Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blog Smog



Do you suffer from blog smog? Need Dentyne to help freshen you up? Check out this funny video!
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Baby Kakes Ink-Review and Giveaway

About BabyKakesInk:

Catherine Stephens, Owner and Director of BabyKakesInk, started with the inspiration of her two daughters Emma Kerri and Avery Nicole. She has loved making and creating things since she was little herself. Upon the arrival of her first daughter, she gave up a 10 year career. 21 months later they were ecstatic to have not one but two daughters to make and create beautiful clothing and bows for.

From Catherine, "It started as a dream in my heart and through the happiness I found when giving my creations as gifts for Birthdays, Christenings, and Baby showers."

2 years later BabyKakesInk was born. The name came easy to her as she has called her daughter Baby Kakes since birth! I can relate as I also call my little girl Baby Kakes!

At BabyKakesInk they strive to not only bring forth their own creations but also those of the hottest and most unique trends today.

What I Love:

I came across BabyKakesInk while searching for some fun and stylish yet comfortable clothing
for Olivia. When i saw the baby on the home page, sporting the same name as my daughter, I knew I needed one of these! Catherine was so nice to send an Alphabet Onsie for Olivia. We chose the CoaCoa & Pink dot onsie with Olivia's name embellished, exactly as the one pictured!

The onsie is soft yet durable. I like that the sleeves on the onsie are actually a little bit longer than your average onsie. It also seems a little thicker, a very nice quality material. The attached bow could not be cuter. It is very versatile. We took it off for naps and to wash. When Olivia gets some hair she will be able to use the bow beyond growing out of the onsie even. It is very obvious that the onsie was made with care and attention to detail. You can dress it up with a tutu or a skirt, or just pair it with pants, shorts, a diaper cover or by itself!

The Alphabet onsies are available in sizes 0-3 months to 12-18 months, and Alphabet Tees are available through size 6.

BabyKakesInk offers a variety of items ranging from the nursery, clothing, accessories, gear, gift registry and wrap, burps and bumbs and bibs and blankets. All would be perfect for gifts or your own children.

To Buy:

Visit BabyKakesInk and for $30 to $36 you could purchase your own Alphabet tee or onsie for your little boy or girl. While you're there make sure to check out the other fabulous items!

To Win:

BabyKakesInk has generously offered one of my readers a chance to win their own Alphabet onsie or tee! Please go to the website, and then come back here and in the comments tell me which one you would choose.

For Additional Entries:

~follow me
~follow me on twitter and tweet about it (unlimited entries for each time you tweet)
~favor me in technorati
~subscribe to my blog via email
~blog about this giveaway and link back (5 additional entries)

contest ends April 21st

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Pray for Stellan

Prayers for Stellan


I don't have many words to say on this as there seems to be so much going on that I do not understand, just know that this sweet little boy needs our prayers.
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My Favorite Things - Agoo-Clothes for Active Kids

This week I'm talking about clothes, in particular a jacket that I received from Agoo. With spring here, Ryan is outside even more than he was in the winter. I kid you not, the child could live outside. I found this jacket on their website, and my first impression was that it was a great deal for a good jacket! Second impression was that it would look really cool on Ryan. We received it in a matter of two days, along with a pair of ruffle pants for Olivia (VERY cute) and a vest for Ryan, that is very nice but still a little big.


I'm not entirely sure what the exact material of the jacket is, but it is amazing. Very soft on the inside and protective on the outside, it is very flexible for my active little boy. It is durable and I know it will last us as long as Ryan will fit in it and beyond. The fabrics they use wick away moisture, are stain resistant, anti bacterial and UV protectant. Ryan and I could not love this jacket more.

You may remember this post about leg huggers. Agoo is the company behind Leg Huggers! Do you remember how much I love the leg huggers (and still do)?

a goo {n}: 1. joy from experiencing something for the first time. 2. a state of pride and great happiness. 3. gift of discovery. "had and agoo" slang 1. the exhileration after an intial experience. Synonyms: serendipity, exitement, elation, thrill, enthusiasm and delight.

Please go here for Agoo's story.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Eebee's Adventures-Review and Giveaway

Every Baby Company recently sent our family 3 of their Eebee's Adventure DVDs. Exploring Real Stuff, All in a Days Play and Figuring Things Out were all included.

Now, I'm not an advocate of the kids watching a lot of TV, but this is definitely something that is educational and worth watching, even as a family. There is fun music and interactive play involved that does not zone the kids into the tube. Instead they were dancing and learning about new ways to explore with every day items we have sitting around our house.

