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Sunday, December 19

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We only have one week until Christmas. How awesome is that? So this week's Happy List will be holiday themed.

1. The Mister and I have been baking fiends this weekend, getting ready for the holidays. There are oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies, cake balls, pumpkin swirl brownies and other goodies running around, ready to be wrapped up as gifts.

2. I got my Secret Santa package yesterday, and it makes me smile. I'll have to share later this week once I've had a chance to upload some photos.

3.  My MIL let me pick out my Christmas gift the other day at the mall, and let me tell you that Fossil bags make me happy. Too bad she wouldn't let me take it home right away, but it will be coming to live with me this week.

4. We've attended two very fun Christmas parties this week. Some of our friends are really great cooks; they should invite us for dinner more often =)

5. Almost all of our Christmas cards have been mailed. I had to get another book of stamps before I could send out the rest. We need to mail one more package, and then no more trips to the post office for me this year.

6. The Mister wanted a new pair of shoes for our trip to San Fran; we had a successful trip at GB shoe warehouse. Let me say that a happy Mister makes a happy Aubrey.

7. I'm still 98% sure that Santa's bringing me a Kindle for Christmas.

8. Advent services are some of the prettiest services at our church. I'm really looking forward to going on Wednesday evening.

Be sure to link up to Mamarazzi's blog by clicking the button at the top of the post if you decide to play along. And don't forget to go vote for her for 2010 Top Blog.
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Tuesday, December 14

I may be opening a can of worms here, but I'm going to put it out there anyway.

While I was in Delaware last weekend, several of Kate's friends wound up coming over and having a few drinks with us. Most of them were also doctoral students in chemistry or another science discipline.

Surprisingly, most of had also spent some time living in either South Carolina or Virginia. And eventually a joke was made in regard to the difference between "Southern" and "Nothern" mentality...which led to a few references to the Civil War. There was one student who was not American, and she asked a few questions since she wasn't familiar with our Civil War.

I was only half paying attention when I heard one of the guys (who is from the South and had family fight for the Confederacy) explain to her that basically she should look at the Northern states like North Korea today.

Um, excuse me?

I was quick to tell him that I didn't think the two situations were at all parallel. At first he tried to argue, but when his girlfriend agreed with me, he finally stopped.

What do y'all think? Anyone else find that illustration to be a little extreme? Maybe he had had one too many cocktails.

Normally as a Yankee transplant living in South Carolina, I usually actively steer away from discussion of the South versus North, Civil War or slavery. Until recently, I didn't even think my family lived in the U.S. at that point. Turns out, I was half right. My father's family didn't come over until the 1880s, but on my mother's side, it appears that we had ancestors who helped settle Connecticut in the 1600s and fought in the Revolutionary War.
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Monday, December 13



I'm back. Did you miss me? I didn't really intend to disappear for a whole week, but with my trip over the weekend, I just didn't have time. So I have a whole of happy to share with you.

1. My trip to Delaware was safe and (mostly) without snow; it only flurried for a little bit on Friday afternoon. Driving back to the airport, they were predicting it for last night, and I know Charlotte got some too. So I'm glad that I missed it all.

2. I'm happy to report that Miss Kate's thesis defense was successful. Pending a few written corrections to her thesis and the actual graduation ceremony next month, my best friend is now a doctor! How awesome is that?

3. I'm so glad to be back in South Carolina where the people are friendly and I know the interstates. I like to travel, but coming home yesterday was so, so, so nice.

4. I love my Mister. Getting a hug from him yesterday was the highlight of my weekend.

5. We had a potluck amongst the young adults from my church yesterday evening. At first, I didn't want to go because I was wiped out from traveling, but I'm glad the Mister convinced me to go. It was a lot of fun.

6. We got our first Christmas card last week from my brother and my sister-in-law. It was a sweet photo card from their anniversary shoot. Now I just  need to get mine in the mail this week so that people will receive them before the holiday.

7. I'm happy that I got our Christmas decorations up last week. And I got a super-cute shoe ornament from Shelze as part of an ornament exchange. (Shelze: I didn't have a chance to get your ornament to the post office last week, but it's on its way now. I'm sorry!)

8. Our honeymoon is rapidly approaching, and I'm so excited to go to San Francisco!

9. It's time to bake Christmas cookies. I'm going to bake cappuccino flats this week for our neighborhood association holiday party.

