Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shop update

In the midst of my funk, I have spent a lot of time in my craft room putting out some new lovelies.
It's kind of like a stress reliever for me of sorts.  And the time spent in there, has served me well.
The dresses that I have sewn are some of my absolute favorites.  On top of that,  I am adding coordinating bow ties for the little fellas.  This collection is going to live in some sweet family pictures, I just know it.

Sneak peak?  Ok, check out my sweet little niece modeling the geometric dress in teal.  She's a doll!



I can't wait to get these onesie dresses realeased.. check back for shop updates!!

Have a lovely day friends!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

The Influence Network + a Giveaway


You may have heard me mention that I belong to a little thing called The Influence Network.
This little "club" so to speak is a great tool for everyone!  To be inspired by others, to collaborate on projects, for advice on blogging that you may not otherwise know who to ask... classes, forums, and even a conference, and the list goes on and on.  I have been fortunate to meet some amazing ladies through this and I am doing a happy dance as we speak to be able to participate in a chance for YOU to become a lifetime member!

That's right.  My girl Heather is hosting this giveaway on her blog for a chance for TWO lifetime memberships to The Influence Network.  So... head on over here ASAP and grab yourself a chance or 15 and enter to win...



Good luck and God Bless!


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

struggle

Sometimes, I struggle with what kinds of things I want to share here.
How much I want to put myself out there, put my heart on the line, clear my head of my thoughts.
It's easy to share the fun and lighthearted.
The sewing, the tutorials, the fun pictures of my daughter.
Easier to share than the everyday struggles. 
However, with life comes everyday struggles, and I am no exception.
And over the last several weeks, I have felt especially bogged down with them.
Hence, the silence here!
 
In the back of my mind, I share all of the imperfect things going on in my life,
but struggle putting them out there.
For fear?
For judgement?
The more and more it weighs on me, the more and more I realize
that each and everyone of us face some sort of struggles.
And to share is to be real.
 
No one has the perfect life.
No one has a clean house at all times, and kids with clean faces,
and toys that are always neat and tidy, the most stylish clothes and hair and make up on at all times.
Then why do I feel that is all I should share??
 
I guess you could call it a funk or a rut.
It happens, and I'll snap out of it.
Every year around this time, {ahem! tax time}, I am reminded at how lousy I am with money and budgets and organizing and perhaps that is the root to my funk.
Or the fact that swim suit season is right around the corner and I am less than ready to get in any kind of clothing that is not covering me from my ankles to my neck.
The trying to expand my family, the dirty house, and sink full of dishes.
The toys on the floor and the laundry in piles.
I struggle.
And that keeps me silent.
 
Sometimes, in the blog world, it is easy to compare.
The woman with the cute outfit posts, the stay at home mom whose kids always seem to have some sort of activity going, the sewer who can whip out a million orders and still have time to blog about it.
And sometimes, I don't feel like I measure up.
 
But here I am. The not-so organized and tidy person.
The un-budgeted person who cooks her daughter processed foods {gasp}
and somedays chooses not to clean.
Somedays, I may take a nap with my little instead of folding the laundry.
 
But its me.
And instead of hiding behind it.
I'll embrace it.
And put my heart on the line.
Share instead of silence.
 
 
And a little inspiration from my girl Danielle 
 
 



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Monday, April 8, 2013

a little lovely on Monday

With Spring finally in the air...
and my house back in one piece after hosting the loveliest baby shower over the weekend...
I can welcome this day...
Monday

A clean slate...
A fresh start...

to slow down and enjoy this weather and work on unfinished projects.
some much needed family time and hubby time.
time to blog and sew.

Welcome Spring




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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

craft room tour



Today, I would like to invite you all over to my home, to see my happy place.  My craft room.




I am one lucky gal that my hubby is crafty in a manly way.
Like he can build things and has a bunch of tools,
and I can show him my hopes on pinterest and he can translate them for me.
Oh, and he's pretty awesome for not only building me this space, but for supporting my dreams along the way...  {cue the Awww's!}

Come on in...

