Shabby Apple Holiday Fashion 2012

Holiday is the perfect time to dress up and have fun with your own fashion and style!  For the second year, I am thrilled to share Shabby Apple's amazing, luxurious vintage and timeless pieces from their Holiday Collection.  I fell in love with this look....

 Just take at look at the lovely Joyful Collection here.

See, I knew you would love it.  I am so ready for my Holiday fun because of these 
beautiful and feminine Shabby Apple pieces. 

My selection had to include this gorgeous and fun piece, the Cha-Cha Blouse by Shabby Apple !  You can get your own Joyful Collection glam look On Sale now at Shabby Apple: Holiday Sale! Save 20% site wide with coupon code 'JoyfulSeason' at checkout. Now go, get your best outfit! 

I had so much fun wearing it to the NBC17 Raleigh, North Carolina "My Carolina Today" 
television segment of my Holiday Gift Guide!  

See my segment here with the cuteness of this look.  I felt great in it and I love
how great it looks paired with red for Christmas.  I wore my classic Lands' End 
Red Cardigan.  :)   Get one for 40% off today PROMO CODE JINGLE PIN 1203

Back to the fabulous set with Sharon and Valonda at My Carolina Today. See how beautiful the 
Cha-Cha Blouse looks!  

Here I am pre-filming with my Holiday Gift Guide table and me. I do love to share and I love that NBC17 let me be a part of their show with these fab finds from Sweden to Raleigh, North Carolina.

My other favorite piece from Shabby Apple is this amazing look the Hollywood Boulevard Skirt.   This is so fun and feminine and I cannot wait to wear it to EVERY event that I dress up for this year! :) I know, it looks that great.  I have always believed true elegance is not in more, yet less of a the best!  So with this best piece, I don't need twentythirty outfits this Holiday!

Because models look like models, I will share the potential of the fabulous Hollywood skirt here :

See, you want one!  Well, you can have the Hollywood Boulevard Skirt On Sale now.  Enjoy!  You're Welcome, right! :) 

Show me your Holiday looks!  What are your go-to looks for Christmas?!  Merry Christmas! Happy New Year's! And many Holiday Best Wishes to Each and Everyone of us!

I am including this post in the Friday Fashion with Jo-Lynne with other awesome Mom Bloggers.

Warmly, Carolina Mama

*FTC Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Shabby Apple. I loved working with them last Holiday and am happy to work together again this year because I love their style and fashion. 

Twelve Days of Christmas with The Carolina Inn 2012

Celebrating December 1-31, 2012.  Chapel Hill, N.C. (November 2012)

Now in its 15th year, The Carolina Inn will once again celebrate the Christmas season with enchanting decorations inspired by the traditional Holiday Song, The Twelve Days of Christmas!

A vision of seasonal wonder will be displayed throughout the Inn including magnificently decorated trees, beautifully appointed holiday d├ęcor, and events to keep you and your little ones entertained.

The celebration features a festive blend of some new treats (Elf on the Shelf, Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party, Seasons Wreathing, Crafting Christmas Memories, Horse Drawn Carriage Rides,) and many old favorites (10th Annual Gingerbread Village Display and Competition, Breakfast and Brunch with Santa, Holiday Afternoon Teas, walking tour with the Inn’s historian Ken Zogry, children’s etiquette luncheon with author Cecilia Budd Grimes, Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners and Christmas Day brunches and New Year’s hotel packages).
Online Information and Reservations
Complete information about all of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” events at The Carolina Inn including dates, times and cost, if any, is online at
Reservations are required for many of the events and may be made online, calling 919-918-2735 or emailing
Holiday decorations information now offered via the hotel’s e-store at
Special Events
• Holiday Afternoon Tea, Nov. 25-Dec. 30 except Christmas Day. Add a special touch to your afternoon respite by treating yourself to a glass of sparkling wine with a tantalizing selection of sweets, tea sandwiches, scones and tea, including Royal Tea, Classic Tea, Little Prince & Princess Tea. $21-$34.

