It’s Party Season!

FOOD

Mostly simple meals, even when traveling the few days I had to this month. Salads, soups, smoothies, curries, and I’ve totally gotten on the ONO (overnight oats) bandwagon. Seriously – 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup nondairy milk (I like the So Delicious Original Coconut Milk), and a healthy amount of Penzy’s Apple Pie spice.

Stir Fried Mushrooms, BBQ Tofu, and Mashers

FITNESS

I finally built the Power Tower in the garage, so there’s a full fledged mini gym, and I’ve definitely taken advantage of it. FYI – pull ups suck.

Also hot yoga and runs as well, plus a lovely trail run.

And on that note, I signed up for a half marathon for later in the year. I got out of the race habit when I started grad school, and I’ve really missed it. It’ll be nice to have a race to train for again.

Also, downloaded a weather app called WTForcast. Love it. This was this evening’s weather as I prepped for a night run….

LIFE

Busy busy busy. But that’s nothing new, and I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I was just home all day all the time. Yuck. I’d be bored senseless and probably become pretty damned boring myself!

Work has been really good. I’m liking my new role a lot – my focus is on building a new program and core competency in innovation, and I love having so much freedom to develop that framework myself. Fun stuff.

I had to do some traveling to attend a staff Christmas party out of town, but it was a nice trip. The party itself was nice, if not small. I also got to see one of my girlfriends who lives up there, so that’s always a bonus!

Last Monday was the UVA Darden School of Business Alumni holiday party for local alums. Three of us from my class went (the 4th was vacationing in Hawaii – the brat), as well as a couple people from work who went to Darden as well. It was a nice evening, and a great chance to network with local alumni.

R had her first high school orchestra concert this week! She plays bass and they all honestly put on an amazing performance.

On Friday R and I went to a pre screening of Jumanji. It was hilarious and we had a blast.

R and I hit up the salon yesterday. She got her hair cut and I got a pedi (sparkly red for the holidays!).

Then it was off to an ugly sweater party at one of my bowling team mates house. That was a ton of fun. My sweater was interactive. Basically a drinking game. The front is a target and people are given Velcro balls to throw at it. Funny enough, one of the other party goers had a similar sweater! All in all, fun stuff.

Otherwise, it’s been normal life stuff. Kids, fluffs, and friends!

Have a great week!!

Happy Halloween Week!

FOOD

Been fun being home for a solid week now – especially because I can spend so much time in the kitchen! Seriously – I feel sorry for people who don’t like to cook. The joy of creating something, and knowing exactly what’s in it – and then feeding people you love.

It also helps to have plenty of leftovers to take to the office to limit going out to eat all the time. Thrifty single-mom finances at work 🙂

Made a yummy roasted butternut squash and apple soup. So simple really – roast the squash, sauté some onion and garlic, peel and steam an apple (I have to peel it due to my allergy) – then toss is all in the blender with veggie broth and some GF flour. Soup for days!

This is probably my very favorite salad. Kale is so hearty, you can make this and it lasts for days. This one is kale, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, quinoa, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds tossed in a lemon-tahini dressing.

And when you have a lunch meeting at the office and offer to bring the grub – everyone eats like me!!

One of my favorite easy snacks. Herbed tofu and slices of tomato.

Of course it’s officially Fall, so that means ALL THE PUMPKIN THINGS. Simple but tasty pumpkin pie with silken tofu, brown sugar, pumpkin, and all the right spices.

And since I was gone for 5 days and my kids failed to eat the bananas (brat children), I had plenty to work with to make fun baked things. Enter – chocolate chip banana bread! I needed oat flour but didn’t have any – so I wizzed some oats in the Vitamix and made my own.

I also whipped up a batch of Cajun blackened tofu – of which R snatched more than half to eat. I also made a pot of caulipots (mashed potatoes and cauliflower together), and some homemade BBQ sauce. Totally fantastic lunch, if I do say so myself! (And look – I just did). One of many smoothies I had this week. Of course, I usually have one per day. Nothing better than starting your day with pretty much your entire fruit and veggie needs!I’m a big fan of meals that start with a baked potato. This one – with a yummy mushroom gravy and a side of sriracha tofu.Lunch today was actually quite the disappointment. The cocktail was awesome though, so that’s redeemable. The salad had to be made twice (yeah, vegan means hold the feta!), the Gardein was super chewy and kinda icky, and the waiter lied about the first dressing he brought. Long story – the dressing that salad came with had honey – so I asked for the other dressing (a Dijon balsamic). He brought the wrong one – I sent it back – he came back with the right one, claiming it was the first one (HELLO, it was a different color and flavor!). I can handle mistakes – not everyone really understands the difference between vegetarian and vegan – but to lie about it? Ugh. And finally, dinner tonight! Remember about being a fan of baked potatoes as a base for a meal? Seriously – totally under appreciated.The two kids who are home (one is at a conference) had the top version. Baked spud – but in the air fryer! Hello – life freaking changing – topped with refried beans, vegan cheddar cheese shreds, and sautéed mushrooms (in broth with liquid smoke, maple syrup, and soy sauce).The one on the bottom – mine – had the refried beans and vegan cheese, but no ‘shrooms – instead I had lettuce and a spicy coconut yogurt topping.But back to this air fried baked potato. Not going to tell you how to do it – because I learned it in JL Field’s book today! If you have or want an air fryer – you legit need this. The Vegan Air Fryer is so worth it.

