2018
  

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Forgotten Carols

We finally got to see The Forgotten Carols as a family! I wrote about the tickets and how I was looking forward to it last month, but today I wanted to share a little about the show & what we all thought of it.


The Forgotten Carols is a play about a man who claims to have known several people from the time of Jesus, who were involved with the Christmas story. Each character has his or her own carol (a song written by Michael McLean), and each character is someone "forgotten" (someone we don't hear too much about when we re-tell the Christmas story). The music is SO good!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Homemade Candy Cane Marshmallows

I first published this post about how to make candy cane marshmallows almost 2 years ago, but I wanted to share it this month because it's SUCH a delicious recipe! It makes some mess and takes some effort because making marshmallows is kind of an unusual thing for most of us, but you can totally do it and they are SO soft and delicious and your kids will never forget making these with you! :)  So, if you've got the time to devote to the making & the clean-up, this just might be the perfect thing to put on your Christmastime bucket list!

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This post was sponsored by Wayfair

Whether they've been working hard outside shoveling the driveway, building a snow fort, making snow angels or just hiking home from the school bus stop, my kids love to come inside and warm up with a nice cup of hot chocolate. We decided to make it more fun during their winter holidays last week and make our own marshmallows! I have always loved adding candy cane to hot chocolate (there's just something so good about that hint of mint mixed in!),  so we tried coating our freshly made marshmallows in a mix of icing sugar and crushed candy cane and the result was fabulous!

How to Make Your Own Marshmallows

I'm going to share the recipe with you because I made some alterations to the original marshmallow recipe I shared on the blog 4 years ago. That recipe was great but it made a TON of marshmallows. Today's recipe makes a smaller batch so it's just right if you're making them just for your own family.


Monday, December 10, 2018

6 Winter Care Tips

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

There is no denying it, the winter is here and in full force. Itchy skin, dry eyes, chapped lips and a stuffy nose are just the start of winter woes. Today let's talk about winter care!



Try these simple tips and tricks to beat the harsh effects of the coldest months.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Savior Is Born! 12 Days of Christmas Advent

While we are still more than 12 days away from Christmas I want to re-share this post so that you can plan ahead if you'd like to try this advent!  It's all focused on Christ and includes activities and printables to make it easy for you to put into action!

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Christmas time can get SO busy!  Some years it's hard to keep Christ as the center of the celebration, with parties and shopping and planning to fill your family's time!  Here is a fun 12-day advent that you can do with your family to help them to keep the Savior as their focus. These ideas were put together with busy families in mind, so this will be a good way to remember Jesus and focus on the reason for this season without having to spend too much time planning how to do it!

Each day includes:
- a scripture to read
- a topic to discuss
- a 15 minute activity to do together

You can download a pennant flag bunting (which you can print here) that has all of the scriptures on it, if you'd like a cute decoration/reminder. :)  Hang it all at once or add a flag each day!



You can start now or wait until the last 12 days before Christmas or pick and choose which activities you want to do.  Here's what you'll need & the links to download the free printables:

Monday, December 3, 2018

A Secret 12 Days of Christmas Surprise

December has hit and with it, a lot of snow for us here in Utah! It has really put us in a Christmas-y mood and it seemed like a good time to share this "12 Days of Christmas Surprise" post with you again. I originally shared it in early December of last year.

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Near the end of last year, I was struggling with feelings of frustration with the uncertainty that came with Ken's PhD. He had been in school far longer than we planned or expected and there was no end date in sight. Those last few years of Ken's degree were difficult for both of us. As I was dealing with some of those feelings and trying to focus on the positive and on all of our blessings and all of the good in our lives, something pretty awesome happened to us!

Creative Secret 12 Days of Christmas

I wanted to share this experience with you because I've been thinking a lot about how we can serve others this month and I thought sharing this might inspire some of you with some ideas of how to show love and support to the people in your life. Whether you feel you can set aside the time, effort, and money to do something as involved as this, or there's a cute idea in the mix that sparks an idea for you, I hope it inspires you to do something kind for someone else.

On the first day of Christmas...




Saturday, December 1, 2018

December 2018 Sharing Time Link Party



Welcome to the December Link Party!



Thursday, November 29, 2018

When Life Doesn't Go the Way You Planned

I wrote this blog post in July. Then I chickened out and left it as an unpublished draft.
It's exactly 19 weeks later (many Thursdays since) and I thought of this post, re-read it, and decided to go ahead and post it. Maybe some of you will be able to relate to it. Maybe you'll have something to share from your own experience. Either way, I guess I just felt ready to share it, so here it is:

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If you've been following my blog for a long time, you might remember when I used to post "Thursday Thoughts". It's been a long time since I wrote a post, just sharing my thoughts, and it seemed about time.


