Wordless Wednesday- Entertaining Conway, AR

Ian and Auntie Dev (the geekazoid) entertaining the passerby at Shake's in Conway, AR with a rousing (and adorable) rendition of "baby shark".  Hopefully, we'll be able to capture it on video this weekend at Toad Suck Daze.

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Baskin Robbins 31 cent scoop night

We are going to get ice cream today! Some of my dearest friends are firefighters, so this is close to my heart... as well as my tummy! You can't beat the price, anyways. I'm hoping they have pistachio. What is your favorite flavor? Well, here is the scoop!  
Get your scoops from 5-10 pm tonight, 4/28 at participating Baskin-Robbins.
Join us for 31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin-Robbins® and help us honor America's firefighters. The Baskin-Robbins community foundation is donating $100,000 to the National Fallen
Firefighters Foundation™ (NFFF).
Participating stores will reduce prices of ice cream
scoops to 31 cents*. At some locations, you may also have
an opportunity to make a donation to your local fire charities.
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Honey Mustard Chicken Strips

As you know we rarely do measurements, but here's a yummy, easy, delish new chicken recipe we came up with-  just go with what looks good to you.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast tenders

A good plop mayo (about 1/2 cup)
Squeeze of spicy brown mustard  (maybe 2 - 4 tbsp depending on how spicy you like it)
Squeeze of honey about same amount as mustard

Blend mayo, mustard and honey

Mix together equal parts panko breadcrumbs (or plain) and crushed french friend onion rings (about 1/2 cup each- again we eyeball)

Coat chicken in honey mustard sauce then crumbs (can do in heavy Ziploc bags if you like)

Lay on lightly sprayed baking pan and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with additional honey mustard dipping sauce or just plain honey if desired.

Here are a couple of MYO honey mustard salad dressing & dipping sauce recipes you may enjoy.

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Menu for week of 4/26 - 5/2

Here's how our week is shaping up menu wise-  not sure of days, will depend on work schedules and when we go to festival.

Snacks-  sushi, sausage and crackers

Corned beef, carrots & potatoes, hot rolls

Pasta salad or pasta with sauce (depends on weather)

Homemade Reubens

Salad w/grilled chicken & cheese, fruit & vegs w/choice of dressings

Festival food during Toad Suck Daze

Honey mustard chicken strips, corn on the cob, salad

Anything yummy getting cooked at your house this week?

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WW Powered by Starbucks

Just for the record- his hair is like his mama's and takes on a life of its own- it was brushed and damped down and everything else less than 30 minutes before as we were heading out the door! Fun, fun.
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Your 'tude determines your mood- you get to choose.

Last weekend was a lesson in Law of Attraction; specifically, how your attitude determines your mood, and it is not one I'll soon forget.

We had several plans, and a bunch of little things fell through, nothing earthshakingly major, but enough that if I was at a different point in my life could have ruined my weekend.

Luckily, we had set the intention to have a wonderful, wonder-filled weekend and so we did.  Abraham (Abraham-Hicks) calls this pre-paving, and here's a great quote:

"Before drifting off to sleep, we would set forth a thought, which is what we call prepaving, of pleasant anticipation of tomorrow."

 It started with a less than pleasant encounter with Ian's grandfather on the other side of his family (isn't it great when people for no reason other than you are no longer bound by marriage decide you and your family are the devil(s) incarnate?)  Joy, joy.

But instead of dwelling on it, or how they are trying to bully Kyra, or lying to her and accusing her of things that just aren't true and never were- what is it they say- you project onto others your own feelings and actions and what you would do so assume they would do the same?  something like that, anyways, we were able to laugh it off and pity them and shake off the ugly that comes with that type of thing.

Just a side note- what makes it even sadder is that he *claims* to be spiritual, is into Abraham-Hicks, has attended at least one workshop and KNOWS BETTER than to focus on the negative, but I digress.

