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Wednesday, September 29

I had to share today's Shirt Woot with y'all. It's good for a laugh on a dreary, rainy day.

Peanut Butter & Jealousy

If you want to order one, hurry over to Woot to order it. After today, it's gone.
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 The Mister & I supporting Chi at the Southern Bridal Show.

I believe that I've made it abundantly clear how awesome I think our wedding photographer is, and I was thrilled to see her work this week on the Wedding Row. This is the third or fourth time in the last few months that her work has been shown on the Wedding Row, a blog that features Charleston area weddings. Click HERE to see the post or on the button below to go to her blog.

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Remember how I've told you before that I deejay at the local college radio station, WUSC? No? Well, catch up HERE.

Image Source: WUSC FB Page

Last week, Josh Jackson at Paste Magazine named WUSC on his list of the 40 Best Little Radio Stations in the United States. You can read his entire list HERE.

Unfortunately because of work, I haven't been able to do a regular show this semester, but I do sub a show every now and then. I'll share the playlist when I can. In the meantime, I'm pretty darn proud of my college student-run station.
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Tuesday, September 28

I thought it would be fun to see what my Mister said for Top 2 Tuesday. Here are his two favorite songs...we have very different music tastes.

His first choice is "3 Days" by Jane's Addiction off the album Ritual de lo Habitual, released in 1990.

His second song is "Flood" by Tool off the album Undertow, released in 1993. They played this the last time we went to see Tool live; the Mister was incredibly excited.
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The subject this week on Top 2 Tuesdays was favorite songs, and I had to join in. Like everyone else out there, I have my current faves and then all time faves, but I'm going to share my all-time loves.

I have loved "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls since it came out. They are one of my favorite bands, and the cd Dizzy Up the Girl has been a favorite of mine for forever.

I also adore the song "Jesus Christ" by Brand New. This video is a studio version that was released on a collector's EP with the album Daisy last year, but you should definitely look up and listen to the full album version, which is on The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (also a favorite cd of mine).

If you want to play along, click the button to link up with the Undomestic Momma.
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I went out to my car this morning, and it was COLD! I know I've been saying I'm ready for fall to get here, but I think I've changed my mind. =)

Does anybody else get a cold every time the weather changes from hot to cold or vice versa? I almost always do...and it's time to start drinking more hot tea and staying on top of taking my vitamins so I don't wind up sick in a major way.

This may seem kind of random, but since the seasons are changing, I thought it was kind of neat that Kleenex is letting you send a box of tissues to a friend or family member to have on hand during cold and flu season. I sent one up north to my bestie Kate...I know it's already starting to cool off, and I don't want her getting sick while she's working on her thesis. If you want to share, you can visit Kleenex's website by clicking HERE. (Be patient, the website runs very slowly.)
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Sunday, September 26


Good morning, everyone! I hope that you're having a great weekend. Here are five things that are making me happy this week.

1. On Monday, I took an extreme couponing class, and it was amazing how much money you can save on your grocery and drug store purchases. Between a couple small trips this week, I've saved about 45% on the bill. And I'm using some of these deals to start setting aside gifts for Christmas this year.

2. My husband just set a cup of freshly brewed coffee next to me. He makes me a cup every morning with our French press. There is nothing like starting the day off with a hot cup of coffee and a hot man who loves you ;)

3. My best guy friend Rob's birthday was Saturday, and I got to spend the evening with him in Clemson. We went out for a yummy Italian dinner with some friends. Rob and I have been friends for nearly 20 years; I don't know what I'd do without him.

4. This may not mean much to most of you, but I got my best tank of gas ever last week in my new car. I got a Prius about six months ago, and last week I got 492 miles to the tank. I heart my Prius.

5. I'm trying to work out a trip home to Michigan over Thanksgiving to see my family. I haven't been home in a little over two years, and I think it's time for a trip just to visit - no funerals or weddings.

If you want to play along, click the button at the top of the post to link up with Mamarazzi. This a good week to start joining because she's going to start doing a monthly giveaway for just Happy List Participants.
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Saturday, September 25

Today is one of my best friend's birthday.

He's been an incredible friend to me over the years. Here of some of my favorite Rob pictures:

At my wedding, Rob's toast was the only thing all day that made me cry.

New Years a few years ago

Rob has a standing invitation to my parents house for Christmas, regardless of whether I'll be home.

This is the day Rob tried to take me down the Hiawassee River.
That's a disasterous story for another post.

