Posts Tagged With: “to do” list

Main bathroom – Two Years In…

The most recent part of the “Progress in Your House” saga was the half bathroom. What do you say that we keep with the bathroom theme and head upstairs to our main bathroom? Since these posts are all about lists, shall we also make a list of the rooms to that you need to see and mark off the ones that are already in the tour?

  • Entry Room
  • Kitchen
  • Mudroom
  • Living Room
  • Dining Room
  • Three Seasons Porch
  • Half Bathroom
  • Guest Bedroom
  • Creative Space
  • Main Bathroom
  • Giant closet
  • Master Bedroom

They are all in the Tour Our House section along with the tour of the whole house from the beginning

Our main bathroom is on the second floor of the house. You see it right when you turn the corner upstairs and since the door is usually open and we would use it most often, it had to be pretty (or prettier) right away. So on the to do list, this was one of the first things to tackle.

Behind the door is the toilet – sorry about the open toilet picture

A better shot of the shower curtain (in the mirror) and the awkward towel bar and the uber long countertop

Inside the shower…just warning you, it’s gross


Time to make myself feel better with a list

  • Scrubbed the whole entire bathroom like you would not believe
  • Took down the brassy towel bar that hung 8 inches from the coutnertop
  • Painted the walls in Sherwin-Williams Bamboo Shoot (this post)
  • Switched out the shower curtain to one that both the hubs and I love…not an easy task
  • Got new sagey bath mats (post here)
  • Defolded the bi-fold door to add some storage to the door (this post)
  • Removed the strange little shelf that was next to the counter when you walked in the door
  • Recaulked every seam in the tub and added something to cover up the edges
  • Took the snazzy mirrors off the wall by the toilet so it wasn’t so…creepy

And now for some progress pictures.

Here’s the shelf on the no longer bi-fold door (plans from Ana White)


The toilet nook without mirrors on the wall and a closed lid. Finding something to hide the hubs’ magazines is pretty high on the priority list too.

Oh and the shower, can’t forget to show you the shower. So much better even if the color is off a little bit.

Plans for this room include new floor tile, a claw foot tub, double sinks (!), new mirrors and I really would like to move a new washer and dryer into this room too, but I’ll admit that’s a point of debate in our house. Oh boy, do I have plans…just look at my For the Home – Bathrooms board on Pinterest. I’ve also started an ever evolving moodboard for it on Olioboard.





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Making a list…checking it twice

Do you ever feel like you have about 27 projects going all at once? You’ve started them all, but can’t seem to find the time to even finish one? That’s where I’m at right now. I’m a multi-tasker, but some of these projects were stirring in my brain six months ago, so the fact that they still aren’t finished aggravates me.

My current to do list:

  • I can’t wait to have the sideboard in the entry room finished. I still haven’t convinced the hubs to let me paint it. I think I’m going to have to strike a deal with him. I paint it and if after a month he still doesn’t like it, I’ll paint it back (which would make me incredibly sad BTW)
  • Paint the deck chair that y’all picked the color for…waaaaay back in September. I have the paint, it just hasn’t made it’s way onto the chair. Notice the date I bought the paint? Waaaaay back in September
  • Build another deck chair so two people can sit on the deck at the same time instead of me sitting out there by myself with my laptop

  • Make a table to go between the two chairs. I know I can’t do the plants just yet, but I feel like I should have the glass at least since I already have the pots.
  • While perusing ReStore one day, I found some shutters. They could end up like this

or like this

  • I’m fairly certain I want to do a banquette on our three seasons porch. This is odd for me. I don’t like banquettes. Maybe it’s the claustrophobic in me that is afraid to be blocked in or my fear that Johnny won’t come and get Baby out of the corner. Whatever it is, I was surprised when I found myself considering this. We already have sectional pieces a-la- Ana White. We would need more pieces and we have to build a “platform” for them to sit on and raise them to chair height. Maybe a table made from an old door that is sitting in the loft above the garage. The prospect of having room to seat 8 people on the three seasons porch and keep bugs out of our food at barbeques makes me more than a little happy.

