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My Top Products from the Natural Products Expo – Expo East

A few times a year I end up all over the country at trade shows promoting my company and products. One of the biggest shows we attend is Expo East in Baltimore. This was my 6th year in a row attending this show. I love so many things about this show. I have made so many fun friends I see once or twice a year, get to sample a million new products, and explore a little of Baltimore. This show is HUGE and has thousands of booths and over 40,000 retailers come to check out our products.  I thought I would share my favorite top ten natural products I sampled at the show. Obviously my products are always my favorite, but I guess I will omit them and put the spotlight on a few others. Im not perfect at buying and using natural products all the time, but I do believe in them. I do think there are fantastic natural alternatives for almost every product need out there. Sometimes, you just need to be introduced to them.

  1. Bitsy’s Brain Food – I loves these Orange, Chocolate & Beet cookies.  They were surprisingly delicious.
    • Made in peanut-free and nut-free facility.
    • USDA Organic. Non GMO.
    • Excellent Source of Vitamins A, B12, B6, D3, and Folic Acid
    • Good Source of Calcium and Iron.
    • Kosher.
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    My Magic Mud Whitening Tooth Powder – This is a great product! I think the charcoal toothpaste craze is on its way, but this one is my favorite.  It is tasteless, which was the most intimidating part about it. I was worried it would taste like a rock. It does turn your mouth black, but I love the fact that my teeth are cleaner and whiter without any chemicals. They recommended using it in the shower, which I need to try next.

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    3. Paqui Tortilla Chips, Very Verde Good – Finally a natural version of my beloved Cool Ranch Doritos, and I like these a million times more. I have seen them at a few grocery stores… if you see them, get them!

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    4. UnReal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with Crispy Quinoa – Well, if you told me these had quinoa in them I would not have believed it. They were so good. Their booth was so close to ours that I had to refrain from continually snacking on them. They are vegan and gluten free.

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    5. Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder – I always manage to swing by their booth to grab some samples to take home. This is my laundry detergent of choice. All Natural, Free of Parabens, Harsh Chemicals, Synthetic Fragrance & Dyes.

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    6.  Dr. Bronner’s Soap – This will be a gift I give to several people this year. The writing on the package tells the entire story. Once you start using this soap you will no longer want to buy the kinds from bath and body works. It really lathers well and feels great on your skin.
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    7.  Emmy’s Chocolate Macaroons – Obviously we bonded over the name and I have been trying every flavor for the past several years. I love these. I love the chocolate chip, lemon and coconut vanilla. They are a light sweet treat. Which I often need after standing in a demo booth.

    screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-10-42-05-pm8. Fage Yogurt – I shy away from this brand at the grocery store because I was more familiar with other brands.  They had these crossover yogurts that were amazing. I will be buying them on the regular now. My favorite was the coconut chocolate chip. I also really enjoyed the maple salted Carmel with almonds. I guess when I saw Bobby Flay on the commercials long ago, I should have listened to him.

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I hope this introduces you to some fun, delicious and awesome natural products.  I absolutely love this industry. I keeps continuing grow and I love how it is becoming easier and easier to find products that are better for you and your families.

99 Little Things That Make Me Happy

 

When I originally started writing this post I was going to stop at 30 things. I took a couple days to take mental notes of “things” that brought a smile to my face. I realized the more I thought about the things that made me happy, I was happier. So I continued on all the way to 99. And obviously there could be a million more.  I like how these 99 things give a better perspective of who I am.

 

