Saturday, January 20, 2018

Go Outside And Play Now

I was sitting with some friends eating lunch yesterday. And we were talking about birds. My friend told the story of how his nephew had received a pair of birds as pets. He had to choose names for them, and he decided that they would be named Mario and Luigi. His mother asked him why he picked those names. And he responded "I don't know any others". His mom told him it's time to go outside and play now.

It was a humorous story, but it also reminded me of an interview I heard with Paula Poundstone the other day. She was discussing how her son was an electronic addict. And she wasn't kidding. She told how she and her husband have had to take extreme measures to get him away from electronics. She tells how he describes it as a craving. And that he would sneak time with a cell phone. It sounds crazy, but I do believe her when she talks about electronic addiction.

I was out with a friend over the holidays. And she was constantly checking her phone. I removed the internet from my house so that I would do something other than get online. It's like we are a nation of maintenance electronic addicts. So before you check your phone today, go outside and play now.



Friday, January 19, 2018

Opening Atlantis

Opening Atlantis is an alternate history novel by Harry Turtledove. I have read a couple of other books by Turtledove so when I saw this book, I decided to pick it up and give it a read.

The Story

This is the story of adventurers and explorers. Individuals who see something that could change their lives and take the chance to make their chances better. There is a land in between the new world and Europe. It is a land of plenty, and there are no inhabitants there. But sailors have seen this place, and they are the ones who decide to develop settlements there. 

There are French, Spanish and English settlements. The story spans 300 years from the time when the area is first settled to the time when the inhabitants are warring about who will own much of the land.

The story shows just how humans impact an area. And how attitudes change over the course of centuries.

What I Think

I honestly tried to like this book. And I did read through the entire thing. I couldn't relate to the characters in the book. I think it was because they were mostly male characters. There were few female characters that were developed. But the dialogue was not that interesting to me. I have read other books by Turtledove, and I really enjoyed them. But this one was not my cup of tea. As I read the book, I had the feeling I had when I read a Tom Clancy book a few years ago. I had the feeling that this book was just not written for me.




Thursday, January 18, 2018

When The Snow Melts I Will Find

I remember walking down the street last spring. It was not long after the snow melted. And I thought about all the things that were just lying on the ground. They had been there throughout the winter. And they just came visible after the thaw.

And then I thought about an incident when I was a child. I lived in Northern Minnesota. It gets really cold, and it snows a lot. There was a hill at the side of our yard. And you went down the hill if the car was parked on the street. My brother was carrying a tray in his hands, and he had placed the car keys on the tray.

He kind of slid down the hill that day. And oh yes, the keys went flying. Have you ever searched for car keys in the snow? It is no easy task. In fact, it is easier to let the snow melt and then look for the keys.

That day my brother decided they were lost. But then one day in the spring, I was running down the hill. The snow had just melted, and guess what I found? I found those shiny keys in the mushy early spring wet grass.

So when the snow melts what will you find this year?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cutout Turtleneck Sweater Do It Yourself Style

Most of you have seen those cut out turtleneck sweaters. They are really cute, and really popular right now. For those of you who are wondering what they look like here's a picture of one.
I watched The Sorry Girls do a do it yourself version of this, and well it did look pretty easy. So since I recently purchased a turtleneck on at thrift store trip, I decided to see if this was as easy as it looked in their video.

Here's what the turtleneck started out like.
The first thing you want to do is put your sweater on. You want to see just where you want the cutout needs to be. Either mark it with chalk or pins.


I a measuring tape and laid it across the area I wanted to cut out to give me a way of keeping it something even. I then placed pins down in a v shape.

Then grab your scissors and cut along the inside of the pins. Take the pins and using a piece of yarn sew the item under about a quarter inch. 

It will end up something like this.

In the end this really was as easy as it sounds. And it didn't really take that much time to complete. And the price tag was much cheaper that what you could get in the store. 

So if you are a fan of do it yourself projects try this one.




Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Blue Lizard

There are days when you wake up and you just know deep in your bones that you are going to see something a little different than what you normally see each and every day. That was the case yesterday. I saw a blue lizard. For most of us that isn't an everyday occurrence so like all good iPhone owners I whipped out the camera and snapped a pic.

