Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Giveaway Week of Jubilee- Day 2

If you missed my Week of Jubilee post, just click here to see the rules for the week. Remember that you get extra chances for Grand Prize Friday if you do a post about my giveaway by the end of the day TODAY and/or add me to a blogroll or followers list by the end of the week. Just be sure to let me know. All winners will be notified no later than Sunday, October 5.

Today's prize is a subscription to Southern Living or Real Simple, your choice. I really enjoy both of these magazines a whole lot and keep copies practically forever because I like to look back through them again and again. GOOD LUCK...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Giveaway Week of Jubilee- Day 1

If you missed my Week of Jubilee post, just click here to see the rules for the week. Remember that you get extra chances for Grand Prize Friday if you do a post about my giveaway by the end of the day on Tuesday and/or add me to a blogroll or followers list by the end of the week. Just be sure to let me know. All winners will be notified no later than Sunday, October 5.
Today's prize is the wonderful cookbook, SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA. Leave a comment to this post if you want to win.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Check out Collage...It's Almost Giveaway Week

There's a new cooperative venture out there...a blog titled Collage-a collection of diverse opinions. Our good blog friend Jill, from Caffeine Court started it and I'm pleased to be a contributor. Our first assignment last week was the Presidential Election. Since I'm busy putting the finishing touches on my Giveaway posts for this week, I thought I'd share with you what I wrote for Collage. I encourage you to hop on over there and see what else is waiting...Jill is really challenging us to think!

The title of my post was Respect in Politics...and here it is for your reading pleasure.
I'm 46 years old (yikes, 47 next week), a wife, school district administrator, mother of two almost grown up children and lover of politics. My son, who is in his first year of law school, was a Political Science major and as you can imagine, we've had many a lively conversation over the years. In the small town I grew up in, most everybody was a believer in the "solid south." That has changed. Amazingly, in this same small town since the 1970's a number of the county offices like Clerk of Court and Probate Judge have been held by women...good solid women who were the mothers of my friends and who played a big role in the person I've become. The day I registered to vote, the Probate Judge hugged me and whispered, "If you can't vote democrat, stay home on election day." Sometimes I've followed her rule and sometimes I haven't, but I always vote, and have never voted a straight ticket ever. It's about the individual candidate and the individual issues as far as I'm concerned. I have my opinions as do you, but it has bothered me lately when I've read what I consider to be MEAN things on blogs in regard to the opinions of people who were contrary to that of the blogger...whether he or she be Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Can we not agree to disagree, and take advantage of the freedom we have to engage in meaningful discourse with respect for an opposing opinion?

In The Land of Belle (my little perfect world) people would always check things out before they passed along bad, negative, or just plain not true and out of context information about the candidate they do not like. Let's be POSITIVE and RESPECTFUL. The bottom line is this...either Obama or McCain will be the next leader of the free world and whichever one is elected, a lot of people will be disappointed. Here's the thing...I'll campaign hard for my candidate but come the morning after election day whomever has been chosen will be my President-elect and the campaign sign will be removed from the yard, the bumper sticker on my car will be in the trash can and I will be SOLIDLY behind the winner...MY President-elect, whether Obama or McCain. I encourage you to do the same.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Heading out for Clemson

It's Family Weekend at Clemson and I'm taking the day of from work. REJOICE!

Lorelai is playing in her first club softball game this afternoon and tomorrow promises much excitement as Clemson has a showdown with Maryland. Todd, the Trainer is a big Maryland fan and we have a little agreement that he's going to have to wear a Clemson shirt on Monday in honor our OUR victory. Of course, in his mind, the agreement is that I'm going to have to wear a Maryland shirt on Monday. Think good thoughts for me, PLEASE! Yes, even you Gamecock fans out there. I'm all for YOU as long as you're not playing MY boys. I've got an awful bad crush on CJ Spiller. I can't understand why he hasn't returned my calls or thanked me for the flowers and candy I keep sending. (YES...I'm joking!)

Keep my giveaway alive out there. If you missed it, check back with yesterday's post. It's going to be much fun...even more fun if you win! A bunch of people already have extra points for Grand Prize Friday for becoming followers...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We Interrupt Three Quotation Thursday for Five Days of GIVEAWAY - A Week of Jubilee in Honor of ME!!

It’s giveaway time (the first EVER) from Life of a Southern Belle because my birthday is coming up and YOU, my friends will be receiving the gifts!! How fun is that?

