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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving All!

In honor of Thanksgiving, I decided to write down 10 things that I am truly thankful for:

1) My Husband- He is my Hero.

2) My Family/Friends- No Cliche. Seriousness. Without a strong support system, it's difficult to succeed.

3) Having a reliable vehicle for transportation. A girl at my work is currently without wheels and it's easy to underestimate the value of a running vehicle until you are stuck at home.

4) My Home. It's no mansion, but it is nice to have a 'safety zone' or 'bubble' where I can come in and unload.

5) My Cell Phone- It's an extension from my hand... I literally feel handicapped when it is dead.

6) My dogs. Their unconditional love is the best comfort in the world.

7) Romance Novels. Because sometimes, you just need to disappear into another world where fairy tales do exist.

8) Clay Matthews III- Because we all need something to lust after occasionally.

9) Coffee with flavored liquid creamer- Makes my mornings 100x better!

10) My safety. A lot of people in the world do not have the luxury of feeling safe... which is tragically sad. I love that I can lay my head down at night in my comfortable bed and know that I am in no danger between ADT, my dogs, my gun and my badass husband. :)

What are you all thankful for?

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Weekend Recap: Mountains!

I was kidnapped over the weekend.

Yes folks, taken from my home by suprise and the culprits were none other than my dear mother and grandmother. We stayed at the wonderful Parkview Lodge and I loved it and highly recommend it to ANYONE that is headed up that way. I can assure you all that I will always stay there. They are pet friendly, and allow up to 3 pets per room. They have rooms and cabins with a free continental breakfast (try the pumpkin bread! Scrumptious!) and the hosts are wonderful people. They have a large selection of fine wines and beer, and a ridiculously cute little white dog that loves to play with the guests and a sweet Golden Retriever who enjoys sleeping in. It is an all around family atmosphere that gives you the impression of being very welcome and at home.

All in all, it was a rather productive weekend aside from the fact that we got lost on the Blue Ridge Parkway (FYI: once you get on there, unless you can find an exit that you know, you are STUCK). We went to Linville Caverns first and Howard, our tour guide, was just as cute as he could be and was hysterically funny! I found myself giggling more than once at his cave humor.



Then we went and got on the Blue Ridge Parkway where we were stuck until we got to Blowing Rock, NC. Aside from the frustration of being stuck, it was a beautiful drive and some of the trees were even holding snow. Blowing Rock was beautiful and we went to Doc's Rocks where I mined for my fortune. I did not find my fortune, but I did find some nice sized rubies, emeralds, and saphires. The staff was very knowledgeable and their resident dogs (Rowdy and Pheobe) were quite friendly and abundantly cute! There is also an in house coffee shop and I can personally vouch for their white hot chocolate. Yum! Doc's Rocks is definitely somewhere that I will be revisiting and is worth the drive up to Blowing Rock all on it's own.

We also visited a few little fruit stands in Blowing Rock, had some Italian Food, and in just a short drive found ourselves in Boone, NC. We went and visited Appalachian State University, which was a gorgeous campus settled into a gorgeous valley. Apparently we are good luck, because App State whooped up on Georgia Southern while we were watching the game and eating some delicious Sushi at Makoto's Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar. We were also able to see Grandfather Mountain, which is quite a sight if you've never seen it! It really does look like a grumpy old man asleep on the side of the mountain! See the face?




We were also able to visit Mast General Store, which is a great shopping experience for anyone who enjoys candy, outdoors, house wares, apparel, and home made jellies, jams, butters, and preserves. I got some scuppernong Jelly, Huckleberry Jelly and Strawberry Butter and let me assure you... legendary! I also bought a great flannel PJ set for the hubby, a few pairs of regular PJ pants, and a pair of long johns with the fanny flap on them. Yes readers, that happened and I will never forget how hard he laughed when he opened them. I haven't been able to coax him into them yet, but it's only a matter of time. :)







All in all, it was a great weekend and I cannot wait to come back up with my husband. Hopefully we can come up soon and get snowed in a cabin. Romantic weekend anyone?




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Monday, October 24, 2011

Recovering from Pet Loss part 1

I've been doing a lot of research online and looking for ways to deal with pet loss, specifically pet loss that carries a lot of guilt.

Euthanasia is the king of guilt. I'm pretty sure that no one makes that decision and walks away guilt free, even if it was what was best for the pet involved.

One of the things that was suggested for me, was to make a list of all the ways that I made Alaska happy/ spoiled etc.

1) Alaska loved to lay in the sun on the grass and I indulged her every chance I got.

2) Alaska loved to ride in the truck, so I took her everywhere with me.

3) We took Alaska on long and short road trips.

4) Even though Alaska was on a prescription diet, I still fed her things that she loved... like French Fries.

5) We bought Alaska orthopedic beds... a lot of them. The more uncomfortable she got, the more we tried to find beds that would make her more comfortable. In the end, she had a bed in every room.

6) I talked to Alaska quite a bit... and I payed her a lot of attention.

7) I snuggled Alaska a lot and I pet her every chance that I got. I feel certain that she didn't feel ignored.

8) I loved playing with her when she was well enough. Usually it would consist of me gently ruffling her fur and her swatting at me with her front paws.

9) Everyone that passed through my house, loved on and doted on Alaska. I made sure of it.

10) I made sure that Alaska had chew toys... even though she only had like one tooth, she loved raw hides!

In general, I doted on Alaska. I made sure that if she wanted or needed anything, she had it. I spent so much of my time taking care of her, loving her, petting her etc that I'm not even sure what to do with my time now.  It's weird not having her here making her little bleating lamb noises and waddling along after me as I cross from room to room. It's weird not calling for her when I get home. Or not putting her in the truck with me when I run to the post office or go for a weekend at my Grandmother's house. Even not having her sleeping on the rug outside of my shower or laying in the hallway in front of the door... it's just odd not having her here.

Isn't it crazy how much one small, elderly eskie can make such a huge difference in your life?

Sweet Tea and Cookie's, Ya'll!
The Still Grieving,
Mrs. Belle



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Ipod Must Haves!

Okay, to take a break from my sadness over the passing of my little dog and to give my readers a break from my weeping, I am updating my Ipod today.

Over the past few weeks, I have been keeping a list of songs that I like on my phone. So, I thought that I should post some of the songs that I'm crazy over right now.

