Think Christmas! Cards Direct Giveaway!

It's Holiday Time ... almost ... and look what

CardsDirect offers you!  A chance to Win an awesome Christmas Giveaway!!  That's one more thing you can check off of your Holiday To Do List.  Get all of your 

Holiday Cards

Photo Cards and Christmas Cards taken care of at once. 

The are the very best in personalized greeting cards for business or personal use.  Over 2,000 card designs are available in categories that include holiday cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, photo cards, baby shower invitations, birth announcements and many more!  With free personalization and custom imprinted verse, CardsDirect offers an easy online ordering process and top quality cards with the best selection, customer service and pricing found anywhere. 

Since we have been married, we love the Christmas Photo Cards !  Dating back to just us to now with the Tigers, our family and friends love to receive our photo cards at Christmastime.  It's tradition.  

Why not start your own tradition!  One winner will receive a gift code which can be redeemed for twenty-five cards, up to $50 total value at Cards Direct. To enter, visit Cards Direct and tell me which card you like the best

Enter to Win: 

Tell me what kind of Holiday Cards you buy - leave a comment below with email contact and best of wishes to our soon -to-be-winner! 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

* Thank you to Global Influence for sponsoring Carolina Mama this opportunity with a $50 gift card to Cards direct. 

Citrus Ginger Stir Fry

Wal-Mart Ginger Stir Fry

This is my homemade stir-fry that I made using Wal-Mart Citrus-Ginger Stir Fry veggies in a bag with ginger sauce. I changed the recipe to make it simple and talk about perfect!  My whole family adored this tonight.  It is simply delicious and healthy cooking and healthy living recipe!  It's as good as it can be!

My Recipe is This:

Make a pot of your favorite rice.  I followed the directions on Mahatma's and doubled it because we love rice with stir fry, red beans, and more.

Wal-Mart Ginger Stir Fry

1 large bag of Stir Fry Veggies with Ginger Sauce (used 1/3 of bag)
4 Chicken Breasts - grilled with a little Emeril's Seasoning :)
1 pkg. Trader Joe's Tofu - Baked and Seasoned (yummo!)

First grill the chicken while the rice is cooking.  Then saute the veggies and add the sauce in the stir fry packet.  Lastly, stir in the chicken and tofu until hot.

Serve with Soy Sauce and Enjoy!  There will be no left overs and they request it for tomorrow! :)

This is published at "Tasty Tuesday."  What's tasty at your house today?!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Boys Will Be Men One Day (As They Are Taught)

If we've heard it once, its been a hundred times, "boys will be boys."   We hear this from complete strangers and those near and dear to us.  It seems this is the accepted belief about raising boys in America.  Initially my response was, "Not my boys!" 

Whether it's behavioral or academic, "boys will be boys" seems to me to be a sell out.  Can we not expect our boys, soon to be young men, to represent?  This applied to their academics as well, and our daily parenting - we had to be intentional. As a mother of twin boys, dismissal parenting was not the answer.  I'll admit, I parenting can be a challenge.  I am often amazed at the time and effort and the surprises that parenting brings. 

So when I read this Wall Street Journal article by Thomas Spence, I fell in love. 
Someone understood. 

...we must "meet them where they are"—that is, pander to boys' untutored tastes.

"Boys will be boys"  or "pandering to boys' untutored tastes." 
"For elementary- and middle-school boys, that (meeting them where they are) means "books that exploit [their] love of bodily functions and gross-out humor." AP reported that one school librarian treats her pupils to "grossology" parties. "Just get 'em reading," she counsels cheerily. "Worry about what they're reading later."
The more venerable houses are just as willing to aim low. Penguin, which once used the slogan, "the library of every educated person," has its own "Gross Out" line for boys, including such new classics as "Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger."There certainly is no shortage of publishers ready to meet boys where they are. Scholastic has profitably catered to the gross-out market for years with its "Goosebumps" and "Captain Underpants" series. Its latest bestsellers are the "Butt Books," a series that began with "The Day My Butt Went Psycho."   Wall Street Journal Boys  Author Thomas Spence of Spence Publishing Company, Dallas. 

I'll add "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" to the list.  I do not see the need for our children to be 'educated' in the ways of negative peer pressure as part of their academics.  

