My Great Topsail Beach Find

Bear with me.  I know many of you shop a lot, but with two kids in tow, I rarely grace the doors of a boutique, mall, or a cute little bookstore.  When I was at Topsail Beach last week, I took the car keys and went less than a mile down the road by myself to the most happening place in town during the day.  It's Quarter Moon Books and Gifts.  I know what you are thinking?  I should have walked, but it's the south! Hot and Humid!

Quarter Moon Books and Gifts in Topsail Beach

This little shop is great.  It has the latest books, adorable gifts, cover-ups, sleepwear, children's gifts, stationary, and coffee drinks.  Usually, all the women in the family make it to this store when we're on vacation.  This year, I was the only one.  I actually went twice.  After my first visit, I went back to the cottage and reported that I found the cutest ,sleepwear with the funniest sayings.     Here's what I discovered.

One Night Stand!

Bearly Awake!

Tweet Dreams!

Flower Beds!

Hop Into Bed!

Sheep Thrills!

I Moose Wake Up!

The sleepwear is by Hatley, and there are several more designs online.   I just couldn't show them all here even though I wanted to do so because I think they are all equally funny and cute.  After leaving the store, I thought the "One Night Stand" shirt was so funny.  I was telling my sister-in-law about it and her seven-year old daughter said, "Why is that funny?" My sister-in-law quickly said, "When you sleep, you can look like furniture!"  All of the sudden, the nightshirt didn't become as funny with children around so I ruled that one out for me.    Which one do you think I picked?  I went back on our last day and bought one.

Hint:  I've developed quite a love for Twitter lately

If you want to laugh today, view the entire collection on  Hatley's website.  Which one would you pick?

This is not a sponsored post.  I just wanted to share my cute and funny discovery. 

I'm also participating in Happy Homemaker UK's Post of the Month Club.  Welcome, if you are visiting from this great blog.


Watermelons, Sandcastles, and Topsail Beach

School is out, and summer vacation is at its peak. The beaches are currently bustling with families soaking up the sun and seeking some fun. I have always felt fortunate living in North Carolina because our coastline is so accessible that even day trips to the beach are possible for some. I think the beach is where precious family memories are made. Trips to the beach were a part of my childhood and my husband’s childhood, and now our children and their cousins are making their own beach memories.

When my son thinks of summer vacation, he thinks of the BEACH with his cousins. We spend a week with my husband’s family in Topsail Beach every year in a lovely oceanfront home called, "Beach Place, Too" which is about two and half hours from our home.  Surprisingly, we all live in Raleigh within 20 minutes of each other, but at home, our daily lives get in the way of frequent visits. Topsail is our chance to visit and even go back to a time of yesteryear.  Topsail Beach is a quiet beach community on the southern end of Topsail Island.  This North Carolina island has a rich history dating back to pirates in the 1700s.

There are no pirates in our cottage, but we have gorgeous crashing waves as our view from almost every window.  Our time here is simple family time at its best.

My husband's mom and her grandchildren

Our days are spent eating watermelon on the beach.

Building sandcastles.

And applying sunscreen. I honestly think my 19-month-old left the beach with her chunky thighs as lily white as when we arrived.

Our nights are filled with simple seafood suppers.  I'll share the great recipe for Topsail Spaghetti later.

Beach visitors gather in one spot for ice cream at the local putt-putt in the center of Topsail.  It’s the only place where beach music blares, crowds gather, with sunburned faces and ice cream is your reward after a competitive, family game of miniature golf. As you sway your hips to the song “Barbara Ann,” you can actually imagine generations doing the exact same thing when the song was on the Billboard chart in 1961. The place probably still looks the same, too, if it were around that long ago.

A week at the beach goes by so quickly. In a flash, it’s time to go home. You feel as if you just unpacked your suitcase. It can’t be time to pack up again already! My 5-year-old doesn’t understand why we have to leave and why we can’t stay one more day. My 10-year-old nephew wants to stay one more week because he doesn’t want to leave his newly made beach friends.

