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Current Reads > A Homemade Life Week 3

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message 1: by Leti, Former President (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
Here we are dolls, at our halfway point. Some of you may still be enjoying the book, while others have already devoured every page and finished. Either way, this week's topic is a sweet one!

*******

The story of Molly and Brandon's courtship is a once in a blue moon fairytale ending. They meet through her blog, take a chance on blind dating, fall in love, merge their lives together, and then get married. Molly even goes on to make her own wedding cake! In fact, its the cake that is her most famous recipe on her blog- the Winning Hearts And Minds Cake.

Tell us a little about how you felt as you read through Molly's storybook romance and then share with us your own true love tale, whether current or first crush. Afterwards, recount a time when you used one of your most trusted recipes for a huge event undertaking like Molly did. Was it your sister's baby shower, or maybe even the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dessert while your whole family waits.

Homework: Some of you noticed my hint at a little surprise that I'm planning. A cookbook with all of our recipes and stories! So for this week, your HW is to execute a precious cake recipe that's as close to your heart as Molly's wedding cake is. A recipe you would use to impress your great love and win over ALL hearts and minds!


message 2: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
Molly's and Brandon's romance was soo cute! I can only imagine awaiting e-mails from one another and then anxiously waiting to meet each other in person! So cute!

Okay, so here's my little fairytale. My husband and I first met in high school. His Mom is the yearbook teacher at the school that we went to. I was one of the only freshmen that got to be in yearbook that year because I had just moved to the school and had prior experience working on a yearbook. So, I got into the class and of course Fletcher was in his Mom's class too. He was a senior and I didn't really know much about him other than I thought he was weird and cute at the same time. Here's why he was weird...he was goth. Yeah, like all black clothes crazy hair and even a little makeup thrown in there (just eyeliner but still) and so for some odd reason, that looking back now I have no idea why I did it, I decided that I needed to dress like him to get him to like/notice me. This semi-worked and then I decided I needed to do more. I was his Mom's favorite person to take pictures of sporting events so being a freshman and not being able to drive I decided to tell her that I would take all the pictures she wanted if Fletcher (my husband) would drive me to the events. haha! I sometimes look back and realize how crazy this was but hey, it worked! After 3 weeks of riding around and taking yearbook photos he finally asked me out! I was soooo excited like you have no idea!!! We were sitting there watching a movie and after it was over he said to me "hey, you know how everyone thinks we are together?" and I said "yeah," he said " well how about we make those rumors true." and I said "how are we going to do that?" and he said "I'm going to ask you to be my girlfriend." I was soooo happy!!!!! It finally happened! It was awesome! So then after that we dated for the rest of my high school career and then some. We did have a couple of moments where we broke up for short periods of time. I think a total of 6 months was how long we had broken up for. I call these our "Notebook moments." I like to think of our romance like the movie "The Notebook" because they fall in love young and then break up and then find each other again and live happily ever after. Of course the timing is different for us because we didn't break up for years or anything but still. I love that movie!! Anyway, so we dated for a little over 2 years and then Fletcher decided to pop the question! At this point in time I was 17. We started very young but I have no doubts that we will last forever. Anyway, he had worked out a plan to pull me up on stage with my favorite band and propose to me. Had I known this before hand I would have probably killed him. I hate being in front of a crowd. I'm very shy. But it was amazing! I wouldn't have it any other way now. So then about 2 years later we got married. Now, we have been together for a total of 6 years and married for a little over 2. P.S. we got married on our dating anniversary so no confusion on exactly how long we've been together! :) We are just loving being married and sharing our lives. He never fails to make me love him more and more each and every single day. It's amazing.

Wow, that turned out longer than I thought it would. I hope it's not too long. Also, please excuse my bad writing skills. I'm usually not that bad but I got a little carried away with the story and wasn't paying too much attention to how I was writing it. :)


message 3: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
Oh and p.s. neither of us are goth anymore...we haven't been for years. That was just a phase that we both look back at now and think...wow, what were we thinking? ha! I guess I know what I was thinking. I just wanted Fletcher to like me!!! haha! The things girls will do to get a boys attention never cease to amaze me.


message 4: by Basht (new)

Basht I just want to say, that is one of the sweetest things i've ever read. adorable, completely.


message 5: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (chelseaalysse) Awh your story is so cute Mandy! I'm glad that everything worked out for your guys :) It's amazing how that happens, huh? I have quite a cute story of my own as well, but we're not married (yet ha!).

