Netflix Favorites for Snow Days Winter 2015

We have had a full Winter here in North Carolina. In fact, our Winter has been experienced this month of February. :) Remember this story North Carolina Winter Snow Days....   Well, we have gotten to take in a little Netflix while being snowed in for so long.

Our boys find Richie Rich hilarious. We all do!  So we were thrilled to discover a new Richie Rich Series on Netflix. :)

We were so excited to see that Blue Planet is on Netflix. We love to 
watch Blue Planet and Weather Storm Chasers on Netflix. These are great options. 

We also are such Disney fans, we still LOVE watching Disney movies as a family.  We LOVE Mulan! #DisneySide It is fun to have options with Netflix. We have iPad streaming that is fabulous for our children. We can stream on the Computer or the Television.

We love the convenience of Netflix and the categories for KIDS. Check it out and let me know what you like on Netflix. Until next month.... I am off to Movie Night with my family and we are streaming Curious George! :) 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team. All opinions are my own. #NetFlixStreamTeam #StreamTeam

How Church Is Like Steel Magnolias

To me, Steel Magnolias is an endearing story about a Southern community in Louisiana (my native land) and their tragedies and triumph.  My Church is a lot like an endearing Southern community that celebrates our tragedies and triumphs.  

Steel Magnolias and my Church are something special. Because to this Southern girl, I really would "rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special."  

Sunday morning as we bustled into the foyer of our church on a cold Winter morn,  I gave a familiar hug to one of my girlfriends. We asked their family over for Sunday lunch soon. Our children have grown up together since first grade. Already, we've shared 30 minutes of wonderful and what seems like a lifetime of wonderful together with our families. 

So, it sort of shocked me when she said, I have something to tell you. "I have a diagnosis." Um, I was not ready for this. She wasn't either. She is young and healthy and strong. We've shared some mountains and valleys. That's the thing about life, the mountains and valleys keep coming. We hugged. I told her she was 'young and healthy and strong." And she walked into the Choir room. 

Within minutes, a little shellshocked, I was sitting in the sanctuary on the second row and the Choir preceded in, the prelude began. We sang.

I could have missed it. 

There she was in the Choir singing as usual. Except that day, I noticed she sang with courage and faith. Hope. I remembered just moments ago she told me she has a diagnosis. We're not sure. Life kept moving. My mind raced. Can we just stop a minute. I remembered our boys in first grade. Church Awanas. Easter Egg Hunting. Baptism. Laughter and Tears. Life goes on. 

Right there, it became clear to me that The Church Is Like Steel Magnolias. 

Sitting in Church that morning I had those emotions from Steel Magnolias.... "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."  "I'd rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a life time of nothing special." "I just like the idea of growing old with somebody." "Smile, it increases your face value." "Pink is my signature color." My girlfriends at Church, we've seen all these emotions together. 

How The Church Is Like Steel Magnolias 

1) We're Strong - "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." Steel Magnolias is like my girlfriends at Church, we may be laughing or crying but we're there for each other through the ups and downs. There may be - there will be - laughter through tears. 

2) We Love All of our People No Matter What - life is a lot like the Wedding in Steel Magnolias. The whole town came together to help with the Wedding. To celebrate and make it happen. The Church is like this. My girlfriends and I do this. We make the casseroles, bake the cakes and pick each other up. "If you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me," said Jesus. 

3) We're Not Perfect  - "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." Bwahaha This always makes me laugh. However, to me it is a reminder that we are not perfect. We support one another even in our weaknesses. 

4) God, Food and Love Make the World Better.  We know this. We couldn't do without loving God, good food and sharing lots of that love. We couldn't make it without any one of these. We know Him and we're thankful for Him in our lives. God, food and love make the world a better place. 

5) Bless Her Heart may REALLY mean Bless Her. God Bless her.   As a Southerner, saying "Bless her heart" is endearing. Truly. It may simply mean "Bless Her Heart." In Steel Magnolias, to Shelby who has diabetes, Bless her heart. This is so hard. Or, like my girlfriend at Church who stopped me in the hall and said, "I have a diagnosis ...." We nodded our heads to listen in, lean in... "It's diabetes." Bless her heart! Absolutely. Bless her heart, This.Is.Hard. This.Is.So.Hard.

True to the movie, life goes on. 

We're there for each other in all the seasons. My girlfriend, she sings in our Choir, she is a Steel Magnolia. The Church is like Steel Magnolias and I'm thankful.

Is your Church like Steel Magnolias? Please share in comments.

