Author Archive | dailyhostess

10 First Anniversary Gift Ideas

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend. We finally spent a weekend at home and it was so nice.  I feel like I got quite a bit accomplished which is always a good feeling.  Plus, this week marks my ninth wedding anniversary, so it’s a happy week!

My husband and I decided before our first anniversary that we would try to stick with giving each other gifts that follow the list of the traditional wedding gifts.  The traditional first anniversary gift is paper.

I know paper doesn’t sound too exciting, but the list starts out with smaller, less expensive gifts and gradually gets larger and more expensive.

There are a ton of fun gift ideas for paper that follow the traditional list, but are more exciting than just a pad of paper.  Check out 10 gift ideas I’ve rounded up below.

And as far as our first anniversary, we spent it in Maui (we lived on Oahu at the time), and I got my husband a leather bound journal, and my husband got me a few books to help start my business.  It’s so easy to remember the gifts when you know what the theme was.  I can probably remember every year so far.

10 First Anniversary Gift Ideas

first anniversary gifts, anniversary ideas, men's gift ideas for an anniversary

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1 // Paper Airplane Cufflinks
These cufflinks are so cute because they fit into the paper them without actually being paper!

2 // Paper Lyrics
Displaying your wedding song lyrics in a pretty way is a great way to remember your first dance.

3 // Paper Lanterns
I just love that you can buy these paper lanterns to have your own sky lantern celebration.  Try writing a wish or hope for your marriage on the lantern before sending them off in the night sky.  They look so pretty floating through the sky.

4 // Cocktail Recipe Cards:
If your spouse loves to mix up fun drinks, grab these cocktail recipe cards.  Made from paper, but cute and ready to help you remember how to make that Manhattan or Old Fashioned.

5 // Paper Map
Getting a map of a particular place is such a great way to remember how special that place was.  Maybe it’s where you met, or honeymooned, or where your first kiss was?

6 // Coffee Table Book
A book is a pretty classic way to give a paper gift.  But I love the idea of giving a coffee table book about a subject that your spouse loves.  It’s something that can be set out and displayed.  Every time you see it on display it will remind both of you of your first anniversary.

7 // Journal
Another classic gift, a journal.  But this one is different!  This is a journal of bucket list items.  It has space to write in everything you ever want to accomplish on your bucket list and space to document when and how it was accomplished.  So fun!

8 // Personalized Stationary
Although stationary is more of a classic paper gift, it is so fun as a woman to see your new married name.  Personalizing the stationary to reflect that is a great gift!

9 // Lunchbox Notes
Does your spouse take their lunch to work?  Try slipping a few of these notes in their lunchbox for a fun mid-day surprise!

10 // Fancy Playing Cards

Oh man, when I look back at our first year of marriage I think about how much we were still getting to know each other and the time we had to do it before kids came along.  Gifting some playing cards and learning how to play a game together is such a great bonding experience.

I hope some of these paper anniversary gifts gave you some inspiration for your own first anniversary.  Or if you’re already well past that point, maybe it made you reflect on your first year of marriage or your favorite anniversary gift.

We’ll be celebrating nine years this week and going to paint our own pottery since pottery is the traditional ninth wedding anniversary gift.  I love that it’s going to be an experience too!

How many years have you been married?  Do you celebrate with the traditional wedding anniversary gifts, or another fun way?

 

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Thoughts on Fall Mantle Decorating

Well hello again old friend!  It’s been awhile (read like three weeks) since I’ve posted, yikes!  I’ve been traveling practically every weekend this month and it’s just so hard to get back into the swing of things when you’re constantly packing, unpacking, and doing laundry.   I’ve wanted to post about our fall mantle for awhile since the first day of fall is this Saturday.  Although from the temperatures outside lately you wouldn’t know it.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tvI think another reason I’ve been so delayed in writing and posting anything is a lack of creativity.  Or motivation.  Or both.  It’s hard to see all of the over the top fall posts on Instagram and Pinterest and not go into comparison mode.  I also prefer using what I have and not buying a bunch of extra stuff to decorate with.

I knew I needed to start getting things ready for fall around here so I could photograph them and post about it.  But I didn’t have much motivation.  It’s funny how just one thing can really change your mindset about finding the motivation to start though.

The Story of What Sparked Me to Start My Fall Mantle

So a couple of weeks ago I was at Wal-Mart getting a couple of random things. It’s actually pretty rare for me to be in the store.  Praise Jesus for grocery pick-up when you have two little kids, right?!

So there I am wondering around the aisles from one side of the store to the other because of course I needed cheese and a hand held mirror.  Totally random and of course on the opposite sides of the store.  As I was walking towards the inevitably under-manned check out lanes I’m looking around trying to think if we need anything else and I spot them.