Hopefully one day we will be; he's my best-friend <3 Literally after two years of dating each other I can RECALL the days that we haven't seen each other. We're not an on and off couple as some either. We've had one break up (my fault...) and the way we got back together was just as romantic as the way we first got together <3 I can share that one as well if you guys would like it's not as long haha :)

Awh your story is so cute Mandy! I'm glad that everything worked out for your guys :) It's amazing how that happens, huh? I have quite a cute story of my own as well, but we're not married (yet ha!).

Hopefully one day we will be; he's my best-friend <3 Literally after two years of dating each other I can RECALL the days that we haven't seen each other. I was a junior in high school and he was a senior. Our relationship isn't like most that I know of we fell in love super fast (literally he said I love you before we were even dating, our "3rd" date). We're not an on and off couple as some either. We've had one break up (my fault...) and the way we got back together was just as romantic as the way we first got together <3 I can share that one as well if you guys would like it's not as long haha :) Just cause I know I'm going to blab about how we fell in love…Ha and you thought yours was long Mandy, oh man...

Alright I'll start off with when we met..His best-friend was on my cheer-leading team and he decided to give cheer-leading a go after being a competitive gymnast for so long. He also wanted to use it as a way just so he could hang out with his best-friend more often. I remember the first day I saw him I was like, "oh! he's cute!" He had nooo idea how to do jumps and I thought it was the cutest thing ever, so I walked over to him and started giving him so pointers. It turned out I was the first person to talk to him on our team (he pointed that out later to me). I had a boy-friend at the time though so we didn't start talking for awhile. I want to say it was about 2-3 months before me and the boy-friend at the time broke up, and I actually made a move. I was really good friends with Theresa who cheered with Karissa (Joshs' best-friends girlfriend). For weeks upon weeks I was trying to find an excuse to hang out with him when I over heard him talking about going to the game Friday with Eddie (his best-friend) to see Karissa&Theresa cheer. I took this as an opportunity and went up to him asking if I could tag along :) Of course we exchanged numbers and I did the whole "What's your number?" & text him mine right away so he'd have to reply to my text later. Smooth, right? haha! I like to think so at least. Well we ended up talking everrrry day Sunday - Friday before we even officially hung out. We went to lunch than the game together, but nothing really interesting happened at the game we were still just friends. After the game he dropped me off and I text him immediately after saying what a great time I'd have that night and how I wish it had lasted longer. He replied saying I know me too I'm coming back. My heart melted at that moment because I know he was just as interested. We ended up walking to the park around the corner from my house and climbing a tree to just sit up there talking till 4 in the morning, crazy right?! Just talking! Once we realized what time it was I ran home and told him I'd hope to see him again soon. The next day he showed up at my house on a dirt bike saying he wanted to show me around. It was amazing we spent that entire day riding bayou's and through forest's enjoying nature together on his bike. Sunday came along and he asked if I wanted to go to church with him and I said of course! It was at church where he grabbed my hand while singing and squeezed it three times. (three times as in I love you). I looked him in the eyes and squeezed his hand three times back. After church we hopped back on his motorcycle to go riding through the trails a little more. To make things short I fell off (clumsy me) and ended up rolling my ankle pretty bad. We went to a jack in the box right around the corner where he got me a bag of ice and said, "I know this is bad timing, but will you be my girl-friend?" Ugh it was the cutest thing ever <3 We ended up going to practice later that day together and everyone found out we were dating. It was funny because a lot of the girls and I would argue over who would "get" him first. We've been inseparable since <3 I'm a college freshman now and he's a college sophomore going to the same school taking some of the same classes as well haha.

My boy-friend is obsessssssed with peanut butter, and I can't recall the recipe but if you were going to put a recipe with my story it has to be about peanut butter for Josh's sake haha. It's become a thanksgiving tradition where we make peanut butter cookies together and savor them together <3


message 6: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (chelseaalysse) PS. to add something extra cute. The tree where we had our first kiss and spent our first night together now has our initials carved into it. He did it for Valentines one year while I was at school, and brought me to the tree after school to show me. It was so romantic.


message 7: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
awww chelsea that is sooo cute!!! and yes i totally want to know how you guys got back together after your break up. I'll tell you about one of our breakup reunions.