What I loved the most is that even though these are geared towards babies 6 months and up and 12 months and up, my 4 year old was able to watch and learn a few things. Such as how to interact with his 10 month old sister in a way that is more age appropriate for her, and still fun for him! To me, this was very awesome to see.

Here is some footage that I was able to capture of my two interacting with each other:


(don't mind our crazy living room, the kids were having a blast as you can see!)

Eebee's adventures has much more to offer as well! You can find toys, gifts, books and clothing on their website. There is spot to register your email for Birthday Party ideas, and they also have Birthday invites, thanks you notes, parent info, ideas and printables to offer.

To Buy:
Visit Every Baby Company, Eebee's Adventure website. Each DVD retails at just 17.95 or you can purchase all three for just 48.95. While you're there, check out what else they have to offer!

To Win:
Every Baby company has generously offered one of my readers their very own copy of Figuring things out! Visit Eebee's Adventures and then come back here and in the comments tell me something else you would be interested in.

For additional entries:

-follow me
-follow me on twitter, and gain unlimited entries by tweeting (1 entry for each tweet)
-subscribe
-favor me on technorati
-blog about this giveaway and link back here (5 additional entries)

contest will end April 13, I will draw a winner via random.org

Here is a clip from their website:



The Irony

vacuum cleaner Pictures, Images and Photos
Let me start with a little background. I always leave the vacuum out, for whatever crazy reason, I hate putting it away. It aggravates Rob to no end. I get it out, I leave it out...behind the chair or in the corner. It belongs in our laundry room, tucked behind the door. I hate getting it out, I hate putting it away. So usually, if I have to get it out in the first place, I certainly don't want to put it away again!

Well, last night after Friday Night Live at Momdot I decided it was time for me to go to bed. Rob was watching a movie, so I let him know, and he followed. We turned out all of the lights except the bathroom light and locked the doors. We brushed our teeth, I finished first. I started to walk out of the bathroom and he shut off the lights before I made it all the way out. Which put me in pitch black. I'm sure you all know what is coming next! The next step I took was one of sheer pain. I stubbed every toe on my left foot. On what you ask? You got it! I was hopping around on one foot whimpering, Rob was laughing as hard as I'd ever seen him laugh. I still didn't know what I'd stubbed my toes on, but figured it out when I realized how hard Rob was laughing. By the time I hopped into bed I was laughing too, mostly because I like seeing him laugh so hard! He was still laughing this morning. My toes still hurt this morning.

Needless to say, I will be putting the vacuum away from now on!
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Flip'n Friday

I decided to join Cat this week at 3 Kids and Us for Flip'n Friday!
This is my first time participating, looking forward to doing it more so in the future!
(disclaimer-it really has been a long day of cleaning and errands)
Thank you again to Newbaby.com and VADO for making this happen for me!

video

Thank You!

video

Not the best video of me, or maybe I just feel that way because it is my first! I really want to thank NewBaby.com and VADO for this opportunity, and lookout, there will be more of me where this came from!

Aloha Friday

Aloha Friday is brought to you by An Island Life, head on over, sign mister linky and join in the fun!

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

my question this week:

Are you planning a spring vacation anywhere?

we were going to head to sunny FL, but something came up, and now we can't. We're going to visit some family that lives about 4 hours away next week. In the fall we're planning on Vegas, and for sure FL next spring. Although if I have my way, sometime between now and fall, I'd love to fly down to FL by myself with Olivia to see my friend Amanda!
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Natural Mat-Organic Crib Mattress

As I've previously stated, I'm on a path to start using more organic materials in my every day life. It is in the best interest for my family as using organic is safer and eco-friendly.

I had never put much thought into the mattresses that my children were sleeping on until I came across the Natural Mat. There are several reasons why the Natural Mat is a better option for your child.


  • It is 100% organic
  • Your child sleeps better
  • Non-allergenic and anti dust mite
  • Naturally Fire Retardant
  • Long lasting superior support
  • Hand made for you in Devon, England
  • 100% renewable
  • Eco packaging
If the above reasons weren't enough then here a few reasons the standard foam mattress is hazardous.
  • Packed full of chemicals
  • Standard crib mattress are usually very thin
  • Offer no support and often dip very quickly
  • Most existing baby mattresses have a plastic cover which prevents air circulating through the mattress increasing the chances of the baby overheating.

Natural Mat generously offered me a sample of their Latex Mat. I can clearly see every part of the mattress and how carefully it is put together. The surface is quite soft to the touch. It is very clear that it is 100% organic, not only by touch and look, but it smells fresh as well. I am overall very pleased with the Natural Mat.