I see the exact thing I need to jump start my fall decorating.

It’s noticeable contrast caught my eye.

So I quickly diverted my cart to get closer and check it out.

As I got up to them they were exactly what I thought I saw from the distance, but better.

Black and white buffalo check pumpkins with a natural stem and a raffia bow.

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Similar pumpkins here

Who knew I needed them in my life?  I sure didn’t but they instantly got me excited and motivated for fall decorating.  To be honest, the entire fall section did.  There was so much black and white with pops of deep orange and cranberry colors.  I hadn’t really ever tried decorating for fall with black and white.

So I bought those little black and white buffalo check pumpkins and decided this is what I’m going to center my fall decorating around this year.  And you know what happened?

I brought those pumpkins home, and they sat.  For another solid week.

Isn’t it funny how in the moment you can be so excited but once you’re back to everyday routine the excitement wears off?

One Small Step Forward Is all The Motivation You Need

So finally, this week I had a couple minutes to start putting those little pumpkins to use.  I started by adding them to my fall mantle.  Just that one small step launched me into action.  It was like a waterfall of activity, motivation, and creativity.  So much that I was almost late to an appointment because I was in the grove decorating everything, snapping photos, moving stuff around, and taking more pictures.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tvThankfully that small step got my mantle decorated for fall, the entire living room decorated, and work towards updating the front porch for fall too.  All of those things will be on the blog soon too.

The funny thing is that the black and white of those little pumpkins opened my eyes to be on the lookout for other things around my house and at stores to use to decorate with.

I found perfectly matching paper placemats that I used to make the black and white banner on my mantle.  They also serve as intended on my dining room table.  Black and white bowls from around the house because a focal point for my decorating too.

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Mixing in white photo frames, with natural, neutral tones and a couple pops of typical fall colors really brought my fall mantle together.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tv

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tv

Reimagining this color scheme allowed me to reimagine what I already had.  I turned this white with navy blue vase around so all you see is the white side.  Now it fits perfectly with my fall mantle color scheme.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tv I’d love to get some live eucalyptus leaves to put in this vase.  To me they are the perfect fall greenery.  I will probably wait a bit so I can enjoy them a little longer though.  Plus, you can never have too many reminders to be thankful!  I’m certainly thankful for taking a small step of action to be ready for the season.

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What small step can you take today towards that thing that you’ve been putting off?  Just like my little pumpkins, there is something that will give you the motivation for productivity.

 

 

 

 

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Labor Day Inspired Charcuterie Board

Happy Friday friends!  I hope this is the start of a fun filled or relaxing holiday weekend for you.  What are your plans for Labor Day? I’m sure at some point there will be food involved.  And I have a great idea for a Labor Day party appetizer for you today.

Because Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday of September all of the items on this charcuterie board are in season in the month of September.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardA quick google search and I found out that blackberries, cantaloupe, and red peppers are all in season this month.  So I focused my charcuterie board around those items.  And cheese of course!

I composed the board of three distinctly flavored cheeses,.  An aged Gouda, Merlot bellavitano, and a chaumis which is a soft cow’s milk cheese.  I also added in several different flavors of crackers like rosemary, cracked pepper, and sea salt.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardFor the savory component to the board I used prosciutto, salami, and pepperoni, along with a roasted red pepper spread that I made.  I’ll provide the recipe , just keep reading.

The red peppers were extra sweet because they’re in season right now.

Roasted Red Pepper Spread Recipe

I didn’t get too many pictures of this recipe, but it’s pretty easy not to mess up if you read through the directions below.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardIngredients:

  • Red Pepper, I used one, but you can use more for a bigger batch of spread
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place your whole red pepper right on the oven rack and roast it for about 20 minutes or until you see the skin turning black and blistering
  3. Once the pepper is roasted, remove it from the oven, and I love this hack, place it in a zip top bag for about 10 minutes.  This will steam it to make removing the skin easier.
  4. Take pepper out of bag and peel the skin off.
  5. Chop up the pepper, removing the stem and seeds.
  6. Place chopped up pepper in a food processor or blender.  Blend until chunky.
  7. Once blended place the spread in a pot with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  8. Let that simmer for a few minutes until all the flavors are blended together.  Just keep tasting it and adding any additional seasonings if you like.
  9. Ta-da, your done!

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardAs you can tell, I’m not super exact when I cook, so my directions and recipes aren’t either.  The good thing is with only four ingredients you can’t mess this one up too badly.

This spread is great on a bold savory cheese.  It’s also good on chicken, beef, or pork so if you have leftovers use it as a sauce the next time you cook dinner.  If you use it during a dinner party, your guests will be so impressed.