That’s the short list too. The hubs has been busy working on some electronic stuff and building a couple computers. We also have a restoration project that we are working on with my dad. In the midst of all this, I was able to find a few hours on a Wednesday night to have some quality time with my mom, a couple glue guns and this pile of stuff

Tutorial tomorrow? Should probably start writing it…there were a lot of steps. Including driving to the craft store because I forget things and grabbing a couple cups of coffee. End result: totally worth it. I can’t wait to show y’all…tomorrow!


Categories: Best Laid Plans, Possibilities | Tags: | Leave a comment

Up on The Roof

Recently (before the snow hit a couple weeks ago) the hubs and I spent some quality time up on the roof.

In fact, it was totally booooring but totally necessary. Blah

Some of you may remember back in July when I told you that we would be taking on our roof in the fall.

We didn’t do nearly as much as we had planned to do, but the hubs and I did have a couple days that we spent redoing the roof on the three seasons porch. Our whole roof is in desperate need of being redone, but the three seasons porch and laundry room/mudroom really needed to be done so we didn’t have to walk through puddles inside the house. My dad and Michael spent a day in October or November (can’t remember exactly when) and covered the leaking part of the roof with ice and water barrier and Michael and I finished off the rest of it. It’ll get us by until this summer when we do the whole roof (hopefully). It worked like a charm and we decided that we would do the rest of it just to be safe and get us through the winter and the spring.

Ice and water barrier is this black paper-type thing that if you crawl around on it, you will get holes in the knees of your jeans and you will have to buy new shoelaces. Michael measured out our roof and decided that we would need a one square and a two square to finish the roof. To be clear, I have no idea what those terms mean, I just regurgitated the information to the guy at Menards to make it seem like I knew what I was talking about. Basically the paper was about three feet wide and the smaller roll was 33 feet long and the bigger roll was 66 feet long. I let Michael haul them up the ladder to roof while I watched from the sidelines.This chicky does not do ladders…unless it’s when I’m painting and I need to trim around the ceiling.

First we had to sweep off all the pieces of our shingles that had found their way off the regular roof to the three seasons porch

Right after I discovered the wonderful world of Ana white furniture, I decided I needed my own tools. Pink ones that the hubs wouldn’t “borrow” from me. So, that’s what I asked for for my birthday and Christmas.

Michael: You mean I can actually get you tools for your birthday?

Me: Like it ever stopped you before.

Michael: Yes, but this year I have permission.

Anyway, my pretty pink Christmas present (aka hammer) and I started pulling nails while Michael pulled nails with his boring black hammer

I think it took about an hour to do that. Someone really nailed that thing.

Once they were all up, we had to fill in the holes with roof cement

It looked something like this

Then it was time to roll out the barrier

Evidently, you don’t normally need to use a heat gun for this project, but normally, you’re doing this in the summer so the paper-type thing is all hot and sticky. When you do this in January, it’s not so much. So we sat up on the roof with a heat gun and heated the edges. We worked until it got dark and then Michael went and got a lantern and we worked some more.

We went outside the next day and worked on it some more. Bella and Bristol watched from inside

The barrier had lifted in quite a few places so we got out the heat gun and a rolling pin and went to work flattening it out. I’m sure it was quite interesting and unfortunately since Michael and I were both working on it, we don’t have pictures of it. But here’s what it looked like when it was all done

Being up on the roof gave me some time to survey our back yard and see what I’d really like to do in the yard this summer (the list is long)

  1. Get rid of the great big blue dog house
  2. Get rid of the smaller dog house (that’s half hidden by the tree)
  3. Get rid of the giant dog run that takes up half the yard
  4. Build something for the firewood so it looks prettier than a couple blue tarps that blow around all over the place if the wind blows too much (a couple ideas on one of my Pinterest boards)
  5. Start in on the garden for Beau and Brady. I’ve asked my aunt to help me plan it. I know that she’ll have some great ideas.

For now, the roof on the three seasons porch doesn’t leak! We finished it just in time. The first real snow came just two days after we finished up hanging out on the roof. Whew! That was a close one. Now that I’ve finished up telling you about a boring, but necessary, project I’m totally excited to show you a couple pretty ones.

