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>Our first anniversary celebration

>So, Brian and I have been talking for about a month now about our first anniversary and what we want to do to celebrate it. It’s hard to believe that we have already been married for more than 7 months!

The traditional first anniversary gift is paper. So, we decided that our gift to each other will be a return “ticket” to….


Disney World! We had such a wonderful time on our honeymoon so ultimately we decided to return. We had thought about a trip to the Beach Club on Fort Morgan where we got married, or perhaps a trip to Vegas. But Disney is such offering great deals these days, and when you add in the dining plan, it makes it all-inclusive and so much less expensive than a Vegas trip. The room may cost less in Vegas, but the airfare, rental car, show tickets and gambling money really add up.

So, we’ll arrive April 24 and leave May 1. Our anniversary — Sunday, April 25 — will be spent in the Magic Kingdom. In total, we will visit the Magic Kingdom twice, Epcot twice, and Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom once each.

For our honeymoon, we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, a deluxe resort. For our anniversary, we’re staying at the Pop Century Resort, a value resort. It’s a step down, but we spent so little time in our room during the honeymoon. It was basically a place to shower and sleep.

We’re also downgrading our dining plan from deluxe to plus. Deluxe give you 3 sit-down meals and 2 snacks per day, while the Plus plan gives you 1 sit-down meal, 1 quick service meal and 1 snack per day.

We really enjoyed all the sit-down meals on our honeymoon, but we didn’t really see the need for all those meals this time around. We’re going back to 3 of our favorite sit-down restaurants from the honeymoon and visiting 4 new restaurants. I’ll blog some more about our favorites from the honeymoon soon.

If you have never been to Disney World or haven’t been since you were a kid, I highly recommend a trip. So many things have changed over the years, such as the addition of the FastPass system, and the food, especially at Epcot World Showcase and the resorts, is to die for!

Just don’t go June-September (too hot and kids out of school!), during spring break, during Thanksgiving week, or the week of Christmas and New Years. I would recommend January-February (nice weather and no crowds!), late April-early May (between spring break and summer break. Also the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival) and I would love to go in the fall during the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.

While blogging about our future plans, I realize that I haven’t even blogged about our honeymoon yet, nor have I finished posting about our wedding! I’m such a horrible blogger, lol. I think I am going to do photo posts from here on out to finish it up before I forget everything. I also plan to scrapbook our honeymoon. Guess I can go ahead and buy extra supplies for our first anniversary scrapbook too!

Lastly, I just wanted to acknowledge that I’ve reached more than 50 followers through Google Friend Connect widget thingie. Thank you for reading my little blog. Lord knows I do not have the time to update daily, so I do appreciate my readers!

Is there anything in particular y’all would like to hear about my beach wedding and Disney honeymoon? Or, just introduce yourself! I’m following all of your blogs but I would love to get to know all of you a little better!

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>Our Thanksgiving plans

>Brian and I are forgoing the trek to his aunt’s house and his dad’s house this year for Thanksgiving, though we’ll make the rounds at Christmas. Instead, we will be hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year! How appropriate for our first year of marriage. Brian has been dreaming of cooking his own Thanksgiving for years.

We will host Brian’s mom and her best friend, as well as my parents. We can technically only seat 4 at our dining room table, so my parents are bringing their card table and 2 extra chairs. Oh, I dream for a time when our dining room table can hold 6+!

Brian’s Thanksgiving menu:

Smoked turkey
Honey ham
Dressing
Mashed potatoes
Gravy
Green beans
Corn casserole
Sweet potato fluff
Cranberry sauce
Sister Schubert’s yeast rolls

Brian’s mom is bringing a Death by Chocolate concoction that involves Heath bars and a trifle bowl.

My mom is bringing her famous mac & cheese.

And I am making this!


Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake. The recipe looks easy enough. I wanted something appropriate for the season but with a twist. And since Brian’s mom is bringing the chocolate dessert, I’m making the pumpkin dessert.

Brian and I are making one last dash to Publix after work tonight, then spending tonight and tomorrow in a cleaning, baking and cooking frenzy!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, and please travel safely!

P.S. New Moon was amazing! I’m about to start re-reading the Twilight Saga for the second time.