I really wanted a space that would be pretty, yet functional.  A place that could keep me organized and yet also foster a kid friendly environment where my daughter could join me.  Not to mention, stick to a pretty stiff budget for the entire room.  Besides spending money on the MDF and on the organizing containers, most of the room was filled with things we all ready had.  We spent approximately $300 on the entire room.  I was impressed with our abilities to stay in our budget considering this room was empty to start!

My husband built me a huge table in the center of the room using these plans and tweaking them a bit.  It has book shelves on each side and a drawer to keep my scissors and cutting supplies in.  My rotary mat fits perfectly on top, and the table is just the right height for cutting fabric.  We {and by we, I mean the hubbs, but I supervised, m'kay!} built my sewing desk out of a hollow core door and some bookshelves from my basement.  The chairs were dining room chairs that were broken, but with a few nails and some new upholstery, good.as.new.


One of the cheapest and easiest way to decorate on a budget... hoop art!  Each hoop runs around $1.00-$2.00.  I used fabric from my own stash to save on costs.  To add some personality, I used rubber stamps and black fabric paint to display some of my favorite sayings...

yes, really!


The hubbs had a ton of leftover peg board in our garage and he cut a few pieces for me and we painted them up and incorporated them into the room.  I used an old frame and wrapped it in my favorite fabric and added the peg board for a thread holder using some wood dowels.  My mom had some old wooden spools, and I wrapped some fabric strips around them and strung them on embroidery thread as a garland.  The other peg board, we painted with stripes and then added wood dowels and created a wrapping paper station.


I really wanted to organize my fabric to look like a fabric store, in bolts.  I did some research, and did find some organizers to "bolt" your fabric, but since I am cheap and on a budget, I improvised.  I bought some foam board at the dollar tree and had the hubbs cut them to size for me.  Then I wrapped the fabric around them and pinned in place to create my own fabric store!  This alone has been one of my favorite parts of this room.  Prior to this, my fabric was kept folded in a box, and looking for something specific was sort of a nightmare.  And needless to say, by the time I was done, nothing would be left folded.  Problem solved!




I wanted to have a space for Presley to not only use her own creativity but to be able to hang out with her momma.  Presley found herself with her own art table, with all of her supplies within reach.  Her favorite part though, the chalkboard wall.  We often play school together, in which I sit on one of those teeny tiny chairs {perhaps not the smartest of ideas} and she teaches me how to draw squares and triangles on her chalkboard. 



This, my friends, was an old ugly dresser we found on the side of the road.  The hubbs took the sides and face off each drawer, nailed in the bottom and made shelves just the right size for Rubbermaid containers.  A little cleaning and a few coats of paint, I'm left with a great way to organize all of my notions.


Needless to say, I am thrilled to have my own space.  A place to design and dream.  A place to sew and be creative.  A place to blog and be inspired. 

Thanks for hanging out with me in my happy place.





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Monday, April 1, 2013

that one time when I blogged


Which happens to be today.  I may have, well, forgot about my little bloggie friend for a few days.  Ok, no, I didn't forget, because I kept thinking about it, but was tied up with life's other adventures.  Ok, ok, enough excuses.  Here I am and I am excited to tell you all that I have been up to.

Besides battling a family of sicklies, myself included, we have been super busy.  There has been much housework to attend to in preparation for a couples shower I am soon to host in my home, lots of basketball to watch {and yes, my bracket is not looking too hot!}, and most excitingly, spring dresses to sew.

Yes, spring dresses.  It all started with a little field trip to my absolute favorite local {ok, maybe not so local, but 45 minute drive... not terrible} fabric store.  This place is like a dream and carries all of my faves.  From amy butler, to Joel, to Moda, Cloud 9, Heather Bailey... {squeal and jumping up and down in happiness.} I literally went for some good ole fashioned inspiration and walked out with a huge stack of loveliness.  And since that little trip, I have not left my craft room.

Inspired by ruffles and bows and mod, geometric fabrics... I am pleased with the way these dresses are shaping up.  And will soon be released for you to purchase in the shop.  Of course, I will keep you all updated with their release. 