Monday, January 15, 2018

You're The Star Blog Hop

Vacations are an awesome thing. They are a time when you feel free to do whatever you wish, and can afford to do. This week I have focused on getting some things accomplished around my house. I've made a lot of progress, but there is so much more that I want to do.
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg
Welcome to week#3 of the January "You're the Star" Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share this post from my blog:

Did You Just Burn Your Clothes?


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WELCOME to FAMILY feature week of the
January "You're the STAR" blog hop!
Meet your FAMILY week Host & Cohost 
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarFamily_zpsmife1ehc.jpg
This week is FAMILY feature week
Swing by the Family hosting team's blogs:
Miranda @ The Myrabev Life
Linda @ Country Loving Mom
Elizabeth @ Family Farm School
This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!
There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear - this is NOT a themed party - you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The "theme" occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#3 FAMILY - parenting, fitness, health, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc -  anything family friendly)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(These features were chosen from the December "You're the STAR" blog hop)
 76 Fun Winter Activities for your Family by Magical Mama


15 Fun Ideas For Charlotte's Web by Not In Jersey
9d82f70ccf61abc8b2de469af1519b09

Making An Easy Advent Calendar with Felt by Just Measuring Up
How to Make an Advent Calendar out of Felt





Andes Mint Christmas Bark by Marilyns Treats
Mint Christmas Bark. The definition of cozy. Hot cocoa, pj's, a crackling fire, a good movie and this! #andes #mint #bark



If you've been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg
*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click HERE to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts). 
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click HERE & fill out the form.


*******************************************************

All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn't be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post - rest assured - we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES - other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )


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Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Private Island

I think we all have had times when we fanticize about just going to our own private island. You know the days when work is not going the way you want it to. And then you get home and there is a busted pipe. You just say to yourself I just want to get away to my own private island. Believe it or not it may not be as difficult as it seems.

Buying an island doesn't have to be that expensive if you aren't picky about where it is located. The tropics are expensive. But go off the northeast coast is much more affordable.

Financing for an island is unheard of. Be ready with your cash.

Don't think that if you build your dream house on the island that it will add to the value of the island. Your dream home may not be someone else's dream home.

Not surprisingly islands in the Bahamas are the hottest real estate. They are close to the US so there is easy access.

Be careful what you do with the island. It is an ecosystem that can get screwed up. Check out what the locals know about that ecosystem.

You may not be as isolated as you think recent advances in technology have make life more accessible than eve. There are advances that have made it simpler to get fresh water.

And be prepared to rent out your island. It's way easier to maintain a home if there is someone there.

So who's up to buying an island?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

My Writing Routine

Each person has some sort of ritual when they write. Even I do. I know it is hard to believe, but it's true. So here is the my writing routine.

First I must pack up my computer and go to the library. I jump in the car and head off to the library. I set an hour to write, and I am also checking email while I write my posts.

Keep in mind I did take the internet out of my house last year. It has been quite a great thing. I am spending more time doing things I enjoy, but it does crunch the amount of time that I can blog.

I often have the ideas before I begin writing. Just because I am not online at home it doesn't mean I don't think about what should I blog about? My goal is always to write three posts in an hour. Yes, there are times when I can actually do this. But often I only have a goal that I don't attain.

If I am lucky I have taken some pictures before I packed up. Then I just sit down and start writing about the topic I have chosen for the post.  I'm always amazed that if I set my mind to it, and I focus on what I am doing at how quickly the words just begin flowing.

And I wonder to myself as I write this, just how much I could accomplish in life if I just got myself to focus.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Glitter Lips

I've read several blog posts, and I've watched several videos showing just how easy it was to do glitter lips. And I always thought they looked really cool. So I decided it was time to test this out and see if it was as easy as they say.

First of all you are going to need a few supplies.

matte lipstick
thick lip gloss
glitter
lip brush

The process is really simple. First apply your matte lipstick. Make sure it is a light shade. A nude or natural color works best.

