Friday, January 29, 2016

Thoughts from an 18 hour plane ride


Fucking BO. Worst BO ever. WHY GOD? WHY?

Ooh cushy headphones. 

Where is that BO coming from? 

Is it me? MFD? Sniff test time.

So thirsty. Assholes confiscating my water bottles after I've been through security. Motherfuckers. Fucking fucks. 

I wonder how much snow is around the car.

Don't think about the snow. Relax. Serenity. 

Source of BO identified. Diagonally in front of us. Super.

That child sounds like there is a demon inside of it. 

Annnd MFD has fashioned a nose mask to combat the BO using earplugs, toilet paper, an eye mask, and airline socks. I don't know him. Put your hand near your eyes and look away.

And he's reading over my shoulder. STOP IT.

And the girls next to us are taking his photo. 

Wait I have to take his photo.
If they don't get this entertainment system figured out there is going to be a mutiny on this plane. 


Pretty sure I'M THE CAPTAIN NOW is on this flight. 

I probably need to go to the grocery store tomorrow

Don't think about to do lists. Go to sleep. Serenity now.

Everything is closing in. Must switch to the aisle seat. 

Have a shitfit on an airplane and force your husband to switch seats with you RIGHT NOW due to claustrophia can now be checked off of my list

Did he seriously tell me to calm down? Does he know me? 

Do not lose your shit. You can do this!

Stuart Smalley shitbag affirmations are not going to work now.

Our picture taking neighbor is going to be the one to start the entertainment system mutiny. She has just confirmed it.

If I don't go to sleep I am going to be a danger to myself and others and also probably get divorced. 

Come the fuck on benadryl, any day now you can start working.


Dakkar. I can now say I've woken up in Senegal. 

Taking every empty seat physically apart to check is real here.  

Did they seriously want to know if I was going to wake up to eat at 1 am or whatever the fuck time it is? YES, I'm sleeping. NO, I do not want your food. Shove it up your ass!

I'll have two Dramamine instead. Benadryl is fired after hours one and two on this fucking tin can in the sky.

No, I do not want to get up so you can go to the bathroom. 

I smell farts. If I was sleeping, I wouldn't be smelling farts. 


I can't smell the BO anymore. I can't smell anything. My nostrils are as dry as the Sahara.

Where is the water? How do they expect me to survive without water? They're supposed to leave some in the galley and there's nothing except trash there. 

It's so quiet in here I feel like screaming.

I guess I'm finished sleeping, time to put the pillows away.

Yet again I have a carry on full of just in case shit that I have not used once. I need to reevaluate my carry on life. 

Too bad these cushy headphones don't work. Now I'll never see The Martian.

They totally did not clean the bathrooms in Dakkar like they were supposed to.


This breakfast tastes like hammered shit.

I hate everyone. It's like Lord of the Flies up in here. 

I dropped my basket about a week before we were supposed to leave and the flights were the main reason. Honestly they were not nearly as bad as I thought they'd be - 16 hours to Jo'burg with a stop to refuel in Accra, Ghana, followed by 2.5 hours to Cape Town and 18 hours from Jo'burg to Dulles with a stop to refuel in Dakkar, Senegal. I am surprised that they seemed to pass quickly thanks to a pseudo sleep both ways.

TGIF! In super poor planning, I have a work event planned for tonight. I just want to take my jet lagged ass home to bed. Happy birthday to my cousin Tiffany today!
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: readjusting after vacation

1. I feel like a time traveler. We left Johannesburg on Tuesday night at 6:40 pm and arrived at Dulles Airport in D.C. at 6:30 am Wednesday morning. South Africa is seven hours ahead. Whenever I travel ahead of my time zone I want to contact people at home and be like hey guys! I'm from the future! Always a mind fuck and I hope today really is Thursday. 
2. We went from sweating our asses off in the summer on Tuesday to the leftovers of a snow storm on Wednesday morning. What a shock to the system. Huge props to our dog sitter Amanda for dealing not only with the snow, but with our prima donna dogs in the snow.  

