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Rain Africa Event

Hi everyone! I was fortunate enough to be invited to the relaunch of the Rain Africa store in Willowbridge last Friday. Rain unveiled their new look store, as well as their new “Nest” where clients can come and enjoy some wonderful pampering. The event was during working hours, but I work close to Willowbridge Center and I slipped out during my lunch hour to attend. There was wonderful food and the space was so beautifully decorated. The decor was not over the top and the colours muted, but I really loved the textures and special touches.

 

The event was themed around the senses. Taste, touch, hearing, smell and sight. For taste they provided the amazing catering. For touch, there was a pamper station where guests could get a neck and shoulder or hand massage. For hearing we were entertained by the wonderful Rain choir. These guys have some real talent! For smell we were introduced to the new line of Rain fragrances, Twig, Leaf and Nectar. These are really divine! Rain has even used dassie urine as an ingredient in their fragrances – you won’t believe how good they smell! For sight there was a projector set up to play some of Rain’s YouTube videos with popcorn for a real “movie” feel. Rain is one of my favourite local brands. Not only do I honestly love their products, but their philosophy and what they stand for makes you feel good for supporting them. Go and check out their YouTube channel for some of the Rain stories. You can also see a video of how the workers in their factory sing every day. Rain is a blessing in the community and not only creates jobs for the locals, but also helps them to learn new skills in order for them to have opportunities that may otherwise have been impossible for them. I bet you want to see what everything looked like. I took lots of photos! Let me show you :)

Awesome, right?! We also got lovely goodie bags! We got some hand lotion and you know as a nail blogger I need to keep my hands in tip top shape! A gorgeous soap on a rope and a soap dish as well as a voucher for a 20 minute back and neck massage at their new nest! So much of excitement! I also won a burner oil from one of the messages in a bottle that was hanging from the trees in the venue. I headed over to the store and picked out their Wild Cotton burner oil and purchased a burner. I’ve always wanted one and am always looking for ways to make my home smell lovely. Sorted!

I also learned that Rain has a store in New York! How cool is that?! People from the USA can also order from their online shop! I really can’t say enough good things about this brand and their products. If you ever get an opportunity to go into a Rain store, don’t hesitate! You *need* to touch, smell and experience their products for yourself! Why don’t you head on over to give them some love on their social media channels?

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Thank you for a lovely event, Rain. I wish you much success for the future!

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Butter London Bossy Boots and LVX Deco

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Hi everyone! Today I would like to show you one of the first manis I’ve done with my amazing box from Pish Posh Polish. I really wanted to play with my liquid latex and do a gradient. I barely do gradients because of the cleanup and I promised myself I would do more once I got my hands on some liquid latex. Let me show you what I came up with.Butter London Bossy Boots and LVX Deco gradient stamped with MoYou London Princess 10Butter London Bossy Boots and LVX Deco gradient stamped with MoYou London Princess 10Butter London Bossy Boots and LVX Deco gradient stamped with MoYou London Princess 10Butter London Bossy Boots and LVX Deco gradient stamped with MoYou London Princess 10I started off with a base coat of Revlon Calcium Gel Nail Hardener. I sponged about 3 layers of Bossy Boots and LVX Deco onto all of my nails. Once they were dry I used Tip Top Armour Plate and my MoYou London Princess 10 to stamp the interlocking hearts on to pinkie and index nails. On my middle and ring nails I used essence black stampy polish to stamp the same image. I sealed it in with Out the Door Northern Lights for a bit of extra sparkle.

I was totally in love with the result of this mani! I actually really love gradients and will endeavour to do more. They just look so beautiful and I could certainly use a little bit of practice. What do you think?