• Elf on the Shelf, Dec. 1. Ring in the holiday season with a special visit from Santa’s Elf. Kids of all ages will be treated to a reading of The Elf’s Story as well as the opportunity to write a letter to Mr. Santa Claus. Holiday goodies and games will entertain all. $15-$60.

• Gingerbread Village Display, Dec. 1-Jan. 2. Relish the festive display of the 10th Annual Gingerbread House Competition entries. Contestants will showcase their creativity and imagination with their edible masterpieces this holiday season with the winners announced on Dec. 23 at 4 p.m.

• Breakfast/Brunch with Santa, Dec. 8, 9, 15 16, 22, 23, 24. Santa is coming to The Carolina Inn. A festive Carolina Inn breakfast or brunch will undoubtedly usher in the Christmas magic for young and old alike. Magicians and face painters will be on hand to entertain everyone. Brunch only on Dec. 9 and breakfast only on Dec. 15. $25-$30.

• Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party, Dec. 9. Join the Triangle Youth Ballet for their annual Sugar Plum Fairy Tea. Ballerinas will dance as you sample treats from the land of sweets. Enjoy Nutcracker story time. See a magic show and get your picture taken with the Sugar Plum Fairy! It’s the perfect holiday gathering. $20.

• Seasons Wreathing, Dec. 10. Attention crafters and dreamers, alike! We will be hosting a wreath crafting class to assist you with proudly designing a handmade welcoming piece to hang in your home. We will be creating a medium sized ornament wreath and requires use of a hot glue gun and some patience, so adults or 15+ children only. The picturesque possibilities are limitless. $45.

• Nine Ladies Tapping, Dec. 12. A free performance for children and adults by Footnotes Tap Ensemble.

• Free violin concert by students of Suzuki Academy of North Carolina, Dec. 16.

• Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Dec. 16, 22 and 23. Nothing says Christmas like sound of bells on a horse drawn carriage. Enjoy the sites of Chapel Hill as you take a leisurely ride through the campus of UNC. $10 per person.

• Crafting Christmas Memories, Dec. 17. Christmas memories are irreplaceable, especially when they are with your children. We will be completing two Christmas crafts that will hold these memories for years to come. First, we will get trapped in a snow globe! This memento requires that you bring your favorite wallet size photo of your child; if possible, doing a winter activity. Next, we will design a keepsake ornament that your child can proudly display on your tree. $25. 

• The Carolina Inn Walking Tour/Lunch, Dec. 19, 28. The Carolina Inn’s walls hold stories of the history of UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina, dating back more than a century. Join the Inn’s historian, Dr. Kenneth Zogry, for a fascinating “behind the scenes” presentation and tour exploring this rich history. $40.

• Children’s Etiquette Luncheon, Dec. 22. Protocol professional Cecilia Budd Grimes will walk kids through the do’s and don’ts of table etiquette as they eat their way through a five-course lunch tutorial. $45.

• Make Your Own Gingerbread House, Dec, 23. Just in time for the holidays The Carolina Inn is hosting a children’s Gingerbread House Making Class. Join us for a cozy afternoon that begins with storyteller, Heidi Werner and her tales of Christmas magic. Each child will then be able assemble and decorate their very own Gingerbread House complete with an apron, chef’s hat and all the holiday sweets and goodies that their imaginations can hold. At the end of the class, each child will take home a completed Gingerbread House and accessories. $45.
Love the Carolina Inn and the Twelve Days of Christmas!  How do you celebrate and what traditions do you celebrate?  

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Holiday Gift Guide 2012


Carolina Mama 

Welcome to our Favorite Things Holiday Gift Guide 2012!  

Thank you for stopping by today.  If you are a My Carolina Today viewer, Welcome! 
We were honored to 
share our Holiday Gift Guide on NBC17 today. Thank you for visiting.  We will 
share the show link as soon as it is live.  Or, watch MyCarolinaToday at 11am EST
today November 28th for full coverage.  Now, here we go. 