We went to Larry's Pizza for the pizza parade, and instead of the party/parade atmosphere it was more bored waitstaff walking around offering pizza.  Still, we laughed Auntie Dodo and Auntie Devii played games with him and took pics and whooped it up and had a great time.

Then we went to Shake's for really truly excellent ice cream (actually, they use custard and it was delicious; well, what little I got to eat as Ian decided he much preferred Gigi's hot fudge and ate most of mine as well as his own.  Hehe little turkey.  He wanted to eat there instead of bringing it home, and between eating his ice cream and hogging mine, he and Auntie Dev amused passerby with their fun rendition of "baby  shark".  (We'll be getting a video up of that within the next few weeks- it is truly adorable and if you don't know it you, and your kids especially, will love it.)

As you might recall we had plans for Saturday to take him to the Thomas Playdate at Toys R Us.  I don't want to dwell on the negative here, but...  it was nothing like what was advertised or expected.

First we dropped Auntie Dev off at work for a staff meeting, while we headed to Target a few doors down, specifically, to Starbucks for our Java Juice to feed the old habit.  I decided to try something new and got the caramel frapaccino and I have to say-  ewwwwwwww.  I don't believe I've ever had caramel anything I didn't like but it had a nasty aftertaste.  I was going to just buy my fave - the java chip, but the sweet worker said no no we'll make you something you like- gotta love a company that stands by their product and if you don't care for it will find something you like. 

She told us they changed the recipe/formula so made a short one to try since she knew it was my regular and so Ian got a little *Ian sized* cup of his own with a baby straw and he felt so special and important.  (Yes, I took a quick taste and yes, still YUMMYLICIOUS!

So after the geekazoid gets out of her meeting we head to Maumelle to pick up her boyfriend and then into Little Rock to Toys R us.  We were starving by then and running a bit late so just grabbed a quick lunch from McD's-  umm yeah, the good part was that they had the new Dora movie that Ian wanted to see in the Redbox.

We get to Toys R Us just a bit late-  it is the smallest Toys R Us I've ever been to, not the big warehouse I am used to at all.  (There are 3 in Little Rock, so that isn't the part that failed.)

There was a worker setting up a folding table-  we asked where the Thomas Playdate was- yeah, that was it.  Nope, our guess that it was spread throughout the store was wrong- that was it.

So, while she was setting up we went to find the Thomas Mega Block set that we had a $5 off coupon for.  We went by the block sets- nope, not there.  By the Thomas merchandise, nope, not there.  Using her superior hunting skills Ki tracked it down, but not where we expected to find it.

We go back to see how the display was coming along-  here is what we found-  a Thomas tablecloth (cute) a stack of *conductor crowns* reminiscent of the BK crown only white with black outline, apparently meant to be colored in.  A stack of coloring sheets (all the same type) and several of the 4 packs of crayons like the restaurants give you- nothing special about them at all.  5 or 6 engines out of their boxes for the kids to play with.  A portable cd player playing the theme song in the background VERY low.  A small plastic bag that had a fold up poster that we later found out had a handful of stickers to put in the right places (which I do have one complaint about- these are intended for 3 years old- I really wish they would have been movable, but once they were down they ripped if you tried to move it no matter how carefully and maybe your child has excellent coordination with little objects but Ian is still working on that and it upset him some that he couldn't *fix* it).

There was no room for the kids to color or do any activities, and some of the more aggressive children were taking the toy trains right out of other kids hands- naturally there was a meltdown.

The saddest thing of all-  I get that things happen, and perhaps they were shorthanded, but to hear an employee say... and I quote...  "Who knew Thomas was so popular?"  HELLO- you work in a toy store and the event is being hyped on the www and you don't even know Thomas is like God to kids...  umm just wow.  Maybe a toystore catering to kids is not the best career for you at this time.

Regardless, we buy the blocks and a reusable panda shopping bag for Ian to carry it in and promise him he can play with the trains at Barnes and Noble in the same shopping center, so he's not even too bummed out.  (For future reference, we'll try NOT to hype up things too much to him as it is super disappointing to a child when we made such a big deal out of the playdate.)