Note: I'm a country music fan... so be warned! :) Though, I do have quite a few NON country must haves such as:

I love you like a love song- Selena Gomez
Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO
Jet Lagged- Simple Plan


I absolutely LOVE cranking 'Party Rock Anthem' in my Titan... AWESOME!

Now, on to my country loves:
Rise Up- Jeff Bates
Friends with Tractors- Rodney Atkins
Somebody's Chelsea- Reba Mcentire
Hell on Heels- Pistol Annie's
Love you Through it- Martina McBride
Underdog- The Lost Trailers
He's Mine- Rodney Atkins
Why Don't we just Dance- Josh Turner
I love you this big- Scotty Mcreery
The Trouble with Girls- Scotty Mcreery
There you have it- Blackhawk
Take it off- Joe Nichols
Going through the Big D- Mark Chesnutt
Love Done Gone- Billy Currington
Don't Close your eyes- Keith Whitley
Keep on Loving you- Steel Magnolia
Are you Gonna kiss me or not- Thompson Square
Home- Dierks Bentley
Like my Dog- Billy Currington
For Pete's Sake- Jason Matthews (TEAR JERKER!)
Red Solo Cup- Toby Keith
Storm Warning- Hunter Hayes
Shake it for me- Luke Bryan
Crazy Being Home- Mark Wills
Camouflage- Brad Paisley
Wanna take you home- Gloriana


And the number one song that I MUST HAVE on my Ipod ASAP?

'Remind Me' by Brad Paisley featuring Carrie Underwood.

LOVE IT!

What songs are you all craving right now?

Sweet Tea and Cookie's, Ya'll!
Mrs. Belle



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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hang in There Followers!

... my blog is not always this sad and depressing.

It will pick up as soon as I stop grieving.

Hang in there.

Sweet Tea and Cookie's, Ya'll!
Mrs. Belle


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Happy Birthday to Me...

Today is my 24th Birthday and... it feels just like every other day.

Isn't it odd that after your 21st Birthday, you don't really have another milestone until you're 40? Birthdays in between them just kind of... pass. I miss being able to have a big birthday party with cake and presents and all my childhood friends. Now we are all so different that it would be odd if we were all in the same room again for a party.

But remember how awesome childhood birthday parties were? Pinatas, games, a table full of presents? And then, you reach an age where you want to be 'grown up' and have 'grown up' parties... like boy/girl parties, co-ed sleepovers, alcohol...

Then you get 'grown up' and you want your childhood parties back. Back when you didn't have to plan it, worry about who will get along with who, who will pay for what, etc etc.

Where is the fun?

My Mom and my sisters are coming up tonight and my friend bought me a cake. Mr. Belle gets to leave the armory 2 hours early. So, I will have family here and a few friends and I'm sure we will have fun. A little shopping, dinner, cake.

Maybe for just a little while, I can stop thinking about Alaska and crying.

Wish me luck.

Sweet Tea and Cookie's, Ya'll!
Mrs. Belle



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Pet Loss

Feeling slightly better today. I still don't feel human, but better.

I've been reading up on grieving over pets and the first step is being honest about your feelings. I feel guilty. Guilty that maybe I should have tried harder, been willing to get a second opinion, spent more, done more, stayed up all night with her more. I feel regretful that I did not do those things. I feel regretful about the decision that I made. I mean yes, I made the decision with the support of the veterinarian and everyone else that knew Alaska. But.. as soon as I said it, I felt my heart break and I immediately wanted to take it back... to beg, barter, borrow, and steal from the Lord for her health.. I feel saddened that she is not here. I feel lonely... she was my constant companion for so long. I feel angry at God that I prayed for her health and he didn't help me. I feel selfish... like I should have done more and didn't because it would inconvenience me. This last one is ridiculous... even as I write it, I know it. If there was ANYTHING I could have done to save her and make her healthy, I would have. I would have done whatever it took, whatever the vet suggested. I feel dirty... because that little dog with the sweet face trusted me so much and I took her trust and had her euthanized.

I knew she was getting sicker. She was losing weight. She was having trouble moving around. She was having trouble finding a way to lay down and get comfortable... even on extraordinary amounts of pain pills. Her little leg was swelling bigger and the infection in her butt was getting worse, regardless of the antibiotics. She would lay awake and whine and cry at night... and I would get up and sit with her. I would pet her little head, or pick her up and put her in her bed if she was laying on the floor. She would look at me with her sweet little face and I would pet her and talk to her until she fell asleep again. I knew it was only a matter of time. I was hoping that she would pass quietly in her sleep one night... at home, in her bed. I thought we could keep her comfortable on pain medicine until her time came.

I was not expecting this trip to the vet to be the last one. I had no idea that this would be the end. I know that all of the resources I've found said not to cry or it might upset your pet... unfortunately though, I could not help myself. Life without my little dog was and is too lonely for me to imagine. She used to follow me around the house and bleat like a little lamb at me. If ever there was another animal that was comparable to Alaska, it was a little white lamb. She was silent, except for her occasional bleating and when she dreamed... she would 'Boof' quietly in her sleep. She had the sweetest face... and eyes that always looked so innocent and trusting.

One of the first times I knew that I desperately loved this little dog  was the first time she did her little trick to get attention. It was right after we picked her up from the Bladen County Shelter. I was sitting on the couch and she came up to my leg and was wagging ecstatically, when I didn't pay her any attention, she sat down and patted me with one small, white furry paw. She would sort of wave it at me and pat me with it. Then, for good measure, she added the other front paw to the mix. So I was getting waved at and gently patted with two small white paws and being smiled at with a toothless little smile. Is it even possible not to love that?

I miss the way she would clean her little face... if ever there was a little dog who was born to be a lady, it was her.

We bonded through her first surgery to remove a bladder stone the size of an orange from her little bladder... and when she recovered, she was a new dog! She would go to the restroom in the mornings and RUN back to the house. Yep, RUN! Run as fast as her little legs would carry her with her little pink tongue hung out of her toothless mouth. Sometimes she would snorful around in the grass and roll around and play and she was so happy.

Then she got bitten by a diseased tick. Ehrlichiosis. Sadly, she never truly recovered. It attached her little aged joints and put her in chronic pain. We put her on pain medicine and physical therapy. We bought orthopedic dog beds for nearly every room in the house, and added a prescription diet.

