Category Archives: inspiration

Take a Moment – The Monet Effect

Hey friends,

monet effect

The Monet Effect, it hit me this morning….

Do you look at others & think they have it all sorted?

Do you wish you were cool, calm & collected with your kids 100% of the time? Just like the parents you see on Social Media with the flawless blog & your friends with the creative & well dressed kids?

Do you ever look at someone & think ‘they have it all’?

I was looking out of my bedroom window this morning.  It’s a hot, sunny day here in Somerset.  I’m fortunate enough to live with a beautiful & far reaching countryside view.  Somerset sure has beautiful rolling hills & is the essence of English country living.  I have a blissful view, for sure!

As I looked out of my window I glanced down at our hedge.  Our neighbour had trimmed their side of the hedge making our side look straggly, unsightly & well *gasp* unmaintained.  I was slightly mortified that I’d let the side down.  Perfectionism really does suck sometimes.

But then I looked at the hills in the distance & thought how beautiful & perfect the view was.

I was gently reminded  of a film I watched over & over again with my sissy called ‘Clueless’.  I know that film inside out & this quote from it came to mind!

Tai : ‘What’s a Monet?’

Cher: ‘It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.’

Not wanting to say Monet paintings are a big mess, no disrespect intended I love Monet.  But using the point that up close IN THE VIEW would not be so pefect after all.

There would be litter, weeds, bugs & alsorts.  Sometimes things aren’t what they seem from a distance.

Sometimes people & what they ‘have’ seem perfect with abit of distance between you & them. Do you find that you are way more envious of people when you don’t actually know the in’s & out’s of their daily lives & their struggles?

Everyone has flaws, everyone has issues, that’s a fact.

Next time you think someone else has it far better than you, remember the quote!

Also, if you want a giggle look up Clueless quotes, I just had such a fit of the giggles reading through them trying to find that one.

I gotta get that film out again!

Until the next time friends, I better organise getting my hedge trimmed!  Don’t want to let the neighbourhood down!!

Have a great day all.

Lizzie XO

 

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OPEN MIC – Make Memories With Your Kids That Will Last Forever!

OPEN MIC

 

Welcome my Guest for this week’s Open Mic.

ISABEL SCOLLEN

ISABEL & AARON

My name is Isabel Scollen.  I am married to Aaron & have 3 girls.  Aaron & I met in Leeds & got married in 2001.  I am British but was born in the Northeast of Brazil in the City of Recife.  I enjoy meeting new people & developing strong friendships.

I am interested in topics that include family life, marriage, children etc.  I love God & everything related to Him.

Make Memories With Your Kids That Will Last Forever!

When my friend Lizzie asked if anyone would like to contribute in her blog my first reaction was “I would love to.”

I love sharing the wonderful things that God blessed us to do as a family.  The benefits of all those little things and big things that we do in life count for a healthy and happy child’s present and future.

As Christians, we commit our children to God, we recognize that as in Psalm 127 “Children are an inheritance from the Lord”, they are a blessing.

Beginning of our Journey

Only 7 months after getting married, I found out that I was pregnant with my first daughter(Hannah).  When we were considering what to call her, we found out how significant names are in the Bible.  Each name has a meaning and that name can have a major impact on a child’s future.

The name Hannah seemed to fit like a glove.  From the Hebrew Hannah means “helper”, “grace” and “graciousness”.  She is a very independent, talented, inventive and successful child who has always been willing to help others.

Our second child “Alicia” comes from the Spanish meaning “noble one”.  Her name was adapted from her grandmother’s name “Alice”.  Strong willed, thoughtful, powerful and intelligent would some up Alicia.  She loves technology like her Dad!

Bethany, from the Hebrew meaning “house of figs”, born from the Bible as a place name rather than a person’s name.  Bethany was the place where Jesus visited with his close friends, Lazarus, Mary and Martha.

It was also the place where Lazarus was brought back from the dead (and this resurrection story is the reason we chose this name for our Bethany – but more on this another time!). Bethany is a very happy child: communicative, creative, optimistic and sociable.

Each one is so different and unique in their own way.

