Monday, December 8, 2014

One Pan Mexican Quinoa

Last week I posted a picture on my Instagram page of a new recipe I had tried.  I saw this recipe over on Ambers Blog and knew I had to try it. 

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I have a love hate relationship with quinoa…on one hand I know it is sooooo healthy for me and so I want to love it, but on the other hand I have tried it several times and just can’t get myself to like the dang stuff.   When I saw this recipe I figured…why not?!?! I pretty much love all things Mexican food, so maybe that would mask the quinoa.  I was sort of right.

We didn’t have all of the spices she recommends, but even without that it ended up being pretty good. Even my husband said he would eat it again.  For sure put the avocado on there…that really made it for us, and we used a crap ton of cilantro. I really enjoyed the plain Greek yogurt on mine, but Joe doesn’t care for either way we both like it. I wouldn’t say it was our favorite meal, like probably not gonna ask for this as my special birthday meal any time soon, but it was a great, easy and healthy dinner. 

Here you have it:

One pan Mexican quinoa:

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 jalapeno, minced, seeds and ribs removed (I didn’t add this so Ellie could eat it too)

1 cup dry quinoa

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

1 (15-oz) can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14.5oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (Joe later said he would prefer these pureed rather than chunks)

1 cup frozen corn

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (we didn’t have)

1 teaspoon cumin (we didn’t have)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Juice of 1 medium lime

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 whole avocado, cubed

Light sour cream or 0% plain Greek yogurt

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add in garlic, onion, and jalapeño, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden and the garlic is fragrant.

Stir in quinoa, broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, and seasonings.  Bring to boil; cover and reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through (soft to the bite, but not mushy) - 22-26 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice and cilantro.  Serve with 1/4 of the avocado (or more!) and a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt on top! 

some of the ingredients…and my glass of wine, obvi!!!

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The first few ingredients cooking up and smelling amazing!!

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Almost finished…makes sure you continue to stir a few times while you let it simmer, just to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn…not that that almost happened to me or anything…

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and wa-la!

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Give it a try…and if you want to see pictures of cute little two year old twins enjoying this meal then pop on over to Ambers blog.  She also has tons of other recipes that are family friendly and easy. 

Happy Monday!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ellie Lou Boutique

I mentioned in yesterdays post that I have been super busy getting ready to sell Ellie Lou stuff at an event, so I wanted to share with you what that is.

See the invitation below:

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My mom and her studio partner are hosting a holiday open house tomorrow, Wednesday December 3 from 5-9 and then again Friday December 5 from 5-9.  There will be appetizers (who doesn’t like food) drinks (again, who doesn’t like drinks) and local artists displaying and selling their creations (you should love local art!!!)

Wednesday is Miracle on Main in downtown Zanesville with the tree lighting and tons of fun things for families, and Friday is the monthly art walk…so if you are down for either, stop on over and check out the art…and more specifically check out my Ellie Lou Boutique creations for people of all ages! 

Let me give a tiny bit of back story to my new venture:  When Ellie was born my husband and I decided it was best for our family for me to stay home with her.  As she has gotten a little older and as I have looked at all of the cute hair accessories out there for kiddos, I realized I could do that!  I started dabbling in making rolled fabric flowers first, and now I have ventured into fabric bows and other fun things too…embellishments, bling…I am loving letting my creative juices just fly with these headbands and hair clips.  I hope to expand further into scarves and kids clothing someday soon as well!

It has been so fun starting this little business and I am super excited to see where it takes me.  I would love for you to remember me while doing your holiday shopping this year…these hair accessories are perfect gifts for the little or older girls in your life.  I also make bow ties too, perfect for your little guys holiday outfit!

love custom orders…so if you have an outfit for your little ones that needs the perfect addition just let me know and I can create something just for you!

Check out my etsy shop HERE and remember to visit me this week to see my stuff in person!

And now to tempt you…here are some examples of my work. cameranov6 040

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All the craziness on my desk…and yes I use old baby food jars to house beads!

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This was a custom order for my long time friends daughter, Annie. They had family pictures and needed something to match the super cute red converse they all wore. I love her fuzzy hair!!!!