  • My Family and Friends – really there is nothing better than them.
  • The changing seasons. I love the changes in the environment around me, I really live in one of the most beautiful states ever. I am lucky enough to have all four seasons and love all the changes each one brings. The first snowfall, the leaves on fire, blossoms bursting on a tree and the green mountains in the summer.
  • Glitter, and anything with glitter on it. This may make me seem like a teenager, but I love all things that sparkle.
  • Music – all types of music. From country to oldies, to the top 20. I have music on around me all day long. I love it. I love live music and going to concerts of any type. I loved the symphony as much as Coldplay.
  • Movie theater popcorn. Warm with butter. And lately I love it even more when its accompanied by a half blue / half red Icee. Also, going to the movies alone is really liberating. It took me awhile to get comfortable with the idea of being alone at the movie theater, but now I can go alone without thinking twice about and no one will judge me for eating to much warm buttery popcorn.
  • Stationary, scrapbook paper and stickers. I love them all. I collect them. I have way to much. I still buy more.
  • A good deal at the thrift store. I have been cleaning my house out of all the items I don’t need and tend to go in the thrift store while I am there dropping my old junk off and have found some amazing things lately. Yep, it is totally counter productive. My last killer find was a Lacoste sweater I wanted so badly last year but couldn’t bring myself to spend $200 on it. There is was for $4.99. It was a dream come true.
  • Driving in a convertible. There is something about having the sunshine on my face and the wind blowing through my hair. It makes driving so much more fun.
  • Bubble Baths – and you might as well through in some Epsom salt and essential oils. Its one of my favorite ways to relax.
  • Watching reality TV – I don’t watch much TV but love to indulge in Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise. Who knows why, but I like it.
  • My Birthday. It is still my favorite day of the year. I love to celebrate it. Don’t forget it and we can be friends.
  • Coke Zero and Orange soda are my favorite “bad” beverages. I also love freezing cold lemon water in my Hydroflask.
  • He was my childhood favorite and still brings a smile to my face when I see anything with Garfield on it.
  • Soft cuddly blankets. The bigger and fluffier, the better.
  • Eating out – I love to try a new restaurant. Bonus points if I still think about your food a week or longer after I have eaten it.
  • Chanel Chance perfume – the pink one. Its my favorite fragrance ever.
  • New notebooks. I make so many lists, do to lists, shopping lists, idea lists….. its always the best feeling to finish an old notebook and move on to a new one.
  • Passport Stamps – I like looking at my old passport as much as I like collecting new stamps. Traveling is one of my most favorite things.
  • Driving past another car that has a dog with its head out the window. I smile every time I see this. It seems that in the moment all is right in that dog’s world.
  • Watching a Sun Rise or Sun Set – besides it is so beautiful to watch it is a friendly reminder of how lucky I am to be here and for everyday.
  • Pedicures – I typically go for hot pink with a white flower and rhinestone in the middle
  • Fresh roots- If you color your hair you know the exact feeling I am talking about.
  • Finding Money in a pocket of a pair of pants you haven’t worn in forever.
  • Serving others – I don’t know why it is sometimes difficult to make time to help others or an organization in need. It is usually the best feeling when you are done knowing that you helped someone.
  • A good workout. I am not a runner, so for me it is more weight lifting
  • Sleeping in till about 8:30 – really anything after 7 AM.
  • The bookstore – I love stopping in Barnes and Nobel. There is something very inspiring about being in there. I especially love going through the 100’s of magazines they have.
  • Likes on Instagram or Facebook – I know this sounds dumb, but it really means a lot to me and I love seeing names from all over popping up on my feed.
  • Skiing in fresh snow. I had a perfect day last year on the slopes. It was so beautiful, the trees were covered in snow, the mountains were calling my name and I actually took work off just to go. There were very few people out and it was the best skiing day ever. It also helped that I rented boots that were actually comfortable. I wanted to buy them but they told me I couldn’t.
  • Reminders of home – The older I get the more I love my older belongings that remind me of home and my family. I have a glass bowl that is old and scratched, but it is still my favorite because it reminds me of my family every time I use it.
  • Flowers – what girl doesn’t love flowers. I usually get some when I go to Trader Joes. They seem to be reasonably priced there and I can’t pass them up.
  • Bag pipe players – especially when they are on a random street corner in full uniform. I love to stop and listen to at least one song when I see them out and about.
  • Patio Dinners under white lights. Its magical. This can be in a back yard or at a restaurant. I love it either way. One day when I have a back yard, there will be permanent white lights out there.
  • You’ve Got Mail, The Devil Wears Prada and Julie and Julia – my three favorite movies I could watch over and over again.
