THINRONNA   31,639
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That is that then...

Friday, September 26, 2014

OK...well...the notice has been given and it is official. We are moving. It is no longer a secret so I can tell you now...we are moving to Dubai. Yup. In December.

Does the idea make me more that a little nervous? Yes. Is it because it is so darn foreign and ...sandy? Yes. But it is safe there and there is a wonderful opportunity for our future there and I will preserve some privacy about it all but I will tell you that we feel strongly about this move and have given it a lot of thought...and researched it a lot.

The job is truly great and they have done their best to take away our concerns so we feel comfortable with it all. Actually, one of my biggest concerns at this point is that my darling children are not as strong in English as one would think! They both speak it beautifully and knowing we would probably be making a move in the next year we have gotten Quintessa more than up to speed reading it but as far as spelling goes...well...we have a little work to do! Liam's situation also gives me pause because Norway take their time with children's education and he has not been taught to read yet. if we enrol him in either an American or English school there I think that the kids would already be reading. The good thing is that they would be in school with children like themselves who's parents are from different countries and who probably move a fair amount as we will be sending them to a private school.

Am I overwhelmed? Yes. So much to think about and so many details. So little sleep lately! Lists. We will make lists though and just take it one step at a time. Like my health...I am starting from step one. Getting enough water! (Being a desert person I will need it anyway huh?) I have let so much go this past month and water has been one of them. So back to water. Then I will worry about calories and exercise. Baby steps! Again!

In the short term, we have decided to go away next week for a trip to Sweden. We have really only been there to shop as it is cheaper there but never to SEE it. Quin is on fall break and we plan on surprising the kids with the trip. It will be good to have some quiet family time at a cabin before the chaos of moving starts. I think it will help to get my head on straight a bit too as I have felt as if I am in a bit of a daze lately!

Well I will sign off now. Laundry awaits.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINE4GIRL 10/17/2014 8:59PM

    Well, alrighty then. You have been on my mind a lot today so I figr I'd better slow down and check in on you! WowM Dubai is certainly a change from Norway! The kids will be fine. They adapt so well the younger they are because they don't know to be afraid. I think we can learn from them, eh? Keep us posted and know that you are thought of and prayed for!
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SOCCERWOW 10/6/2014 11:23AM

  Congratulations! It sounds like an opportunity for the entire family. I'm looking forward to hearing all about it!

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ARCHIMEDESII 9/30/2014 11:42AM

    WOW !! How exciting !! Working in Dubai is going to be an absolutely amazing experience. Let Mr Crappy Pants try to follow you there. LOL... sorry, couldn't resist a joke.

I know you can't go into detail, but did your hubby get an opportunity to work in one of the restaurants of the Burge ? Even if he isn't going to be in one of the tallest buildings on Earth, Dubai is still pretty cool.

I can not be more thrilled for you and your family.



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LADYIRISH317 9/28/2014 10:26PM

    Congratulations! On the other hand, the winters will be a LOT nicer!

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JANISMKW 9/27/2014 10:11PM

    Wow, wasn't expecting that. Sounds pretty exotic... that's where they have the island shaped like a palm tree. My son build a Lego Architecture series Burg Khalifa.

It will be warmer than Norway, which I would think would be good for the RA.

I wish you all well... God bless. You'll have great pictures and stories in the future, no doubt.

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LISALGB 9/27/2014 10:29AM

    Wow!! Dubai!! That is quite a big step. I wish you all the best for an easy move and transition. Enjoy your time in Sweden. A little family time will do you good before all the moving begins. Get yourself some rest. You will be refreshed and ready to go.
Thinking about you, my dear friend!

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REMEMBER2BME 9/27/2014 6:15AM

    An exciting and scary new adventure. You are doing the right thing. I say that because you have thought through it and researched it and you decided to go for it. As for the kids, yours are dynamite and they have strong supportive parents. They will learn. It may not all be easy but it will be a great experience.

GREAT plan with starting with water. You hit the nail on the head. One baby step at a time. It is a process right. I am so excited you are going on the Sweden trip. Again, GREAT plan. HUGS to you!!! Take pictures please. :)

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KAYOTIC 9/26/2014 9:34PM

    Wow! Exciting for certain, lots of changes, you'll make it through, I'm sure. Just take it one step and one day at a time, and try to enjoy what you can!