More New Year's Pics.
We used to have a tradition of reserving tables at the Flying Saucer.

What can I say? Carolina Girls love Rob.
Too bad he went to Clemson. =)

 Happy Birthday!
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Maxabella Loves is starting a Grateful Saturday link up this weekend. Paired with my Happy List on Sunday (sometimes Monday) for Mamarazzi's link up, I think this rounds out my blogging for the weekend. I don't spend a lot of time at the computer on the weekend, so I'm going to try to regularly schedule these two posts.

You might be wondering what the difference between the posts are. For me, the Happy List, is a recap of the all the good things that have been happening lately; they're always there even when it's sometimes easier to focus on the not so good things. I want my Grateful Saturday posts to be more about reflection and self-improvement.

This week, I'm grateful for my good health. I don't talk about work very much because this blog isn't the forum for that, but I work in insurance sales...and I'm most comfortable in the health insurance market. So I get to talk with a lot of people who have dealt with all kinds of health challenges.

It's made me realize that my husband and I have it pretty darn good. Most of us assume that younger people have fewer health problems than those who are older; statistically, that's how it works. However, in real life, I'm realizing that I should be grateful for our good health. Not all our friends are so lucky.

We could be dealing with all sorts of challenges, and we're watching our friends and peers face these things. It's not because we're young; so are they. I guess we've been lucky that God's been looking out for us. Whatever, I realize we can't take it for granted, and it may not last forever.

And since I do believe in the saying that God helps those who help themselves, I wanted to re-visit for myself the things that the Mister and I can do to maintain good health.
 Source: We Heart It
Eating healthy - This isn't the first time that I've talked about this on the blog. The Mister and I do try to eat pretty healthfully. We buy produce locally when possibly and try to cook from scratch at home. We've tried to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from our diets and there's rarely soda or fake sugar snacks in our cupboards. That said, I've been pretty slack this summer...we eat out a lot, and I pull a frozen pizza out the freezer more often than I cook lately. I think it's time to revamp the home cooking, and we definitely need more fruits and veggies hanging out at the house (and getting eaten, not just going bad). And I could probably stand to take my vitamins more regularly.

 Source: We Heart It
Staying active - This is really something that I need to improve upon more than the Mister. A year ago this time, I was a lot more active because I wanted to look good for the wedding. Now, I want to be more active for my lifestyle and self-confidence than anything else. And the Mister and I are both working more hours at our jobs flying he's not making it to jujitsu as often as he would like. Maintaining a fitness level is an investment in our future together, so I'm thinking we may need to pick another race or two to train for and maybe set a weekly exercise date.

Source: We Heart It
Greening our home - I describe our home as a little bit granola. The Mister and I try not to do chemicals in our cleaners, foods, dishes, etc. I just don't think that we know the long-term effects of some of these things, and I'm not a fan of being a guinea pig. So, yes, I will spend more money on something that may be all natural. I read a lot of labels when I'm at the store. I think that 50-60 extra is worth avoiding what could happen to my health because of exposure over time to harmful substances. We also have a garden, recycle and compost....dirty hippies that we are =)

So what are you grateful for this week? If you want to play along, click on the button to link up to Maxabella's blog.
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Friday, September 24

I've entered three fun giveaways this week, and I wanted to share them with you so you can enter too!

First, Twig & Thistle is giving away a Silhouette Digital Cutting Machine. Think a printer that cuts out your designs. This is super cool, and perfect if you're going to DIY your holiday cards this year. The giveaway ends on Wednesday, Sept. 29. (Thanks to my SIL for giving me the heads up on this one.)

Design It Chic

Second, Design It Chic is offering three readers a free greeting card from Trolley Cards. The neat thing about Trolley Cards is that they will mail the card directly to the recipient for you. This one closes on Sunday, Sept. 26 so if you're entering, you better hurry.

Finally, Brittany at Unexpected Suprises is offering a piece of jewelry from Barberry and Lace - winner's choice up to $25. There are tons of ways to enter, and your have until Thursday, Sept. 30.

Have a fabulous weekend!
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Favorite Fridays

This week Jen asked about our favorite household item. She says always looking for more decorating tips.

My favorite item isn't really a decorative item, though I guess since it's orange, it can fit in with fall decor.