It's weird.
It's like our Disney trip separates our life now from our life before it.
Everything before Disney seems so far away.
Everything after Disney has been very difficult. (Well, not everything, but many things)


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Building a Sick Day Kit

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.


Ahhh snow.... and cold... and colds... how did we get here again?

Now that the chillier days of the year have arrived, it’s time to be extra vigilant in the fight against those pesky viruses ready to wreak havoc on your health. But if you find yourself in a losing battle against sickness, make sure you’re armed and ready to face it head on.



Here are some ideas for building your own sick day kit, so you can be ready for lots of different types of sick days!


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

2018 Forgotten Carols Tour

One of the things I'm really looking forward to this Christmas season is the chance to attend The Forgotten Carols. When I was attending University at BYUI, we had the opportunity to see The Forgotten Carols. One of our friends was in the play, as one of the "homeless" men. Now, over 15 years later, I can look back on that night and remember specific, detailed moments from it. I loved that show!


I'm so excited to be living in Utah this year, so we're close enough to attend a performance. Ken & the girls have only ever seen a recording of it (and listened to the CD many times every Christmas season). I can't wait to go, see the show in person again and to share it with my family!

Here are some details about the show & how you can get tickets:


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Day 11: Chocolate Gift Basket

Today we're giving away a Chocolate Gift Basket from Ticket Chocolate!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 11!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.


As part of last year's gift guide I shared how my love of Ticket Chocolate began years ago when someone sent me some in the mail and that I loved dipping the chocolate-on-a-stick into steaming milk to create a delicious, gourmet drink. I wanted to share a few of their other products with you, too.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Day 10: Personal Scriptures

Today we're giving away a set of Journaling Scriptures from Line Upon Line!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 10!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.


If you're a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then you know that we use more than one book of scripture. We use the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants in addition to the Bible. Recently, a couple of ladies who are members of the church started a company called Line Upon Line and they have created journaling scriptures. Whether you share a religion with me or not, if you read the Bible, I think you'll be interested in thees. I'm excited to share them with you!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Day 9: Book Subscription Box

Today we're giving away a Kids' Book Box from Bookroo!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 9!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.


You all know that I love a good non-toy gift for my kids and what you may also know is that I have two girls who are big on reading. So I LOVE what Bookroo is doing and think their monthly book subscription box would make an amazing gift for kids!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Day 8: Citrus Pear Frozen Meals Gift Card Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Citrus Pear.

Today we're giving away a $50 Gift Code to Citrus Pear!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 8!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.


Who wouldn't love a gift that makes their life easier? Citrus Pear provides classes for preparing healthy freezer meals that can be made in your crock pot or pressure cooker. I attended a class recently and am about to share all the details with you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pink & Blue Small Living Room Decor

This post was sponsored by Wayfair.

When we moved to Utah we chose a rental townhouse with kind of a strange layout. There are 3 narrow floors with no basement so the first floor is just the garage and the living room. It's a fairly small living room with a few unique layout features that made it tricky to work with but I am so excited to share it with you now that we have it all figured out!

Pink and Blue Living Room Decor

We came to Utah without a lot of furniture, so I was able to start mostly from scratch in decorating this room. That was really fun but also very challenging because I was trying to do it on a very small budget. I wanted the room to feel beautiful and homey. I wanted it to feel cohesive and I think I was able to do that by choosing a couple of colors to focus on.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Day 7: Personalized Plum Paper Planner

Today we're giving away a Planner from Plum Paper!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 7!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.



Monday, November 12, 2018

Day 6: Personalized Jewelry & Ornaments Giveaway

Today we're giving away a gift card for The Vintage Pearl!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 6!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.

Raising Memories Christmas Gift Guide Giveaway


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Day 5: Wood Watches Giveaway

Today we're giving away a Wood Watch from JORD!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 5!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.

JORD Wood Watch Gift Guide Giveaway


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Day 4: Flybar Scooter, Pogo Stick, & Pogo Ball Giveaway

Today we're giving away a Pogo Stick, Scooter, or Pogo Ball!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 4!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.

Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway for Kids


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Day 3: Ste. Anne's Day Spa for 2 Giveaway

Today we're giving away a Day Spa for 2 at Ste. Anne's Spa!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 3!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.

