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Call Me Whatever You Want, Just Don't Call Me Late For Latkes

Saturday, December 20, 2014

(This blog is brought to you in part by Ed Sheeran's "Don't" because it is currently stuck in my head for no reason, haha. Probably because I heard it on the radio the other day.)

So I wanted to write a blog yesterday, other than the Ugly Holiday Sweater entry, but work became so crazy I didn't get the chance. While I am definitely exaggerating when I say this: the worse possible thing that could have possibly happen happened at work yesterday. I was asked to call customers about an Ugly Sweater Contest. Ok, ok, I know it's really not that bad. But one of the things I love about my job is rarely having to speak to people on the phone. I am just not comfortable on the phone, unless it's someone I'm really comfortable with. My BESTIE and I don't even talk on the phone. We text. So if you're one of the few people I like talking to on the phone, consider yourself privileged, very privileged! So I had to spend two hours yesterday calling strangers and hoping beyond hope that their voicemail would pick up or their phone would be disconnected. Maybe this is something I should work on in therapy? Haha. Luckily no one was nasty with me.

It was awful. But thank God for Josh. He made me laugh all day and eased the tension. He really is an excellent minion, and I don't know how I'd retain my sanity without him. I was also chatting with another good friend between calls which also helped immensely. Those phone calls really did make the day drag on endlessly though. I would have complained about doing it but I know I'm getting a nice bonus this year (since I print the checks haha).

This morning I made another batch of Fleur de Sel Caramels for the Latke Party tonight. Yes, I made homemade candy before 6 AM. I am super duper excited about this latke party. My boss throws it every year, and we always have a good time. There will be sangria, latkes, homemade kugel made by Josh's wife Andrea, donuts (traditional Hanukkah food), Portuguese Golden Cake ala hubs, Caramels from me, cookies from Watchmaker's wife (easily avoided since they are not great), crudite, etc. I am going to try to eat a bunch of the veggies, and thoroughly enjoy the latkes and kugel, because LATKES AND KUGEL!

I still have not decorated the house. The wreath keeps falling off the front door, probably because the door is textured so the sticky tape thing doesn't have enough adhesive contact, so I'm going to try to fix it tomorrow. Hubs and I have decided to skip the tree this year. He absolutely hates assembling and decorating the tree and so I usually wind up doing it myself. We're going to put up our little vintage ceramic tree though, and put our gifts 'under' that. I'll deal with all that tomorrow. We're going to put up every other decoration we have, just not the tree. It's a compromise, because I seriously let Christmas sneak up on me this year.

The good news is we're going to try to make Christmas a little extra special this year since we're stuck at home without family. Christmas Eve we're going to build a Gingerbread House together (as long as I don't get 'too architectural' about it, he says, haha) and watch The Muppet Christmas Carol, and the day after Christmas we're double dating with Josh and his wife and seeing The Hobbit.

I have plans to keep myself busy over the holiday season so hopefully I don't lose it like I did over Thanksgiving. I've received some wonderful suggestions from you guys regarding my side project. I'm going to forgo the crafty stuff for now, and I'm going to work on a writing project and, in conjunction with that, a cookbook. I'll reveal more details about the writing project once I've got more on it, but if you regularly read my blogs here, I'm pretty sure you'll like it, as it's strongly related to my experience here on SparkPeople.

Ok so back to Thursday (yeah yeah I'm jumping around, deal with it). I got my new bell in the mail on Thursday. It was hilarious. The poor mailman struggled with it. Here is how it came wrapped:

Of course, I was trying to get extra steps in that day, being a non-bells day, so I parked in the public lot as opposed to directly behind the building, so I had the express pleasure of carrying a 30-lb hunk of metal an eighth of a mile in the dark. At least I didn't have Bingley with me, too, that day! I couldn't play with it too much that night as we had a vet appointment for Bing. It was just his yearly checkup and vaccinations, but he's had an intermittent limp so we wanted to get that checked out, too. Poor Bingley does nothing but shake the entire time we're in the waiting room. He HATES the vet's office, and it didn't help that a large dog in the back room was crying loudly and his owner was yelling "BAD DOG" at him repeatedly. Who does this? The poor dog had a tumor the size of a child's head and this guy is screaming at him. Bingley just hid under hub's chair and shook. Doc said there isn't anything wrong with his leg, but we should test him for Lyme's disease and a few other similar things, just in case, so we did, and he's 100% healthy. We're just going to keep an eye on that limp. It's not severe and it's not constant. And him growling sometimes when we pick him up to move him or pull him onto the couch with us is just him not wanting us to do that, and not an injury. He's just mad about it, haha. So all is well in Bingley's World.

