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Friday, February 26


Jen at A Girl in Pearls &  A Boy with Toys has introduced a new blog feature, Friday Favorites, and invited her readers to join in. On Wednesday she will give a topic, we use that for the subject of our Friday post. This week's topic is favorite vacation spot.


I definitely have to say my current favorite is Isle of Palms. I love that it's only two hours away from us so we can run down for a weekend if we want. Unlike a lot of the other beaches in South Carolina, Isle of Palms is not very commercialized, and because it's pretty small, I don't think there's a lot of room for it to ever get that way. It's also only 20-30 minutes from the heart of Charleston, so you can get your history and shopping fix in without spoiling the calm and peace of the beach.

The Mister and I have vacationed with his family at Isle of Palms for three summers now, and our next trip will be for our wedding, which is only seven weeks away!

If you want to see other favorites, visit's Jen's post HERE for McLinky to other particpants.
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Monday, February 22


This morning started off sleepy and stormy. I wasn't feeling going to work, but I'm awfully glad that I did. Because this morning, I got online to find that the Mister and I have won another contest!

Our photographer hosted a giveaway on her blog for Valentine's day where the prize was photography package or paying off the rest of your contract if you've already booked her.

Guess who the lucky winners were? Check our entry out here: Chi Photography
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Tuesday, February 16

 About 7:30 in the evening

Like almost all of the nation, we got snow over the weekend. It's a rare thing for us to get any snow to speak of in South Carolina. It's even more rare for it to stick, but on Friday afternoon, it started to snow. And it didn't stop until we had more than six inches in our yard. The last time we had a heavy snowfall was in 2003, and I seem to remember that as mostly ice anyway.

 
And the morning after
Now, snow like this is no big deal in some parts of the country, but where I live, it can be a dangerous thing. People who are not used to it don't know how to properly drive in snow and ice. On my way home from work that evening, I saw several abandoned cars that were stuck. We also don't have enough snow plows to really take care of the roads. And typically, the ice will cause a lot of tree limbs to break, and there are power outages in great numbers. As I understand it, there are still about 25,000 people in Columbia that do not have power right now.

  
He was eating the snow; I didn't throw any snowballs at him.

For that reason, we kept it pretty low key on Friday evening. The Mister made guacamole, and we reheated some chili and watched the Olympic opening ceremony on TV. The Mister has lived in the Columbia area his whole life so he took the dogs outside several times on Friday and Saturday to play in the snow, but I saw plenty of the stuff when I lived in Detroit and opted to stay in with red wine for company.

 
They were warming up by the air vent under the bookshelf.
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It feels like the clock has decided to sprint toward our wedding day at breakneck speeds. Tomorrow is our 8 weeks away mark! I can't believe we're to the point of weeks left instead of months.

This weekend, I was supposed to head on up to Charlotte to meet my family and order my niece's flower girl dress. More than six inches of snow kept me in Columbia, but they headed out to David's Bridal and took care of the details. Here's a photo that my step-sister texted me of her trying on the store dress (who knows what's up with her making a funny face at the camera).


On Sunday, my parents headed out to the mall and purchased my dad's suit and my step-mom's dress and shoes. She said they got some killer President's Day sales prices.

Also on Sunday, I met up with the Mister's mom and aunt to let them do some work on my skin; they are both esthticians. His aunt had offered to do some work on my face for free since this winter, I have breakouts from hell. She did some extractions (which hurt!) and gave me a lactic acid peel. She also sent me home with a new 3-step skincare system, some at-home peel sample and sunscreen (which is a must because of the acid in the product).

My skin is already glowing more though the skincare system is initially very drying. I've been warned that I should breakout here at the beginning of the use because it's getting all the gunk out of my skin.

The Mister and I also finished putting together the guest lists for my bridal showers (one month away) and his bachelor party. Now I just need to go through the list for my bachelorette party, and I won't have to think about those again until it's time to show up.

We still need to get him shoes, socks and a new white shirt. I'm still working on hairstyles and accessories for my girls, and I have to get their shoes dyed in the next couple weeks. And the Mister is supposed to meet up with his groomsmen in the next week or so to purchase their suits. Then I think we'll be about done with the attire details of the wedding for a while.
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Friday, February 12

I think I promised to share these like about a month ago, but I have finally uploaded all the photos of our wedding invitations to share.

 
Yes, we sent an invitation to the President; I did work on his campaign after all.
  

  

  

  

  

 

The the pieces of our invitation were designed by the Mister except for the monograms that we used to seal the envelopes. You may recall mentioning that I won a free monogram from Double Trouble Designs.
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I've been craving fast food and salty snacks all week. All I keep in the house that would satisfy that is corn chips and popcorn. They haven't been doing the trick lately. (I've always caved when it comes to salty foods rather than sweets; thus the French fry ban.)

I've gone 6 weeks without fast food, so I'm not about to backtrack on that now.Last weekend, my girlfriends Erin and Emily came into town so that we could do some bridesmaids dress shopping for Em's wedding in October, and I discovered that I'm down a dress size!