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Catrice Get the Blues

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Hi everyone! I want to show you a stunning polish I bought today. You will also see somewhat of a unicorn on my blog – swatch photos! I was using this polish as a base on all of my nails for my mani and figured I would snap some pics of how it looks on its own before stamping over it. I picked up this polish from Dischem on sale. I usually shy away from Catrice polishes in favour of their sister brand essence, but only because of the price point. Catrice polishes are by no means expensive, just more expensive than essence. Yeah. Call me cheap 😉 I picked up Catrice Get the Blues and was really glad I did! Look at this beauty:Catrice Get The Blues SwatchCatrice Get The Blues SwatchCatrice Get The Blues SwatchShown above is 2 coats without top coat. I had to slant my nails as I have in the last picture to see the colour shift that is so apparent in the bottle, but this polish is beautiful even when it is not shifting. I really, really love it. The formula was superb and I had absolutely no issues with this polish. I had just received my new Bundle Monster plates, so of course I had to try them out.Catrice Get The Blues stamped with Tip Top Armour Plate and BM-S102Catrice Get The Blues stamped with Tip Top Armour Plate and BM-S102Catrice Get The Blues stamped with Tip Top Armour Plate and BM-S102I started off with an L.A. Girl base coat to protect my nails. I painted 2 coats of Catrice Get the Blues and used Tip Top Armour Plate and BM-S102 to stamp over all my nails. Somehow the stamping completely changed the colour of this polish. I realize my skin tone looks different in the 2 sets of pictures, I suspect I forgot to change my white balance setting when I took one set of photos, but the polish is still colour accurate. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite.

What do you think? Do you like Get the Blues? Have you ever had a polish “change colour” on you after you’ve done some art? Tell me in the comments below :)

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Extreme Lady Luck

Hi everyone! Today I have more gifts to show you. I have been so very blessed with tons of polish gifts lately. I am such a lucky girl! The polishes I have to show today came from Revlon and my Secret Santa box. When Revlon sponsored a prize for my 10 year bloggiversary and birthday giveaway, they sent a duplicate of the prize for me. Thanks Revlon! Let me show you the mani :)Revlon Lady Luck and L.A. Girl Extreme stamped with BP-28Revlon Lady Luck and L.A. Girl Extreme stamped with BP-28Revlon Lady Luck and L.A. Girl Extreme stamped with BP-28

 

I started off with an L.A. Girl base coat to protect my nails. I painted 2 coats of Revlon Gel Envy Lady Luck on my index and middle nails. Lady Luck is a bright pink creme with a beautiful golden shimmer. I am totally in love with this colour! I daresay that it borders on a neon, but it isn’t very obvious in the pictures. The formula was a little thick on this one, but I’m sure some polish thinner would help for that. I totes painted my toes with this the day after I did the mani. So pretty! On my ring and pinkie nails I painted 2 coats of L.A. Girl Extreme. This is a dusty lavender which also has a gold shimmer. I had no issues with this one and once all my nails were dry I stamped with essence black stampy polish and BP-28. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite. Ta da!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this mani in the comments below :)

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Tip Top Calm Before the Storm and essence Get the Party Started

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Hi everyone. Surprise! I have another purple to show you today. It won’t be the last. Sorry not sorry. I did a couple of manis while I was on my birthday leave. This is one of them. Tip Top Calm Before the Storm was gifted to me by a friend quite a while ago and I decided to pull it out of my untrieds. It is a GORGEOUS polish. Let me show you.Tip Top Calm Before The Storm and essence Get the Party Started glitter gradientTip Top Calm Before The Storm and essence Get the Party Started glitter gradientTip Top Calm Before The Storm and essence Get the Party Started glitter gradientI started off with an L.A. Girl base coat to protect my nails. I painted 2 coats of Tip Top Calm Before the Storm on all of my nails. Calm Before the Storm is a gorgeous medium purple creme with a stunning blue shimmer. Such a stunning shade! I LOVE it! I used essence Get the Party Started to create the glitter gradient on my middle and ring nails. Get the Party Started is a glitter topper with rose gold glitter in various sizes as well as some silver glitter and larger purple hexes. A really fun topper! I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite.

What do you think of this mani? Isn’t that purple sublime?!