10. I'm eying the new Amazon Kindle for Christmas, and I'm super excited to see if Santa puts one under my tree ;) But if he doesn't, I really think I may go ahead and treat myself.

If you want to play along with the Happy List, click the button at the top of the post to link up with Mamarazzi's blog.
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Friday, December 3

On Nov. 28, Walter posted this video for his girlfriend who was moving across the country to Duke University for grad school. He tweeted about it, hoping that it would organically make its way across the web to her; their friends weren't allowed to say anything to her. Yesterday, his message reached her.
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Fun Fridays
It's been a couple weeks since I've put up a Fun Friday post, so I'm going to join in this week before I get back to work.

This weekend, I'm looking forward to finishing our Christmas decorating. The Mister has already put up our tree outside. (More about that later) And I'm also excited to head out for our town's Christmas parade. I may start some Christmas baking as well. I didn't have time to make cappuccino flats this year, and I really want some this year. I may even get ambitious and take photos to share with y'all.

Tomorrow the Gamecocks play the Auburn Tigers in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. I don't know where we're going to watch the game yet, but there will be football and beer.

What fun things do you have planned for the weekend? If you want to play along with Fun Fridays, click the button to link up with Jen's blog.
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Wednesday, December 1

Today's daily find list with Real Simple a collection of fun holiday stockings, and I really wanted to share my favorites.

Custom order patchwork stocking
 Wool stocking handknit by a Bosnian woman's collective

Free-trade Tibetan wool Sherpa stocking

The Mister and I have several sets of stockings, so I don't see us ordering new ones, but this may be a fun find for some of my other newlywed readers.
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Tuesday, November 30

When I got married, I gained 10 nieces and nephews. Today is a special birthday for one of our nieces. It's her 18th birthday!

Top two photos taken by Chi Photography. Bottom two photos courtesy of her mother.

The Mister told me last night that he could not believe how quickly time had flown and that she was so grown up already. She's become such a beautiful, intelligent young woman. Happy Birthday!
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Monday, November 29


Hi, everyone! I hope that everyone had a great holiday weekend. I sure had fun. It's time for another Happy List. Here's what's making me smile today.

1. Obviously, the Gamecocks beating Clemson made my weekend. One set of Tigers down; hopefully we'll do as well against Auburn on Saturday.

2. Black Friday shopping was pretty productive...though we did stay up all night. Luckily, by the time we left the mall, it was raining. That made for some really good napping later that afternoon.

3. I finally got over the head cold that I had most of the last two weeks. I'm a really big fan of being able to breathe.

4. I heart pumpkin pie.

5. It was 77 degrees on Thanksgiving Day. I may complain about the South Carolina heat in the summer, but you can't beat our winters.

If you want to play along with Happy List, click the button to link up with Mamarazzi's blog.
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Thursday, November 25

This note has been circulating amongst my Facebook friends, and I thought it would make a good Thoughtless Thursday post.
Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety; italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or just read an excerpt.

1  Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2  The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3  Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4  Harry Potter series – JK Rowling 

5  To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee 

6  The Bible

7  The Divine Comedy 

8  Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9  His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens 

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy 

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller 

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier 

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks 

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger 

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot 

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell 

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald 

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy 

25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh 

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck  

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame 

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens  

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis 

34 Emma – Jane Austen 

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen  

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis 

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini 

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere 

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden 

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne 

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell 

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown 

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving 

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins 

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy 

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood 

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan 

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert 

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons 

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen 

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth 

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon 

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov 

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt 

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas 

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac 

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy 

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding 

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie 

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville 

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens 

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker 

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett 

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson 

75 Ulysses – James Joyce 

76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath 

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome 

78 Germinal – Emile Zola 

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray 

80 Posession -- AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens 

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell               

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker 

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro 

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert  

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton 

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad 

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams 

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute 

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare 

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
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Wednesday, November 24

Happy Birthday, Mireya!
 Photo by Chi Photography

Today is my wonderful sister-in-law's birthday. Head over to her blog pearls & such to leave her some birthday love and holiday warmth.
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Tuesday, November 23

This week the Top 2 topic is items on your holiday wish list. I'm dreaming big this week, and don't actually expect to receive these, but this would be my "Santa, I've been very good this year" top 2 choices.
I received a beautiful dutch oven from my parents as a wedding gift, and I have a le Creuset tea kettle. I'd to have a whole set of le Creuset. I can't decide between the color Ocean, which is a lot prettier in the store than in the photo, or if I want all different colors.

