eBay 2011 Holiday Hotlist for Men, Women and Children

The Holidays are officially here!  Besides being in denial, Halloween reminds us.  It's time.

Time to get updated on the official 2011 Holiday Hotlist  for Men, Women and Children.  I am so excited to use this list for any of my eBay buying needs and for a little eBay selling as well.

Remember our eBay Parent Panel trip to Orlando?  Well, we learned lots and one of the perks to me was finding out that eBay makes it easy for you by creating a Holiday Hotlist to help you find the deals you want for this season.

2011 Holiday HotList for Men, Women and Children by eBay: 


7 for All Mankind Jeans
Nike Athletic Shoes
The North Face Jackets


Nike Athletic Shoes
The North Face Jackets
J Brand Jeans


Fisher-Price Disney's Dance Star Mickey
Loopz Game
Star Wars & Harry Potter Lego Board Games


Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Blender
Cuisinart Brew Central 12 Cup Coffee Maker
iPad 2 (All)
Samsung 3D HDTV (UN55D8000)

eBay shares a lot of resources with you on buying and selling so you can successfully use the site for your Holiday Shopping.  And Selling. Here is the eBay Buyer's Guide Overview.   And you can learn all the eBay Seller's Basics here and get started with your own Holiday List.

How did we do?  Did we leave anything off of your Hotlist?

Warmly,  Carolina Mama

*I am an eBay Parent Panel Blogger.  These tips and links are some of my favorites I use for navigating eBay as a Buyer and Seller.  And I am jazzed about this eBay Hotlist.  Opinions are my own. 

Seasons of Life, Circle of Life

Y'all I have been quite here and I'm sorry. When I studied Creative Writing at the University of South Carolina and in Graduate School classes at the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Journalism, one thing was clearly taught:

"Writers write!"

So I have not fulfilled my writer's responsibilities here at the blog because - the other rule:

"There are no exceptions."

Except Life. Life gets in the way.

This lovely thing called life that gives me my "Joie de vive." "Joy of Life" can sometimes be greatly challenged.

Reminding me, nothing is lost on Him. Because He, my Redeemer, controls the turns. And my life is in His hands. Do you know if yours is in his hands today and always? See my "About Me - Do You Know Him?" link. And email me if I can help.

He gives a peace amongst this thing called life. Our day looked like this picture....

The Circle of Life. Some not good news for a relative of ours whom I adore - and I don't want to talk about it yet. Prayers are valued and appreciated. ;)

Then the Circle of Life took us to a darling 1st Birthday party of our sweet friends' Baby girl. A wonderful time all around.

Talk about a mix of emotions! Too bad the fun party wasn't the last event. Instead, the Winter slide in the picture below/news came first.

Today reminded me "He holds my/our future in His hands."

How are you today? What are the Seasons of your Life right now? Thanks for reading along and I hope to be my usual self soon. ;) With a little bit of prayer, or a whole lot - you bet.

Day 25 of 30 Days of Breast Cancer Awareness

We're getting really creative. I have to tell you, I love Pink and all, however, it's a challenge to wear pink when it's all things Fall out! ;)

It I a worthy cause and I just think of the many, many that Breast Cancer touches and hope this helps.

Here's the latest.... And do you celebrate BCA? Look even the NFL Saints are doing it!

New Papa Murphy's "Jack-o-Lantern" Pizza Only $6

Introducing Papa Murphy's Jack-o-Lantern Pizza!  How cool is this!  Pick up your "Scary Good Pizza" pre-Trick-or-Treating!  And the price is an amazing $6!  

The Tigers and Boulder Mountain Man will love these!  The Jack-o-Lantern Pizza rolls out in the Raleigh/Durham area on October 26th!   Availability in other markets across the country may vary.  You can check the Papa Murphy's Store Locator for a Jack-o-Lantern pizza in your area.  We love their great tasting pizza!

