5.29.2012

Pack Your Bags: A Traveler's Look at The Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, N.C.

Before last week, my children had never seen the mountains. They have spent plenty of time on the coast, but the mountains remained a mystery. As a reward for my son, who is finishing kindergarten this year, we packed our Audi wagon and took our kids on a road trip to see North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

Watauga County, known as North Carolina’s High Country, is about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Raleigh.  The area is bustling in the winter ski season, is home to Appalachian State University, and is a refreshing vacation retreat in the spring and summer.  

Tucked away on a quiet, curvy, mountainous road in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, is a little slice of heaven called The Mast Farm Inn. 

The Mast Farm Inn is located in Valle Crucis, North Carolina
Here, you can enjoy the crisp, early-morning, mountain air while taking in nature’s beauty. You will feel as if you are a million miles away from the daily grind of life, and it is here where you can renew, recharge, and relax, all in mountain luxury.

The farmhouse has seven unique rooms. 

Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, N.C.

The Mast Farm Inn, a historic property placed on the National Register of Historic Places, is about 15 minutes from Boone, North Carolina, and 30 minutes from the town of Blowing Rock. This country inn is an ideal base for exploring the area.  The farmhouse, dating back to the 1880s, has seven unique, luxurious rooms that are wonderful for a couple getaway.  The inn also has eight cabins on property, some historic and some brand new. 

Historic cottages on the grounds have been restored, and modernized with luxurious touches. 

Our Cabin: Mam’s Refuge

Nestled on a mountain above the farmhouse, we stayed in the cottage called Mam’s Refuge, built last year.



As soon as you step inside, it is a retreat like none other. 


The cabin living room


The all-wood, 1,000-square-foot cottage has a living room area, a downstairs bedroom, one full bath, an eat-in kitchen, and an upstairs bedroom loft.  But what took this cabin from ordinary to extraordinary was the beautiful décor.

I felt as if I had stepped onto a photo shoot for a magazine.

I adored both bedrooms in Mam's Refuge.  Such cozy, and comfy beds. 

Special Touches 

My children loved the delicious cookies that the inn left for us in our cabin upon arrival. They even took the time to personalize our welcome and to remind us that they were just a phone call away if we needed anything.


Delicious cookies and coffee at The Mast Farm Inn 

Mam’s Refuge has all the amenities you expect in luxury hotels such as high-quality linens and bath toiletries.  The in-room coffee was exceptional.  I typically drink tea at home, but I could not resist the French Roast coffee while there.  My husband remarked that it was the best coffee he had enjoyed in a hotel room in a very long time.

Since this cottage and Uncle Earl’s Haven, located next door, are Mast Farm’s premiere family cabins, I loved that they had a basket of children’s books available for reading. Here my children are enjoying a bedtime story about the adventures of Angelina Ballerina.


This is the view of the living room from the loft area


The Breakfast

The Mast Farm Inn is also well-known for its farm-to-table dining.  A gourmet breakfast is included in your daily room rate.  My kids loved taking the wooded trail to the main inn for breakfast, which is served from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.


Our cabin was a short walk to the main inn. 

Our breakfast was a culinary, mountain-man breakfast delight with an oatmeal parfait, farm-fresh eggs, Southern grits, bacon, and a cheddar-cheese biscuit.


Breakfast is different every morning at the Inn.  This is the Monday morning breakfast. 

The inn has an intimate, award-winning restaurant called Simplicity at the Mast that serves dinner to the public Thursday through Saturday evenings.  It was not open while we were there, but I think it is a must-do for a future trip when our children are a lot older and both children can handle a fine-dining-type experience.  My restaurant-loving son is almost there, but, unfortunately, my 2-year-old has a ways to go.

Mam’s Refuge and Uncle Earl’s Haven can be rented weekly, and you can also deduct daily breakfast from the cost. On some mornings, you may enjoy not racing against the clock and instead enjoy a leisurely breakfast in your own cabin.  My kids even had toaster pastries before walking down to the real breakfast, shortly after 9 a.m.