FITNESS

I canceled the gym membership we rarely use (I really just like running and yoga anyway), but have been slowly building a home gym in the garage. Pretty new to weight training – to be honest, I think it’s SOOOOO boring – but I also know how important it is. I’m not getting any younger ;). Not that I’ll ever feel my age!

As much as I hate mornings, I’m trying to adjust to workouts before work vs after as I increase my social calendar activities! No more school and recent single life, means more time for friends and fun. That means it gets in the way of my normal evening workouts.

So 2-3x per week of weight training, and runs and yoga the other days. Runs are more like jogs (except today – had a bit of extra energy to burn) as my right quad keeps healing.

Not the cutest, but it’s functional. In the box is a power tower that I’m waiting for my son to put together (ahem – if you’re reading this M….please put this together!).

LIFE

The week started out with a Witch’s Tea with my eldest, her best friend (my D3 – aka, third daughter) and her mom at a Victorian museum in Norfolk. It was a lot of fun, the tea was yummy, and since the snacks weren’t vegan, A actually packed a picnic basket for me! She made a totally yummy pinwheel wrap of spicy hummus, tofu, cucumber, and tomato.

Monday night is bowling night, and of course my team dressed up. I kept up with the witch theme, and we had a total blast!

Of course the next day was Halloween! It is my absolute favorite holiday (followed by St. Patrick’s day!). I naturally wore a costume to the office. Which included a big meeting (about 40 people or so) at our largest hospital – to which I was the ONLY one in costume (they were all in suits). It was totally worth it though.

The rest of the week was pretty chill. Work, family, friends, a movie, brunch, furniture shopping, and sweet fluff balls. Can’t complain about life at all!

My now 14 yo daughter found this in her room this week – from a mommy and me trip we took to Florida when she was 8.

R had a scary allergy attack – covered in hives from her ears to her waist – and what made her better (besides a high dose of Benadryl) was a Kuma bear, blankets, tortilla chips, and movies! And at night, a snuggly Bumble while she’s trying to read in bed.To be honest – I don’t actually think her hives were related to her peanut OIT therapy. When I’m freakishly stressed, I get hives. She’s had a rough week, and I think that’s what it was. Her hives weren’t on her face or throat, nor did she struggle to breath – all things one would expect from a food allergy reaction. Regardless, we’ve moved back to evening doses for a week or two just to be sure.

Just some fun fluffs.

Today was literally the only day I had time to sit out on the back deck and enjoy my java in peace (in my Depeche Mode mug from the concert!).

And I’ve decided to end my Saturday with a bit of a Harry Potter movie marathon! And if you notice the title of the first one – you know it’s the British set. There are a few more scenes in these, and it’s the original Philosopher’s stone vs the American Sorcerer’s Stone. Getting the first 3 in before bed, and then try to get as many as possible tomorrow before heading out boating with friends! 80 degree weather in November? Hell yeah.

Guess I’m No Quitter After All

Okay guys, I really came close to quitting blogging.  Part of it was because I know how sparse my posts have been, and I also started to feel I lost my blogging mojo.  Since becoming single, I’ve spent so much of the past few months finding my “new normal”, that I just felt a little out of touch with how I’ve blogged in the past.  But today I realized I’m not actually done, so I guess I’m no quitter after all 🙂

FOOD

There’s literally no way possible for me to show you the eats of the past 6 weeks.  Actually, I probably could, but that would just be way too long!

It’s been pretty typical fare: smoothies, soups, curries, baked potatoes, and the like.  A lot of traveling too, so some more fun eats as well.

made some homemade soy yogurt! Love this stuff. I make it super tart so it can be used in place of things like sour cream too

nice krispies!

spicy tofu soup!