And Carolina Mama is going to love the Veggie deLITE thin and crispy pizza.  See... you'll want to join me.

Surely that will negate some of the Halloween candy.  We are excited for the fun!   Who's ready?

Warmly, Carolina Mama

*This post is sponsored by Papa Murphy's. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Fashion Friday Finds

Fashion for a Cause!  How about that!  I love this time of year when we all support and encourage Breast Cancer Awareness ("BCA") and the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation.

Our local 5K for BCA was in June.  Remember our Race in Raleigh with Hanes?  There are lots of those locally and many other things so I thought it would be fun to share some PINK with y'all for Fashion Friday!

1)  Banana Republic.  You can even get into Pink Fashion with Banana Republic's Cosmetic Pink Dress. Love this.  This is a classic cocktail dress for evening wear or even on up to New Year's Eve! Can you tell I love a little Pink Dress.  

2) Hanes Pink.  Hanes Pink is an awesome interactive site to Design a Tee for breast cancer. You can make your own, share, purchase and even donate to the cause.  I love Hanes' pro-active commitment to breast cancer awareness and ultimately the cure! 

3) Lilly Pulitzer.  The Pink Pelican Scarf and more because we know how Lilly Pulitzer loves pink.  We've all come to love their pink and green combinations.  Just loving the preppy days. :)

4) Pink Komen Shop.   The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure site has their own cute Pink fashion. Love this.  They have fun Pink items and this Pink Bling Watch for the Fashionista in us. :)

That's my Fashion Find Friday for Pink things.  What Pink things do you love in support of BCA?  Have a great weekend!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Thankful Family Is Everything

We are in the midst of a fabulous and furious/fast Fall! And I stop to think of my blessings in the midst of the everyday, I am thankful for my precious family.

Here are awesome glimpses at our days.

Here we go... it's Sports season. Evaluation night! :)

"Caniacs!" At the Carolina Hurricanes Game and we beat the Boston Bruins! just don't look at this angle of Carolina Mama. Just saying' :) But look at her cute date!

Sunrise after an amazing time camping at the lake.

Pumpkin time and Harvest season.

The Tigers caught and fed and released Lady Bugs. :)

Family at the Hurricanes game! :)

The Tigers in Raleigh ready for the Lego Festival!

Thankful for friends and community! Healthy and Happiness.

What are you thankful for today?

Macy's Heart of Haiti Helps Haitians Directly

Passion drives a lot of what we do.  And I have to tell you, I am passionate about what Macy's is doing for Haiti.  Macy's has partnered with artisans from Haiti to help sell their wares and then Macy's gets the income right back into their pockets there in Haiti.

Welcome Heart of Haiti !  Now, that is an awesome program and way of helping other countries in so great need.  And the work is sheer quality.  Hand-made, not made in China Thank you!  Seriously, hand-crafted means a great deal now days.

Look at these beautiful pieces!

Macy's Heart of Haiti sent me this beautiful Heart of Haiti Serveware, Einstein Rustic Nut Bowl !  It is classic and timeless.

I fell in love with it and put it on the mantle!

"Naturally brilliant, the Einstein Rustic nut bowl is named for the artist and hand-carved from the wood of a fast-growing, renewable obeche tree found in Haiti's gorgeous mountainsides. With a lacquer finish to handle hot and cold snacks."

 Seriously, it is that fabulous.  It has many uses.  Yet, I find it more of an heirloom type piece.  Of course, I wanted to order a 12 piece set.  And maybe I will or should.  I know they wills stand the test of time and better than that, the money is helping Haitians live well. 

You can join the Heart of Haiti Facebook Page and follow along and get information about the artisans. 

Until then, I think these items can make awesome Christmas presents and you'll 'gift' the Haitians who create them as well. 

Warmly,  Carolina Mama

*I partnered with Macy's Heart of Haiti for this article. 