After each breakup we still would talk and hang out all the time so it was kind of pointless to break up but for each one there was a specific problem and each time we fixed those problems and our relationship was a lot better after each one. anyway, after the first breakup we had been hanging out and even had started acting like we were back together holding hands and the occasional kissing and we had gone to eat at a restaurant that had paper tablecloths (sounds cheesy but it's a very good restaurant) and i had gone to the bathroom and when I came back Fletcher had written something on the table in front of my seat. It said "i love you, can i please be your boyfriend again?" and it even had the yes or no boxes for me to check and of course I checked yes! i thought it was soo cute! :)

p.s. I totally love the part about you guys holding hands at church!!


message 8: by Basht (new)

Basht aw, so romance isn't dead afterall...
Well the timing on this is crazy... on monday night my marriage almost completely ended so mostly i've just been questioning how anyone can actually manage to stay married and together.
Sorry, it's depressing i know.
Anyway, i'm working on the HW cake recipe this weekend, in prep for my daughter's 2nd birthday next month. I can't think of anything more perfect for it, and well, it's impossible for my love for her to ever die or shatter. I'll post on sunday.


message 9: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
aww basht! seriously, i know that this maybe be a little odd but if you need someone to talk to you can email me. i'm not trying to be nosy or anything but if you just need someone to talk to about baking or anything i'm here for you and i'm sure everyone else is too! :)


message 10: by Basht (new)

Basht Thank you


message 11: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (chelseaalysse) Wow that has to be so hard..I'm sorry Basht, at least you have your babygirl to hold <3 I can't wait to be a mom one day it's so exciting to me.

& awh Mandy that sounds so cute! I love the whole check yes/no thing it reminds me of that one country song haha. i'm so glad you guys worked through your problems :)

Well, when we broke up it was because my first boy-friend had come by to say hi before going to college..It was my wrong I should have said no and never let him come by. Well I told Josh I wasn't going to hide the fact I had seen him from him. It wasn't the fact I still had feelings with my ex at all (I didn't) he was just a friend that was leaving. Well for several weeks Josh just became a complete butt-head and rude till I just couldn't handle it anymore and ended it. I recall the night I ended it was on my front porch and after I closed the door I collapsed to the floor...For three weeks I couldn't eat, sleep, or move. I even took off work for a week (we worked together) just so I wouldn't have to see him to try and start moving on. Well we had a 5hr cheer practice that I couldn't avoid so I pretended to be talking to some other guy on my phone texting non-stop. I guess he got the point because I went to my friends party that night, and when I arrived home there was a rose on my bed (he had a key). I text him asking "why? I was finally getting strong again, why Josh?" and he just spilled about how great we are together and how bad he feels for how he wronged me. I told him I still loved him and missed him. Literally 5min after that first text I heard his car on my drive way. I started crying, and when I opened the door and he was crying as well. No words were needed he just picked me up and held me in his arms crying for probably 2/3 hours. It was so sweet <3 We got back together officially like a week later. I got home from school one day to find a note on the door say "I hope you never cry here again. Go to..." There were notes all over my house with cute stuff like in the kitchen one said "I hope I can cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for you everyday for the rest of our life. Go to.." Well the last note led to our tree (first kiss) where he was in the tree waiting for me :)))

I love him so much <3 We're spsd to go on a hot air balloon ride together in two weeks! I'm psyched.


message 12: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
awww that is the cutest thing ever!!! have fun on that hot air balloon ride. i'd be scared to death. i hate heights!


message 13: by Deandra (last edited Oct 18, 2010 08:22AM) (new)

Deandra (deandraayu) | 14 comments oh Basht, that's too bad. I agree with Chelsea, at least you have your babygirl to hold :) there is nothing in the world more beautiful than a mom's love..

oh! i don't have a boyfriend right now,(So jealous of Chelsea and Mandy!!!) but back at 10th grade I finally, fINAllY dated this guy that i had had a crush on since 8th grade. He was my first love and everything seemed perfect and dreamy. one year and a half, and we broke up. It took me like a year to get over him and sumtimes i do wonder how things will be if we stayed together. but ah, life goes on :)

the funniest thing, from 8th grade to 10th grade i was his so-called-best-friend, u know, the kinda girl he pop and call once in a while to talk about this girl he has a crush on? yeah. and while we talk, (usually after school) i fed him. lol. he looovvves my cooking. the highlight of dating him is he ate everything i cook! his favorite are my carrot pottage and vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese topped with grapes or fresh oranges.
I nearly choked him when i spoon-fed him my mashed potato. that was hilarious.

we ended up talking after school lot more often ( not always bout the girls he had crush on, thank God) and he stopped by to my house to eat in almost every week in 9th grade, aannndd one things led to another, in 10th grade, he finally kissed me on valentine day! he bought me one pink rose he bought from the nearest florist.

well, i guess trying to reach a man's heart through his stomach proved to be true! <3


message 14: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (chelseaalysse) Mmmm anyone boy that gets with you Deardna is lucky! Food is the way to mans heart for sure haha <3 I know how it is to be the "best-friend" though. I was actually that to a guy, and he would frequently profess his love to me (even more so when he was drunk) and I'd just laugh at him. Needless to say, our friendship is now over though... :(

& Mandy I am scared to death! It was that or sky diving though! & uhm I think I'll stick with the hot air balloon rather than free falling out of a plane at lord knows how many feet hahah!


message 15: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
Here's my recipe for this week!

