Thanksgiving Break in Photos - LOTS OF FOOD

Upon returning to campus I'm swamped with finals exams to study for, projects to finish, and papers to write. So today, you'll have to just live with my photos instead of a long drawn out account of my break-- which wasn't terribly eventful or groundbreaking anyway. Except for the Black Friday Haul which I go into in depth here and the Thanksgiving feast! Here's a look at the food, the fun, and the madness through photos from my instagram.

After picking me up from school, my dad took me to our favorite
Italian place in Williamsburg-- Francesco's!
Calamari at Francesco's
Butter Pesto Seafood Pasta
Dutch-oven brisket my sister made the night my cousins came in to town
The Thanksgiving feast
Clock-wise from top: deep-fried flounder, deep-fried cheesy riceballs,
deep fried squid, and deep-fried brocolli
(We deep fry a lot on Thanksgiving)
Deep-fried turkey
Ham. I didn't get the configuration of it but whatever.
Buttermilk battered fried chicken, courtesy of my sister.
Mashed potatoes
Two deep-fried chickens. 
The spread.
Black Friday
Heaven is being near the front of the line at the Kate Spade store on
Black Friday before it opens.
click through to see my Black Friday haul.
Korean bone soup! Spicy and delicious!
Bonding with my sister and taking pictures of her when she's not looking!
Banchan before our Seafood Tofu soup comes out!
Delicious seafood tofu soup!
Last day in town
Shrimp and Broccoli 
Fancy authentic Chinese food spread at 100 Degrees Celsius
Playing with my aunt's dog before we leave town for Williamsburg!
Well, back to work! I've got one week left and then it's all finals. Good luck everyone and I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!
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Black Friday Haul 2012

I'm about done for the day ya'll. I had a crazy night, starting from 7pm to 1am at the Outlets, a one hour break and then back out to Target and then Old Navy. I was done at 5am.

There are christmas presents in this mix. This make things difficult for me, so I'm putting stuff under the break. If you don't want to see your gift and you're one of my close buddies, I may have already brought your present so don't look under the break!

GRAND TOTAL: $394.33
TOTAL RETAIL VALUE: $658.27
TOTAL SAVINGS: $263.94
I saved a total of 40.1%!


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10 Black Friday Shopping Tips from a Pro

As some of you may remember, I'm a seasoned Black Friday shopper. So today, I'm going to post ten hints, tips, and tricks for your Black Friday pleasure. Hopefully these will help you score goodies and encourage you to out there and get in on the sweet deals.

  1. Check out sales ahead of time. This can help you plan out where to go and how to spend your time. BFAds.net is a great site to check out the sales ads from many major retailers. Also check out the websites of the stores in the mall(s) you're planning on hitting. 
  2. Find out the hours of the stores. Some stores open even before midnight. Typically, the earlier in the day (or night), the better the deals. 
  3. Make a list. Make lists of things you need, people to buy Christmas gifts for, stores to visit (and their hours), and sales you want to get in on. If you don't make lists you might find yourself buying too many extras, or missing sales. Making a list keeps you on track and on time.
  4. Carry cash. You're less likely to overspend if you can watch the cash disappear, instead of swiping through your budget.
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Harper Honey Relaunch Giveaway!

Hey Everybody!

As I'm sure you've noticed, my site has flipped over from Thrifty Miss Harper to Harper Honey. Why the change? Well, my site originally was about my adventures in Thrift Store shopping. Since then it has grown to be about much more-- food, college, travel... As a result I decided that my site needed a redesign and a new name!

Why Harper Honey? Well, because first of all, I love honey and bees. Honey is actually pretty magical. It's the only food that never spoils, and it has tons of uses, including to help ease outdoor allergies and treat burns! Bees are responsible for about 1/3 of our food supply since the pollination process is important for most crops. So yeah, they're pretty cool. I also love hexagons, which, by virtue of honeycombs, also fit into this honey-aesthetic. Honey is sweet, honey is multi-purpose, and packed full of nutritious goodies. It's also a term of endearment :) So why not!

In the past year, tons of great stuff has happened with this blog. I got sponsored by Glam Media, did my first giveaway, and broke 25,000 pageviews, and even got a compliment from The CollegeBoard. So today, I'm launching a giveaway to celebrate all the goodness that's come to this blog.

What am I giving away?
One winner will receive a super gorgeous brass honeycomb necklace (just like mine!), a pretty turquoise notebook with an inspirational quote on it in gold, and a $10 Starbucks Gift Card.

One runner-up will get a golden antique-style Octopus Necklace!

