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>My lunch out with mom

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Mom’s proscuttio ham & provolone panini is pictured at top. My salmon with fried green tomato, crawfish cream sauce & sweet potato “hay” is pictured at bottom. Yummo!

It was really funny directing my mom in to my workplace today. She had her Garmin but has no sense of direction and still got lost trying to get into the station.

Then after lunch she wanted to come inside to “use the restroom,” but I knew that was really an excuse to talk to some on-air anchors & reporters. And she got her wish — we ran right into one of our female reporters, then into our head evening anchor. As I’m taking her down the hall to escort her out, my mom leans over and whispers loudly, “That was totally a toup!”

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>Back into the groove

>I’m finally starting to fall back into the groove after a crazy, crazy week. Covering Southeastern Conference football Media Days last Wednesday-Friday totally took it out of me. I ended up working the equivalent of 4 days in 3 days’ time, so I’m taking a little bit of comp time this week.

Then this weekend, one of my BFFs/bridesmaids came into town with her new man on Saturday and we all went out for Thai food and martinis. They stayed at our house Saturday night.

Now I’m busy writing several sorority recommendations for ladies going through Rush (we call it Recruitment now!) at the universities of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Plus I have some paperbackswap.com books to send out, and I think hubby and I are FINALLY going to see The Hangover tonight.

Also our poor Mango has been having some skin allergies, so we’ve got to get her to the vet this week for an allergy shot. This happened last summer too.

We’re also trying to plan out a Labor Day weekend trip to Austin, so hopefully that will all fall into place this week. I have been DYING to go to Austin for a long time. Hubby’s best friend is moving back into his house there, plus another groomsman lives there as well, so it will be nice to have some locals to show us around.

My next post will be part 4 of our wedding day recaps!

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Magazine addict, reformed.

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I am a magazine addict, you see. Reformed. In the near past, I subscribed to a dozen or more magazines. Sadly, some of my favorite magazines have folded — RIP Jane, Domino and Blueprint. Others I simply did not renew, such as Lucky (nearly all items featured are out of my price range) and Vanity Fair (all ads and would just rather read the articles online). I believe I’ve even let my Allure subscription lapse, and that was (still is) truly one my my favorite mags.

WHY these magazines folded and why I’ve let other subscriptions lapse is a whole ‘nother post. I studied magazine journalism in school, and I can definitely say that the rise of the blogosphere is just one reason why interest in magazines is waning. Personally, I’d much rather hear about YOUR beauty routine and must-have products, YOUR fashion finds, and YOUR latest home improvement project.

So by attrition and lack of interest, I suppose, my magazine subscriptions have dwindled and now I receive only Glamour, Shape, Marie Claire and Better Homes & Gardens. Each of these I receive because they are offered through mycokerewards.com or other rewards programs that I’m signed up with. In Glamour’s case, they were offering $1 one-year subscriptions a while back.

BUT of course there are still some existing magazines that I appreciate. Real Simple has always been one of my favorites — its layout and photography are to-die-for and I think the mag itself looks pretty on a coffee table. At the same time, it’s useful & informative. Very few magazines are both beautiful and useful. My mom receives RS, but I could never pull the trigger on coughing up $20+ per year for the mag. But some of you lovely bloggie ladies alerted me to the $5 one-year subscription sale, and I received an e-mail tonight telling me that my first issue will arrive in 6 to 10 weeks. Hooray!

I think if I could subscribe to any more magazines, it would definitely be Cooking Light and Coastal Living. I could use some photo inspiration of coastal-style exposed ceiling beams for our latest project in the laundry room, and some low-cal recipes for hubby to make in the kitchen. But magazine subscriptions cost money, don’t they? Sigh.

What are your favorite magazines?

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>The next stage

>I suppose I’m going through a bit of a post-marriage crisis. For a year and a half, I was defined as “engaged.” Now I am a newlywed and all the hoopla of putting together a wedding is over.

I am not depressed by any means; in fact, I’m very happy with my hubby and the home we have built together. But I’m ready to move on. I’m ready for us to move on, together, into the next stage of our lives.

I don’t yet have the urge for a baby, and if I do, I can guarantee that it won’t be until after age 30. I’m 26 and a half now… and personally, I want to enjoy my 20s with my husband. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the urge for children. Right now they just kind of freak me out.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m ready for the Big Change/Move (as Brittany Ann puts it) to happen for us in the next year or two.

Financially, we are not doing so hot, just like everyone else. My salary has been cut this year. (Um, hello, I am but a po’ journalist.) And I added hubby to my health insurance at work, which has taken another bite out of my paycheck. There’s a chance of more paycuts for the 4th quarter of the year. And I don’t make that much in the first place. I have yet to crack $40K.