Oh, and remember when I said my craft room was finished, and shared all about it on my friends blog?  I decided to go ahead and share it here with all of you!  I figure since, I have spent so much time in said room lately, you may as well see my happy place!  Check back tomorrow for a full craft room tour!

Have a lovely Monday friends!



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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

pedi's anyone?

As much as we are willing for spring to come, it just hasn't happened yet.
Friday, though, was about the closest thing we have had or I am afraid will have to spring for a while.
In celebration, we treated or little toesie's with a pedicure. 

Presley loves getting her toes painted.  She is quite the girly girl.   Usually she sits in the chair with me and gets her very own polished toes.  This time, however, she informed me that she wanted her own chair and her own water.  Basically, my 3 year old wanted a spa pedicure, and well, I let her.  She grinned from ear to ear, and held still and was so cooperative. 


 




My baby girl is all grown up...  Any day now spring, our toes are ready for flip flops!

Happy Wednesday Friends!!


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Friday, March 15, 2013

craft room bloopers...


With the completion of my craft room, my lovely friend molly came down and photographed my new love, my happy place.  That's right friends, its finally done and I couldn't be more excited.

Today, I am over at Danielle's blog Take Heart, giving the full tour!  So head on over!

And because I like to be silly and always feel like a big dumb dumb when getting my picture taken, I share...

craft room bloopers with Elizabeth
 
 

I know right?  Attractive!

 

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Monday, March 11, 2013

baby bellies

One of the many hats I wear, yet rarely talk about here, is my job as a nurse.  A job that consumes my life at least 2 nights a week, and a job that I love {most of the time!}  As a labor and delivery nurse for the last several years, I often find myself many people's go to person with their pregnancy and baby related questions.  One of my besties' is pregnant with her first kiddo and we often discuss things baby related but most commonly, how in the world she is going to get him out.

Many people choose to use childbirth education classes to help broaden their knowledge of this topic or have other people present to bounce ideas off of.  Some people though, prefer to read books, do their own research, learn at their own pace.  And even still, some choose that ignorance is bliss and choose not to educate at all. There truly is not one right way and not every way works for every person.  I have talked with several people about their fears related to pregnancy and childbirth, or people that have gone through this, yet were surprised or didn't expect certain things, or those people that say, "I wish I would have known this, or that when having my baby."

Defining your learning style would be the best place to start.  If you are anything like me, I like to talk to people who have been through similar experiences.  I like to read at my own pace and write down questions as I go and talk to other mothers, nurses, my doctor.

With that being said, I am going to start dishing all of the baby related information in my head to you right here on the bloggie.  For you to use as a learning tool, a place to discuss, ask questions, and most of all a reference. 

I would love to hear your any related topics you would like to read or learn about, questions you have, concerns, fears, myths..   If there is something you would like to see included, feel free to comment below or private message me!  Or join in the discussion on the influence network, my go-to place! 

I am really excited to begin this series and share this information for such an important time in ones life.  An experience that will be remembered forever.  And I am hoping to help you have that experience that you desire based on the things you need to know!  Join me in this discussion!






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Friday, March 8, 2013

because your puppy needs a blankie + tutorial

It's always hard to refer to your dog as a puppy when she is 42 pounds and as tall as my couch, but she is just that.  A puppy. 

I love to browse the little pet boutiques.  You know the ones that sell dog beds for $200, dog collars for $98, coats, clothes, and my favorite. a doggie blankie for $90.  Granted, that's for the biggest blankie because my puppy is a biggen.  A double sided, padded, pink minky blanket that lays in the bottom of the kennel.  Of course, I wanted my pupp to have one of these designer blankets but not at that price.  And if you know me, then you know the words, "I can make this for $10," came out of my mouth.

And $10 I did.  And for reals, you can too!  This is the easiest project for even the most basic sewers!

You'll need:
Some cuddly fabric.  I went to Joann with pink minky in mind, but right next to it was the softest, plushest, loveliest shade of pink fabric for $2.00 less a yard and I went with it.  And used a 50% off coupon at that.
quilt batting
thread
{I had both of these on hand}

First, measure your kennel.  Mine is 34 x 21 and cut out your fabric.  You'll need 2 of your cuddly fabric, and 1 of quilt batting.




