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Pinterest Fail Friday: Black Bean Brownies



I promised another Financial Friday today, but this week completely threw Landon and I for a loop. Because he was off Wednesday for the snow and ice, yesterday felt like a Monday. We were running around last night, trying to get the last few supplies to start working on the cabinet doors for our built-in bookshelf while simultaneously getting our fussy baby to bed...and then it was 10:45 and we were exhausted.

I guess that's what I get for not reminding Landon to write the piece earlier this week. I'm blaming the winter weather.

Anyway, Financial Friday will resume in a few weeks.

Today, I'm doing a Pinterest Fail Friday!

DIY: A Built-in Bookshelf


I was going to write about our awesome new bookshelf that Landon built (and I painted!) earlier this week, but Snowpocalypse 2014 came along instead. The snow and ice are still hanging around Charleston, but we're doing a lot better than we were 24 hours ago. So, now that all is better with the world again, let's talk about my new bookshelf!

McClellanville, South Carolina: Charleston's Gorgeous Fishing Village

charleston south carolina nearby

Happy Monday, everyone!

Managing Your Credit: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Financial Friday #3)


Landon's back for a third installment of his Financial Friday series!

After tackling student loans and student loan debt earlier this month, he's sharing his knowledge about credit this week. Do you know your credit score? Do you have good credit? Here's a non-banker's guide to everything credit-related.

Strolling on the Pitt Street Bridge

charleston south carolina


I didn't post yesterday because Landon's parents were in town for the long weekend. We had a busy day--Landon went quail hunting with his dad, I visited with his mom until she had to head back home, and then my sister and I went to see "Frozen," which we loved.

Anyway, we had a great time this weekend with my in-laws; they're from out of town, so we don't get to see them very often. 

Landon suggested a walk since Sunday was sunny (if a tad bit chilly with the wind), so we headed out to one of my favorite spots in Charleston: the Pitt Street bridge in Mount Pleasant.

Student Loan Debt: Getting Rid of It Faster (Financial Friday #2)

how to payoff your student loan debt

My husband, Landon, will be doing a series of guest posts about money and financial things each Friday this month. Since he's a banker, he's got lots of opinions about finances--so I figured that he should share them on the blog! Last week, he discussed student loans, and how to determine if they are right for you.

This week, he's talking more about those student loans, and is tackling the topic of how to speed up your debt repayment.

How to Pack for a Two Week Trip Using Only a Carry-on

travel


You're probably thinking: two weeks' worth of stuff in ONE carry-on?

I am not crazy. Packing for a 2 week trip using just a carry-on can be done.

But how?

Our Sweet New $3000 Kitchen: A DIY Story

before and after


If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you've come to realize that we're pretty much constantly renovating our house.

And if you're new, let me tell you that my husband and I are desperately, desperately trying to pull our townhouse out of the 1980s into this millennium. So far, we've only partially succeed. (But that doesn't keep us from trying!) (

A particular source of house angst for us was the kitchen. It was nasty--dark with beat-up cabinets and ancient laminate countertops--but it had potential.

Dear 17-Year-Old Natalie: The Letter About Boys

Part II: In which we discuss your self worth and patience

Dear 17-year-old self,

It's been a while since my last letter. I hope everything's still okay in the eleventh grade.

Ha! What am saying? I lived through the eleventh grade--I know exactly how it's going. I know that AP Biology is kicking your butt. I know that you're hoping for that coveted yearbook editor spot next year. And I know you're wishing that you looked better in a bathing suit than you do (oh, but you do, my friend! You'll look back at yourself in a few years and think, "my gosh, I'm so thin!" even though now you feel like a loaded down shipping container).

Student Loans and the Cost of Education: How to Decide If They're Right for You (Financial Friday #1)

Student Loan Debt


While I usually doing the talking on Cosmos Mariners, sometimes I want you to hear from Landon, too. He's got important things to say, so I suggested that he do a short series of guest posts (nothing too dramatic) about his favorite topic: money.

Not that he's some crazy money hungry person or anything. Quite the opposite. In his defense, the posts are actually about how to better utilize your money.

In his job as a banker, Landon sees dozens of people each day who struggle with their money. When he and I got married, we promised one another that we'd be careful with the current debt we had and do our best to avoid incurring any new debt. (You'll get to hear all about that in later episodes of Financial Friday.)

Guess Who's Seven Months Old?

seven month old baby

Okay, so there weren't too many people around here in the running:

But it's Britton!

Landon and I have successfully kept her clothed, (generally) happy and (more or less) in one piece for over half a year.

And what a fun ride it's been so far.

We Might Be Friends If...


If you met me in real life, we might be friends if...

Classics for the Littlest Literature Lover

classics for babies
"I think I'll take a look at Oliver Twist when I'm done with Pride and Prejudice."
Also, note Britton's shirt, which features the four main characters from Jane Austen's classic. (Thanks, Auntie Amb!)

(Before I go any further, the English teacher in me has to point out that I know that "littlest" isn't a word. But somehow, the "smallest literature lover" didn't have the same ring, so forgive me this time!)

Reading keeps me sane. Seriously.

When I go more than a day or two without reading something--even if it's just the Reader's Digest at my parents' house from 1998--I feel as if my brain is atrophying.

Reading is a huge part of my life, and I want to pass that love along to my daughter.

Baby Physics 101

funny things that babies do


Welcome to Baby Physics 101.

This class will seek to understand the basic principles behind the often enigmatic and always erratic movements of the common baby. 

Please note: Baby Physics 101 is a pre-requisite for Toddler Biology 201 and Childhood Psychology 304, and not a pre-requisite for traditional Physics 101, as the concepts in Baby Physics generally conflict with the tenants of traditional physics.

What I Think: A Review of Marisha Pessl's Night Film

marisha pessl night film book review

I was first introduced to Marisha Pessl when I was wandering the aisles of Blue Bicycle Books in downtown Charleston (if you're ever in town, definitely stop by and support a local bookseller!). I found her debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which has nothing to do with science and everything to do with awesomeness. Her writing was snappy, her metaphors were original, the characters were quirky but believable and it was chock-a-block full of literary metaphors. 

Add in the fact that there was a murder mystery at the heart of it, and I was sold.