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Happy holiday season!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey Headbands and Christmas Lights

Hey guys, sorry I have been MIA for a few weeks!!!! I have been busy busy getting ready for a little event to sell my hair bows (more on that tomorrow)

We were also busy enjoying the holidays with family. 

This year was so much different having Ellie.  It is crazy how much your life changes when your schedule sort of depends on a little chubby human being you are responsible for!!! Typically Ellie is really easy going and loves doing things and watching people…and Thanksgiving was no different.  She loved watching everyone eat, and taking in all of the action.  She is ON. THE. MOVE. so the last couple of weeks have been all about exploring for her…and running around grabbing her for us.

She didn’t get to try turkey yet; long story…I don’t eat meat, Joe does…she has no teeth to chew yet so we have time to figure out the whole “will she eat meat or won’t she” thing…stay tuned…

We ended up going to my parents for brunch on Thanksgiving, then headed to Joe’s moms house for dinner.  We spent the night there and had a nice relaxing night, eating great food…watching silly movies…all the good stuff you should do for Thanksgiving.

Miss Ellie had, what I thought, was the cutest outfit for the holiday…and was comfortable, because this mama is all about comfort when it comes to holiday clothes! 

(tooting my own horn warning: I made the headband, which I thought turned out so cute!!)

And now to the pictures…cause you know I took some.


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I guess I didn’t really take very many of Thanksgiving…I must have been too busy eating.

In other news, we decorated for Christmas this year a week before Thanksgiving.  We are usually the weekend after Thanksgiving kinda people, but the weather was nice and we just felt in the Christmas spirit so we went for it.

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Awww, the fun things you find whilst unpacking last years Christmas stuff.

(we are still working on removing the lovely wallpaper you see in the background, uggg!)

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And since Ellie is on the move she has recently discovered our giant window in the living room. She can pull herself up and look out of it…and she does…all the time.  I spotted her doing it right next to the tree and thought it was just so cute that I had to take some pictures..duh.

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See her…to the left of the tree. She looks so little compared to everything!

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and she recently figured out how to wave…so I caught her waving to me, so flipping cute!!!

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and then I made Reggie pose with all of the lights Joe worked so hard to put up.

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Uggg, she is getting so big, so fast…I can’t stand it!!!!!

Well at any rate, I hope you all had a great holiday too.

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ellie is 10 months!!

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How/when did this happen!?!?! I know everyone says this, and I know I have said it every single month, but time just flies with this little girl! I cannot believe she is already 10 months old.  With every passing month, just when I think I loved everything about her age…she surprises us and the new stuff she does is then my new favorite age.  Watching her grow from a tiny almost 6 pound baby to this cute, active, chubby little girl is the craziest and most fun thing I have ever been apart of.

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And because one collage comparing her at 1 month and now wasn’t enough for me…here is another for your enjoyment!


Look how big she has gotten!!!!!

I find myself desperately trying to hold onto her tighter, to remember every single thing she does, to memorize how sweet she is as she falls asleep in my arms.  I don’t want to forget or miss a thing (to accidently quote Steven Tyler) Her precious little laughs, the ways she explores this world, her smell…her smiles when daddy gets home from work. I don’t want her to get bigger, to get older…but I know that is inevitable…and so I will just continue to try and live in the moment, to breath, to not take one single moment with her for granted.  To remember that those nights when she wakes me up several times…I need to just hold her and cuddle her back to sleep, because soon she will be too big for me to rock…

and now I am crying. 


Uggg, this little girl has my whole heart so completely.  Being a mom is the best job I could ever imagine for myself and I love every minute of it.

And now let’s stop the sappy junk before my husband comes in to find me ugly crying over our baby getting older and think I am crazier then he thought possible, ha!

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10 months:

Weight:at her 9 month checkup she was 23 lbs (97% in case you were wondering…no big deal)

Height: again, at 9 month checkup she was 26.75 inches (15%)

She has gotten so much more active this past month. She still isn’t quite crawling on her hands and knees but she gets around pretty quickly by army crawling.  She can get up on all fours but just sort of rocks around then plops back down and off she goes.  She can now pull herself up to a standing position and can pop up to sitting from laying down, but she surprises herself with this when it happens.