Warmly, Carolina Mama

North Carolina Winter Snow Days

North Carolina is truly enjoying the Winter Snow days this year. Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill and most of North Carolina is having a big winter. We have lots of snow and ice. Right now, we are expecting 5-12 inches more of Snow. It is snowing now. I wanted to share the fun we are having. The Wake County Schools have been cancelled due to snow for the past 8 out of 9 school days. :)  Lots of Carolina children are happy, happy, happy. Here's what we're doing....

There is a lot of sledding, snowman building, hot chocolate drinking and family time. I love snow days. We get a lot of family time.  We get to slow down and hunker down, as my Daddy would say. We enjoy the simple pleasures of Winter.

It's a winter wonderland. This was our small snow last week of just 2 1/2 inches with much ice. Remember, sledding is fast on ice. :)

We have spent many laughs around the fire roasting marshmallows, telling stories, 
jokes and drying out boots to go again the next morning. 

Lampost in the snow.

Our cuties the day before they turned the Big 14! :) 


Like father, like son! Sledding, Snowboarding... let's do this NC! :) 
The young neighborhood boy watches in glee. 

Back on the sleds with a smile. 

The ice was pretty on the holly berry in our yard. 

I loved taking pictures of the beautiful NC birds in our yard. 

Then we got these really HUGE Snowflakes! We like it like this. 

Back out we went.... More Snow Days! 

Boulder Mountain Man and our Young Men explored in the ice and snow. 
See the delight. 

Monkeying around over the iced pond. 

Sitting on the icy pond. Dad is cool to take us out for this fun. 

It seriously got this cold in NC. Look at the ICE! My 
guys are Wild at Heart here. 

Hiking with my Valentine. 

Let's don't forget biking. :) 

Biking with Dad because he used to bike in -5 degrees in 
Colorado. So cool. 

Pacific snow and happy father and son. 

Our lovely bird house. 

And our chirping sparrow. :) 

5-12 inches of Snow tonight and it is SNOWING Now! :) 

Winter we love you! This is my kind of Winter. Mild and 2 Weeks of 
a good Winter Snow! I am thankful for these day. 
Enjoy! Be safe. Be warm. Blessings. 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Pad Thai Cooking with Jeb Brown

Today we Welcome our Guest Blogger and Chef, Jeb Brown today.  I am so excited that he will be sharing his creation of Pad Thai. My girlfriend Megan's son, Jeb, is quite accomplished as a Chef and, as you will see here, as a Writer. So, check out his post and enjoy. I know I will be making this soon. Thank you, Jeb and Megan. 

Meet Jeb Brown... Jeb Brown is a 14-year-old Guinea pig enthusiast, classic film appreciator, Celtic music lover, and Kansas City Royals fan.

Pad Thai 
Cooking by Jeb

by Jeb Brown 

My mom wanted me to learn some recipes and make them, so that when I eventually left my parent’s house to go out on my own, I would be equipped to prepare healthy meals for myself.  She asked me to make dinner for the family once a week.  One week she assigned Pad Thai.  I had never made anything like it before.  Asian food was way out of my comfort zone.  As I looked at the recipe, it seemed rather complicated, but as I went along, it was easier than I anticipated.  
It, so far, has been one of the best things I have made.  It tasted really good; the shrimp had a lot of great flavor.  I highly recommend it; it is great for a weeknight dinner.  Below is the recipe.  It is adapted from the cookbook “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman.  
I am glad that my mom has me doing this.  It has been really good practice for me, and I believe it will benefit me in my life.  

Pad Thai 
Makes: 4 servings (feel free to double it, that’s what I did)
Time: 30 minutes
12 ounces dried flat rice noodles, ¼ inch thick 
5 tablespoons of neutral oil, such as grapeseed or corn
3 eggs, lightly beaten
5 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces shrimp, peeled (I just got the frozen kind, and thawed and used them, though fresh is fine)
4 ounces tofu, pressed.  (Just set the tofu on a plate with a paper towel, then put another paper towel and plate on top, then put something heavy on top of that.  Pressing the tofu will cause some/most of the liquid to be squeezed out, which will help the tofu absorb more flavor)
2 scallions cut into one inch lengths 
1 cup bean sprouts 
2 table spoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce) 
2 teaspoons of tamarind paste (ketchup is an ok substitute)
2 teaspoons sugar 
¼ cup chopped peanuts 
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 
1.  Put the noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over them until they are covered.  Soak until softened, at least 15 minutes; if you want to hold them a little longer, drain them, fill the bowl with cold water, and return the noodles to the bowl.  
2.  Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add the eggs and scramble quickly for the first minute or so with a fork almost flat against the bottom of the pan; you’re aiming for thin egg crepe of sorts (I ended up with scrambled eggs, which is totally fine).  Cook until just set and transfer the eggs to a cutting board.  Cut into ¼ inch strips and set aside. 
3.  Raise the heat to high and add the remaining oil.  When hot, add the ¾’s of the  garlic and the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp lose their raw grey color, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate next to the stove.  Add the tofu, scallions, the remaining garlic, and half the bean sprouts to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to the plate with the shrimp.  