So what happens?  Barnes and Noble has removed the train table and there are NO TOYS except those for sale, nothing for the kids to do but buy a book or a toy.  I have to say Ian was a trooper, and didn't have  fit or anything.  We were sooooo proud of him for making the best of things.

We decide to take Ian to Hastings after dropping Dev and Dustin at the Dixie Cafe (yes, they have blue ice cream- yum) so he could  play with the smaller but still fun train table there.  He also found a Dora giant coloring book with 100 stickers so he was happy.

Ian wanted to go home so he could play with his blocks so instead of saying oh the traffic is a killer with it being prom weekend we just did back roads and Ian and Gigi went to play with grandpa and left it for Kyra to chauffer the couple around.  Definitely a wise choice.  ;-)  My boy is so smart!

Now, none of these things is a huge hairy deal, but there were definitely times in my life that they would have been and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, with Law of Attraction being non-partisan and working perfectly every time our weekend would have been a series of disaster after disaster.   That which is like unto itself is drawn.  I am so glad we were determined to have a great weekend and make the best of things. 

To top it off we lost the camera somewhere along the way, but still, we consider the weekend a resounding success, even though my status has been "whipped by a 3 year old" after 3 hours of kite flying and running around and a picnic at the park on Sunday.

Try it sometime-  set your intention and pre-pave a fabulous day or week and let me know how it goes-  I'm willing to bet that you'll find that like us, it is your attitude that determines the success or lack thereof.

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Menu for week of 4/19 - 4/25

Here's what our menu looks like this week:

Dilly Onion Bread and Red Wine Veggie Bean Soup

Sausage, potato and carrot hotpot

Veggie stir fry, brown rice

Easy Mexican Pinwheels  (These are so good and so easy and we LOVE them for a quick dinner, especially when it is warmer out)

Slow Cooker beef stew, hot rolls with butter

Breakfast for dinner- special pancakes, fruit

Meatloaf, potato salad, sesame green beans, salad

Somewhere in there will be making bread pudding- didn't get all the bread used up last week and that's what sounds good to us.

Whatcha got cooking at your house?

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Thomas & Friends Play Date @ Toys R Us

Woot.  Ian is super excited because Saturday 4/17 from 11am to 1 pm Toys R Us is having a play date for the little ones. 

Some of the activities planned are story time, crafts, games and freebies.

You can find your closest Toys R Us with the handy store locator.

You can also print a $5 coupon off a Thomas Mega Block Set here to bring with you and save a bit.

This is not a compensated post, I got an email with the info and we just wanted to spread the word in case you have a Thomas fan and a little free time-  if your little ones are anything like Ian they go bananas over anything Thomas related.

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How To Train Your Dragon: AAAW! :3

How To Train Your Dragon is well-made, family-friendly, and most importantly, COMPLETELY adorable.

I haven't read the book yet, but Kiki's reading it now and says that it's absolutely nothing like the movie--the plot isn't very similar at all. For that reason, I'm glad I watched the movie first, so there's no disappointment factor.

Despite being untrue to the original story, the movie was really great. Who can resist a dragon with great, big, round eyes?

There was a lot of laughter and "aww"ing and squealing in delight. Toward the end, though, I was at the edge of my seat, almost ready to cry, dying to know what would happen next. It's something that both Ian and Mom enjoyed, as well as my sisters and I, so it's great for the whole family. You know how some kids' movies make the grown-ups want to cringe? Not like that at all. And I brought my boyfriend, who thoroughly enjoyed it as well, so it even works for a date movie (if, like me, you actually enjoy watching the movie rather than sucking face, which is icky to do in public).

And if, as a parent, you like to show your kids movies with good moral lessons, it has one of those as well. It's all about not judging books by their covers, and being who and what you want to be--even if it goes against the crowd.

Plus--have I said this already?--it's ADORABLE. You really have to go see it.
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I can't remember the last time I said this... the movie is better than the book!

