Posts filed under ‘Crafts’

MORE vs less: Sort Items Into Project Piles

Day 11 – Instead of writing a paper to-do list, I am sorting my items into project piles.

Last month I made nine art kits for my oldest granddaughter, Sofia. I gathered all the needed supplies and instructions for each creative project. Then I put these items into large, separate, ziplock bags: one project to a bag. Now when Sofia is ready to get artsy, all she had to do is grab a bag and start.

Most of my clutter is craft related. I have a hard time getting rid of any of it because I have plans for each item. Today I was going to write-up a list of all the projects I wanted to do according to the pile on my crafting table. But making such a list seemed overwhelming. And then I remembered about the art kits!

So I spent 31 minutes sorting the items into project piles and then into large, separate, ziplock bags, one project per bag.  I am not done sorting, but I think I have come upon a GREAT solution for me. Now when I want to do something crafty, I can grab a see through bag and start. I can even grab a bag to take someplace else since all the supplies are in there. I have my own art kits.

Your Turn . . . Do you think this idea would work for you? I am excited to try this out.

Day 11 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = Started sorting the pile on my crafting table into separate art kits.

Go here for the landing page with all the posts for MORE vs less: 31 Days of Decluttering. #write31days  . . . I am joining 100’s of bloggers who are determined to write every day in October on one topic. To read more about #Write31Days, go here.

Join me in this experiment of MORE vs less.

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National Ice Cream Day is July 16, 2017

Let’s celebrate this fun day together.

The 3rd Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day. But if you miss that day, don’t worry, this whole month is National Ice Cream Month.

View this brief history of ice cream. Ice cream started as a winter, ice/syrup delight for the wealthy. It is now a worldwide, creamy treat available year round to the masses. Stats indicate that Americans prefer ice cream over other desserts. And that we eat 4-6 gallons of ice cream per year.



  1. In the summer of 1790, President George Washington splurged and bought $200 worth of ice cream (about $3,000 today). I don’t know if he shared.
  2. Dolley Madison (wife of James Madison, President of the United States from 1809 to 1817) preferred oyster ice cream.
  3. 18th century cookbooks offered, weird to me, recipes like parmesan ice cream and asparagus ice cream.
  4. Grocery stores started selling ice cream in the 1930’s.
  5. Ice cream had become so popular with Americans during WWII that it became an American symbol. Therefore, Mussolini banned it in Italy.
  6. Soft serve ice cream was “developed by a team of chemists in Britain, whose membership included Margaret Thatcher. They found a way to double the amount of air per unit volume in ice cream. This, in turn, made the ice cream cheaper to make (less ingredients, more air), and made it possible to have a relatively simple machine make it to order from a spigot.” (Daven Hiskey)
  7. Ice cream headaches last 10-30 seconds and sometimes up to five minutes.
  8. Hawaiian Punch syrup was developed in 1934 and was first sold as an ice cream topping. In 1946 the company was sold. The new owners began offering it in drink form.
  9. The residents of Portland, Oregon eat more ice cream than residents in any other American city.


  • Come to Cordova Neighborhood Church on Sunday, July 16, 2017.  Share a box of your fave frozen treat. We will splurge between the services and after the 2nd service.
  • Create an ice cream craft. Check out my Ice Cream Pinterest board.
  • Do a taste test. Find out which ice cream is the best tasting. These folks discovered the tastiest store bought vanilla.
  • Listen to songs about ice cream.
  • Make some ice cream.  Do so with a machine or in a bag.
  • Share an ice cream memory. Tell us in the comments or at your own social media space.
  • Take a selfie or group shot eating ice cream. Post on social media using #NationalIceCreamDay.

Your Turn . . . What ever you do, enjoy some Ice Cream.  . . . Then tell us about it.

Related Internet Posts . . . 

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CNC Christmas Year Round – Sewing for OCC Boxes

We had lots of gorgeous material to use for our dresses.

