Make Your Dining Room POP with Color!!! (Part One: Fabric Covered Chargers)

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On one of my very first trips to Hobby Lobby, I found this ribbon….

My Surprising Inspiration

I bought it for the specific purpose of adorning baby Onesies I sell online. Over the past months while working on crafting, I’ve realized this particular ribbon out of the many I 0wn, is the one that always catches my eye first. Often, my eye lingers on it. It never ever dawned on me to use such bold colors in my home. I’m not sure why. In many ways (probably most of my ways) I’m bold. I’ve just never done anything like that in my décor. I took a step out in faith in bright colors, and added a piece of this ribbon, about 10 inches long, to a sort of art piece I have in my kitchen. From that little tiny step, I made multiple baby steps. Then, I made a couple of small puddle jumps, finally leaping into the china cabinet in the dining room to add some color. To some, it may not seem like a leap at all. For me it was huge. Now, I don’t know if I can be stopped!

I’m not saying these colors (all of which by-the-way, look like they escaped from my Aunt Betty’s 60’s kitchen) are going to be plastered all over the house. But, I am saying they are going to be a lot more prevalent in our home’s décor. I’m loving them so much and they just make me smile! How could I not want that happy happy joy joy to come from every-other-here-and-there?

For this series, I was inspired by some chargers I saw that were covered in burlap, so today on a girl’s day out, some friends took me to the big city. Imagine my delight, when we were in Hobby Lobby, and in the 30% off fabrics were coordinating fabrics that go with my ribbon! I couldn’t believe it! I almost didn’t get even any of the fabrics that match, but my friend Ruth stepped in. She pointed out that I could do more than one print on my chargers. I am so serious in telling you, this had never crossed my mind. People are always saying I’m so creative, but truly, moments like Ruth finding 3 coordinating fabrics that I love, but can’t even envision in my home, just humbles me. I was walking all over the fabric department, like a crazed loon (we had girls waiting for us in the car!), searching for just the right fabric. I had one bolt in my arm that had jumped out at me. As I looked at it more though, while carrying it around, it just seemed a little boring. It had fun colors in it, but it wasn’t fun colored…. ya know what I mean? Well, I went back over to Ruth’s picks and realized the main one is the exact same pattern as my now favorite ribbon!


I jumped in all the way! I became bold about designing my dining room table settings, and I’m going to enjoy the jump! I’ll bring my camera and keyboard along for the ride so that all of you can share in the joy that IS color in our home!

Here’s what you’ll need for this project….



  • Chargers
  • Fabric (3/8 of a yard will cover 3 chargers)

(The coordinating ribbon, twine, and embellishments  are for part 2)


  • Spray Adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Pen/Pencil/Marker

First, place your charger upside-down on your fabric, like this….


Make a circle around your charger about one inch away from the outer edge, like this….


Following the directions of your spray adhesive, coat the charger. The brand I used said to use a medium coat. Further, the directions said to adhere items together permanently, put them together quickly, after spraying. I sprayed a medium-heavy amount on my chargers and the fabric until I could kinda see the glue on it everywhere. To place the fabric on the chargers, I started in the middle by folding the fabric in half, glue side out. Here’s what it looked like when I first put the fabric on the charger….

DSC02480Starting from the center, and working your way out, press the fabric down. Make sure to work quickly and press out any wrinkles as you go. If you make a mistake, don’t fret. You can remove the fabric and start over. I did 😉

Note: This could probably be Mod Podged. I’ll probably try it another day. If/when I do, I’ll let you know how it turned out. If you get to it first, you can let me know!

When you get to the edge, you have options. I did the first one so that it was finished like this….


I cut the fabric right up to the outside edge of the charger. To hide the raw edge of the fabric, I covered it up with two strips of twine I glued (with a glue gun) right over it. This is my favorite look.
On the rest of the chargers, I simply sprayed around the edge of the under side of the fabric and outer edge of the chargers. Then I pressed the fabric to the bottom, like this….

I finished the rest of my chargers with this method. It was late, and I needed to get to bed. Now, I wish I would have taken the extra effort and done them with the twine. It really did not take much longer and the finished look on the underside of the chargers is so much better. Not that my guests will be lifting up the chargers and looking at my finished edges (although, if they are readers of my blog, they may!). I just know the little bit messier crumpled edge is there. Live and learn, right?