She loves black beans and broccoli finger food style…she also loves the pureed apples and pumpkin with cinnamon.  She will try most things and is slowly getting better about eating more finger foods, but still has no problem with the good old pureed stuff. I have found that her major dislike is when something is chunky…like she either needs straight up finger food or straight up pureed, the in between bull crap she can’t stand. I mean, I guess I don’t blame her!

She is totally in love with Minnie Mouse, but likes Mickey too…Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is her favorite show when we let her watch TV.

She has started clapping…sort of. She will clasp her hands together and it is the cutest darn thing ever!

She is still a pretty good sleeper at night, her naps are hit or miss on length but she still takes two of them. 

She has two little bottom teeth that have popped thru, and I am pretty sure she is currently working on some other ones.

The most common thing people tend to say about her other then how big, bright and blue her eyes are, is that she is always so content and observant.  She loves going out to places because she just stares around and takes in all the action quietly. 

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These pictures have gotten increasingly harder to take because she is sooooooo wiggly!!

Doing the old stiff back routine…

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and she is officially done with this photo shoot!

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…off with the bow

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And because I had to try this other headband on her…one more picture of our sweet and cute, bright eyed little 10 month old!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Beauty Wednesday…My Favorite Beauty Vloggers

One of my favorite things to do is watch beauty vloggers on YouTube. Some of them I have watched and followed for years…some of them I have purchased products they have suggested and have loved as much as they did.  I have come to trust their opinion, I have learned different applications and looks from them.  They spark my creativity in makeup and help to give me new ideas.  I have swooned over their vanity setups, free makeup they receive to review…the fact that most of them get some sort of payment to talk about makeup…my dream!!!!! 

At any rate, I thought I would give you the rundown of my favorite beauty vloggers and why I love them.

top beauty vloggers

1// Makeup By Tiffany D:  Tiffany is one that I have followed the longest.  I have come to totally trust the products she recommends.  I love watching her tutorials, and now she is pregnant so it is fun watching her go thru that also. 


2// Jaclyn Hill:  I started following Jaclyn’s videos about a year ago and really like them.  She used to be a MAC makeup artist so she knows a ton of tricks and info that professional makeup artists usually don’t share.  I usually love her tutorials the best, but she tends to use mostly high end products so I don’t purchase many things she talks about but get great ideas and use products I do have to create similar looks.  She has had several videos using drug store brand makeup though…so I enjoyed that. Plus she is gorgeous…so of course all makeup looks good on her and makes me think I should use the same things in hopes that, I too, will look like her. (total ridiculousness, I know)


3// Nicole Guerriero:  This is one I more recently started following, but I LOVE her.  She is pretty comical, she does hair tutorials as well as makeup and skin care and I really find her videos fun to watch.  I have purchased several products per her recommendation and have loved them.  Check out her Halloween makeup tutorials…A-MAZE-ING!

4// Missy Sue: This is one of those vloggers I found via Pinterest. I kept seeing these crazy pretty hairstyles and soon realized they were all the same girl.  She is annoyingly cute and she does the craziest braided “I could never do that myself” looks…yet I am pretty sure I could do them after watching her tutorials. 


There you have it…my top beauty vloggers, the ladies I tend to watch whenever they post a new video. 

I have some other gals I watch every now and then, but I find that sometimes beauty vloggers are teens that just don’t have the same lifestyle or needs as I do.  Of course, they are great too, just not so much for me.

I hope you enjoy these ladies as much as I do, or at least find a few tips you might not have known before this.

Happy hump day!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekend Recap, a day late

This past weekend was not exciting (well,compared to last weekend) but we had a great couple of days just being a family and enjoying our time together.  My sister Molly came and visited Friday night…she is entertaining and Ellie loves her, so it is always fun when she visits. We helped out at my moms art studio and then grabbed dinner and drinks while Joe stayed home with Ellie.  I have to say, going out without Joe is such a double edge sword…it is so nice to have a break from mommy duty, and just have a girls night out, but I always find myself feeling guilty that Joe isn’t getting that break too.  I know this is completely ridiculous and my husband, in no way at all makes me feel this way.  I just find it so hard to separate myself from my child…I am working on this, ha!

Molly spent the night so she was around to get to see this cute little water baby Saturday morning!  We signed her up for parent and me swim class at our local rec center and she loves it.  They basically just play in the water, but it is such a good thing for her to get more used to water and to play with other little friends.  We really thought it was important for her to not have some huge fear of water…and so far, mission accomplished.