Yesterday morning I finally got to play with my new bell! I took it (somewhat) slow and only did the moves I was comfortable doing with the heavier bell, and used my 20 for the rest. Worked out pretty well for the most part: I didn't injure myself, and I only failed a couple of my clean and presses, which are one-handed exercises and thus much harder with an extra 10 lbs at the end of my arm. I did high pulls, one-handed swings and around the body stalls with the smaller bell as well, but did the rest of the exercises with the 30. I'm feeling it today. The workout took me longer than usual (it's a ladder workout, so not timed like my standard workout - you just go through the exercises as quickly as you can without losing form) so I had to skip abs. Will do an extra ab workout tomorrow probably to make up for it, because I'm a bit sore today! My shoulder blade area is sore, quads where they meet the knees, my hips a little, and my armpits. Nothing bad, just some soreness when I move. It's all good!

Well, I think I've blabbed enough for now, but you know me, I'll be back in a day or two with tons more to say.

Have a great Saturday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    It's hard to accept that it's OK to have a holiday that doesn't include family and all the trimmings. I know it is for me. This is the first year EVER for me to not be going to visit anyone else for Christmas or having them here.
We are brainwashed that we're somehow missing out if we stay in our pj's and make a gingerbread house or watch an old movie and not fall into bed too exhausted to wear a few bows and jingle a few bells.
I say, make this a holiday with Hubby and Bingley that you'll be looking back at with joy and saying "I loved that year."

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WISHICOULDFLY 12/20/2014 8:28AM

    Wow. The chances of me EVER getting DH to agree to making a gingerbread house with me are .00000001%! emoticon He did however watch some of the Polar Express with me last night.

I would have loved to have seen your mail carrier's face lugging that bell. emoticon

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FOR_THE_DUDES 12/20/2014 7:31AM

    I think your Christmas plans sound terrific. My wife and I used to live in Florida, pretty far away from both of our families. Some of my favorite holiday memories are just the two of us eating Thanksgiving dinner and then going to the beach. The gingerbread house and the Muppets movie---perfect. Have fun at the latke party today.

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TRYINGHARD54 12/20/2014 7:14AM

    I don't like talking on the phone either. I hope your dog is ok.....
have a Merry Christmas emoticon

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Sparkpeople Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest

Friday, December 19, 2014

Here is my Boss man's sister, Sunny, wearing her Hanukkah sweatshirt!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVEDAILY 12/20/2014 12:48AM


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_VIRYA_ 12/19/2014 3:27PM


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FOR_THE_DUDES 12/19/2014 2:17PM

    If Jim Morrison was actually dead (like they want you to believe), he'd be rolling over in his grave.

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BOSS61 12/19/2014 1:55PM

    Alright, we have an early leader!

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FINCHFEEDER80 12/19/2014 1:46PM


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Weekly Menu

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hey all!

I'm feeling much, MUCH better today, thanks. I'm still not back to normal, but I really think a large majority of my mood is related to hormones this week. (As in, I still have anxiety for a reason I can't define, but if the calendar is right I should feel right as rain in a day or two.)

So anyway, I've been slacking on my menus lately, at least posting them, so here you go:

Sun: Ham (mmm, ham) with Scalloped Potatoes & Broccoli (I do a cheesy scallop sauce and pour it over broccoli and potatoes and bake together, super yum). This always reminds me of my Gran. Plus I have a metric ton of ham left over for future meals!

Mon: Pork Chops marinated with garlic powder, oregano, dried mint, salt, pepper and lemon juice then broiled, and farro salad with feta

Tues: Ethiopian Lentil Stew (yum) with Grands Corn Biscuits (super yum, but I only ate one like a good girl)

Weds: Baked Mojo Chicken Legs, Cilantro Rice & Steamed Broccoli

Thurs: Ham & Bean Soup (always a favorite in my household)

Fri: Creamy Chicken Enchiladas w/ homemade Frijoles Refritos

Sat: Sweet Potato Gnocchi & Tossed Salad

Lots of fart inducing foods this week, with lentils, beans and broccoli!

emoticon Eat your freggies, they're GOOD for you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPEFULHIPPO 12/18/2014 12:03PM

    Yum is right! and I like this idea, I think I will also post a "menu" on my blog. What is ethopian stew?