I'm guessing the kids will adjust well, it sounds like they will have a good school, and lots of kids in their same situation.

It's great that you can have some family down time together before the chaos begins! emoticon

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FITMARY 9/26/2014 9:31PM

    Oh, my goodness! What a huge change. No wonder you are reeling a bit. But you are strong and your kids have been marvelously adaptable, it seems, so they'll probably do fine. Cabin getaway in Sweden sounds just about perfect!!

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CHEFSOPHIE 9/26/2014 6:05PM

    It sounds great. I think the schools will be great. If Liam has problems, you can always get a tudor to help get him up to speed. It should be quite an adventure. I am sure you will be able to get all things you couldn't get in Norway. Enjoy Sweden! I have been to Goteberg, Fallun, and Stockholm. The people were all so nice.

Comment edited on: 9/26/2014 6:06:13 PM

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GETHNOW 9/26/2014 7:32AM

  God Bless and enjoy your adventure!

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All righty then...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hi...I want to write to you all to say that I am Ok...a little fatter for sure for not Sparking lately but OK. I want to blog...but I don't know how to explain all that has happened lately actually. Patrick and I are fine, the kids are fine...don't worry...I just have started writing this and have to delete it all because I don't know how much to share.

Can I say this....really good things are happening. Change is in the air for us. As you probably know, I am married to someone very special in many ways but in particular in the culinary world. These last few years have not been easy though and we have been fighting to build and maintain a specific career path. Somehow since the spring here has been some sort of energy around him that has drawn 3 international companies to ask him to consider throwing his chef hat in the ring for rather amazing projects (one was even for a chef that you might know of with the initials GR who is known for being a bit of a yeller ;-)

Anyway, one of these positions turned out to be just perfect (not the one for GR) and yesterday he accepted it. I will share more details as things progress for sure as it is in a but of an unusual location and although we have had months to get used to the idea I am still getting my head wrapped around the fact that it is actually going to happen.

So...because I have a tendency to know..."talk" a bit much, I decided it was best for me to just go through this all privately with Patrick. This is really one of the main reasons for my silence. (I don't trust my own self to keep my mouth shut! emoticon ) Speaking of me a favour...a couple of you are friends with Patrick on spark....just don't offer congratulations at this point, if you don't mind...I can't explain why...but it would be more appropriate later on once we have a few things settled. Thanks.

I am gong to go now...I want to write more now that things have been I have truly gained a bit of weight during all of this and need to get back on track. My best laid plans were laid aside I am afraid! So I will try to be back...I will make some goals and I will get myself back on track.

Thank you to my friends for being here for me even though I have been quite absent lately. I hope you understand.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANISMKW 9/24/2014 10:46PM

    Hi Ronna,

Good to hear from you. I can identify with much. I'm up several lbs. after being sick all summer and giving time to my Mom who had heart surgery.

My hubby has been in crisis... 7 completely different jobs (in different fields) in 7 years. Now he's at a prestigious university, supposedly a great place to work, but he hates it. Well, yesterday he applied for a job, interviewed today and got the job offer tonight. Hope this will be the right fit and he'll be happy.

Glad Patrick didn't go with GR... yelling and rage don't promote peace of mind. I think of you guys often. My Marty is turning 17, still feels he was "born to bake", threw together an apple crisp today with apples we picked.

Are you still blogging professionally? Glad you are all well.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHEFSOPHIE 9/24/2014 6:46PM

    It is just good to hear from you. It is also wonderful to hear you you are embarking on a new and exciting adventure.

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LISALGB 9/24/2014 12:10PM

    Ronna, how exciting!!! I am wishing all the best for you guys. You deserve so much, you have worked so hard. I am keeping you in my prayers!!

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FITMARY 9/24/2014 8:16AM

    Okay, then, we'll keep our woo hoos all lower-case. woo hoo. But sounds absolutely awesome!