Hannah and Alicia are quite close in age and I often dressed them in matching outfits. When you are a new Mum, you want to keep everything fair.  If you give something to one, you feel the need to give the same thing to the other.  But as time goes on you realize that each one has a unique character – you can buy for each according to their character needs and fashion trends.

Here are some photos.

ISABEL, AARON & KIDS

ALL 3 GIRLS

Today they are all dressed differently according to their taste.  Mum checks it out so they don’t come home with a bright pink skirt, green top and stripy socks to go to a wedding!

Making memories…

Back to the title of this post – how do we make memories with our children?

1) We have a custom in our family, that for every birthday, we start the day with a mini cake or breakfast in bed for the birthday boy or girl.  We sing “Happy Birthday”, blow out candles and gather all the cards and gifts from the family and open them up in bed.  We usually have a party within a couple of days for school and family friends to celebrate together, but we also love our little “family party” in the morning (lots of photos to keep the memories alive)!

ISABEL PARTY

2) Family weekends away or days out are a must.  We go to the beach, nature reserves and if the budget will allow theme and holiday parks.  For those with family who are not local, then visits to grandparents, aunts & uncles and cousins are great opportunities.  Our girls don’t see their cousins very often, so when they do, we make an effort to make it special and memorable for them. Lots of photos again to reinforce those memories.

3) Once a year a family holiday for a week or two is very important.  They will never forget – whether it’s camping, Disney, or a package holiday.  The budget is not as important as the time and attention that they will get from Mum and Dad.

ALL 3 GIRLS PARIS

Small memorable things

1)  One to Ones.  We try to give each child the full attention of one parent on a regular basis. For example

– clothes shopping with Mum, going to the cinema with Dad, walking the dog together or even going for a ride in the car.

2)  Having regular family meals together.  Although this can be difficult with the work pressures of many families, try to find something which works for you.  It may be breakfast every morning with the kids, dinner or supper.

3)  Highs and Lows.  Once a day at a meal time, have each family member share their high (something great that happened today) and a low (something not so good that happened).

So that’s what I wanted to share – I hope you enjoyed it!

Isabel Scollen

 

Disclaimer : Opinions raised in this Open Mic series are entirely the words, thoughts & opinions of the guest author & are not necessarily the opinion of Lizzie Somerset’s Blog.  LS XO

Five on Friday – Fever, Festival & Fiesta In June

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Hey friends,

Linking up once again with the lovely girls, April, Christina, Darci & Natasha.  They truly are gracious hostesses so please go check out their blogs too.

Did you enjoy my guest post on Tuesday? I really see this little space belonging to all of you.  So if you have a burning issue or story to share please do get in touch.

If your story fits with the ethos of this blog; positively, motivating & encouraging others or you have a craft/recipe then maybe you can do a guest post for my Open Mic series! E-mail me on lizziesomerset@gmail.com I’d love to hear from you.

guest blog image

O N E -WORLD CUP FEVER

STARTS NOW! Wowee I am so excited as we start out on another England adventure with our boys in RIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got Sweet Harry a new tee-shirt from Florence & Fred at Tesco & a World Cup football, who knows maybe he is the next Beckham.  We sure do love our footie in blighty.

TESCO DISPLAY

Saw this display in my local Tesco store & had to share it with you.

T W O – GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL

PRIMARK DISPLAY

Primark Store Window

The festival is really near us so I always feel the atmosphere when the festival is on.

I’m praying for a  hot, hot, hot Glastonbury for my friends who are going this year as lets face it it’s better than rain.  Anything that throws Somerset in the limelight is a good thing too.

There’s an awesome line-up as always.  Although I’m not going this year I love watching the BBC coverage & looking out for my friends in the crowd.

I’ll be drinking a Somerset Cider & thinking of you all rocking the crowd & trying to soak up the magic from home.

Next year is my year friends!!!

T H R E E – WEEKEND WITH MUM & SISSY

Me & Mum are hot-footing it up to Chichester, West Sussex this weekend to spend some much needed girl time with my sister Rosie.

Shopping, coffee, cake & chat are the only things on the agenda, I’m thankful & can’t wait for this precious time together. We’re going to be making some lemonade to drink in the garden too so watch out for the recipe next week!

Did I also mention no kids?  YEEHAH.

F O U R – IT’S HOTTING UP!