Of course I had a TON of meals on the road the past month.

my survival basket from Whole Foods in San Jose (wine, fruit, etc).
this, my friends, is called a Paffle. It’s two waffles, with tofu scramble in the middle! A bit challenging to eat, but so creative!
can’t go to Florida and NOT go to Epcot. Well, I guess maybe you can, but I know I can’t! It was the international food and wine fest, which was just perfect

I was in Tampa for my bday and the group I was with sent this to my room. Very sweet (even though I didn’t eat it, it’s the thought that counts!)
Dallas had the BEST Mexican and Tex-Mex fare ever.
ugly pic, but amazing fajitas!

oddly super-green curry. But yummy.
got to see my good friend JG in Dallas! Lovely evening with wine and Thai food!

typical hotel vegan food offerings….
so the conference in Dallas specifically asked for dietary needs. I said vegan. NOTHING they served was. So they went and got me two bananas one morning. Ugh.

FITNESS

As it happens, I tore my right quadricep in that soccer game in mid-September, so I was sidelined for weeks!  I was allowed to eventually do gentle yoga, but otherwise it was walks and upper body workouts only.

Just yesterday I finally felt fully ready to get back into some of my normal routine.  So – I went to Hot Yoga!  Hopefully this week there will be more of that, and some runs and boxing too.  Being still just never works well for me.

hot, sweaty, stinky (I imagine anyway), and incredibly happy!

 

LIFE

Well, let’s see.  Lots in the past 6 weeks of course.  I had trips to San Jose, Tampa (with a side trip to Orlando), Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and Dallas.

me an my soon to be ex brother in law (but will ALWAYS be family) in San Jose!
hands down my fav theme park

Also, my youngest went to her first school dance!  Homecoming – and I wonder where my little girl has gone.

hair appt – where Raven the miracle worker actually tamed her crazy curls

And other fun stuff!

bought this at Epcot. Couldn’t help myself (Disney junkie that I am!). Micky heads with the epcot ball design
waiting for my flight home from Tampa
part of my 7 hr delay on my flight to Dallas
me and the oldest cabbage at Howl o Scream!
out with HT for wine flights, olives, and hummus
silly selfie out walking Kuma
me holding my baby boy (okay, JG and KG’s baby boy) and R’s 3rd bday party.
at our IT charity Nerd Golf event
all three in the same space without trying to eat each other. Clearly I’m cooking and they each think I have something they want
came home from some travels to find this on the fridge. Man, I love my kids…
carpooling with the eldest as her car was in the shop

Ginny wanting to come with me
with friends at Wine Fest!
and by FAR the best bday meme I got! This from OPR (who I also saw at Howl o Scream)

 

 

 

Cocoon of Safety

FOOD

I seriously don’t think you want to see a month of eats, but it’s been pretty good stuff (of course).  Smoothies, salads, curries, and other various fun stuff.  Now that it’s back to school, add in things like homemade granola bars, cookies, etc – and it’s been a busy kitchen!

pumpkin spice cookies!

SOUP SEASON!!
first batch of homemade kombucha!

FITNESS

Same as always – runs and yoga.  BUT…add in soccer too!

My neighbor invited me to play on a local soccer club team, and I jumped at the chance!  1 – it’s my favorite sport EVER.  2 – great way to meet new people (there are 7 teams in our club), and 3 – great exercise.

We had our first game last week Sunday.  I’m still sore….

LIFE

Well, it’s been a busy month!  R and I spent most of a week in DC!  We got to visit friends, play in the city, and mostly chill in the hotel room ordering room service!

R’s first Uber ride! On our way to W and A’s house for dinner!
dinner with friends!!

We had fun wandering around, hitting up some museums and a capitol tour that my friend J set up for us!  (he works on The Hill).

metro selfie
fell in love with Kramer Books
wandering around
being lazy and reading on this monster outdoor sofa

We both agreed that the Hill tour was the best!

I had a quick overnight trip to NYC for work.  The day I left, I went to a drag show called Drag Yourself to Brunch with my oldest A and my friend A!

I haven’t voluntarily watched scary movies for many years.  What’s funny, is I used to love them.  I think having kids made me get more easily spooked, but the point is, I’ve only watched a scary movie in the past 10 years or more if I lost a bet.  After a few that horrified me (hello Event Horizon), I just stopped betting.

Well, It just came out, and I read that book when I was 14.  While it scared the every living crap out of me, I still loved it.  So…I just HAD to go see the movie.

And anyone who knows anything realizes that the only way to see a scary movie is if you have a cocoon of safety.  Aka – a blanket that you can bury yourself in, never touch the floor, and pull it up so only your eyes are showing in the scary parts.  Nothing can hurt you if you have a cocoon of safety.