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CATTUTT 12/17/2014 9:22PM

    As usual, your menu has made me hungry!

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LIVEDAILY 12/17/2014 7:55PM

    OMG...sweet potato gnocchi?? Do you make these yourself??

And I have a question about your Cilantro Rice: is this the same kind of rice that is called "green rice"? If it is, how do you make it?? I had it once, and I loved it!

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CHIPUGMOM 12/17/2014 6:55PM

  You always make such varied stuff. Do you take it for lunch the next day? Trying to figure out how you do that. I usually make a few different things in a week but we eat it 2x plus I have it for 1-2 lunches. Which sometimes makes me really tired of it. It doesn't help that a chunk of what I make only gets eaten by me (ie veggies and beans in anything) and then that means I have even more of it to eat! You should share your tips in your upcoming cookbook :-) Do you freeze stuff for a later meal?

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_VIRYA_ 12/17/2014 11:11AM

    Lots of fart inducing foods this week.... emoticon As long as both you and the hubs are eating it...who cares! emoticon

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FINCHFEEDER80 12/17/2014 8:32AM

    I need to find the energy and motivation to come up with creative meals like this. We have most def been in a food rut! Thankfully, the hubs' work schedule calms down in a week. I need to start digging through my cookbooks again! Keep rocking on, with your farty self! emoticon

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NELLJONES 12/17/2014 8:28AM

    Eat enough of those fart inducing foods and eventually your body becomes accustomed to them.

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WISHICOULDFLY 12/17/2014 6:27AM

    Fart inducing foods are delicious and very good for you! emoticon

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KLMEIRING 12/17/2014 6:03AM

    Wow! Your menu looks enticing! emoticon

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VALYNN26 12/17/2014 5:59AM

    emoticon sounds yummy

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TRYINGHARD54 12/17/2014 5:53AM

    lol. id be in the bathroom a lot with all the beans. have a great week

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HOTPINKCAMARO49 12/17/2014 5:52AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GHOSTFLAMES 12/17/2014 5:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I am not doing well emotionally today at all. Hubs and I are working on our marriage. We both want it to work, but are somewhat struggling right now with working towards solutions. In the process of working on this, I've had a bit of a downturn in self esteem. I have no idea what I'm good at, other than being pretty self-aware of my emotions and thought process. I guess I'm also good at accomplishing something if I decide I want to, like losing weight or working out. I want to keep improving, but I realize I lack the confidence to put myself out there. I'm afraid to try things and fail, and unless I'm really confident I can do something, I will avoid doing it.

I mentioned recently that I'm going to be getting counseling. I met the therapist yesterday, and we agreed we would try hypnotherapy, since I only have 5 sessions for free through hub's work. I need to come up with five things I want to affect positively. I haven't finished the list yet. I have until Monday. Here's what I have so far:

1. I want to not feel bad when I'm alone, and even want to enjoy my alone time.
2. I want to feel more confidence in my abilities. As in, to feel like I can do things as opposed to can't.
3. I want to be able to be less afraid of change, because change is inevitable and not always bad.
4. I want to be less reactive to other people's moods.

I think I need something to do on the side that is both creative and could maybe potentially earn me some money. I am open to opinions or suggestions for things, but these are the ideas I have not yet totally rejected:

1. Homemade Fleur de Sel caramels. (plain, chocolate, smoked)
2. Writing a cookbook about eating around the world for under 600 calories
3. Making earrings. Because I like earrings. Also, they would be made out of scrap jewelry like broken necklaces and things.

That's about it.

So anyway, it's been a long time since I started this blog, but I'm feeling much better now that it's 4:30 PM. Going to have a chat with my favorite cousin this evening, who recently sent me a little gift in the mail with the most touching thing ever written on the front of the envelope:

With friends like these and this counseling thing, hopefully things will be looking up soon.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVEDAILY 12/17/2014 7:53PM

    I also really, REALLY like that cookbook idea!! You should explore that one some....

You know how to quilt and sew.

You know how to make jewelry.

You do know how to set a goal and work towards it to achieve that. In some circles that's called being "motivational". If it interests you, you could perhaps parlay that into a job at a fitness club?