She had another surgery on her bladder to biopsy it and take a tumor off of her eye. Everything came out normal... but my little dog was still not running and playing. About a month ago, she came down with doggie hemorrhoids, as a result of her being on so much pain medicine and it causing constipation. Also, one of her back legs was swollen. At the vets office, we added antibiotics, a laxative, and a topical spray to her list of medicine. We thought her leg was just fluid build up... more physical therapy was the prescription. I bought her a kiddie pool and a life jacket for her to swim in. She was not a fan of swimming, but she did enjoy laying in the sun to dry off.

Monday I noticed her licking herself a lot... so I took her to the groomer so that she could have her hiney shaved so that I could see what was going on, better apply medicine etc. Once the shaving started, we could tell that it was badly infected AND that she had started chewing on that back leg. So, I knew that the pain meds were not working and that it had been paining her.

So we sat in the waiting room at the vets office. Every time I got up, Alaska would try to head for the door to leave. Maybe she knew... I don't know. When we were called, we went back and sat in the exam room. I thought that they would just give her some stronger medicine... I had no idea that it would be so serious. But, sadly, her temperature was normal... meaning whatever was in her leg causing her pain was likely cancerous. To treat the infection in her hiney, they would have had to put her on something that would hinder her immune system, which would let the cancer run rampant and eat her alive. So it was either treat her hiney and let the cancer eat her, or treat the cancer and let her butt rot out from under her. My heart... broke. Into a million pieces. Here it was... the moment when I knew that I couldn't save her anymore. I couldn't make her happy anymore. I couldn't even keep her comfortable. The vet tried to console me: He told me that I had done more than any other owner that he had ever known. That I had done all that I could.

I signed the paper in a fog. I cried like a baby. I held my little dog and in those last moments, all I could think to tell her was that I am so sorry. The vet asked if I wanted to wait for my husband to get there. I shook when I told him No... to please go ahead and do it before I change my mind. Before I lose my courage. The nurse tried to comfort me... and I tried to be brave so not to upset my Alaska. I couldn't. She watched questioningly when he shaved her front leg for the shot. I pet her head while he started pushing it in. When he started to pull it out, she yelped and bugged her eyes out... like she was in pain or panicked. At the same moment, he said 'She's gone'. My knees came out from under me and I sank to the floor where I continued to rock and cry. To their credit, they did what they needed to do. They removed Alaska in case she made any more noises, took her in the back, closed her eyes, and settled her into her bag and into her box/coffin. They even marked which end was her head. Meanwhile, the nurse came back in and held me while I cried. She told me that Alaska never felt it... that it was just her letting out all the air in her body and that sometimes the way that their muscles contort makes it look painful. I was inconsolable. She told me that I had done all I could do... all that anyone could ever do and offered to carry Alaska out for me. I gave her the keys to my truck and she placed Alaska in the floor right where she had lain so many countless other times we had ridden around.

I barely remember paying the bill. Or the ride home. Or posting it on facebook. Or the family and friends that called. I remember going to buy her headstone... it reads "If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever". Perfect.

We buried her next to CJ under the Bradford Pear tree.

Since then, I have cried. And cried. And cried. I've reached out to people as often as I feel that I can, but more often than not I just want to lay in my bed and be snuggled by Mr. Belle and cry.

Now, I'm sitting her blogging... and crying some more. Today is my 24th birthday and all I want is my little dog back and healthy.

Sweet Tea and Cookie's, Ya'll.
Mrs. Belle



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Friday, October 21, 2011

RIP Alaska

Yesterday was a horrible day.  Long story short, I had to make a terrible decision... I had to put Alaska down.

I love that little dog. I doted on her every chance I got and she loved me more than anything else in the world. Even if I was in the restroom, she would come lay in the doorway or lay on the rug outside of my bathtub. She loved to be in my presence and I loved having her with me.

I knew her health was failing... but I really hoped that she was just going to pass in her bed peacefully. No such luck. I was petting her when they gave her the shot and the most awful part? She yelped. The vet said that she never felt it and that she just yelped as a way of letting out air but... I saw her face. She looked like she was in pain. I am devastated that her last conscious thought may have been 'Ouch, that hurts!'.

I'm not going to lie... when she yelped, my knees jello-ed right our from under me and all I could do was sob uncontrollably. There is nothing worse. Ever.

I feel like a murderer. I know that she trusted me and I feel like I betrayed her. She didn't look at peace when they came in... she looked confused.

And yes, people have told me that I did the right thing. My vet told me that I did the right thing. My family, my friends... but it is not consoling me.  To me, it doesn't matter how much time, effort and resources I put into her... it was all for nothing if she thought for one second at the end that I didn't love her. If she thought for one second that I had disappointed her or given up on her, then I did not do my job.

I cried all night. Even with sleep medicine, I couldn't sleep. This morning, my eyes were swollen shut. I feel achy. I have wept all day. Every time I see her empty bed, every time I get up to move and I don't hear her following me. Every time I look outside and see that upturned earth over her grave.

I am just... devastated. My heart is broken. I miss my little dog. I want her back. Even after I told the vet that we would go through with it, I immediately wanted to take it back. I wanted it to not be happening. I was in shock when I signed the paper... I couldn't believe that I was about to do this to my little dog.

She loved me so much and I put her to sleep. People can say it was mercy, or unselfishness, or whatever... at the end of the day, she's still gone and I still ache for her.

I just... can't even write anymore. I can't see the screen because I'm crying so hard.




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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Angels Everywhere?

So, I've decided to toss some religion out there in my blog today. Kinda..

Anyway, I was on a hunt for a long line bra today to wear under my dress for the ball tomorrow and my search landed me at Belk at one point. Well, I was clumsily explaining to the 'fit specialist' in the bra section what I was looking for, and that I would settle for a different undergarment if it would have the same effect. As those of us 'fluffier' women know, trying to explain to another woman about ANYTHING that involves our weight, fat rolls, back fat, etc is hellish and should be used as a form of capital punishment... it ranks up there with some of the most uncomfortable necessary conversations in the world.