  • Founder’s favorite in a waffle bowl from Coldstone. – It’s the best. Try It, you’ll love it.
  • Handwritten Cards to me – I keep them, and I read them. It’s the equivalent of my high school year book for the later years of my life.
  • Peach season – who doesn’t love fresh local peaches, peach pie, peach shakes, and peach pancakes. The list could go on and on.
  • Cat videos – I love watching cute cats do silly things of them just being who they are. Where do cats get their funny personalities from anyway?
  • BYU Football – especially when the WIN
  • Freshly vacuumed clean carpet.
  • Cute Dishes – I love buying cute serving dishes. I use to sell dishes on eBay and developed a great love for them.
  • Sundance – I Love everything about the Sundance resort. Year round. I love to ride the lift in the spring and summer. Enjoy the theater and Blue Bird Café concerts on summer nights. And skiing in the winter.
  • New Car Smell. Or even just a car wash.
  • Road Trips – especially to National Parks
  • Fresh sheets
  • Reunions with my friends from college. Its crazy we can pick up right where we left off no matter how long it has been since we last got together.
  • Family Photos – I think I love having these around my house. Especially since I have no family around. Its nice to see their smiling faces around my house.
  • Surprises in the mail – Its nice to get something other than bills.
  • Accomplishing a goal. The feeling of achieving something that took great effort it just the best.
  • Long Weekends – It really is refreshing to have an extra day off every once and awhile.
  • Fall leaves – especially in the mountains of Utah
  • My favorite colors – Purple and Yellow
  • Gel Pens – especially colored ones. I actually really love buying offices supplies.
  • Compliments – Hearing a compliment about anything really does make my day
  • The smell of rain
  • Washi tape – not just buying it, but actually using 1 of my like 1000 rolls on something super cute.
  • Carnival rides – especially at night when all the lights are glowing and bright. It takes me back to my days as a kid when I would enter baked goods and art work into the county fair. It was the best running around to each of our items to see if we won a ribbon. And then the rides came after.
  • When someone’s dreams come true – If I can help it makes me even happier. But I love to watch shows like American Idol or when Ellen or Oprah do something to change a person’s life.
  • Sunday’s at church
  • Star Gazing. There is something mesmerizing about the stars
  • A night at a luxury hotel. It happens every now and then. I soak it all in.
  • Decorating my Christmas tree. I love decorating for Christmas, but especially trees.
  • Laughing until I cry – I wish this would happen more often. It really is the best.
  • Giving a perfect gift. I actually love to put a lot of thought into gifts I give. Watching someone light up when they get a perfect gift they love is awesome
  • Good People – I know there are still good people in the world. A lot of them.
  • All my laundry done, cleaned, wrinkle free and put away.
  • Peeling an orange peel off in one piece. You know you try and do this too, don’t you? We had several orange trees as a kid. Still to this day, I try and keep the peel in one piece.
  • Stretchy pants. Why are leggings so dang comfortable? My work out pants are my favorite and the first thing I change into when I get home from work.
  • Getting the exit row on an airplane. I am all about the extra leg room. I ask for it on every flight.
  • Cashing in sky miles for a free flight. I save these up for so long that its so fun when I actually accumulate enough to go somewhere.
  • Parties – especially theme parties
  • Watching my business grow. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done. Seeing it become something is the best.
  • Wearing a leather jacket. They always seem to be flattering. Its always a good night out when I get to wear one.
  • When the UPS man brings a package to the door. Even if it is just dish soap I ordered from Amazon.
  • Drinking sparkling cider on a special occasion.
  • Seeing a rainbow- even as an adult I want to see what is at the end of a rainbow.
  • Kids selling Lemonade in the neighborhood. I love to support young entrepreneurs.
  • My moms cooking
  • A big hug
  • Running into old friends in random places
  • Ugg slippers in the winter.
  • Fluffy clouds
  • Digital cameras – so I can take and delete as many photos as needed
  • Smiling at strangers or even when a stranger smiles at me
  • Winning a game of rummikub or uno
  • Hiking to a waterfall or summit
  • Technology – and the fact that my grandma has facebook
  • Going to the dentist for a cleaning and having no cavities
  • Disneyland
  • Freedom
  • Dressing up for Halloween. Even as an adult, I take this very seriously.
  • Fresh linen air freshener from Bath and Body works.
  • Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Costco and Target.
  • Selling old stuff on eBay.
  • Being Poolside on a hot day
  • Donating items, I no longer need to others. I love giving a new life to my old stuff. I probably drop off a bag at the donation center every other week.
  • All kinds of cheese. I’m getting to the point where I would pick cheese and fruit for dessert over baked goods
  • Wearing comfortable old t-shirts. They bring back a flood of memories every time I wear them.
  • Running into someone you haven’t seen in years at the store.. or anywhere else.