Join us as we sew items for our Operation Christmas Child (OCC) boxes.

  • Our current projects are: Cloth pads with bags, pillowcase dresses, small bags and dolls.
  • We meet once a month at Cordova Neighborhood Church, 6:00pm. The dates are as follows: May 19 … June 29 … July 28 … August 25 … September 29 …. October 20.
  • Have questions? Contact Lucy Baptista. Or leave a comment here.

Don’t sew? Don’t want to come out on a Friday night to put together these items?

  • There is a way for you to be involved.
  • We are collecting items for OCC boxes.

THANKS so much to those of you who donated during April.

During May we are collecting assorted items. Drop off at the Church.

  • Marbles, jacks or Legos to fill the small bags we’ve sewed.
  • Brightly coloured cotton material with matching bias tape. 2 yards of material is enough for one pillow case dress and matching doll.
  • Shoe boxes: either empty card board shoe boxes or quality plastic boxes (the size of a shoe box).

Of course you can still drop off non-liquid personal care items: comb, hair brushes, toothbrush with holder, soap with holder, flash light with extra batteries, etc. NO TOOTHPASTE.

Our Facebook group address is as follows:

Your Turn . . .

  1. Do you participate in OCC?
  2. If you make items for your box(es), what do you make?

Related Resources . . .

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Friday’s Fave Five – December 4, 2015

leaf FFFIn light of the shootings in SO CAL this week, this is an appropriate gratitude quote: “Counting blessings is the quickest way to restore balance in the face of disaster and tragedy” (Margaret Brownlwy). 

ONE. I spent the last weekend with my daughter. And one of those days was spent in Yosemite. My daughter moved into a one bedroom last week (in Yosemite National Park) and asked me to bring down a couple of things. I am grateful that I got to eat a turkey dinner with her even if it was on Saturday and in the food mart. I am also grateful that she is soooooo happy.

TWO. Celebrated a friend’s 50th birthday at Starbucks. Theresa set up her own party. What a good example that is for me to see others ask for what they want/need. I got to have a Peppermint Mocha, celebrate Theresa and also chat with Lori. I am blessed by their perseverance in life, their walk with God, and they way they love/like me.


This is the 3rd snowman ornament I’ve made this season already. I am getting out of control!

THREE. Made a snowman ornament. I used this tutorial for an owl ornament and substituted snowman stickers. I LOVE my ornament. Crafting is always a great stress reliever for me and also is way I can think without pressure. Does that make sense?

FOUR. 71 sign ups for my church Senior Christmas party. This year my team and I switched things up and instead of a potluck, we are having it catered. And we also changed the venue. Because of these changes, I was hoping for 50 folks. I am thrilled that 71 people trust us with this updated event.

FIVE. A new sweater. A woman from church sometimes brings me things that she finds on sale. I wish I had that knack at the thrift store. This time it is a sweater and it is PURPLE. I’ve been looking for purple tops because I want to wear purple on the 4 Sundays of Advent. The only person who knew that was God. I am doubly BLESSED.

Up for sharing some of your blessings? Leave a comment or go to Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Fave at Living to Tell the Story to link up your post.

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Prayer Pumpkin


This is my take on a prayer pumpkin.

Do you pin many ideas to Pinterest? Do you do many of the things you’ve saved? Every once in a while I do! The latest thing I crafted was from my Fall Pinterest Board. It combined three things I love – Fall decor, puff paint, and prayer.

I created a prayer pumpkin.

The original post is here at Coffee with Us 3. Jamie used real mini pumpkins and a metallic sharpie to write names on the pumpkins. Read her post for all the details and to see her finished work. Leave her a comment while you are there.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this project. So I went to the Dollar Store and bought one of those BRIGHT orange foam pumpkins. Boy, was it bright! Here is how I transformed if from BRIGHT to just right.


This craft cost $1 as I already had the bottles of paint.