Spa Day for 2 Giveaway Ste. Anne's Spa


Monday, November 5, 2018

Day 2: Jo Totes Camera Bag Giveaway

Today we're giving away a Jo Totes Camera Bag!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 2!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.

Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway Camera Bag


Saturday, November 3, 2018

November 2018 Sharing Time Link Party



Welcome to the November Link Party!



Friday, November 2, 2018

Day 1: PlasmaCar Giveaway

Today we're giving away a PlasmaCar!

If you missed the announcement, it's Gift Guide Giveaway time and today is Day 1!
You can keep track of all Gift Guide posts from the announcement page.




Thursday, November 1, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway Days

It's Gift Guide Giveaway time and this year, more of you will get to win!

Instead of having 2 "winner takes all" style giveaways like last year, this year there will be a new item featured each weekday for a couple of weeks, and a new giveaway for every single item featured!

I'm excited to share some of my favorite gift ideas with you! I'm including some old favorites and some new discoveries. I hope you get great inspiration for your holiday shopping and your personal wish list!

Raising Memories Holiday Gift Guide Giveaways 2018


Giveaway Days Details


Monday, October 29, 2018

Stevie the Bee (A Self Discovery Picture Book for Kids)

Today I want to share a sweet little children's book with you. It's all about a little bee and his struggle to find his place in the world among so many other bees who seemed to have more of a purpose than he.


We were excited when this book came in the mail because we know the author and his family!


Monday, October 1, 2018

October 2018 Sharing Time Link Party



Welcome to the October Link Party!



Friday, September 21, 2018

Dream Big, Princess!

I love that Katrina has been full of creative ideas and plans lately! From her baking creations to creating dances with her friends, and making her own beads for jewelry, she's been bursting with creative endeavors!  I really want to encourage her to follow and live her dreams- big or small! I sometimes have a tendency to tell myself that some dreams are too big, and I discourage myself from pursuing them because I can't see how they'll become a reality or I just think the likelihood of being disappointed is too high. While trying to change my own habits in that area, I also want to make sure I don't do the same to my kids! Disney has a similar focus right now with their #DreamBigPrincess initiative and I've teamed up with Hasbro to share a bit about that, and some of my thoughts on helping my kids to dream big!


I've written before about how I have been learning to have the courage to dream big. When I wrote about it, I was sharing my experience with a dream that seemed "too big" coming true. I love the quote from Walt Disney that says, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them," and that's exactly what I want for my girls! I don't want them to be afraid to pursue their big dreams.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Baby Hayden (Newborn Photography)

My newest nephew arrived in August and I had the opportunity to go over to my sister's house to take some newborn photos of him. I actually started blogging a good decade ago, to have a place just to share photos from my photography sessions. It's been a long time since I've done a session, so it's fun to have some photos to share with you today!


Best of all, they are photos of the sweetest little munchkin around!


Friday, September 7, 2018

August Month-in-Review

It's September!! How did this happen?!!

I've pulled together a post about our August and I have a few thoughts to share at the end of it... I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject & then get into it further in the future, so hang in to the end if you think you might like to weigh in!


Near the beginning of the month Talia and a couple of her older cousins had the opportunity to go to a special youth event for a day. While they were there we met with 2 of my sisters-in-law (& a bunch of cousins) at a park. Katrina brought a treat she had created for everybody.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Kids Creating in the Kitchen with Blendtec

This summer Katrina became very interested in creating her own treats. I don't mean baking cookies or putting some snacks in a bowl. I mean gathering ingredients and experimenting with putting them together to create something totally her own. She's been pretty successful, too!

Blendtec Designer 625 vs Designer 725


It all started when we replaced our blender. I loved that blender but it had to go, for safety reasons, after our smoke disaster. I was excited to replace it with the Blendtec Designer 725 blender because it has all of the great features my old one had, but with even more added on! (I'm going to share some of the additional features throughout this post, as I share Katrina's story).

We got our new blender shortly after moving to Utah and during those first few weeks as we settled into a new home in a new country, Katrina would often ask permission to make a smoothie in the blender. I always supervised at first, until I was confident in her understanding of how to use it properly, and then magic happened- my 9 year old could put together smoothies & she would make enough for everyone & serve them to us- sweet!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

6 Ways to Get Your Kids Ready for Back to School!

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

Summer has already come to an end here in Utah and although we've already started school, I know it's just around the corner for my friends back in Canada! Getting your child ready to go back to school may feel like a full-time job, but with these helpful tips they will be ready to go back and have fun in no time!