It is a joy for a Fashionista to share some of the eye-catching, latest products in the 
His, Her, Family and Technology departments this Holidaytime!  Tomorrow, visit again for our 
Holiday Gift Guide for Kids 2012.  

Christmas is one of my 
favorite times of the year and I love to share special favorite things I have discovered, things 
that make like run smoothly and even Wish List favorites. 

Come along and see the fun. 

Gigi New York -   Gigi New York has wonderful treasures for someone special.  Any girl would love their latest "Teddy Tote" which is an embossed python leather, with signature gold tassel and available to monogram available and handcrafted. These are so supple and the quality of Gigi New York is unmatched.  Every girl's special surprise. 

Or, be up-to-the-minute in this All In One Clutch - Classy and pretty.  Find more at Gigi New York or see her sister store for fabulous Desk Datebooks and more at Graphic Image

Golla of Finland Camera Bags bring fashion and color to the world of electronics with their Mobile Generation Bags; So beautiful.... 

Camera Bags deliver Fashion and Function.  These bags are so flexible and soft. I love the Camera Strap is stylish and comfortable on my neck.  Not a hard rubber strap.  Here I am a day at the Park with the Tigers.  Hauling my Canon just got fun.  I love carrying the Camera Bag now.  And I especially LOVE my Pink patteren-ed camera strap. 

Check out all of the Golla Generation Mobile bags and cases for all your electronic devices. I LOVE their iPad cases. Ultra Slim and hip, too. 

Sassy Blossom -  Fashion specializing in Monograms and personalization gifts for Birthdays, Baby, Home, Her.  We adore the Lindsay Phillips Ballet Flats with Interch/angeable Dress Clips.  Sharon on My Carolina Today calls it "Shoe Jewelry." :) 

Or, see the fun and monogramed Jewelry at Sassy Blossom.  They make everything look special with your own Monogram. -  For the Foodie in your life.  Get a Deal, Give a Deal.  We love  They work with over 50,000 LOCAL Restaurants nationwide.  We love supporting our North Carolina Community.  Make a Gift Basket, share Gift Cards and Gift Certificates with someone special. 

Here is a fun Gift Basket from  Movie Theme.  Make it fun.  And it is so simple.  Who doesn't love a great meal out in the hometown.

 Feed It Forward,” the holiday giving initiative that celebrates the gift of giving and enables participants to give away free, $10 Gift Certificates.  November 29th through January 1, 2013!  Individuals are able to give up to $16,000 in Gift Certificates, from a total pool of $40 million, to family, friends and anyone on their holiday wish list located anywhere in the country—for free.

Santa's Story - "The best morning ever, just got better!"  Customized Santa Story for your Child with all of your family details. Your details and story told by Santa on DVD.  Santa is so authentic and enthusiastic.  This gift will delight even an "older believer" in the wonders of Santa and Christmastime. No two stories are ever the same.  Available to Military Families, Spanish Speaking, Sign Language. 

Santa will tell your children exactly where their last gift is located in your home.  What wonder when they hear Santa's last surprise.  Bring Santa home to your child this Holiday.  This is a wonderful keepsake and tradition to live on for years to come. 

Esio Hot and Cold Beverage System -  Your Drink. Your Way. Right Away.  I'll take that! :) Innovative Hot and Cold Home Drink Machine with Name Brand Drink Mixes.  Now Coffee Lovers and Iced Tea Lovers can live in a house united.  This is a fabulous concept.  No cross-over flavors.  Just simple drink dispensing of Low Calorie, Low Sugar great-tasting drinks at home. 

We LOVE the Esio Beverage System.  You save storage space,  save the planet - plastic bottles are not used and enjoy the convenience of great tasting, healthier choices for your beverages right at home.

The Esio Hot and Cold Beverage Machine is available at Wal-Mart and online at 

AGloves - Technology Gloves.  Who knew, gloves could be so fun. We've all been there.  It's cold out and the iPhone rings, or might I say, your Droid... now, you can answer the phone, google on your iPad and work on all of your tech devices with the AGloves.  We do love Agloves.