  • I toned down the orange by dry brushing on brown acrylic paint and wiping most of it off.
  • Then in a few spots, I dry brushed orange and yellow acrylic paint over the brown.
  • Again I wiped most of it off.
  • Using puff paint I divided my pumpkin into 7 sections.
  • I wrote the days of the week at the top.
  • And in each section I wrote what I am praying for that day.

I have never prayed according to day before. So I spent time brainstorming what could go in each section. The list I narrowed it down to as follows.

Here is the bottom of my pumpkin.

Here is the bottom of my pumpkin.

  1. Sunday – Church, Love God, Love Others, Harvest
  2. Monday – Christian & Missionary Alliance District Office and Head Quarters
  3. Tuesday – Small Groups, KidMin, PEP, Women’s Ministry (What I’m involved in at work/church)
  4. Wednesday –  My Friends
  5. Thursday – Family, Relatives, Their Friends
  6. Friday – Governments
  7. Saturday – Missionaries (I miss spelled that on my pumpkin)
  8. Every day  – on the bottom of the pumpkin – Godson, Grand daughter, My Kids, Facebook needs (a main reason I am on fb), and BUFF (my diabetic support group)

This is an easy craft and prayer project to do with any age.  Instead of puff paint which might be hard for the younger kiddos to use, try letter, word or picture stickers. Of course the 7 sections are optional. You could do what Jamie did and devote one pumpkin to each family or group/need.

I love this newest addition to my Fall decor collection. And I am intrigued to see how this new way of praying goes.

Your Turn . . . What do you think of this idea? If you make one, please link back to your project as I’d love to see your take on a prayer pumpkin. . . . Have you ever prayed certain things for each day of the week? If yes, what was your experience? Do you have any tips?  

I am linking up with Works For Me Wednesday hosted by Giving Up On Perfect. Be sure to go there to check out all the other ideas.

Related Posts . . . 

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My 11 Tips & Observations to Make a No-Sew Fleece Blanket

No-sew blankets are easy and quick to make especially when it’s a baby-sized blanket. I bought one yard of  both the plain and doggy-covered material. After tying it, the blanket turned out to be 29″ x 50″.


I LOVE the bright blue of this blanket. If it were bigger, I would have been tempted to keep it for myself.

Suggested Materials Needed . . . 

  • Newborn: 36″ X 24″  –  makes a great size for car seats
  • Baby/Toddler: 1 to 1 1/2 yards
  • Child: 1 3/4 yards
  • Teen/Adult: 2 yards

Sewing Directions and Ideas . . .

 My 11 Tips and Observations.

  1. Consider the size the blanket will end up after cutting the fringe. My fringe was 4 inches. So that means my blanket was 8 inches smaller on each side.
  2. I initially tied every other fringe. That way I was able to sit with the blanket in my lap and finish it up in a chair instead of on floor.
  3. Wash material before tying it.
  4. The narrow ends were not as stretchy so I could have cut the fringe longer as said by this site (#4). These fringes ended up 1/4th shorter. But it doesn’t really matter to the overall look.
  5. I tied mine as double knots. So that made the fringe shorter.
  6. I cut each fringe 4 inches. I think they are long enough.
  7. I cut out a 4 inch square in each corner.
  8. My blanket didn’t line up exactly on one long end. It turned out it didn’t matter.
  9. Make sure both fleece materials are the same weight
  10. Also use fleece that doesn’t tear when tying. The lady at the sewing counter told me this.
  11. Use anti-pill fleece.

Your Turn . . . Have you ever made a no-sew blanket? If yes, share your photos.

 Related Posts . . .

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Fridays Fave Five – Week 5, 2014

FFF birds on a wireYikes, it’s Friday. This week flew by. But I am making time to list five of my faves from this past week. To read others’ lists or to write your own list, join our host, Susanne, here.