I am sooooo glad I watched the movie The Blind Side before I read the book. 

The movie- fantastic-  we watched on PPV and will be buying shortly (probably when Redbox has it knocked down to $5.)

Casting is superb-  every character was believable and Sandra Bullock of course was outstanding.  Kathy Bates- another fave actress of ours- was fabulous.

So after seeing the movie I read the book-  which was more about the sport than the story.  Seriously, maybe someone who knows (or cares) about all that stuff will like the book but when a number of pages have footnotes that take up 1/3 to 1/2 of the page- you are going into WAY too many details that nobody wants to know.  It totally took away from the story trying to figure out why the author was telling you all the history etc...  Some had to do with the storyline, some not so much and appeared to be inserted randomly and didn't make a whole lot of sense.

Now Ken is a sports buff- and knows ALL KINDS of trivia that even he admits nobody else gives a rats rear end about so maybe, just maybe it won't bore him, although after telling him about it I can say he watched and loved the movie and has made no move to pick up the book.

I did finish the book, which is something (you'll remember reviews where I haven't been able to do that) but I pretty much encourage you to see the movie and skip the book unless you really really want to get into a bunch of football stats and such that have nothing to do with the story.

And I almost want to slap myself for being sacreligious but honeslty-  the movie is such a heartwarming, gripping story that the book just doesn't convey.
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Dear Starbucks, you let me down.

So, it's no secret we love Starbucks and our current addiction is the Java Chip frap extra chocolate.

There are several Starbucks in town, so I'm pretty much covered when I have to go out.

It is also no secret that I frequent Target.  A lot.  So, the Starbucks in our Target up @ Conway Commons gets a great deal of our business-  pretty much every time we need to get something at Target we get one either on the way in or out-  sometimes (a lot of times) both.

So...  we know a lot of the employees.  Yesterday there was a new one.

BAD business, that.  Oh, I'm glad you're hiring new workers and I'm sure she'll be fine, but...

We were celebrating Dev's first full day on the job (she works a few doors down-  how lucky is that?) so of course had to run in and grab our java junkie juice on our way home-  nothing else, just heaven in a cup.

Here's the beef-  chips still in big chunks.  Ice still in big chunks.  Huge gaping holes- you had to keep moving the straw to get anything at all.  It was like someone poured coffee over crushed ice and tossed in a handful of mini chips.

Almost impossible to drink, and none of the frozen creamy goodness we look forward to.  Now others may like it but I find iced coffee gross and that's pretty much what it was like (with chocolate added of course).

Please, please don't leave the trainees alone until you know for sure they know how to fix a drink-  especially a frap.  Had we not been driving and had other things to do it wouldn't have been that big of a deal to get reblended, but let's be real.  A great many Starbucks customers grab and go and can't take it back if it fails.

So anyways-  thanks for the almost perfect record, but again-  please, please make sure your employees are trained properly-  seriously, had she taken 10 more seconds with the blender it would have been fine.
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Menu for week of 4/12 - 4/18

I'm pretty low energy now so an easy week-

Chicken parmesan, pasta

Pork loin, salad, potatoes or pasta

Stir fry vegs, brown rice

Breakfast for dinner-  pancakes or french toast probably, fruit

Chef salad w/grilled chicken

Fish sticks, potato smiles and corn on the cob (gotta love kids!)