3. I don't feel like thinking about how to write my posts on Cape Town and the game lodge in Limpopo but I'll figure it out and share them next week. In the meantime, here's a video of warthogs in the courtyard outside of our room at Mabula. They make me laugh eating on their elbows and all. 

 4. Spoiler alert: the shark diving expedition was cancelled. Originally we were told it was due to rough seas, but really it was because the water has been too warm and sharks haven't come to the boat in 21 days. I appreciated them cancelling it because then we didn't waste money going out to sit on a boat. Anyhoo we found ourselves with a free day at the last minute. MFD went and got a haircut like he lives there. Of course he made friends with the barber and other locals throughout our stay in Cape Town. 

5. This sign at the Victoria & Alfred waterfront cracked me up. 

 6. Things I miss the most outside of the U.S.: ice, iced coffee, knowing my phone will always work (even when I switch to international, I don't trust it), regular time (vs military time), english units of measurement vs. the metric system, temperatures in fahrenheit, not having to do math every time I wonder how much something is in my dollar. 

7. Thank the lord I slept most of the way over and back on the plane. Even so I managed to read four books, which I will tell you all about in the next Show Us Your Books on Tuesday, February 9. I loved the bookshelves in the lobby of our hotel in Cape Town:  

8. When we travel we like to buy things that are locally made. They had a great place in Cape Town with local artisans in stalls selling their goods. One USD is equal to 16 rand so our money went far over there. We got some animals fashioned out of recycled flip flops for the nieces and nephews, a book written by a local artist for my Lola, an elephant print from an artist who wanted me to show him on a map of the US where his art would be living, baskets made from recycled telephone wire, an awesome necklace they restrung for me to make it longer. All the artists were really lovely. I also got some rock crystal not from a local artisan, but I've been looking for something like that for some time. Of course I bought local coffee and a hand painted coffee mug because of course I did.
9. MFD is heading to the shore this afternoon to assess the damage to our house from the storm this weekend. Please let it be minimal!

10. Ecard of the week as I prepare to play the miles game to get tickets for our next vacation in November: 

And just like that, I'm back. Like I was never on vacation.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Things you can remove from your to do list

January means mile long to do lists and visions of glory for the year. Here are some things I don't think you have to do. Just my opinion, but maybe it will take a load off of someone who needs a load taken off.

You don't have to...

1. Say yes to whatever others ask of you or invite you to do. Sometimes you have to say I love you all, but no. When you say yes to everything, it leaves you no time to do the things you want and need to do for yourself. Even if one of those things is sitting on the couch in your house, alone, doing nothing. Spend your time and energy on others, but set limits for yourself.  It's okay to say no to things.

2. Like everyone. Not everyone likes you. You don't have to like everyone else and you don't have to have a reason why you don't. Sometimes we just don't click with people. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with them, or with us. We just don't fit well together and that's okay.

3. Put more emphasis on your weaknesses than on your strengths. It's okay to know what you're good at and to share it with others. You won't get any awards for making yourself seem small. Don't dull your shine.

4. See things in black and white. Grey areas exist. It's okay to walk through them and feel comfortable in them.

5. Wear heels. Treat your feet. Give them the day off.

6. Apologize for other people. We can only control our own behavior. What other people do is on them.

7. React. When someone pisses you off, you can find great satisfaction and power in not responding. We can't control what happens to us in life or what other people do to and around us, but we can choose our reactions.

8. Set the world on fire every day. If you're happy in your life and work, it's okay to stay in that space a while and enjoy it before you start looking for what's next.

9. Explain yourself. Your life. Your priorities. Your choices. To everyone else: none'ya business.

10. Read non-fiction. Wait, that one is just for me.

What's on your don't have to do it list?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kickstart your productivity

I pride myself on my productivity, but even I get in slumps where I feel sluggish and unmotivated and don't want to do anything, which makes me unproductive, and then I hate my life. So I have to snap myself out of these periods quickly. How do I do that? Like so.