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REMEMBER2BME 9/24/2014 6:26AM

    Of course we understand. We love you. I am so happy to hear that you are on the right track. You have such a strong and amazing family. I can see you writing a book one day. You all have definitely had some hard times and continue to come through as the shining stars that you are.

You do whatever you are comfortable with when it comes to blogging and sharing. We are here for you. Regarding the weight, you know what to do and you also know that sometimes life comes first. You will get back to where you want to be in time, no doubt about it. It is a process right? HUGS!

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Packing and swim suits

Monday, June 30, 2014

Phase one on my packing is complete! I have sorted through all of the possibilities when it comes to my clothes and the kids clothes. Phase two comes tomorrow when I weed it all down to a reasonable amount. This I have learned since becoming a traveller...we all need MUCH less than we think we do!

The first big trip I took to France I took all that was possibly allowed by the airline...packed to the gills for a trip of 12 days I think. We traveled to three locations and it was CRAZY dragging all of that luggage around. The next year we figured out how to go much lighter but I was still packing for every possible scenario and packing anything I thought I might need. That is still a little is not like we were going to places where there was no civilisation. There is always the possibility to buy things that come up as you need them on it is kind of fun! The next year we were were traveling to two climates (Switzerland and Italy) and by planning down to the very last detail we were able to fit all of our things into TWO suitcases for the 4 of us and plus a back pack each. Before leaving Switzerland we mailed our cool weather things back to Norway and lightened our load even further.

This year again, we are going with two small suitcases for all 4 of us and a carry on each. Not as much planning is needed since we only need warm weather clothes but we are restricted by Ryan Air's limits for luggage. I am kind of like a pro at this these days but we will see how it all shakes out when it comes to the final day of packing!

Now...swim suits. Not my favourite thing to do but I did it. If you know me, you have heard me complained of this gut I have. This is my problem with swim suits. We there is that thing about one of my boobs being smaller than the other one. I blame Liam. When he was a baby he had a favourite and he some how sucked the life out of it! So rude.

So anyway...I am going to just not care about it all. How about that? Last time I didn't bring bikinis but this year I am. I know that here in Norway people don't worry about such things and I have seen other women in other countries so much more comfortable with their bodies so I am just not going to worry about a gut and a double of boobs that don't match. I will not let my body define me! I have worked too long all year and gone through too much to let myself be held back on my one big splurge all year. I know I can be in better shape that is for sure but this year will all that we had going on I was never able to pull it off. What's done is need to lament it. When I get back I can revamp my exercise routine and I will.

Ok...I gotta go now and get down to doing some work before I lose the day. I hope all of you are having a sunny summer. Perhaps we can all head into this wonderful season without letting our feelings about our bodies define us. Deal?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REMEMBER2BME 7/7/2014 9:22AM

    Great job with the packing. It is a talent :)
Great attitude on the swim suit. By the way, I think we are all uneven. But who cares? I agree.

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    Deal!! Enjoy yourself!!

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PMRUNNER 7/1/2014 6:28AM


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KELPIE57 7/1/2014 4:37AM


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LADYIRISH317 6/30/2014 9:58PM

    I want to go along!

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KAYOTIC 6/30/2014 9:38PM

    Wear that bikini with pride my friend! You deserve it! emoticon

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FITMARY 6/30/2014 6:00PM

    EVERY body is beautiful! You are so right to enjoy yours!

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CHEFSOPHIE 6/30/2014 12:39PM


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LISALGB 6/30/2014 10:31AM

    I always pack much more than any of us ever need - or use!! We are going to the beach in a couple of weeks so I have to try to do better!
I wish USA would take a lesson from Europe and not be as obsessed with our looks.
I love your attitude!! I hope you all have a fabulous holiday!! Don't forget to take lots of pictures!!

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JENNIK2 6/30/2014 8:48AM

    Great attitude!

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WINE4GIRL 6/30/2014 7:50AM

    What an amazing attitude!~ You go girl! Smart move on the packing. For our trip, I hadn't packed much till hubs said "is that ALL you are taking?". Then I felt bad and added stuff I didn't end up needing! I need to read back to find out more about your trip, etc. I'm drowning in squash here....