We don't.  For us, not rewarding our sons with gaming videos and electronics actually is key to lack of dependance upon it.  I've wondered are our boys missing out, until I read reminders like this from the same Author, Thomas Spence: 

"I offer a final piece of evidence that is perhaps unanswerable: There is no literacy gap between home-schooled boys and girls. How many of these families, do you suppose, have thrown grossology parties?"

We don't.

What are your thoughts?  Parenting styles can vary vastly for academics and in general. How do you balance it all? 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

Have a Blessed Sunday!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Fit Friday Find: You Run or Walk a Road Race 5k Plus

Happy Fit Friday Find! Yes, you!  Really!  Run or Walk a Road Race of your choice - we recommend starting with a 5k!

One of the things I love to do is run a community road race!  Talk about spice up your work out!  Meet local folks, hook up with friends for a work out and compete with yourself.  You heard me, tip extraordinaire is too much competition is just that - too much competition.

One of my tips is compete against yourself and you're always a Winner!  And you don't get caught up in someone else's game.  I find I am happy doing this for me!  Moi!

Join me and others from our community at the SAS Championship 5k !  You can Resister here: Blue Points 5k on site in the morning.  Race begins at 8a for Competitive 5k (competitive meaning you get your timed chip - official time).  I love official time so I can compare all of my races!  Talk about fun!

And we get to run on the lovely and beautiful Prestonwood Country Club Golf Course.  I have my share of golf carts along courses but to run without worry of being hit by a ball, being on the wrong path or just getting out of the way of the carts - this will be a treat.

Who's going?!  How do you keep your exercise routines fresh and exciting?!  Do you like participating in local races?

Warmly, Carolina Mama

United Egg Producers' Animal Welfare Conference

Am in Tampa for the Animal Welfare Conference. We will be learning all about cage free , organic and more eggs. Tomorrow we visit the farms - cannot wait.

This is the UEP President Gene Gregory- such a down-to-earth man who has been with the company for  many years and began his career in the egg business in 1960.

Do you have questions? Let me know. Learning lots and how to avoid salmonella issues and other farming tips and practices.

Seventh Generation Giveaway

Protect Planet Home!

You know Boulder Mountain Man over at Eat This Recycle That, love to walk lightly and help preserve our planet.

Seventh Generation is one of our favorite green companies.  Their products are, non-toxic all-purpose cleaners.  They are so wholesome there is a guilt-free, worry-free feeling with using their home products.  It is nice to clean and not worry about the effects on your small children and family.  They want to "help you protect your world with safe and effective household products."  And they do!

We love their products.  They are simple, safe and sparkly clean.  Perfection!

Thanks to BlogSpark and Seventh Generation not only did we receive household cleaning kits - one lucky Winner will win the Giveaway!

Here's how you enter :

1)  What's your number one cleaning Tip, leave it in comments; and
2)  Tweet this link for others to learn more about Seventh Gen.

Enjoy a little Fall Cleaning!  Good luck and Happy Cleaning!  Do you support Green Companies like Seventh Generation?

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Anniversary Run!

Nice jog at the gym today. Thankful.

12th Anniversary

Our dreams are only big enough when they include a miracle …” -unknown

Twelve years ago today, we never dreamed this paradise!   Each Anniversary - we smile and say five years from now... - each milestone surpasses the last. We thank God for that and each other.

“Where there is love there is life.” — Gandhi

Raleigh Denim Fashion Friday Find For You

“A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion.”   Coco Chanel

"Raleigh Denim designs men’s jeans in the Downtown area of Raleigh.  They, Victor Lytvinenko and Sarah Yarborough, really rocked it at SparkCon and unveiled  a new women’s collection." 

Thanks to the Fashion SparkCon here in Raleigh - New York City and French Fashion has come to Raleigh, North Carolina.

What's your Friday Fashion Find?! :)

Warmly, Carolina Mama

NYT News Release: Twitter Is NOT a Social Network, Says Twitter Exec -

  • By SARAH PEREZ of ReadWriteWeb Published: September 14, 2010

Kevin Thau, Twitter's VP for business and corporate development, announced during a presentation at Nokia World 2010 today that everyone's favorite micro-blogging network is not actually a social network.