There is no doubt that The Mast Farm Inn captures the charm of the area, and, quite honestly, it was very hard to leave the tranquil bliss of our cabin.



Rates vary at the inn depending on the season and room type. Rates for our cabin range from $299 to $389 per day.

Want to Go:
The Mast Farm Inn 
2543 Broadstone Road,
Valle Crucis, NC
828-963-5857





The Mast Farm Inn hosted my family during our trip to Watauga County, and sponsored our stay for this "Pack Your Bags" feature.  Affiliate links in post. 

5.25.2012

Every Southern Table Needs a Green Side: Marinated Asparagus Recipe

Whether you are planning a bridal luncheon, or an elegant dinner party, this recipe will score big with your guests. They will think you have slaved away in the kitchen.

This simple, and delicious side dish is perfect for spring, and summer when asparagus is in abundance at the Farmer's Market.  I served it for my guests this Easter, and thought it would be perfect to share for the "Let's Eat Y'all" recipe swap that Daphne and I do on the last Friday of every month.

It's best when it's made the night before an event, which I love because it gives me less to do on the day of a dinner party.

I don't know about you, but I always need a little green on my plate, too.



Elegant Marinated Asparagus

1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1 green onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning (used Good Season's Italian Dressing Packet)
2 tablespoons of diced pimento
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Cut ends of asparagus. Blanch aspargus 4 minutes until crisp-tender, then immediately submerge in ice water. Pat asparagus dry and place in shallow baking dish.

Combine all remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well.  Pour over asparagus, cover and chill overnight.  Drain any excess marinade before serving.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

*Versions of this recipe are in almost every junior league or church cookbook that I own. This recipe is based on my trying different ones, and using the ingredients that I like best.

Have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend, and it's also a perfect time to serve up some of my Joey Burgers. 

See you next week! Get ready to go on some travels.



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5.23.2012

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

We are back from a fantastic trip to the North Carolina mountains.  I will have the whole story for you next week, but wanted to share a quick story with you today.

I think I have given birth to a ham.
We spent a day at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rocking, North Carolina, and we could not get Baby Diva off the clogging stage.  I'm not joking.



Fortunately, there was a part in the show when the cloggers had children participate in the routine.   The Diva is front and center.

Mr. Cool is on the second row.  Baby Diva is front and center.

The end of this story is when it gets interesting.  The cloggers did several more numbers, and Baby Diva watched from the audience.  

We were in the front row, and Baby Diva got up from her bench, and started climbing the stage stairs.  One of the cloggers grabbed her hand, and let her get on stage.  She took a bow with the dancers, and they held the microphone in front of her, and told her to say, "Bye".  She did it without hesitation.

As a parent, it became one of those moments when I didn't know if I should hold her back or let her shine.

I let her shine because it was a slow day at Tweetsie, and very few people were in the audience.

It was her happy moment in the spotlight.

I guess now I will have to teach her how to clog.

I think every girl who grew up in the mountains of North Carolina knows how to clog.

In Blowing Rock, NC at Tweetsie Railroad

YEEHAW!

I'll see you back here on Friday with a recipe for Let's Eat Y'all with my co-host Daphne of Flip Flops and Pearls.  If you are a blogger, link up with us.



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5.21.2012

Simplicity on Mondays: Living Life with Less Stuff

If your home is like mine, then a lot of stuff comes through your door. And I’m not necessarily talking about the stuff my family buys. We’ve tried to limit that through the years, but we are probably still guilty of buying more stuff than we need.

My husband is a borderline minimalist, whereas I’m a borderline hoarder. Sometimes that is not a match made in heaven. It can cause arguments about, well, … stuff.

He likes to throw things away. Sometimes, too quickly. I, on the other hand, struggle to let things go until I’m sure that they will no longer be needed. We have toys that never get played with daily … that is unless you count my daughter dumping them on the floor.