1. Wake up refreshed. The chances of me kicking ass increase exponentially when I'm coming off of a good sleep. Preferably 7-9 hours of sleep even though I can do with six in a pinch. This requires that I am off of all technology for at least an hour before bed and that I don't linger too long in my book.

2. Make your bed as soon as you wake up. What? Hey now, you haven't even left your bedroom yet and you've already accomplished something. Your bed is made. Army corners or whatever they're called are not necessary. Just pull the covers up, plump the pillows, and make it look presentable.

3. It's all about the three. What are the top three items that must get finished today?  Eyes on the prize, work towards those three things only. If you finish those, you might do more, but if you don't you'll have done enough to be proud of.

In July I wrote about things you can do today to increase productivity tomorrow, so if you like this post you might like that one too.

Ciao bellas. Tonight we begin the long journey home.

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Replies to comments will be sparse while we're away, I'll get back to you when we return! Follow me and MFD on Instagram to see trip snaps! He typically out instagrams me on vacation.

Monday, January 25, 2016

February 2016 Wallet Watch

Hello, yeah, it's been a while. 
Not much, how 'bout you?

What does a song by England Dan and John Ford Coley have to do with saving money? Nothing, except that the opening lyrics are hello, yeah, it's been a while...and it has. I used to do wallet watches more often in 2013 & 2014, but in 2015 we paid off some debt, I settled into my spending patterns and didn't really need to be overly careful.

Entering February, I'm coming off of an international vacation and a solid three months of increased spending getting the shore house up and running. In March, we re-open the house and have more stuff to do throughout the spring and in April, taxes are due. I could stand to watch the ol' wallet this month.

I'm not freezing all spending in February, but I am watching my wallet. My rules:

1. Wallet watch lasts from February 1 - February 29
2. Do not purchase any shoes, apparel, accessories, or home goods.
3. No Amazon shopping.
4. Mind the food and household spending - use the food in the freezers and pantry.
5. No purchasing beauty products or makeup unless something runs out and there is not a feasible substitute.
6. Approved spends: hair cut and color, tip for my massage (set aside in January), weekend away February 12-14, M-F Dunkin Donuts coffee
7. I must track spending and share how I did on Friday, March 4.

Do you want to get in on this? This is not a spending freeze unless you want it to be. Otherwise, this is a wallet watch. In the wallet watch, you make the rules - maybe you want to spend $10 less on coffee, $20 less at the grocery store,  pay off $50 more on a bill, save a certain amount for an upcoming vacation, or see how little you can spend period. Your watch, your rules. Whatever goals you set for yourself, be realistic. 

If you're planning to do a Wallet Watch in February, maybe you can join me by sharing or posting your results on March 4?

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Dinner Series: roast pork, carrots, and mashed potatoes

There are few things I love more than I hearty Sunday dinner. Hence, the Sunday dinner series. Once or twice a month I'll share a Sunday dinner.

I am a huge fan of pork. The other white meat. This Sunday dinner consisted of roasted pork loin, mashed potatoes, corn, and roasted carrots. And corn because MFD needs the corn with the mashed potatoes and pork.

3-4 lb pork loin - bring to room temperature (kosher salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, dijon mustard)
3 lb potatoes for mashed (milk, butter, salt, pepper)
2-3 lb carrots (honey, olive oil, thyme, kosher salt)
Rinse pork and pat dry. Rub down with olive oil and dijon mustard. Cut a few holes in it and insert garlic. Season with kosher salt, white pepper, rosemary, and garlic powder.
Put some olive oil in a pan and heat it until it shimmers. Brown pork on all sides, about 5-6 minutes per side.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a glass casserole with non-stick spray and cook pork about an hour and 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches about 145. I like my pork a little pink in the middle. Feel free to leave it in longer but try not to turn it into sawdust.

Wash carrots well. I don't peel mine because the skin has good nutrients. slice down to equal portions, place in a bowl, and add olive oil until just coated. Add kosher salt and thyme and a bit of honey. Stir well. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. I usually add these to the oven with the pork, and when the pork is finished I punch it up to 400 and finish these babies off. I like them a little browned. Just keep an eye on them and remove them when they look good to you.