So anyway, I'm there talking to this employee and explaining to her my undergarment needs, when another lady stepped up. She had been hovering so that she could ask a question to the employee and happened to overhear my problem and offered up a few suggestions. I think that she realized my mortification, and perhaps noticed the embarrassed flush creeping up my neck (I was not embarrassed that she had heard, just that I was having to have this conversation at all) and she told me that in no way am I fat and that I should embrace myself that I was beautiful. It was such an unexpected, great thing to say at a time when I needed to hear it.

I know that a lot of people tell other people that they are not fat, look great in those pants, etc out of obligation... but this was not it. She was honestly sincere. It was in her eyes... she meant it! She even hugged me and, oddly enough, it made me feel better. It was one of those things where I came home and looked at myself in the mirror and thought "You know what, not so bad...".

So, long story short, angels are everywhere. :)

Sweet Tea and Cookie's, Ya'll!
Mrs. Belle

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Recap: Bachelorette Party/ Family Birthday Party

This weekend went pretty quick... way too quick if you ask me!

Friday night was Courtney's bachelorette party and it was my job as the Matron of Honor to make sure that it was AWESOME! So, we started out the night with a Pure Romance party, 106 Jello shots (22 of which were consumed by yours truly) and friends. A bunch of our sorority sisters were there, and it was a blast! We had the jello shots shaped in penis form, there were penis carrot cake cupcakes (Delish!), penis straws, and penis games. We had Mr. Party Pecker, which consists of a blow up strap on penis and three blow up rings that you attempt to hook him with and Bachelorette dare bingo. At one point, I had to put an ice cube down my pants until it melted... and trust me, it takes longer than one would think! I was adorned with a penis whistle necklace and a penis crown (which I promptly broke trying to put it on my head and the groom to be had to try to patch it together for me) and Courtney had a matching necklace to mine and a penis veil. Since the wedding colors are caribbean blue, pale yellow and white: Courtney wore white, the wedding party wore blue, and the other guests wore yellow. Clever, huh? I thought so. :)

Our Pure Romance rep, Sarah, was great and very patient with me who could not keep my mouth shut to save  myself. If anyone is interested in purchasing any Pure Romance products, let me know and I'll pass you along to Sarah.  This was the only point in the evening when I might have had a slight buzz... I'll touch on this later. I bought a new lubricant called 'Just Like Me' and it is super cool. It's supposed to feel natural and when it dries out, you lick it and it goes right back to being all slippery and wet. I got the blueberry flavor and it is quite tasty. :)


After our rep had packed up and everyone put in their orders, we prepared to go downtown. We started out at a smaller bar, Levels and then moved on to Rehab. Rehab has entertaining bartenders, tasty drinks, three stripper poles, a VIP area, quite a few flat screens, and a large dance floor.



The downside to this whole night? I fear that I am too old to party with my sisters. I drank more than any one person should be able to hold (22 jello shots, a hurricane, a Midori sour, a trash can, a sex on the beach and a red headed slut) and still didn't catch a decent buzz (at no fault of the bartenders, they did NOT skimp me). I really think that it was because I was worried about keeping up with my sisters and the Bride to be. Now, do not misunderstand, I had a great time! I met awesome people, partied with my favorite people, and danced on a stripper pole... does it get better? Not really. But, apparently I am at the age where I would rather sit at the bar and drink and talk to the people around me than go stumble around the dance floor. When did that happen? I've always been a good dancer and dancing is one of my favorite past times... so then when did I start preferring the bar? Then again, it wasn't packed in there so it wasn't like I was dancing for a crowd and I always prefer a performance as opposed to just shaking my rump for myself.

Anywho, then we went to Sup dogs. Now, let me set the scene. It's 2 AM, in this tiny little convenience store-turned-burger stand with like 100 drunk college kids in there and... I HAVE NEVER HAD A BETTER BURGER IN MY LIFE! No, seriously, get in your car, grab a few bucks, and drive to Greenville, NC to Sup Dogs. I ordered some kind of western cheese burger will grilled onions and bacon. The bacon was like Canadian bacon, the onions were perfect and the burger was messy and AMAZING. It was one of those burgers that was greasy and awesome in the kind of way that you never want it to end! Note: Not greasy like McD's where you kind of grimace at it... no, the kind of messy where you are just enthralled by it and you want to eat them until you cannot breathe and they stop your heart. It is THAT good. It will change your life. Yes. Change. Your. Life! And no, it wasn't the alcohol talking... sadly, as much as I had drank, at this point I was stone cold sober. It's not just 'drunk food'... its awesome, all the time, every day possible food.



We finally all made it home at roughly 3:30 AM. I crashed on the extremely drunk Bride-to-Be's couch and preceded to be tortured by her cats... who I'm am now certain are sleep deprivation terrorists. Little bastards. Cute, Furry, little bastards.

Saturday morning, specifically the ride home, was a blur for me. From home, we headed down to my grandmothers house with our four dogs in tow. Our first stop was in New Bern at the Petsmart (Very friendly staff!) and our dogs were a huge hit. Midas, my large and loveable golden Siberian Husky ate his weight in treats. Fry had never traveled like this, nor had he ever ridden in a shopping cart... or had so much attention paid to him. He handled it all very well... and loved every second! Bella, however, was disgruntled that she was in a cart with Fry and he was touching her... she's a brat like that... just like me, LOL! Bella actually prompted this stop. When we were on our way down 70, we passed the exit to my Dad's house and I asked Bella 'Do you wanna see Grand Dad?' and she cocked her little head to one side and smiled this big smile. I just said "well, that settles it' and I called my Dad to meet us in New Bern so that his Grand-Dog could see him. Who are these idiots that say that dogs don't have feelings?

We also stopped and purchased an XM radio... all I can say is 'How have I lived my life this long without one?'. I would also like to say that it has a Playboy talk channel that is not awesome. It's just... corny. You are more likely to laugh at it than be turned on.

We made it down to my Grandmothers where we spent the remainder of the weekend. Sunday we had a turkey dinner in honor of mine and my grand mothers combined birthdays. I got a few great gifts and got to spend some great time with my family.

Now, if I could just get rid of this head cold, I would be all set!


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Monday, October 10, 2011

Marriage

As some of you know from my previous posts, Sgt. Belle and I just celebrated our 3 year anniversary. May I just say that even though it seems like these three years have flown by, I cannot tell you how much I have grown in that time. When I think of all of the things that I have known, not known, thought I knew, changed my mind about, and learned... it's like we've already lived a lifetime and we have a life time to go.