Then place the gloss over your lips. Next get out your brush and the glitter. Dip your brush into the glitter and smooth it across your lips.

It should turn out something like this.

This really was as easy as everyone says. There were two little problems though. The glitter stays on your lips really well. But some of it spread onto my teeth. So I had purple flecks on my teeth. That wasn't the look I was going for, and it was really difficult to get off my lips. I tried just wiping it off. Nope, that didn't work. So I broke out the baby oil, and it came right off. So maybe baby oil should be added to that list of items you need to make glitter lips.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Easy Ways to Improve Your Home Right Now

Everyone wants to improve their home. But so often you feel like I can't do it because improvements cost a lot of money. But that isn't necessarily true. Here are a few easy low cost ways to improve your home.

Keep Composting

Winter is the time to keep adding to that pile. Keep adding brown materials like newspapers, and of course those kitchen scraps. The browns add carbon to your dirt, and the greens add nitrogen. Don't forget to add hair from your hairbrush for extra nitrogen. In the spring you'll have great new dirt for your garden.

Air Conditioner

It sounds crazy but turn on that air conditioner for five minutes every other month. This will keep the internal parts lubricated.

Evergreens

After a heavy snow the limbs of evergreens are often loaded with sno. It looks really pretty, but it may just be too much extra weight for those branches. Take a broom and dust off some of the snow so branches don't break and the tree remains healthy.

Fire Extinguishers

Fires increase in the winter. So it's time to add a fire extinguisher to each floor of your home. Make sure they can spray at least ten feet to assure they are effective if there is a fire.

What tips do you have for improving your home.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Baby Shoes

Sometimes you see something that is just adorable. That's what happened when I was at the antique mall last week. I saw these shoes, and I thought they are so adorable. So of course I whipped out the phone and snapped a photo.


Monday, January 8, 2018

You're The Star Blog Hop

Have you ever had a moment when you just said to yourself, I'm not doing that. Nope, it's just not gonna happen. I hit that wall this week. I thought to myself. I do not have to put up with that, and I am going to take a break. So next week I am taking some vacation. I made my mind up it's going to happen. And it will be a break that I really need. Nobody is doing anything wrong, but I am tired of my co-workers. And I'm going to take it. Enough of that, it's time to go to the hop. Read, link and enjoy all the posts. They are all well worth reading.

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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

Welcome to the second week of the January blog hop called "You're the Star"!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share this post from my blog:
This week it's time to take a look at the past. Check out my post on 
Places I Used To Visit 

__________________________________________________________________________

WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the January "You're the STAR" blog hop!
Meet your CREATIVE week Hosts 
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarCreative_zpsqpqqlxbv.jpg
This week is CREATIVE feature week
Swing by the Creative hosting Team's blogs:
Colleen @ Butterfly in the Attic
Darlene @ Let It Shine

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!
There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear - this is NOT a themed party - you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The "theme" occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#2 CREATIVE - arts & crafts, music, writing &/or dramatic arts (this can include sewing, yarn work, dance, art history, handmade jewelry, painting, computer art, fashion etc - anything creative while remaining family friendly)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(These features were chosen from the December "You're the Star" blog hop)

2018 Printable Calendar by Keeping It Real
2018 Calendar - free printable
Free Printable Gift Tags by This Autoimmune Life


Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags
Snowy Windows & Mirrors by Chas' Crazy Creations


Snowy Windows and Mirrors (and more) 

My Favorite Pillow Covers & De Stash Challenge by Stone Cottage Adventures

If you've been featured then please grab a STAR button below:



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click HERE to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts). 
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click HERE & fill out the form.


*******************************************************

All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn't be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post - rest assured - we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES - other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )



___________________________________________________________________

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Naan Tostadas

With the recent cold weather I haven't wanted to run out of the house unless I absolutely have to. That means there has been a lot of raiding the fridge and creating meals out of what I already have on hand. And one of the best I came up with during this cold spurt was Naan Tostadas.

Here's What You Need

Naan
Refried Beans
Queso Blanco
Avocado
Chicken strips
Pico De Gallo

Here's What You Do

Warm up your beans. Spread the beans over the naan, and then top it off with your chicken, cheese avocado and salsa.