 

September Goals

We are well under our way with September, this month has been off to an awesome start. Crazy busy and crazy fun. I thought I would post my September Goals even thought it’s not exactly the first of the month anymore. I like accountability.

1) Sell every pair of jeans I own that no longer fit me and have just been sitting around. eBay, here I come!!
2) Join Orange Theory Fitness – I love bootcamp style workouts
3) Golf in the Fall leaves – I have been wanting to golf at Hobble Creek in the leaves for years. This year is my year!
4) Finally get my wood floors – This has been in the works for 10 years. Making any change in my house seems to take more time and work than I would have ever though. I finally found the perfect color wood and Im all set to go.
5) Create a Pumpkin boards on Pinterest and actually cook 4 of the recipes I pin. Im a Pinterest addict.
6) 200 photos with my SLR camera – Use them or not, I need the practice. Good thing it is so beautiful outside right now. Its the perfect time to get some great shots.

That sounds like enough to keep me busy. Now, to get to work.

The Bluebird Cafe at Sundance

This weekend I ventured up to the Sundance resort for the last Bluebird Cafe concert series. The Blue Bird concerts are my absolute favorite. If you don’t know what they are, basically the who’s who of country song writers come and perform their songs and tell the stories behind them. Its all acoustic music and they are insanely talented. Many of their songs have made it to number ones on the charts. Its so fun to hear them tell about who passed up the songs, (like Garth Brooks) someone else eventually recorded it and then it did super well, or how they were waiting tables and were inspired by people they waited and ended up writing a song about them. One of the writers from last night was given the phrase “jumbo shrimp” to include in his song and had to incorporate that into a hit, and he did it.  The performance last night included two crazy talented guitarists that call themselves the Striking Matches. I came home and downloaded their album. Im sure we will be hearing them on the radio soon.

This was my favorite song they wrote and sang. It was on the show Nashville, so you may have heard it before if you are a loyal watcher of that show.

And now that you heard them, I know you want their album too…

stricking matches

 

The amphitheater at Sundance is basically nestled on the bunny slope and surrounded by trees. Eventually the stars com out and its just an unreal peaceful setting. We also add in the tickets to the BBQ dinner before the concert just to have a little extra time to enjoy the great outdoors. PS. I bought the tickets to all the Blue Bird concerts in April right when they went on sale. They sell out every single time.  If you ever get the chance to go.. Make sure you do it!

On a side note, The drive up had been my first time up the canyon in about a month or so. While we were driving up I noticed some changing leaves. Once we got to Sundance there was a brisk cool air, which eventually turned into cold, I need a blanket, weather. It was a good thing one of my friends came prepared with extras. It really did get cold. Its true that fall is right around the corner.  It will be here before we know it, ready or not. I love Fall!!!

 

I thought I was going to a yoga class…

At the beginning of the summer I bought a yoga pass to a studio near my house. I was planning on going once a week or so. Well, I skipped about 3 months of going. Last week I decided to give it a go again. I glanced at the schedule for the class times and noticed there was one at 6PM, 7 PM and 8 PM. I was hopeful to make the 7 PM class, but ended up working late and decided just to go to the 8 PM class. Keeping in mind that I have only been to the studio once or twice before, I had no idea what was going on. The 7 PM class ended and no one was leaving. So I entered the full room of people, squeezed my yoga mat out in a corner and began to stretch out a little. I noticed everyone getting up to grab pillows and blankets. I knew I was new to yoga, but could not think of a reason to need these items. The instructor told me that I would probably want them as well. I complied. Then the room became incredibly silent, the instructor rang the gong and class began. We laid in the same position the entire hour and was guided through a meditation class. This was the first time I have every done anything like this. I thought it was a little silly at first, but by the end of the hour I was so relaxed and cleared so many thoughts from my head. It was amazing. I think there were a few points I almost feel asleep. That night and the next few nights after going back to this meditation class, I had some of the best nights of sleep I have had in who knows how long.