The Mister got it for me as a Valentine's Day gift a few years ago after we found them on sale $100 at Williams Sonoma, and I love it. It makes baking so easy. And as yesterday, post about color personalities says, the bright orange color is right up my alley. It matches my orange tea kettle =)

If you want to play along, click the Friday Faves button to link up with Jen's blog.

I'm also linking up with NimblerGrove's and Southern Reflections' weekly blog hop. Click the Fabulous Friday Follow button if you want to play too.

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Thursday, September 23

Real Simple emailed me this fun quiz to figure out what my color personality is. The idea being that the colors a person wear or decorates with tells a lot about their personality. My results say that I'm a Fire Personality.
Image Source: Real Simple
Fire personalities, drawn to reds and oranges, are vivacious, charming, passionate, tend to attract people, and do not shy away from attention. Their emotions are strong and their moods shift quickly. But they can also be touchy and quick to anger, says Gillian Rose, a New York City–based interior-color specialist Color Our World.
According to Rose, the study of color and personality is age-old, based on the theories of the ancient Greek physician Galen, who designated four personalities he linked to bodily fluids: choleric (yellow bile), phlegmatic (phlegm), melancholic (black bile), and sanguine (blood). Early physicians and philosophers came to assign colors and characteristics of the natural world to these four temperaments; they aligned cholerics with fire and red. (Note that the category that you fall into according to the quiz might not reflect you 100 percent: Many people are a combination of categories.)

  • "If you surround yourself with warm colors, you are generally more outgoing. Red and orange push forward in your vision: Their wavelengths are actually longer, drawing more attention,” says Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of the Eiseman Color Blog. 

  • “Red is a stimulating color that actually raises heart rate, appetite. Red is power,” says color expert Debbie Zimmer, the director of communications of Coating Materials for Dow.

  • “Someone who wears something bold, chic, and likes color will definitely be more open to warm, bold tones in their home,” says Polly Lewis, a co-owner of Boston-based Lewis Interiors.

  • If you want to take the quiz too, click HERE to take the quiz yourself. Please leave me a comment if you decide to post your results. 

    This is the first week that I'm playing along with Katie's Thoughtless Thursdays. If you want to play too, click on the button to link up.
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    I thought it would be fun to share the two Paula Deen recipes I made for Miss Em's shower this past weekend. I made these two casseroles for the brunch.

     The hasbrown casserole is in the long glass dish; the breakfast casserole is in the back.

    Creamy Hashbrown Casserole

    1/4 cup butter, plus more for dish
    1 onion, chopped
    1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
    1 (10 1/2-ounce) can cream of celery soup
    1 (8-ounce) package shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 (30-ounce) package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 cups crushed potato chips

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a casserole dish.
    In a small skillet, melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft. Pour mixture into a large bowl. Add the sour cream, cream of celery soup, cheese, garlic powder, hash browns, and salt and pepper. Combine until well blended.
    Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Top evenly with crushed potato chips and bake for 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

    Servings: 8 to 10 servings
    Prep Time: 10 min
    Cook Time: 50 min

    Breakfast Casserole

    1 lb. Smithfield Smoked Sausage, diced 
    5 pieces thick-sliced white bread, with crust, buttered and cubed 
    4 eggs 
    2 cups milk 
    1 teaspoon dry mustard 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    1 teaspoon hot sauce 
    3 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

    Spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place the bread cubes in the dish. Evenly distribute the sausage over the bread cubes.
    Combine the eggs and half the milk in a separate bowl and whisk together. Add remaining milk, mustard, salt, and hot sauce and mix well. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
    The next morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and allow it to sit on the counter for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top of the casserole. Place it in the oven and bake uncovered for 1 hour. 

    Serves: 8
    Cook Time: 1 Hour (refrigerate overnight)  
    A tip from Paula: For a slight variation, add 1 cup shredded potatoes and increase your milk by 2 tablespoons and salt by 1/4 teaspoon.

    Recipe Sources: Here and Here
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    Wednesday, September 22

     Image Source: Lulette

    Thanks to Ashley at My Carnival Ride for the heads up about this fun swap.

    Mateya and Chelsea are hosting a scarf swap that I've signed up to participate in. This swap is going to happen fast--sign up by this Sept. 26  and mail the scarves by Oct. 1 so that we can all have them before the weather gets too cool (not that this will happen for a while in South Carolina).

    If you want to participate, click HERE and leave a comment to sign up.
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    ...with this t-shirt design.