Natural Mat offers 3 different types of Mattresses. The Coco Mat, which is the most breathable mattress, The Latex Mat, which is most allergy safe and supportive and the Mohair Mat, most luxurious. Along with the mattresses, they offer organic crib bedding. I highly recommend looking into Natural Mat when shopping for your little ones sleep time needs.

Discount
Natural Mat has generously offered my readers a 10% discount when you purchase one of their products at Goores. Please use the code thenm.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

2000 winner!

We made it from 1000 to 2000 in less than a month, actually it was a little less than two weeks! Makes me so happy to have all of you loyal fans out there! One person caught the 2000 right on the nose, congratulations Gena!

Gena, I will email you shortly for your contact info! Gena will be receiving a package of Ghiradelli chocolates, a MOP hair care package and a $10 giftcard to Starbucks!


*Because this has been so much fun, I think we will do it again, this time when we reach 5000! Good Luck!
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The Conception Kit: The Next Step in Fertility (big giveaway)

Victoria at Life Starring Ellie and Eve is hosting The March Maternity Jamboree this month. Among many other wonderful prizes, she is offering one luck person the chance to win The Conception Kit: The Next Step in Fertility.

What is the Conception Kit?

The Conception Kit, made by Conceviex Inc, is the intermediate step for people who are tired of “just” trying every month, but who aren’t ready to or who don’t have the resources or medical indications for fertility treatments. So what is the Conception Kit? On top of the instruction manuals, fertility journal and conception wheel, the Conception Kit contains a three single month kits which are designed to help increase your chances of conception. What are in each of these single month kits?

* Ovulation Predictors
* A Conception Cap
* A semen collector
* Intimate moisturizer
* Pregnancy Test

For more information on the step by step process, please see Victoria's post.

The Conception Kit retails for $299.95, which may seem expensive, but compared to what you would be paying for fertility treatments, it is actually economical. This product is FDA approved and has been through clinical trials testing out its’ effectiveness. You can use this with fertility medications like Clomid, and it is recommended that you speak with your doctor while pursuing this option. Another thing I like about this kit is the fact that it can be used in the privacy of your own home; no trips to the doctor’s office and poking and prodding.

The Conception Kit is also good for people who are going non-traditional routes to become pregnant. For couples who are using a sperm donor who they know in order to conceive this is a great product since it takes out the physican middleman. This kit is also good for same sex couples who are looking to have a child; lesbian couples who have a sperm donor or gay couples who have a surrogate mother.

You can find success stories and more information on the Conception Kit site. Along with a free DVD offer.

What will you win?

One lucky winner will receive a Conception Kit for FREE, a $300 value! To Enter: Go Check out the Conception Kit and then come back and tell me something you learned. YOU CAN ENTER THIS EVERY DAY!!! ENDS April 15 @ 8 PM EST

You can enter here and at Life Starring Ellie and Eve by filling out the form provided.

Bonus Entries:

* Subscribe

* Follow me

* Tweet Tweet

* Blog about this giveaway with a link back

REMEMBER YOU CAN ENTER EVERY DAY! and in order to count you need to fill out the below form!

Wordless Wednesday


This is what happens when you leave your 2 year old at home with daddy and his tattoo artist friend :)

For more wordless wednesday go to Momdot!
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Too Young for a Cataract

I'm sharing my story with you today to make you aware, for the safety of yourself and your children, whether on the shipping or receiving end.

I was 16 years old and it was Halloween night in the year 2000. A girlfriend and I were walking to another friends house when a car pulled over packed with boys from our class. They informed us that they were out shooting houses with paint ball guns and that we better watch out because they were going to try to shoot us in the butt. Haha, we thought they were kidding, hoped they were kidding. They weren't though, they took off and one of them, I still do not know which one to this day, started shooting. I was the very un-lucky recipient of a paint ball to the eye. Immediately upon being shot my vision went red, I thought I was bleeding, but I later found out it was red paint. The boys packed me into their already packed car to drive me to my parents. They let me out and drove off, presumably quite scared. My dad rushed me to the hospital, and everything sort of becomes a blur after that.

Millions (or so it seemed) of tests and a couple months later, it was confirmed that I had developed a cataract from the injury. Something that would never heal completely. My world from my right eye was almost completely black. I was and still am terribly distraught over the whole situation. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye, and used to in my right eye. Now I will never see as I was able to again because of a stupid accident. I know it could have been worse and I tell myself that every day. We all did crazy things as teenagers right?