I found it all rather intriguing, that you could practice controlling your thoughts. I have been doing a little reading about meditation and I am convinced everyone in the world needs to take time to truly meditate. I liked in our class that the instructor talked us through a serious of thoughts to help guide our minds. It totally seemed weird to me at first. He would tell us to think about a specific body part and without moving to “feel it” and “see it”  I had to think really hard at first about seeing and feeling my pinky finger and left big toe. This is just an example of how he helps guide your mind and thoughts. The long term benefits of meditation are numerous. While I have been trying to incorporate it in my routine more often, I was looking for ways outside of attending that class. Luckily we live in the age of youtube… and guess what. There are several practices there. All you need to type in is meditation yoga for beginners and meditation yoga and hundreds of videos show up. I have gone through about 5 of them. and really enjoy the relaxation and clarity it brings me. Especially before bedtime.

I did feel a little silly doing these the first few times, but now Im to the point where I just enjoy it. I hope you find a little extra time to try one or two meditation practices out. I think you’ll like it.

 

Bucket List Item – Checked off!

One of the things I have been wanting to do for years and years is fly in a hot air balloon. The fascination started years ago when I attended the Provo Balloon festival for the very first time. I was in awe….

Years went by and taking a flight was always at the top of my list to do.  An opportunity to fly in a ballon at the Provo Balloon Festival came up and it was simply a dream come true. I don’t know why I waited so long to take a flight. It was so much fun, and probably even more fun because it was part of the balloon festival and was surrounded by so many beautiful balloons.

We woke up at 4:30 in the morning for our early flight. As part of the balloon festival you get to watch several balloons fill up and take flight. The balloons are so colorful and vibrant that just watching them is a lot of fun.

PROVO FREEDOM FESTIVAL HOT AIR BALLOON

Provo Freedom Festival hot air balloon

 

Provo Freedom Festival Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon Provo Utah

 

Provo Freedom Festival Hot air balloon

 

Provo Freedom Festival - Hot air balloon

 

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I never really thought about how slow the balloons moved in the air. We were only going a few miles per hour. It was fun to have a birds eye perspective of Provo. We played a game to chase a target that a leader balloon dropped in a park and all the balloons were following him to try and drop a bean bag on the target. We unfortunately didn’t make it close enough to ever have a chance at winning. Landing was also different than I had imagined. It was pretty intense. You are up in the air looking for a large empty space to land. I never noticed how many trees and power lines we had until we started looking for a spot to land. We ended up landed in a grocery store parking lot. Cars were maneuvering around us, taking photos, and asking tons of questions. For a brief moment, we felt like local celebrities. It was funny. The best part was that the grocery store we landed at happened to be having a free french toast breakfast that day as well. So there were a ton of people watching us. Once we loaded the balloon back up in the chaser car we cashed in on a free breakfast too. It was seriously a perfect ending to such a fun flight.

Small Businesses will always be my favorite!

My goodness, where does time go? I really did have every intention to blog this summer… then I decided to launch another business and life got so crazy and so busy.  Things are now up and rolling and I feel like I can finally breath again. I know to some, it can seem crazy to self impose all the stress that comes with a new business, but truly… its the best feeling in the world when things get rolling.  This is my second time bringing products to retail. I still have my “gum” company, which has grown into tons of other items besides just gum. I am thinking retail may be my calling in life and it may just become an addiction.

It is such a huge undertaking to start a business of any size. I applaud anyone who gives it a try. I put all my savings, brain power, energy, nap times, free time, you name it, its a sacrifice for sure, everything is on the line. Then of course, right before things launch everything else in life goes wrong. For instance, the plumbing in my house stopped working, and it wasn’t a simple fix. We are talking walls down to repipe.  But none the less, two full semi trucks showed up with product and I unloaded them all on the hottest day of the summer and dripped 10 pounds of sweat that day.