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Nudity and your Children

Hi everyone. Parenting is hard. There’s no manual. No, the Internet is not a manual. You should proceed with extreme caution when consulting the Internet! I want to talk about something today that has been mulling around in my head for quite some time. When I grew up I would see my mother naked all the time. Probably every day. When she showered or got dressed and she went to the loo with the door open. It was never an issue. I was not allowed to see my stepfather naked though, which was fine by me, but that isn’t something I want to explore in this blog post.

I have children of both genders and up until now nudity has not been an issue in our house. We do not hide our bodies in shame and when we are moving between the bath/shower/getting dressed we do not close the doors or hide. My son is going on 6, my daughter going on 3. The kids still bath together and sometimes they will bath with their dad. Personally I prefer to shower and the children don’t like showering, but I will shower in the same bathroom while they are in the bath. I don’t feel like it should be an issue, but I do feel like some boundaries should be put in place at some point. Since I’ve never done this before, I’m not sure when or where these boundaries should be. This is where the manual would come in handy. So many questions. I want my children to feel comfortable with their bodies. Of course I have had the conversations with Elijah about not allowing anyone to touch his body if he is not comfortable with it and not to expose himself to anyone. At times if I had put my hand on his shoulder and he wasn’t feeling it he will say “Don’t touch my body!”. I hope this means he gets it. If he touches himself inappropriately, I ask him to do so when he is alone and never in front of people. I’ve told him it is normal and there is nothing wrong with doing so, but that nobody else needs to see it. Gabby is still a bit small to understand these things. She has shown curiosity towards the differences in their bodies in the bath and we have had to tell Gabby not to touch Elijah and for Elijah not to allow her to. This is not a frequent occurrence and I suppose in this way I have already started setting some boundaries.

I still have questions though. For instance:

At what point do we start bathing them separately?

At what point do we not allow them to see us naked, if ever?

Do we at some point start being more discreet in front of the child of the opposing gender?

Do we insist that they do not see each other naked at some point?

I just don’t know. I assume at some point they will start wanting their own privacy and will demand it, but is that already too late? Or is that the right time?

I also try to use the correct names for body parts and genitalia, but that is sometimes hampered by others. For instance the day mother doesn’t use the correct terms and refers to them as “pee pee” and “flower”. Elijah has asked questions about sex and I’ve done what I’ve read the right thing to do is and just answer the basic question honestly without going into further detail. There will have to be a sex talk sometime though. How do you know when the right time is for that? Do we discuss periods with boys? Surely they should know how these things work too so that they can be sensitive to it when they are older. I knew a boy in high school who had a sister and at the age of 17 still had no idea about periods and how they work. Obviously they don’t need to know the nitty gritty, but how much do you tell them?

Maybe if your children are older you can help me answer these questions. What worked for you?

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Bestie Twin NAIL MAIL! *PIC HEAVY*

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Hi everyone. Today I want to show you the most epic nail mail! Let me give you a bit of background. I met Karen from Pish Posh Polish on a nail blogger group on Facebook. The group decided to do guest posts for each other and drew names. I drew a different name, but my partner could not participate and Karen stepped up to be my partner. We started chatting about our guest posts and the conversations led to us talking about our kids and our lives. It turns out we have a lot in common! Obviously our love for polish is what brought us together, but both of us are married with 2 kids. We’re both full term breastfeeding moms, we generally have similar beliefs and we quickly became friends. Now we chat practically every day and sometimes we don’t even talk about polish at all. Karen started putting together a “care package” for me. It all started with my requirement for a decent clean up brush…and it spiraled apparently LOL. The shipping on the box was going to be ridiculous, but I had an opportunity for an old school friend’s mother who was visiting in the US to bring it back for me, so Karen was able to ship it domestically. Yay! We started talking about the box in June I think and my friend’s mother was only returning in August, so I was sorely tempted to buy some things for Karen to mule for me. She is clearly the most awesome of enablers, so she was only happy to. I received the box on 9 August, only 5 days after my birthday and boy, was it EPIC! Karen and I linked up in a video call so she could watch me open the box. It was so emotional! I felt like I needed to take a break at some point because I just COULD NOT DEAL WITH IT! Karen was so incredibly generous and as I opened each gift she told me why she thought I *needed* that one, or this one, or that one. I cried at least twice while opening everything. Karen included the sweetest card, which automatically turned me into mush. Did I mention that she also included gifts for my children? So sweet and thoughtful! Bless her cotton socks! Anyhoo…let me show you what was in the box of AWESOME! Here are the products that Karen muled for me (excluding the clean up brush which was a gift from her)