My favorite quote about marriage is one that I came up with on my own for a friend of mine: "There is no one you will love or hate as much as your spouse and there is nothing as ridiculous, or as wonderful, as being married." That, to me, encompasses most of everything that there is to know about marriage.

As much as I wish that it was a fairy tale and as much as I DREAMED of a fairy tale marriage... I am devastated to tell you, my readers, that there is no fairy tale. Tragic right? How am I supposed to be a Princess (as my Daddy always told me that I am) if there is not Friggin' fairy tale?

Answer: Very carefully ;)... but I digress.

Marriage takes work. It doesn't take work for me to love my husband... that comes naturally. I just DO love it. I do not have to try. It does take work to find compromises. It takes work to reign in my temper. It takes work to pick my battles and to overlook the little things in favor of a more peaceful household. And, most of all, it takes a lot of work to make MYSELF a better person, for both me and him.

Another tragic fact: it is not always the spouses fault. Nope. Sometimes it's your fault. Sorry to break that to you (theoretical/hypothetical you, of course) but sometimes it is YOUR fault. We all like to think that it is never our faults... I HATE when it's my fault. But sometimes it is. Sometimes, the fight is my fault and all I can do (when I realize it... because most of the time I don't realize that it's my fault until somewhere near Armageddon) is apologize. Sometimes it's his fault... and I either forgive him or he pays hell, depending on the crime. Sometimes, it's just the Cosmos. The zipper on my favorite dress ripping while A) I am wearing the dress and B) He is zipping the dress. I'm mad because my dress is ripped. He's mad because that means that I have to change and it makes us late. Whose fault? Cosmos. Did I intend to get a dress that's a little snug, No.. (well, sometimes... but that's a different story). Did he mean to go he-man and hulk up on my poor zipper and rip it from my body? Probably not. Is God sitting up there smiling about it? Yes, I do think he is. I think that God finds amusement in my life and that I am a constant form of comedic relief. Long story short, learn to roll with the punches and do not immediately point fingers at your significant other when things go wrong... Sometimes, (pardon my french) but shit just happens. Often, they are just as annoyed as you and you leaping at them with guns ablaze will likely just turn a ridiculous situation into a war.

My Grandmother gave me great marriage advice. She said that marriage is all about lines in the sand. She told me that I would spend a lot of time with a stick in my hand... sometimes I'll be drawing lines for him not to cross, sometimes I'll be adjusting or moving lines for him not to cross, sometimes I'll be erasing lines that I no longer care if he crosses, and other times I will be using the stick to whack him for crossing said lines.... and that he would be doing the same for me.

Smart woman.

So, some sage, late night advice on marriage. :)

Sweet Tea and Cookie's Ya'll!
Mrs. Belle

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How to know if your significant other is a loser...

So, Lately my friends have been dating *GASP*... well... losers. I, though normally chomping at the bit to give my opinion, I am loath to hurt their feelings.

So. Here we go.

How to tell that you are dating a loser.

1) If they are perfectly okay putting an addiction of any kind before you. I understand that there are people who are battling their addictions and blah blah blah... well, if they are okay putting their pills, alcohol, gambling, hooker addictions etc ahead of your, your feelings, and your well being then he/she is a LOSER. Rule #1: You should always come conditionally first to your significant other... or, that's right, they are LOSERS. In that case, find someone else. There are MILLIONS of other people who are not addicted to illegal (or legal) substances who would love to have a decent person to love. Perhaps you can bond over the losers that you used to date...

2) If they have a criminal record, full of things that should never have happened and the only thing longer than their record is their list of excuses, you, my friend, are dating a loser. The only thing worse than dating a criminal (of any kind), is dating a criminal that refuses to take responsibility of their criminal actions. No, Eminem did not make you jack a car... and no, you're imperfect Mama did not cause you to steal at TV... and no, alcohol did not MAKE you stab someone in a bar. We blame our actions on other people in Kindergarden. Now, we take responsibility for our actions.

3) If they have several children by several different partners and do not care for them. Yeah, common sense. Multiple children with multiple partners and then shunning the responsibility of said children... LOSER!

4) If they CONSTANTLY use you for money, rides, sex, etc... LOSER!

5) If they have trouble being faithful... LOSER!

6) If you find out on accident that they have an STD... and didn't tell you. LOSER!

7) If they treat their parents like crap (without reason... but even with reason, can't we all just be coolly polite? Or even haughty sociable?).... LOSER!

8) If they pretend to be smarter than they are because they dropped out of high school and then watch shows like 'Burn Notice' and try to convince those around them of their 'deep thoughts', 'philosophies', and 'intelligence'. Coughcough LOSER coughcough!

9) If they are constantly trying to one up people with LIES about things that they wish that they did. We all know someone like that... the one that if you successfully cook a steak on your grill, then they've (supposedly) studied culinary arts under a french chef... only then you find out that they really didn't and that they lied about the whole thing to steal your thunder. Why would they do that? Because they are a LOSER!

10) If they lay their hands on you in anger and violence, you are dating a loser... and a loser that deserves to be in jail. Do NOT be so hungry for love that you allow someone to beat, assault, molest, rape, or demean you in any way. This goes both ways... There are men that allow their women to hit them because they think 'it's okay for women to hit men but I can't hit her back because it's not okay for men to hit women'. No. It is not okay for anyone to hit anyone. Ever. It is abuse and detrimental to your physical, emotional, and mental health. Do not allow yourself to fall into this category and if you already fall into this category, get in touch with me. I will tell you how to get out of it. I will explain to you in detail why it is not okay... why you do not deserve to be tortured in the name of love.


As always, my wonderful readers, I write because I care. I truly believe that there is someone out there for everyone. There is someone out there who will love and cherish you for you without you having to jump through flaming hoops or dodge drunken fists. Believe that you are more valuable than that. Have some faith in yourself and your worth.

Sweet Tea and Cookie's Ya'll!
Mrs. Belle

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In a Funk and Recap.

I admit it. I've been being slack.

I could have updated my blog a hundred times and I just haven't yet... I just haven't feel like it. And, you know, I really hate when something I love turns into a chore...

At any rate, the husband is home (Yay!). He has his welcome home/birthday party and all was well. He took this last week off of work and we spent it together working on our house. The bathroom is still not remodeled (or fixed) from the storm damage (DAMMMMMIIITTT!!!!) but he says that he will need help to do it. But, we did get a lot of other things done, even if none of them were the 'Big' deal.