6 Back to School Tips


1. Get Back into A Sleep Routine


Monday, August 6, 2018

August 2018 Sharing Time Link Party



Welcome to the August Link Party!



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July (Month-in-Review)

July was another whirlwind. A lot of good and a lot of fun was crammed into this month and at the same time, personally, a lot of struggles. This post will focus on all of the fun and the good!



At the tail end of June, I picked my parents up from the airport. They stayed at our house for a few nights and we welcomed them with this little greeting:


Friday, July 27, 2018

How to Have a Great Staycation

In early June, I was on FOX 13’s lifestyle show, The PLACE, discussing tips for a great Staycation!

I'm sharing those tips here today, along with a few links to resources on the blog that will give you some more specific or detailed ideas and inspiration for planning your own Staycation!



Happy Staycation planning! Now, onto the tips!


Monday, July 23, 2018

The Self-Care Day Challenge & Giveaway (10 Winners!!)

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

There has been a lot of talk about self-care lately. As our lives get busier, prioritizing self-care becomes increasingly important.  I'm finding this very important for myself lately and I have a post coming soon, sharing some of my recent personal struggles. Many of us think of self-care as practicing yoga, a day at the spa or even spending quality time with friends. While these are all great ways to relax, there is much more to it!

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway in Canada for Self Care Day

The concept of self-care is about empowering individuals, families and communities to practice healthy habits, prevent disease and cope with illness or disability to achieve optimum health. Taking better care of ourselves by utilizing the products available to us not only helps Canadians lead healthier lives, it also alleviates strain on our healthcare system! Making a commitment to practice self-care has so many benefits.

That’s why Bayer, a global health products leader, is working to educate consumers on how Better Self-care for a Better Life can make a difference in quality of life, while improving healthcare sustainability.

Here are a few ways I practice self-care:


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Disney's Magic Kingdom - Our Top 10

There is so much to learn about Walt Disney World if you haven't been there before! That's why I decided to do a post about each of Disney's parks and today we're focusing on Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Top 10 Disney World

Magic Kingdom is broken up into several different areas or "lands", so I'll also share which land each of these activities is located in. I highly suggest that as you plan your trip, you get familiar with a map so you can plan your route, to avoid too much walking!

There are so many things to do in the Magic Kingdom so it's not easy to limit it to 10 things, but we took a vote and these are our Top 10!


Monday, July 9, 2018

Flybar Scooter Giveaway!

Shortly after we settled into our new home in Utah, we got a special package on our doorstep from a company called Flybar. When I heard about this company, I got excited because they make so many fun outdoor toys that really take me back to my childhood! They make pogos, skateboards and scooters of all types, as well as safety gear and some really awesome creative products- you'll have to check out their website to see them all! We were excited to take their new Aero Scooter for a "test scoot"!


In this post I'll share some information about the scooter & what we thought of it- stick around to the end for a great giveaway!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 2018 Sharing Time Link Party



Welcome to the July Link Party!



Friday, July 6, 2018

June (Month-in-Review)

Here's a quick review of some of the highlights from our month of June.



June 1st

The girls & I went park hopping...

Monday, June 18, 2018

Summer Sports Essentials

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

Summer is a great time to join a sports league (for adults or for kids) but it's something I haven't done in years! We do get out for the occasional family game though, and we have a family reunion coming up this summer, so who knows what kind of activities we might find ourselves participating in!


Sports are a great way to have fun and escape the stress of everyday life. Whether you went ahead and signed yourself or your kids up for a team or you're just participating in the occasional sporting endeavor, there are a few essential items you’ll want to bring along. Check out this handy list for tips on packing for a day on the field:


Friday, June 15, 2018

Our 1st Few Weeks in Utah

I've done a lot of week-in-review posts in the past few months but today will be a bit different. Today is almost a whole month-in-review, starting with moving day, and an overview of the rest of the month of May.


This will be a long one but I wanted to get it all documented and have a place to look back on it all.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A HUGE Surprise from Hasbro!

If you've been following along with our Smoke Saga, you'll know that our home and belongings recently sustained a lot of smoke & soot damage and our girls lost almost all of their toys.

I've partnered with Hasbro a few times in the past and when they heard what happened, they wanted to send some toys for our girls!

Hasbro Surprised us with a huge package of toys

In a previous post I mentioned that we received a special package from Hasbro. Later I wrote about giving the toys to the girls and said that it was the best moment we've had since Disney World and that I would share more details in a future blog post. So, here are those details!