Here’s so more pictures of my finished chargers.




They are super super SUPER cute! I can’t wait to have company to show them off to. Until then, I added to my china cabinet vignettes. Now it has even more color and I can’t stop looking at it! You can see how I added color to my china cabinet without spending a fortune by checking out this link….


Look for part two of this series to find out how I made the napkin rings!



How to (realistically) Organize Your Pantry

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My friend Cindy sent me this Pin of a dream pantry…
Dream PantryI decided to build it.
“All we need to do….” I started saying to Mr. Matrimony,
He said “no”
(before I was done asking)
Actually, it was okay becauseI really was joking. The only place we’d have room is the bathroom. Then we’d need to rent a port-potty, permanently (would that be a perma-potty?), and we would have to shower in the rain.
Ya know, it may be a hassle after all.

Truly though, when a person is trying to save money on groceries (even if they do not use coupons), they must have a pantry. A “storehouse” is integral to being able to purchase discount, sale, and bulk groceries. Our 100+ year-old house did not have a pantry. Not a big cabinet in the kitchen, not a closet in the hall, nothing. I needed something that would do until I become a famous blogger known for not spending money. Then I will make some money and can have a pantry. Until that day arrives, we did this….

Pantry ExteriorHere’s an interior shot….


This is just a simple freestanding wardrobe closet. The rod has been removed and two shelves added with “L” brackets. I painted the boards (simple plywood) black. In some of the pictures, the black boards look a little saggy. They really aren’t. It must be an effect of the camera. The cabinet next to the pantry is simply a base cabinet I removed to make room for our big nice refrigerator. Sadly, the upper cabinets were still in the way. Now worries! I can still have a dishwasher installed where the cabinet was… yay me! Now to wait for Mr. Matrimony to install the dishwasher. Until that time, here is our current dishwasher…

Zach the Dishwasher

I have seen many posts that show beautiful pantries, with matchy-match colors, perfectly poised boxes (whose colors miraculously match as well), and a lot of leftover space! That just isn’t realistic to me. Those of us who buy in bulk, don’t color match our macaroni and cheese with our jars of jelly, and who generally… have a life are not going to achieve such pantry beautification.




In fact, before this blog, my pantry had become a piled-in-as-soon-as-we-got-the-groceries-home mess. It was clean about 2 or so months ago. There’s just been a lot going on. Like sales. On Rice-A-Roni. Here’s the “before” of our pantry….

Pantry Before

Now that I take a closer look, it isn’t really that bad. I mean, the doors closed all the way. It just needed a little bit more attention…. and color.

So here is my take on how to realistically organize a pantry….

Gather Supplies~

  1. Containers… I use everything from plastic drawers to old milk jugs, mason jars to plastic shoe boxes. You can use flower pots, decoupaged cereal boxes, dollar store baskets, or vintage refrigerator bins. I even used a cardboard flat that was with a case of beans we bought! Be creative. Make this fun!
  2. Spray paint. Those matchy-match people actually have a great idea in adding color to their pantries. I love color. Seriously… when I open my pantry doors, I feel kinda happy! Is that weird? I dunno. The bright orange and blues just feel good.
  3. Markers. If you don’t like your handwriting, use your printer and some labels. Really though, practice writing. Just a thought…
  4. Ideas. Surf the web, google pantry ideas, and gather up your Pins. If you like an organizational idea, use it! Even if it’s a huge idea and you have a tiny pantry. Find a way to incorporate ideas you are attracted to. There’s no reason you shouldn’t actually enjoy looking inside your pantry!
  5. A Plan. Make a plan. Are your canned goods all going together, or will you separate fruit from meat and veggies from sauces? Will all of your boxed items go together, or will some of them go in a big basket? Decide what you want together, and which shelf it will go on.

DISCLAIMER~ We have another, industrial style shelving unit, in the dungeon basement. On it, we keep our survival storage (I used to feel kinda weird saying that, but now it seems, everyone has one. Thank you everyone.), our bulk overflow, and our case lots. I also keep things down there that I have no business partaking of on a regular basis (ie: soda… What can I say, it keeps me accountable.) I just thought I should make it clear that I have other space, but still I think “realistic” fits within this post.