It's not, you say?
No, says Thau: Twitter is for news. Twitter is for content. Twitter is for information.
To those of us in the tech industry, proclaiming that Twitter's main focus is not its social aspects, but its news-delivering mechanisms, is a bit like stating the obvious. But it's important that Twitter is now publicly acknowledging how people's perception of the service have changed in this regard, not to mention how their usage patterns have changed too.
So Twitter Is "News"?
Yes, says Thau. Twitter is changing the very nature of news today. Journalists are sending their stories to Twitter and some are even publishing directly to Twitter. It's also allowing everyday users to become journalists themselves by providing them with a simple mechanism to break news.
"The guy who saw a plane land on the Hudson River right in front of him didn't think to send an email," says Thau. "He tweeted it."
Thau also wanted to assure Twitter users it's OK if you think you're not interesting enough to have your own Twitter account. Don't apologize if you don't tweet - just come to Twitter and consume content instead. After all, plenty of people already do just that. In fact, Twitter has 910,000,000 uniques, based on analytics from Alexa, which makes it the ninth largest website on the Internet, said Thau.
Twitter is not just its users (although there are 145,000,000 of those), it's also the everyday people who just visit the site and read tweets.
Besides breaking news, Twitter is also a network for discussing politics, global news, entertainment (Thau noted that Kanye's apology to Taylor Swift was one of the most re-tweeted of all time), sports, humor and more.
Twitter is still growing, too. Most of that growth (60%) takes place outside the U.S., specifically in Japan, Indonesia and Brazil. He then explained how the company's partnership with Nokia allows Twitter to reach to those and other emerging markets by connecting users to Twitter via the mobile phones they prefer.
His announcement goes hand-in-hand with the new features Nokia is launching on its N8 smartphones, which bring social news content into homescreen widgets that allow for simple interactions like reading updates and posting your status.
Just don't call them "social networking" widgets, we guess.
Copyright 2010 ReadWriteWeb. All Rights Reserved.

ReadWriteWeb is an independent technology blog. Read More »

Best Pillsbury Chicken Pot Pie and Vote !

Fall is just around the corner.  In fact, we are enjoying a last soiree at the beach before it cools off for another season.

And I love to cook in the Fall.  There are all those fun recipes that are wonderful for your family and friends.  Here is one of my favorite recipes for Fall - the comfort food - Chicken Pot Pie!  My friend Jennifer of One Moms World developed this recipe and is a Finalist in the Pillsbury My Crescent Contest!  

Enjoy the recipe and Vote for Jennifer!   And you too have a chance to win a cash prize from Pillsbury.

Chicken Pot Pie

  • Chicken Pot Pie

  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • Total Time: 35 Min
  • Makes: 6 servings

  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed reduced-fat reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed reduced-fat reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1. In large bowl, mix vegetables, chicken and soups. Pour into greased or sprayed 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.
2. Unroll dough into 2 long rectangles; press perforations to seal. Place rectangles over chicken mixture; pinch center edges to seal. Press outside edges of dough to edges of baking dish.
3. Bake at 350°F 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. 

This recipe is published at the "Taste of Tuesday!"   Please share one of your favorite Fall recipes?

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Beautiful NC beaches!

Enjoying NC beaches..!

September 14th: Lose-A-Palooza "Lose For Good"

You know I love Weight Watchers!  I'm a Weight Watchers Girl! And a WW Meetings Girl!  And I am so proud of WW for this effort on helping those who are hungry.  I know, some of us need to lose, maintain and some are hungry.  That is so hard to even type. 

Yet, there is help on the way... Weight Watchers' "Lose For Good" Campaign is here, the "Lose-A-Palooza!"  

For every pound lose during the campaign, WW Members are giving that number in food to the hungry. Now, you can join in.  Today WW has created a Social Media Event day for "Lose for Good"

The Lose For Good campaign is back for the third year in a row! As you lose weight and participate in other Lose For Good activities from 9/5 to 10/23/10, Weight Watchers will donate up to $1 million* to our charitable partners to help feed children and families in
need. Find out how you can do good for yourself and others this year.