They are returning this year as a Carolina Mama Favorite Things Gift Guide and this year they have more style!  :)

Rayovac Technology:   Rayovac wows with their "Lasts Longer" technology and innovation like this. Check out the Sportsmen 5 LED Multi Function Headlight.

Rayovac continues to lead the industry in Universal USB Chargers and On-the-Go Chargers for your iPhone and more!  This is a must for Stocking Stuffers or the Techie in your life. 

Emilie M Shop HandBags. 

Let's end on a Fashion Note with Emilie M Handbags. We love this fashionable and affordable handbags for everyday.  Moms love them.  This one does.  Check out the bag I chose for my Holiday Gift Guide 2012.

Love the Shelly Frame Satchel in Port/Taupe!   It is classy, spacious and reasonably priced.  Love these fashionista looks for girls, okay, Moms like me. :)

Thank you for visiting and checking out my favorite Holiday Gift Guide 2012 items.  See you tomorrow for the awesome Holiday Gift Guide 2012 for Kids!  Cannot wait!

Thank you My Carolina Today for hosting us on your show!  You all are amazing and fun!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

*FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by brands I love. 

Post-Thanksgiving and My Carolina Today

Such a fun day with the My Carolina Mama crew! So excited about my "Holiday Gift Guide" reveal!

We had a whole lot of fun. Check it out tomorrow at 11am EST.

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

New Carnival Breeze Cruise Line Arrives in Miami - Thanksgiving Day Turkey

The New Carnival Breeze arrives in Miami!  Carnival Cruise Lines is arriving at the Port in Miami!  And to celebrate Thanksgiving they are placing a 50 foot inflatable Turkey on top of the ship! :)  How fun!  What a way to Celebrate Thanksgiving!

This 1,250 pound Turkey will go on display in South Florida today complete with a straw hat and Hawaiian Shirt!  Then the Ship will sail its inaugural sail on Thanksgiving Day.  See how beautiful Florida living is. :)

Isn't she lovely!

Carnival Cruise Giving Back

Carnival will give a charitable donation to Feeding South Florida that will provide meals for 137, 500 needy folks in the South Florida region.

Inaugural Miami Carnival Cruise 

The new 3,690 passenger Carnival Breeze ship is the largest Carnival ship to port in South Florida.  The ship arrives at the port on Thanksgiving Day for the introductory two-day Cruise.  Carnival will launch year-round Cruises for six and eight days right out of Miami.  Okay, here's my 2013 Wish List!  Let's go Carnival!

Are you a Cruiser? Or, are you like me, a Carnival Cruise is on your Wish List?  For those who have Cruised before, what advice do you give us newbies? :)

Happy Thanksgiving!  Let the Baking and Cooking begin!

Warmly,Carolina Mama

A Southern Season Chef Ryan Payne Wins "Got To Be NC Dining Competition"

Triangle Chef Wins: "Got To Be NC Competition Dining" Battle of the Champions

And the Winner is....  

 Pork Fat Funnel Cake, Buttermilk Cake, Pepsi-Apple Ice Cream
with Candied Pork Jowl, Cherry Pepsi Syrup
Chef Ryan Payne 

After a year of 15-dinner competition dining events in Blowing Rock, Wilmington, the Triangle and the Triad, the Final Fire regional showdown began Thursday night; Michael Foreman from Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock bested Triad champion George Neal of 1618 Seafood Grille. Ryan Payne emerged victorious in the Friday night battle with Fire on the Dock champion Andy Hopper from Chefs 105 in Morehead City. Last night, with two chefs left standing, Chef Payne won over Michael Foreman.

Chef Foreman's House-made Jowl Pancetta Risotto with
Taos-Style Braised Pork Cushion, Dos Equis Beer-Pepsi Jus & Pine Nut-Cumin Pistou

Raleigh, NC (Nov. 18, 2012) In the most competitive and highest scoring battle of the year, Chef Ryan Payne’s Weathervane Restaurant Team from A Southern Season in Chapel Hill edged out Blowing Rock’s Bistro Roca team led by Chef Michael Foreman. At each series battle, chefs are required to use one (or two) featured NC products in each of their courses.