Here’s how the sections in our pantry are set up…

  • Exterior Top ~ Baskets with snacks, muffin mix, and drink mixes
  • Interior Top Shelf ~ Most of the canned goods.
  • 2nd Shelf ~ Boxed mixes, dried beans, rice, other grains
  • 3rd Shelf ~ Popcorn, gelatin, pudding, jelly
  • 4th Shelf ~ Pasta, canned meats & cheeses, individual snacks,
  • Bottom Shelf ~ Overflow sauces, marinades, dressings

Now for some pictures and explanations….

Top of Pantry ~

Pantry Top

These baskets are quite large. One is a locker basket I got for free before anyone realized they would be vintage someday! For the baskets (there is one for snacks in the back, out of view) you can’t see through, I used tags I had in my scrapbooking stuff.

Top Interior Shelf~

Pantry 1st Shelf

I mix (almost) all of our canned goods together. I have a rack that can’s roll into. I like it very much. Honestly though, if space is an issue, and you need every little last miniscule bit of it, you may not want something like this. The cans are organized in type. The ones without labels were in a canning plant sample sale. Things I have on hand at all times (like Mr. Awesome’s favorite spaghetti sauce) are in the back. I know automatically what is back there, so no need to search. Things that are a little more rare, I keep in front. This way, I remember to use them up.

2nd Shelf~

Pantry 2nd Shelf

I spray painted the lids of the plastic shoe boxes some fun happy colors. The black with whit polka-dots bin is from the dollar store. There are bags of soup mix in that. I lay my boxed foods down, and stack them. They are easier to see and you can fill every inch of space this way. By putting the bins in front, I can easily remove them to reach the items in the back. That Prego was like .50 cents. I never ever buy stuff like that. That’s why it’s in the front. That’s the same reason I have these items so close to the top. We just don’t “normally” have cake mix, Hamburger Helper, etc. on hand. I don’t want to forget about them! That does happen. Nothing worse, pantry-wise, than throwing away .25 cent boxes of quick fixes.

3rd Shelf ~

Pantry 3rd Shelp

These are also things I’ll forget about if they aren’t easily seen. Things like béarnaise sauce and almond paste. They aren’t normally on hand, but I pick them up when they are on clearance. Again, in the front, are items I use on a regular basis that are easily removed. Isn’t it surprising how okay looking a painted milk jug tote can be?

4th Shelf ~

Pantry 4th Shelf

I spray painted the casing of plastic drawers to keep canned meats and cheeses, and snacks (Do you like how I put the individual snacks right under sardines? My hope is Mr. Awesome will stop at “sardines” and quit looking!). I also keep a big container of pasta on this shelf. We really don’t eat that much pasta, but it’s great to have on hand for pot-lucks and when a friend might need a meal. We also have quite a bit of Asian pastas that are a little healthier. Plus, the crunchy fun they add to salad is stellar 🙂

Bottom Shelf ~


This is really my regular items overflow shelf. Multiples of dressings, sauces we regularly use, and Rice-A-Roni I bought for a quarter each. That Coca-Cola container was in the .08 cents pile I’ve told you about before. That Orange tray is a simple cardboard shipping flat we bought canned goods in. I spray painted it bright orange and it’s one of my happy things!

Doors ~

DSC02353DSC02352I think the idea for the magazine racks in my pantry came from She has sooooooo many wonderful ideas! I discovered her when I started couponing. She has a lot of great thoughts on storing things, crafts, menus, ideas for kids… a great conglomeration of inspirational ideas. Anyways, I use the magazine racks (which were free, I don’t remember from where) on the doors for storing seasoning packages, spice mixes, and other mixes. We also have an inventory list of large items from downstairs in the pantry and a pad of paper to use for menu ideas and grocery lists.

Whether you have a pantry or not, I hope you will  be able to incorporate some of my ideas. As always, please feel free to share what you come up with!

