Reverse Bucket List: 2017

Listening now…

 

Happy New Year everyone! 

 

Instead of writing out goals this year I wanted to do a Reverse bucket list post. I have been seeing these around and wanted to write one so what better time than the end of one year! I love writing goals, but the reverse bucket list is a way for you to look back on your year with gratitude for all you have done and accomplished!

 

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  1. Traveled to my dream destination-Santorini, Greece. This by far made 2017. Start here with my Stories of Santorini posts if you want to come along on the journey. The next few things on my reverse bucket list also took place in Santorini:
  2. Swam in a hot spring.  Definitely.was.not.hot.  But so worth it to say we did it.
  3. Ate a real Greek Gyro. (And ate them….every day.)
  4. Quadded around the cities of Santorini. And watched many Greeks completely ignore stop signs. (Stoptional, am I right?)
  5. Rented a private cruise ship. 
  6. Experienced the most amazing sunsets of my life looking over Santorini. 
  7. Okay moving on to the rest of the year…
  8. Went to Watkins Glen and walked under waterfalls 
  9. Rescued a dog and experienced first hand picking her up! Hey Molly….. 🙂
  10. Saw my sister graduate yoga school. (200 hour) That was a really cool experience & I am so proud of her!! Yoga graduations are not like regular graduations- there is a lot of chanting, meditating, and dancing! (Plus food)
  11. Went to a cat cafe for the first time! They even had cat cupcakes. 
  12. Went to my first bachelor & bachelorette party
  13. Reached almost 900 WordPress & 900 email followers on this little blog (Woohoo thank you all!)
  14. Put my first ads on my blog & got accepted as a Target Affiliate
  15. Reached out to many brands for collaborations. Sure I got no answers on quite a few but I still did it…
  16. Left my job to pursue working at an animal hospital
  17. Came back to my job in realizing the animal hospital life is not for me. Learned I really don’t want to be a Vet Tech. 
  18. Went back to school to take Graphic Design classes. So far I love it and am continuing with it and want to take Web Design classes too so we will see what happens. Anyone else following this path?
  19. Got to design a logo for my fundraiser at my job. It was really cool to see my logo on the photos every one took on the red carpet!
  20. Met with a funding group about buying a house. Doing big adulting things is well….scary. We have been looking at homes on and off for about a year and a half, but now we are definitely getting more serious about it. We weren’t really ready until recently and now we are really excited about it.
  21. Went to a lighthouse
  22. Went to see my sister’s new place in Wakefield, Rhode Island. 
  23. Did a photo shoot with a photographer on a USS Slater ship. It was a 1940’s vintage shoot!
  24. Went to a great pumpkin blaze with thousands of lit Jackolanterns
  25. Got the chance to work with Rover.com on this blog & have them write a blog post for me and Tweet it on their Twitter. As a dog lover, this was really cool for me and I always love developing new relationships with brands to work with.

 

So cheers to all of our accomplishments this past year and sure– we’ll set some goals too. But most of all, we will be proud of ourselves and how far we have come. We will live in gratitude and have more presence in our daily lives, being mindful of our steps as we take them.

“Don’t look back- you’re not going that way”

 

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Molly’s Jolly 1st Christmas

Listening now…

 

I hope you all had wonderful and blessed holidays with your loved ones.

I know we did. Especially with our new addition this year- our rescue Chion, Molly. Have you read the story of our sweet Southern belle Molly? 

So how does a rescue dog from the South enjoy her first snowy Christmas, anyway?

First off, she really enjoys eating the snow and running in it in circles like a little lunatic.

 

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She was a great helper with all of the holiday prep….including making cookies and grabbing the decorations.

 

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Molly really enjoyed dressing in her “Santa’s Little Helper” dress on Christmas morning.

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She also really enjoyed the presents Santa brought her…as you can see, so did the other babies.

 

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“Every friggen year…”

After presents, Molly found herself a little….exhausted. My mom caught her sitting on the couch like this…I just can’t deal with her.

 

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Okay act natural and maybe they will take 1 and be done.

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This day just wore me out…

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Sudden thought: I hope they don’t dress me up every year…

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Really guys this little photo shoot is getting ridiculous…

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Okay just sleep through it…

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It’s hopeless…this is my fate.