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Tag! I’m it!

Ha! So I think I need to create a group of blogs in my Google Reader titled “Bloggers who read my blog and are totally awesome” and start giving you ladies more love.

I posted on Twitter earlier tonight that I was following 300 blogs through Google/Blogger Friend Connect, plus I have even more blogs (those with a large reach/national audience) in my Google Reader. As a result, it’s hard to keep up with all of them and I’ve fallen behind on reading some of the blogs that really matter — the blogs of you who have connected with me here and on Twitter.

I’ve culled those 300 blogs I was following down to about 250 and I plan to go through them even more and get down to somewhere in the 150-200 range, possibly lower. But for my 47 followers who have blogs, I promise that I will be following and reading your blogs for sure!

So in going through my blogs tonight and catching up, I realized that I had received a blog award almost a MONTH ago and I just now have seen it.

Thank you SO MUCH Brittany of A Southern Belle and Her Beau for the “Tag, you’re it!” award!

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The rules:
1. Answer with 5 answers.
2. Tag 5 friends.

1). What were you doing 10 years ago?

1. I was 16 and had been licensed to drive for about 6 months. I drove a champagne 1997 Honda Accord SE, which I still see on the road a lot!
2. I was madly in love with my high school boyfriend, Erik. We had been dating for about a year and a half at this point. We stayed together until I left for college, then the distance got tough and I met my husband, ha!
3. I was playing piccolo in the high school marching band. The season would have just wound up and we would be transitioning into concert band season and practicing for our big holiday concert.
4. I had just joined the high school newspaper staff for my junior year. The next year I was co editor-in-chief, setting myself up for my career!
5. I was stressing about my grades and about getting into UGA. Little did I know that I would end up at Bama instead. (c:

2). What 5 things are on your to-do list for today:

1. I saw New Moon.
2. I went to work.
3. Ha, that is all!
4. Tomorrow we are going to the Bama-UT-Chattanooga game.
5. And enjoying the weekend, lol.

3). Snacks you enjoy:

1. Kettle corn.
2. Fiber One bars.
3. Fage Greek yogurt.
4. Any kind of cheese!
5. Diet Dr. Pepper.

4). Places You’ve Lived:

1. Marietta, Ga.
2. West Palm Beach, Fla.
3. Franklin, Tenn.
4. Katy, Texas
5. Irvine, Calif.
(adding more)
6. Tuscaloosa, Ala.
7. Birmingham, Ala.

5). What are 5 Things you would do if you were a billionaire?

1. Pay off all our debts and invest wisely.
2. Buy properties in our favorite places and travel the world.
3. Surround myself with people I love and trust.
4. Hire a fitness trainer and a personal chef for me and my husband.
5. Donate to charity and become big Bama boosters.

And the nominees are…

Whoever is reading this and would like to keep it going! I know that sounds like a cop-out but all of y’all are amazing. So if you are reading this and have not received this award yet, please consider passing it on!

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>Selling old iPods & cell phones

> So, Brian and I switched to iPhones a couple weeks ago. LOVE!

We were left with 2 iPods and 2 cell phones that we no longer need. We found buyers for our iPods, but who wants an old cell phone? So I discovered Gazelle.com, where you get an instant quote on the devices you want to sell.

They're sending out a shipping label and an environmental-friendly box to me right now. I just put our phones in the box, send them in, and after about a week they will send me a check for just under $90 for our phones! You can opt to be paid via check, Paypal, Wal-Mart Visa card, Amazon.com gift certificate (they pay you 5% more this way), or you can donate your money to charity.

So, if you're interested in getting rid of some of your old devices, please click here: Get Cash For Your Gadgets at gazelle.com! I will get a referral this way. For anyone who signs up and sells at least $50 worth of electronics, I will get $10.

Items Gazelle.com will buy from you include not only cell phones and mp3 players, but also camcorders, desktop PCs, laptop PCs, LCD monitors, satellite radios, calculators, GPS devices, cameras and lenses, external hard drives, the list goes on and on. And they don't have to be in working condition, although I'm sure that will lower your quote.