4.  Put the drained noodles, eggs, nam pla, tamarind paste, and sugar in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are heated through, then add the stir fried tofu mixture.  Toss once or twice, and transfer the contents of the pan onto a serving platter.  Top with the peanuts, cilantro, and remaining bean sprouts.


Again, Thank you to Jeb! I think he writes well to be a homeschooled student, chef and writer.

Warmly,  Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure: Jeb was hired by Carolina Mama to write as a Guest Blogger.

Roy Williams on Coach Dean Smith

My Mommy loved her Tar Heels.  She was a lovely University of North Carolina Tar Heel. I still remember her holding up the huge Times-Picayune Newspaper reading up on her loved Tar Heels. Often the big games against their rivals Duke. Or taking the NCAA Championships. The day in and day out. What I remember my mother loving about the Tar Heels is what everyone loves. Coach Dean Smith was a class act and made you Carolina proud. He believed in equality for everyone and gave opportunities to all. 4 Corners Forever! :) 

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill community misses are great legend in Coach Dean Smith. Sunday, February 22, 2015 his life was rightfully celebrated. Though he is known for his humility and love of others, it was a precious time to commemorate such a kind, generous and loving Coach.

He was so endearing with his players. Coach Dean Smith recruited Michael Jordan to UNC. 
He taught me about basketball and life."  Here they won their first National Championship together! 

Michael Jordan and Coach Dean Smith

Listen as our Coach Roy Williams celebrates Coach Dean Smith's influence on his life and thus so many others.  Here is is talk at the Memorial Celebration of Life yesterday.  He reminds us, "Tell people what they mean to you. Tell people you love them while you can."

He blessed UNC in so many ways. Its Basketball, its players, and students remember such a remarkable man. So many players' lives were changed with his knowledge. Coach Roy Williams tells how "Coach Smith always shared Knowledge. Knowledge changes lives...."

This is one of the ESPN Final Good Byes stories.  Here is how our local paper, the News and Observer shares it,UNC Celebrates the Life and Career of Coach Dean Smith.

Remember as Coach Dean Smith's daughter said, "To honor Coach Dean Smith, Live your life in a way to serve others starting now." And remember,  "Thank you, Coach Dean, for the assist!"  For fun, I love this Coach Dean Smith quote, "I always mean what I say, but I don't always saw what I'm thinking." :)

 Go Tar Heels!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Fusion by Rayovac Longest Lasting Battery

35% longer lasting than Energizer Max

You know, one thing I LOVE about Rayovac batteries. They are made in the USA and they LAST LONGER. There latest battery is so cool! It is #Fusion and it lasts 35% longer than Energizer Max! 

So naturally, in our family we put that to the test with NERF Guns because it is SO important to not interrupt your Nerf Winning with a dead battery. So Thank You Rayovac for keeping our family, sane and active with you cool Fusion Batteries! 

FUSION by Rayovac Power Up
Join Rayovac and me for a FUN Oscar's Twitter Party Sunday, February 22, 2015 during the Grammys, 7:30PM CST- 8:30PM CST. Prizes will be given away. What's better the Grammy's and Winning a Prize. 

Rayovac FUSION Batteries Last 35% Longer than Energizer max
Join us and Tweet the goodness like: "Fusion lasts 35% lnger than Energizer Max" "Fusion is Made in the USA" and you could win a fun Oscar Gift Bag with Walmart gift cards and Fusion batteries. 

Follow on Twitter @rayovac and @carolinamama using hashtag #fusion 

We look forward to tweeting with you and remember to check out the #Fusion. 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure: I am a Rayovac Power Blogger. This post is sponsored by Rayovac. All opinions are my own - like I LOVE the long lasting batteries of Rayovac. 

Discount The Harlem Globetrotters Tickets for PNC Arena Raleigh, NC

The Harlem Globetrotters bring the ultimate in family entertainment to the PNC Arena on Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m.   With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family – creating memories that will last a lifetime. Get a Special Discount! 

SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE: Use the code PCFRIEND to redeem your savings for an unforgettable night with your family! (not valid on previously purchased tickets; valid online only)

Before the game, take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with your family where you get to actually spend time on the court with the Globetrotters- shooting, trying out ball tricks, autographs, and photos! The unique 30-minute pre-show, "Magic Pass", will create memories for a lifetime. All customers must have a game ticket AND Magic Pass for entry. Soft/rubber sold shoes must be worn on the court.
All fans in attendance are invited to stay after the game, where Globetrotter stars remain on the court for autographs and photographs with fans.