KB Shimmer Iris My Case, Snow Flaking Way, Totally Tubular and Make My Gray

KB Shimmer Iris My Case, Snow Flaking Way, Totally Tubular and Make My Gray

Creative Shop stamper/scraper, zig zag vinyls (free gift with purchase), purple liquid latex, cleanup brush/dotting tool (gift from Karen)

Creative Shop stamper/scraper, zig zag vinyls (free gift with purchase), purple liquid latex, cleanup brush/dotting tool (gift from Karen)

And now on to the gifts. Are you sitting down? I’m glad I was!

M Polish Polish of my People Collection

M Polish Polish of my People Collection (stamping polishes)

Sinful Colors Flower Power, China Glaze Wish on a Starfish, Sinful Colors Petal Be the Day

Sinful Colors Flower Power, China Glaze Wish on a Starfish, Sinful Colors Petal Be the Day

Out The Door Northern Lights, Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Kiss, LVX Deco, Orly Mirrorball

Out The Door Northern Lights, Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Kiss, LVX Deco, Orly Mirrorball

Zoya Tomoko, Ginni, Arlo (Pixie Dusts)

Zoya Tomoko, Ginni, Arlo (Pixie Dusts)

Zoya Cassedy, Monet, Belinda, Seraphina

Zoya Cassedy, Monet, Belinda, Seraphina

Butter London Dubs, Lolly, Bit Faker and Bossy Boots

Butter London Dubs, Lolly, Bit Faker and Bossy Boots

Delush Polish A Peony For your Thoughts, Lorelei Lacquer Princess Bubblegum, Different Dimension I'm Sorry But I Cantaloupe, Pahlish Stars at Rest

Delush Polish A Peony For your Thoughts, Lorelei Lacquer Princess Bubblegum, Different Dimension I’m Sorry But I Cantaloupe, Pahlish Stars at Rest

Jindie Nails Princess Bubblegum, Charlie's Rad Lacquer Veau's Voodoo, KBshimmer Berry Patch

Jindie Nails Princess Bubblegum, Charlie’s Rad Lacquer Veau’s Voodoo, KBshimmer Berry Patch

CAN YOU EVEN FREAKING DEAL?! Never in a million years did I expect to be spoiled so much! I told Karen, “Thank you” just doesn’t seem to cut it. I am freaking in love with everything in this box! I showed my bestie photos of all of these and she said “Wow, this is a stash that dreams are made of!”. I couldn’t have said it better. Of course I needed to paint my nails IMMEDIATELY. Karen and I had decided we would do a twin mani as soon as I received my box…so we did :)

Bestie Twin Nails with Pish Posh PolishDelush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts Zoya Belinda stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and Dancing in the StreetsDelush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts Zoya Belinda stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and Dancing in the StreetsDelush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts Zoya Belinda stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and Dancing in the StreetsA bonus pic of Cindy because I couldn’t stop playing with my M Polish and new stamper:Delush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts Zoya Belinda stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and Dancing in the StreetsI started off with a base coat of Revlon Calcium Gel Nail Hardener to protect my nails. On my index and middle nails I painted 3 coats of Delush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts. This is a white crelly polish with purple and hot pink hexes and purple circle glitters throughout. I was in such a hurry to paint my nails I didn’t really have time to leave the bottle upside down and didn’t get any circle glitters out, but I certainly will next time! There is something about the logo of this brand and the fact that the name has the word “lush” in it that just makes it feel so luxurious to me. It helps that their polishes are GORGEOUS! I used M Polish Dancing in the streets and PUEEN 41 to stamp on my index and middle nails. I specifically chose the heart images to show how much I love my box and Karen :) On my ring and pinkie nails I painted 2 coats of Zoya Belinda. This deep purple polish is almost a one coater and is absolutely gorgeous! The image on my ring nail is from PUEEN 39 stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and the flower on my pinkie is from BP-10.  On Cindy my bases and stamping polishes are the same and all the images are from BP-10. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite.