So if you have old electronics just laying around, try this out and put some cash in your pocket!

Random

>Helen GA weekend!

>I am taking the opportunity to test out my new Blogger app on my iPhone.

I am heading straight from work to Helen, Georgia for my high school best friend’s bachelorette weekend! I am so excited to meet the rest of the bridesmaids and take advantage of the hot tub at the house we are renting!

As soon as I can find my camera cord I will post some photos from our weekend! And I am sensing a stop at the North Georgia Premium Outlets on the way home!

Have a great weekend everyone!

-Kristen

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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>Nike Tempo running short backlash!

>I got a really hilarious blog comment on Oct. 29 on my post Funky Friday in which I was inquiring about the Nike Tempo running shorts. And I just have to share.

John had this to say:

Burn the NIKE TEMPO SHORTS this fad should die. die die die. It makes girls look sloppy. So many girls at the University of Alabama only wear Nike Temp shorts everyday. They aren’t running anywhere. They are in class. They wear Nike Temp shorts and oversized greek event shirts. They all look terrible.

John cracks me up. It sounds like he would like female UA students to make more of an effort. Luckily I am no longer a UA student, having graduated 4.5 years ago, and I only wear my Nike shorts (which I LOVE) when I am working out, walking my dog, or doing yardwork.

John, I do agree that always wearing running shorts & t-shirts to class does look sloppy. My uniform toward the end of college was either New Balance running shoes or Rainbow leather flip-flops, bootcut jeans or jean capris, and a Greek t-shirt or Polo oxford button-down. And I always did my hair and makeup, which girls seem to do less and less. And I NEVER wore shorts to class. I would not have ever considered wearing shorts to class for several reasons, one of which is that the lecture halls are usually FREEZING.

I was on UA’s campus last Wednesday and Friday and I noticed a LOT of girls wearing exactly what John mentions above — oversized greek t-shirt, Nike Tempo running shorts, and Uggs. I LOLed at that combination. Thankfully none of them were members of my sorority. It seems that trends like that hit the UA campus really hard, especially among sorority members.

Hmm, so Gracie Beth, any thoughts on John’s comments?

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>On imperfections

>Brittany Ann over at Living in the Moment wrote a wonderful blog post today that I think speaks to a lot of us female bloggers out there.

I’m going to borrow from Brittany and tell you a few things about myself that make me not so perfect:

-I struggle with food on a daily basis. I cave in to my cravings too often.

-Sometimes I question going into news, and studying journalism. The economy has taken its toll and I’m starting to get jaded.

-Sometimes I’ll leave a load of laundry in the washer, or the dryer, and completely forget about it.

-I’ve been gaining and losing the same 10 lbs. for a couple years now. And beyond that 10 lbs. I still need to lose 30 more.

-I hate cleaning the bathroom, mopping, and doing yardwork. Luckily my husband does all three.

-I still have moderate acne breakouts and get very self-conscious about it. I never leave the house without at least a couple items of makeup on my face.

-Sometimes, I have a hard time letting loose, letting go, and just having fun.

-Sometimes, I feel very burdened by the fact that I have so many financial obligations. The house, the car, the bills… Sometimes I wish that I could quit my job, leave everything behind and go on a cross-country road trip with the dog and the husband, not a care in the world.

-I don’t think I’ll ever be a domestic diva. My husband is a fantastic chef. So why should I even bother?

-Sometimes I would like more credit for the things I help create or make happen. I let others take the glory too often.

-You can often count the tumbleweeds of Mango’s fur as they move about my house.

-I don’t have a huge circle of close friends. Most of my few best friends live in other states. But I think I’m finally beginning to accept that I’m just not the type to have a gaggle of gals with me wherever I go.

-I hate talking on the phone, especially to strangers. I prefer e-mail.

-I judge people. I get jealous. I covet clothes, shoes, handbags, home furnishings, and other women’s metabolisms, athleticism, and physical fitness.

-I’m not sure that I’ll ever get the urge to be a mother, and that’s kind of scary. Because having kids is what society expects.

So, there you go. None of us are perfect. I know that the blog world, for women, is about sharing ideas, getting inspiration from others, but it can’t be perfect all the time, can it?