    Biking Viking

    Featured today on Shirt Woot. If you like it too, hurry and order it. Once today is over, it's gone.
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    I know it seems crazy to be shopping for the holidays already, but I don't think I'm alone in wanting to be done with my shopping way early this year. Last week, Lola at alis volat propiis pointed out that Thursday was the 100 day mark before Christmas, so even though it's still September, I'm going to start talking about shopping and gift ideas. Why not? I love the holiday season.

    I actually started shopping for Christmas over the summer because I got some really good deals on some stocking stuffers, but I guess the official start to getting ready for the holidays begins for me when I start picking up ornaments. I absolutely love Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. Each year, I get an ornament  for each of my nieces. (I actually have one niece but I count my high school gf's two daughters as nieces too.) Their moms know that these are coming so I'm not spoiling any surprises to share what I picked up last week.

    My friend's older daughter's series, Nature's Beauty, actually ended a few years ago, but the artist has continued to make ornaments each year that match the series. Here is the ornament she'll be receiving this year:

    Her younger sister will receive this ornament, which is the sixth in the Birds of Beauty series:

    My niece used to receive the Christmas Carousel series, but it ended two years ago so last year, I started a new series for her, the Season's Treatings. (The first in the series is also the same ornament I sent to Katie for a blogger ornament exchange.)

    I've also got my eye on these ornaments for our tree this year though I haven't picked them up yet.

    I want to start a series for us now that we're married, and a Kringleville series should last for years to come since they will be able to create an entire village of ornaments.

    A couple things about Hallmark Keepsake ornaments.
    1. They can only be purchased in Hallmark Gold Crown stores. They're viewable online, but you can't buy them there.
    2. Some of them sellout quickly, which is why I bought my gifts so early. There was an unfortunate incident where the Mister had to drive across town for me to pick up the last Carousel giraffe because I waited until about 2 weeks before Christmas to get my ornaments.
    Okay, let's hear about your holiday decorating traditions!
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    Tuesday, September 21

    Part of the errands that Em and I ran this weekend took us to South Park mall. She was kind enough to give me a 20% off for a friend coupon to Ann Taylor Loft, which is one of my current favorite stores. And wouldn't you know they are running a sale on their sweaters.

    I may or may not have brought these two sweaters home to live in my closet.

    I have to say, I can't think of a time when I've been excited about fall fashion as I am this year. I must be because it's been so nasty hot this summer.
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    Monday, September 20

    The Mister took this photo while we were at the Flying Saucer last night, and I thought I'd share. Hope everyone is having a fabulous week so far.
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    1. Em's bridal shower went well. I was trying a couple of Paula Deen recipes that were new to me, but they were awesome. Both the mom's were joking about wanting kids. Here's a pregnancy kit that was included with Em's gift from her mom.

    2. After the shower, we ran some wedding-related errands that involved a dress fitting, dropping rings off to engraved and shopping for a clutch for her to use the day of. It was nice to spend a day with just Em. We haven't hung out one on one in years. We discovered while we were that the jewelry store that her new initials will be I'm jokingly called her Emergency Room.

    3. The Gamecocks won again this weekend, which means that we're currently ranked 12th. Having been a Gamecock fan for years now, I'm thrilled, but not getting too confident. The boys have a way of letting this stuff go to their heads, and Auburn next week is not going to be easy.

    4. Friday was my parent's fifth wedding anniversary; so Em and I stopped by to visit them while we were out running errands. I can't believe that five years have passed so quickly.

    5. This weekend is my buddy Rob's birthday, so I'm planning on heading up to Clemson to spend some time with him. I always love to visit with him because he makes me laugh so hard.

    6. We're inside of the 100-day mark until Christmas, which means that the Mister and I are also inside of 100 days until we go on our honeymoon. That really makes me smile.

    If you'd like to play along with Mamarazzi's Happy List, click the button at the top of the post to link up.
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    Saturday, September 18

    As I've mentioned, I'm throwing a shower today for Miss Emily and her fiance. By now, she should have opened her gifts so I can share what the Mister and I are giving them.

    Since Em, her sister and I are such big fans of coffee, they'll be receiving these cheerful mugs and a bag of World Market's gourmet coffee. I also had some personalized notecards printed that match the shower invitations for them to use for thank you notes.

    Now hopefully, I've remembered to take plenty of pictures so I can share how the shower turned out.

    P.S. I'm thinking that this pretty espresso set may have to come live on my kitchen counter. The colors are so bright and happy.

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