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Island Living – part 2

I’m not really a bandwagon type of gal, but all this talk of kitchens has me itching for a change…and Michael cringing. Two of the blogs that I follow are talking kitchens right now. Last Friday Ana White posted that they were taking a break from working outside on the momplex and moving to inside a warm garage and working kitchens. That means she’s going to be building cabinets and posting plans for them! I’m positively giddy about the whole thing so I’ve gone back to working on planning the kitchen. Here’s the first plan I came up with using floorplanner and shared with you

I decided to test out the Ikea kitchen planner too and here’s what I have

Not much changed between the two plans. Pretty much just moving the stovetop and oven to the island and adding a cabinet between the wall and the refrigerator.I must say that the stovetop on the island made me really nervous, plus I didn’t like losing all that work surface. But as I was watching Rachael Ray one day it dawned on me. Have you ever seen the cutting boards that she puts over the top of her stove? Kinda like this one that I found on Etsy but more of them and bigger so they cover the entire stovetop

Plus I would do a downdraft stovetop so we wouldn’t have to find a way to put in a vent hood that would break up the space. Love this Jenn-Air one!

As for the cabinet next to the fridge, I’m thinking maybe something like this cabinet that I found via Pinterest

How about a couple 3d views of the Ikea plan?

Oh, look, I changed the floor color too. With the Ikea kitchen planner, you can only put in things that they sell so I had to fudge a little on the island overhang and the stovetop/oven. Back to dreaming but in the meantime I’ll keep pinning away on my Pinterest kitchen board.

Categories: Best Laid Plans | Tags: , | 7 Comments

2,478 Miles Revisited

In yesterday’s post I told you about our trip down south to see Michael’s sister and brother-in-law. I also (perhaps cruelly) made you wait until today to find out some of the great treasures we got. Well, here’s the first thing I got for Michael

You guessed it. It was sitting outside our hotel so I snapped a picture for the hubs. Wait, you didn’t think I got him the actual car did you? Y’all know me better than that…I’d rather buy paint…and this cute car we saw one day (minus the Tink decals on the window)

Don’t worry, I’d buy Michael his 1970 Chevelle that he really wants too. Seriously? How did this turn into a post about cars. Let’s get back to the important things.

Like I said yesterday, we were living out of a hotel for a week that was 10 minutes from the hospital where Michele was at. The hospital had visiting hours (didn’t know that still happened) that were an hour long three times a day and 90 minutes for the last one of the day. In between were 2-3 hour breaks for us to sit and watch tv, eat or just plain worry and be bored. A few times when I couldn’t stand it anymore I went shopping and sometimes I drug Meagan with me. Michele knows I love a good deal, so it gave me something to talk to her about too…that and Bella getting stuck in walls…and drawers. Meagan and I took a little trip to Marshall’s one afternoon and spent about an hour there. She got some clothes and walking sticks for when her and Dennis go Geo-caching. I found a great deal for Ashley in the form of chevron

A full set of queen sheets for $5! I think she might try a little bit of Rit dye on them so they aren’t so peachy, but they are chevron! I got a bottle of water which doesn’t sound great, but it came in a blue bottle! One more for the tree! I also got some great little boxes that are going to go in our entry room. There are three of them, so smaller and one larger. Sorry, this is the best picture I have of them right now. Once they are in their permanent home, I promise a better picture

One day, I took a trip to Pier 1 – oh I love that place! I have some great inspiration for at least one project.

Looks a lot like some wreaths I’ve see on Pinterest. It’s circles of felt that have been folded and rolled and hot glued. I can do that!

Another night, between the 5pm-6pm visiting hour and the 8-9:30 visiting 90 minutes we found an Applebees to eat at. Turns out they were remodeling and selling pretty much everything in the place! The money went to St. Jude’s so it was really a win-win. Jeremi and Meagan bought pictures off the wall which was way cool. Michael and I didn’t want a picture, but we did have our eye on something else. Everything was being sold as “make an offer” so we bought a light. Do you know which ones I’m talking about? The Tiffany ones that hang over the tables! We bought one to haul all the way back to Iowa with us.

Who buys a big light in Alabama just to haul it back to Iowa? People who pay $10 for said light, that’s who. You read that right – I didn’t forget a 0. This light set us back only $10! I know it’s not some people’s jive, but we kinda love it. Our house is a traditional folk Victorian and we mix a little bit of classic style in with it and I can’t wait to get this hung in our dining room and get a little bit of Amy touch in that room. It was on a track so now the big dilemma is how we’re going to hang it in our house. Enter, stage left, my electronic guru husband.