Finally the temps seem to be climbing & I for one couldn’t be happier.  Time to break out the toddler pool, suncream & ice lollies.

Again, I’ve bought some summer clothing essentials from Florence & Fred at Tesco for the win.

I LOVE my new pineapple shocking pink vest at £9 it’s cool chic on a budget. I’ve got a thing about pineapples at the moment, I love that they symbolise hospitality, something very much on my heart at the moment.

pineapple top 2 f&f

F I V E – Summer Nights

Summer brings with it the opportunity to relax al fresco of an evening, I’ll be championing some of my fave mock/cocktails in the weeks ahead & my tips for dining light.

Look out my amigos as Pimm’s may be on the agenda.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend I pray it’s a great one!

Until the next time friends, have a great day!!

Lizzie XO

Fun Brunch Idea

Hey friends,

Last weekend we had some friends + kids over for brunch.  It’s a time of the day that works well for us socially.

I wanted to share something I made up which were a big hit!

TROPICAL FRUIT & DOUGHNUT SKEWERS

skewers

WHAT YOU NEED

Makes 5

1 x pack Strawberries

2 x packs of Ready to Eat Fruit  – I chose Mango, Pineapple & Melon packs from Morrisons

2 x kiwi’s

1 x chocolate ring doughnut

I like using the doughnuts with sprinkles on because they are so colourful

5 x skewers (find in the seasonal ailse with the bbq stuff)

HOW TO MAKE

Cut the fruit into chunks big enough for the skewer to go through without breaking (about 1.5″in)

Skin & slice the kiwi’s (again, not too thinly)

Cut the ring doughnut into 5 slices

Assemble all your fruit & doughnut the same order on each skewer

If you are not a perfectionist like me you could mix your fruit up a little – ooooh.

Serve on a pretty plate.

Enjoy!

I had some fruit left over which I turned into a fruit salad (because I only made 4).

I also had some doughnuts to share which looked amazing on yet another pretty plate.

doughnuts

These were so easy to make, looked fantastic & tasted wonderful. The kids loved them & I loved how colourful they looked.  Food should look amazing as much as possible I feel!

Thanks for stopping by, come back for 5 on Friday tomorrow!

Blessings

Lizzie XO

OPEN MIC – Serenity & The Double Yellow Line

OPEN MIC

 

Hi there!

My name is Corrie and I live in a little village near the bright lights of Manchester.

I’ve just joined the 30 club, recently bought a house with my wonderful partner and rescued a loveable dog called Daisy…..so basically life is all good!

Corrie

I am happiest when I’m:

Jet setting! –  My FT job allows me to travel the world so I count myself extremely lucky.

Baking! – My surname is Baker so it’s in my genes!

On the beach! – Life is sweet when there is sand between my toes and a sea breeze in my hair.

Most importantly I don’t take life too seriously and enjoy a good G&T whenever I can 🙂

 

DOUBLE YELLOW DAISY

SOURCE

I recently joined a Facebook page that is dedicated to the lovely little village I live in with my partner and pooch Daisy! The page is predominantly useful for updates on all things villagy such as recommendations for local gardeners, dates of the next farmers market, recent planning permission for a new pub…you know the score…

I was browsing through my Facebook feed yesterday when I came across a post from the  village page that really made me think about how we sometimes let negativity spiral out of control.

The post contained a picture of a car parked on double yellow lines on a side street in the centre of the village. Along with the image was a comment from a local resident angrily  protesting about how stupid and inconsiderate people are and what a disgrace the village is coming to. I continued to read the 13 or so other comments from residents which contained remarks such as “There are not enough PCSO’s dealing with these serious issues so I have called the police”, “I have called the council and was put on hold for 15 minutes, they said they were going to send someone to issue a ticket”, “It is really inconvenient to have to walk in the road when these stupid people park illegally”.

I am not usually one for commenting on or getting involved in debates on the internet (seriously who has the time?) but after 3 French Martini’s yesterday evening (hiccup!) I felt compelled to try and change the tone of the rant into a positive one!

