Posted in Friend Making Monday

Friend Makin’ Monday: An Alternate Life

Wow, what a weekend! How were all of yours? September is my whirlwind month of celebration after celebration, rendering my wallet empty and begging for mercy. My older brother’s, mother’s, and hubby’s birthdays are all one week apart, and that’s only my immediate family! Many of my friends have September birthdays as well, which leads me to the conclusion that the December holidays are the perfect for a, um…”snuggle”. :\

Anyhow, celebration weekend #1 concluded this weekend, and now I’m ready to get back into the groove of a work week, and consequently, blogging. (Week 2 of a failed every-day blog posting attempt. *sigh* This week’s a new week and a new opportunity, I suppose.) Let’s kick it off with another round of Friend Makin’ Monday!
Since a lot of the questions deal with “if you were…etc.”, I’ve titled this one:

An Alternate Life

If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin Mondays before then you are familiar with the rules. If you’re new, please take a momentto answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at Losing Weight and Having Fun so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too soeveryone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to read andcomment on a couple of other posts. I would love some topic/question suggestions from all of you, please email your ideas tome Thanks This week’s random questions come from Tyra at Random Acts of Snark.Thanks Tyra.
1. If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be? I’d say asparagus…sometimes tough on the outside and I’m good after I’m warmed up. And that I tend to be better when I’ve had time holing up somewhere out of the sun (like white asparagus).
2. If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why? I’d like to be a dolphin. They seem so happy and playful, and they can swim, which I can’t do very well. Though I’d like to go without the whole accidental being caught in a net thing.
3. If you could live anywhere on this planet, and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live? Tell the group about your choice. You know, I took one of those random “where should you live/go on vacation” quizzes online and I got Helsinki, Finland, and after doing some research on it, I’d have to agree. The skyline is beautiful, it seems there’s something for everyone there, they have gorgeous winter scenery, and the national library. Guys, I could probably spend my entire life just in this library alone:
4. What favorite color are you and how does being that color make you feel? I’ve been obsessed with purple for a really long time. I always feel more confident when I’m wearing the right shade of purple for me, which is close to a rich blue-violet. I also like lavender, which makes me feel feminine but not overtly so.
5. If you could choose an imaginary friend, who would you choose and why? I never knew there were imaginary friends to “choose” from; I always thought they were all unique and of your own imagination and for you only. Intriguing. Is there an Island of Imaginary Friends somewhere? 🙂 I remember in junior high I made up an imaginary friend (does that make sense?)–not a “real” imaginary friend, but more of a parody of an imaginary friend, if you will. My friend’s parody imaginary friend was a leprechaun named Marty that she kept in her shoe, so in turn I had a pixie on my shoulder named Love, who was a cheerleader that bopped people on the nose whenever they made fun of me. It was a riot. I had great fun doing fake-serious Marty/Love skits with my friend.
6. If you could sit on a bench in a beautiful woods, who would you like sitting next to you on the bench and why? My doggie Dexter. He’d be able to appreciate the setting quietly with me, and we could cuddle and I could just enjoy his big doggie smile. Little slice of paradise right there, if you ask me.

This guy just loves the woods.




7. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight, or night? Please share why you picked your time of day? Twilight.  Everything’s winding down and the blinding sun is going away.  Good time to relax with a book and some tea.

8. If you could choose your age forever, what age would you choose and why? Gosh, that’s hard.  In the past, I answered this question with “eight”, because that was by far my favorite year of life so far, because it was so happy and carefree with little responsibilities.  At the same time, there are some fun things about adulthood that I’d miss out on if I were eight forever.  Maybe 28?  Still young enough to not look silly doing “young” things, but still old enough to have experienced some of what life has to offer, mature enough to be married and have kids, and I’d be old enough to drink and rent a car and all that good stuff.