Having clean, clutter-free spaces helps my husband relax. I understand that. It’s not uncommon for him to ask me about paperwork or magazines on our kitchen island right before we are about to go to bed. He likes to clear things before going to bed.

Can you say bad timing? Truthfully, I think anytime he brings that up is bad timing for someone like me, but right before we go to bed is the absolute worst time ever.
I get tense. Snappy. Mad.

Here’s why. That teacher’s newsletter has sight words listed on it that I may need, or that magazine may have something in it I want to read or reference later. Yes, it’s been sitting on the counter now for three days, but I haven’t had the time in three days to look at it. I’m not ready to throw it away.
I snap, “Don’t ask me that right now.” Then he gets tense, mad, and disgruntled.

Yes, I will admit that we need some type of organization system, and I probably need to set up one day a week to purge, throw away the clutter, and get rid of items we don’t need or use. It’s just not the kitchen counter clutter, but it’s other things, too.

This brings me to ask myself, “Do we have too much stuff in the house?”

This is what our family room looks like after our tornado named, Baby Diva, gets into the cabinet.

My husband would be the first to say that we have more stuff than we need. I think he’s right.
Let’s face it. If my children have yet to put stickers in the free book that they got at Chic-fil-A in a kid’s meal, then yes, that book needs to be discarded.

Why is it still sitting in the kitchen?

Because I’m the type that wants to save it for a rainy day. So, there it sits, creating clutter.

Recently,  I opened one of the magazines that was cluttering the kitchen island and stumbled upon a great article in Parent and Child magazine called “Enough Is Enough.” Author Robert Shapiro talks about how scaling down on stuff can improve your family’s quality of life. He writes, “by knowing how much is enough, we declutter our minds, allowing us to be more present for our children. We save money, and we get a head start on becoming more environmentally responsible citizens of the planet.” It’s not a concept of not buying things, but rather choosing quality over quantity. He refers to it as selective materialism.

I get it. It sounds “freeing.”

I think I’m going to try this new way of thinking. To be successful, I will need to take baby steps.
I did, however, throw away the Chic-fil-A books because I’m sure we’ll get another one at our next visit.

That’s progress, right?

5.16.2012

Wednesday’s Wish We Were Here: Marco Island

For this week’s midweek escape, I’m going to tell you a little love story.

In Marco Island, Florida in 2004, but this love story is not about us. 

No! No! It’s not this one, even though that’s a good one.

Rather, it’s a love story starring a beautiful oceanfront resort in Marco Island. 

Marco Beach Ocean Resort

This love affair began on my first trip to the Naples/Marco Island area in South Florida at the all-suite luxurious Marco Beach Ocean Resort.  In 2004, I was the matron-of-honor in my friend’s wedding.  Her parents had a home on the island, so, naturally, she chose Marco Island as her wedding destination.  Living in Raleigh, I was certainly unfamiliar with the area, but, honestly, the best advice I gave her was to tell her that she had to have her guests stay in this hotel. 

Thank goodness she trusted my hotel opinions because the Marco Beach Ocean Resort was everything I thought it would be and more.  

The rooms were divine.  It’s exactly what you would expect from an AAA Four-Diamond Award winner. 

I had a fantastic breakfast on the balacony. I adore room service for breakfast. 


All suites were renovated two years ago, but my stay was just as elegant as it is today.

The gulf views were amazing, and sitting on the white sand beach under an umbrella was heavenly, too.

I sat in the third chair from the left.  I'm kidding, but no matter where you sit, the gulf views are beautiful.  Also, the Marco Beach Ocean Resort has a food and beverage attendant.  I had the best pina coladas! I felt so pampered. 

We were busy with wedding festivities, so I didn’t get to enjoy all of the hotel’s amenities (spa and restaurant) or discover all that Marco Island has to offer its visitors, but I did vow to return one day.

The pool area is beautiful. Complimentary smoothies are served at 3 p.m. and Happy Hour starts at 4 p.m. 
That has yet to happen!  Sigh!

Don’t despair.  This is a happy love story, after all.  I will be reunited with this great resort one day, but I have something else to share.