Let's focus on what we DID do (I need some positivity).
Inside the house:
*We replaced blinds all over the house from where the dogs had ruined them at some point or another.
*We bought a king sized bed and re-arranged and redecorated our two bedrooms in our house... and bought new bedding. This bed... HUGE. The jury is still out on whether or not it's awesome.
*We put up a few new pictures that we bought.
*We bought new scarves/curtains and put them up.
*We started the long, drawn out process of getting his Army Dress Blues ready for my friends wedding and the Cannon Ball (ECU's homecoming ball).
*I held my friends Bridal Shower here.

Outside:
 *We bought a new lawnmower and regained control over the jungle that was our yard. 
*We planted my potted plants that needed to be put in the ground before the first freeze.
*We burned all the debris from the storm in one big bonfire (Yay, Pyro-Hubby!)
*We put up our fall decorations.  So cute... will post pictures later.
*We landscaped around the remaining two trees in our yard (we did the last two a while back).
*We reinforced the rafters  in the garage for more storage.
*We started framing for the concrete slab that will extend the garage.
*We bought the concrete for the slab.

We also celebrated our 3rd anniversary! Yay! Go us!

Since he's been home, I've been uncharacteristically clingy. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I was unbearably lonely while he was gone for training. Perhaps it's because I know he's looking for an overseas contracting job that will take him away for a year... and even without the odds of a contracting job, I'm sure there will be a deployment rearing it's ugly head soon enough. At any rate, I'm really glad that he is home and I'm going to enjoy my time with him.

Aside from the updates, I'm kind of in a creative slump. If you have any suggestions of topics, etc, let me know!

Until Later, dearests!

Sweet Tea and Cookies Ya'll,
Mrs. Belle


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Monday, September 19, 2011

My Nerves are Shot!

For those that do not know, my husband has been gone for the majority of the last two months. He is hopefully coming home at the end of this week from a hellacious stay in the desert of California (Desert Opps... fun fun fun!).

So, I have been in a mad rush to get everything ready. You know, make sure the house is clean and do most of his chores so that when he gets here, he doesn't have to immediately jump on the broken lawn mower, etc. I've hired a guy to help me out with the yard (and there is still SO much to be done before Courtney's wedding in November) and have arranged someone to come get the lawn mower and fix the blasted thing. I mean, the boys have been under lots of physical and emotional distress the past few weeks (again, hurray for Desert Opps!): They are sleep deprived, hungry, covered in sand, spent 24 hours being flooded (after which their clothes got moldy and made them sick), sick, moldy, stinky... and he spent his 26th Birthday out there like that. I figure the man will be ready for a hot shower, good food, clean clothes, and playing spell with his dog children, a nap, and then a night with his wife. It's the least of what he deserves, right?

I'm also planning his birthday party for this weekend... family, friends, church members etc are gathering up at my house to celebrate his birthday belatedly. Another reason to have the place spiffed up a little bit. :)

On top of that, I'm still trying to keep up with all of my classes from both ECU and JCC... Ahhhh!

I'm also still working. And you know, you just have to wonder for how long one must shoulder EVERYTHING? Is part of being an adult going through life feeling like you are juggling chainsaws?

Eesh.

On the bright side, the hubby will be home soon (Goodbye Loneliness!) and I will eventually graduate... leaving me with like 3 degrees at which I will stare and drool.

So, if you have been wondering why I have not posted the past few days? Well, it's because I am yanking out my hair by the roots.

Sweet Tea and Cookies, Ya'll!
The busy Bee,
Mrs. Belle

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The right to NOT be raped...

“Not being assaulted is not a privilege to be earned through the judicious application of personal safety strategies. A woman should be able to walk down the street at 4 in the morning in nothing but her socks, blind drunk, without being assaulted, and I, for one, am not going to do anything to imply that she is in any way responsible for her own assault if she fails to Adequately Protect Herself. Men aren’t helpless dick-driven maniacs who can’t help raping a vulnerable woman.” - Emily Nagoski
This quote is awesome. For a long time, *I* like the masses, did not know better than to partially blame victims of rape. I would think to myself "Well, she shouldn't be walking down dark alleys... everyone knows that's dangerous" or "Why was she by herself? One should never walk alone after dark in a city!".  Looking back on it, I am deeply ashamed of those thoughts... and I make no excuses for my ignorance. Yes, we are all taught not to walk down dark alleys, stay with friends, don't get so drunk that you don't know what is going on, etc etc etc. However, this quote was an eye opener for me. I SHOULD be able to walk around naked and drunk and not be touched... Not that I will, but the whole idea is that the MEN should know not to touch me. 
 I mean really... how hard it is to NOT sexually assault people? Just leave them alone. Keep walking. Keep your junk in your pants... If more people did, then perhaps I wouldn't have to carry a gun around with me to protect myself. 
Isn't it weird when you find out something that you were raised to think is so completely wrong? I remember a class in school where they were warning us, as third graders, about rape and the gyst was that if we don't want to be raped, don't ask for it and be prepared. Don't put yourself in any compromising situations (which is a good idea anyway, but bear with me). I mean, isn't that to an extent saying that if I do walk down a dark alley at night, then I am asking for it and deserve what I get? Isn't that ridiculous? Shouldn't a woman be able to take a short cut home if she wants? To blame her for some dude not being able to keep his grubby paws to himself is pretty... stupid. 
 It seems like an injustice for sure... and yes, I do realize that in an ideal world, we wouldn't have to worry about it but that our world is far from ideal- so arm yourself. But what is the harm in demanding that our world be better? To think that it SHOULD be better and to HOPE that one day it will be?
 Seriousness all over this blog today...
 
 Sweet Tea and Cookie's Ya'll! 
Mrs. Belle 

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Those without children need not apply...

Okay, so I had someone on a military wife forum that I talk on tell me that not wanting children is 'weird' and 'unnatural'... then she followed up by saying that women were put on earth to have children and that if they are choosing not to have children, then  they are not doing God's will. She said that 'ALL women should have children'.

Well, this certainly is news to me. For those of you who do not know, my husband and I are happily child free by choice. We are not 'childless' which would imply that we are missing something... and I assure you that we are not.