How to Add Color to Your China Cabinet (without spending a fortune)

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My china cabinet was not much to look at, even if it is from IKEA Craig’s List. Have I mentioned I am 5 hours from Ikea, no matter which direction I go? Yes. Sad but true. I do shop at IKEA every chance I get though. On one particular road trip, Mr. Matrimony even planned a stop at a hotel next door to an IKEA. I’m fairly certain his motivation was the food court first, and my joy second. No matter… he’s still a keeper ❤

At IKEA with one of our little friends
At IKEA with one of our little friends

Anyways, on our local Craig’s List, I found a white bookcase with glass doors from IKEA. The people who were selling it had added 3 light fixtures to the underside of 3 of the shelves. I knew a little black spray paint would transform it into something that would look like it somewhat matched my dining room furniture. That is sort of a bonus of having mis-matched furniture… everything matches. By-the-way, I thought I was saving time and money by not painting the inside portions of the doors. As it turns out, the interior frames of the doors are quite visible from the exterior. That part really has nothing to do with this post, but I thought you should know so you won’t do that.

You’re welcome.

Now, as much as my mis-matched cabinet matched my mis-matched dining room furniture, it still looked boring. Aside from Christmas dishes and a few little clearance bowls from Apothecary, our dishes are very plain. As it is, even the Christmas dishes don’t match even in the mis-matchy way for about 11 months out of the year. In fact, leaving them in the cabinet just makes me look lazy(er). Still, I am not one for packing them and unpacking them every year, and traipsing with them down into the dungeon basement for storing. So in the cabinet they stay. Here’s what we had to start with…

Boring….. *yawn*


Not only is it boring, it is not one bit organized. That’s how I first came up with this idea. All I was going to do was sort out the mess, purge a few items, do some dusting, and pile things back in with some sense of organization. Somewhere on the way to the dining room, I passed a turquoise lid from a spray paint can. You probably figured at this point that I’m not too good at putting things away. To some, that is called “disorganized” and “messy”. With experience, I have learned to call it “inspirational”. The truth is, I probably was inspired along the way of painting something turquoise when I got distracted by something else, causing me to leave the turquoise spray paint can somewhere. At least now I know where the lid is, so I can replace it. I’ll find the can some other time when I’m distracted inspired.

Annnnnnny way…

I’ve long wanted to put wall paper on the back inside wall of a cabinet. This one would be ideal for that, if I could get my hands on some worthy wall paper. Until that time, I came up with a clever idea to add color to my boring china cabinet. I painted several chargers (Those big ole plastic plates that go under your place settings. They are often gold leafed. We use them in lieu of place mats.) I found on clearance after Christmas at Wal-Mart. They were only .05 cents each! Here’s a picture of one of them “before”….


I did different colors thinking I would choose which ones I liked best. Surprise! I liked them all. So they all stayed the colors I tested them with. I had a few of those raised plate stands that I painted to match. The cloche I made went in as well (You can find out more about that by using this link… ). A pie display (some may think of it as a plate display) I found at the thrift store and a bowl stack rack from World Market (clearance, of course) were also painted to match. As it turned out, I really only purged about 5 things. More than that amount was actually added. Organizing and sorting actually created a lot of room. The Christmas dishes even stayed! Those are what I started with. I put the Christmas plates on the bottom shelf, evened out on either side. Then I placed one plain white plate on top of each stack. Here’s how that looks….


Next, I placed my white dishes (my main color) and the turquoise (my strongest accent color). That was my foundation. Here’s how it turned out….


Here’s the tray (a buck from the thrift store) before I painted it….


Next, I just started placing the other plates and main pieces. As I did so, I moved around the foundation pieces as needed. I even remembered to take a “during” picture this time… YAY me!!!

I hid my smaller pieces of Christmas settings in that ginormous bowl on the top shelf and the coffee cups are behind my “everyday nice” cups.


Finally, I added the finishing pieces. This step includes all the little random shots of color. Color is my friend, so it may be a little surprising we have white dishes. Don’t fret… our everyday dishes are sort of a neon green 😉 If colors “popped” a little too much (like red or bright blue), I placed them with some of the primary (white, turquoise, and yellow) shades of my color palette for this project. Here are some pictures of the different vignettes I placed in the cabinet as the final layer….

These darling little bowls are from Apothecary. That place is WAY expensive, but always remember to check out their clearance room…. I paid about .50 cents each for these!!!