Hubby works 2 jobs– one in a restaurant kitchen and another as a publicist/personal assistant. His two passions are poker and food. He has a culinary associate’s degree and a good bit of experience writing/blogging about poker. Our desire is to get more money pumping into both of our paychecks so that we can live more comfortably, pay off our debts, and not feel as though we are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Oh, and by the way, we own a house. Not only is there a mortgage to pay every month (which is not too bad, comparable to an apartment rent around here) but there are the costs of repairs and renovations to our home, which is a cute little cottage built in 1949. In short, we can pay the mortgage and the bills, but we don’t really have the fundage to continue making improvements like we had been doing in 2007 (when we bought the house) and 2008.

So I think our plan is to put the house up for sale at some point. Right now is not the time as the housing market is so bad, plus there are a lot of homes for sale in our neighborhood, but perhaps after the first of the year. I think we would really feel more comfortable if we could sell the house, then plot our next move from there. Hopefully we could make enough from the sale to get us on our way.

Our home is definitely a starter home — it’s a 3/1 with a pretty small kitchen and a carport rather than a garage. So we could definitely let it go. Wherever we end up next, I hope to have a 3/2 with an ample kitchen and a 2-car garage. Even a townhouse would be fine.

I don’t know if we’ll stay in Alabama or go elsewhere. We have some ideas — a couple cities we are interested in — but I certainly don’t want to jeopardize my job by blabbing about that sort of thing on the Internet. If we do move, it won’t be for a while. We’re tethered here by the house. And did I mention that I love my job and the people I work with? ☺

I can tell you our criteria for what we want in a place: no super cold winters, tourism, good restaurants & nightlife, no super high cost-of-living, opportunities for hubby with restaurants and/or poker, and opportunities for me with online media, e-commerce, PR or marketing. Oh, and there must be a Jamba Juice. haha. Any suggestions?

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New layout

I am a Web editor by trade, you know. So, I am happy to report that I figured out how to make my blog into a 3-column layout all by myself. Hooray!

I also got a new background and banner from cutestblogontheblock.com. What do you think? Until I can shell out $50 or more for a blog makeover, I think this will do just fine!

My banner now reads “Southern Web Girl” instead of “Something Blue.” Because this has turned into much more than just a wedding blog.

Speaking of the wedding, I plan to post more recaps and photos soon. You can see parts 1-3 of the wedding day here.

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I have my sisters with me

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So, I was in a sorority in college. Gamma Phi Beta at the University of Alabama, to be exact. I was Panhellenic Affairs VP as a junior and Administrative VP (or just plain VP) as a senior.

Stroll on over to my chapter’s Web site if you want. As head chapter advisor in 2008, I helped them switch over to this new Web site powered by Chapter Communications (which I highly recommend, by the way). It’s one of the several things I’m proud to have accomplished last year.

By the way, aren’t the girls just adorable? They’re doing so well. Their colors are pink and brown, their flower is the pink carnation, and their symbol is the crescent moon. I think all of those are precious. My sister was also a Gamma Phi, at UGA.

And while Gamma Phi isn’t as “well-known” as other sororities in the South, it’s one of the oldest nationally and a founder of the National Panhellenic Conference. Famous Gamma Phis include actresses Kristin Chenoweth & Cloris Leachman (both hilarious!), as well as host of CEOs and politicians, including one of Alabama’s Supreme Court justices.

So, last year, when I was in the midst of planning a wedding, I was also traveling 90 miles roundtrip an average of twice a week to cater to my lovely girls. If you were in a sorority in college, you know what it means to be the chapter advisor: the disciplinarian, the counselor, the shoulder to lean on, the bridge between the chapter and the alumnae volunteer structure… the hero, the villian.

I oversaw the elections process, dealt with mental breakdowns and parent drama, spent long hours dealing with Recruitment, made sure paperwork was up-to-date, and accompanied the girls to International Convention last June in Cincinnati. (Gosh, was that really 13 months ago?) And that’s just the beginning. And no, I wasn’t paid for my work, nor did I get any special recognition. But I loved it. I loved being in the thick of it.

In December, I made the hard decision to step down as head chapter advisor and pass the baton on to one of my pledge sisters, who just happened to be moving back to Tuscaloosa and who is an expert on Recruitment. I wanted to devote what would be their spring semester to planning my wedding in April — there were a lot of loose ends to tie up and I was afraid I wouldn’t have the time for my girls. There were also some things going on professionally that I needed to tend to as well.

I’m still on the advisory board, but I’m not involved in the day-to-day business of the chapter anymore. It went from full throttle to a few bits & pieces within the span of about 2 weeks. And to be honest, sometimes I really miss it. Other times, not so much. In this digital world, members, parents and alumnae expect answers almost instantaneously. My e-mail inbox filled up very quickly.

Wherever Brian and I end up next, I hope to get involved with active collegiate members. And this year I’m serving as Public Relations VP for my local alumnae chapter. If any of you are considering volunteering with your sorority, absolutely go for it. My days with Gamma Phi are nowhere near over…like they say, it goes beyond college, but only if you make it so. I treasure my membership and my sisters dearly.

Here is what my sisters sang to me at the wedding:

All my life’s a circle
Sunrise and sundown

The moon rolls through the nighttime

Till the daybreak comes around

All my life’s a circle

and I can tell you why

I have my sisters with me, here in Gamma Phi