Last night's featured products included Heritage Farms Pork from Seven Springs; the chefs were told to specifically use pork jowls and cushion cuts. The second ingredient was Pepsi, the soft drink developed in New Bern by a local pharmacist in 1898. Each chef team prepared three courses each using both featured products for 160 diners in a sold-out ballroom at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel.

Payne’s highest scoring dish of the evening was dessert: Pork Fat Funnel Cake, Buttermilk Cake, Pepsi-Apple Ice Cream, Candied Pork Jowl, Cherry Pepsi Syrup. His "very pregnant" pastry chef Vanessa Haydocka, engineered the dish for the team. Michael Foreman earned the highest score of the evening with a nod to his time spent in the Southwest: House-Made Jowl Pancetta Risotto with Taos-Style Braised Pork Cushion, Dos Equis Beer-Pepsi Jus & Pine Nut-Cumin Pistou.

Culinary pro judges for the evening included CNN Eatocracy Blog Managing Editor Kit Kinsman; Evan Nash of Johnson & Wales in Charlotte; Scott Craig of Charlotte, one of six Americans to win a Gold Medal at the International Culinary Olympics in Germany in Oct.; Dathan Kuzsak, food blogger and design editor at the Triangle Business Journal; and Daniel Benjamin, pastry chef at Herons at the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary. Culinary pro scores counted 70 percent for the evening. The audience scores counted 30 percent.

A $4000 check was presented to Payne by Mac Sullivan, chief executive officer of Southern Foods-Pate Dawson and Jimmy Crippen, host and founder from Crippen’s Country Inn & Restaurant in Blowing Rock. Foreman’s team received a $1000 check. Ironman Forge in Charlotte presented unique, handmade knife sets to both teams.

For scores and complete details of last night’s food NC food extravaganza, visit or Facebook at

This is the first year for Got To Be NC Competition Dining as a statewide competition. Since January, 64 chefs have competed in four regional competitions and served more than 6000 diners. Last night’s event was the finale of the 2012 competition designed toengage the farmer, the chef and the diner in an exciting evening of food and entertainment with the goal of the promoting North Carolina chef talent and the use of local ingredients.
Fire on the Rock kicked off in Blowing Rock in Jan. 2012. Next, Fire on the Dock launched in Wilmington. Summer brought Fire in the Triangle to Raleigh. In Aug. and Sept, Fire in the Triad landed in Greensboro. Next year, the event plans to expand into Charlotte and include Asheville in its Western NC series.

The event would not have been possible without statewide sponsors: The North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Southern Foods/Pate Dawson, OUR STATE, Crippen’s Country Inn & Restaurant in Blowing Rock, Whole Harvest Foods and h.ITS Technology. The Office of the State Fire Marshal in North Carolina provides information at each dinner as cooking accidents are the number one cause of home fires.

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Fashion Friday: Holiday Mom Fashion

Holiday Time!  Can anyone else resist Holiday Fashion?  I cannot!  I am previewing a few items here.  However, I have the real deal coming soon, the "Holiday Gift Guide 2012!"  And I cannot wait for the big reveal.  Until then. Here are a few of my Favorite Things for Holiday.

Lands' End always has amazing classics with an upscale switch.  Check out this ever so lovely Lands' End Velvet Tuxedo Jacket in Navy.   Absolute class and style.  Top of my list.

Nicole Crossbody Bag by Emilie M Bags has me taking a second glance. LOVE this fun shimmer bag. It's beautiful and has flare and is the ever so present and cool Crossover! 

Tiffany & Co for Her   Tiffany captures all of our hearts with a little something for everyone!  I adore their jewelry because it is sheer timeless perfection.  Of course, this beauty is a favorite. LOVE! 