A fake silver candlestick I painted a pale blue with a cute little greenish-yellow bowl topping it off, placed next to some bowls from Apothecary.
A fake silver candlestick I painted a pale blue with a cute little greenish-yellow bowl topping it off, placed next to some bowls from Apothecary.
I spray painted a flower pot and placed some napkins in it on the left. On the right, I spray painted one of my plate stands on to which I placed a super unique flower vase on.
The yellow chargers are in back. I spray painted a flower pot and placed some napkins in it on the left. On the right, I spray painted one of my plate stands on to which I placed a super unique flower vase on.

Here’s the finished project….

I made both the Moscato sign and the Vino sign. The birdcage I painted blue and place a plate stand in it with an orange candle vase on it.
I made both the Moscato sign and the Vino sign. The birdcage I painted blue and place a plate stand in it with an orange candle vase on it.

Don’t have a china cabinet? We didn’t for quite awhile. Before we purchases this one from IKEA Craig’s List, we used a plain ol’ black fake wood bookcase from Wal-Mart, for years! I think they are like 30 bucks. Maybe even 20… it’s really fake wood, lol 😀 It looked great though. The only problem is dust. You neat people have nothing to worry about there though. But even I made it through the dusty china “cabinet” years.

On Friday evenings I enjoy The Weekend Wind-Down Party at
There are so many great ideas there! Please take a few moments to check it out.

Guest Toiletries Container with Chalkboard Labels

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When we go on road trips, I always ask housekeeping for extra coffee and extra toiletries. They’re always so sweet and happily give me handfuls of each. The coffee is because one little package is never enough in a hotel room. I save the toiletries for my guests at home. We no longer have a guest bathroom, or for that matter, a guest bedroom. However, all we need do is banish Mr. Awesome to the dungeon  basement, and voila… guest room! For the guest toiletries I gather on our journeys, I found a fun, wide, pink-tinted vase someplace in the dungeon basement and discovered I could fit quite a few of the little toiletry bottles into it. Here’s how I made the labels….

What you need~

  • Sheet of Plain Stickers (I think my mama bought mine at Office Depot)
  • Flat Black Spray Paint (you can use chalkboard paint, but the .98 generic flat black is way cheaper)
  • White or Silver marker (I recommend Sharpie Brand Oil Paint Marker)



First, spray paint the entire sheet of stickers. I took a picture of mine halfway through. It’s kinda hard to see the outlines of the stickers, but you get the idea…


Next, simply use the marker to write what you like. I did a LOT of practice fails before I got some nailed its! While I was at it, I made some for my coffee canisters….

When you have the stickers just so, simply attach them to your vase. Fill with your pretty little toiletries from the sweet housekeeping people, kick your kid into the dungeon basement, and ask some friends to stay the night! You’ll be ready 😉

My guest toiletries on my towel shelf made from a bicycle basket. Sweet!


That’s Not What It’s For!!!

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Awhile back my friend Melissa, from over at was visiting my home. She excused herself to the powder room and when she came out, was very excited! She said, “I LOVE what you’ve done in there.
“Thanks!” I said.

Wait. What???

Here’s what she saw…
(Don’t be afraid!)


Thankfully, she quickly explained that she was talking about my toilet paper storage.
I know… whew… Right?

I bought these two corbels for, wait for it…. $3 each. THREE DOLLARS!!! I still can’t believe what a steal that was. At one of the big hardware stores, they are $48 for new ones that are half the size! Crazy. It makes me want Mr. Matrimony to buy a saw, or whittling machine, or whatever, to make some more corbels with. Just from selling them, we could retire in like, 5 months! Anyways, I found these at a little swap meet in the middle of next-to nowhere. The woman who sold them to me was kind of hesitant. She said she didn’t know what they were worth. I think she was hesitant cause she didn’t want to charge me too much! Bless her heart…. I felt bad, but then, I grabbed them up, cradled them in my arms, and the guilt disappeared.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re like, “Yeah, but that is a one-time deal. No one is ever going to find that bargain. ..Ever… Again.” I know you’re thinking that because I’ve thought it soooo many times over the years. I’ve heard it said by many others as well. Here’s the thing… you WILL find your (figurative) corbels. It may be a chair, sconces, or a fireplace set with elk antler handles. It may even be corbels! Just keep your eyes open and don’t look at things as they were meant to be used. Think of them as anything you’ve ever seen on Pinterest! Pinterest has changed the rules. I can’t walk by little toy animals without picturing them painted bright white and mounted on the wall. Or doors. In my mind, doors are always aged, always have shelving attached, and are never on hinges. I see windows hanging where there is no wall, plants growing out of pallets, and chalkboard painted on everything including chalkboards! If you see something that catches your eye and it’s a great price, grab it! If you’re really drawn to it, you will find something creative to do with it. If you can’t, write to me, do an internet search, or ask a creative friend. If you like it as it is, you will definitely love it more when you’re through with it!