Next, sew right sides together with the quilt batting on top of one of the layers as shown below.  I used quilt batting because I really wanted this blanket to be plush.  Leave enough room in the center of one of the long sides to be able to turn the blanket inside out.  This, my friends, is by far the hardest part of this tutey.. because the fabric is thick!  You'll have to pull it through the machine a little more than usual...



Go ahead and cut those corners somewhat close to your stitching... It will just help your corners look nicer once you turn this lovely right side out!


Ok, turn that puppy right side out and admire your work thus far!  Yes, this project resembles that of a pillow minus the stuffing!!


Turn the edges of your open-ness under and pin!

 


Sew the hole shut.  You can do these one of two ways.  Either with an invisible hand stitch or the lazy way with your sewing machine using the same color of thread.  I chose the lazy way because I was pressed for time, and I will say, you can not tell at all that I sewed it shut on the outside without the invisible stitch since the fabric is so thick and plush!



Let your lil' pup {or in my case, huge pup} give it a try!  Shandy was impressed that her momma bought her a boutique bed for her kennel.  {I didn't have the heart to tell her that I made it, and for less than $10 at that.} 


And there you have it.  Easy, functional, and even a bit boutique.  And best part, not $90.




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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

That's right, I crush on blogs...

When Erin from Living In Yellow put together this linky for those blogs that you most crush on, I knew I wanted to be involved.  It is so funny to me, that I assume, that what I am reading in blog-land, EVERYONE else is also reading!  Silly me! 

One of my closest friends is an avid blog reader and we can sit down and literally have conversations about our favorite blogs and bloggers and nearby listeners are like, "are you talking about a soap opera?"  Always makes me giggle, because, blog reading has become such a part of my life and sometimes I do feel invested and involved much like a TV series! 

With that being said, there are actually blogs that no matter what they day may bring, I always check them out!  My favorites!  Those that I am crushing on!  And I am excited to be sharing it with you! ummm. like right now!

here goes...  My top 3, which is a really hard thing to narrow to 3!

Raechel Myers | Finding my feet
Raechel Myers is the real deal, and the first blogger I ever formed any sort of relationship with.  When I contacted Raechel for advertising, I had no idea the community that could take place with this journey in which I was about to embark.  But Raechel, made me feel like one of the girls, and took a chance on me and gave me the confidence that I needed!  Not to mention, that her writing is flawless and her mothering skills are admirable, she has an amazingly strong and ground sense of faith and she is beyond creative and her blog reflects all of this and more.


Danielle is my love!  The girl never disappoints.  She is an amazing mother, wife, designer, fashionista, traveler, decorator, writer, speaker!  And more than anything, she is down to earth! I look to her for so much.  Danielle can take any sitution and make it into the most relatable and respectable blog post.  I have enjoyed getting to know her especially through working with her and her designs.  She is my go-to when I need anything in the bloggie world, and the girl nails it everytime.  She is awesome and I have a crush on her!

Erin | Living In Yellow
Well, who doesn't have a crush on this gal?  I mean she is funny, and sarcastic, and drinks wine on a regular basis!  In real life, not that bloggie world is not real life because it is, but if we lived in the same or nearby towns, I know we would be like the best company.  I mean we both like to have fun and drink!  What's not to love!  I enjoy and admire Erin's honesty.  She calls it like it is and if you don't like it, she's ok with that!  Although everyone does because she is so much fun and says all the things you are thinking but never ever thought to say!  And with that, she gave me the courage to truly be ME on my blog!  And for that, I am grateful to her.  Typically I find myself laughing out loud or craving some macaroni after reading her posts! For reals!
 
 
Of course I have like a hundred more bloggers that are daily reads and are so influential to me.
I mean just to name a few....
and the list continues to grow daily!!!
 
Thats right y'all!  This post just goes to prove that I spend entirely too much time reading blogs!  But, I enjoy it and so love each of the stories behind them. 
 
So here's my list...
Who's on yours?


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influential women link up

Excuse me as I get a little bit heavy here... 