It’s kind of a tradition now that my son leaves the island with a new T-shirt so that he can have a little bit of the beach with him at home. We always eat a great breakfast at the local beach grill after cottage checkout.

Established in 1959

As we cross the island bridge to go back to the mainland, we also have lots of priceless family memories to talk about until we come back next year.

Counting the days!

It's Never Too Late to Do a Smart Thing

We finally did it!  After five years, we knew we had to do it or there could have been the remote possibility that we would never leave town again.  A one-hour road trip to Farmville, N.C., earlier this month did us in.   We are not sure who is happier: my son or us.  Our daughter is too young to care, but with luck, our new purchase should benefit her, too.  What did we do?  We finally embraced technology and purchased a portable DVD player to take on our road trip to Topsail Beach last week.

Look at him.  Pure Bliss. 

I’m not sure why we were two of the last parents in America in our socio-economic class to take this step that many parents took before us.  We certainly didn’t have a social or political statement to make about not having a DVD player.  We like TV, and we certainly allow TV watching in our house — if not too much.  Our friends have told us through the years that they don’t know how we’ve lasted so long without a DVD player in the car for trips.  Well, we survived, but I can’t say that the car ride was always a pleasant one.  We took many a trip and muttered these very words in the car: “We’ve got to get a DVD player. I can’t stand it.” 

Our son has never been a good car traveler — even around town.  When he was younger, he would never sleep and would just cry.  When he was a toddler, he played with toys for about five minutes, then would fuss and cry.  When he started talking, he would ask us “How much longer?” or “Are we there yet?” every two minutes.  We would tell him “an hour.”  He would yell and scream, and not be pleased with our response. “I can’t stand it.  I don’t like an hour.”  Now, when he’s bored, he just announces that he has go to the bathroom, even if he went at our lunch stop twenty minutes earlier.

Why the holdout? Perhaps we can blame busy schedules and other budget priorities. We are fortunate that most of our immediate family lives right here in the Triangle, so our car trips were infrequent and on the shorter side.  Perhaps the wrath of a bored 5-year-old’s mouth in the car was enough to make us finally search “Best Buy” for a good buy on a DVD player for the road after our last trip.

We didn’t buy a new one, but rather a refurbished one.  It’s certainly new to us! It cost us a little less, too.  We’re trying to teach our child that money does not grow on trees and that we have to work for what we buy.  I’m not sure if he is totally getting the concept yet, but he loves to eat baked potatoes at Bear Rock Café.  We ate lunch there before our beach trip. I told him that the new car DVD player is the equivalent of buying 25 baked potatoes for lunch.  He seemed a little in awe. 

When we left for the beach last week, we happily packed “A Bug's Life", “Cars,” and “Wiggles” in the car with us, and as parents, we hoped for some peace and quiet on the way to the beach and back.  It was a 2 1/2 hour car ride.

We got our quiet and she even napped. 

The funny thing is that now as my husband and I embrace this DVD technology for our car trips, many of our friends who have had played movies in their car for years are now ditching the DVD players for iPads and Smartphones.  We are still behind on our technology purchases.   We admit that we are slow, but as quickly as technology advances and changes, I think we will always be behind.  I’m okay with that!  But, I've learned it's never too late to do a SMART thing.

I want to thank everyone who entered recipes last week during my blogging vacation.  These are great recipes.  In case you missed them, we showcased:
Debbie's Summer Squash and Zucchini Vegetable Medley.  We actually cooked Debbie's dish while we were at Topsail Beach.  It was fantastic.

Today is the last day (June 27) to enter the Personalized Large Utility Tote Giveaway.  Thank you to Tricia Edmundsom with Thirty-One Gifts for sponsoring this great giveaway.   If you are selected as the winner, be thinking about your pattern and personalization.  Tricia will need to close out her orders by the end of the month.