Monday through Friday of next week (September 29 – October 3) I’ll be offering a prize each day. To win, just leave one comment on any and all days that you’re interested in winning. If lady luck is on your side you might even win more than one day…there’s no law against that in the Land of Belle. Tell me Happy Birthday on Wednesday and we’ll throw your name in twice that day.

We’ll add two little twists to Grand Prize Friday. As usual, you can leave a comment to enter but if you are willing to feature my giveaway in a post by Tuesday night (just let me know) you’ll get an additional five entries. I’m shameless, so if you’ll also add me to your blog roll or become a FOLLOWER (or if I'm already there...just remind me), we’ll add on another ten. That means that for Grand Prize Friday you can have a total of 16 chances to WIN WIN WIN. Names will be drawn each day from a big old hat and I’ll post the winners on Sunday, October 5.

Here are the prizes:

Monday: Screen Doors and Sweet Tea--Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook
Tuesday: Subscription to Southern Living or Real Simple, your choice
Wednesday: DVD of my favorite movie of all time…The Big Chill
Thursday: $25 Starbucks gift card OR $25 Target gift card, your choice

Grand Prize Friday:
$25 Target Gift Card, The Big Chill DVD, and subscription to Southern Living or Real Simple, your choice

Fun! Yes??

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm IT---Tagged for the First Time

Mojito Maven over at Make Mine a Mojito has tagged me! So...I'm going to give you seven random/weird things about myself and then tag me some other folks.

1. I never spent a night in a house alone until I was a married 24 year old and my husband went out of town. Growing up, my parents would make me stay at my aunt's house if they weren't home...even after I went to college and came home in the summer. Weird, huh?

2. My brother Ned and I are seven years and one day apart in age. My mother put on a spaghetti supper birthday party for me on October 2, 1968, with a pretty good idea that she was in labor, cleaned the kitchen, put me to bed, told my daddy to call my aunt to come over, then went to the hospital.

3. Last year, I was on a team to interview applicants for a position in our organization. A woman I'd never met came in, and as I looked over her resume her address stood out but I couldn't figure out why. After about ten minutes it dawned on me. Her address in a nearby town was MY address 25 years ago for about 2 years. I asked the question and sure enough, she currently resides in the first house that we ever bought. How WEIRD is that?

4. I cannot eat an olive. If olives were the last food on the face of the earth I would be a goner.

5. I also cannot eat lamb. Maybe I could swallow it if it was a case of life or death but it would be a push.

6. One day I'm going to skydive...seriously, I am...

7. Don't judge me...I am not an animal lover.

SO...there you have it...or seven "its" as the case may be.

I tag...hmmm...how about some of my newer reads...

Buzzings of a Queen Bee

Shell in Your Pocket

Mrs. Preppy

Southern Daze

Madras and Martinis

Out on a Limb

Preppy Southern Princess

I Want to Dance With the Stars

I really do and there's no question who I would pick as my partner...Maksim...I don't usually get gaga over TV or movie types but oh My Stars (get it? Stars...LOL). Who would you choose?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some of My Favorite Things...What Are Yours?

The Pink Owl and several others have inspired me to do a post about some of my favorite things right now. Some things are seasonal and some are not. For example, now that the weather is turning cooler, I'm again becoming addicted to (1) Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Lavender Body Creme. It's heavenly and helps me to sleep a little better also.I make coffee every morning in a french press and after trying many different coffees, the (2) Gevalia Costa Rica Peaberry seems just right to me all year 'round. I'm still a disciple of (3) Starbucks Pike Place Roast when I'm out and about, but the Gevalia variety is nice and smooth and just starts my day off right. Hank is an uncomplicated coffee drinker...whatever we have, he'll drink.

(4) Sharper Image Sound Machine. I can't find a photo to post because they've discontinued my particular model and apparently Sharper Image is undergoing a restructuring BUT...our sound machine set to "jet plane" is just the thing to filter out annoying sounds (like snoring). We thought it was broken last year and I had everybody I know searching for a replacement...turns out it was the electrical cord which was an easy fix. It wouldn't have worked for us when our kids were young and waking up during the night, but it is definitely a favorite thing now.

I adore (5) Bare Minerals make-up. I start with the primer, add the powder foundation and finish with the mineral veil powder. I high encourage you to try it...the finish is practically flawless.I don't love cleaning house but I do love (6) Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products. All the scents are nice but the Geranium is my favorite.