9. If you could be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play? Not a lot of people have heard about this movie, but I’d be in Camp Nowhere, playing the role of Gaby.  Everyone just looked like they had a blast shooting this movie, and then I’d also get to cozy up with Jonathan Jackson.  Not too shabby.  🙂

10. If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why? Ben Franklin.  After reading his autobiography many years back, I’ve been fascinated with him.  He had many great ideas and inventions that I’d love to just introduce him to the modern world and see what he thinks about it.  Can you imagine how much his mind would be blown by computers?!?

To a Life Full of Imagination!!!!


Posted in Friend Making Monday

Friend Makin’ Monday: Let’s Try This Again

…meaning two things:

  1. The goal of posting every day this week (as you can see, that didn’t pan out AT ALL last week.  Bad Violet.)
  2. A “Would You Rather?”-themed Friend Makin’ Monday


If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin Mondays before then you are familiar with the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at Losing Weight and Having Fun so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to read and comment on a couple of other posts.

This week’s random questions come from Tyra at Random Acts of Snark. Thanks Tyra.

1. Would you rather go without television or fast food for the rest of your life? Fast food, hands down.  The cool thing about fast food is that there is a more luxurious counterpart.  Except for maybe French fries.  Croquettes, maybe?  And what, exactly, is “fast food”?  I don’t consider Red Robin fast food since it’s a sit down restaurant and there’s no drive through.  I would say anything with a drive through is fast food.  I can live without those. On the other hand, if you mean no RESTAURANTS in general for the rest of my life, I’d have to rethink that.  


2. Would you rather have permanent diarrhea or permanent constipation? Haha!  What a funny question.  I’d say constipation, because diarrhea gets so much more in the way of your day-to-day life.  You’d have to run to the bathroom because diarrhea can strike so suddenly.  And your tummy would be in so much pain all the time.  I don’t know how I’d be able to stand that.


3. Would you rather be handsome/beautiful and dumb or be ugly and really smart? The thing about dumb, beautiful people is that most of them end up being either celebrities or sexually taken advantage of.  I want neither.  I don’t want the paparazzi everywhere I turn, and I don’t think I even need to explain why I don’t want to be sexually taken advantage of. I want to be valued for more than my looks, so if I had to choose, let me have knowledge.  If all else fails, I suppose I could be so smart that I could invent a way for me to be pretty.  🙂


4. Would you rather be always be cold or always be hot? I prefer the winter to summer and when I get too hot I get cranky anyway, so always cold, without argument.  I love cold weather clothes much more than hot weather clothes anyway.  So that’s a bonus.


5. Would you rather be deaf or blind? I would much rather be Deaf, for sure.  I’m not gonna lie–I’m really biased when it comes to that, mostly because I took a few years of American Sign Language in high school and so I really respect the Deaf community. (Side note:  “deaf” is turning into one of those words where it looks like it’s spelled wrong when you write it over and over again.)  They can still very much be a functional part of society, even with their disability.  That’s not to say that the blind are incapable of contributing anything; it’s just I don’t know as much about them.  I also think Deaf people are better able to be independent–they can still get driver’s licenses (I don’t know if you knew that or not, but they can, because when it comes to driving, the only “hearing” obstacle that might be a problem is emergency vehicles, but they’re able to see the lights in their rearview mirrors), which I value very much.  I know people can get by without one, but I’ve grown attached to being able to take off wherever I want, whenever I want, and answering to nobody’s schedule but my own.  I also think American Sign Language is a beautiful language, and I wouldn’t mind being more immersed in it.


6. Would you rather eliminate hunger and disease or be able to bring lasting world peace? Wow, that’s a hard question.  This might be a “cheat” answer, but I believe that one of the myriad reasons we don’t have world peace right now have a great deal to do with hunger and disease.  I think these are more political/social/social wars than international wars, for sure, but they are “wars” nonetheless. So with that being said, I would say I’d want to bring about lasting world peace, LASTING being the operative word.  Living in a world with no war would be such a wonderful one to live in, and maybe when people don’t have enemies or war or riots or general hostile disagreement to worry about, maybe then they’ll start focusing on how to help their fellow human being and eliminate hunger and disease as a result.  Nice thought, right?