Turkey breast, salad, some type of rice maybe

What's cooking at your house?
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Baked Chicken Parmesan

We made the most delicious chicken parm the other day- pic is not great, sorry, having trouble getting the lighting right, but oh the recipe- you will NOT be disappointed.
Baked Chicken Parmesan - serves 4

  • 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Egg, beaten with splash of milk
  • 1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Grated parmesan
  • 8 oz pkg Baby bella or other mushrooms, sliced
  • Butter or coconut oil
  • Meatless spaghetti sauce*
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated**
  • Grated parmesan cheese**
  • Cooking spray, preferably olive oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Dredge chicken in egg mixture and breadcrumbs and place on lightly sprayed baking sheet - spray top of chicken as well to brown (you won't need to turn it this way). Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 18 to 20 minutes or until just cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pan saute mushrooms in a bit of butter or oil until cooked through.
  3. Top chicken with mushrooms & warmed spaghetti sauce* then sprinkle on cheese. Broil on low for 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  4. *Use store bought or your homemade, enough to cover the chicken with a decent layer- about 6 oz or so.
  5. Serve with spaghetti (or your favorite pasta).
  6. **Grated mozzarella mixed with grated parmesan- the ratio should be about 3 to 1 - as much or as little as you like.
  7. Enjoy.

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Beef Stroganoff

My fave stroganoff is using leftover steak-  really good steak-  prime rib or strip or what have you- very very tender-  if you do it that way, you can omit most of the cooking time, but I am including both ways here so you can make it with the cheapest cut of beef or even browned ground beef if you like.

Do NOT omit the A-1 or try to substitute-  trust me when I say even people who "hate" it LOVE this and it really makes the dish.

Beef Stroganoff

  • Leftover steak, *round steak or browned ground beef
  • 8 oz (or more) mushrooms (I like a blend, but button will do)
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or coconut oil
  • Enough to cover Beef stock or boullion
  • Healthy glug, to taste A-1 steak sauce
  • 8 oz carton (or larger, if desired) Sour cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Saute onions & mushrooms in a bit of butter or coconut oil
  2. *If using a cheaper cut of beef (or uncooked) remove onion mixture from pan and saute bite sized strips or chunks of beef (or brown ground), add onion mixture back and enough beef stock (can use water and boullion cubes if you have to) to cover and let simmer about 20 minutes or until meat is tender & cooked through and liquid reduced by half.
  3. **If using leftover (rare) steak, wait until some of the broth is boiled down (about 10 minutes) to add then just keep it on long enough to warm through.
  4. Turn off heat and add a carton of sour cream and a glug of A-1.
  5. Stir well and serve over hot cooked noodles or rice.

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We appreciate you $20 Amazon GC giveaway! Everyone welcome to enter.

We feel so badly that some of our readers / followers aren't able to enter all of our giveaways, especially the HUGE spring cleaning giveaway we've got going on right now (ARV $165) that we're going to do one that anyone that can use an Amazon GC can enter-  the prize is a $20 Amazon GC which the winner will be emailed a code to use on Amazon.

So- follow our blog and leave us a comment-   yep, it really is that easy.  You can do this daily if you like.  A simple today's entry is fine.  Ends 5/4 11:59pm CST

Want more?  The main entry is all you need for a chance to win, but youcan find out how to get additional entries into our giveaways here.

*NEW* Boost my giveaway on Prizey.
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HUGE Spring Cleaning Giveaway- Win GC's and Free Ice Cream.

So, I'm cleaning out my desk (finally) and I've got some things I haven't used and decided instead of finding something to do with them, it would be a good time to reward our followers.  (Yeah, I know, we've been busy and whatnot and we soooooooooo appreciate you sticking by us.)

After much internal debate instead of doing a bunch of little things I am going to do a bundle and one very lucky subscriber will win the whole shebang.

Are you ready for this?  Okay, here's the loot-

(1) $5 Sears GC 
(1) $10 Sunoco Gas GC
(4) $10 The Container Store GC's
That's $55 dollars people, but we're not done.  I've also got...
FREE ICE CREAM!!!  (Well, actually I have coupons for any Kemp's Dairy product up to $4.)  and not just one or two, I've got 25 of them so that's another $100.  and they don't expire until 12/31/2011 so you're set for a while.
And for good measure I will toss in a $10 Restaurant.com code I've got sitting in my email doing nothing.

So, unless I can't add correctly-  that's $165. worth of free goodies!  And all you have to do is tell me how fabulous I am, how wonderful, how adorable... you get the picture.  JUST KIDDING!