(7) The Good Home Company also has some lovely cleaning products. I particularly like the laundry detergent and fragrances. They're great in combination but laundry fragrance alone makes bed sheets smell divine. You can buy it in bulk to refill the cute bottles.

I am not much of a wine drinker but Hank is, and last year Real Simple placed (8) Liberty School Cabernet on a list of things that never disappoint. He concurs...it's moderately priced and he hasn't been disappointed yet.

I do really enjoy a nice glass of port and friends of ours introduced us to the (9) Mayo Family Winery last Christmas. Legare and I made quick work of the bottle presented to us as a gift and quickly ordered more. At $35 per half bottle, it's a bit pricey but we only break it out on special occasions.

One last thing...the book that touches my heart every time I read it. I mentioned it several weeks ago when I read it yet again. It's my regular read
before each new school year begins. The Water Is Wide by Pat Conroy. Maybe it's the educator in me...maybe it's the southerner in me and the fact that I'm familiar with the setting. The movie version is Conrack (the children couldn't say "Conroy" and took to calling him Conrack instead).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Be a Follower of Belle...You can even call me by my first name if you want

I really like the new follower thingy on my dashboard. That actually sounds kind of creepy...like "the others" on Lost or some weird cult thing. Whatever...Won't you be my follower??

Oh...and this might make me sound like the biggest snobby woman in the world (and really I'm not) but in three different stores today, the salespeople walked up to me with hands outstretched and said, "Hi, I'm Sue/John/Ginger and you are...?"

I really do appreciate the people who help me when I shop, and in my favorite stores we are always on a first name basis. My favorite person, Weezie, in my favorite store, Gwynns of Mt. Pleasant, is on a pedestal as far as I'm concerned. I wear an outfit she picked out for me and I'm gonna get compliments. For general looking around though, I kind of like to live in my own little bubble when I shop...I'm not rude...I smile and speak to people...say excuse me and please and thank you, but I'm not generally out to learn the name of every person I encounter for five minutes. Maybe I should make a game out of it and give them fake names...

In yet another store, as I checked out and the 20 year old salesgirl handed back my ID she'd asked for with my credit card (I don't mind that what with all the dishonest people out there who try to use other people's cards), she said, "Thanks so much, Belle...I hope you have a great day." Yes, I appreciate the sentiment for the great day, but she does not know me and I'm old enough to be her mother...we are NOT on a first name basis. I've lived across the street from the same lady for 23 years and still call her Mrs. Jackson for goodness sake. Maybe it's a southern thing that I'm like this...or maybe I'm a very snobby woman and didn't know it, in which case this is bad...this is very bad.

Okey dokey then, perhaps I've gone a little bit around the bend here but does the "overly familiar" thing bug anybody else?

PS...don't forget to follow!! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm not THAT old!!!!!!!!!!

I've had a "crick" in my neck so I visited the chiropractor earlier this week. While there, I made an appointment to see the massage therapist for this afternoon. I put the appointment into my Blackberry calendar while standing there and headed back to work (incidentally, probably the reason that I have a pain in my neck).

I returned today for the lovely massage and once again, took out my Blackberry to see when I could schedule again for next week. The therapist, a couple of years older than me said, "You really impressed Susie (the receptionist) the other day. She said she'd never seen somebody so old using a Blackberry."

What ROCK has Susie been living under? I know lots of old people who use Blackberries...I'm just NOT one of them.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Three Quotation Thursday...What Do You Think?

We would worry less about what other people think of us if we realized how seldom they do. Ethel Barrett

Other people are worried about what we think while we're worried about what they think. Apparently, we're just one great big self-absorbed bunch of people. But REALLY, you do like me, don't you?? DON'T YOU!!!??!

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it well worth the effort. Herm Albright

I'm going to give this one a whirl for a week and see what happens. When somebody throws out a negative/pessimistic thought, I'm going to counter with a happy positive optimistic thought. Want to try it with me and report back in a week?? Comment and commit!

"Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances." Thomas Jefferson

I've actually been trying to practice this for a while...sometimes I do better than others BUT, when I can stay unruffled, it can really throw the high strung person off their game.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Duh...Is that a legal term??

The day after I posted about the ungentlemanly conduct of the manager of the Atlanta Bread Company I received this comment...