7. Would you rather be stranded on a deserted island alone or with someone you don’t like? Alone.  I’m an introvert at heart and I’d finally have the time to write and read as much as I’d like.  I’d probably make friends with the animals and they’d keep me company.  I mean, can you even imagine being stranded on a deserted island with Hitler?  Ick.  No thank you.


8. Would you rather see the future or change the past? This is going to be a confusing-sounding answer, but what the heck.  I would rather see the future, because I’d know what was coming, but I could make changes in my present to possibly change that future, which in a way is changing the past.  It would also be an easier way of just going with the flow, because you already know what’s in store.  And if it was possible to go way into my own future, I’d be able to answer the question of what happens after you die.  


9. Would you rather be three inches taller or three inches shorter? I’m already pretty short (5’4″), and three inches shorter would be 5’1″.  That’s a little too short for me.  Three inches taller wouldn’t be so bad, especially since my hubby’s 5’11” so I still wouldn’t have to worry about being taller than him.  Extra bonus if I could be three inches taller and the same weight, because then I’d have the illusion of having lost weight!  🙂


10. Would you rather wrestle a lion or fight a shark? Seeing as I can’t swim very well, I’d rather wrestle a lion.  At least with a lion I could at least try to outrun it.  And they’re furry and cuddlier than a shark.  😉 Hope you all have a fabulous week!  Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed for me making my goal of posting every day this week!  I hope I can do it this time.

To Second Chances,


Posted in Friend Making Monday

Friend Makin’ Monday: Games & Hobbies

Time to get back into the swing of “reaching out” things!  I’ll just jump right into my longest-running link up so far.  This topic looks like so much fun! friend-makin-monday-for-post3-300x179 If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at Losing Weight and Having Fun so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Hobbies and Games

1. Do you have a favorite board game? Oh goodness.  Must I choose one?  I have so many that I love!  Right now I’m digging Dominion (does that count more as a board game or card game?  I’m calling it a board game).  I also love Clue, Settlers of the Stone Age (as opposed to Settlers of Catan), and The Farming Game (that one’s a little less-well-known).  When I was a kid, I loved the game of Life and Girl Talk.  Anyone else remember Girl Talk?     2. Do you have a favorite card game? I’m going to add to the love for Cards Against Humanity, but right now my favorite card game is Anomia.  I LOVE that game.  If you guys haven’t heard of it, check it out.  A good friend of mine and I get pretty competitive when we play; it’s pretty hilarious. 3. Do you play games on your phone? I have a “dumb phone”, which means there are no apps or Internet connection like a smart phone has.  Therefore, no games.  I dabbled a bit with Robot Unicorn and Angry Birds on the hubby’s phone, though.

“Always, I wanna be with you, and make believe with you, and live in harmony, harmony, harmony, ohhhh loooovvveee…”

4. Do you prefer the x-box, playstation or wii? For sure the Wii.  I feel like it has the least violent and most whimsical games out of the three gaming systems.  It’s also the easiest controller to figure out for me.  🙂  I actually use the Wii Fit scale often to weigh myself in.  Oh, and I actually exercise on it.  😉  I’m always going to be loyal to Nintendo, for sure. 5. Do you have a favorite outdoor hobby? I like snowshoeing (anything in the snow, actually), walking my doggie, and roller skating.  NOT rollerblading, mind you–old school, two-wheels-in-front-two-wheels-in-back, brake in front, roller SKATING. Product Details 6. Have you ever been geocaching? No I haven’t, but I’ve always wanted to!  I did some research, though, and apparently there are a few near my town.  I’m totally gonna do it!

7. What’s your favorite hobby? Writing and reading will always be my favorite hobby.  They’re like breathing air to me.

8. Is there a hobby you would love to try but are too scared too? Outdoor rock climbing.  I’ve done a few climbing walls and I’ve loved it, but I’m not sure how well I’d handle it once I got outside.  I might just try it out one day anyway.  Figure skating, too.