My husband loves peanut butter and I had a great idea! One of my absolute favorite things is chocolate cake and I found a chocolate bundt cake recipe via Joy the Baker that I love. So, here's my idea, making either that chocolate bundt cake or another recipe and making a peanut butter glaze for the icing!

Here's my variation of Joy's recipe.

For the Cake:

1 1/4 cups brewed coffee

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 whole eggs

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tablespoon buttermilk

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoon canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups, plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted

For the glaze I'm thinking just melting some peanut butter and adding a little vanilla extract and a little tiny bit of powdered sugar.

I'm going to try this out and I'll come back with the results!


message 16: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
Chelsea, yeah I think i'd def. choose that over skydiving. There is nooo way I'd ever do that!


message 17: by Leti, Former President (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
OMG Mandy, I soooo want to see how that cake turns out. Sounds like a divine idea! Maybe something to counter the peanut butter instead of solely vanilla...try a hint of cream cheese. Trust me on that ;)


message 18: by Leti, Former President (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
Basht wrote: "aw, so romance isn't dead afterall...
Well the timing on this is crazy... on monday night my marriage almost completely ended so mostly i've just been questioning how anyone can actually manage to..."


Basht, you know we are all here if you ever want to vent! Maybe if you want to get anything off your chest, feel free. I am sure we can all relate. I myself havent posted yet because I'm still going through the aftermaths of what you are dealing with. But like everyone said, you have the most amazing gift of all...a beautiful precious little girl whom I'm sure can only bring a smile to your face when you least expect it.

And for goodness sakes, I am dying to see/hear about your cake recipe! How did it turn out? :)


message 19: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
Thanks Leti! I was trying to figure out the best way to go with the pb glaze. I'm going to work on it tomorrow and hopefully get the recipe up. I still haven't found my dang camera cord to be able to post any pictures lately, hence the no new posts on the blog! :(


message 20: by Basht (new)

Basht Thank you so much :)I'm sending each one of you mental hugs right now. And Deardna,
"spoon-fed him my mashed potato."
that right there, made my day.

Things here are tolerable now... it's not good, but for the moment it's working. in a nut shell, he said if i left he'd take my daughter from me. And she's my entire world so i'm avoiding any risk of that.

Sorry it took so long to type this, llusion hates sleeping and she's been fighting naps really hard lately.

Ok, now on to the baking...I tried to make a cake recipe for this but for some reason it just wasn't working. The textures and flavors weren't what i was looking for. I don't have a go to cake recipe and they weren't often made in my house growing up.

So i thought of what I would really make if I was trying to impress someone, and I came back to something I've always made, Brownies. I used to make them for my friend's birthdays and any celebrations where a good dessert was needed. These are made special by baking in cupcake tins with pretty papers, topped with homemade chai dulche de leche and sprinkled with edible glitter. Spun sugar would be pretty show stopping as well. :)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup margarine, butter, or coconut oil
1 cup unsweetended cocoa
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup mix ins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking and baking powder. Set aside.
On low heat melt the margarine. Once melted remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa until all lumps are gone. Add in the sugar until well combined. Then mix in the eggs, one at a time. Finally, stir in the vanilla.
Pour the wet chocolatey mix over the flour and stir just until combined. At this point you can add in your mixins (if desired), such as chocolate chips, shredded coconut, nuts, m&ms, dried fruit, marshmallows, ect.

Spoon into a prepared cupcake tin lined with papers or parchment.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. You can test their doneness by sticking a toothpick into one of the center ones. if it comes out clean then it's done.

Let them cool, or if you can't wait that long until they are warm to touch but not hot.

Put a spoonful of dulche de leche in the center of each. Because they aren't a cake the edges should be raised a bit, but the top will probably sit lower or flatter, making the perfect bowl for the topping. Sprinkle with glitter, then marvel for a moment at the beauty you've created. Then devour. :)

To make the dulche de leche, get a small can of sweetened condensed milk and put it in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-low heat and simmer for 3 hours. You will need to top off the water level from time to time. Carefully remove the can from the water and let sit on the counter until it's cool enough to handle. Pour it into a bowl (it will be thick) and whisk in some chai tea concentrate until you've reached your desired consistency. Other spices work well here too. be creative.