I am a strong believer in negativity breeding negativity and effecting our lives in many ways, often without us realising it. Before you know it you are yelling at your partner for the tiniest thing, then when you take a step back and think to yourself “where the heck did that come from!”, your negativity has stemmed from something as tiny as a car parked on double yellows. If you don’t control it, negativity can suck the life out of your world.

My comment to my fellow villagers was therefore as follows:

“Parking on double yellow lines is one of life’s little niggles that no matter how much it annoys you, someone, somewhere is doing it right now. Given that it is an act that a majority of us have done in the past and will probably do again at some point in our lives, shouldn’t we all ask ourselves is it really worth wasting our time getting irritated by something we cannot change? In the grand scheme of things when there is enough negativity already in the world, is it really worth spreading this frustration onto our families, friends, colleagues? Maybe we should consider looking at this post in a different light?…….

How much time did it take you today to take this photo and post it on Facebook?

How much time has everyone taken reading it and posting a comment?

How much time have you spent talking about it to friends and family?

How much money did you spend ringing the police and the council?

Has your time and money been well spent?

I dare everyone to add up the amount of time they have spent on this post and use the same time tomorrow to create something positive;

Call an elderly relative

Play with your children for 10 minutes longer

Give your neighbour a lift somewhere

Buy your wife some flowers for the same price you spent on hold to the council.

Our time is precious so is it worth wasting it on breeding negativity?

I wasn’t overly bothered if my comment infuriated anyone, I was only interested in trying to turn a negative situation into a more positive one and if my thoughts had rubbed off on just one person it was time well spent.

For me – time spent reading and commenting on the post = 20 minutes. Today I will therefore be using this 20 minutes be giving my colleague a lift home so she doesn’t have to get a tram, two trains and bus home.

Best Regards

Corrie

CORRIE QUOTE 1

 SOURCE

Disclaimer : Opinions raised in this Open Mic series are entirely the words, thoughts & opinions of the guest author & are not necessarily the opinion of Lizzie Somerset’s Blog.  LS XO

 

Centenary Celebration

My last post was my 100th published article on WordPress!

This has got to be worth celebrating!!!

So I thought about popping out the champs & streamers but instead I’ve decided to open up this little space that has been all mine since August.

God’s been working on my heart again & saying I need to hold this blog a little lighter, it’s time to let you all in a little bit more.

My Open Mic series starts on Tuesday.

A range of articles from normal, everyday people who feel they have some wisdom or encouragement to impart. They are not necessarily bloggers, just honest writing from the heart from those who wish to share it.

Maybe the next writer will be you?

If you feel you have something to say & it fits with the ethos of this blog then get in touch.

Tune in on Tuesday to see what my first guest has to say about serenity & the double yellow line.

Blessings
Lizzie XOXO

Five on Friday – Mama’s Day Off

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Hey friends,

I had a much needed day off yesterday!

We’ve been so worn out recently & I’m so thankful to my husband for deciding to take the day off work so I could have some much needed time & space to myself.  I have a good man right there.

I decided to spend my day in the ancient town of Sherborne in Dorset.

It’s a town I’ve visited many times over the years & love.  We chose a hotel in the town for our Wedding Reception in 2008.

This visit I wanted to take my time, cherish the day all by myself & also regain some inspiration which has been abit lacking recently! So I decided to go off the beaten track & explore a bit.  I found some new little gems & learnt some lessons I want to share with you today.

O N E – STOP & LISTEN

I don’t normally stop & listen to people busking on the streets.

I don’t know why I stopped this time.  Maybe it was because the sun was shining & I was free to stop; but something in the sound made me pause & listen & I’m thankful for it.

BUSKER FOLK SINGER VICTOR CHETCUTI

The sound was blissful.  I listened to one song, called Together Free. It got me right. in. the. soul.

I went & spoke to the guy after he’d finished & he told me was his name was Victor & I could search for Victor’s Tunes to find him. which I did as soon as I got home.  Turned out he has 5 albums, & he chose to sing for me yesterday.  You can listen to what I heard HERE.

Victor Chetcuti – A true talent in my opinion.

Etiquette with listening to buskers on the street? If you stop & enjoy listening to their song you owe them a coin or two! Just sayin’!