Friday Fun: Where I've Been Sitting This Week Plus Debbie's Summer Vegetable Medley

I've had a great blogging vacation.  I think I'm actually caught up on reading all of my favorite blogs so I'll be back next week with some new stories for you.  As we end our "Cooking With Friends" week,   I thought I would have a little fun and tell you where I've been sitting all week since it's not at my usual desk.

I've had my morning tea here.

During my daughter's naptime,  I sat here and caught up with my favorite blogs, the news, and of course, those time-consuming social media sites. 

Around happy hour, I would grab one of  North Carolina's own Duck-Rabbit Brew from the kitchen before prepping dinner. 

And sit here for a little while waiting for the beach bums to come inside after a day of fun and sun. 

We've been in Topsail Beach, North Carolina all week with my husband's family.  My mother-in-law has rented Beach Place Too for six summers now.  My son calls it "Ha Ha's Beach House", and if she owned it I'm sure that would be the house's name.   

It's been the best week! We've all had so much fun especially this little one.

Nothing is better than being in a beach house and having simple meals like boiled shrimp and in-season sauteed vegetables after a tiring day in the ocean.  My friend, Debbie, from Whiteville, NC has the best Summer Squash and Zucchini Medley with Shoepeg corn recipe.   Debbie and I used to work together many years ago, and I can personally tell you that she is a wonderful cook.  She submitted this recipe for my blogging vacation and you will love it. 

Summer Squash & Zucchini Medley with Shoepeg Corn
--2 cloves of fresh garlic – minced--- & sauté  in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
--2   large or 3-4 small zucchini squash
--2-4  yellow squash
--1 can of shoepeg corn, drained
--1 small jar of pimento, drained
--Lemon pepper—about ¼ tsp
--Fresh Basil
-- Mozzarella cheese—about ½ cup at the end
--salt and pepper to taste.  Typically 1/8 tsp. 
Sauté’ garlic in the olive oil—1-2 Tablespoons.   Quarter the zucchini and squash & add to pan.  Cook over medium heat until they are tender---about 10-15 minutes—depending on how many you use.  Drain corn and pimento and add to the medley with your lemon and black pepper.  When almost done, add some fresh cut basil and about ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.
**Debbie says she sometimes adds a little dried basil with zucchini and squash when cooking
Don't forget that Tricia with Thirty-One Gifts is sponsoring my blog for the rest of month.  She has a great Hines-Sight Blog Special and we're giving away a personalized large utility tote that would be great for the pool. Details on how to enter is in this post.   All entries must be submitted by June 27 at 11:59 PM EST

What My Friends Are Cooking: Mandi's S'more Cupcakes with Toasted Buttercream Frosting

I'm still on my blogging vacation, and am sharing a few recipes from my friends this week in a special  series called, "What my Friends are Cooking."  I'll be back soon. 

Mandie from Southern Gnome loves cupcakes so she tries a lot of different recipes, changes this and that, and then creates the most delicious desserts for her family.  This is the perfect cupcake for kids, camping themed parties, and bake sales.   This recipe is based on her love of s'mores.  Mandi is a fellow blogger from Lincolnton, NC which is close to the city of Charlotte.

Mr. Piggybank  recently bought a fire pit for our backyard.  Instead of roasting marshmallows, I may just put on my apron and whip up these babies instead.  Yum!

Mandi's S'more Cupcakes

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20  squares)
¼ sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
Bag or bars of Hersey’s Chocolate
1 box of devils food cake mix (plus ingredients to prepare the mix)
1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line standard muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
2.       Prepare the Devils food cake mix as directed on the box.
3.       In a bowl add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Stir until well combined.
4.       Place 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup.  Use the bottom of a small glass to pack the crumbs into the bottom of each muffin cup.  Reserve the remaining mixture for topping later.
5.       Place 2 of the Hershey squares in each muffin cup and then fill 2/3 of the way up with the prepared cake mix.  Sprinkle with the remaining graham cracker mixture on top.  Place in the oven to bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Rotate pans ½ halfway thru cooking time.  When cupcakes are done baking, place on a rack to cool.
Makes 24 cupcakes