9. Do you enjoy doing puzzles? I do, but I’m horrible at them.  It’s a good way to pass the time and a good teamwork thing to do.  When I had roomies, we’d just leave a puzzle out on the coffee table and we’d work on it throughout the week.  That was fun.  I started a Christmas one with the hubby maybe 8 years or so ago that STILL isn’t done.  It’s left in our little inflatable “puzzle saver”.  Have you ever seen those?  They’re interesting-looking things…

10. Have you taken any classes in anything? I’m sure I have, but I honestly can’t remember any at the moment.  One day I would LOVE to take a cake decorating class!  Or sewing.  I did take sewing in home ec, but the boxers I made turned out horrible even though I tried SO HARD–one leg was shorter than another, the elastic was twisted, loose threads everywhere.  Disastrous.

To a Week of Fun and Games!  😉

Posted in Friend Making Monday

Friend Makin’ Monday: Holiday Traditions

I would say top o’ the morning to everyone, but it’s actually more bottom o’ the evening right now, I guess. 🙂  Hope you all had a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day!  It’s time for another Friend Makin’ Monday.  Sarah at Losing Weight and Having Fun has been taking over for awhile, so if you have a link up be sure to visit her blog and leave a comment with your own answers!

Let’s get to it!


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Holiday Traditions.

1. Do you celebrate St Patrick’s Day?

You know, I don’t remember celebrating it when I was a kid, but for some reason (and I don’t know when) we started celebrating it more as of late.  For at least the last ten years there has been corned beef and cabbage.  Hubby and I coincidentally also had our rehearsal dinner on St. Patrick’s Day, so we made the most of it and decorated with St. Paddy’s day décor and gave out St. Paddy’s cards to all our out-of-town guests.  Lots of fun.  That being said, we didn’t do anything this year to celebrate except for wear green.
St Pat Cake

Our rehearsal dinner cake–six years ago today!


2. Which is your favorite holiday to celebrate?

New Year’s Eve.  More about that for question #8.  My second-favorite holiday, even when I was single, was Valentine’s Day.  I love hearts and flowers and chocolate and showing love, so this is a wonderful day for me!

3. Do you have a favorite ‘holiday’ food?

Is it weird that I have more than one?  It’s so that I have to almost go holiday by holiday, but I love raspberry heart Peeps, corned beef & cabbage, deviled eggs, baked BBQ beams, butternut squash soup, pumpkin pie, Brussels sprouts, monkey bread, maja blanca, and embutido (last two are Filipino foods that we eat at Christmas).
Mmmm…hungry now.
So so so yummy!  I’ve only seen it last year, but I really hope they bring it back.  Seasonal Valentine’s Day thing.

4. What do you think of holiday parades?

We have a couple of parades around here celebrating spring, and both of them are a lot of fun.  Oh!  And I’ve also been to a Santa parade that I completely forgot about until now.  Also fun.  🙂  I’m not sure I’d do so well in a super-crowded Christmas or Thanksgiving parade, though.  I’d probably just rather stay at home and watch them on TV, like the Macy’s parades.

5. Have you ever been part of a parade?

Yes!  Just last year I was part of a parade at the fair.  We did a Flash Mob and it was great fun!

6. Do you decorate your house for the holidays?

Abso-freakin’-lutely!  I love decorating for holidays and now that I’m a homeowner I do it even more often.  This year we went all out for Halloween, complete with inflatable light up things in the front and fog machines.  Christmas is always a wonderful decorating time, too.  But the last couple years  I also decorated for Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.  I was going to decorate for St. Patrick’s Day, too, but I never found the time to.  I’m fully planning on decorating for spring/Easter.  Can’t wait!

Valentine themed mantel

My Valentine’s-themed mantel.