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I can’t wait to spend many more Christmases with you to come my little girl…. XOXOX

How to support loved ones with holiday blues

Listening now…

(This is a beautiful cover…. )

 

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That time of year again! Christmas and snow. I am a Christmas lover and always have been. I think it’s partially because we grew up loving the holiday and all it brings and my mom did (still does) everything possible to embrace the holidays.

However, my dad was always upset at Christmas time. His family was back in Ireland and so Christmas for him was never something he never looked forward to. It was kind of hard to be around at times because we all loved the holiday so much.  

But it’s important to be supportive of those who don’t feel the holiday magic like we do- for whatever reason that may be for them.

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This holiday season, it seems like those around me are struggling more than usual. Many of them are having mental health issues and the “pressure” of the holidays cheerfulness is getting to them. Some have grieved for many years and every year Christmas is a struggle.

Do you have anyone you love struggling through the season as well?

 

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How to support loved ones with holiday blues:

 

Let them do their own thing. 

 

Don’t pressure them to celebrate if they aren’t feeling up to it. They already can’t escape the holiday decorations in every store, the holiday music on every station, and Christmas movies no matter what channel they are on. It might be hard for you to come to terms with not doing these things together, but if you give them space and time they may come around enough to enjoy it, if even just a little bit.

 

But know when they need someone around them. 

 

I had someone who was struggling tell me they wanted to be left alone but I felt like they really needed someone nearby. So I went over and they later told me that they were happy that they had me there. Sometimes people don’t know what they want in their struggle and need help seeing that.

 

Get them a thoughtful gift.

 

This may seem like a silly one but if you get them a thoughtful and personal gift  for the holiday they will feel better about celebrating!

 

Help them with holiday preparation.

 

If they are not feeling in the holiday spirit and generally down and out, they are probably not going to want to do anything necessary to make the holiday happen. Things like baking and holiday shopping can feel like a chore to them. Helping them with anything they need to make it happen will be a big support.

 

Ask them if they want to talk about it.

 

If they do, just listen. If they don’t, just be there for support when they do.

 

Encourage them to do what makes them happy & keep busy.

 

Keeping busy helps people not focus so much on their mind so it’s important to help them realize they need to continue their normal routines, hobbies, and interests.  (Also exercise is really important!) Maybe encourage them to go for a walk with you if they need help staying motivated.

 

Suggest doing something helpful around the holiday.

 

Volunteering in the community, doing Toys for Tots, giving time to those in need that have less than us makes us feel good. It also takes the pressure off of the person you know whose struggling to enjoy the holiday and makes it not about them, but about those they help.

 

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How do you help your loved ones who struggle with holiday blues?

Letters to the Universe [December]

Listening now…

(I have been listening to this on repeat but I always skip to # 3 (starts at 7:00) , not a huge fan of 1 and 2 but the rest of the album is fantastic!)

How’s everyone’s weekend going?!

I hope well… it’s been good for me, but today is chore and homework day. I am in the final stretch with school, with my final project due this week, in case you were wondering where I have been. I have a ton of blog posts planned for this month, especially since I will have more time!

I wanted to do this fun blog post that I first saw on one of my favorite blogger’s site, here!     (Hey Charlotte- thanks for the inspiration!!)

 

Letters to the Universe: [December]

 

 

Dear December, I’m not sure how you happened and it feels like as I get older, the years pass by faster and faster. But I welcome your festivities with Christmas, that give us a chance to spend with family & friends and be thankful. And that warm fuzzy feeling that it all brings. 

Dear residents of my town and surrounding, Seems you guys went all out this year with your Christmas lights- thank you for that. I think we all need brighter holiday cheer this year with the state of our world being as it is.

Dear 2 weeks, please help me to not dread Monday as much. Push me to get through my final project and make it all that I know it can be. Give me the inspiration I need for it  and the creative flow to keep me going.

Dear Netflix, thanks for making my next 2 weeks better by bringing back The Crown. YES! Sorry I still haven’t finished Stranger Things even though it came out around Halloween and we are now approaching Christmas. I’ll work on that, but This is Us and Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies have been life lately. (When I do actually have time to watch TV.)

Dear Molly and the rest of my pups, you make my days worthwhile. You are the reason I haven’t moved out of my house yet at 26. (Mom and I will work out joint custody of you when the moving out does happen.)

Dear Molly specifically, can you work with us on trying to stop eating your own poop and those nasty black worms outside… also, must you bring said worms into the house with you? You’re lucky we love you.so.much.

Dear seasonal blues and somewhat more frequent cranky moods lately, go away. You’re not needed here, especially around the time of festive holiday cheer. Be cheery.