That fabulous trip and hotel stay at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort introduced me to Preferred Hotels and Resorts for the very first time.  All I can say is, “Be still my beating heart.”

With more than 185 exceptional hotels and resorts in spectacular locations around the world, my hotel love affair will continue for a long, long time.

And speaking of travel, I'm about to hit the road.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook so you can travel along, too.  Our destination is the lovely Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. We're staying in Uncle Earl's Haven cabin, which is perfect because my uncle was named Earl.  I don't think I could have planned that any better. 

Talk to you next week! 

5.14.2012

Living Life Impromptu: Our Visit to the NC Zoo

Sometimes the best things in life are unplanned.  Would you agree?

But when you have a family, planning seems to rule the household. It’s just the way it is.

Whether you are juggling a soccer game, a birthday party, booking a sitter for a night out, or accepting an invite to a fun cookout with your neighbors, things just get put on the calendar.  Simply put … you are a slave to the calendar!

Those fun, carefree days of flying by the seat of your pants without a plan are pretty much nonexistent for a parent.   At least in my household, we rarely wake up and say, “Oh, we have nothing to do today. Let’s take a day trip to the zoo!”

The NC Zoo is located in Asheboro, North Carolina

But we should! 

Living in Raleigh, we are close to many North Carolina attractions that can easily be accessed in less than two hours.  It makes a family day trip so easy, even if you plan the adventure in advance.

We had wanted to take the kids to the zoo sometime this spring, but when my husband searched for dates on the calendar for us to talk about going (we’re planners, remember!), he couldn’t find a clear date except for the sunny, warm weekend that we were currently living in at that particular moment. 

And just like that, we went to the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro on a whim.

The NC Zoo is about an hour and half from our home in Raleigh, North Carolina
It was great to have an impromptu family excursion. Honestly, I think we felt as if we were on vacation for the day.

We laughed at the chimps and enjoyed seeing the zebras chase the giraffes.

Everyone was happy.  No one got upset.  Nap schedules were forgotten.

I don’t think we could have planned it any better.

We made our first trip to the zoo when our son was two. This is our third family, and Baby Diva's first trip.

I’m not a zoo connoisseur, but I think North Carolina has a beautiful zoo in the most perfect, natural setting.  The zoo sits on 500 acres in central piedmont North Carolina, which is about 27 miles away from the metropolitan area of Greensboro. Even though it can be done, we’ve yet to see the entire zoo, which has about five miles of trails.

The zoo is divided into two continents: North America and Africa.  We chose to go to Africa.  This was our third family trip to the zoo, but the very first one for Baby Diva.

We chose to explore the Africa side of the zoo. 

Mr. Cool sees what a zebra skill looks like.

The zoo has lots of hands-on learning, and our little guy, who can now read, enjoyed being the map keeper. In fact, he loved that job so much that as soon as we got to one exhibit, he was ready to lead us to the next one almost immediately. 

My crew on a giant bee at the NC Zoo.  The zoo has a great exhibit on beekeeping.
We did cross into North America for the Honey Bee Garden Exhibit and Sonora Desert.

That was a little annoying, but we eventually got him to understand that he needed to slow down, take his time, and smell the flowers. 

The R.J. Reynolds Forest Aviary at the N.C. Zoo displays more than 3,000 tropical plants
and dozens of exotic birds. 


There are several restaurants and snack bars at the zoo.  Due to our timing, though, we chose to eat an early lunch as soon as we arrived in Asheboro before going to the zoo.   We did take a late afternoon break at Jungle Junction.  Two fountain drinks and a bag of chips cost $8.99, so if you are buying food for a large family, it will add up quickly, but the menus looked great.

New to the zoo this year is a temporary animatromic dinosaur exhibit.  We missed it this time, but it will give us another reason to go back before it closes in October.  Visitors will also see some new babies later this year.  Two gorillas and a giraffe are expecting.  

The zoo has an area where you can help feed the giraffes.