And of course enjoy what you have created!



Saturday, January 6, 2018

Happy Moments From The Week

Once again it is time to share those happy moments from the week. You know the ones that just make you smile to yourself when you think about them.

Imagine waking into the pizza joint to pick up your carry out order. You hear that song with the lyrics rebel just for kicks playing on the radio. You turn around and see the lady making pizza singing along, dancing and throwing the pizza up in the air. It was so refreshing to see someone enjoy themselves at work.

That totally awesome feeling you have when you successfully complete a project you have been working on for a month. You keep telling hurray I did it!

That feeling of relief when you realize that the only reason the furnace didn't kick on was that you needed to change the battery in the thermostat. Reminder to self pick up more triple a batteries.

So what has been happening in your life recently.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Captain's Tips On Pet Winter Health Hazards

This is Captain. I normally tell you all about the life my roommate and I lead with our pet human. But today I decided to let all of the humans know about some dangers that face animals in the winter.

1. Antifreeze

Humans often don't realize just how dangerous spilled antifreeze is to animals. It is clear and has a slightly sweet taste so some animals who are thirsty drink it. And then many animals innocently walk through the antifreeze. Later they lick their paws to clean them. Both of these situations are hazardous because it is poisonous. Please clean up any spilled antifreeze immediately.

2. Ice & Snow

Most areas with snow and ice use salt and other chemicals to clean walkways and roads. This can irritate our paw. And it can irritate our stomachs if we lick the chemicals off our feet. If the animal in your household goes outside during the winter, consider providing them with booties to protect their paws.

3. Leftovers

Yes, I adore treats, just check out some of my other posts to learn just how much. But honestly those treats often upset my stomach. Please be sure that you use restraint when passing out those leftover food items. And please make sure they are placed in a secure trash bin so that those trash diggers in the animal world don't over indulge.

So please keep these tips in mind this winter and your animals will remain much healthier.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A Column Of Fire

It's time for me to tell you about what I've been reading recently. I picked up the book A Column of Fire by Ken Follett. I read his book The Pillars of the Earth and I really enjoyed it so I was excited to see this new book.

The Story

This book returns to the village of Kingsbridge. It is the time of Mary Tudor. And there are religious divides within England. It isn't safe to be a protestant. And there are those who wish for tolerance. One incident in Kingsbridge makes Ned decide that he wants to do something about the intolerance. But what can he do?

He by chance meets a man who can who works for the young Princess Elizabeth. Ned finds that he becomes a part of a great spymaster network that protects the princess who becomes queen. But he still misses the love of his life, Margery Fitzgerald. They were separated by religion and intolerance. 

But life goes on, and he while he is working in Paris he meets a new love. And they marry. His new love is Protestant, and very eager to work with Ned. But they see the horrible St. Bartholomew's day massacre in Paris. And they move to England.

Life continues and Ned's great love Margery remains part of his life as a friend. But she believes she is doing God's will by helping Catholic families. She assists with placing young priests in their homes. Little does she know that her brother is working to destroy the individual who has provided the somewhat tolerant atmosphere they are living in, Queen Elizabeth. When she finds out his plot to destroy the queen Margery never lets Ned know.

And keeping this secret is a huge mistake for Margery. 

What I Think

I really liked this book. It deals with a time in history that has a lot of drama anyway. And this book brings some of that drama to life. It makes it seem a little more real. There are constant themes of love and choices that individuals make. And I liked how the book shows just how important tolerance really is. The characters are interesting. And I like how it shows that there were strong women that existed in that time frame. We so often see women as doing nothing at that point in time. They simply ran their homes, but there were women who had to run businesses just to survive. And they were often successful.

So this book is great for anyone who enjoys historical fiction.




Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January Goals 2018

The New Year is here. Whether we like it or not, it is here. And I decided not to set any big resolutions this year. Most people break them within a few days. And I do make progress on things when I set goals each month. I do actually work through them. So let's take a look at the goals I set for the month of December 2017. I have to admit that I did not do as well on my goals for the month of December. Other things just seemed to happen.