PS-they don’t let you take pictures in the pool area for privacy reasons (which thank the good lord…ain’t no one needs to be seeing me in my suit right now) so I took some pictures after in the public family locker room area.



Saturday afternoon we actually had family pictures taken, which I think turned out really cute and I am so excited to get them back.  I totally forgot to take a single picture of us all dressed up, epic fail…so stay tuned for those.

The rest of the weekend was just spent playing with toys,

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zooming around and peeking at us from behind furniture…

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and watching daddy clean out the gutters with the leaf blower. About 2 seconds after I took this picture I realized my placement of the little lady was so wrong when all the stuff from the gutters came a’blowing right down on her. 

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So I moved her back and she continued to be pretty entertained by all of the yard work action. 

Please note the super cute purple leopard Ugg boots my mom couldn’t resist purchasing. They totally don’t fit yet but I for sure stuffed her poor little feet in them…it was cold! These grandma’s…I tell ya…always buying the cutest dang things.  Just wait and see what Joe’s mom got her to wear for Christmas!!!

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And, of course, Reg was loving the action too!

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Low key family weekends is where it’s at these days. I mean we still enjoyed several adult beverages and watched a really funny movie after Ellie went to bed..but spending time watching little sassy butt’s personality start to blossom is so crazy and fun. I can’t wait to see how she keeps changing…on second thought, I can wait…she is just growing WAAAAYYY TOOOOO FAAAASSSTT!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Beauty Wednesday…My first haul!

If you follow any beauty blogger or beauty you tuber then you have probably read or seen them talk about “hauls”.  Most of the time I look at these hauls and think to myself… “how in the heck can they afford to just go out and buy random makeup all of the time”.  I mean, they are buying some major name brand stuff just to try…but I still watch them and make note of the things I think look good enough to try someday.

Well, that someday has finally come people.  Here was my lower budget plan of action.

Step one:  look at my current makeup collection and figure out what I was in need of purchasing anyways.

Step two: watch videos and read blogs of these said beauty professionals and figure out what products they have not only purchased, but love and then buy those same things. 

**Key points:  I watched many videos and wrote notes on what they used that I needed…for example: I know I needed a new mascara, I don’t want to spend $30 on a mascara, I watched video after video of the best drug store brand mascara, I ordered what I thought would work the best for me based off of my research.

Now I realize this might sound totally ridiculous and crazy time consuming but I seriously enjoy watching these videos anyway…and Ellie seems mildly entertained by them sometimes too, so it works for me.

On to my first ever HAUL!!! (all products are from Ulta…and no, I am not being paid to say any of this…I wish!)


1// Nyx Matte Bronzer in Medium:  I needed a new bronzer, and I wanted one that didn’t cost a million dollars in case I didn’t like it…and I wanted one with no shimmer because I use it to contour. I found this one and it seems like a great color.  I am excited to try it out so stay tuned!


2// Loreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara:  A ton of beauty bloggers swear by this so I thought I would give it a try.  It is supposed to be both good on volume and length so I pray it is amazing and I forever only have to spend around $10 on mascara!!!!


3//Nyx Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee:  This is actually a re-purchase. I love all of the butter glosses but especially this one for its really pretty natural color.

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4// Loreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Amber Rush:  I have heard about these shadows over and over again, especially this color which a really pretty bronze. They are a super high pigmented pressed shadow. So far I think I am going to love it.  I put a swatch on my hand (as you can see) tonight before dinner…and as I sit here typing it is still there completely in the same color, which to me says the pigment and wear of these must be AMAZING. I will keep you updated on this, but I am excited for sure!!


5// Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color in Make Me Pink:  I think this is called a color whisper…but because I am a sucker for lip products I purchased this after much buzz online about it. So far I am loving it. The color is a really pretty nude/pink/lavender (does that even make sense) and the formula seems to be really creamy.  I would recommend this as of right now for sure!