Make your  mashed potatoes. My thoughts on mashed potatoes: 1. I never peel them, the skin has a lot of nutrients I want. 2. I add a ton of butter because this is my life and that's how I like it. 3. I keep it simple with just milk, butter, salt, and pepper.


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Replies to comments will be sparse while we're away, I'll get back to you when we return! Follow me and MFD on Instagram to see trip snaps! He typically out instagrams me on vacation.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thursday Thoughts on Home Decor

Homes and how we decorate them are so personal. What you love, I might hate. Something I love in your home I might not like in mine, but I like how it fits in yours.

I'm an eclectic decorator. If I see something I love, I will buy it and make it work. I absolutely love to troll the aisles of Homegoods hunting for treasure. I'm a fan of whimsy and words and color.

Some things I can't stand in my house but might like in yours...
  • Bed in a bag sets.
  • When everything in a room is matchy matchy. 
  • Curtains and blinds. I recognize their necessity but it doesn't mean I have to like them. 
  • Shitty gold or brass doorknobs. I need them changed out on all of our upstairs rooms.
  • Bare walls. To me, it's not mine unless I've personalized it.
  • The pillows that come with the couch.
  • Fake plants AKA dust collectors.
  • Bedskirts. I'm in the process of transitioning from bedskirts to a fitted sheet on boxsprings.
  • Matching coffee mugs.
  • Colored plates. I used to love them. Tastes change. 
  • White walls. There are no white walls in our shore house, and only the basement and bathrooms are off-white in our house. Possibly soon to be not white.
What do you not want in your space?

Replies to comments will be sparse while we're away, I'll get back to you when we return! Follow me and MFD on Instagram to see trip snaps! He typically out instagrams me on vacation.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream Sandwiches

So you know those quick recipe videos that have been on facebook? I've been watching them. You should too, because then you can make this glorious concoction.

1 tube packaged cinnamon rolls with icing
1 pint ice cream - I used vanilla bean

Open and separate cinnamon rolls. Spray waffle maker with non-stick spray and place one roll in each section. Make waffles out of the rolls, timing depends on your waffle maker. I don't think my cheap ass one took more than a minute.

Cut the ice cream in bars right inside of the pint. Be careful. Put a bar of ice cream in between two cinnamon roll waffles. Push down on the top and remove the paper from the ice cream.

Drizzle with icing.

A really simple and really easy way to make a delicious treat.

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Replies to comments will be sparse while we're away, I'll get back to you when we return! Follow me and MFD on Instagram to see trip snaps! He typically out instagrams me on vacation.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I am 32 Flavors and Then Some

2016 finds me in my fifth year of blogging. Every once in a while, usually coinciding with the beginning of the year, I think it's a good idea to do a little re-introduction of sorts for anyone who might be new to reading here, or for those of you who have been reading here to chime in with "me too!" or "you're a crazy bitch" depending. Of course, you could also just check out the about page, but I don't know when I last updated that so let us begin with a list of arbitrary things about myself that I've chosen to share today.

1. I talk about politics and religion. This isn't always a nice space because I don't avoid talking about things people might disagree with me on. Differences of opinion make the world go round. 

2. I do avoid putting all of my personal problems on this blog or the Internet in general, because some things do not belong online. Rest assured, I do have problems, just like you.

3. My favorite color is purple. 

4. If I had to choose between watching the sunrise or sunset, I would always choose sunrise. When I share photos, most people think they are sunsets, but they're more likely sunrises. 

5. I believe in celebrating my birthday all month (March). It's the reason I'm here and the sign that I have been graced with another year to grow, learn, laugh, do, and be. Not everyone gets that opportunity and I'm grateful for it.

6. I take my coffee with one cream.

7. A part of me still can't get over Beverly Hills 90210 going off the air. Currently, I'm not sure I'll ever get over the end of Downton Abbey. 

8. I believe there is a special place in hell for women who don't support other women. 

9. I have a hard time relaxing when things on my to do list aren't done.

10. I never blow dry my hair and it's more typical for me to be sans makeup than to have makeup on, but shitty looking nails make me feel bad about myself.