[Blog post to come about more on those seasonal blues…]

Dear overthinking, I really don’t need you here either. You overcomplicate the simple and stress me out….

Dear blog readers and followers, you mean so much to me! Thanks for your loyalty and patience with me taking my sweet time to write these posts. 😉  (Quality over quantity)

Dear Christmas, as I get older I truly enjoy giving more than getting. Thank you for teaching me the importance in that and giving me that feeling I love so much every year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November Gratitude: Year 2/ Week 3

 

This week I’m grateful for…

 

Overnight oats.

 

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I’m definitely late to the party on this one but overnight oats are the most amazing thing ever. If you are not familiar, just look them up and you can find tons of recipes. I didn’t look up a recipe my first time making it, you can basically throw anything in there!

Once I experiment I will do a blog post about my favorite overnight oat recipes but this one was delicious: Oats, frozen blueberries, milk, apples, chia seeds, and vanilla extract.

I love the easiness of just leaving it in the fridge and then it’s all ready for the morning!

Remember my obsession with Chia pudding?  When you put chia seeds in with the oats and milk it has a chia pudding tasting vibe to it. Yum. 

 

Friday nights in with my love and my other love: food and beer. I am thankful for giving myself a break.

 

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Oops….somehow this post became all about food. But that’s a lot about what Thanksgiving and gratitude is about, right?! Anyway…

There is a local grass fed beef burger and fries/ 50’s vibe burger joint that also has their own frozen custard and ice cream and it’s just heaven. I drive past it every day but I try not to go a lot because I might be 500 pounds.

Lately I have been being easier on myself about what I eat and giving myself more breaks from always eating healthy. Honestly when I go to even 1 spin class, I feel like I earned whatever I ate that week anyway lol.

 

Time for the holiday to spend with family.

 

 

I can’t wait for Thanksgiving and the festivities that come with it. This year it’s going to be different for our family because our grandparents will be there- they are normally in Florida for the holidays, but my papa is not well right now so they had to opt out of that trip this year. On the bright side, we get to see them for the holidays and make it extra special.

 

 

Weekends where you have the perfect balance between relaxation, getting stuff done, and seeing people.

 

 

I got a lot done this weekend that I needed to, yet still had time to relax and saw friends that I haven’t seen in awhile (and left my house- yay me!)

We went to a bar that happened to be having a “soul train dance off” night where I felt like I was transformed back into the 70’s looking around at everyone’s outfits (it was also hipster AF so I felt like I was overly staring) but it was really different.

 

What are you grateful for this week?

 

 

 

 

The best cozy autumn movies

Listening now…

 

I was sitting here trying to think of something to write about…sometimes that is a struggle as a blogger.

Then it came to me- this is kind of a classic post, but one I have never done myself and always love reading.

My mom and I love to watch fall movies together- every time I try to search for recommendations online for them, it seems a lot of the same ones come up or they are more in the scary category.

I wish they had as much selection for fall movies as they do for Christmas! But…I am here to help! Here are a few of my all time favorite, classic, have-to-watch-every-year autumn movies.

 

 

Stepmom.

 

 

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Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon- what more can you ask for? It’s a tale of Julia Roberts as the “Stepmom,” struggling to make her way into the kids and their mom’s life. If you haven’t yet watched it, the best part is when they are all singing and dancing to “Ain’t no mountain high enough!” (Hence the song in this post)  Something about that scene just gives me such good feels. I’ve loved this movie since I was a kid (thanks mom) and that song still never fails to lift me up when I need it.  I encourage you to dance to this song if you are ever feeling sad, I promise it works.

This movie actually has a few seasons in it, but it definitely hits home with fall for me since there are really quite a few beautiful foliage scenes!

Warning: This is a really sad one 😦  Actually a few of these are…. I love a good cry.

 

You’ve got Mail. 

 

 

Meg Ryan. Tom Hanks. 1998!

 

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I talked about my love for this in my Fall favorites post. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are at first rivaling owners of bookstores- Meg with her little “Shop around the corner” and Tom Hanks with his big corporate bookstore. They become random AIM messaging strangers who don’t realize who they are talking to…. you can probably guess the rest from there!

 

When Harry Met Sally.

 

Another amazing Meg fall movie. Meg’s fall outfits with her blazers and hats! 2 friends and their really funny interactions. That beautiful foliage!