Website // Facebook

T W O – EDWARD OLIVER VINTAGE FURNITURE

TRENDLE STREET

I went exploring down some side streets I wouldn’t normally wander down.  Aside from that, isn’t just ‘wandering’ a great thing?  I don’t wander anywhere, usually I dash!

Anyway I’ve digressed.  I wandered down Trendle Street through an archway &  into this lovely vintage furniture place.  It had a cool, young & calm vibe.  Old fashioned & restored furniture & vintage pieces carried out with thought, design & obvious experience in every piece.  Set in an old stable I wanted to buy everything in there!

TRENDLE STREET EDWARD OLIVER SIGN

TRENDLE STREET EDWARD OLIVER LAMPS

TRENDLE STREET EDWARD OLIVER ARTWORK

My eyes came upon a large painting of Pulteney Bridge in Bath in a repainted frame tucked in the corner.  I saw it & I bought it!  It now hangs in my kitchen & I know it will give me joy for years.

Think you know a town? Go down the side streets you’ve never gone down before, you never know what you might find.

Website // Facebook //

T H R E E – GATHERED HANDMADE

I saw a sign in the street saying Champagne & Macaroons, come upstairs! How could I refuse an offer like that?!

I went up the stairs & found myself being warmly welcomed by the two girls of Gathered Handmade situated on Cheap Street & being offered a glass of pink prosecco & an English macaroon.

GATHERED HOMEMADE CLOCKS

I instantly liked the style the shop offered for babies, kids & cool lifestyle. Since I’m gathering ideas for a mood board for a playroom for my littles, I asked if I could take pictures, which they obliged.  I must say I didn’t expect to find design like this, I love these lights! I’ll be popping these on my Pinterest Play Room Ideas Board.

GATHERED HANDMADE LAMPS

I also fell for these bright, dotty cusions!

GATHERED HANDMADE CUSHIONS

Pop in for a browse & get a warm welcome or visit them on their website

Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest //

F O U R – LUNCH ON A BENCH

Lunch on my own in the sunshine? Oh if you insist!

I popped into Waitrose & treated myself to sushi, Pellegrino & a lemon yumyum & sat on a bench with the sun shining & just watched the world go by for half an hour.

SHERBORNE LUNCH ON A BENCH

My sushi was delicious & my yumyum pleasantly surprised me by having lemon curd in the middle.

Lunch usually consists of a soft cheese sandwich & a packet of Quavers which are hovered up asap, so you can see how this is a different league luncheon.

This was my view from the bench.

SHERBORNE VIEW FROM A BENCH

SHERBORNE VIEW FROM A BENCH 2

F I V E – BUY A PLANT & LEARN HOW TO LOOK AFTER IT

I was driving home after my lovely day & remembered that I saw a plant cutting for sale outside a house last week.  I’d not seen a plant like it in this country before it’s shocking pink! I knocked & asked what it is, it’s a Bourganvillea I’ve mostly seen in France & Spain, not cold & wet England!

We don’t have a conservatory or green house, so I may need you to join me in praying this beautiful shocking pink thing stays with me for longer than 5 minutes, because I really want this plant to live & thrive.

BOURGAINVILLEA 2BOURGAINVILLEA

I’m thinking that maybe I haven’t done so well with plants before because I haven’t taken the time to learn to look after them.  So I’m going to do my research & look after it as best I can. If you have any tips for me, comment below! I sure could use the help.

Is there anything more lovely after a great day, than rounding it up buying a plant or flowers for your home? I’m not sure there is.

I went in search of inspiration yesterday & found it in the most unlikely places.  Where will your adventures take you today?

Thanks as always to April, Christina, Darci & Natasha.

With my inspiration & positive socks well & truly back on, I hope you have an amazing weekend!!

Lizzie XOXO

As always this post is not sponsored, all opinions expressed on this post are entirely my own. LS xo

Take a Moment – Yummy Mummy Set

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What is a Yummy Mummy? Actually now I think of it what is a Crummy Mummy?

I’d like to think I’m these things first & foremost:

I am a present Mummy

I am a fun Mummy

I am a wise Mummy

I am a fair Mummy

I am a loving Mummy

I am a creative Mummy

I am a relational Mummy

I am a serving Mummy

I am a faithful Mummy

These are certainly the attributes I want to work hard on anyway.