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PICKIE98 6/30/2014 5:31AM

    Why should you care what total strangers think? You are never going to see them again, you paid for this trip and God gave you this body. HE makes no mistakes. Go for it, enjoy getting your Vitamin D!

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Whoo Hoo! Tax money!

Friday, June 27, 2014

I was on edge the past few weeks that my tax money would not come before vacation but today mine came! Patrick's came yesterday. Whoo HOO! Norway is extremely helpful to the worker when it comes to vacation. Tax money is generally earmarked for June, the month that people begin to take vacation. There is a chance it won't come until the fall but that is rare.

The other thing Norway does is that money gets taken out of your check each month tax free and then given back to you in June for you to use on vacation. The money equals over a month of pay. So between that and your tax money (if you are getting back) you have vacation money enough for a reasonable vacation. We also set money aside each year just incase, but this past year was kind of tight. I have been saving my freelance money incase we needed it for vacation but was hoping not to have to use it and now I can keep it in savings! Yay! We even have enough to do a little clothes shopping in Malta. It is wise to shop in practically any other country in the world when you are outside of Norway since it is so expensive here.

In other news, I have been notified that I will be hired to write another article for the interior design people that I wrote that article about yellow for. Shocking really. I kind of thought I was out of my league there since they edited my article so heavily. I thought they did not like my writing. I guess I don't fully understand this whole business so I am just going to go with it and be happy about it. It was super fun to write.

I got down my box of vacation clothes today and will go through them tomorrow. Things fit. I think. Somewhere in the past few days I got a look at myself in my underwear and things are not so bad as I thought they were. I don't have a full length mirror in my house so I would have to stand on my sink to get a good look at my rump or midsection. Makes me wonder where exactly I was that I got a good look at myself in my underwear. I hope it was someplace appropriate.

Have a terrific day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    That's awesome!!! I love it when things fall into place!! You deserve it, enjoy!!!

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/29/2014 3:40PM

    WOO HOO ! for your tax money arriving on time.

Gee, can we get the Norwegian government to talk to our congress ? They need to be told that workers are MORE productive with a regular vacation.

Comment edited on: 6/29/2014 3:41:15 PM

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LADYIRISH317 6/27/2014 11:57PM

    Well, you COULD always ask Patrick..

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MRSBENNETT2 6/27/2014 9:47PM the fact you get vacation $$ taken out tax free! There really is something to the rumour that Scandanavian countries are good to their people. :)

I still do some shopping when I'm home in the States but things are beginning to catch up pricewise between here and there. Except for Levis and most shoes.

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KAYOTIC 6/27/2014 9:41PM

    Have a great vacation!

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JANISMKW 6/27/2014 8:44PM

    emoticon Congratulations Ronna of Finland (or is it Donna of Mission Viejo?) on the tax money and more work from DecorView!

I really like your writing style and you always have such interesting facts. I guess if Donna wants to put her face and bio above the article, she has to "add value" by changing it somehow.

Seriously, congrats on your enormous success! Also, Patrick's photos are gorgeous.

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CHEFSOPHIE 6/27/2014 7:02PM

    That is great news. I have always wanted to visit Malta. I enjoyed reading the yellow article. Good luck on the next one.

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TERRYT55 6/27/2014 1:53PM

    Hi Ronna, Nice to read this happy blog, Hope you have a terrific vacation.

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REMEMBER2BME 6/27/2014 1:35PM

    emoticon on the tax money. That is too cool that it came and that they take out money for vacations. emoticon on the additional work. Of course they loved your article. It is so very much easier to tweak/edit something and start from scratch. YOU ROCK.
emoticon on the vacation clothes and rockin' bod too.

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WINFIELD28 6/27/2014 11:17AM

    Don't you love it when things work out - like getting your tax money back in time for vacation.
You have a terrific day too!

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RASPBERRY56 6/27/2014 7:00AM

    Vacation - siiiiiiigh - I may NEVER see that again in my "natural lifetime".........don't ask......


(vent mode off now).......

I hope you have a wonderful time! And that's great about your writing.........I've always enjoyed writing but don't really have to nerve to make a true go of it for anything other than hobbies - I wish you the best with any future endeavors!