 

Sweet November.

 

Another sad one but so worth it.

 

This movie has been another fall favorite since I was a kid. It is also where I first developed a crush on Keanu Reeves and realized that only Charlize Theron can look that beautiful with short hair. (Okay, and Mandy Moore in How to Deal) And that I absolutely love love love the song Only Time by Enya, but that it will always make me cry thinking of this movie.

Sara claims Nelson as her “November,” in which she promises to change him for the better if he gives her one month with her. One month, no commitments, no pressure.

What can go wrong, right?

 

What are your favorite cozy fall movies?!

Currently in October

Listening now…

 

 

Currently doing….

 

Lots of fall activities! In October, the foliage is prime and Halloween is around the corner and it’s the most wonderful time of the year. 

 

 

This weekend I went to a pumpkin walk & lighting and Oktoberfest on our mountain top.  October is a really busy month but a good month with lots of fun things planned! In addition to the normal fall busyness and fun, we have wedding festivities to go this month and next month. I also have a photo shoot planned for next weekend, (1940’s pinup at a big ship museum) but I am waiting to hear back on if the location is a definite.

We are planning to do a great pumpkin blaze and a haunted house too this month and also have a Halloween party to go to! (We still have to lock down our costumes…..)

 

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Normal life stuff….

 

This fall so far has been filled with good, but busy things.

I have been taking a Graphic Design class and that has been a lot of work, but fun! Even if you only take 1 class while working 40 hours a week, it’s a lot. Especially when you have Photoshop projects that take a lot of time and effort. Right now I am focusing on just taking classes and gaining skills that will help with me with my blogging and expand my opportunities for jobs. I want to continue with Graphic Design classes and also explore Web Design courses. I also want to complete the Google Digital Marketing certification, anyone done it?! (Career students, you out there, you with me) Lololol.

Life has also been really busy since we rescued Miss Molly and she came into our lives.

But oh so sweet.

This is what a happy girl who was just rescued looks like.

I swear we fall more and more in love with her every day…

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Lmao.

 

Currently writing

 

Guys, I swear I have been working on my October and Halloween Happy planning.  I still only doing planning layouts when I feel up to it and think about it, I try not to stress about it at all and just have fun with it when I want to. But that will be coming soon!

 

Also, I am in the middle of playing Life is Strange: Before the Storm and will be blogging a review/my thoughts post on that once I am done. If you are not familiar with Life is Strange, I talked about it here. Because of our slow mountain wifi, I had to download the game at Frankie’s house ( a half hour away from me) so can only play it when I am there. So far I really love it and it is everything I thought it would be, but I haven’t gotten very far yet.

 

 

Currently watching…

THIS IS US.

 

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We waited so long for season 2 and it’s finally here! Will we get answers to all our questions?

Waiting to watch Strangers Things…

 

October 27th, season 2! 

 

 

 

What are you doing in this October?

 

Meet sweet Molly

Listening now:

 

Meet our new sweet Molly! 

 

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Molly is our new 3 year old Chihuahua/Papillion mix rescue. (Called a Chion)

 

You may remember we have 2 other pups- two Jack Russells. My mom has been looking for a 3rd dog for awhile now- since Lily is getting older, poor girl. We don’t want to leave Daisy alone since she has always grown up with another dog and we have always wanted to adopt to save a life.

My mom put in countless applications to rescue groups only to hear nothing back. One day she decided check the email Adopt a pet sends you automatically (which she usually does not check) and saw Miss Molly!

She put in an application and hoped for the best…

 

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Molly on her way HOME!

 

Next thing we knew Companion Pet Rescue contacted us back (right away!) letting us know we have been approved and that Miss Molly girl would be traveling from Tennessee (where she was being fostered since August) up to Newburgh, New York the very next day. 

Of course we dropped everything and went and got her! The picture above is Molly in my car on the way home.

The experience of adopting a dog and picking them up was like nothing I have ever experienced.

Remember that when you adopt, you are saving more than 1 life because you are making more room in shelters for others that need help!

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Miss Molly was super hyper at first until we got to the thruway and she fell right asleep. That’s when I first knew how much of a cuddle bug she is.

Molly arrived in a big transport tractor trailer with a bunch of other dog crates in it traveling to their new homes, too!

When the man handed her to me in her blanket (her only thing she arrived with besides a collar- her green blanket which she chewed up at her foster mom’s home hehe) I immediately burst out crying and thanked him. This might sound silly, but that man handing her to me was how I imagined it would feel when you first see your child.