Rules:

  • Giveaway ends at Midnight on November 27th, 2012.
  • This contest is open internationally!
  • You must be willing to give me a valid mailing address. Otherwise, what's the point?
  • I will contact the winners by email. If they do not respond within the week, I will have to choose a new winner.

How to Enter:
You can enter multiple ways, and some actions even earn multiple entries! Make sure you follow through on my giveaway Widget below.

  • First, you have to "Like" HarperHoney on Facebook! That's one entry, but you can still get more! Already a fan? Just claim your entry!
  • Comment on this post and you'll get 5 more entries! In your comment, tell me what you think of the site.
  • Tweet about this giveaway! You can do that through the widget below. That'll get you 3 additional entries!
  • Follow me on twitter (@harperyi) for 3 more entries.
  • And finally, you can earn 10 additional entries for blogging about my giveaway! Make sure to tell me the URL where you posted about this giveaway-- otherwise I'll have to disqualify those entries! You must include a link to my blog, a link to this post, and all 3 photos of the prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Election 2012: I just cried for the last hour and a half from joy

There were a lot of things to consider today (yesterday) when I voted (for the first time!). I voted according to my beliefs and I voted for Obama. That said I am so happy with my choice. For those who voted differently than I did, or even the same but for different reasons, know I'm not looking to pick a fight-- Like I said, a lot went into this election and how you vote and I'm not in your head.

But let me just take a minute to try to articulate how monumental tonight was for me. What this election meant to me.

I live in a formerly Red state which has, in recent political cycles, become a swing state, a fact that I attribute not only to demographic shifts but also the recent surge in young voters. We are making a difference. We are making our voices heard. Let's take a look at how absurdly close my state was.
via Google and AP

My vote made a difference. It is an incredible feeling and I know it is a lot harder for those in "settled" Red or Blue states, but man, only after so many more of us started getting in there did this become possible. So don't just vote, but also get out the vote and encourage others to do so as well.

Let me just also state that although many issues came into play, and I had to weigh many different things based on what I prioritize. It's not so much about people caring or not caring about economy, the military, civil rights, etc. but about the way they order them. They're all important but it's really in the way we prioritize them that makes the difference. To me, the issue of LGBTIQ/GSM rights (and civil rights in general) is extremely important to me.

I spent the first hour after the announcement shouting around campus-- walking around our little patch of swamp and cheering, singing, and high-fiving fellow TWAMPs-- and then I came back, adrenaline-posted on facebook, and then I just started sobbing because this victory and the victories for gay rights across the country tonight just meant so much to me.

I have a lot of friends of gender-sexual minorities and so this was so monumental for me. Being someone who is very vocal about my support for gay rights (and also being good at serving as everyone's relationship counselor and almost a therapist) I have listened to many of my LGBTetc. friends' stories and troubles. Contemplations of suicide, heartbreak, terror, and just so much hurt and fear and sometimes even hopelessness, all of which for the most part has been ignored, institutionalized, or de-emphasized as a special interest, not an attack on civil rights and human dignity. The outcome of tonight's ballots was important to me because it symbolized America standing up and opening their arms to these kids and adults alike who've been ostracized, isolated, terrorized, broken, and driven to darker depths than I have ever known. So here's to fewer bad days, an affirmation that their lives, mental health, safety, and general well-being are a priority, and to fewer assaults, suicides, and untimely funerals. Let's not forget that lives were saved tonight.

Here's a very powerful video that I watched as the results were pouring in-- and absolutely lose it to. This video and song get me every time. This video is a reminder of what kind of America I wanted to fight for and what kind of societal norms I wanted to stand against.


Same Love - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft Mary Lambert

A big kudos to everyone who did their civic duty and exercised their right to vote-- a privilege that many people are still denied and even die for. And remember, no matter what the outcome of this election, you can still change things-- you can volunteer, write to and meet with your elected officials, contribute to political discourse, educate your friends, and more. The election results aren't the be-all-end-all, and you still have a voice.

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I Voted Today!

Today I voted for the first time! So exciting!
The line was so long and so quick! Hooray for high voter turn-outs!
I really believe in the importance of voting, especially in Presidential elections. I hope you all voted today! Some people decide not to vote because they think their state is already decided, but as a Virginian, I can tell you that that vote counts-- in the past few election cycles, Virginia has changed from a Red State to a Swinger, and that wouldn't have happened if people against the status quo hadn't gone and voted.


My friends and I went and voted together! We're hanging by a thread waiting for the results! Thanks to everyone who voted and supported the American way, exercising their right and responsibility to shape this great nation!
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