7. Do you send holiday cards?

Yes!  I love doing it, because it’s so much more fun to send those out and hear how people enjoyed them versus bills.  It’s a nice little surprise.  I’m also good at sending out thank you cards.  Then again, I was an assistant manager for about six years at a high-end card store (like the Nordstrom’s of Hallmark, if you will), so I’m a bit biased.

8. Are there any holidays that you celebrate that are traditional in another country, but maybe less well known in the US?

A couple.  The one that I talked about earlier, New Year’s Eve, is celebrate MUCH differently in the Philippines than it is in the U.S., but that’s part of the reason I love the holiday so much.  In the Philippines it is steeped in superstitions and symbolism, and we observe a lot, if not all of them.  One that we do that’s not listed in the link is that we fill all of our “food containers” (rice, sugar, flour, etc.) so that we have a full new year.
New Years Eve 2014
Rockin’ the polka dots, a symbol of prosperity for the new year.

I also celebrate St. Nicholas Day, previously because we lived in Germany for a time, but also because my hubby’s mother is German.  We’ve used this day as “Christmas” with my hubby’s side of my family, then we do Christmas with my family, so it’s kinda a big deal.  We go all out with the spekulaas and leaving gifts in boots.  It’s a great time.

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To Your Own Special Celebrations,

Posted in Friend Making Monday

Friend Makin’ Monday: Vacations

As much as I’ve loved starting out my “reaching out” project and stumbling upon new link ups this week, there’s definitely something to be said for taking comfort in what you know.

I forgot to say that I finally found a new “Pictures to Take” list for the year, which I will post as soon as I get the time.  I’m excited to start sharing new pictures with you starting next Monday!  Today I’m honestly just looking for something quick to do, and surveys are always good for that.

Let’s get started!


Sarah at has once again generously taken over FMM duties while Kenlie takes a little break, so thanks Sarah for keeping it going!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!


1. Where was the last place you went on vacation to?

Last year I did a cute little “Passport to Love” series with my husband.  It was my Christmas present for him.  Each month, we’d go to a different destination.  I go into more detail in other posts in my blog, but for now I’ll sum it up by saying I tried to recreate these locales and brought it to the town I live in.  So if I were to go off of that, my last vacation was to Russia in December 2013.  My last actual vacation was to Banff, Alberta last spring.  Hubs and I usually take a vacation shortly after our anniversary, so that was what we did last year.  It was absolutely stunning (I’m such a winter girl) and I would jump at the chance to go there again!

Banff 2

Just one of the breathtaking views from the top of Sulphur Mountain.

Banff ice skating

Ice skating on Lake Louise.  Ice skating ON A LAKE, guys!  And look at the view!  Loved.

Banff ice

The turquoise color of that ice is NOT Photoshopped.  In fact, this picture doesn’t do the saturated color of the ice block justice.  It was even more colorful than what this shows.

Banff Snow

Glorious, sparkly snow.

2. Do you have any plans for a vacation this year?

Yes.  This year we’re going to Arizona.  Planning on checking off one of the things on my bucket list (visit the Grand Canyon) and looking forward to seeing one of the world’s “Dark Parks” at the Owachomo Bridge in Utah.  I love stargazing!

This guys.  I’m going HERE.  So. Excited.

3. If money was no option, where would you dream vacation be?

It would be an epic vacation where I would check off all my places on my “Things to Do Before I Die” list, including the four-hemisphere stargazing and all the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
If I were allowed to only pick one place, though, I would probably say Alaska during 24-hr sunlight or during prime viewing of the Northern Lights.  Or maybe the Italian countryside and use a luxurious B&B as an anchor while we went to explore.  It used to be CaisCais (pronounced kiss-kiss), but then I realized that would probably mean a tropical-like environment, and environments like that make me cranky (I know; I’m definitely in the minority).  Gosh, I don’t know now.  Sounds like a Pinterest project and a Thoughts on Thursday follow-up!  😉