25% Off Harlem Globetrotters Tickets – Sun. Mar. 1 – PNC Arena  

Save  25% on Harlem Globetrotter Tickets 
Sun. Mar. 1 – 3 p.m.
PNC Arena 
Use Code: PCFRIEND on Final Purchase Page   

Enjoy a night to remember or entertainment with the Harlem Globe Trotters at the fabulous PNC Arena!!  

Warmly, Carolina Mama

5 Ways I Will Dwell in 2015

As I look back over the past year, 2014 was one year we'll always remember learning to love God and serve him unabashedly and wholeheartedly.

                   "Love of God is pure when joy and 
             suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude."  
                           Mary Beth Chapman "Choosing to See" 

In 2012, I thought I understand this quote. It was a joyous message in our family Christmas card. We lost my mother that year. I understood the joy of her home going, and the agonizing suffering of seeing her go.  I recall the unfamiliar realization that I am parentless. After a lifetime of amazing parents, they were reunited in heaven. Yet, the loss here was powerful. Painful.

As a Christian, I know in my head and heart that God loves me and cares for me and will see me through anything in this life. We will have joy and suffering. The thing I have to remember is having experienced both, I have not crossed a bridge that I will not visit again.

Even though I read it most days, His word comforts and carries me yet there is something uncanny about the surprise I have when trials come.  The expectation when joy is born.

2014 reminded me of this.  So much so that I catapulted into 2015 eager for a different year. I don't know fully what I wanted to be different because 2014 was filled with a richness you do not get to experience every year. Many family and friends were a real part of this. We're thankful. Yet, I held my breath through January to make sure 2014 was out of my rear view window.

As a writer, I do love a crisp, clear New Year. I love new goals, resolutions and calendars. And, I love to choose a word to focus upon. Somewhere in the midst of it all, God began to whisper to me to "Dwell."

In my humanity, I thought this was too simple. Too still. Inactive. I mean to have a good year, we have to "do." I have to be moving, in motion, changing the world. And He said, to change the world, do what I call you to do and I want you to Dwell.  So part of January, as I checked my rear view mirror to assure myself 2014 was fading gone. I began to consider Dwell ... as He would have it everything was turning up Dwell.  So, I began to Dwell. 

5 Ways I Will Dwell in 2015:  Please join me if you will.

"Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." Psalm 37:3

1) Dwell: to remain for a time with my people. 
Consider this. To remain. Thanks for bearing with me, as a Writer, I take it right to Merriam-Webster just like my Daddy taught me.  To remain for a time.  To stay with the same person or group when others have gone. To continue unchanged.

Lord, may I dwell this 2015 where you want me to dwell. May I make others matter because I have remained. May I remain unchanged in the things that matter. My faith in you. My love for my family and my people that you have put in my life.

2) Dwell: to live as a resident. 
May I live my life as a resident. Working regularly and earnestly in this place you have put me. May I consider it joy regardless of blessing or trial. 

3) Dwell: To keep the attention directed. 
May I keep the attention to the things you have directed before me. Or people.  May they get the attention they need from me. The meals. The Laundry. The carpool. The lists.  The things. The love. This life. May I be vigilant to give direct attention by your leading and with a vigor from you. 

4) Dwell: to speak or write insistently. :) 
Thank you, Lord. I feel like this one is there just for me and all the other writers out there. Speakers.  To speak and write insistently. The 'full' definition from our friends, Merriam-Webster, said that insistently is compelling attention. This year, may I dwell insistently compelling attention in speaking and writing. I love this. May my speech and writing be compelling. 

"May your speech be seasoned with salt that you may know how to give an answer to every man." Colossians 4:6 

5) Dwell in the Possibilities.
Yes, I am pretty fascinated with Dwell, 2015 and the possibilities.  Our 17th Wedding Anniversary year together and parenting these young men. Our Family. God's hand in our lives. Dwell. 

May the Lord bless and keep your family and my you Dwell in your own possibility this 2015. Let me know what your 2015 is looking like. What is your focus?

"Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. ..."  Psalm 23:6 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Bonefish Grill: Valentine's Day Dinner for Two

Bonefish Grill and valentine's day are a perfect combination 

Sea Bass and Lobster Tail 

Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill 




Romance every one of your taste buds with three decadent courses. Enjoy a salad, your choice of Filet & Lobster Tail Imperial Topped Sea Bass and a Chocolate Creme Brûlée to share for just $29.9 per person.

Enjoy the atmosphere and romance of Bonefish Grill on this special day. The best is that the special runs for a week! So make your reservations today.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your love.

Warmly, Carolina Mama

*This post is not sponsored though we do work with Bonefish Grill and we are great customers. We just wanted to share this good news for Valentine's Day.