So yes.  At nearly 44 years old, I brought a blanket to the movie theater and survived It!

After the movie it was time to teach cribbage!  Of course the person I taught is freakishly competitive and this may come back to bite me someday, but I can take it.

Oh – I saw Depeche Mode!!!!  A quick trip BACK to DC (and a totally awesome one at that – spent a ton of time in bed!).  I’d seen them twice before, but not since 1991.  I’ve been a huge fan since I was 13 or so, and about lost it when I found they were coming close by.  I met a woman from Germany there who’d seen them 33 times!  I felt a bit like a poser fan, but got over it quickly.  The show was awesome and they performed as well as they did 20+ years ago.

On Sunday it was the inaugural gathering of a local Chelsea FC fan club!!  We got together at Keagan’s Irish Pub in Virginia Beach, watched Chelsea win, had some drinks, and the fun of enjoying my fav sport with other people who love it to!

R turned 14 this week!!  We hung out, watched a movie, had dinner (tofu pineapple stir-fry), had cake, and opened presents!

I refer to my kids as cabbages (comes from a French term of endearment).  Anyway, A decorated her cake 🙂

they didn’t want to make more dirty dishes, so they ate cake with their chopsticks from dinner. Gangsta style.

Random other fun things…

I had just put all her toys away
looking at bread recipes and Ginny wanted to help
dinner out shenanigan’s by cabbages 2 & 3
back deck reads
Bumble waiting semi-patiently to place her order
Ginny “helping” on laundry day
What Kuma thinks of mornings. That’s my girl
Hanging with JG!
get away from my drawer

me and AJ being goofy

Okay, off to get this weekend rolling!  So wild and crazy, that I’m in my jammies at 630 on a Friday night!  I know – I need to pace myself…

 

 

Kicking Insomnia’s Butt – the Right Way (this time)

FOOD

It’s been pretty quiet on the food front and mostly smoothies, soups, and stir fries as usual!  Still up to my big batch cooking on Sunday’s.  Makes the rest of the week MUCH easier.

busted out the juicer for the first time in ages
threw quinoa, chickpeas, corn, and peas in the rice cooker. For meals, I would put them in a bowl and toss them with various sauces.
roasted corn in the air fryer! 20 min at 425. Totally perfect.
of course there HAD to be a green curry meal!
batch cook on Sunday of beans and rice – basically my lunch for a week!
roasted tomatoes and onions with basil from the garden!
Irish oats with cinnamon

FITNESS

Runs and hot yoga have been my go-to 5-6 days per week.  Trying to keep to one rest day.  Be warned – these are not “cute Crissie” pictures, but “ass kicking Crissie” ones 🙂

LIFE

Life has been wonderfully full of AC since my last post!  But honestly, not a whole ton going on.  Work, workout, spend time with my kids, spend time with my friends.  Rinse and repeat.

Saturday I did have overnight guests though!  One of my closest friends moved out of state a few years ago, but her husband and kids (including my Godson) were back in the area.  They spent the night here on their way back out of state.  JC and I had a really nice time catching up, and the kids got to run around, play, and then pass out.

One of the most fun activities was taking my young one to a start-up pitch competition!  I knew she’d love it, and she did.  My budding entrepreneur 🙂  I’ve been getting more and more involved in our local start up community and have been loving every minute of it.

discussing the pitches we’re seeing!
2/3 of my cabbages! M met us out for dinner at Waterside after the pitch competition

The biggest thing is the my focused effort on my insomnia.  I haven’t really talked about it, but it’s been a big problem for 13 years now, and I haven’t handled it well or in the most healthy ways.  Journaling, meditation before bed, no electronics, no alcohol, lots of exercise.  It can take months, but as long as I keep a positive outlook, it’ll be okay.  Every time I tried to deal with this in the past, the anxiety of “knowing I can’t sleep” overwhelmed me and I gave up.  But not this time.  It’s not been fun, but it’s also not killing me, and working with cognitive behavior techniques, I’ve avoided the anxiety I’ve had about sleep so far.  So – apologies to those who know me if I’m a bit cranky for a few weeks.  It’s not you.  I’m just tired:)

Fluffballs have been fun and busy too!

cats coming together over “sink water”
laundry day – Ginny hanging out in the drawer
new bling for Kuma! With the divorce, I needed to change the contact info, so hellz yeah, UVA!!! #Wahoo

the one thing I needed from Home Depot was a light bulb. But..denied.

was doing some life planning Sunday and she wouldn’t let me get at my planner
kitty stalkers wanting me to get up Sunday when I didn’t want to
seriously!! I could tell someone was watching me.
my meditation buddies! One there when I start, one when I finish.