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top Notch Lobster Fishing Excursion (Prince Edward Island)

I recently re-shared my post about visiting Charlottetown P.E.I. It's a perfect time of year to visit the island. We went right in the middle of last summer and the weather was beautiful! If you're planning a trip to P.E.I. for this year, you will want to know all about our Lobster Tour because it was one of our favourite experiences! (This post was originally shared on August 23rd, 2017)

~*~


Without a doubt, if you ask Ken what his favourite experience of our entire Eastern Canada road trip was, he'll tell you about our lobster fishing tour! It's definitely up there in my top moments, too. This was SUCH a memorable, educational, delicious, and fun experience!



Monday, June 11, 2018

Driving from Ontario to Utah!

After a whirlwind one week to pack up our life and prepare for a move from Canada to the United States, we were finally ready, all 4 visas in hand, to start driving to Utah!


We left later than planned and we didn't have a plan for where we would stop each night (beyond the 1st two nights), but we figured it out as we went & had some good adventures along the way!


Saturday, June 9, 2018

A Week to Pack & Move to A New Country!

It's time to catch up on these week-in-review posts!  Today's post is all about the week between visiting Utah to find a home, and leaving Canada to move to Utah!


Talk about a whirlwind!


Monday, June 4, 2018

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Our Top 10

If you haven't been to Disney World you might not realize that it's actually made up of 4 different parks! We went to Disney World for the first time in 2016 and were invited to the 2018 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration which we attended in February. Now that we've been to Disney World twice, I'm sharing our top 10 things to do at each of Disney's parks, starting with Hollywood Studios! Hollywood Studios is all about the worlds of movies, television, music, and theater.



Here are our family's top 10 things to do in Disney's Hollywood Studios!


Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2018 Sharing Time Link Party



Welcome to the June Link Party!



Thursday, May 31, 2018

Utah Home Hunt

In the middle of April, Ken & I flew out to Utah together to look for a home for our family. We planned a week-long trip so that we'd have plenty of time to visit the University and get some paperwork done for his new job, get some other legal things started for moving to the USA, and spend time looking at different rentals. We expected to fly out on April 14th & fly home on the 21st but things didn't go as planned! We ended up with some unexpected detours but got the most important things done in the end.  Here's the story of our Utah Home Hunt!


It all began with an ice storm...


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Logan & Cove Mattress Review, Unboxing, & Giveaway!

If you're a regular reader of my blog you know that we recently lost our mattress to smoke damage. We were so sad to lose our Douglas mattress because we really loved it and had only had it for just over a year! When I started looking for a new mattress I found out that Novosbed (who made our Douglas mattress) is making a new mattress called the Logan & Cove. I'm excited to be teaming up with Novosbed again to share some details about their new mattress and to offer a giveaway so that one of you can win one of your own!


The Logan & Cove mattress comes delivered to your door in a box, but this box is a little bigger than the Douglas box because the Logan & Cove isn't just a foam mattress- it has coils! Call me a furniture nerd if you like, but I used to work at our family furniture store, and I remember how cool pocketed coils are, with their motion isolating magic, so I was excited when I heard that this mattress comes with pocketed coils and a cushioned pillow-top!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Charlottetown Prince Edward Island - Road Trip with Kids

Last summer we had such an awesome road trip across Eastern Canada! I thought it would be fun to revisit some of those experiences by sharing them again. It's the perfect time of year to start thinking about planning your own trip and maybe seeing what we did will give you some ideas or inspiration for your own trip!  (This post was originally shared on August 25th, 2017)

~*~


The idea for our road trip across Eastern Canada came to life one night while the girls and I sat, cuddled up on the couch, watching Anne of Green Gables. I knew I wanted to go someday, but that's when I really started thinking about doing it this year. We spent three nights in Prince Edward Island and most of our time in and around Charlottetown or Cavendish. This post is all about our Charlottetown adventures!


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Be Summer Smart!

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

Here in Utah, the weather is already so beautiful! For the first little while, I was surprised every time I went outside and it wasn't cold. Now that we've gotten the most urgent moving tasks done, we're excited to get outside this summer and explore our new home! With all of the fun and excitement around the corner with summer though, come sunburns, bugs, and allergies. With summer vacation around the corner I thought I'd share some tips for taking precautions to make the most of these sunny days. Let's free ourselves from that desire to just hibernate inside, away from the sun and the pollen!

Ways to Stay Summer Smart with Kids


Here are some of the things we plan to do, to stay summer smart:


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