tickets now, it's in Durham for only a week! Beauty & The Beast was an incredible production. The entire family was absolutely enthralled with the entire show.

There were so many highlights in this performance, it is tough to tell what we liked best. Right from the start, we noticed the unbelievable colors on the costumes and the sets. It was mesmerizing!

The choreography was outstanding! We were very pleased with the level of skill of the performance. It was pretty magical all around!

The Tigers loved having the option to get a Hot Dog at Intermission. You know, two cute little boys dressed up in their brass button, navy blazers eating hot dogs at the theatre! "I love it!"

Boulder Mountain Man and I had Coffee and the DPAC Coffee (coming from someone who orders it every time) is a great blend! And they have real cream - you know the important things in life. Okay, there I go turning a nice night at the theatre into a food post... almost. Here are the TIgers enjoying the Hot Dog Intermission - with the City of Durham in the backdrop! Isn't it beautiful! Go Bulls!

Just for good measure, I want you to see the royal Welcome you receive at DPAC! ... See other children love DPAC too! :)

And Rachel the Assistant Director of Marketing and PR for DPAC...

It was a beautiful, wonderful evening! Thank you DPAC for sponsoring us to B&B - we couldn't be happier to be partnered together! We are proud of you!

Are you as crazy for Beauty and the Beast and/or DPAC as we are? Are you going?


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National Mom's Nite Out 2010 Raleigh/Durham Vlog Review

National Mom's Nite Out 2010 Raleigh, North Carolina was all that! Moms young and seasoned gathered to celebrate Motherhood! A special Thank You to Maria Bailey of Mom Talk Radio, Mom TV and BSM Media who created the NMNO!

Here you can see all the Moms, the prizes and the fun!

Thank you to our many sponsors on the National and Local levels: My Little Pony, Dove Chocolatier, Lands' End, Build-A-Bear, Scandinavian Child, Whole Foods, RDU Tennis, Ocean Isle Inn, Hanes Comfort, Green Pea Nursery, Parigi Fashion, Zippity Doos Hair Care, and many more.

Also the amazing planning committee lead by Molly Gold of GOMOM, Inc., Fadra of All Things Fadra, Sue Robinson of Motherhood and Me, and Erin Lane of Marketing to Mama, Amy of Tee Shirt and Jeans Mom and myself. It was a fabulous evening and we could not have done it without each of you sponsors near and far.

Were you able to attend? Will we see you next year for NMNO 2011?!


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Join Us @ Ocean Isle Inn ACTIVATE Children's Concert

You know we love Ocean Isle Inn at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina! And that I relish the partnership of being a OII MomBlogger! This resort is awesome, friendly, and oceanfront! They have great amenities that are well maintained....

So I was thrilled again to be asked to work on a project with OII! Here I am bringing it to you live from Ocean Isle Inn, Ocean Isle Beach, NC!

It was a joy to meet Miss Lori this past February at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! And is wonderful, who knew, we would be collaborating right here in North Carolina for the Miss Lori ACTIVATE Concert!

The children are excited and of course, the parents are. It is sure to be a big fun time. And believe me, Ocean Isle Inn knows how to host a great gathering. Remember the OII MomBloggers 2010!

The North Carolina Beaches are the best thing to beat the boredom anywhere! Treat your family to this awesome "Boredom Buster!" *This article published at "Works For Me Wednesday!" Hope you can join us!


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