Blackberry Balsamic Jam Recipe

If you want to go one step further and incorporate another seasonal ingredient in your Labor Day charcuterie, try making this blackberry balsamic jam recipe.  It’s even easier than the red pepper recipe above.

Ingredients:

  • Blackberries, I used one 5 oz. container
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardSeptember seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese board

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a pot on medium low heat.
  2. Occasionally stir and kind of mash up the blackberries.
  3. Once the blackberries are mashed up and cooked down to a chutney consistency reduce the heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally.
  4. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Ta-da!  You’re done!

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardI recommend tasting the jam throughout cooking it to see if you need to adjust any of the ingredients.  I didn’t really measure when I made mine and it definitely could have used a little more balsamic.

This jam is great with cheese and crackers, but I could totally see this on some warm biscuits, yum!  Or even as a filling in a cake for someone that wants a little bit of a different flavor.

These two spreads really amped up the seasonal aspect of this charcuterie board.

I also used cantaloupe on my board because it’s another September seasonal fruit.  I wrapped it in prosciutto and stacked it up.  The combination is very tasty.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardSeptember seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese board

I hope you’re inspired to try some September seasonal produce, make a charcuterie appetizer, or whip up a new jam from reading this post.  It’s not hard to put in the little bit of effort any of these ideas take to make an extra special dish for Labor Day this weekend.

And this is how I know this child is mine.  He’s obsessed with cheese!  Well basically any food.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardHappy Labor Day, if you make either of these recipes let me know by tagging me on Instagram, Facebook, or commenting on this post.  I’d love to hear what you thought of them!

 

 

 

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Tablescape Tuesday: Bollywood Inspired Dinner Party

I keep seeing an article floating around the mom circle about how it’s so much nicer for kids to receive experiences instead of gifts.  I’m totally onboard with this idea because I’m somewhat of a minimalist and just don’t want a bunch of toys at my house.  I even requested no gifts at my daughter’s fourth birthday.  FYI, she got a bunch of gifts, haha!

However, we can’t expect grandparents and friends to get them experiences if we’re not willing to also.  Because let’s face it, grandparents are probably going to buy the kids whatever it is they want anyway.  Even after asking you what to get them, #amiright?

So how about giving your kids an experience during an everyday event instead of just at birthdays and holidays?  You can do so through your menu and tablescape decor at meal time.

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I’m certainly not advocating doing so every night for dinner.  I’m right there with you moms that are struggling to get dinner on the table while the baby is crying and the toddler is having a melt down over not getting yet another snack.

But every now and then don’t you think they’d remember a really special dinner table?

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasWhat’s even more memorable is when the menu pairs with the decor.  It can kind of be a learning experience for everyone. You can enjoy a cuisine of a different culture and be surrounded by the colors and decor of that culture.

This past Easter season we tried to host a different family for dinner every week.  I tried to make them fun themed dinners.  You can see one here and another here.  Today’s tablescape Tuesday is a Bollywood themed tablescape and dinner that we hosted during Easter.

I wanted to make an easy crockpot meal and love this **chicken curry dish**, so the only thing that made sense was making a Bollywood themed tablescape to go with our Indian meal.  This meal is a big crowd pleaser when served over rice and with naan.  I love this naan that I get from Costco.

Thankfully, I used things from around our house to put this tablescape together.  The only thing I had to get were some flowers from the grocery store.

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasThe colorful tablescape is sure to make a memory for our kids.  What kid doesn’t love pink, red, and orange flowers with a big elephant in the middle of the table?

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasBollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasI used traditional deep saturated colors with gold and sparkle.  The elephant in the middle of the tabel is a treasure picked up from Thailand during a Navy deployment.  It holds a wine bottle, so it’s a great idea to display your wine for the dinner party right in the middle of the table.

I had some gold buckets from the Target dollar spot that I used as vases for the grocery store flowers.  I also dispersed some glitzy tea light holders throughout the middle of the tablescape.

The place settings were made using my go to combination of gold chargers + white plates + gold flatware.  I added in some deep purple napkins and gold napkin rings.  The napkins almost match the table runner perfectly.

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasBollywood is all about the glitz, glam, jewels and color.  I think this tablescape totally embodies that.  It would be fun to add in lanterns or pillows to a Bollywood dinner party.  Or even have someone giving your guests henna tattoos.

The colors and taste of this meal are sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests and your kids.  And how great that you can give your kids an experience without even leaving your house?!

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasBollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasBollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideas

Who is with me to start making experiences at home during meal times?  What are your thoughts on toys versus experiences for kids?