You have diverse tastes in music and literature.

In my mind, you are a very interesting, multi-talented person who is still young enough to explore all of the options that are available to you.

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CHIPUGMOM 12/17/2014 6:51PM

  I do like the cookbook idea a ton. I think the around the world for 600 calories or less is an amazing idea. But like I said yesterday, I think you should do a blog. I think if you did a food blog that cookbook could also happen and promote each other. I was going to pull together a handful of my favorite blogs for you as examples but am so busy today and had a (insert word Spark won't allow) work day so I need to decompress with some pugs tonight.

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_VIRYA_ 12/17/2014 11:09AM

    I hope the counseling helps. I am huge advocate for it. You are so open and aware and that helps with any counseling. I agree with your are amazing and inspiring! Hugs

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FOR_THE_DUDES 12/17/2014 9:41AM

    So sorry you were having a tough time yesterday. Here are few things I know you are good at: 1) Writing; 2) Being funny; 3) Sharing yourself; 4) Thinking of others; 5) Sewing; 6) Smiling in a way that makes me smile; 7) Saying the right things; and 8) Being honest. If there is ever any way I can help, I'm here for you.

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FINCHFEEDER80 12/17/2014 8:39AM

    emoticon Glad you're feeling better today. I'm here for you if you need anything.

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CATTUTT 12/16/2014 9:37PM

    Aw, I'm so sorry to hear things are not spectacular for you right now. I DEFINITELY sympathize with you wanting to learn to enjoy alone time. I hate being alone, HATE it. I really hope the sessions with the therapist help you figure out some things. For some people it's hugely helpful.

I think all 3 of the money making ideas sound like good ones. From the creative things you've posted, I have no doubts you could do all kinds of stuff people would pay for. Good luck!

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STEPH-KNEE 12/16/2014 8:49PM

    Well I am glad you and hubs are working on things, it seems everything in life comes with work, but I guess it's the way it works.

You are a fantastic person, and the things that you want to work on sound so specific and so fabulous. Being able to enjoy your alone time/being alone is definitely a great thing to want to work on, as were the rest of the items on your list.

Just from knowing you online, I know you are a determined person, who is very strong and also very caring. You share so much of yourself with us, which is not easy... and while i am hoping that it helps you, it also helps us for you to share so much of us and to be such a role model to us all. Sometimes that can be kind of a ... tough responsibility and it can get overwhelming but you handle it so well and continue to inspire us. And you are always such a great cheerleader. If you treat people "online" this nice, it only goes to show what an amazing person you truly are.

P.S. I still owe you a spark mail, but i've been spending too much time blowing my nose LOL!! ;) XOXO

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WISHICOULDFLY 12/16/2014 8:32PM

    Andrea, Sorry you're in a rough patch right now. It sucks. The good thing is that it WILL get better. I applaud you for taking advantage of your counseling sessions. You are very organized to put together your "list" of what you want to work on. Seems to me that you are a methodical thinker and that is why you achieve such great results, e.g., your total body transformation, your mad cooking skills, quilting, writing, etc. You are VERY talented and I guess that is why it really surprised me that you have a fear of failure. I'm not big on motivational quotes (I think they are ubiquitous these days and therefore lose their impact), BUT I DO like this one for you:

"One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again." Henry Ford

As for your ideas to do something on the side that is creative and might have earning potential, I would be VERY concerned personally about the Fleur de Sel caramels. Do you really want a loaded gun in the house? At least THAT would be what it would be like for ME. Maybe you are not salivating at mentions of Fleur de Sel caramels? I AM!

I LOVE the idea of making jewelry from scrap jewelry! You are creative, so you could come up with some fabulous stuff. Let me know if you need me to donate some of my misfits and broken jewels.

I DO have one suggestion. Since you like to cook, why not try making homemade dog treats? Just a thought. At least you won't eat them and people love to spoil their dogs.

Feel better soon. I'm sure you will work it all out. Sending lots of emoticon and positive vibes your way!

Comment edited on: 12/16/2014 8:33:02 PM

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ALOOGOBI 12/16/2014 7:51PM

    I agree with ICEDEMETER that with growth come some pains. You have accomplished a lot in terms of getting more fit and healthy and this is bound to impact all areas of your life. If you start feeling low or lacking in confidence in your abilities, think of these successes as proof of your ability to succeed in all aspects of your life.