The NC Zoo only has female ostriches. A zookeeper said male ostriches can be aggressive. 

I love the vibrant color of a flamingo, but I can't imagine standing like that all day!

I’m so proud of my state’s zoo.  It’s one of the nation’s largest habitat zoos.  Your family will have lots of fun, but be sure to wear your walking shoes.  Leave those cute, chic wedges at home!

Want to Go:
North Carolina Zoo
http://www.nczoo.org/
4401 Zoo Parkway
Asheboro, N.C.

The Central Piedmont region is known as the heart of North Carolina.  Asheboro is 70 miles away from Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, and is only 40 minutes away from the beautiful resort town of Pinehurst, North Carolina. 


5.11.2012

Music to My Ears

I decided to have a little fun with Baby Diva today, and take her to a music playgroup at Kindermusik in Cary, North Carolina.

She had tons of fun.  She even had a little beat. The girl has some rhythm. The $12 dollar class kept her engaged, and happy.  

Kindermusik offers classes from Birth to 7 years of age

As a mom, that's certainly music to my ears! It also didn't hurt that I got to chat with my friend, too. 

Happy Mother's Day!  See you back here next week. 




5.09.2012

How Hard is It for Kids to Learn to Wait?

I’ve shared it here before that on the weekends, my family could be mistaken for a family of sloths. We’re slow moving and, well, just plain, ol’ lazy.

I like to have my tea, write, and spend time on the Internet doing whatever it is that I do.  My husband is quite similar.  We’re two peas in a pod in that way, but, as you can imagine, our habits can be rather boring for the kids.

Because of our lack of morning activity, we allow morning TV for our children or they must actually put their toys to good use and, in turn, leave us alone while they play.  The house gets messy, but our short amount of adult time makes up for that inconvenience.  

It makes all of us quite happy, really. 

But I’m starting to see a little problem.  It’s brewing with our youngest one. 

It's hard to teach the virtue of patience and self-discipline. It's a parenting challenge in today's world.

The 2-year-old is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Minnie Mouse.

If Minnie Mouse and the Clubhouse gang are not on the small screen, then the diva will let us know that she’s not happy about the programming IMMEDIATELY.

Unfortunately, desperate for some peace, we’ve catered to some of her demands through the beauty of TV on demand.  

Her recent tantrums over TV programming got me thinking about the problem of instant gratification with kids today and how they expect things “right now.”

My children now live in a different world from when I grew up.  There have been many articles written about this very subject, and how it could impact their future economic and character traits.

On the flip side, I was a child who grew up in the N.C. mountains in the ’70s with a TV equipped with just an antenna.  We received three channels, and only one of them was clear to enjoy.

Yes, this was also the era of waiting for handwritten letters in the mail and waiting for people to answer their home phones. And get this: There was no way to leave a message if no one answered. 

Even popcorn had to be cooked on the stove.  Gasp! It took a whole hour to cook a Swanson’s Chicken Pot Pie. 

I had no choice but to learn about delayed gratification.  The only thing instant in my life was maple and brown-sugar oatmeal. 

But that is not the case today.

Recently, we had some issues with our TV DVR and the use of on-demand programming. We told Baby Diva that Mickey Mouse would be live on TV in eight minutes. She is probably too young to really understand, but those few minutes were complete torture for all of us.  She wanted instant gratification.  Her behavior was deplorable.  She acts the same way when she wants “down from the dinner table” before dinner is over.  She doesn’t want to wait until we are all finished.

Right now, my parental problems focus around teaching our children the virtue of patience, self-control, and self-discipline.

It’s not an easy task, but we’ve got to teach it. 


So far, I think we’ve mastered the concept of not buying our children everything “right now” fairly well. My husband runs a tight budget ship, so they have the necessities but few thrills. 

We’re about to embark on a short weekend to the N.C. mountains as a reward for my son, who worked hard in school this year.  To him, we aren’t going “just because,” but rather because he earned the trip through his good school behavior and for trying his best.