My little powerbook is getting long in the tooth. I'd love to get a new Apple laptop - Macbook or Macbook Pro - either would make me happy.

What's on your wish list this year?

If you want to play along with Top 2 Tuesdays, click the button at the top of the post to link up with Taylor's blog.
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I'm sorry that this post is late, late, late. I've been so busy making sure that holiday weekend doesn't make me swamped at work. I don't really have the time to post right now, but I'm doing it anyway. This week's Happy List will be looking forward to the future since I don't think I'll have time to post much this weekend.

1. Yay for a short week. I am so excited about a 4-day weekend. Obviously, we're looking forward to Thanksgiving...spending time with our families and good food. We'll have lunch with the Mister's mom and dinner with my family.

2. I am crazy enough to head out for Black Friday shopping with my MIL and her sister. We will probably be outside Belk's very early in the morning. The nice thing is that the majority of our holiday shopping is done though.

3. I'm also headed up to Clemson University to watch the rivalry game with Rob. Winning over Clemson is always good, but I also really want a 9-win season. I read somewhere last week that we've only done that times in our college football history, and we've never been to the SEC Championship so the weekend afterward is looking pretty exciting as well. Further, it's been 10 years since I've gone to Clemson to watch the, time flies.

4. One of my favorite local bands Villanova has recently signed a record deal with Universal/Motown Records. Wednesday, they're having the first of their final two shows before heading out (I think they have to change their name because of the conflict with the college)...I'm sad that we won't be able to just go see them locally anymore but pretty excited to see them perform this week.

5. Yesterday, the Mister and I booked our honeymoon tickets. We recently had a change of plans because a very generous offer from a friend. Now, we're headed to San Francisco for a week; I'm counting the days until we head out.

6. One extra this week - last week, my blog reached 100 followers. That amazes me. Once I get the Thanksgiving week behind me, I'm planning on having my first giveaway in celebration of this. Thank you so much everyone for reading what I have to say.

If you want to play along, click the button at the top of the blog to link up with Mamarazzi. The linky is still open. Also, Mamarazzi's blog has been nominated for The Blog Guidebook's 2010 Top Blog, please consider voting for her by clicking here; there are three days left to vote.
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I don't know how long the supplies will last, but Amazon is offering the Harry Potter movies Year 1-6 on Blu-Ray for $39.99, and it qualifies for free shipping too. That's a pretty amazing price if you're looking for a gift set to give a Harry Potter fan. The deal is only good today, so hurry over and order.

If you don't have Blu-Ray, the regular dvd gift set is $23.99.

P.S. The Mister and I haven't seen the new movie yet because we've been watching all the previous movies this week first. We borrowed them on Blu-Ray from a friend, but now the movies are coming to live in my collection. =)
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Thursday, November 18

For Thoughtless Thursday (and a late Holiday Wednesday) I wanted to share the cards we ordered using our 50 free cards from Shutterfly.

If you want to play along with Thoughtless Thursday, click the button at the top of the post to link up.

P.S. I'm sorry that my blog posts have been a little light on content this week. I'm fighting a cold and trying to stay caught up at work; it's not leaving me a lot of mental energy at the end of the day.

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Wednesday, November 17

Source: weheartit
 Who doesn't love red cups at Starbucks filled with yummy holiday drinks?

Starting tomorrow, when you buy a holiday drink between 2 and 5 p.m., you can get another for free. The promotion is continuing through Nov. 21.

Just thought you would all want to know.
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Tuesday, November 16

I just wanted to wish my favorite mother-in-law a very happy birthday!
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Monday, November 15


I almost let the day get away from me without getting read any of my favorite blogs or post my happy list, but not to worry. Here it comes...

1. Can I just say it? SEC East Champs. I cannot believe my Gamecocks are headed for the Conference Championship next month.