Close to 1 year later, I ended up getting cataract surgery at the Cincinnati Eye Institute. Which is 8 hours from me, but because Dr. Osher there is so good that is where my opthamologist wanted me to go. He was able to get my vision back to a somewhat normal state, nothing that glasses or a contact could correct though. I've had to deal with only being able to see out of certain parts of my right eye, very strange. Fortunately my left eye is 20/20, otherwise it would be much more difficult.

Here I am, nearly 9 years later. I decided to write about it today because I had my yearly appointment this morning. It turns out that over the past 4 years I've lost 6 lines of vision. I now have to go back and get another surgery in just 3 weeks. This is something that will likely haunt me for the rest of my life.

A simple teenaged accident, that will never go away.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

I received an award!

I received a nice little surprise from Gena, a good friend of mine through blogging and beyond! This lovely friends award. Thank you so much Gena!

So along with the award comes some rules...here they are...

Rules do accompany this honor:"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Suzanne at So, you don't get any phone calls from me...

Amanda at Divine Chaos

Trisha at Sweet and Sassy girls

Shana at Welcome to the Dieli Family

Susan at What Happened to my House?

Krisitn at An Ordinary Life

Staci at Mommas Gone Over the Wall

Laurie at DoubleBugs

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Pure and Little-Review and Giveaway

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I'm very excited today to share with you the company, Pure and Little.

About Pure and Little:

Pure and Little offers a very wide variety of items for your little one that are 100% organic and eco-friendly. Safe for your child and the environment.

They believe that your baby should be surrounded with the comfort of fibers that are pure and soft. Natural.

Pure and Little carries a selection of organic, natural and healthy products for baby and toddler including clothing; bedding & blankets; bath & body; bibs & bottles; toys; gifts; laundry care; music & books.

Why I love Pure and Little:

Most importantly, because everything they have to offer for your child is 100% organic. I've been slowly changing over our lives to live in a more "green" fashion. I'm not stressing over it, but I try to do something small every day to improve. I've only been recently introduced to organic baby clothing and I am in love.

Pure and Little was kind enough to let Olivia and I review the Oscar & Belle grow suit with feet in the Dahlia Stripe. Oscar & Belle is made in the U.S.A and is produced ethically.

The first thing I noticed when I received the grow suit was the packaging. It was packaged quite nicely and packaged with recycled material.

Immediately after removing the grow suit, I noticed it was very soft, right from the box. Not starchy like most new clothing is. I knew we would love it. It even smelled fresh and pure. The colors are great, a soft pink and white, perfect for your baby.


Olivia has been very comfortable wearing this. The size is exactly as it states. Olivia is nearly 10 months old, and we received the 6-12 month size. It fits her perfectly with a little room to grow. It washes nicely without any fading, stretching or shrinking.

I am in love with this company, and will remain a customer for many years to come. Weather it is for my own child or a gift for someone else.

To Buy:

If you want your very own Oscar & Belle grow suit with feet also offered in the colors dew or basket, visit Pure & Little where it is listed for just $36. Be sure to check out the many other items they have to offer while you are there!

The Giveaway:

Pure and Little has generously offered one of my readers their very own Peanut Gift Set, including a Peanut Organic Blankie and a Peanut Organic burp cloth and bib. Altogether at a value of $55. This is a very precious gender friendly set, perfect for your own baby or would make a very nice gift for any baby that you know!



closed

To Enter:

Please visit Pure and Little and tell me in the comments of another product that I have not mentioned that you would love or have tried yourself!

For additional entries:
(please leave a comment for each additional entry you complete.)

~ follow me (2 entries)
~ blog about this giveaway and link back (3 entries)
~ grab my button! (2 entries)
~ follow me on twitter and tweet the giveaway (unlimited entries, leave 1 comment each time you tweet.)
~ Subscribe to my blog, upper left hand corner (2 entries)
~ favor me in technorati (2 entries)

Contest ends on April 13th, I will draw a winner via random.org

Winner!

Winner of the MOP hair products:

Result: 37

comment 37 was Shana, Congratulations Shana! I will contact you shortly for your info!
Shana said...

I voted for strawberryred (20)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mutsy product review and discount

About Mutsy:

Mutsy, originally founded as Mutsaerts in 1935, got its start building traditionally styled prams. Initially serving the Benelux countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the idea of portability and comfort were critical given these countries’ emphasis on walking. The result was larger than normal wheels to provide improved maneuverability and a smoother ride for baby. The company was purchased by long-time employee Cees Driessen in the 1980s.

The Mutsy collection is expertly designed to meet parents’ every need with a unique modular system that is extremely flexible. The basis of the Mutsy range is three frames, each with its own specific features. The flexible system also allows for a child to grow with his/her Mutsy stroller for many years.