"ABC couldn't serve you at 7:45 because it would be a breach of their franchise agreement to serve you anything before the opening time explicitly noted in the aforementioned agreement. Duh"

So I'm thinking "DUH"????? What the heck and who is this person commenting on my post with made up legal mumbo jumbo and a DUH!? I was about to get all BELLE on somebody...

It was Legare...

Monday, September 15, 2008


I'm pretty sure that I got the best end of the deal in the WICKED Swap hosted by The Pink Clutch. My partner Maureen from Mom Times Two outdid herself. Just opening the box was a treat...she even tied up the packages with orange ribbon for our Clemson family!

My gifts included a Wicked wood sign (and she didn't even know that Wicked is my favorite Broadway show of all time), Icky candy worms, Cute cat candies, Kitchen towels in fall colors, for Entertaining...a festive pumpkin plate, and Maureen's favorite Drink of the day...coffee (MINE TOO!!)

Thank you SO much, Maureen, for the wonderful box of goodies!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week in Review

1. The Atlanta Bread Company across from the Lexington Medical Center right off of I-26 in the Columbia, SC area is the first recipient of the "You're Should Be Ashamed of Yourself" prize. We were sleepy and caffeine-deprived as we traveled up to Clemson yesterday morning and pulled into ABC at 7:45 thinking we'd get a little sustenance. There were cars...and people holding coffee cups and boxes of food were chatting in the parking lot. We got out of the car and walked right in the door ONLY to hear one of the voices in the parking lot yelling, "Folks...FOLKS...we do not open until 8:00 a.m...You can't go in there." Now let's review...people in parking lot with coffee and food, lights on, door OPEN! Would not selling us two little cups of coffee and a chocolate croissant been the gentlemanly thing for him to do? I say we boycott that particular location of ABC. BOYCOTT, I say! Thank goodness Starbucks a few miles further up the road did not let us down. Pike Place roast and a cranberry orange scone...very nice!

2. Lorelai made the Clemson club softball team. Yep, once again, we're pretty darn proud.

3. In one of Legare's law school classes last week, he had the distinction of being the ONLY person the professor called on for the entire session. Yes indeedy, the spotlight was on the boy! He survived and reports that he doesn't think he sounded "too stupid"; however, the fact he called to tell me about it as he was purchasing a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black might indicate that it was just a tad bit stressful.

4. If you've been following, you know that I took a minimalist approach to tailgating for the first Clemson home game. Here's how things looked this week...MUCH improved, if I do say so myself. We were so hot and hungry after the game that I neglected to get any photos of the food...chicken salad, deviled eggs, homemade pimento cheese, cucumber sandwiches, orange sprinkled sugar cookies, orange and grape soft drinks, Newcastle Brown Ale, and ice cold water. You know, the man next spot over ROLLED his eyes when he heard me say "cucumber sandwiches." Clearly, he's never had a cucumber sandwich...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Want to Hold Your Hand

I was having a word of prayer (that’s belle-speak for a serious conversation) in a school hallway the other day with a teddy bear of a kid named Darnell. It seems that Darnell, an 8th grader, was having problems staying on task in a couple of his classes. He was daydreaming and annoying the students around him with his fidgeting. This behavior had to stop and since I had about an hour before my next meeting, my very serious question to Darnell was this…Do I need to go with you to your computer applications class and hold your hand so that you’ll pay attention, not bother other people and get your work done?

His reply…just as serious and heartfelt as he could be…Well, you can come sit by me if you really want to but you won’t be able to hold my hand. I’ve got to be able to type!

You can’t make this stuff up…

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Todd the Trainer...Again

I suggested to Todd the Trainer this afternoon that if he was just going to stand there and look at me while I was being tortured by the confounded elliptical machine that he might fan me with his clipboard as it was hotter than the hinges of hades in that gym. I even offered to bring him a giant fan next time so that he didn't have to use the clipboard...seemed reasonable to me.

He declined!


Running Just As Fast As I Can organized an AUTUMN Swap (the first I've ever participated in ) and I just got my package from my swap partner, Preppy Chemist, over at Adventures in Grad School. As you'll see in the picture, I received Awesome candies (gummy yummy), Umber candle (pumpkin spice scent), Tailgating supplies (football dishes), Unique cookie cutters (fall leaves), Mitt (oven), and Napkins (orange, of course). Those dishes will be on my tailgate table THIS Saturday but the candy won't last that long. I just lit the candle and my family room is smelling OH so fallish. This weekend's Clemson cookies will be in the shape of leaves (with orange sugar) and the mitt will keep me from burning myself taking those cookies in and out of the oven. I'm saving the napkins for our October weekend at the Beaufort house with my college friends and their husbands. Life is GOOD! Thanks Partner!!