When I think of influential women, I definitely don't put myself in this category.  I look up to those women that have a strong faith, and beautiful words, and lovely photo's.  Those mom's who seem to have it all together with clean houses and organized lifestyles.  Perhaps I am selling myself short, but I look to these women as a source of encouragement and feel influenced by each and every one of these them. 

Recently, I joined the influence network, as a way to network with said women, and also better myself.  Just as the title states, to network and be influenced.  Influenced in faith, marriage, mothering, managing money and everyday life as well as my passion for blogging and anything handmade.  A place to bounce ideas off other people and to feel a sense of community.  It has been one of the best things I have done, and while I probably don't put myself out there like I should, I am undeniably the person in the corner just "taking it all in."  And taking it in I am.


What you should know about me and the reasons I joined Influence, besides the obvious, that I am a mother, wife, and friend is that I am hard on myself.  My own worst critic. I often get questioned or even teased about my love for blogging by my non-blogging friends, and I really can't give a solid answer on why I blog.  At least not on the spot, but I can sit down and write out my feelings to my heart's content and after I push publish, I feel lifted, satisfied, and hoping that I can influence others.  With the influence network, I often feel encouraged and supported by others, and can relate to other bloggers going through similar struggles and triamphs and our common desire to just put it out there.

You should probably also know that I am lost when it comes to faith and any direction there of.  I have been on this "faith" quest now for a few years and I am still just out of the loop.  Growing up in Catholicism, I never felt any "real" connection to my church, or to my faith.  Deciding to take my faith in a new direction was quite the decision, but one I feel strongly about for my family.  It has been a struggle and I probably haven't dedicated as much time to it as I should, but my heart is longing for this void to fill and to strengthen this relationship.  Again, right on cue, influence helps provide me with these amazing women of faith, encouraging words, good reads and classes, and a sense of direction.  I was blown away from Ellen Parker's 1 hour class than ever in any religion class or church service.  And to acknowledge that is the first step.

I should also probably mention, that I am a handmade shop owner and enjoy using this as a creative outlet.  Again, influence has taught me more about the "business" side of things than I ever imagined possible. From branding, social media networking, growing, and having the support from other business owners has been huge and has kept me inspired and happy. 

As I continue to strive to become more influential like the many women that influence me, I feel I have discovered a good reference point to grow.  If this sounds like something you would like to join or be a part of, you can join here, I promise it is worth it!


 
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Last call with Raechel Myers

I am so excited to be kicking off this series, Last Call.
Inspired by my obsession love for People magazine.
I read that thing cover to cover, weekly.
And I always get a kick out of the celeb interview in the very back, One last thing!
I love the questions and more importantly the answers and the chance to get to see people being REAL.

So here goes nothing, my own version.
And who better to start off, but the one and only Raechel Myers
I am thrilled to have Raechel as one of my sponsors  <<<<-----
I almost feel silly introducing her because I am sure you all ready know and love her!
But for the few of that you haven't visited her blog or know of her many ventures then go check her out, because seriously, she is amazing!

Let's get started, shall we?

Last Call with Raechel Myers

Raechel Myers is a Southern mama of two who is just trying to point her children to Christ and teach them to take their dishes to the sink. She blogs at Finding My Feet and is a co-operater and writer at SheReadsTruth. She has a degree in Housing and Environmental Design and contributes to The Land of Nod's design blog, Honest to Nod.



Last household item purchased - Drano. Is that the least exciting thing ever? Probably more exciting is the super cool light fixture I ordered for our living room. Hoping to have it installed next week (eek!!).

Last song downloaded on iTunes - Honestly? I'm not a big music person (you can judge me, that's okay. I realize that's super lame - especially living so close to Nashville.) I'm guessing the last music I purchased was sometime in the last year and was probably to add to my running playlist. I'll assume it was an Adele song since I love running to her music.

Last thing before bed - 3 Twizzlers and a glass of ice water. For as long as I can remember.

Last gift I received - My husband bought me this beautiful pair of earrings (in clear) on his way home from work last week. I like them so much that I don't want to take them off - even wore them to the gym!