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Real Life Party: Mr. Onederful Dapper Themed First Birthday

It’s been one of the fastest years of my life!  The first year of my son’s life has gone by in a blur.  But we were able to celebrate in a big, formal, dapper way with a Mr. Onederful birthday party.

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First birthday parties seem to be somewhat controversial because the baby is still so small and won’t remember anything anyway.  Even though the party is mostly for the parents, it’s still an occasion to celebrate in my opinion.

Since my son was just a couple months old, I have loved putting him in suspenders and bow ties.  He just looks like such a little man, it’s so cute.  I wanted to do the same thing for his first birthday.  The theme was based soley around the fact that I wanted him to wear suspenders and a bow tie.  So I went with the Mr. Onederful theme.

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To make the theme carry through I asked our guests to wear bow ties.  It was so cute seeing our little friends showing up with their bow ties on.  It always makes a party more fun when your guests can participate too.

I love the fancy yet simple color scheme of black, white, and gold.  It’s such a classic combination that can be used for young birthday parties like this one, or even for a 30th or 50th birthday.

Mr. Onederful Dessert Table Backdrop

I DIYed almost all of the decor in the dessert backdrop bow tie, **link**fringe garland, banners, and tassels.  Please excuse my poor photoshop skills, but I had to get rid of the blue tape that was holding up the fringe garland.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasBlack and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I love having a dessert table at most of my parties because it can be such a focal point of the party.  A place where the theme can really stand out.  See how to put together your own dessert table here.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I ordered these huge black balloons to make a big statement next to the dessert table.  Thankfully we didn’t run into this party mistake this time around.  I’ve definitely learned my lesson when giving my husband directions to pick party supplies up.

I went with my standby cake and cupcake place, Safeway.  You just can’t beat the price, especially if you’re getting a simple cake or cupcake design.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasThis cake was just a simple white cake until I added fun themed sprinkles and a cake topper.  This is a great tip if you want a more custom cake but don’t want to pay designer cake prices.

I added the same sprinkles to the cupcakes as well.  I also realized after having two parties this summer with chocolate cupcakes that I need to order two dozen.  They just go a lot faster than the cake, especially with kids.  They are the perfect size for kids.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasBlack and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasI saved money on the cake and cupcakes so I could splurge a little more and get frosted bowtie sugar cookies from my amazingly talented friend Melissa.  You can order cookies through her Facebook page here.  She’ll even ship if you’re not local.  She also has a cookie of the month club which is genius!

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Mr. Onederful Birthday Party Food Buffet

We did serve lunch before the dessert.  I also went the easy route and ordered catering from Chick-fil-a.  Those nugget trays are seriously the best!  One tip I have is to put your catered food onto trays or platters that match your party decor.  It makes your buffet area blend in with your party a lot more.

I wanted to incorporate the theme around the food buffet as well, so I wrapped a few boxes in coordinating wrapping paper to create various levels for the food to sit on.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasSimple food like like fruit, chicken nuggets, and pasta are great because they are so kid friendly.  Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasBlack and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Here is the Mediterranean **pasta recipe** I used.  The olives and dressing made it so delicious.  I also thought putting it in individually sized cups made it look so cute and a little fancier.

Mr. Onederful Birthday Party Tablescape

I used a simple table centerpiece for the party.  These “ONE” letters were reused from my daughter’s first birthday and I bought this table cloth off of Amazon.

It’s neutral enough that I bought a nicer tablecloth instead of buying a plastic throw away tablecloth because I know I’ll use it many more times.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasSimple white roses also added to the classic look of this Mr. Onederful party.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

The drink station fit into the theme by adding DIY bowties to the champagne glasses.  I’ll have to do a tutorial on how to make them because they turned out so cute!

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I added my son’s monthly photos above this area and it’s so fun to see how much he’s changed over the last year.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Here’s a close up of those drink bow ties.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I even added them to the containers holding the forks.  It was an easy way to dress up an otherwise plain mason jar.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I couldn’t leave out the birthday boy when decorating for the party, so I dressed up his highchair too.  A DIY fabric garland and #1 banner made the high chair extra special.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I also made his party hat with some scrapbook paper, pom poms, elastic cord, and a #1 cut out.  All the kiddos got DIY party hats as well. They all turned out so cute.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I changed out our mantle decor for some one year cake smash photos of my son and another themed box.  It was nice having a dedicated spot for him to enjoy his birthday cupcake with a cute backdrop for pictures.

Here’s a picture of him enjoying cake during his cake smash.  I can’t even with how cute he looks in his suspenders and bow tie!

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Whew, that was a long recap of a little boy’s birthday, but I hope you enjoyed it!  It was a lot of fun to make so much of the Mr. Onederful party decor.  What was your favorite part?

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Celebrating everyday!