Snow Leopard TOMS Women's Wedges  take you there.  You can always add a little animal print to your life. These a perfection on your feet.  I love my Corbel Wedges from this Summer. So I know the Snow Leopard would be a fabulous addition.  And TOMS gives back so this is an automatic win for charity - children without shoes win when you buy TOMS. 

Have a Fabulous Week and get ready for the lovely "Holiday Gift Guide 2012!"  Good things. 

What are your favorite Holiday Fashion Finds this Season ? 

This post is linked up at Fashion Friday.  Check out the fun.

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Thankful: Beyond Lucky. Blessed

Thankful for so many things. Loved this quote says it all....

"Beyond lucky. Blessed!"

Yes, indeed! And so very Thankful.

Are you planning your Thanksgiving menu?! We are!


Food Lion Holiday Bake Off Tour and 12 Grand Prizes

Holiday Baking just got more fun!  Food Lion invited us to join in on a Holiday Baking tour and to share with you all the fun details.  You can join the fun and you just might win one of the 12 Grand Prizes! 

We love the Holidays and Baking, so we jumped right in this week before Thanksgiving! 

So you've probably read about my Gluten Free experience.  And how much I love it. I do.  One thing, I sort of stopped baking for the family.  I know, not good when you are a Mom of young sons and a husband who loves your baking.  

Overall, its been a wonderful thing.   Well, tonight I took the liberty to pull out the old Family Recipe Favorite and Tradition.  The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe got put to good use!


We are all-American and we have the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies at all of our Holiday events.  There are other fun things.  Tonight at Food Lion, I got some of the ingredients for our Thanksgiving Chocolate Pecan Pie!  I could not bare to Freeze the Thanksgiving Pie, so I will bake it on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and we will truly enjoy it fresh.  

Also, I picked up some of the great Food Lion Essentials ingredients.  Perfect for baking.  And I had a hankering for a Tuna Melt tomorrow and I got the Essentials White Albacore Tuna, my lovely Mt. Olive, North Carolina's own Pickles in Dill Relish for the Tuna Salad and the Spicy Brown Mustard. Life is good! 


Back to the lovely cookies.  I had a handsome and eager helper.  An Elf.  I love how he is so involved in the whole recipe process including taste testing.  And the folding of the ingredients. 

See he got them all lined up just right for baking.  My latest thing is using my Pyrex to bake 
cookies.  You can do this, too.  It works well. :)  Especially when I forgot the PAM spray. This 
ensures they do not stick. 

While I was at it, I stocked up on some of the necessary Thanksgiving and Christmas Spices! 
BOGO y'all!  Yes, Buy 1, Get 1 FREE!!  Let's get cooking. 

They turned out Great!  

Remember!  They are a memory, because we can seriously go through some 
warm Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

Now you can join the fun!  Bake one of your own Family Recipes and Enter to WIN the 
Food Lion Holiday Bake Off Tour!  We've got prizes ya'll! 

Food Lion is launching a Holiday Bake Off recipe contest on their Facebook page.  Just enter your favorite holiday recipe here:
    • You can enter the contest by sharing a recipe in any of the four categories: appetizer, entre, side dish, or dessert. 12 grand prize winners will receive a $500Food Lion gift card
    • The Food Lion Bake Off contest kicked off 11/7 and will end 11/28

You can find all of your favorite ingredients and the essential brand for your family 
at Food Lion! 

Hope you have a fun time cooking and All the best to the 12 Grand Prize Winners!  Now, tell me your favorite Family Recipe? 


Carolina Mama 

FTC Disclosure:  This post was written as part of my participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Food Lion. I received a promotional items to facilitate my shopping experience and review.

Happy Veteran's Day

We are so thankful to those Veterans who served our country! They have patriotism and honor and character. We so appreciate their sacrifice!

The Tigers got to meet some amazing and warm hearted Veterans who served faithfully to give us our freedom!

We enjoyed the Flag raising and the saying the Pledge of Allegiance with these amazing Americans!

Thank and God Bless the USA!