So, all in one breath, this hussy told me that I'm weird, unnatural, wrong and that I am not doing God's work.Ya'll, I must say that for a full 10 seconds or so I could not find a damn thing to say. Her blatant sexism and stupidity literally sucked all of the words out of my mouth. As you can imagine, I do not find myself speechless very often.

My first thought was: What a thing to say? Women have worked hard the past 100 years to get us the rights that we have today so that we do not have to stay pregnant 9 months out of every 12. We can vote. We can say 'No'! We can wear pants. We can ride horses sitting astride instead of in a side saddle... and for those of you who have never had that experience, let me assure you that it is a pain in the arse, but I digress. It infuriated me that even though *I* am not a feminist (if there is a man around to open a door or life a heavy box, then why should I?), I do believe in women's rights and the fact that there are women out there who are blatantly trying to ruin it for the rest of us! It literally was like watching the evolution of women's rights backtrack.

My second thought was: HOW DARE YOU?! How dare you use my religion to insult me or imply that I am doing anything other than what I should be doing? How dare you tell me that I am unnatural? I am a Christian. I do go sit my tail in church on Sunday. I do try to live the right kind of life. I am kind to others. I am generous. I am a good person... but none of that matters all because I have a uterous and I'm not using it? What if I cured AIDS... that work would be worthless because I do not have a screaming child ruining other people's dinner? Ridiculous.

My husband and I made the right choice for us. It's not the choice for everyone, but it is for us at this time. To judge us for that makes me want to kick my mailbox.

And yes, I know that I shouldn't let one idiot anger me so much... but she isn't the only one! There are millions of people just like her who look at us and say "Wow, I can't imagine my life without my kids... your lives must be so empty!"... Ugh... No. My life is full of things that you cannot do with children. For example, on a whim (and with enough cash) I can pick up and go to Ireland for a month or more. I can travel and study abroad. I can spend my extra cash on me instead of buying Barbie's and school clothes for a child. I can worry about ME and MY HUSBAND and OUR DOGS and that is IT! Yes, it is mildly selfish. I am a selfish person... hence why I do not need children. I feel like my life should be about me and my husband. Just us. No one competing for our attention and taking us away from each other... none of that mess.

I like our life just the way it is and to have someone tell me that I am 'unnatural' for it? It makes me want to drink.

Sweet Tea and Cookie's Ya'll!
The 'Unnatural' Mrs. Belle
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'll Never Forget.

Every generation has a day in their lives that they will never forget. A day that changed the course of history. For some, it was the death of Elvis. For some, it was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech. For others, it was the assassination of Kennedy.

For me it was September 11, 2001. I was in the 8th grade. I remember watching the footage with my class. I remember being confused and horrified. Then, I remember being terrified... if they could and would attack something as large as the World Trade Center and something as fortified as the pentagon, what won't they come after? What about my Mom who works on base? Was I SAFE anymore?

I remember very clearly watching a man fall as he jumped from one of those windows. He didn't look that old... a guy that might have been the age I am now. I thought to myself, what must the inside of that building be like if he would choose a death like that? What kind of hell could possibly be worse than cracking your skull open on concrete after the terror of falling from such a height? He couldn't have possibly thought he would make it... I truly believe that this man was choosing his manner of death and he chose the lesser of two evils. It must have been a helluva choice.

I remember when we heard about flight 93. I remember hearing about the man who got one phone call out... just one... to tell his wife that he loved her and that he wasn't coming home. How awful must that call have been? How brave must those passengers have been? Those men that rallied to do the right thing? How terrified must the other passengers have been when they realized that whether the men took on the hijackers or not, they were going to die? Can you imagine having to make a decision like that... to realize that you are going to die and the only decision that you have to make is how you are going to go down? Well kudos to you, passengers of flight 93, you went down in a blaze of Glory and will forever be known as heroes. You made the right decision... the only decision.

Every year, I hear someone say "Why should I thank people for doing their jobs?" in reference to the firemen and policemen and soldiers. Let me tell you why, you ungrateful little snots: Because they did NOT HAVE to do their jobs. That building was coming down. It was FULL of jet fuel (think 100 times more difficult to breath than gasoline) and flames. The gasses from the flames alone would be enough to kill people. Then, of course, there was the smell of burning bodies, the screams of panicked people who did not have a snowball's chance in hell, and the stench of death and despair. Let me tell you something, they did NOT have to go in there. They could have stayed outside and directed traffic. They could have melted down and cried (and who could blame them). But they did not. They ponied up and went inside. They faced the hell that caused that man to leap from that window... the hell that was worse than death. And some of them never made it out. I'm willing to bet my soul that some of them never even considered not going in. They, my friends, are what you call heroes. Neighbors, friends, the people who sit in the pew behind you who died saving others. If that is not a hero, then by George what is?

I also hear every year "Oh Lord, this propaganda again? No one cares the other 364 days of the year and they all pretend to mourn on this one...". You are incorrect. I care. Every freaking day. I watch my husband don his ACU's every day to go fight a war... and I never forget why he does it. Neither does he and I can assure you that it has nothing to do with a paycheck. My husband is a brave man... he is a great man. He is a hero. I know that he would lay down his life to save others and it makes me unspeakably proud of him. Every day is Independence day at the Belle house. I am thankful every day (some more than others) for the people who have died so that I can be who I am. So that I can own my own land (with my husband of course). So that I can worship whatever God I please. So that I can shave my arm pits (some places don't allow that... gross!). So that I can hold a job, drive my truck, drink all I want, wear pants etc etc etc. America may not be perfect, but it is DAMN sure better than some other places. My husband does not trade me like cattle to other men. I, as a female (not a feminist..) have a voice and am not a commodity. Consider that next time you want to curse about how 'sucky' it is here. Also, feel free to leave. Our borders are not closed for people exiting the country. No one is making you stay here. If you cannot be grateful for basic freedom, get out of my focking country. If you cannot find it in yourself to be grateful for the liberties that you were born into, hop a plane overseas to the Middle East. Put on your parka and let me know how much you hate America when you are one of 10 wives for some fat Arabic dude who uses you hard and ruthlessly because you got caught and sold into slavery. Good Luck with that. Pardon my rant.

*Steps down off of my soap box and scoots it aside*

But I digress.