Here’s some more things I’ve done around the house with items used differently than they were intended….


These are two small bookcases I found at a yard sale. I paid a dollar each for them, nailed them to the wall and added baskets from the dollar store. They work perfectly in the laundry room. I even hang the clothes pins I painted from the handles. That tutorial is here….


With the advent of Scentsy, I just don’t burn as many candles as I did in the past. The problem is, I have all these great candlesticks! I can’t epoxy a plate to every candlestick we own. I just can’t… So, I’ve found different items to place on them instead of candles. This little squash was something I found one year in Wal-Mart, on clearance, after Thanksgiving. They come in all shapes and sizes. This is one of my favorites because it’s sparkly!

Candle Stick Bucket

Painted with one of my kitchen colors, this small pail fits perfectly on a shabbied candlestick. It gathers small items that don’t have a home that we randomly set on the counter when we walk in the house. I wish I could find a gi-NOR-mous one for the laundry room…


Dollar stores often have fun little signs that are really cute, but not big enough to use on a wall. I hang them from lamp switches. If they aren’t long enough, I simply add string. The shade will hide the string. Incidentally, I sometimes add beaded ribbon to the bottom of lampshades. It’s a quick and easy way to add some style to something that can be pretty bland. The beaded ribbon very expensive in the craft stores, but sometimes the dollar store has it. Keep an eye out and snatch it up whenever you see it!

wpid-0421141308-12.jpg.jpegIn our other house, our bedroom was 16×20 feet (now our living room and dining room combined are barely that big!) Of course, in such a big room, we needed a King-size bed (plus, I found the bed for $99 on clearance at and we got the mattress in trade from someone whose dog we baby-sat). In the house we live in now, we have about 6 feet of space on the sides of the bed.  That’s total space… 2 feet for me and 4 feet for Mr. Matrimony. Needless to say, we don’t have much bedside table space. To make up for that, I placed hanging lights from IKEA (clearance section, of course) with shades from Wal-Mart. Then, I found these nifty little shadow boxes and painted them the closest I could to the dark walnut color of our bed. Attached to the wall, they make a perfect place to keep our bedside reading! Our books are easily accessible and they stay off the table, leaving room for other more important things, like decorations! 🙂


I hope you aren’t sick of seeing these. I think I’ve blogged about them more than once. They are vases from the dollar store that I use as picture frames for photo booth pictures. You can see how I dolled them up by checking out this post… I think I keep showing them off on my blog because they represent repurposing perfectly! They are easy, inexpensive, and extremely useful for something that really has no way to show it off. If there are frames out there made specifically for photo booth pictures, I’m certain they are expensive!

wpid-photogrid_1398106992808.jpgThis is a shelf in our bedroom. I use it to display some items that are important to Mr. Matrimony and myself, like our framed wedding license. I spray painted some stickers that I had for scrapbooking so they’d match our bedroom. Placed in no certain order on the shelf bracket, they look really cute. The bonus is, they are words that fit our marriage ❤

Being creative isn’t this intrinsic feeling that people are born with. I used to go into people’s homes and think, “I love what they did in here!” (Maybe not in their bathroom though… heh). My mother and aunt are both extremely savvy when it comes to creativity of all sorts. I wonder if they always had their talents. I suspect they did not. My thought is, we learn it. Maybe some people are more susceptible to the creativity bug and others have to work hard to achieve success. Either way, you can learn it! Just keep trying, and you’ll eventually, I don’t know… get used to it? Yeah….

This week, I’m learning about Linky Parties. This is my first attempt. Please check out this wonderful blog and her blog hop!

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