I know some people worry about the pressure in the can causing it to explode while the milk is cooking... if you're really worried about it you can open the can a bit, cover it with tin foil and make sure the water level is only about half way up the can (it will get higher as it boils). I'm one of those people who has made it a lot and never had any issues but it could still happen so do whatever feels right for you.


message 21: by Leti, Former President (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
Um, I just saw this in my email for the updates and well, I think I had a foodgasm. Literally. There is wet stuff everywhere. No worries, its just drool, but still. Cupcake tin baked brownies with chai dulce and edible glitter? Are you kidding me. This is what heaven must sound like. I am SOO wanting to make these NOW.

Basht, if you become single down the line, you sure have me waiting in line. Impressed? You betcha ;)

ok gotta run!
xx


message 22: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (chelseaalysse) Okay I'm not very good at cooking/baking (sad, I know) but I just want to describe the most DELICIOUS desert I ever had yesterday. I coach gymnastics and a little girl and her mom baked a whole pan of these for the coaches.

On the bottom was chocolate brownies (brownies already make my mouth water), the second layer on top of the brownies was a marshmallow filling (soft&gooey), and on the very top was like a home made crunch bar (soft not hard to get your teeth through). It was soft, chewy, and crunchy all in one bite. They literally made my mouth water. Sadly I'm on a health kick right now and trying to eat right, but I did indulge in one and I'm SOOO glad that I did <3


message 23: by Leti, Former President (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
Chelsea wrote: "Okay I'm not very good at cooking/baking (sad, I know) but I just want to describe the most DELICIOUS desert I ever had yesterday. I coach gymnastics and a little girl and her mom baked a whole pan..."

Chelsea can you pleaseeeeeee, because its my birthday (yes I am so pulling that card right now lol) please when you go back to ask the mom for the recipe? Tell her I can get it featured in Dujour magazine with her name and everything, but that sounds oh so good! I'd bake it right up now in a round tin and eat it as my bday cake. LOVE anything remotely related to smores haha :)

xx


message 24: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (chelseaalysse) Okay! I'll ask her mom next Tuesday (hopefully she shows up!). Yes it was SOOOOO delicious. I'll probably end up keeping the recipe for myself as well haha.


message 25: by Deandra (new)

Deandra (deandraayu) | 14 comments oohh guys! your recipe makes me drool!

I know it's 2 days late but HAPPY BIRTHDAY LETI! <3 may your years ahead sparkle with joy and merry, all ur dreams come true! lots of love and hugs!

oh and this is the vanilla cupcake recipe with cream cheese that melts my ex heart :p

# 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
# 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
# 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
# 2 cups sugar
# 4 large eggs, at room temperature
# 1 cup milk
# 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

# Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. In a small bowl, combine flours; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla, and scraping down sides of bowl in between each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
# Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
# Transfer to a wire rack to cool in tins for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins, and cool completely on rack. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Serve at room temperature.


i'm sorry but i don't have the exact recipe for the cream cheese, but it goes maybe like this :
250 ml of Heavy Cream
1/2 cup of sugar
4 tbs of cream cheese
whipped together :)

topped with fresh grapes or oranges! :)


message 26: by Leti, Former President (last edited Oct 22, 2010 09:56AM) (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
Yay!!! Thanks Deardna! Not just for the happy bday wishes which are lovely and so sweet, but for this amazing recipe! Its going down in my notes right now...and will be in our lil cookbook for sure :)

ok off to catch up on emails from my dear friends Basht, Chelsea and of course Mandy!!

TGIF!! woo hoo.. finallyyyyy


message 27: by Leti, Former President (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
Chelsea wrote: "Okay! I'll ask her mom next Tuesday (hopefully she shows up!). Yes it was SOOOOO delicious. I'll probably end up keeping the recipe for myself as well haha."

Chelsea, OMG, please tell me the mom gave you the recipe? I've been dying of drool every since! :)


message 28: by Leti, Former President (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
Chelsea wrote: "Okay! I'll ask her mom next Tuesday (hopefully she shows up!). Yes it was SOOOOO delicious. I'll probably end up keeping the recipe for myself as well haha."

Chelsea, OMG, please tell me the mom gave you the recipe? I've been dying of drool every since! :)


message 29: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (chelseaalysse) I still haven't seen her :( I think she was doing a make-up (where she comes in to class on a different day because she missed her normal day).

:( i'm still looking though!


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