Last time I went black tie - Oh goodness. Black Tie as in tuxedo? Probably not since my wedding almost 10 years ago. I wish I had more reasons to get dressed up like that though!

Last reality show I saw - I'm not much of a reality show person - at least not lately. I used to love "Flipping Out" on Bravo when we had cable. Is that show still on? Did anyone else watch that show? Zoila the maid was our favorite.

Last dream I had - I honestly can't think of any. But you want to know something cute? Sometimes when Hazel (my almost-3-year-old) wakes up, she'll crawl into my lap and say, sort of disappointed, "my dream is gone!". Man, I wish I could know what her dreams are like that she is sad to say goodbye to them in the morning!

{told you she was the bomb!}

A big thanks to Raechel for stopping by today!  Head on over to her crib and say Hello!



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Monday, March 4, 2013

rewards

When it comes to discipline, I'll admit, I am not the best at it.
I am definitely lacking structure in this department.
I mean, I read all about having a newborn, how to breastfeed, signs and symptoms to watch for with an illness, but as far as having a preschooler and the terrible 2's and the even worse 3's, I must have skipped the chapter or else the book ran out.

I would describe my parenting style as somewhat laid back.  I like to let my daughter make choices and have consequences within reason, but my plan, or lack there of, could possibly be coming back to haunt me. 

I wish I could tell you that I have the patience of a Saint, and never raised my voice.  And that when I tell my daughter to get in time out that she skipped on over to the corner and stayed there without a fight.  I'd love to tell you that my daughter never talked back to her momma or hit the dog or colored on my wall.  That she listened well and followed directions and never ever had a temper tantrum.

I can't tell you that, and I don't know to many parents that can.  But what I can tell you, is that I need a plan and fast!

It all started on Friday when I got the mail.  Seriously, getting the mail these days is quite the task with 2 foot of snow on the ground and frigid temps, but I manged.  In it, an American Girl catalog.  I think we have received said catalog once or twice, although I am not sure why because I have never purchased a single thing.  Presley snatched that catalog from my hands faster than you could imagine, sat down on the floor, and started turning the pages.  With each page she proclaimed how much she loved that doll, had to have that outfit, or bed, or dog, or any accessory that could possibly come with one of these dolls.  I explained to her that these dolls were definitely not in mommy's price range and that she could look, but would NOT be getting one.  She explained to me that she had plenty of money in her piggy bank and wanted to buy one herself.  I escorted her to her room and dumped her bank and counted the change.  $20.00!  I explained that she needed much more money, not that I expected her to understand, and figured we would drop the subject right there.  The girl literally shuffled through this magazine for an hour, and has since shown everyone that has come to our house her favorites, which changes with each glance. 

And this my friends, prompted my plan.  Now I wouldn't call it bribery, more or less a Reward system based on good behavior.  I sat down with Presley, and together we looked through the magazine.  She pointed out her choice and I mentioned to her that I had an idea of how she may be able to get her doll.  Her eyes lit up.  I have never seen her want something so bad.  Together, we picked out some age specific chores that she could make an allowance doing.  I printed this chore chart and bought some stickers.  {on a side note, this printable is seriously the bomb dot com.  free and cute and personalizable!!}  The other half of the reward system, another chart, to encourage her to sleep in her big girl bed, which is still a struggle every.single.night.  We agreed that I would pay half of this doll if she slept in her bed 20 times, and she could earn money for the other half with her allowance from her chores.

Chores like brush your teeth, listen well, follow directions, help mommy, feed the dogs.  I am hoping this reward system will deter some of the bad behaviors we have been experiencing lately.  I made her a bulletin board for her room with her sticker charts and a picture of "Saige," her favorite American Girl doll {today}!  





So far, she is really into it and put her clothes in her "hamster" today.  Love this girl.  She has my heart and I am excited for her to participate in some positive behaviors and hopefully acheive her goal.

Wish me luck y'all!!




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Thursday, February 28, 2013

wait for it... more SNOW


Just chillin' here in Kansas!! Literally!


On nothing else but our Snow Couch...

I mean what else does one do with 2 feet of snow on the ground??




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