If you want to see Karen’s twin nails post, look here. You can also catch her on her Instagram.

I’m also submitting this mani for Stamping Saturdays! I’ve always wanted to get in on this action and they graciously accepted me into their Facebook group. I don’t post on a Saturday, but they said I can link up a stamping mani from the week too, so here it is! Check out the link up below :)

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essence Walk On The Wild Side

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Hi everyone! Today I want to show you a mani I created with more goodies from my Secret Santa box. The gift that keeps on giving 😉 Honestly when I saw this colour in the box I was quite unsure of it. It isn’t the type of colour I would normally choose. I knew exactly what I wanted to pair it with from my box and then this happened:essence walk on the wild side with gold foil accentsessence walk on the wild side with gold foil accentsessence walk on the wild side with gold foil accentsI started off with an L.A. Girl base coat to protect my nails. I painted 2 coats of essence walk on the wild side. This polish is a deep forest green with a gorgeous green shimmer. This polish truly surprised me! It dries a touch darker on the nail than it looks in the bottle and is absolutely gorgeous! A stunning winter colour! Sometimes I just need to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I used a clear top coat for “glue” and a tweezer to apply the foil. On my other hand I did a full foil nail and didn’t really like how it looked, so I tore small pieces off and placed them. The foil is very thin and finicky. It is difficult to tear small pieces or to be precise about it and it tends to stick to surfaces, so sometimes it is hard to get it off your finger or tweezer to place it, so this was the best I could manage. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite.

What do you think of this mani? Have you ever worked with this type of foil? Any tips?

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My Favourite Household Appliance

I am so often grateful for the appliances in my house that make my life easier. Like my washing machine. It’s so easy to wash your clothes in a washing machine, as opposed to hand washing. Even someone as undomesticated as me can do it. There is an appliance in my house, however, that I would grab in a fire and instantly replace if it broke. I would make debt to replace it. I hate debt, but it would be totally worth it. I am talking about my dishwasher. Ok, I probably would not be able to carry it by myself should my house burst into flame, but I would really want to!

I currently have a Whirlpool dishwasher that we purchased before we got married, so it is easily already 8 years old. We were living in a flat smaller than our current one that somehow had water connections available for a dishwasher and a washing machine. There was only one sink in the kitchen and I remember feeling so frustrated when washing dishes because I couldn’t rinse them after I washed them. Rudi and I soon decided that this dish washing lark was not for us and as a Christmas gift to ourselves we split the costs and bought a dishwasher. BEST PURCHASE EVER. Not long after we bought it, ants invaded the electronics of the dishwasher. Every time we put it on we would see a swarm of ants exit around the on/off button. It was something to behold. It stopped working. A technician came out to check and found the ants nesting behind said button on the electronics. He cleaned it out and replaced it for us. We asked him how to prevent it from happening again and he said it would be safe to put a deterrent or poison in with the circuit board as it would not come into contact with the dishes at all. So we did. We’ve never had an ant problem in the dishwasher again and we’re not dead, so I guess it worked 😉

I literally use the dishwasher every single day. It is a lifesaver. If I think about how much time I don’t spend behind the kitchen sink. Time that I can spend doing other things. Not necessarily things I LIKE to do (like cooking or other cleaning), but it definitely saves me time. It also preserves my nails and you know *that’s* a huge bonus too 😉 Not everything comes out perfectly clean every single time and sometimes if everything doesn’t fit I will wash the leftovers by hand, but it still isn’t the truck load of dishes my family seems to produce on a 3 hourly basis.