Join the one-day Social Media Event "Lose for Good" and help fight hunger.  For every pound you lose, Weight Watchers will donate a dollar to hunger from September 5th through October 23rd.  

Leave a comment on this blog mentioning "Lose for Good" and Weight Watchers will donate to the hunger!  about this Hunger Initiative and another $1 goes to their cause.  

For every accepted mention or acknowledgment of “Lose For Good” made on September 14th through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and check-ins via foursquare, Weight Watchers will donate $1 – up to $60,000* – to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger. 

Here are more ways you can help out via Weight Watchers!  What an awesome cause! I'm in! 

  • PostInclude the phrase “Lose For Good” in a post about the Lose For Good campaign, and encourage your readers to get involved by
  • CommentComment on a blog post about Lose For Good. Also, ask your friends to show their support by commenting on your post. Don’t forget to include “Lose For Good” in your comment.
  • CommunityWrite a post including “Lose For Good” in the Community

  • Check-InEach check-in at a Weight Watchers meeting can help contribute to the good. Find a meeting.

Thanks for reading, sharing and joining in this effort! 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

MomBloggers Ambassador Program at Ocean Isle Inn

Hello Mom Bloggers, Social Media Mom and PR Companies:

So excited that this awesome and quaint North Carolina Inn is doing social media right!  Today, I get to attend the Ocean Isle Inn, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina MomBloggers Ambassador Event Planning Program!  

Very thrilled to be in this venture with Jennifer of One Moms World and Amy of  A Million Boxes!   This Inn has embraced Social Media Moms in a way that other companies and PR firms can take note from - the believe in relationships!  And relationships build their brand.  It works!

Look forward to exciting news from us.  We're taking the Tigers and the Home School on the road - Beach School.  Life at its finest!  It is amazing how well they study, read and explore when we are on location.  Of course, we've got the back packs filled, the computer at the ready.  So we're off.

Of yes, One Moms World is bringing homemade Pumpkin Muffins and I'm taking the Starbucks!  We know how to have fun!  What's your week looking like?  

Do you have a company you love working with through social media channels?  There are many who work well with MomBloggers, DadBloggers, Writers and Vloggers.  Who is engaging well with you?  And who would you like to see take these tools to the next level?  What would you like to see in an Ambassador's Program?  Stay tuned. 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Facebook Launches Like Pages Browser

September 11, 2010  Facebook Launches the new Like Pages Browser.  It's pretty cool!  Who knew Moms could be browsing the Facebook pages in the wee hours of the morning.  Finding my "Likes!"  

Really fun and efficient.  It is super easy to navigate.  And I found several pages that I know I like and had not found yet on Facebook.  Check it out and let me know who you "like!" 

I found Panera, Tulane U., Rayovac, and more.  What are your favorites?   Once you check it out, I would love to know how you like it!  No pun intended.

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Steve Scheibner Pilot Bumped from Flight 11 on 9/11

On September 11, 2001, I was feeding our twin sons, 5 month olds, breakfast. During our marriage (12 years this month!) we have never had cable, I know! No TV! It's a beautiful thing. (In NC we now receive a few local channels so I am guaranteed a Biggest Loser viewing and a few football games. :)

In 2001, a new neighbor moved in and somehow our cable was turned on inadvertently. I had uncharacteristically turned on the morning news - I am still happy the babies were in the other room as I could see the TV from the kitchen. They could not. :)

Nonetheless, like so many of us, I saw terrorism attack our nation live. My husband was at the University and called me like he often does during the day. He had not heard. Today, we hiked in our free country and thanked God for America.

Though we all will never forget, I will never cease to be amazed at the miracles and redemption God has done turning this American tragedy into hope and healing.

American Airlines Pilot, First Officer for American Airlines, Steve Scheibner is also a Pastor,  Parenting Matters Founder Speaker with his wife, Megan and was scheduled to fly Flight 11 on September 11th.

Recently, he spoke at our church and shared his story. It is captivating as he knows he was scheduled to be in the plane that crashed the first World Trade Center. He calls the pilots and flight attendants of Flight 11 his friends.