Toasted Marshmallow Buttercrem
½  Jar of Marshmallow Crème
1 Stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ½ tsp vegetable shortening
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 Cups of powdered sugar
1 - 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
Cream the butter and shortening very well. 
Next add the vanilla and salt and mix. 
Add the sugar ½ cup at a time with your mixer on medium speed.  It will turn a pale yellow color.
Next add the heavy cream one tablespoon at a time.  When the taste and texture is as you like its time to add the toasted marshmallow crème.
To toast my marshmallow cream, I just add it to a buttered Pyrex dish and use a kitchen torch.  You can also put it in an oven safe dish and under the broiler.  Broil (or torch) until it reaches the toast that you desire.  When it has cooled, then add it to your buttercreme and mix.  Incorporate this to your buttercreme.  You may want to let this cool in the refrigerator for a few minutes before frosting the cupcakes if you feel it’s too soft. After frosting the cupcakes, top with a chocolate square and enjoy.

Below are some of Mandi's idea to package cupcakes for giving as gifts or selling at a bake sale.   It would also make them easy to take on a picnic.

Cupcakes in plastic punch cups.
One tip for tying on the ribbon if you don't have an extra set of hands around for help.  Keep a clothes pin handy and after you have gathered the celophane together, clip it with the clothes pin and this will free your hands to tie the ribbon. 

Packaged in a wide mouth jar.

You can visit Mandi's Blog at for her delicious recipes and for her travels around Lincolnton.


What My Friends Are Cooking: Michele's Tuna Salad Wrap

I'm taking a little break from blogging this week, and am sharing a few recipes from my friends in "What My Friends Are Cooking Week."   I'll be back soon. 

Michele from Winnsboro, SC enjoys making a Mediterranean Tuna Salad Wrap during the hot summer months.  When I asked the Hines-Sight Blog Facebook friends to tell me what they were cooking, she submitted this recipe which was originally created by Ellie Kreiger from the Food Network.  Michele and I went to a K-12 school together in NC.  She's now an elementary school teacher and loves to cook in her spare time. 

With so many recipes on the Internet these days,   I think it's nice to find one that someone has actually tried a recipe, and now makes it for their family regularly.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad Wrap


  • 2 (6-ounce) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained well
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped calamata olives
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups pre-washed mixed greens (about 3 ounces)
  • 4 whole-grain wrap breads (about 2 ounces each)
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced


In a medium bowl combine the tuna, onion, parsley, olives.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour about 2/3 the dressing over the tuna mixture and toss to combine. In a separate bowl, pour the rest of the dressing over the greens and toss to combine.

Place some tuna salad onto each piece of wrap bread. Top with 1 1/2 cups of greens and a few tomato slices. Roll the wraps and serve.

Don't forget that Tricia with Thirty-One Gifts is sponsoring my blog for the rest of month.  She has a great Hines-Sight Blog Special and we're giving away a personalized large utility tote that would be great for the pool. Details on how to enter is in this post.   All entries must be submitted by June 27 at 11:59 PM EST

What My Friends Are Cooking: Karen's Pasta Salad

I'm taking a little break from blogging this week, and am sharing a few recipes from my friends in "What my Friends Are Cooking Week."  I'll be back soon. 

Hi there! My name is Karen and you can normally find me blogging over at Karen At Home.

I love Leigh and her '"Hines-Sight Blog"  It is ceratinly one of my daily reads and it is very exciting for me to be able to be here today and share an easy recipe with Leigh’s amazing readers.

I just love Summer!! The weather has FINALLY warmed up here in Cleveland and the rain seems to have taken a break for the moment. With so many Summer BBQ's on the horizon, I thought I would take a moment to share my favorite summer pasta salad with you! This colorful blend of pasta and vegetables is so easy to make, it's the perfect side dish for all of your Summer BBQ's!!