Being successful at anything is just setting a goal and working until you reach it. You have already done this, and I have no doubt you will do it again and again! Any of those ideas sound good, you just need to decide which you like the best and which is the most marketable (if you are looking to make money with it).

I believe in you. You have a proven track record of meeting your goals. Trust yourself, trust the universe, and trust the process. Just like losing weight, making changes in your life rarely happen at the pace you might want, but slow and steady wins the race. I wish you all the best and hope that you are feeling better soon! emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/16/2014 7:57:20 PM

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TALULAX- 12/16/2014 6:46PM

    I think counseling is an awesome step in the right direction as it is yet another tool to help you achieve your goals! I love how you are being honest with yourself. That is so important if you want to really get the most out of your sessions. Remember not everything is glitter and cupcakes, but something tells me whatever muck you maybe faced with you will use your tools to get through it, learn from it and grow!

You got this! Yes, you are amazing!

emoticon emoticon

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HOPEFULHIPPO 12/16/2014 6:10PM

    therapy has been helping my daughter and I Hope it helps you too ((hugs))

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DAWNESS0404 12/16/2014 5:43PM

    Hope everything works out and therapy helps you. emoticon

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UNSWEETMAMA 12/16/2014 5:22PM

    I'm sorry. I don't have any good advice, but I'm here holding a good, feel better soon, you deserve the best life has to offer feeling for you.

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HONEYBEESBLISS 12/16/2014 5:01PM

    I love the cookbook idea but all of them are good I think.
My wish for you is strength to come through to the other side of your struggles. And just like weight loss and working out, one step at a time does more than we think.

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ICEDEMETER 12/16/2014 4:47PM

Sorry that you're not having an easy time right now. You're doing a lot of growing, and there are always growing pains...

Just keep somewhere in the back of your head that trying and not-doing-it-so-good is still a lot more fun than not trying at all --- and if you can keep a sense of humour about yourself, then there are no limits to what you can have fun trying!

Sending you strong thoughts, big hugs, and a reminder that you WILL get through this, stronger and happier than ever...

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BERGBA7 12/16/2014 4:46PM

    Sorry to hear you are struggling -- your list of things to change positively could be mine too. It's great, I think. Hope it works...

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Zee Quilt, She is Done!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I decided to sign it in fabric pen as opposed to embroidering. Because, well, I'm LAZY.

I also have butter mints drying, and tonight will make Fleur de Sel Caramels and maybe cookies. I'm on a roooooooll.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AWATTS7 12/16/2014 10:59AM

    That quilt is absolutely GORGEOUS!! What a wonderful gift for a special someone. You are very talented!

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UNSWEETMAMA 12/15/2014 3:55PM

    Nicely done!

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HOPEFULHIPPO 12/15/2014 11:52AM

    you really are!! LOVE the quilt :o) emoticon

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JAMIRBLAZE 12/15/2014 9:20AM

    Lovely! And jealous because I can't sew a straight line even with a machine.

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ANNABELLISABEL 12/15/2014 9:19AM

    Awesome! :)

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FINCHFEEDER80 12/15/2014 8:40AM

    Beautiful! So proud of you for getting it finished- great job!

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WISHICOULDFLY 12/14/2014 10:13PM

    Jeesh. You are SUCH AN OVERACHIEVER! emoticon Seriously, it is beautiful!

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CATTUTT 12/14/2014 8:59PM

    That quilt looks wonderful... and the candy sounds wonderful!

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STEPH-KNEE 12/14/2014 8:31PM

    So pretty!! :D

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FOR_THE_DUDES 12/14/2014 8:23PM

    Wow! Really cool.

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DAWNESS0404 12/14/2014 4:38PM

    Very nice!!

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TALULAX- 12/14/2014 4:38PM

    It's so pretty! YAY for it being done!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VALYNN26 12/14/2014 4:35PM

    Looks great! emoticon

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HONEYBEESBLISS 12/14/2014 4:20PM

    emoticon Awesome! It looks wonderful! I'm busy embroidering kitchen towels for my dad! LOL It seems to be taking a while, but I need to get them done!

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LIVEDAILY 12/14/2014 4:15PM

    SO, so pretty! Your Mom is going to LOVE it!!
AND you made candy too??
Roll with it!!

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