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And that is it…my first (Ulta) Haul!  I was like a kid at Christmas when my little package arrived.  Don’t expect many hauls from this gal, but when I wait and wait and research and research you will be the first to know.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top 5 Favorite Reality Shows

Oh my gosh…this time change business is seriously messing with me! Anyone else?!?!?!  I find myself wasting time at night until I feel like it is appropriate to actually get into bed.  The getting darker earlier thing I HATE, but the getting lighter earlier in the morning thing is ok. Of course as winter keeps a 'coming the days just get shorter and shorter, and I just keep wanting to never leave the house. 

It is a problem…cold months, dark shorter days=me staying at home watching an unnecessary amount of reality TV. And so I bring to you:


These are in no particular order, and I honestly watch WAAAAAY more then 5…and I understand “reality” TV isn’t really reality..blah blah,but it is still good stuff!

1// Vanderpump Rules on Bravo: I love to hate this one. The drama, the people sleeping around, the pure craziness! The new season just started and I couldn’t be more excited.

2// Don’t Be Tardy on Bravo: This season actually already ended and I hope they have another one, but this is about Kim Zolciac Biermann (used to be on Real Housewife's of Atlanta) and her family.  She is hilarious, and I appreciate how close and loving of a family they are.

3// Chrisley Knows Best on USA Network: Hilarious.  This family is total southern charm at its funniest.

4// House Hunters on HGTV: A classic.

5// Teen Mom 2: I think this season is over already too, but I have always loved teen mom and teen mom 2. I know they are a little crazy but I find their stories fascinating.


Honorable Mentions:

*Myrtle Manner

*Courtney Loves Dallas

*Millionaire Matchmaker

*Toned Up

I am sure there are a million other ones I love too…actually I KNOW there are plenty of other shows I watch as well. I just love reality TV…and I am ok admitting that!

Anyone else find themselves flipping thru channels and always landing on some sort of reality show?!?!?!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekend Recap

Over the weekend we went to Columbus and got to enjoy all of the OSU game day festivities for the first time this year!!  Back in the day this was my all time favorite thing to do (after St. Patrick’s Day festivities of course) I love the atmosphere of everyone tailgating and hanging out…listening to live music, drinking some cold beers, eating…just everything about it!  Last year, I was pregnant so we didn’t really get down there too much, and let’s be honest… it just isn’t the same when you can’t enjoy that cold beer!

(Varsity Club outside…look at all that action!)

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This year,with Joe’s work schedule and other things we had going on just didn’t allow for us to get over there at all until this past weekend.  With Ellie just getting over being sick we couldn’t decide if it was worth going until last minute.  She stayed with Grandma MAC and was totally fine, and we ended up having so much fun.

Joe was really excited to try the new Hofbrauhaus Columbus in Grandview Yard. It had just opened and apparently he had been to another one and loved it.  We met my sister there and enjoyed some beer, food and atmosphere.  While I thought the beer was really amazing…and the food was pretty good (other then it is sort of hard to find non-meat items at a German restaurant) I was a little let down on the atmosphere….or I guess I just expected something totally different.  It is like a giant beer drinking hall with really high ceilings…sort of like a gymnasium.  I expected something a little more cozy like Claddagh’s.  Either way, I would go back and I am glad we got to experience it. 

At first I pretended like I was going to only drink a smaller beer…yeah right!

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Did I mention how giant the beer steins are?!?!?

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After enjoying some beer we headed over to campus and hit up Varsity Club which is always a favorite, River Watch and Little Bar.  It was FREEZING out and I just wasn’t prepared for all that!!!

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Over all we had a blast, but I have to say…knowing that you have a little person to take care of the next day really makes you think twice about how much of a hangover you really want to partake in.  It just isn’t like it used to be…the days you could sleep in forever, eat greasy food whenever you felt like it…take another nap. Nope…now we have to take turns depending on who feels worse…one of us takes a nap while the other plays with the baby…then switch.  Therefore…we don’t try and get hangovers very often, but it is fun to overindulge every now and again! (until the next day)

That was pretty much our weekend…waaaay more eventful then the usual.

And because I didn’t blog Friday I have to share a few pics of our little monkey on Halloween.  I died at this costume about as much as I did the ladybug!

I mean…her cheeks!

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I love the little belly button and feet/slippers.

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And the tuft of hair…I was dying

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And…the monkey was on the loose!

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Hope you had a fantastic weekend and and even better week!!

Happy Monday.