The Happiest Place on Earth is Home!

FOOD

Still mostly eating in vs going out to eat (with the exception of the last week where I was traveling).  I’ve been largely batch cooking on the weekends and eating leftovers through the week.

I’m still doing a lot of the Happy Herbivore meals, but have had a few fun ones thrown in.  Like this one!

Crissie’s Kitchen Sink Red Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 4 carrots, diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 onion, diced large
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste (brand of your choosing, I order from The Spice House)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger root

Directions

  • Line a large skillet with a small amount of water and heat on medium high
  • add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until soft
  • add carrots and bell pepper.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add can of coconut milk + 1/2 can of water, tofu, and broccoli, and peas
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Serve over rice, quinoa, or any other grain of choice (or plain, like I had it!  More soup than stir fry).

I used up all the veggies I had lying around (I was heading out on a week-long trip, so that was important), and the fun thing with curries, is you can use whatever you have.  Cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, etc.  Doesn’t matter – it’s all yummy!

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I ate leftovers over quinoa I had batched cooked over the weekend

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Some other homemade eats

D is the total grill master!  He marinated portabellos and pineapple  in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun.  OH MY GOSH.  So tasty!  And a side of grilled veggies.
D is the total grill master! He marinated portabellos and pineapple in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun. OH MY GOSH. So tasty! And a side of grilled veggies.

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Tofurky night!
Tofurky night!

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batch cooking chowder
batch cooking chowder

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And my awesome eats from Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, Epcot, and Florida in general!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep's pie!
a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep’s pie!
potato broccoli soup
potato broccoli soup
BBQ Chikun Empanadas
BBQ Chikun Empanadas

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from a little place near my hotel where I'd stop for some fresh juice.  This was my favorite
from a little place near my hotel where I’d stop for some fresh juice. This was my favorite
smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!
smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!
of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once!  Wasn't as good as my place at home :)
of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once! Wasn’t as good as my place at home 🙂

FITNESS

Well, after finally reading about it for months, I broke down and bought Beach Body on Demand.  It’s honestly been awesome.  I’m working out every day either in my bedroom or my hotel.  Plus runs of course!

after a nice run outside in FL one morning
after a nice run outside in FL one morning

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after a long bike ride last weekend before I left - me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day
after a long bike ride last weekend before I left – me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day
looking sweaty and unamused.  5am is EARLY for exercise
looking sweaty and unamused. 5am is EARLY for exercise
lame attempt at a smile
lame attempt at a smile

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LIFE

Been a busy, but great two weeks.  New (and final) term for grad school started!  Lot’s of focus on entrepreneurial  processes, and it’s been really interesting so far.  As much an art as a business science.

R had her second peanut flour updose!  She’s now at 6% of 1 peanut.  Words cannot express how proud I am of her for doing this.  Her bravery shocks me – she knows how life threatening her peanut allergy is, yet this treatment protocol, if successful, will forever alter her life and take away that fear.  The process is a bit anxiety producing though.

before and during her does
before and during her does
and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor
and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

I went to a conference for work in Orlando.  It was a really good show, but my favorite is always the volunteer work with military veterans who have recently or are soon to be transitioning.  It’s less about healthcare IT specifically and more about the culture shock.  For those in a long time, it’s learning to STOP using some language and terminology that doesn’t translate into the corporate world and to understand leadership nuance differences (such as people don’t do what you tell them just because you tell them!).  Nothing like that existed when I transitioned out of the Navy, so I love doing this for others.

I also took a side trip to Epcot and had a great time.  And while it was a great trip, the happiest place on earth is really just being back home!

they legit had a DJ!
they legit had a DJ!
how well they know us!
how well they know us!

Other than that, it’s been pretty typical.  Family, work, school, rinse, repeat.

And some extra pics of stuff, morning pictures, and fluffy buddies!

Ginny wrapped up in her toy
Ginny wrapped up in her toy
Bumble wrapped up in her blankets
Bumble wrapped up in her blankets
Kuma deciding Bumble's idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant
Kuma deciding Bumble’s idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

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she just misses my suitcase...
she just misses my suitcase…

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I'm fairly obsessed with palm trees
I’m fairly obsessed with palm trees
Kuma put her toy against D's foot to use as a pillow
Kuma put her toy against D’s foot to use as a pillow
pure genius
pure genius
after a wet night out in Orlando
after a wet night out in Orlando
when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they're very curious as to why....they made me this button!
when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they’re very curious as to why….they made me this button!
what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself!  Glorious.
what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself! Glorious.

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cold morning walk
cold morning walk

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Have a great weekend!!