This pasta dish couldn’t be easier to make, and it’s so delicious! The key ingredient is the Good Seasons Italian dressing. This dressing is so yummy and so full of flavor. I always make mine from the little packet with vinegar, water and oil. If you are new to Good Seasons, make sure you buy the box that includes the free salad dressing curet bottle. It has the little notches on the side of the bottle so you know exactly how much vinegar, water, and oil to use. It's delicious and so worth it!!!

{What you Need}
1 1lb of tricolored rotini pasta
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 seedless cucumber
2 vine ripened tomatoes
Good seasons Italian Dressing
1 block of Kraft cheddar cheese
1 block of Kraft Colby Jack cheese
1 block of Mozzarella cheese

Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box and strain. While the pasta is still sitting in the strainer, run cold water over it to keep the pasta from sticking together and to bring down the temperature. You don't want to add the rest of the ingredients to the pasta while it is still warm because it will melt the cheese. Once the pasta is at room temperature, strain any excess water and place in a bowl. Immediately pour the Good Seasons Dressing over the pasta to keep it from sticking, then stir it all around.

Get your cutting boards ready, because you are going to need them!!! While you are cooking the pasta on your stove top, cut the peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, and cheese all into bite size pieces. Add your chopped veggies and cheese to your bowl of pasta. Pour the rest of your Good Seasons dressing over the mixture until completely coated. Chill for an hour. Enjoy!

Thanks for having me today!  I would love it if you would stop by Karen At Home to see more recipes and a few other fun ideas!


What My Friends Are Cooking Week

It's hard to believe that the Hines-Sight Blog is six months old. When I first started this blog, my daughter napped twice a day, and my son was in preschool all morning.  I had extra time for my new blog baby even though Mr. Piggybank probably thought I could manage my time more efficiently doing household projects.  Who am I kidding?  I am sure he probably still thinks this way.

As you will see from this early post, I wasn't on Twitter and only had a personal Facebook account.  Time was manageable.  A lot has changed in six months.  My daughter naps only once a day, and is bursting with energy the rest of the day.  My 5-year-old is out of the school for the summer, and bored most of the day if he is not kept busy.   I now have a weekly column for the Raleigh News and Observer's Triangle Mom2Mom site, and manage Facebook and Twitter accounts for the blog.

Life is good, but busy.

This Kate Spade purse says it all for me.

Kate Spade Purse

I've decided to take a blogging vacation this week and do something a little different for the blog so that I can spend some quality time with my family this week.  I'll still be online some so you may hear from me if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, but I won't be burning the midnight oil writing new posts.

When I see my friends in Raleigh, I always ask them, "What are you cooking tonight?"  It's my way of getting new dinner ideas or recipes that are quick and easy for a busy family.  I've gotten a lot of great recipes this way.   In planning for this blogging vacation,  I asked my friends on the  Blog's Facebook page to submit recipes for my blogging vacation.   This week, I'll be showcasing some of the recipes that my readers love and I'll do this sporadically throughout the year to take a little break.  We'll consider it ONE BIG BLOG COOKBOOK. 

Here's what we'll feature this week.
          Tuesday: Karen's Pasta  Salad
          Wednesday: Michele's Tuna Salad Wrap
          Thursday: Mandi's S'more Cupcakes
          Friday:  Debbie's Summer Squash and Zucchini Medley

If you would like to do a guest blog post, or share a recipe with me  for my blogging vacations you may e-mail me at

Also, congratulations to Lorraine from Texas who won the  HappyBaby Food Giveaway  and to Tina from Daytona Beach, Florida.  She was the lucky Facebook Fan who won a $10 gift card to Wendy's for taking the time to Treat it Forward to help foster children find homes. 


Don't forget that Tricia with Thirty-One Gifts is sponsoring my blog for the rest of month.  She has a great Hines-Sight Blog Special and we're giving away a personalized large utility tote that would be great for the pool. Details on how to enter is in this post.   All entries must be submitted by June 27 at 11:59 PM EST

Friday Fun: Name Your Pool Tote Plus Win One

One of my lucky readers is going to be styling at the pool this summer.   Well, we all can be styling thanks to my blog sponsor, Tricia with Thirty-One Gifts.  After yesterday's post, "Packing a Boden Swimsuit and Much More in My Pool Bag" which is a humorous look at going to the pool with kids in tow, Tricia decided to create a Hines-Sight Blog Tote Special so that all the mamas out there can pack their suit, their children 's suit, sunscreen, toys, sippys, snacks, towels, and even have room for a non-breakable wine glass (some days you just need it)  in one gorgeous and roomy bag.