The party for my new company is just getting started and has a long road ahead, but Im super excited about it.  I have been thinking a lot about businesses and people who own them. So many have been such great examples to me and often mentors. I think that is why I love instagram so much… I follow so many start up business. I love that I can watch them grow and see their day to day operations. I also have found myself wanting to buy so many of their products. It so much more fun for me to buy a product from someone that will actually notice another sale, rather than buying from a huge company. Buying small and buying local really have become something I intentionally try to do. Most of my favorite things to wear are t-shirts that I have bought from accounts I have been watching for awhile, my kitchen is full of gadgets that were all uniquely and specifically designed to solve a problem… all which I found on Instagram or pinterest.  My phone case is art work designed by a friend, my room is decorated with nic nacs from etsy. It all makes me happy. These things are meeting my needs, but also represent so many of my friends and their hard work too. They make me happy.

Now that I have a few extra moments to relax in the evenings I am going to try and restart my 100 days of blogging challenge I tried to give myself at the beginning of summer. Im sure you’ll hear plenty more of my business adventures ahead.

Favorite Movies Of The 80’s

I am the type of person who rents a redbox and forgets to return it for several days and the $1.50 movie ends up costing me more like $10.00 with all the additional days. About a month ago I decided that buying a few $5.00 movies on Amazon would actually end up saving me some money. While I was looking through the movie titles I came across some of my old favorites from my childhood.  Here is what I ended up buying:

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I actually found the time to watch them all this past week. Each of them were as great as I remembered. It was crazy how I could actually picture myself sitting in the downstairs of my parents house with my brother and sisters watching these on the disney channel. I don’t know how many times I watch Flight of the Navigator. The little dancing guy is still my favorite. I was actually afraid of the Last Star Fighter as a kid, my brother would make me watch it. I finally warmed up to it after several movie nights with him. I am actually considering mailing it to him for Father’s day so he can live his childhood all over again as well.  I don’t know that I will ever get over “Harry” eating the pet goldfish. I have cringed every time and still did this weekend. I loved the nostalgia that all these movies brought. I also loved that they all had feel good endings. Why don’t they make movies like that anymore?

The Small Containers At The Store

I just cleaned out my refrigerator and sadly had to throw out an abundance of spoiled food. It actually does bother me to see it go to waste, but at the same time it bothers me to pay for an 8 ounce ketchup when the 64 ounce family size ketchup is only a dime more. I know its a first world problem but, it causes me a lot of internal conflict. I spend way to much time standing in the store aisle debating to buy the less economical size jar or the value size jar. Yesterday, I went to do a little grocery shopping at my neighborhood Winco, I stood in the aisle trying to decide which size jar of mayonnaise to buy so I could make deviled eggs for a memorial day picnic. I watched a few other people easily pick out their mayonnaise while I tried to decide which jar to get for myself. After a couple carts moved out of the way, it was me and an older woman standing in front of the wall of mayonnaise. She grabbed the smallest one… I asked her why she picked that one, her reply, I will probably expire before my mayonnaise does if I get one any bigger. I giggled on the inside, and grabbed the same one. So just incase you were wondering who actually buys the overpriced small containers at the store… its me and old people.

The Simple Things

This past weekend the flu came in and knocked me out. I haven’t been sick like that since who knows when. Its real life, I guess. I was thinking about what I should post about next and how many more days of my 100 day challenge would pass by before I blogged again.  I thought I would post a few random pictures from my phone the best represent my everyday life. I think if I had thought about this idea sooner I would have taken more pictures of the boring and routine things I do.

 

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I went to my first yoga class at 3B yoga. I loved it.

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I had several friend’s birthdays last week. I love to celebrate birthdays, even with just a small gift. Birthdays are a big deal in my book.

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Sunset Hike to the Y. This was a perfect weekend for hiking. It was perfect. 

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Why not end a perfectly good hike with custard? Have you been to Rita’s? It’s pretty delicious.

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Here is what my grocery shopping looks like. (I have no idea why I have this picture.) I had salad duty for Sunday dinner, which I sadly couldn’t make it to since I ended up with the flu. 🙁

And that my friends, sums up what life is usually like for me. And I like it.