Disney on Ice Dare to Dream Show DISCOUNTED

Disney is always surprising us!  Can't you feel the anticipation of the newest Disney on Ice - Dare to Dream Show!  Disney on Ice is coming to Raleigh to the RBC Center in December!  We adore the Disney on Ice Shows.  They are reminiscent of my childhood seeing the show in New Orleans. Now, my children have that special love and memory each year as well. We cannot wait. 

Join us: 

"Get tangled up in the newest thrilling show to hit the ice, Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream!  Experience Disney's hilarious hair-raising escapade,Tangled; as Rapunzel, her unlikely companion, Flynn, and Maximus, embark on an uproarious journey that takes adventure to new lengths!

Boogie to the beat of the bayou with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen in a magical, musical journey that all begins with a fateful kiss.  And fanciful dreams become reality as Cinderella meets her Prince Charming, with a glass slipper fit for an unforgettable fantasy come true. All your favorite princesses take the ice in a spectacular finale at the ultimate Disney Princess event of a lifetime!

Experience the beauty, sparkle, and spirit when Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream coming to Raleigh this December! "

Discount Tickets: 4 for $60.  (must buy in groups of 4)  Discount Code is: FLYNN 

This is only valid on non-VIP tickets and the select shows. Thursday night (7pm), Saturday morning (10:30 am) and Sunday night (5:30pm).  Valid online on the Internet. 

Use your code and purchase tickets here. 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

*FTC Disclosure: I am a Felt Entertainment Ambassador.  

Lego Fest Raleigh North Carolina 2011

Lego Fest came to Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina! We had a grand time with all the LEGOs!!   The boys were so excited.  We all were.

C3PO and R2-D2 were there to greet us!

Our favorite was "Creation Nation!"  We all four contributed to this awesome project! We built for hours. The ariel view was the USA! 

LEGOs were everywhere! We were very happy!

My Happy boys outside the Raleigh Convention Center before the Festival! 
On their game....

It was almost like Disney... there were Toy Story 3 with Woody and Buzz waiting to 
Welcome us to the event!  Here were are as a family for posterity sake. 
Reminiscent of Disney with the International Flower and Garden Festival 

Did you attend he Lego Kids Fest this year in your city?  What are your favorite Lego creations? 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Mellow Mushroom Family Favorite

This weekend was action packed and that included our camping trip to the lake. The weather was perfect !

When we got back to town it was Mellow Mushroom for us. The pizzas were fabulous!  Boulder Mountain Man and I had the Kosmic Karma and the feta and spinach was divine.  The Tigers enjoyed a half cheese and a half pepperoni. :)  It was all good!

Dad read Narnia as we waited on our table. Well, what a perfect setting!

The Tigers ate a whole pizza! (6) Slices that were massive. The Waitress commented and Tiger A said proudly, "Well, our Mom does call us the Tigers!" Priceless!  We sat outside.  Love the dining outdoors at this Mellow Mushroom.  The southern columns at a pizza restaurant - only in North Carolina, right?!

Even cclectic Mona Lisa greeted us.  Just one of the whimsical decorations at MM! 

What is your favorite pizza?   Have you checked out Mellow Mushroom?  Don't miss out.  

Carolina Mama

Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers Center Opens

"I love Weight Watchers!" "I love Weight Watchers!" "I love Weight Watchers!"  Jennifer Hudson

In honor of Jennifer Hudson's amazing Weight Watchers success, WW has opened the "Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers Center!"  And it's in her neighborhood, Hyde Park, Chicago.  Also, a portion of the proceeds are donated to an organization in honor of Hudson's deceased nephew. Talk awesome incredible. I love this.

Grammy and Oscar-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudsonat the opening of the Weight Watchers Jennifer Hudson Center in Chicago..

This week I attended my Weight Watchers meeting, and my leader share some of Jennifer Hudson's amazing weight loss story with Weight Watchers.  She is truly a role model.  Jennifer had shared with the Weight Watchers leaders at their conference recently that her mantra is "I love Weight Watchers!"