In a random draw, I'm going to giveaway a Thirty-One Gifts Large Utility Tote .

Look at all the loot that can go in this bag. The winning person can choose their preferred pattern and personalization for the tote as a gift from the Hines-Sight Blog and Tricia with Thirty-One Gifts.  This is a $36 dollar value with personalization.

What would be some good sayings for the tote?  For a little Friday fun, let's name your new tote.  Just kidding!  You get to name your own tote if you win, but it wouldn't be Friday fun if we didn't play a little bit. How about?

Splash and Go!

Chillin' at the Pool

Summer Fun in a Tote

Swimsuits, Sippys, and Sunscreen

My Other Bag has the Liquor!

Beach Bummin'

Surf, Sand, and Stuff

 What did I Forget?

Eveything but the Kitchen Sink!

Sure feels like it sometimes, doesn't it?  Oh, I know what would be good.

I Read the Hines-Sight Blog

A girl can dream.  I've got to get free advertisement somehow!

Let's get serious! This tote can be yours and I'll share with you on how you can enter to win it, but let's talk about the Hines-Sight Blog Thirty-One Gifts Special first for our serious shoppers.  If you have some Thirty-One items you want to order after viewing Tricia's website, she'll give you a free non-personalized tote for the first $31 dollars you spend in merchandise. After that, you can get a tote for $9 dollars  for each additional $31 dollars spent.   You can personalize it an a minimal cost.  If you are on the ball and are already thinking about Christmas gifts then this is your chance to get some free totes.   All you have to do is e-mail Tricia at  or call her at 919-741-8403 and tell her you want to be part of the Hines-Sight Blog Tote Special.   You have to place your order by June 27.   Want to win one by just being a reader of my blog?

How to Enter the Ultimate Pool Tote Giveaway
Deadline to Enter is Monday, June 27 at 11:59 PM
Look on page 42-43 of the virtual catalogue to see if you would want a pattern other than pink swirls pictured because Tricia will need get your choice of pattern and personalization choice by the end of June.  It will be a quick turn-out from notifying the winner and getting your choice into Tricia.
Leave a comment here (If you do not have a Google ID then you can use anonymous, but make sure you include your name and e-mail)  and tell me your favorite slogan that I named for the pool tote or name your own.  If you qualify for any extra entries, let me know.

Extra Entries
Follow the Hines-Sight Blog in Google Friends (One Entry
Like the Hines-Sight Blog on Facebook (One Entry)
Like the Hines-Sight Blog on Twitter  (One Entry)
Tweet about this Giveaway (One Entry)
Be sure to add @Hinessightblog in your tweet
Write your own little blog about this Giveaway (Two Entries)

Good luck and have a great weekend with lots of fun.
PS. You may have known this, but the Large Utility Tote can be used for anything, not just for carrying to the pool.  Toys!  Books!  Groceries!  Storage! Holiday Decorations!   I could come up with a lot of names and slogans for its uses, but that's another post.

Tie Yourself Up with Great Father's Day Getaways and a Really Cool Idea

I think these are the most adorable Father's Day Shirt and Tie cards from Shuford Prints.  It will go great with the tie that you already bought dad, right?

But, I've got a better idea of how to use these cards.  Write a note and include one of these great travel packages that I'm sure dad (and mom, too) will enjoy inside the card.

Maybe something like this.

Dear Dad,
You work all the time.  Just leave those papers on your desk.  I know some places that you will leave you feeling just fine.  Pack your bags, clubs, and take a little rest. 
Love, Me

If your dad is a golf lover then send him to the prestigious and historic Pinehurst Resort in theVillage of Pinehurst, North Carolina.