We’re also learning to let the Diva wait, no matter how unpleasant that task may be right now.  

And, eventually, I know she’ll be in bed for the night.  After all, good things come to those who wait.

Right? 





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5.07.2012

Simplicity on Mondays: The 15-Minute Fresh Pasta Skillet Meal

If there is one thing that I keep in my pantry at all times, it is some form of pasta.  I’m certainly not Italian, but I think it’s the one staple that my family could never give up.  Since my children like pasta, I find myself making more and more family-friendly pasta meals that can be ready in a short amount of time.

A favorite cookbook of mine that I use quite frequently is a collection of recipes from the Junior Guild of Rocky Mount. After owning the cookbook for years, a pasta dish recently caught my eye for the first time.  It turned out to be a simplicity winner.

For this simple meal, I used penne pasta as the recipe suggested, but you could easily substitute spiral, bow tie, or ziti pasta.  The star of this pasta dish, in my opinion, is sweet Italian sausage.  It adds some zing and zang to a dish that would be just an ordinary, boring pasta dish without it.  When you add mushrooms and spinach, you’ve got an entire well-rounded meal in one big ol’ pasta bowl.



Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Spinach

Ingredients:
1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, cooked and sliced into 2-inch pieces
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 cups shallots (left this out, and used some regular onion instead)
5 garlic cloves (I used 2 to 3 teaspoons of prepared, minced garlic)
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 9 ounce package of fresh spinach
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to directions.  While it is cooking, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add sausage, mushrooms, shallots, garlic and crushed red pepper.  Saute about 10 minutes or until sausage is cooked. 

Add spinach and broth.  Cook, turning spinach over, about 2 minutes until spinach wilts. Add cooked pasta and cheese.  Toss until cheese melts, and sauce coats the pasta. 

Have a great week!


5.04.2012

How Do We Do It?

As we approach Mother's Day, I wanted to share with you a post written by my colleague, Stacy Chandler, who writes with me on the News and Observer's Triangle Mom2Mom site.   She's a first-time mom with an  adorable two-year-old daughter. With both of us being former journalists, we love to compare stories on how our lives are very different now.  When I first read this,  I felt that her thoughts truly captured motherhood, and more importantly, the job of being a stay-at-home mom.   I'm so glad she agreed to let me share it with all of you, too. 


I'm being a busy mom this week with very little time to write. My husband turns 46 this weekend so we're celebrating that milestone, and we're also attending spring school functions.  Baby Diva has just five more preschool days, and elementary school gets out June 7 in our county.  I'll be back next week with some travel adventures though, and a look at a great hotel that will make you want to pack your bags for......... Oops! Can't reveal everything.  See you next week!  

A Walk In My Shoes
By: Stacy Chandler
When you meet that special someone and fall in love, you long to hear those "three little words": I love you.
But when you and that special someone settle down and have a kid, and life throws you some giant curveballs that result in you being, unexpectedly, a stay-at-home mom, you long to hear a five-word phrase instead: How do you do it?
I got to hear that sweet phrase, and several variations thereof, quite a lot last weekend, when a freelance assignment took me out of town for the weekend and dad was left home alone with a two-year-old for three days -- for the first time.

Walking in his wife's shoes. Stacy's husband with their daughter

He did great with her, as I knew he would, and he kept her on schedule (inasmuch as a two-year-old has a "schedule") and happy and fed. There were no reports of bad behavior, but still, at the end of the day, he reported "that kid wore me out."
To which I replied, trying hard not to be smug: "Yep."
It's not easy to have to give your full attention to a tiny little person who doesn't much care if you happen to be trying to cook, or drive, or sneak a look at email, or go to the bathroom when she wants to, say, have a book read to her, or throw the ball, or climb a chair. It's physically exhausting to be constantly on the run, either for fun or to prevent calamity, and it's mentally exhausting to be a constant addresser of needs and provider of entertainment.
And then there's all the stuff -- house cleaning, work, phone-call returning, etc. -- you have to do when you finally get the little one to bed, because lord knows you didn't have time to do it while she was up.
My husband knew all that, of course, because he lives here and helps out and is involved and aware, and I'm so grateful for that -- I know well that a lot of parents have to do this on their own. But he didn't realize what it really takes until he had a taste of it, and I think it was an eye-opening experience.
"If I haven't told you you are my hero lately, there it is," he told me by text message halfway through his weekend adventure.
To which I replied: "Yep." And "thanks."