What I love:

With Spring in full bloom now I wanted to focus on the rider line in Mutsy strollers.
  • The 4 Rider stroller offers pure flexibility and it is light weight weighing in at just 23.2 lbs.
  • You can remove the seat to put in to the babysitter frame.
  • You can put in a bassinet for infants up to 6 months of age to lie flat in.
  • The seat can face both directions, forward and back, and fully reclines with a 3 position leg rest.
  • Its frame and single-spoke wheels along with pneumatic tires that swivel at the front, offer an ultra-smooth ride no matter what the terrain.
  • The Mutsy 4 Rider Stroller conveniently folds with the optional bassinet and the seat attached to the frame. While in the folded position, you can easily remove the wheels and provide a compact alternative for use in your car as well.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to this stroller. I highly recommend this for any parent of young children.

The Mutsy baby transport collection also features the Slider, a new baby mobility concept with a revolutionary design and the Easygrow high chair and the Grow-Up! booster seat, two of the most stylish mealtime accessories for baby.

Discount:

Save 10% on any Mutsy order when you place your order at Goores, just enter the discount code themu at checkout!

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

20 extra entries!

Trisha from Sweet and Sassy girls is one of 15 finalists to win an Elecrolux Washer and Dryer from Mom Central. She needs our vote to win! You do have to register for MomCentral, but it's free. So PLEASE go vote for her, #8 strawberryred. http://www.momcentral.com/blogs/who-should-win-a-new-washer-and-dryer-from-electrolux-cast-your-vote.html
Leave your vote for #8 strawberryred in the comments. Come back here and enter yourself 20 more times into my MOP organic pear baby/toddler shampoo and detangler contest. I will throw in extra hair products for mom, MOP shampoo and conditioner. These are really awesome hair products.
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Free shipping on Bummas!


Act fast, In honor of the 1st day of Spring and Mother Nature, Bummas is offering free shipping & handling to the USA and Canada from today through Monday March 23.

So for those of you who didn' t win the contest and have had your heart set on a set of Bummas, now would be a great time to get them!











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Friday, March 20, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

The Ultimate Blog Party has begun at 5 minutes for mom! This will be my first year participating, so I'm pretty excited.

Let me introduce myself. I'm Tara, married to a fantastic man named Rob. We, together, have two fantastic children named Ryan and Olivia. See below.

We reside in Michigan, where I still have a few inches of snow in my backyard and we hit 40 degrees today, the first day of spring.

I love a little a bit of everything. I have about a gazillion hobbies. Blogging, cooking, shopping, photography ( I try at least), reading, knitting (again, I try), beading and the list goes on. I think it drives my husband crazy, but that's why he loves me. I'm a multi-tasker. I love staying home with my children. I hate cleaning.

I share reviews, giveaways, and more on my blog. Follow me around, I'd love to follow you! There is nothing better than finding a new awesome blog to stalk!

Out of the many wonderful prizes that are offered the top 5 I would like to win 58-stand up mixer, USC 45- Eleven shoes, 18-$50 GC at Good For the Kids, 19-$50 GC to Target and USC 12-Boon bath toys


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Aloha Friday

Aloha Friday is brought to you by An Island Life, head on over, sign mister linky and join in the fun!

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

My question for this week is in honor of the first day of spring today!

What do you do to kick of spring cleaning? Do you start in the house, the yard, the garage or somewhere else?

We start with our house. Packing up the winter items, and giving everything a good scrub. Mostly because it is still cold and there is still snow on our ground. I cannot wait for the snow to melt so I can get out and do my yard work again!


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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Think Thin Thursdays



Well, I would say that I accomplished my goals from last week.
I haven't lost any weight in the week. I have lowered my portions though. I got my yoga ball out and instead of snacking in front of the tube at night, I do some push ups and such on that. Now that the weather is nicer, I've gone for a couple of walks with the kids as well.
My goals remain the same, I want to keep the lower portions going, and try to use my yoga ball 3-5 of the 7 nights. I'll keep up the walking as long as the weather permits!

This week’s task:
Make sure you blog about your goals for this week! Do you have a favorite cookbook or magazine where you find new healthy recipes? Where do you find your cooking inspiration?



My favorite cookbook is The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook. We love Mediterranean dishes around here. I also have a couple of Rachel Ray and Paula Dean cookbooks that I enjoy. I think the Hungry girl 200 under 200, listed on Think Thin Thursday looks fun too!





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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just a friendly reminder

Watch that cute little pink counter at the bottom of my page, if you see it hit 2000 take a screen shot and email me!
I have a prize in store for that person :) Good luck!
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