One of my requirements for purchasing anything for the kitchen is “Is it dishwasher safe?”. The dishwasher does make some of my plastic things go a bit weird, but it is totally worth it. I don’t really care. I shudder at the thought of sticking my hands into dirty dish water. It freaks me out completely. I do wear gloves now when I wash dishes, for that very reason and because nails. The water gets icky so quickly though and washing dish after dish in the same water also just seems counter productive. My mother used to tell my grandfather that she uses a dishwasher because it sterilizes the dishes (he accused her of being lazy because she refused to wash dishes). I don’t know about that, but hey…that would be cool too! All I have to do now is teach my children how to pack and unpack the dishwasher and I’m set for life!

Do you have a dishwasher? Which is your favourite household appliance? Tell me which one you couldn’t live without in the comments!

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What 34 Looks Like

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Sheesh. Another year in my life. GONE. I firmly believe the older you get the faster time seems to go by. As a child I remember a week feeling like 6 weeks. The December school holidays felt like months! It was glorious! It was also frustrating for someone who just wanted to grow up already, as most children do. Now I’m an adult. I don’t want to be an adult, but I’ve been forced to by the time thing. Stupid time! I think I’m managing to fight the wrinkles a *little bit*, at least when I’m about to have a full body massage…thanks Ginkgo!

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I actually had a really good birthday. Rudi was only scheduled to start work at 1 PM and I was on leave which afforded us some time alone together. It was honestly the first time in years that we have been alone together on my birthday. Even though he had returned home from a very long work trip late the previous night, he got up early and took the kids to the day mother and let me lay under the covers a little longer. Then he took me out to breakfast and walked around in the shops with me, waited while I tried on clothes, browsed through polish sections and puttered around the mall. Major brownie points scored 😉 While I was browsing polish sections I found OPI polish HALF OFF at Clicks! HALF OFF!! I would normally never buy OPI at full price because it is super expensive, but it was 50% off. So I bought 2. LOL. Rudi had to go off to work and I went home to play with my new polishes. This is what I came up with:OPI Austin-Tacious Turquoise and Can't Let Go with NailCandi crown charmOPI Austin-Tacious Turquoise and Can't Let Go with NailCandi crown charmOPI Austin-Tacious Turquoise and Can't Let Go with NailCandi crown charmI started off with a base coat of Revlon Calcium Gel Nail Hardener to protect my nails. I painted my index and middle nails with one coat of Sinful Colors Black on Black. I felt that the OPI which seemed very sheer on my nail wheel would pop over black. I painted 2 coats of OPI Austin-Tatious Turquoise over the black. On my ring and pinkie nails I painted 3 thin coats of OPI Can’t Let Go from their liquid sand line. GA GA GA GORGEOUS! Both of these! I sealed in the turquoise nails with Seche Vite and used some nail glue to adhere the crown to my middle nail which was a press sample from Nail Candi. Cos it was my birthday after all! I really understand why people love OPI. The formula on both of these was great. I barely had clean up and I can flood my cuticles with the best of them.

Throughout the day I received loads of messages across my social media channels. I was totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from all my friends and acquaintances. I really don’t care whether or not Facebook reminded people it was my birthday (and I know that in a lot of cases, that is exactly what happened). Each and every person paused and took the time to wish me and THAT is what counts! Thank you so much to all of you that made me feel special on my birthday. From the bottom of my heart! I had a really nice day and felt so very spoiled!

Other than that, 34 looks like I’m settled into family life and I’m firmly in my groove. My other blessings:
wpid-wp-1439026545395.jpegI just realized after this year I go from being in my “early thirties” to “mid thirties” and it’s downhill from there, right?! EEK! I’ve had a good year and I look forward to the year ahead! Thanks again for all the support and love I get from you guys. You’re the best!

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