I was just filled with so much love for this little baby and felt all of her fear and emotions for her in that moment.

 

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I think I also felt so many emotions because I knew what she had been through.

We know she was left outside all day in the hot Tennessee weather.

We know that a woman had her and gave her up because she did not have patience with housebreaking her. Because you know, dogs take work and patience. But the love they give you back is ten fold and oh so worth it…

We know she is afraid of crates and wary of men coming near her but don’t know why.

We know that she is home now and we will never make her feel that way again.

 

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This goofball loves to sleep in all kinds of weird positions.

And despite what she has been through, she is really the sweetest little girl you will ever meet. So loving and cuddly, she smothers you in kisses and gets so excited when she sees you.

We have fallen in love with her and are pretty sure she loves us too!

 

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To be continued on the life of Molly…

5 outdoor fall activities for you and your dog!

Written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

 

5 outdoor fall activities for you & your dog

 

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#5 Doga

 

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Whether you’re an experienced yogi or you’ve skipped out so far, fall is the perfect time to get outdoors and stretch with your pup. Dogs love being a part of our activities, and Doga is a wonderful way to bond with your pet. You’ll help your dog get into various positions, and it has health benefits for dogs as well as humans! Doga can also include a simple massage.

The best thing about doing yoga together outdoors? If your pet wants to wander off for a bit to play on their own, you’ll have time for a sun salutation–your dog can be as involved as they’d like, or just enjoy the autumn sunshine. Look for an outdoor Doga class in your area, or read up on it and give it a try on your own.

 

#4 Corn Maze

 

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Dogs get excited about everything, and bringing your pup along to the corn maze will renew your enthusiasm for this fall tradition. Find dog-friendly corn mazes in your area, and get familiar with their rules. Your dog must be well-behaved and leashed, and as always, you’ll need to bring poop bags to clean up after your pet.

Once you’re there, let your pup take the lead and see where you end up! Even if they aren’t able to lead you to the exit, they’ll enjoy every step of the adventure.

 

#3 Camping

 

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Fall camping has endless upsides: No crowds, it’s not too hot, and the views are incredible. Bring your dog along for an unforgettable weekend. You’ll stay active getting lots of playtime, and take amazing photos of your time in the wild.

Smart, well-trained dogs do best on extended outdoor adventures. If you’re backpacking, you can also get a pack for your pup to carry some of their own food. Your dog will love being able to help!

 

#2 Trail Running

 

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There’s no better time to hit the trails than crisp fall mornings. Lace up your trail running shoes and invite your pup to join you. As you take in the changing leaves, your pet will get an amazing workout, and their enthusiasm will be infectious. Trail runs offer more variety for both of you, and dogs especially love getting away from the concrete jungle.

If you’re running in a thorny area, make sure you both have adequate foot protection. Check your pet’s paws before and after the run, and look for trails that are safe for both of you. Some trails allow dogs only when on-leash, while others restrict all dogs. If you want to let your dog off-leash, be sure they’re well-trained, and look for a local trail that welcomes off-leash dogs.

 

#1 Leaf-Pile Playtime

 

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Rake up a big pile of leaves, jump in, and play! Your dog will be thrilled at the opportunity to make such a delightful mess. What could be better?

Don’t have a dog of your own? Join Rover.com and become a dog-sitter, so you can find a buddy to bring along on your next adventure.

Nana takes Woodstock!

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Listening now…

 

I try to get to Woodstock as often as I can. We were just there for Frankie’s birthday this August!

 

My nana reached out to me asking to go to Woodstock in September, so off we went!

 

We started off our day viewing a Woodstock pupper in a backpack…

 

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That was quite the sight.

 

Nana stopped and smelled the flowers along the way quite a bit.

 

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Hey Joshua’s Cafe– we are huge fans!!

 

There was stopping to pet puppers too…

 

 

And of course there was shopping!

 

Nana’s favorite stores included:

 

 

Little House

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Jean Turmo:

(We particularly loved your sunglasses- can you tell?!!)

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We were lucky enough to visit the Woodstock Flea Market…

 

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The drum circle was also going on…

(The thing I love most about nana is that she is always down for anything!)

 

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I got a pair of new sunglasses that I had to show off…(from Jean Turmo)

 

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But the best part of all was that I got to spend a day with my nana in a place that I love!  

XOXOXOX