4. What is your favorite vacation spot that you have visited?

Wow, it’s so hard to choose!  I’ve been to so many great places.  It’s funny.  I’ve been to many different countries, but those “foreign” places don’t rank at the top of my list.  I became very enamored by Banff, but I also loved Driving to the Sun Road in Montana (Glacier National Park) and the dunes on the coast of Oregon.  I also absolutely love the Poconos and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. was also fun.
But my favorites (it’s a tie; I can’t choose) are near to home, only because of tradition.  There’s the property in the middle of the woods that I used to go camping with family and friends (it has since gotten developed) that is so relaxing to escape to, and then there’s a group of cabins by the beach that friends and family go camping for our wedding anniversary every year.  I think more than the place (which, both places are pretty); it’s the experiences you have in that vacation spot that make it a favorite.

Rites shadow play       Melt clear water

Shadow play in tent at camping property                       Beach near cabins where we spend each anniversary

5. Have you ever had a staycation?

Oh goodness, yes!  Staycations are the best!  😀  I guess I would say that the aforementioned Passport to Love project was a whole series of staycations, but even before that, we’ve done camping in our backyard, made pillow forts, and ordered yummy food in (or made our own) many times.

6. Are you a lie on the beach person or a go out and explore person?

Definitely, without a doubt, I’m a go out and explore person.  Especially when I’m at a place I’ve never been to, I want to fit in as many activities as I possibly can while I’m there.  I like to soak in local culture and explore things that are off the beaten path.  At the same time, once we get somewhere, I do like to savor the moment for awhile so I can remember it.  Like the Oregon dunes or the Rockies in Banff.  I stayed for a few hours just enjoying those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

7. When you fly do you have a favorite airline?

I actually enjoy JetBlue, even though they only make short trips (as far as I know).  The seats seem to be bigger to me.  I also liked Asiana Airlines when we went to the Philippines.  The food was AMAZING (and free wine!), and I liked the games and things they offered on their little consoles.  It helped to pass the time on the long flight.

8. Have you ever had a ‘vacation from hell’ ?

I wouldn’t say it was “the vacation from hell”, because there were good moments.  It wasn’t the most recent time I went to the Philippines (with the awesome Asiana Airlines flight), but the time before that, when I was 14, I believe.  As soon as I got off the plane, I felt like I couldn’t breathe from the heat and the humidity.  I remember crying because I couldn’t get a good breath in.  Then I got attacked by mosquitoes.  Now, keep in mind, I have highly-sensitive skin, and anytime I get a mosquito bite, it swells up to be about 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch in height.  And I’m allergic to antihistamines.  It just makes the bite angry and swell up more.  So the bites I got landed me a trip to the ER.  I had all kinds of lotions and potions on me to help soothe it.  So yeah, that kinda sucked.

I did, however, enjoy seeing my extended family.  So there’s that.  But let’s just say I was hoping the next visit involved a more winter-like climate.  (Didn’t happen, but a girl can dream.)

9. Have you ever had an airline lose your luggage?

My luggage has been lost twice.  Once was during a Greyhound trip (there was a transfer and it got lost there), the other on an airline trip.  Both times, the luggage for was recovered, so I’m happy for that.  I don’t remember where I went for the airline lost luggage.  Either Germany or D.C.  I remember waiting at the baggage claim until all of the luggage had been picked up, and it wasn’t there.  So we left our names with the airport and we got a call a few days later saying it had accidentally boarded another flight and we got the luggage back.  I’m hoping I never lose my luggage for good.

10. Do you send postcards to friends and family when you go on vacation?

Being an “old school” writer (being that I always prefer pen and paper to a computer), I use any excuse to write something.  The funny thing is, too, that when I ask friends and family if they want any souvenirs, a postcard is always high on the priority list.  I often write postcards when I go on vacation, but on the ones that I don’t, I bring home a postcard.  Friends and family love seeing pictures of the sites we see.  I also love receiving postcards.  Nobody sends regular mail anymore.  I’d like to see a resurgence of that.  So much better than bills, that’s for sure!

To Taking a Wonderful, Relaxing Break!