I have had the opportunity to dine at this wonderful resort, but have not stayed here yet.  It's on my list!  The gorgeous and grand Pinehurst Resort will hold its third annual Father’s Day Weekend event from June 17-19 with a celebration of golf and golf stories, and a round on recently restored Pinehurst No. 2 where guests can attempt to recreate the unforgettable, Father’s Day putt that won Payne Stewart the 1999 U.S. Open. If you can't make this weekend, the Resort has wonderful golf and recreation packages all summer long.  The classic golf package starts at a rate of $171.  The golfing dad will thank you! 

If you have a baseball loving dad like I had, then head to the Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta for the Family Game Day package to cheer on the Atlanta Braves this summer.   This family fun package includes one night of deluxe accommodations, American breakfast in the Atlanta Grill for two adults and for two children, valet parking, and $50 in stadium dollars to spend at the game.  This package starts at a rate of $209 per night.  I've had the pleasure of staying at this hotel, and you'll love it there.  The game will be fun, too.

Do you have an adventure loving dad?  Look no further than the Inn at Biltmore on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  Your dad will love the Estate's Land Rover package.   Dad can get in the driver's seat and improve his off-road driving skills.  He can test drive a new Land Rover with an experienced instructor and see new areas of the estate with Biltmore's off-road course.   I've not been on this Land Rover Tour, but I've stayed on the estate, and there are 8,000 exquisite acres to explore. The package includes two nights accommodations, estate admission, daily breakfast, dinner one evening in the Bistro, and one evening in The Dining Room, and a special Land Rover gift.  Call 800-411-3812 for rates.   If you want to take dad to the Biltmore Estate for the just the day then dad's visit free this Sunday, June 19, 2011 for Father's Day with one paid admission ticket. 

What if you have a culinary loving dad?  Send him to the Umstead Resort and Spa in Cary, NC.  This four diamond luxury hotel and member of the Leading Hotels of the World, has a gastronomic getaway with its Culinary Artist Package.  This beautiful hotel is only a few miles from my home, and I have had the pleasure of having afternoon tea there several years ago.  I've not yet stayed at the property, but my good friends did last weekend for a quick getaway. They raved about their experience.  It's made me want to pack up my bags, get a sitter, and head five miles to what they describe as paradise.  This package includes one night accommodations, and a five-course Chef's Tasting menu paired with wines in the hotels's signature four-star restaurant, Herons.  

As for us, we're taking daddy on a road trip to North Carolina's Topsail Beach.  We finally have a DVD player for the car. Hopefully, the three-hour car ride will go a little smoother for dad (mom, too) than our last trip to Beaufort, NC.   You can also bet that we will stop at a Wendy's to treat dad to a Frosty.  This Father's Day weekend (June 18 and 19) 50 cents from each Frosty purchased will be donated to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.   These donations will be used to benefit the cause of Wendy's Wonderful Kids, which is a program that helps foster children in need find great homes.   This is such a great cause.  Before becoming a mom, I worked as Communications Director for the NC Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  There are so many kids in need.  I can't tell you how important it is for our young people to have stability in their lives.   It pleases me to know that the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption are working tirelessly to better a child's life.   Join me in going to Wendy's this weekend and treating your dad to a Frosty.

If you have a twitter account, please help spread the word beginning June 15
Go to @Wendys on June 18 and 19 and buy a Frosty! 50 cents will be donated to @DTFA! Help #TreatitFwd by RT!

On Facebook? Send a Facebook friend a "virtual" Frosty, or tell friends about Father's Day Frosty Weekend through the Facebook application found on it Fwd tab). Wendy's will make a donation.


If you are a parent to younger children, don't forget to enter the HappyBaby Food Giveaway that ends on 6/16.  HappyBaby Food Products are not just for babies.  They have great, organic, non-processed snacks all ages.  This giveaway will give you coupons for free product in all their product lines.  That's a great savings! 

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