11. I want to be a person who regularly goes to sleep before 10 and gets up at 6 but it's more like 11:30/6:45.

12. I always thought I was a person who had to have cable until we cut our cable.

13. The thing I love most about travel is that it pushes me out of my comfort zone. The thing I hate most about travel is that it pushes me out of my comfort zone.

14. I spend most of my free time reading or cooking.

15. Things I have with me 99% of the time: a book, a bottle of water, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Ruby, sunglasses, camera/phone as camera, Wet Wipes.

16. I have not missed voting in an election since I turned 18.

17.  I'd rather be cold than hot.

Alas, I was too ambitious with this title, but I do like that song. I'll stop on the Edge of Seventeen. Boom. Another good one.

And that's that. Off to South Africa tonight. So thankful for my in-home dog sitter and her fiance, they make going away so much easier since I know my dogs are in good hands. Replies to comments may be sparse while we're away. Follow me and MFD on Instagram to see trip snaps! He typically out instagrams me on vacation.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

TWTW - the one where I...

Got up from laying on the couch with the dogs while 807 loads of laundry were going to dance a jig when MFD's favorite dollar store plate that he's insisted on keeping for many years finally broke 
Watched 10 episodes of Master of None between Friday night and Saturday and enjoyed some fatassery eating
Battled an asshole of a cold, which means blowing my nose 4083 times, diffusing essential oils, slathering myself with Vick's, and finally hitting the Alka Seltzer thanks to a tip from Helene & John, who I ran into at the grocery store on Sunday
Caught up on my People mags

Got immersed in Broadchurch and stayed up too late Sunday night watching
Made comfort food for dinner - shells with butter and broccoli and chicken thighs with truffle oil - and  power breakfast muffins to freeze
Had a visit from my mom, who came bearing chocolate chip cookies and a medal to take with me on my trip
Saw the first snow of the season
Spent as much time as possible with the dogs
Drug myself out to get a gel manicure and a pedicure
Located the passports and packed my clothes and toiletries for the trip. I just have my carry on with the dreaded electronics and meds left.
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I had planned on making my own shaving cream, going to Target, and being done with packing but this cold had a mind of its own. Life is not entirely perfect, right? 

Speaking of, did you guys read Steph's post about a #notentirelyperfect hashtag on Instagram? Check it out. 

Just this workday stands between me and vacation. Today is the third day in a row I did not succeed at getting up earlier to shift myself forward in time. Please be kind to me, time travel. 

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, January 15, 2016

Shit MFD Said Vol 26

Yelling up the stairs
MFD: Steph? I want to know what temperature it should be...66 or 67?
Me: What?
MFD: I want to know what I should put the air on. 66 or 67?
Me: We're not putting the air on.
MFD: I think I have to put the air on.
Me: No!
Mfd: It's not December. It's August.

Found this gem in a note on my phone from the beginning of December
Me: Are you going to do the front window?
MFD: The lights aren't right.
Me: You're not going to find the perfect lights. 
MFD: Those people around the corner have them. I'm just going to their house and asking them where they got them
Me: What? You don't know them. You can't just knock on their door and be the weird guy asking about their lights. 
MFD: Sure I can. I can just casually ask. 
Me: No.
MFD: Can I write a note? 
Me: Are you going to sign it Clark Griswold? Because this is fucking crazy.
MFD: I'm going there. 

When I come home to couches recovered and a new rug in the living room
Me: You can't find your thumb but you know where to find the extra couch covers that have been stored upstairs in the spare room for a year?
MFD: Well I remembered where you put them. Now, I couldn't find the dog bowls that were right in front of me last night, but, you know.

After he got a tooth removed on 12/30
Me: Why did you need OB tampons?
MFD: Because they're small and I can put them in the back of my mouth if I need them when I'm playing. (playing sax)
Me: You could have just cut some regular tampons. 
MFD: Really?
Me: Yes. Really. So basically I bought a $6 box of OB tampons and you might use two.
MFD: Maybe someone will have a wound when they're over and we can use them then. Or to clean up a major spill.