We've been eating pretty healthy in the house lately. Several Asian dishes this week have helped tone down the salt cravings. Yesterday, I made this yummy dish from Real Simple:

 Image source: Real Simple
Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder
Serves 4 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian aisle of the supermarket)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 medium head bok choy, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  • 2 scallions, sliced

Directions

  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the soy sauce, sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, five-spice powder (if using), ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the pork and toss to coat. Cook, covered, until the pork is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  2. Twenty-five minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, skim off and discard any fat from the pork. Gently fold the bok choy into the pork and cook, covered, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with the scallions. 
I used a Boston butt, brown rice and spinach. The dish was super filling, and when I saw the calorie content, I could see why. It's yummy, but you'll want to eat lighter fare for breakfast and lunch.
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Wednesday, February 10

 Source: Sephora's Beauty and the Blog

I got an email a few minutes ago from Sephora telling that I had won one of their Valentine's Day giveaways - a tote from Benefit in promotion of their blush Sugarbomb! This makes me super excited, what a bright little spot in my work week. And I also happen to own and love my Sugarbomb blush.
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I've been given this award twice in the last month and haven't found the time to complete it. Thank you to Amazon Runner and Yankee Girl for giving me this award. Here are the rules that come with the award:
  1. Copy the image and display it on your blog.
  2. List 10 things that make you happy.
  3. Try to do at least one of them today.
  4. Pass on the award to 10 bloggers who brighten your day.
So let's talk about things that make me happy:
  1. Nothing starts my day off better than good cup of coffee. My wonderful man makes me a cup almost every morning while I'm still hatching.
  2. I have a job that I really enjoy, even though lately I've been wicked busy at work. The Mister and I are blessed that we both have good jobs and can afford our bills.
  3. I'm getting married this year!
  4. We live in an area of the country where snow is a rare thing.
  5. Our church is awesome. I feel very blessed to have a strong faith walk and that the Mister is right beside me in my beliefs.
  6. My closest friends are kind, generous, rocking people. Most of us have been friends for more than 15 years.
  7. Last week, we got a Prius for my new car.
  8. Though I often miss my family and friends who live all over the country, it gives me great excuses to travel.
  9. Good food. I love sushi, Mediterranean, Greek, Italian...gah, it would suck to be a picky eater.
  10. This man is awesome. And he loves me. And I'm going to spend my life with him.

I have a really hard time picking out just 10 blogs that brighten my day, so I'm going to tag them all. If you decide to participate, please leave a comment letting me know so I can check your post out.
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Tuesday, February 9



Some of my readers also follow, my sister-in-law Mireya's blog, Pearls & Such. If you do, then you read about this a couple weeks, ago, but since this cause is so close to my own heart, I'm going to write about it again and ask for you help.

I've never really mentioned it on my blog before because the subject is so personal. When I was very young, my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and when I was in high school, she passed away from the disease.

I'm sure that it seems like every time you turn around, there is a fundraiser for one cause or another. I wish that I had the money to donate to each one that I came across, but unfortunately few of us unlimited expendable income. However, I always try to donate or volunteer when a friend or family member participates in any event that benefits the National MS Society.

In April, Mireya, my brother and some other family and friends will be participating in Walk MS to help raise awareness and funds to help do away with the disease and provide support for people and MS and their families. They have named their walk team TEAM KELLY after my mom. So far, they have meet 25% of their goal.

I rarely ask for help of my readers, but I am asking now. Please put some heartfelt thought into donating to their team and spreading the word to your friends and families. It would mean a lot to me and my family and to all the other people whose lives have been touched by the disease. Here is a link to their team page so that you can donate if you'd like: Walk MS 2010: Team Kelly

Thank you!
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Wednesday, February 3

Today, I did something that I will never have to do again. I made my last car insurance payment as a single person. This month, the Mister and I are combining our home and auto insurance policies. I didn't want to write about this before I had the details settled, for fear of jinxing the situation. And frankly, I just haven't had the time to write.

Two weeks ago, I was in a car accident, which totalled my VW. Before, everyone gets concerned, I'm fine--no injuries. It's just that my poor little Jetta was very fragile in her old age. She's gone on to car heaven, and this week, I should be bringing home a 2007 Toyota Prius, which will hopefully serve me as faithfully as the Jetta did.

Now, I'm viewing this as a blessing for a couple reasons, but I want to talk about how this helped us as a couple:
  1. This helped us open the door to the conversation about our budget. The Mister and I have been together for almost 5 years, but we've typically handled the money, as mine is mine and his is his. As long as our bills are getting paid in the manner we agree upon, we try not to judge how the other handles their finances. Obviously, we knew this attitude would change as we got closer to getting married. This event has helped us to discuss what will work for us financially and how we want to handle money decisions as a couple rather than two individuals.
  2. We're making our first major purchase together as a couple. Again, we've crossed some major purchases together as a couple in our time together; the Mister has bought a house and car since we began dating. I was given a role in the decision-making process and my opinion was valued, but at the end of the day, these were the Mister's decisions (and if we had broke up, they were obligations that he had to pay; I was legally not responsible). For this decision, we discussed what we wanted from the vehicle, how it would serve our needs and how we were going to handle the new responsibility.
  3. We view this as our first MAJOR curveball in our life plans, and it helped us learn how to deal with these things together. We know that our lives aren't always going to go as planned, and this was a prime example. We had planned to replace my Jetta later in the year, so this helped us to decide how we want to react when the planning just isn't going to work. I'm not going to lie, I thought the Mister was going to be really upset with me and the situation, and for the first evening he was. But the next day, we got up and worked together as a team to make the situation better for us.
  4. We grew spiritually. The Mister and I are both fairly active in our church, and we both decided that this was a situation where we could learn to let God take care of us. And He did. Aside from taking on a car payment a little sooner than expected, I cannot complain about one aspect of how this process turned out. We have discussed how hard it is to just let go of the need to plan and worry and try to control, when really, we have a Savior who loves us and will handle the details if we just let him.
Anyway, I should have pictures of the ride to share later this week. Along with all the other updates that I've been meaning to write about but haven't. =)
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