It is powerful to hear him speak of knowing what it is like to have two people die in his place. One Jesus Christ and the other being the Pilot who bumped him and flew in his place on 9/11. Now, he asks the question, "what are you here for?" "are you making your days count?" Inspiring and life-changing.

I am reminded that God has me here for "such a time as this." And I want to serve Him well each day. Even days like today where I was an ordinary American Mom, hiking with my family, cleaning house, making a homemade meal, baking with my boys and more.

I know that I am here to raise these spirited, hilarious, brilliant, active, full-speed-ahead boys - the Tigers - for Him. Amazing, exciting and consuming. Boulder Mountain Man and I pray that He will guide us with the strength and fortitude to "raise 'em right!"

I want it to count for Him because I know what it is like to have one man die in my place and that makes all the difference.

So 9/11, you made us stronger, you made us more free because we savor that freedom each day, you made us more grateful and more longing for heaven like never before 9/11. And my you come to know Him in a mighty way. Do you know him?

To learn more about Steve and Megan Scheiber go to Character Health and Parenting Matters

Please share your 9/11 with us whether past or present.  

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Fit Friday Fun! Running Shoes

Happy Fit Friday! We're talking about Running and Fit Finds! Take a look.

What are your Fit Finds? Favorite Fit Snacks? Shoes? Or do you have questions? I'm happy to help in any way. Have a great and active week!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Early Child Education and Sign Language

When we were surprised with the Twins, there were so many exciting things.  We were blessed with a full-term pregnancy.  And healthy baby boys.

As a young Mom - full-time at home with my boys - everything was new.  Language and verbal skills were too.  We taught the boys sign language to help with their communication.   It was so awesome!  I wanted to share this article with you.  My apologies for source, this was sent to me and I put it in my schedule because it is so important.

The writers are credited at the end of the article.  I am not sponsored or paid to share this. Just know how important this was to our children.

Early Childhood Education – Acquiring Sign Language

One of the keys to surviving in a tilted economic system in which opportunities to achieve a decent standard of living will be limited is versatility – and the ability to communicate articulately in a variety of ways with the widest possible audience. This includes bilingual ability as well as the ability to communicate in non-verbal ways for the benefit of the disabled – primarily the deaf.

At the same time, a growing shortage of qualified interpreters fluent in American Sign Language has led to more career opportunities – and if current trends continue, it's likely that skilled ASL interpreters will have little problem securing lucrative employment in a society where such a commodity is destined to be in short supply.

Signing Before They Can Speak

A great deal of research has clearly demonstrated that the early years – ages 2 to five – are the best time to educate children in different modes of communication and language. This goes beyond the spoken word (though it is an optimal time for children to learn a second language); many young children have an aptitude for signing as well.

This is not as odd as you may think. As you know, many indigenous peoples around the world, including American Indian nations, have used sign language for centuries to facilitate communication with other tribes with whom they do not share a language. Some paleontologists and anthropologists theorize that Neanderthals – who apparently lacked the vocal mechanism to produce many spoken words – depended a great deal upon hand gestures to communicate.

In fact, recent research suggests that sign language is innate. An article published in the Boulder Daily Camera in 2003 presented strong evidence that babies as young as six months old communicate with their hands:

" 6 to 7 months, babies can remember a sign. At eight months, children
can begin to imitate gestures and sign single words. By 24 months, children
can sign compound words and full sentences. They say sign language reduces
frustration in young children by giving them a means to express themselves
before they know how to talk." (Glarion, 2003)

The author also cites study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development demonstrating that young children who are taught sign language at an early age actually develop better verbal skills as they get older. The ability to sign has also helped parents in communicating with autistic children; one parent reports that "using sign language allowed her to communicate with her [autistic] son and minimized his frustration...[he now] has an advanced vocabulary and excels in math, spelling and music" (Glarion, 2003).

The Best Time To Start

Not only does early childhood education in signing give pre-verbal youngsters a way to communicate, it can also strengthen the parent-child bond – in addition to giving children a solid foundation for learning a skill that will serve them well in the future. The evidence suggests that the best time to start learning ASL is before a child can even walk – and the implications for facilitating the parent-child relationship are amazing.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Zionsville educational child care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of Indiana educational day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

**Do you use sign language with your children?  How are their communication skills? 

Warmly, Carolina Mama