This is FUN!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Passing Along Awards

It's been a busy week but I'm getting there. Awhile ago Jillian, Inc. gave me this fab award that I need to pass along. I'll pass along the other awards from Zen Ventures soon. Here goes...

Recipients will need to tell us about six things that make them happy and then pass the award along to six other folks. This is what I said...

1. My job...while it can be hectic, I get extraordinary satisfaction from helping others. (
2. My Joe Muggs coffee mug.
3. Alone time with my husband.
4. Staying home on a rainy day.
5. Chai Tea Latte on a cold day.
6. A good book...

I'm passing the award along to six fab (yes, that's my word today...fab, fab, fab, fab) bloggers...You GO girls!!! I check in with you every chance I get.


Pink Clutch

Happy Daily

A Little Piece of Heaven

MCC (Private Blog)

Classy Chaos

Monday, September 8, 2008

McMommy Wins the Life of a Southern Belle Award

Dang...McMommy is GOOD in case you didn't already know. Her $30 Investment post put her over the top to receive the Life of a Southern Belle Award. She managed to get her pediatrician's cell phone number in style...STYLE, I say! Hop on over there and read all about it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Game Day...A New Obsession

Oh my goodness...we just had the most WONDERFUL time yesterday at Clemson's first home game. Hank and I are very committed to the institutions of higher learning that we attended but neither of them had a football team so our children did not grow up spending Saturdays in a stadium. Lorelai text messaged me in the middle of the game with this...I can't believe that you've deprived me of this experience for my whole entire life!!!!! So...it looks like we've become a member of the Clemson football family. I do; however, have a bit of "tailgate envy." Yesterday we went with a minimalist approach as I wanted to survey the situation, but give me few weeks and I'll have it ALL figured out by the Georgia Tech at Clemson game. You'll see a picture in my slide show of a really nice setup complete with portable satellite dish and television. We won't be going quite THAT nice...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Three Quotation Thursday...What Do You Think?

"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. " John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006)

Perhaps I'm a little cynical as we wrap up the second week of political conventions. Last week was a blast (please don't call me an "eastern liberal elite"). I love conventions...it's like Super Bowl Sunday every night. I've been pretty hard on Sarah Palin this week but she just gave a pretty good performance...most definitely more appealing than Senator McCain. Too bad she can't be at the top of the ticket. I just worry about that sweet little baby boy of hers.
Here's one more from Legare....

"The Palin family should have their own TV reality show."

Well, son....it looks like they've got it! Anybody who signs on to go for the goal at this level has to expect to live under a microscope...it's just a shame that their children have to endure it as well.
Moving away from the political commentary...not being a fan of "The Wizard of Oz" this quote really hit home with me...LOL

Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets and then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again.
Rick Polito, Marin Independent Journal's TV listing for "The Wizard of Oz"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Whine and Cheese...Can a Man Measure Up?

How's that for a provocative post title? Hank and I went to a lovely "whine and cheese" gathering tonight. Everybody there sent a child off to college this year...some, like us, sent the baby of the family. We had a marvelous time and got to compare notes with several folks that we don't see very often. All in all each parent is holding up pretty well and our kids are happily settling in to new routines, as are we.

Blogging came up in the conversation and heavenly days, y'all know how I love attention!

The question of the night was, "Can a man get the Life of a Southern Belle Award?" I never really thought about it but I can't think of a reason why not. After all, it is MY award that I give when I feel so inspired. The award is named for ME, the southern belle, and doesn't necessarily imply that it is only to be given to women. I am inclined to declare that a man can indeed receive the award IF he can measure up. This is what I've said before about the award...Southern Belleness transcends geography....it is a philosophy...a state of mind...style and substance...wit and charm...joy and sunshine...grit and determination...love...respect, and so much more. The standards for receiving the award are high indeed. I kind of just have an epiphany when the time is right based on reading the magic words or seeing the magic photos.

OK MEN...bring it on!! I rarely run across a blog written by a man...I need recommendations! Blogging gals...whatcha got? Maybe I'll take nominations...we're going to have to think this through. Tell me what you think!