Rather than feel part of the Yummy Mummy Set I’d like to think I just put my sweet kids first.

What do you think a Yummy Mummy is? Do we (society & individuals) put too much expectation & pressure on ourselves as Mother’s/women?

I’d love to know your thoughts!

Lizzie XOXOXO

Five on Friday – Best Foot Forward Spring/Summer 2014

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Holla! How are you on this fine day? (grey UK-side).

My mind is a bit of a muddle today, being up with Sweet Bea in the night has made my brain a bit fuzzy! That’s where blogging is brilliant.  I know that by the time I have these ideas down & out in the blogosphere I will feel better & be able to think a bit clearer.

If you don’t already write, I can tell you writing everything down is free therapy! You’re welcome.

Today FEET!  The part of the body I feel we easily neglect & yet we are on them all day & we put them through a lot.

Here are my 5 tips & product suggestions to help you put your best feet forward this Spring/Summer 2014!!!

O N E – GET A PEDICURE

Even if you only have time for one treatment this Spring/Summer go & get yourself a pedicure, your feet will seriously thank you.

Think an hour or more getting your feet painted is a little too luxurious?  Most salons offer mini Pedi’s which should take around 30 minutes & are a little cheaper.  That’s more than enough to set you up & perk up your tootsies for the warmer weather!

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T W O – WASH YOUR FEET

This is a tip for every day not just when your feet are out for all to see.  Even though this seems abit top level, I bet you forget regularly!

Next time you have a shower wash those feet! In between the toes too, no cheating! Dry them properly too, then move onto Step Three.

T H R E E – FOOT CREAM/FOOT BALM

My feet get so hot in the warmer weather & add walking/running around the house/garden a thousand times a day with the Sweet Kids  & they are d-i-r-t-y! Like proper and my ankles hurt too!

Washing your feet, spraying with a cooling spray & moisturising them will cool them down & take care of those tooties.  I love anything with a cooling element to it.

I’ve tried a few products over the years  but lately I’m loving Burt’s Bee’s range.  I was given a tube of Burt’s Bees Foot Balm as a gift .  One for the evening when you have a bit more time, it takes awhile to sink in, but it’s luxury in a tube.  The smell is heavenly, a mix of coconut & mint (although it states just coconut).  You can get this lovely foot balm at various outlets.

Now I’m sold on the range I need to decide between these two beauties when my little tube runs out!

bees bees2

Peppermint

Coconut

You can find the range at John Lewis, Boots, Debenhams or Amazon amongst others.

F O U R – REST YOUR FEET

Ever feel like the kids have gone to bed & you’re still rushing around like a loony trying to tidy up?

Take a break, put your feet up for 5 minutes, read a blog post or two. Have a cup of tea & then I recommend you  read this seriously funny post before tidying the kids toys away for the night.

playmobil flip flops

Photograph courtesy of Hurrah for Gin.

Katie at Hurrah for Gin  will get you into the swing of tidying with style, I promise it’ll set you up for the next day of free play with your Sweet Kids!

F I V E – TREAT YOUR FEET

Every year needs a new pair of sandals.

I’ve scoured Pinterest & the internet for you & fallen for these lovelies for 2014, what do you think? Strappy or strappy? Strappy it is! These are my favourite, the expensive ones of course!

Most likely you’ll find me at buying my next pair at River Island or Topshop although I wish I could afford the Tory Burch pair!

Thanks to my sweet hosts, April, Christina, Darci & Natasha.

Don’t forget to read their lovely posts.

Until the next time friends have a sweet day!

Lizzie XOXO

nb. This post is not sponsored & all thoughts & opinions are entirely my own, LS XO

 

Take a Moment – He is With Us

It’s Monday morning friends!

Time to pause (just for a second or two), reflect, place everything in perspective & move forwards into our day, before the hectic takes over.

Sometimes Monday morning can be the most hectic of all!

Let’s do this together, because we’re family.

Pause
Breathe (in the Holy Spirit)
Focus (on Him/pray)
Give thanks (count your blessings)
Move forwards

Because God wants us to live life to the full.

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It only takes a moment. He is with us. It’s promised.

Until the next time friends
Have a great day!

Lizzie XOXO