*****


If you haven't already, please take five seconds and support the Boppy Company's effort to provide Boppy Pillows to at-risk moms enrolled in the Family-Nurse Partnership program.  For every page click, $1 dollar will be donated to the program.  The goal is $20,000.  It requires no monetary donation from you.   My post from Tuesday has more details, and also gives a reader a chance to win a Boppy Pillow. 



5.01.2012

Just One Web Click and You Can Help a New Mom in Need for Mother’s Day

In taking a page from one of my old journalism textbooks, I’m just going to cut to the chase here and ask you to please click on this link, http://ar.gy/0iMR, and show your support for the Boppy Company’s efforts to donate $1 for every click on the “Give Your Support” icon.  Your click will help provide young, at-risk, first-time moms with a new Boppy Pillow.

This is such a simple way to help a good cause, and it requires no monetary donation from anyone.  It’s just a simple one-time click.  We click on pages all the time, so let’s put our Web browsing to some good use and support one mom at a time.  


The Boppy Feeding and Infant Support Pillow is America's #1 Baby Product

For this Mother’s Day support program, Boppy will give up to $20,000 of new Boppy Pillows to the Nurse-Family Partnership Program.  This nonprofit organization works with at-risk, first-time moms through home health visits until the infant is 2 years of age. They give support and guidance, and provide stability to new mothers during a very vulnerable time in their lives.  Through the years, the organization has served 150,941 at-risk families.  The truth is … it is a health-care program that is changing lives for the better.

I went through some of its statistics for the North Carolina program because I was curious.  Here’s what I learned.

*Median age for the moms in my state is 19.
*91 percent are unmarried.
*62 percent are Medicaid recipients.

Last year, through the help of the Nurse-Family partnership, 89 percent of the babies were born at full term and were at a healthy weight.  Forty-four percent of the moms earned their GEDs, and 26 percent are working on their GEDs.  In addition, and this is an important statistic, 73 percent of the mothers had no subsequent pregnancies at program completion.  You can read about other states here and see firsthand how the program is making an impact with young, low-income moms.

My Boppy-using days are long over now, but I still know and remember how tough and trying it can be for a mom in the early days of feeding, changing diapers, and getting little sleep.  It’s the hardest work that these young teens have ever done in their lives.  It was tough for me, but I also had a good support system in my home and good financial means. 

I really commend the Boppy Company for helping out with this great cause.  I owned a Boppy Pillow, and I used it all the time.  The Boppy Feeding and Infant Support Pillow is America’s No. 1 baby product.  The versatile Boppy Pillow lifts a baby to a more ergonomic position for comfortable feedings, then transitions to the perfect spot for propping, tummy time and learning to sit.  Here’s Mr. Cool when he was less than a month old.


Mr. Cool hanging out in his Boppy on January, 2006.  

My Boppy was a baby shower gift, but I also had the means to buy one, if needed.  Many of these young moms do not.  I hope I’ve convinced you to show your support, and to visit http://ar.gy/0iMR to help donate $1 to this heartfelt cause.

Boppy is also generously donating a Boppy Pillow to a reader. I ask only that if you are entering the giveaway, please click http://ar.gy/0iMR to show your support. Let’s help that bar graph rise to $20,000.  The winner may choose a Boppy Pillow in a girl, boy, or neutral design.  All entries must be in the U.S., excluding APO, FPO, and PO Boxes. 





Disclosure: I chose to write this post because I believed in the cause. I was not compensated, but one of my readers will receive a free Boppy Pillow as part of the give-away prize. 

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