Jennifer uses this to remind herself to stay strong.  Love this idea.  And I love the positive approach.  Too often I think we all approach weigh loss and diet restrictions that are a good thing and we turn them negative.  I do not say, "I can't have...."  That drives me crazy.  Let's just say I don't want that lard soaked chicken or something like that instead of "I can't have that."  Like poor me.

Really, let's say I love eating healthy.  I love taking care of myself. And I'm saying, "I love Weight Watchers!" because I do.  That is why I continue to go to meetings and work on streamlining my tracking and my activity and all those good things.  Healthy lifestyle and I love that.

So check this out, Weight Watchers just opened the Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers Center in Illinois in Jennifer's neighborhood.  Is that not awesome!

Love this!  Now, I want to go back to Chicago to a meeting there!  Have you checked out the Chicago center?  Seen Jennifer Hudson? :)

Warmly,  Carolina Mama

Elmer's #GlueNGlitter Solar System Science Project

The Tigers had a Science Project on the Solar System. So we were super excited to get invited by Elmer's Glue to join in making a Science Project with Elmer's Glue products including Tri-Fold Display Board and the X-TREME School Glue.

We were beyond excited to use Elmer's Glue's latest products because we use their products regularly anyway. There is nothing like the Elmer's Tri-Fold Display Board and the Wal-Mart price for these to make your projects possible.

Our Goal was to Create a 3D Tri-Fold Display Board exhibiting the Solar System. My Tigers were jazzed for this project.

1) Shopped Wal-Mart.

We went to Wal-Mart looking in the craft section for our favorite products -Elmer's X-TREME Glue was at the top of the list. The boys could not wait to try it out. We had not tried it before and it smelled like "Peanut Butter" to the boys. :)

I kinda agree. So that was unexpected fun. The boys pointed out that X-TREME Glue even glues wood! :) We use Elmer's glue products weekly and I am sure this will make the regular list.

2) Purchased Elmer's Tri-Fold Display Board . We will be using the Tri-Fold Display Board for all of our Science Fair projects.

3) Purchased 3D Glue 'N Glitter. We LOVED the 3D Glue 'N Glitter. These colors were beautiful and sparkly - which was perfect for our Solar System. WE fell in love with #GlueNGlitter.

4) Googled the Solar System Facts. We love the library and yet, we used our friend Google for this project.

5) In Pencil sketched our our Solar System.

6) Wrote out our Facts about the Solar System on one Tri-Fold.

7) Glued our Solar System pieces to the chart we sketched.

8) Drew and Glue'n Glittered our drawings.

9) We used Project Popperz for marker drawing. Awesome! The kids found these and we all adore them.

Wal-Mart was perfect for this trip- they have all of the Elmer's glue products and Tri-Fold Boards all in the same place so it is easy to get everything at once at the every low Wal-Mart prices. Always. :)

Here is our final product:

What Science Projects have you done? Have you created a Solar System? Want to try this one? :)

Warmly, Carolina Mama

* This project has been compensated as part of the social shopper insights study for Elmer's #gluenglitter #collectivebias #CBias. Opinions are our own and we love the Elmer's Products!http://walmart.com

Obsessed with Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Reading again, sometimes it takes me a second time to really get something. "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan really is life changing.

"Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts — it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.

Because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything."

Life changing.... Read and be blessed... challenged, etc. Let me know, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Warmly,Carolina Mama

Carolina Camping on the Lake

Carolina Camping on the Lake! A perfect campsite, weather, food and company. The three quarters moon lit beautifully on the water.

This morning - midmorning snack - another round of S'mores! Football Light Saber Duals, hiking ...

Have a beautiful and blessed weekend!

How Did Steve Jobs Change Your Life?

iSad so true. He touched our lives in many ways. We are grateful. Let me know how you were changed?