My first goal was to create a design for a t-shirt. This seemed like something really easy to attain, but it just didn't happen. I don't know why, but that's the story. Maybe I just wasn't ready to do it.

I also wanted to get a pedicure. Winter feet can just be gross. But it didn't happen either, I think it is partially due to the really cold spurt that has descended on the area. Because there was a day that I thought about going, and I was like absolutely not it is just to cold.

I did put together some new business cards for Serendipity Created. Well, actually my friend did it, but I paid for it, does that count? I think so. The goal was attained.

I also wanted to work on a Mixed Media project that I started a while back. I worked on it. But it was not completed. I have put it aside since it is a Christmas project. Hurray for me!

Goals For January

1. Organize those coloring books

I love to spend time coloring. I also have a load of coloring books. But they are sitting everywhere. It is kind of driving me crazy. I want to put together a special container and store those precious book properly.

2. Push Toward That Next Craft Fair

There is a craft fair coming up this month. I have a big list of items that I want to prepare for it. I plan to work on the items every day this month. Big goal will I achieve it?

3. Plan my vacation budgets

Yes, January is the time that we all choose our vacations where I work. These are the only times that we are guaranteed off. Choosing the weeks is a given. But I also need to see how much money I want to spend on each vacation. And do I need to start setting aside more money for the vacations. I did set up a vacation account a few months ago, so I have a head start.

4. Call about that Teddy Bear Project

There is a local group that collects teddy bears for children. It's a volunteer project. I want to learn more about the group, and see if I want to join them. It sounds like something I would enjoy, but I want to learn more before I set time aside for the project.

So do you have any goals for the month?



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Cave Tools Meat Tenderizer

I was recently contacted by Cave Tools to see if I would be willing to do a review of one of their products. I replied absolutely. I decided on a meat tenderizer since this is something that I needed. I picked the meat tenderizer and here is what I think of the product.

The Product

The tenderizer came wrapped in plastic in a small box. It had a clear hard plastic cover over the bottom of the tenderizer.

The back of the box gave information about the product. 

It also comes along with a sheet of instructions. It provides ways to ensure that your tenderizer works best.
I decided to try it out on a steak that I had. All you have to do is place the tool on top of the meat and press down on the white handle. 

What I Think

I really like how easy this item was to use. The compression system is so easy to use. I also like that I didn't have to slam a meat hammer down on the meat. I like that the blades puncture the meat so it is great for marinating meat. 

I also like just how easy it is to clean. You can just throw it in with the rest of your dishes. It is also safe to put it through a dishwasher. The instruction sheet gives the steps to dissemble the tenderizer to clean it. They are easy to follow and it works. I also think the tool is moderately priced at 12.99. So it can fit into most people's budget. I do recommend this Cave Tool product to all individuals who enjoy cooking.

Check out the product through Amazon or through their website Cave Tools. Be sure to include the code TENDER15 in order to receive 15% off for the tenderizer.


Monday, January 1, 2018

You're The Star Blog Hop

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you were all able to celebrate in a grand fashion. This year's new year's eve was nothing spectacular, but I did have a good time. So off to the hop!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the January 2018 "You're the Star" Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:
With winter in full swing sometimes it is difficult to keeping your home smelling spring fresh. You can't open the windows to let in fresh air. So check out my post on ways to keep your home fresh.

Mother Nature's Way of Freshening Your Home 

__________________________________________________________________________

WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the January 2018 "You're the STAR" blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsb5jj8whe.jpg
This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:
Angie @ God's Growing Garden
Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!
There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear - this is NOT a themed party - you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The "theme" occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN - gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(All features were chosen from the December 2017 "You're the Star" blog hop)

Rustic Boxwood Wreath by Curly Crafty Mom


Christmas Lights At Florida Botanical Garden by Comfort Spring
Christmas at Fl Botanical Garden6



  Simple Dried Oranges by Making a House a Home


Buckeye Harvest 2017 by Stone Cottage Adventures



If you've been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg
*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click HERE to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click HERE & fill out the form.


*******************************************************

All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn't be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post - rest assured - we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES - other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )


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