You do have to be a follower on blogger/google friend connect -  WE WILL BE CHECKING and if the winner- who will be chosen by randomizer is not a follower, someone  else will be chosen.

After you make sure you are a current follower just leave me a comment-  you can do this once a day! and it can be as simple as today's entry.

Want more?  The main entry is all you need for a chance to win, but youcan find out how to get additional entries into our giveaways here.

We're going to let this one run until Geeky Mommy's Birthday on May 4th, you've got until midnight CST to get those entries in.  U.S. Residents 18+


*NEW* Boost my giveaway on Prizey.

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Wordless Wednesday - Easter 2010

We haven't gotten all of the pics uploaded, but here's a sampling of what we were up to last weekend.

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Getting ready for Easter - Peep Wreath - aka the hunt for the elusive peeps.

So we're kind of busy getting ready for Easter but taking a break while Kyra and Ian take Devii to her boyfriend's house and hunt down the elusive Peeps.

Okay so-  you know how there are peeps EVERY dang where-  well NOT now that we need more for a craft project.  (Just so you know it probably serves my sorry butt right-  the ONLY thing I think they are good for is blowing up in the microwave) well until now-  we're using a styrafoam wreath form and toothpicks and helping Ian make a Peep Wreath-  great project for a 3 year old, right.

So far 4 boxes and only the top of the thing is covered (we started last evening, figuring while Gigi and grandpa go out to get a few groceries this morning we could pick up more, right?  WRONG!) 

Apparently there is a mad run on Peeps in Conway and Mayflower so Ki and Ian are going to check out Maumelle because we stopped at 3 supermarkets and 2 general stores and NO PEEPS.  Anyhoo, had Ken cracking up because I was going a little psycho saying they must be hunted down like rabid dogs.   Mostly he thinks this is funny because he gets to go to work tonight (Yay, overtime) while we are on the hunt-   I mean, c'mon don't make me hunt down the Easter Bunny to finish making a 3 year old's craft project, for crying out loud.

Anyways here's what we are doing this Easter weekend-  hopefully finishing up Ian's Peep wreath.

Making some cupcakes/cakes/desserts and letting Ian decorate the egg shaped cupcakes to take up to gram's (Ken's mom's) tomorrow- they will be awful but everyone will love them. ;-)

Getting some veggies ready to make a nice tray to take with us tomorrow so all we'll have to do is arrange them.

Boiling up the eggs so they are ready to dye when we get home.

Going to see How To Train Your Dragon-  all the diva's and Ian, Derek and Dustin (blondie's fiance, Dev's boyfriend) , courtesy of Ken who is paying but has no choice but to work tonight so... thanks hon.

Making a simple dinner then coloring the eggs while we listen to -  Puttin' On The Ritz & I'm Too Sexy- for some reason these songs are ALWAYS  playing when we dye eggs.

Putting together a creme brulee french toast (or some type of casserole that we'll just have to pop in fridge in the morning).

Leaving out a plate of carrots for the Easter Bunny- or EB as he likes to be called, then getting an overexcited 3 year old to bed.

Helping the bunny out and putting together baskets (yes, the grown divas MUST have baskets) or wagon and outside toys as the case may be- and of course it will take forever because SOME PEOPLE named Gigi and Grandpa Ken went way overboard but shhhhh it's okay.

Getting maybe a couple hours sleep before the alarm goes off to once more help the bunny by hiding the eggs we died for Ian to hunt.

Doing the hunt thing here then plating up the veggies and dips, making the deviled eggs (which Ken will peel because again some people named Gigi has no patience and they kind of are all smooshy and cracked if she does them) and getting everything else ready to go up to grams house.

Having the whole big family dealio up at Ken's mom's house-  with a much larger scale egg hunt for all the little ones. 

Remembering to count our blessings and be thankful for this awesome life we have.

Happy Easter (or passover, or whatever you celebrate) to you and yours.

The Dddivas 
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