Here's to remembering:

The man who leapt to his death to avoid a living hell
The people who were crushed to death in the stairways by their coworkers in a hurry to flee to safety
The people who suffered through the stench of rotting flesh in the days that followed in the hope of finding just one more person alive.
To the men and women who died because it never occurred to them to be anything other than a hero.
To the thousands of men and women who stepped up to the plate and joined the military to protect me and you (and do not kid yourself into thinking that we would be safe without them).
To the children who grew up without parents because of this tragedy.
To the parents who had to bury their children before themselves.
To the families who will never be whole again.
To the wife who called her husband on the stairwell to tell him that she would love him forever.
To the wife who received a phone call from her husband on flight 93.
To the passengers who had no choice.
To the children, like myself, who did not understand but who will never forget.
To the Veterans who lost life and limbs.
To the people who set aside their lives to help others in need.

To those of us who remember every day, not just once a year.


And finally a picture from today: Joe Caristo of Miami who once worked at the World Trade Centers stands in tearful silence as he remembers the friends and coworkers that he lost 10 years ago.

Link to Story of Obama's words on today and Joe's picture where I found it.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: Suckish!

Ughhh... Today was a long day.

Jack (the dog referenced in this blog post) lost his mind last night and legit tried to kill me and I ultimately had to call animal control to come get him because I was afraid for my safety.

No joke, it was really really bad and by far the scariest, sketchiest situation that I have ever been in.

Long story short, I made the best decision that I could in a bad situation.

The hubby is gone on a desert training exercise and I miss him terribly.

Let's hope that tomorrow (Labor Day!) goes by quickly and without incidence and that it leads into a week that is more peaceful than this past one was!

Sweet Tea and Cookie's Ya'll!
The Tired and Worn Out, Mrs. Belle

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Sexy Saturdays: Shyness, be gone!

Ladies and Gents,

I cannot tell you how many people come into work and are shy about why they are there. They attempt to sneak in, keep their faces hidden, eyes down cast, grab what they are after and pay as quickly as possible and hit the road. I just wanted to put this out there: There is NOTHING to be ashamed of!

For starters, there is nothing you can tell me, ask me, etc that I have not heard probably twice before. You are a man that likes wearing ladies lingerie? Okay. You want the largest fake penis that we carry? Great, it's over there. You want movies involving mature milfs being naughty? Second Section, third shelf. Really, it is no big deal. Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Old, Young, Male, Female... no big deal. I have a 92 year old customer... yes, she is still having sex at 92. We should all be so lucky! Long story short, I am not going to judge you. If you are interested in anal play and you want anal beads, lubricant (use silicone based lube!) and desensitizing gel (a little dab will do ya), then that is fine! No judgement, just customer service.

Secondly, I'm not sure if you are aware of this but... SEX HAPPENS! All the time. All day every day. Someone is having sex right now as we speak. People have sex... it was taboo in the past but in modern times, it is just a past time that is to be enjoyed between consenting adults (sorry kiddies, no judging, but also not condoning kiddie porn or underage sex... nothing personal) and it's going to happen sooner or later. Why not be ready and able to enjoy it?

At any rate, I know this blog is a day late (long story, but busy weekend) but please, do not deprive yourself from a good shopping experience or from being able to fully enjoy a sexual encounter because you were too shy to ask a sales associate which lube is best for sensitive skin.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns post and I will address them in future blogs.

Sweet Tea and Cookie's Ya'll!
Mrs. Belle

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Thursday Thrift Store Finds!

Okay, I know that it isn't Thursday and that I am a few days late (3 days to be exact) I wanted to go ahead and start his blog.


A lot of people avoid thrift stores etc because they think of the items in there as 'used' and gross. Well, that really isn't the case! I go into thrift stores to look around every chance I get and I find (and buy) some awesome things!

This past week, I went to a thrift store near my house that benefits the 'Me Fine' Foundation. It's called 'Second Hope' (See Facebook Page Here). For those of you who do not know about the 'Me Fine' Foundation, please go see their site... it's a story of a beautiful, brave little boy who would smile in the face of Leukemia and make the best of each day. Whenever the staff at the hospital or his family would ask him how he was doing, Folden Lee IV would say 'Me Fine!' with a big smile.

At any rate, this little consignment shop is great and they have great things inside. If you are ever headed down US Hwy 70 near Princeton, NC stop in. The staff is amazing and you are bound to meet great people, find awesome buys, and every penny goes to the 'Me Fine' foundation in honor of little Folden.


Check out my treasures!

I got these two necklace charms because they are adorable:
This little bejeweled flip flop screams summer time to me!

Cute right?
I got this necklace charm because it tuggs at my inner coin collecting dork, even though it isn't a real coin:
I'm a dork, I know ;)
These two books (JD Robb a.k.a Nora Roberts is a thriller and the Inspired Love book is a Christian Romance Novel). They were only 50 Cents Each!
I love to read novels...
These three bracelets and watch caught my eye too. I haven't worn a watch in YEARS and this one just screams 'Mrs. Belle!' I've worn it to work all week and can you say LOVE?! One of the bracelets is a stretchy bracelet that is made up of wine theme charms (thought of you Immediately Mrs. Monologues!) and it appealed to my inner Lush. The other charm bracelet has shoe charms.. Yes. Shoes. Flip Flops, Heels, Wedges... all of my favorites! I love the third bracelet just because of it's jeweled simplicity. The colors match nearly everything in my wardrobe and it just screams spring/summer time and fun!
The first view of my 'Lush' bracelet

You should see this bracelet... it is lovely!

My newest every day accessory

Shoes! Love!

A Second View of my 'Lush bracelet
I also got this flag. I'll come back and add a picture of it flying when I can get it hung. It is presh!
I can't wait to hang this!
This shell necklace and earring combo is Awesome in person! the pictures do not do it justice! They also match the watch and we all know that matching accessories are a must!
So pretty in person!
Here is a group shot for the full effect!
That's a lot of loot, right?

Now, for fun, let's guess what I spent... ready? $48. All of this cute stuff for less than $50 AND that $50 went towards a great cause in name of a brave little boy. Could it get any better, this blogger asks? I think not!

Long story short, Lovelies, do not shy away from thrift stores in the area! A) you can find great things at great prices and B) you could support a worthy cause!

Sweet Tea and Cookies, Ya'll!
Mrs. Belle

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