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Naw, I kid. I’ve been on Facebook since 2004 but this is a new step for my little blog because now you can find My Pretty Pennies on there! What what!¬†Welcome to 2010, MPP.

Please feel free to add me as your friend, write on my wall, send me delightful photos or links or whatever. Can’t wait to “meet” some of you!

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Not when you are hosting 90 people at your house!

Last week at my mom’s Celebration Party, our home was filled with sunshine, fresh flowers, old friends, and a plethora of delicious cakes. Surprisingly we had very little leftover. My visit home was so refreshing trip after two long, cold months of winter. It made me long for spring and future happy trips.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday! Hooray for longer days!

Update: These photos were taken from my lovely little sister, a professional photographer based in my hometown. She gave me permission to use her photos but I don’t want to credit her publicly because I’m anonymous. However, if you live in North Carolina and are interested in using her services, please email me at myprettypennies{at}hotmail.com. Thanks!

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My weekend high expectations were certainly met; J and I had a terrific time together! We went shopping, saw two movies, watched a lot of Olympics, ate lots of food, and laughed constantly. It was just what we needed after a month and a half apart.

Beginning Balance: $97.50

+$50 babysitting cash (used it all on food, parking fees, etc.)
-$56.54 dinner
J paid for everything else

Ending Balance: $40.96

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Wordless Wednesday

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Girl’s Weekend!!!

I have some of the best friends from college, but unfortunately all of us are scattered about the eastern shore. We don’t see each other as often as we’d like, but that just means we get to plan Girl’s Weekends! This weekend I am hosting Girl’s Weekend. I am sooo excited. I have three beautiful girls staying with me for three days!

One challenge for Girl’s Weekend is the cost. Whether you are the one traveling or the one hosting, there are always expenses.

Here’s a little snapshot of what hosting expenses include:

  • Gasoline for airport pickups and any driving around town
  • Groceries for breakfasts, snacks. desserts and meals
  • Dining or going out costs
  • Movies or entertainment
  • Shopping
  • Apartment decorations — Having out of town guests gives me an excuse to buy apartment “wants,” including flowers, cute decorations or kitchen items. This past weekend I bought an adorable chalkboard, cream/sugar set, and little dish towels to help pretty-up my place.

The four of us all live in separates cities with separate salaries and budgets. In order to tailor to everyone’s lifestyle, I like to plan activities to make sure there are a lot of options so that each person can spend as much or as little as they want. For example, I have a list of shopping places we could all go, restaurants with a variety of prices, and activities that could be versatile. This may sound silly, but one of the things my friends and I love to do is get dressed up and take pictures together somewhere. That’s as cheap as it comes!

Mentally I have prepared myself that January would be expensive so I don’t have to pinch the pennies the entire time people are in town. I want to have the flexibility to go see a show or ice skate if that’s what everyone wants to do. There’s nothing worse than a hostess who complains about the expenses of having people in town. If you can’t afford to host your friends, you probably shouldn’t, unless you’re all upfront on what you’re doing and the costs associated.

Anyone else host Girl’s Weekends a lot? Any tips you have for having out-of-town guests?

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“Elementary, my dear Watson.”

I’m a bit of a Sherlock Holmes dork and am sooo excited about this movie. J’s family always has the tradition of seeing a movie in the afternoon on Christmas Day. Does anyone else have that family tradition? Anyone seen it yet?

Eeeeee! I’m so excited!

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White Christmas?

One of my favorite holiday movies is White Christmas. They’re all so jolly, aren’t they? I have to admit, I’ve never had a snowy Christmas. Growing up in the South doesn’t afford for many snowy Decembers. Have you ever had a White Christmas? Is it suppose to snow where you tonight? It’s definitely not going to snow where I am….

Merry Christmas Eve! :)

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bon voyage!

{photo}

Dear Readers,

Farewell for a few days! I will be away from this blog and twitter until I return on January 4th… unless of course the withdraw becomes unbearable and in that case I may appear a few times once I’m back in the states. ;)

For those curious about my vacation, I’ll be on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico for Christmas then will be in my home state with J’s family celebrating the New Year.