2. Rob and I had good weekend hanging out together that involved the Flying Saucer and beer on Friday evening.

3. On Saturday, we joined the Mister at his conference for the banquet dinner. I always look forward to catching up with the other students and professors from around the country.

4. Brunch at 116 Cafe makes me smile.

5. I'm slowly getting caught up at work...going on vacation next month is so going to blow that.

If you want to play along with the Happy List, click the button to link up with Mamarazzi.
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Friday, November 12

Fun Fridays

This weekend the Mister has his dojo's jujitsu convention and will be busy the whole time. So I will be hanging out with my best guy friend.

Who knows what kind of trouble we'll get into; all I know for sure is that there will be beer tonight.
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Thursday, November 11

Who else has seen this video? I have a sister who's about the same age as the girls in the video; I hope she knows how much she's loved. No changes necessary.

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Wednesday, November 10

I told y'all a while ago that I would be sporadically posting on some of my favorite holiday preparations. We talked about the ornaments that I buy for my nieces every year and which ones I was hoping to purchase for my own tree.

My next preparation is getting our holiday cards together. Last year, we had some photo cards done from our engagement photos, and this year I wanted to follow up with cards that feature some of our favorite wedding photos. Since we kept the guest list so small, I especially wanted to be sure that some extended family and friends of family would get a nice photo since we couldn't have them attend. My go-to choice for personalized holiday cards this year is Shutterfly.

Earlier this year, I ordered some personalized stationery cards with my new name from them, so I know that the cardstock is good quality and the shipping is fast.

Back in September, they ran a good sale on their new holiday designs, so I had picked up a few cards with my favorite "kiss" photo, but definitely not enough to cover the address list that comes with combining families.

Plus, the Mister and I like to mix and match designs. I don't like everyone to get the exact same card. Shutterfly has a great variety of designs, which is great because it allows us to pick a few of the quirky, fun designs.

I like these...
And these...

And these...
This is one area of my life where I refuse to go green. What are your thoughts? Do you still send paper cards or do you prefer the e-card now?

I will be receiving 50 free cards for writing this post. Head to the Shutterfly Blog if you want more promo details.
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Monday, November 8

It's Monday morning, and we're going to kick this week off with my Happy List. I'm sorry about being gone for the weekend. I've been trying to disconnect on the weekends, so if I don't have time to schedule my blog posts, they don't happen.

1. The Mister and I brought my cactus garden inside on Saturday afternoon because it was supposed to frost this weekend. This meant that we re-arranged the office, where we keep them. So now the office feels extra clean and peaceful.

2. Our church celebrated its 175th anniversary this weekend. That's pretty awesome. There was a big lunch after the service that included barbeque, macaroni and cheese and lots of desserts. One of the local news affiliates also came out to cover the occasion.

3. I baked sugar cookies over the weekend. They were just the break apart kind, but there are still yummy goodies in my house.

4. I've been happily looking up Thanksgiving recipes. I don't even know what we're doing this year for the holiday, but if I decide to cook a meal I'll be ready. (In the past, we've done three dinners his mom's, his dad's and then my parents'; I think I'd like to keep it simple this year.)

5. Daylight savings time gave me an extra hour to sleep in this weekend. I love snuggling into my bed and sleeping late, and this is the first weekend that I've been to do that in about six weeks.

If you'd like to play along with a Happy List, click the button to link up with Mamarazzi's blog.

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Friday, November 5

I'm really looking forward to these two movies opening later this month.

Anyone else excited about these movies? Any other movies you can't wait to see.
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Fun Fridays

As I mentioned in my Happy List, the Mister and I attended two Halloween parties and had a great time.

If you want to play along with Fun Fridays, click the button to link up with Jen's blog.
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Thursday, November 4

No spoilers are in this post, but they may turn up in the comments.

Am I the only one who's a little apprehensive about watching Private Practice tonight?

Source: ABC
I'm sure that the episode is going to be incredibly emotional to watch. Just seeing the preview last week was disturbing.

UPDATE: Now that I've seen the episode, I'm going to admit there were parts that made me very uncomfortable, but I'm glad the show is taking on this subject. It's so important to raise awareness. I think KaDee Strickland is a hell of an actress.

I also found this article to be informative, be aware, there are spoilers in the article if you haven't seen the show yet.
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