After a week in Alabama, we had to make the decision to leave there and come home. With Michele still in the hospital, the decision was not an easy one. We went back to Mississippi for a night to pick up some stuff we had left there. Early the next morning while Bella and Bristol spent some quality time on the three seasons porch, I packed the car. Any champion packers out there? I was totally worried about not having enough room for the light and all of our stuff, but I tackled it like a puzzle. I love puzzles (Michael – not so much) so I’m the packer in our family. Here is the back seat. What you can find here:

  1. the glass part of our Tiffany light
  2. the snack bag
  3. my jacket
  4. my coupon binder -never leave home without it and never let it be too far away
  5. my purse
  6. bed for one of the kids to lay in
  7. lunch bag with an icepack
  8. my laptop

You’ll notice the back seat is down and that’s because it has to be. When we travel with the kids, we don’t put them in carriers and don’t want to stop for them to go to the bathroom. Instead we put their bathroom in the trunk and put the seat down so they can easily get to it if need be. It’s usually not a problem, but with Bristol, well I have no idea how so much stink comes out of such a sweet little boy so we did find ourselves pulling over a couple times to…well, you know. If you kids are not of the feline variety, I recommend that you not try this at home.

Then there is the trunk…are you ready for this list?

  1. cat’s bathroom
  2. my suitcase (it’s the pink one)
  3. Michael’s suitcase
  4. snack bag
  5. 9 picture frames from the garage sale Michele and I went to
  6. gift wrap bows and curly ribbons that I found for 18 cents
  7. pillow
  8. bathroom bag
  9. the other cat bed
  10. scratching post
  11. cat carrier – just in case we needed it
  12. kitty crinkle tunnel
  13. the structure of the Tiffany light – this part was wrought iron and barely fit
  14. our Halloween s’more treats – worked on those in downtime
  15. three bottles of Listerine because I got them for 65 cents each
  16. Ashley’s chevron sheets
  17. my blue bottle of water
  18. Michael’s bag o’ tools…just in case
  19. a little bitty air pump….just in case
  20. the three green boxes for the entry room
  21. two pairs of cute shoes
  22. Michael’s laptop
  23. an Amy’s coffee mug that I got at Caribou on the way down (how cute is this?)
  24. other stuff I know I’m forgetting!

That’s how you get the car packed. Gotta say, I felt like a superstar. One last picture and we said goodbye to Mississippi. There’s just something about pictures of the flag and I love this one because it’s on the house of our favorite military family

We decided to break up the trip home into two days so we stopped at Michael’s parents house. We stayed the night and took off the next morning but not before getting some BBQ to bring home with us. Bristol slept most of the way home…occasionally something like this

He makes us laugh, that’s for sure. Whenever we are traveling home, I love timing the trip so we are in Iowa when the sun sets. I have been a lot of places, but I completely adore an Iowa sunset. When I see the sky painted orange, yellow, blue and purple, I know I’m home. I’m an Iowa girl (forgive the blurred trees – it’s a Blackberry picture taken at 70 miles an hour)

Someday I will do a post for you all about Iowa sunsets. Trust me, it will be worth it!

Categories: It's Our Life, Let's shop!, Living Frugal | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Did Someone Say Challenge?

If you’re a Bower Power or Young House Love reader, you may have already accepted the challenge.

The summer challenge inspired me to create a few things. Remember the ORBed plastic soap dispenser? Because everything is better with a little ORB on it.

How about the state canvases so Michael and I could show off our hometown pride?

I also now have a board on Pinterest to prove to myself that I do actually get stuff done and not just pin my life away (check out that board here). I think my favorite (p)inspiration to completed project is the chair swing that I still walk by windows just to look at

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop. The basic gist is that you have to complete a project inspired by something you’ve pinned. This time, they have Ana White on board!!!! Ana’s was the first blog I ever started reading so I’m totally jazzed that she’s in on this one and I think it might be the occasion for another Ana-inspired project. Remember the deck chair that you voted on for color was made from Ana plans

I also de-folded our bi-fold door in the bathroom after reading how Ana made a bookshelf for her daughter on the door of her closet

Heaven knows I have enough plans favorited on her site. Maybe I’ll finally do the shoe cabinet I told you about in March. Don’t think I’ll be taking on her current project of building her moms a momplex, but I can definitely do something smaller. I’m off to scour pins. If you’re not on Pinterest yet and want to be, shoot me an email at and I’ll send you an invite ASAP! Who’s ready for the challenge?




Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Our pet zebra

Last weekend Bella and I spent some quality outside doing some yard work. Last year I planted hostas around two of our trees on the west side of the house. For those who are directionally challenged like me, that’s the right side of the house if you’re looking at it. Remember from this post that I want to make that entire side of the house a shade garden? Last year I bought quite a few varieties of hostas and planted them with some help from Beau & Bella. Well, Beau & Bella sat in their tent and watched me. That’s right, I said their tent. A few years ago Michael and I thought it would be a good idea to take Bella camping. (This was before we adopted Beau…or Brady.) We bought a play tent for her to chill in when we weren’t out and about or sleeping in the regular tent. We found it on clearance at Target and she still likes to go out in the yard and just chill in it. People drive by or walk by our house and slow down to marvel at it. I must say it is a little humorous. It’s our pet zebra – or rather Beau & Bella’s zebra

On Mother’s Day this year, my mom and McDad (commonly known as a step-dad, but we don’t go with conventional names in our family) came out to our house with a truck load of wood chips. I was thrilled! Now I just need to talk my brother or my dad to bring me a truck load of cow poo and I’ll have my own little distorted version of bliss. We spread the wood chips around the trees with hostas planted around them and along the deck where there are hostas and day lilies. But by last weekend those pesky weeds had found their way through the chips. It was time to show them who was boss. When I started planting hostas last year, my aunt Delta told me that I should create some sort of map so I know which one is where. Instead I just made plant markers and knew that would be okay. In case you’re keeping score it’s Delta – 1 and Amy – 0. Wooden plant stakes with Sharpie are evidently no match for an Iowa winter. So this summer begins the task of finding out what’s what on some of these and making a map. I also found these plant tags (thank you Pinterest) that I think will hold up a little better

You know that mine will have to be painted copper and I’ll put a coat of poly over them too. So who wants to send me their juice can lids? Or I’ll just have to find some juice coupons and we’ll become a juice drinking household. I could also use some help identifying some of my hostas. Anyone?


Carolina Sunshine

Lemon Lime?

In fairness to me, I never knew the names of these next ones. Who has a hostapedia and an extra few hours?

When we were done with the hostas, Bella and I went for a walk around the yard. The first time we took her for a walk was on that same camping trip where she got her zebra. She went to the zoo and the botanical gardens in Madison, Wisconsin like in this (sorry it’s not a bigger picture, this is uber cropped)

Yes, that is her cat carrier held into an umbrella stroller with bungee cords. You should have seen the looks we got. One lady stopped us and said “Good for you for spoiling her.” She actually went hiking by herself at Effigy Mounds, well on a leash. This is one of my favorite pictures of all time.

Now the “kids” have harnesses instead and they like to go out roaming in the yard…with supervision. When we were out wandering the yard, we found all these little Maple trees. I love our great big trees…these little things that I find everywhere, not so much.

We took a look at the Hydrangea bush out front that my mom and I thinned by about 50% last year (truly, the thing was massive). Imagine this twice as big…no exaggeration!

I can’t wait until it starts blooming again!!! We’re getting close

We checked out the new lights that Mom & McDad brought back from their trip to Canada…but I think these are from Minnesota

Oh how I heart them! And yes, they are solar. While we were sitting there picking Maple tree wannabes out of the front pots, I remembered that we didn’t have an after picture of the sidewalk to the east, so I quick snapped one of that. Sure the after is a year later, but it’s still a HUGE difference.

Sidewalk to the east – Before

Sidewalk to the East – After

See the other before and after sidewalks in this post. The best part was just spending time with my little Princess

I know we’ll have more outdoor adventures this year…plenty more!

Categories: It's Our Life, Projects | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Punxatawny Phil…

Did you watch in anticipation as Phil came out of the hole on February 2nd? Did you cheer with excitement when he didn’t see a shadow?