My Holiday To Do List:

  • Don’t make any to-do lists
  • Indulge in delicious food
  • …but not too much
  • Take a lot of pictures
  • Have a ton of fun

Hope your holiday to do list looks similar! I’m so blessed to have so many lovely readers out there. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday! See you in 2010!!!

-MPP-

ps- Don’t worry, I have some scheduled posts that will appear in my absence. :)

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As an anonymous blogger, I rarely get the chance to practice my financial dorkiness awesomeness. You just can’t sit down with friends and openly ask them about their Roth IRA or whether they’re finished with funding their Emergency Fund. I mean, sure you can, but I don’t. I pretty much keep that information to my closet life: to this blog and twitter.

Well, last night my worlds collided: I attended my first ever Personal Finance Blogging Happy Hour! I met real bloggers in the flesh!

There are many amazing bloggers in DC and I got the chance to meet up with five of them last night. Let me just say I was nervous as all get out. I got off the metro, walked up the street to the bar Recessions (appropriate meet-place, huh?), and realized that I had no idea what anyone looked like. I walked into the bar and saw a handfull of small groups across the place, cursing myself that I hadn’t emailed the group something like “I’ll be wearing a black jacket” (like everyone else in this city). Finally after deciding not to shout out “PF Blogging group?” to the entire place, I approached a table thankful to find my fellow friends.

In attendance:

Small Budget, Big Style To be honest, I didn’t get a chance to talk to her much! I was on the opposite side of the table, but I have recently started following her blog about two things I love: finances and style.

Debt Hater Like SBBS, she was also on the other side of the table from me. I’ve chatted with her some on Twitter and it was so nice to meet her in person. You should also know she has an adorable blue jacket I was lusting after.

Mrs. Micah This girl is as nice as her blog and twitter posts–seriously. In addition to her brilliant financial and website knowledge, I learned a few other things about her… like her profession, her comic book interest, and where she lives close enough to throw a rock at.

Brian Schuer @ My Next Buck What a genuninely nice guy! He certainly knows the ends and outs of the blogging world and put me to shame with his extensive knowledge of how to market your blog. After hearing about his crazy busy schedule, I was touched that he made time to come to the HH… and learned exactly where and when he makes time to write his posts.

Craig @ Budget Pulse Also an awesome guy! Craig works at Budget Pulse, a site that provides budget software for free. Not only is he a great guy to share blogging tips, but also to share a beer, a metro ride, and a similar opinion on the Twilight series.

I have received a few questions from readers about creating your own budgets. I recommend checking out¬†Budget Pulse: it’s free and it’s 100% secure.

All in all, a delightful evening and a great first PF blogging happy hour. Looking forward to the next!

Oh and you know I’d have to report: I bought a beer and crabcakes for $10.80 with tip. :) Yum and yummier.

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Favorite Holiday Chick Flick:
The Holiday. I’m not a hu
uuge fan of Cameron Diaz’s character, but Kate Winselet makes up for all she lacks. My favorite scene is when they’re in the movie store drinking frappuccinos.

“I like corny. I’m looking for corny in my life.”

Favorite Holiday Kid Movie:
Home Alone I & II.
Ah, what a classic. I remember watching these movies every Thanksgiving evening with all of my cousins. Isn’t it funny how the holidays make you remember old times?

“Hiya, pal. We outsmarted you this time.”

Favorite Not-Christmas Movie That Always Makes Me Think of Christmas:
Little Women.
Just listening to the opening music makes me feel cozy, warm, and reminds me of home. This movie is almost as good as the book.

“Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it.”

Favorite Holiday Comedy:
Love Actually. Such a great one. You may think this should be in the Chick Flick category, but my boyfriend who hates”girly movies” loves this one.
My favorite couple, you ask? The one with Colin Firth, obviously.

“We need Kate, and we need Leo. And we need them now.”

Favorite Holiday Classic:
It’s a Wonderful Life.
My family always watches this movie on Christmas Eve next to a fire eating something festive. It is my all-time favorite holiday movie. It’s just sooo wonderful. A close second classic is White Christmas.

“I wanna live again! I wanna live again!”

What is your favorite holiday movie?

[Post inspired by the lovely Naturally Nina. :)]

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