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GHOSTFLAMES 6/27/2014 5:28AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Yellow article and vacation plans

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I was surprised to see my yellow article published so fast...and I was surprised to see that I was a woman named Donna from Orange county. But I suppose it is better that I be that then a pastry chef from Norway giving decorating advice! In reality a woman named Donna from Orange county probably did edit up my article as it is not so much what I wrote exactly but I am still pretty happy about it. Here is a link:

I am winding down a bit on the work side of things trying not to put as much pressure on myself to get so much done in a day since the kids are on summer break. I have one more big deadline before I go and then just my normal recipe work. I am writing about dessert garnish and have to be done by Monday.

I realised that I never mentioned where we are going on vacation in my last blog. We will be going to Malta! Whoo Hoo! I am pretty dang excited about it since last summer was such a dreary downer. Malta is one of the most exotic places in Europe that I can think of. English and Maltese are the languages there. Maltese is based on Arabic and I find the names of things so very interesting there. Lots of X's and Q's...and Q's don't have U following them. I have no idea how to pronounce anything! Malta combines sun, beaches, good food and history...all which I love. Malta has prehistory even, which I REALLY love. Apparently, (in the words of Kipling)"when the world was so new and all", there used to be a way to walk from Africa to Malta so (in the words of Eloise) "you can just imagine." Malta has the oldest standing structure made by man on the face of the earth. Possibly there is one in Turkey older but there is debate about that. There are "cart ruts" on Malta that lead right into the sea. I just love all of that stuff and thinking about what it all means. I think I will love to be someplace where I can stand where our ancestors stood so very long ago. Patrick got me an IPad so perhaps I can blog from there. I got an assignment to write about Maltese pastries so I will have to be doing some...ahem...research for sure!

We have had a bit of excitement around our house thinking about Malta as well as our jobs and our future which I will save for another day. Exercise...still not so much. Weight...still the same. Sleep...I am finally getting some. (Had insomnia there for over a month.) Eating right...that I am pulling off. Spending time with my little family...going very well.

Things are good. :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm so glad that things are going well for you!! Enjoy your vacation!!!

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LISALGB 6/30/2014 10:51AM

    Sigh . . . Malta . . .sigh!!! It sounds so lovely and exotic and wonderful!! I hope you have a fabulous time with your sweet family!! You deserve it!!

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/29/2014 3:46PM

    How exciting a trip to Malta !! I hear it's a wonderful vacation spot. Looking forward to reading any blogs.

And.... CONGRATULATIONS on your new career !! You'll make a wonderful food writer and commentator. Just look at what Rick Bayless did for Mexican cuisine. I love reading food blogs. So, this just seems a natural progression from one passion to another.

That's fantastic. I'm thrilled for you !! I've already read your spice article.


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REMEMBER2BME 6/27/2014 1:24PM

    Love the yellow article and love how well you are doing. Eating healthy is a HUGE win. It can be so hard to do when you are busy and lacking sleep. I often eat for energy (and not always the right stuff).
emoticon on the vacation plans. Yes, I agree, you have no choice but to do research! Take pictures.

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MRSBENNETT2 6/27/2014 4:40AM

    Your vacation sounds excellent and exciting! There are quite a few Maltese people here in our area. I don't know much about the culture but it sounds interesting!

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JANISMKW 6/26/2014 10:41PM

    Malta sounds fascinating, and nice and sunny! Please post pix.

New iPad... Sweeeet! emoticon

My DH and I went Ireland and focused a lot on all the prehistoric stuff... stone circles, hoards of gold, beehive huts, etc.

emoticon Bon voyage.

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LADYIRISH317 6/26/2014 10:04PM

    Glad to hear things are going so well for you! Malta -- better post tons of pictures.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/26/2014 10:59AM

    Sounds very exciting! How does your article get coopted?

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WINFIELD28 6/26/2014 10:03AM

    Enjoy your vacation to Malta!

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REXTINE1 6/26/2014 10:02AM

    Nice Blog. Hope you enjoy Malta. emoticon

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RAPUNZEL53 6/26/2014 5:34AM


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