Stay Safe with Rayovac Flashlights This Halloween

Corn Maze, State Fair, Football Games, Hay Rides....apple cider, hot chocolate, apple bobs.  We love all of Fall.  As a Twin Boy Mom, we are crazy active especially in the crisp, cool Fall days.  And the shorter days bring with them darker nights.... We also want to be safe ... all these Fall family fun activities take me to our favorite Rayovac flashlights.  Stay Safe with Rayovac Flashlights and Lanterns this Halloween.

Keep safety in the Halloween fun!  Light your pumpkins with your Rayovac flashlights and of course, with the "Lasts Longer" Rayovac Batteries!  We did this last year Halloween ... love those Flashlight illuminated Pumpkins.  After our trip to the Farmer's Market, we will illuminate our Pumpkins and be set for the big night.

Certainly a family tradition again this year!

Also, Rayovac keeps it safe physically by teaming up with TrekWomen for a Breast Cancer Awareness Ride.    See, they mean business in Breast Cancer Awareness Safety too.

Remember:  Get $1 OFF Rayovac Flashlight coupons on the Rayovac Facebook Page, Coupon Tab. 

What are you dressing up for this Halloween?  Let's say we have been busy getting the fun on.  Can't wait!  Hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Carolina Mama

*This post is sponsored by Rayovac Power Bloggers.

Steve Jobs, I Love You!

.... A Moment of Silence for the Man who changed my family's life...everyone's world!

Grandparents On Field Trip with Tigers

Today was fabulous in every way. The boys grandparents are here! We have had a blessed time and I got today to play on my pink MacBook!

See the happy face, Or is it the "what do I do with myself now" look!?!

Got some fun in too! What was your Tuesday like?

LEGO® KIDSFEST Raleigh October 7-9, 2011

Get excited!  (I know ode to the Cheerleading days! lol)  Seriously, we are beyond excited about this coming weekend.  We need a little fun because after all we'll be in the after-the-Grandparents-left sad.  Guess what will be cheering us up!! Lego® KidsFest!!  

Yes!  LEGO® KidsFest Raleigh begins this weekend!  We're going!  Look at all the fun to be had! 

Mystery Mural

Three Acres of Hands-On Educational Fun for All Ages!  We cannot wait! 
Buy TicketsBuy Tickets Click HERE. 

RALEIGH (July 27, 2011) The LEGO® KidsFest national tour stops at the Raleigh Convention Center October 7 9, 2011, bringing all of the creative hands-on, minds-on fun of LEGO building and experiences together in this three acre activity- and entertainment- packed family event for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests.

Among the many LEGO attractions, families will find:
  • LEGO Model Gallery: 40 life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
  • LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play
  • Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
  • Mystery Mural: build a piece of a giant mural to help reveal the image
  • Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
  • LEGO Games Arena: roll the dice to play LEGO board games
  • Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas
  • LEGO DUPLO®: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
  • LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods
  • Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
  • Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
  • Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets
  • LEGO Universe: become a custom LEGO Minifigure in this multiplayer online game
  • And much more, covering over 150,000 square feet of space
    “Any family who likes to be inspired, get hands-on and have fun together won’t want to miss LEGO KidsFest,” said Vince Rubino, LEGO events manager. “We’re bringing so many activities for Raleigh-area families to test and showcase their creativity and building skills in what is sure to be a family event to remember.”
    Based on sell-out attendance in previous markets, advance ticket purchase is strongly encouraged. Five sessions all identical are available for the October 7 9 tour stop. LEGO KidsFest tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for children and can be purchased online at www.LEGOKidsFest.com.
    The remaining LEGO KidsFest 2011 tour stops also include Cleveland (November 4-6) and Hartford (December 2-4). For detailed information, including opportunities for local businesses and organizations to get involved, visit www.LEGOKidsFest.com.

Who is joining us?!  We look forward to all the LEGO possibilities!

Warmly,  Carolina Mama

*This post is sponsored by LEGO KidsFest.http://www.legokidsfest.com/raleigh/tickets.html