Have a great weekend amigos!

All read and approved by MFD before they go live...
Shit MFD Said Vol 1Shit MFD Said Vol 2Shit MFD Said Vol 3Shit MFD Said Vol 4
Shit MFD Said Vol 5Shit MFD Said Vol 6Shit MFD Said Vol 7Shit MFD Said Vol 8
Shit MFD Said Vol 9Shit MFD Said Vol 10Shit MFD Said Vol 11, Shit MFD Said Vol 12, Shit MFD Said Vol 13, Shit MFD Said Vol 14, Shit MFD Said Vol 15, Shit MFD Said Vol 16, Shit MFD Said Vol 17, Shit MFD Said Vol 18, Shit MFD Said Vol 19, Shit MFD Said Vol 20, Shit MFD Said Vol 21, Vol 22, Vol 23, Vol 24, Vol 25,

Thursday, January 14, 2016


R E A D I N G ... Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye. If you're looking for something to read, did you check out the Show Us Your Books posts on Tuesday?

L O V I N G ... that I have no plans this weekend. I have a lot of stuff to do at home and I'm excited to be able to do it at my leisure and not around commitments.

B U Y I N G ... One zillion boxes of Girl Scout Cookies this year. Have you heard of Cookiecott? The right wing nutjob anti-abortion zealots are boycotting Girl Scouts and their cookies again this year because of their association with Planned Parenthood. You know, the place that provides health services and counselling to young girls and others who can't afford it through regular GYNs. These lunatics are spreading their propaganda and picking on little girls. What kind of assholes make children pay for something they have absolutely nothing to do with? Please support your local troops, however you can. If you don't know any Girl Scouts, there are official GS cookie locator apps available. I will also instagram and tweet my purchases using #cookiecott and #morecookiesforus. Fucking assholes. 

A P P R E C I A T I N G ... The awesome people who helped me raise $1,350 for Covenant House in less than a week, surpassing my goal by $350. I know some fucking amazing people. Thank you guys, so much, for supporting a cause that is really important to me. In case you missed it, I joined the team of my friends Catie & Joe to sleep out to raise awareness and more importantly cash for homeless teens. Based on a lot of reading I've done over the past year, homeless teens are the most underserved group in the homeless population. There just are not a lot of places for these kids to turn. Did you know most shelters don't take teens that show up on their doorstep without a parent? That's why places like Covenant House are so very, very important. Think about all the bullshit that happens when you're a teen...then add homelessness and the stigma and shame that come along with it to the top of that crap heap. Can you even imagine? So MFD and I will be sleeping on the street with nothing but a sleeping bag on March 18...and a sleeping bag is more than many of these kids have when they have to spend a night on the street. If you are interested in donating to support this cause, click here to help MFD reach his goal. If you have donated, thank you and your generous heart.

T A L K I N G ... to more teenagers in the past week than I have since I was a teenager myself. They all want to rent the shore house for prom/senior week. They are very charming when they are buttering me up and very petulant and life is not fair when I say no.

F E E L I N G ... the week before vacation craziness. In addition to work and life stuff, I had a fever Monday. Dude.

H E A D I N G ... into summer. The sun is rising before 6 a.m. and setting at close to 8 p.m. in South Africa. I can't wait to be with you, longer light days.

FA I L I N G ... miserably at mailing birthday cards in anything close to a timely fashion.

W A T C H I N G ... the final season of Downton Abbey. What else does one watch in January? I did watch the pilot of Billions. I freaking love Damien Lewis.

P L O T T I N G ... how we're going to reconfigure the basement in February. It's getting a total overhaul on a budget. It should be painted, but I'm not sure I can commit to that at this time. Everything else is getting moved around, purged,'s been turning itself into a shithole over the past six months and I've let it. I'm looking forward to attacking this.

P L A N N I N G ... to make my own shaving cream this weekend, to be on Wallet Watch in February, to finish this book by Monday.

Fill me in...what's going on with you this month?

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Linking up with Kristin and Joey

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