Spring is coming, spring is coming!!!! Well Phil, you let me down. Was it just an off day for you? It’s almost April and I’m freezing! I got up this morning and had to build a fire in our wood furnace. I just watched the news and this is what I saw

Are you kidding? SNOW tomorrow?  I know that I live in the Midwest and have for most of my life and therefore I should expect to see snow as late as May, but I just don’t think that is something that I will ever get used to. I went to college in North Carolina (go Heels) and fell in love with the weather there! Lord, take me back…or give me NC weather here. Well, the garden centers are opening, so that means it’s time for spring…regardless of what the Tuesday weather forecast says.

I’ve been trying to decide what to put in front of the house in these pots

Yesterday I was shopping for something for the half bathroom (stay tuned for that change) and walked by some flower bulbs. It was decided. Those pots are dying for some Gladiolas!

Do you ever see things that remind you of your childhood? A little remembrance of a simpler time? When the thing you worried about most was how long your parents were going to let you stay outside and play? Gladiolas and lilies are those things for me. They remind me of going to visit Grandpa Herbie and Grandma Rosie out on the farm in the summer. Grandma would take us around and show us all the flowers she was growing, the newest bird feeders, the veggies growing in the garden and no trip to Grandpa and Grandma’s was complete without a walk through the orchard. But back to the flowers. I think the height of the glads in the pots in front of the house will add interest and will really set off the front door that will be made red this summer

Just like last year, the flowers will stay red, but the variety will change with the season. It started in spring with tulips, then moved to geraniums and before the pots were put away for winter, they were filled with mums. So this year, some red glads! My Aunt Delta is a Master Gardener and I was able to spend some time plant shopping with her last summer. Aunt Delta likes to plant things that mean something. What a great idea! Grandma Rosie’s given name was Verna Rosella so I also can’t wait to get these and get them planted. An Asiatic lily named Rosella’s dream. How perfect is that?

So I started buying plants that mean something. For my master gardener Aunt Delta who has spurred on my love of hostas, a hosta named Delta Dawn

I just planted mine last year, so it does not look like this. But it will some day. I want to turn the west side of our house into a hosta garden. We can’t get grass to grow over there, but I still plan to make it a beautiful yard…just not the conventional yard. I have plans of making it a series of little theme gardens and I can’t wait to get started on the first one. Here’s a couple hints:

Got it? Nope? Does this help?

Still nothing? One more clue

I hope you enjoyed these images of spring.

Categories: It's Our Life, Tour | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

It’s a beautiful thing

I have a confession to make. I love shoes! There are few things that can make a day better than the right pair of shoes. Don’t believe me? Here’s my proof…

Here come the shoes…

…and her life changes forever! Isn’t he dreamy?

But, if you’re not careful this

can become like this scene by our front door.

Looks kinda like a Where’s Waldo drawing or something from an I Spy book, doesn’t it? I spy a pair of really cute purple Mary Jane heels (that I got on sale for $11 – holla!!). I spy fun pair of brown heels that make me smile each time I wear them. Okay, I think you get what I’m saying. Check out this post from Laura & Andrea. Whew, we’re not the only ones who have this problem. What to do, what to do. I’m thinking this is a great idea from Ikea (hallelujah).It’s great right? Ashley has two of these for her family of five. Don’t you love what she’s done here? You’d never know there were shoes in there would you? Well, unless you’re an Ikea (hallelujah) junkie like Ashley and me.

So much better than this

With our latte walls and our natural wood, I think that the white cabinets might be a little too modern for our 101 year old house….but I really want them. So, I’m back to “what to do, what to do”. Deal with the color or come up with something else altogether?

I’ve mentioned her website before (here and here), but if you haven’t looked at yet, you definitely should! She migrated her blog to a new site this week and I spent some time today looking through her plans and updating my to do list. I had seen this plan when she posted it and put it on my “to do” list, but it has definitely moved up the list.

Eight inches deep and this should fit right by our door! You see, this week one of my friends from college introduced me to Just Fabulous (here’s their website) and I’ve fallen in love it. A new pair of cute shoes each month? Yes please!!!!

Oh the joy of a cute pair of shoes. Ahhhhhhh. But shoes like this can’t end up in a pile, they’re going to need a home! I’m thinking this might be the place for them

What do you do with your shoes?

Categories: It's Our Life | Tags: | Leave a comment

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