One. I finished my 21 Days of Tea and I now know what my favourite teas are. 2 tied for first place. English Breakfast (always makes me feel “ahhhhh” relaxed) and Honey Vanilla Chai (most delighted my senses). I knew that English Breakfast would win. This chai was a surprise.

Two. I did some baking last week. First I figured out which recipe was my favourite one to bake in a teacup. And I baked Earl Grey cookies. Some I frosted. The Tea cakes and cookies went so well with tea.

Three. I crafted THREE times last week. I decoupaged an “Eyes on You” glass mug. I glued together a teacup birdfeeder. Finally I made a mini teacup pincushion. Crafting brings me peace and joy. Unfortunately I don’t do it often enough.

Look who I found staring at me when I finished my drink!

Look who I found staring at me when I finished my drink!

The birds don't care that these pieces are mismatched.

The birds don’t care that these pieces are mismatched.

I love the mini tic-tac-toe gaem.

See the mini tic-tac-toe game. Red won.

Four. Our Wednesday night small group is on chapter six (out of 12) of Created for Community. We discussed Jesus’ Mission in the Divine Program. We grappled with some new ideas and some of these ideas were hard to understand. However, these 2 sentences by the author put everything into perspective: “Ultimately, we cannot understand the full meaning of the cross of Christ. We can only stand in silence before it, acknowledging its wonder, and submit to its power” (Grenz, 137).

Five. Northern California has been in a drought. January is usually rainy, rainy, rainy. But it has been warm (70’s) and DRY. Hurray, it rained two days this past week!!!! We still NEED much more, but this is a great start.

Your Turn . . . List at least one of your faves from this past week.

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Making a Mini Teacup Pincushion and Ideas from Others

I like pincushions. I don’t know why as I am not an avid sewer or needle-crafter.

I have the requisite tomato pincushion that I got when I took sewing in junior high school. I remember when the girls HAD TO  take Home Economics (sewing and cooking) and the boys HAD TO take shop classes in school.

My teacup & saucer are 3" high. The pattern on the fabric remnds me of tic-tact-toe. The dragon fly is a lapel pin I bought in New Zealand. I put it here because the latch never worked and it kept falling off.

My teacup & saucer are 3″ high. The pattern on the fabric reminds me of tic-tac-toe. It looks like red won.  . . . The dragon-fly is a lapel pin I bought in New Zealand. I put it here because the latch never worked and it kept falling off.  . . . On the right are tiny pins perfect for pinning together those small projects.

I have some small teacups. I thought it would be a fun and useful craft to make my own teacup pincushion from one of them. I made one last night and it is now part of my 21 Days of Tea series.

This is the tutorial I followed (from MMM Crafts) to make my own tiny teacup pincushion. I wanted to add steel wool underneath the top layer of my quilt batting. The steel wool keeps the pins sharp.

  • So I layered quilt batting (rough cut into the size of my circle which was 5
    The coloured bits on the back of the dragon-fly are abalone shell.

    The coloured bits on the back of the dragon-fly are abalone shell.

    1/2 inches), steel wool, and quilt batting.

  • I put this sandwich onto my fabric circle and pulled tight the gathering strings.
  • I added more batting until it was stuffed.
  • Then I stitched the circle closed.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you have a tomato pincushion? Any other kind?
  • When/if you make your own teacup pincushion be sure to let us know here.
  • Did you check out any of the pincushion links? If yes, which pincushion(s) are you yearning to make?
m,sandm sakjdklsajdlkas

I had so much  fun making this. And there are a world of other pincushion patterns to choose from. I wonder what I will do next?

Crafts & Food Made for the 21 Days of Tea series . . . 

Here are pincushion instructions and ideas from other crafters . . .

Of course there are whole Pinterest boards dedicated to pincushions, some are also here, here and here.

Craft Gossip has many pictures and their links to all kinds of pincushions. Check out some that she featured . . .

21 Days of Tea is after the jump.  (more…)

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7 Tips for Turning a Tea Cup and Saucer into a Candle

In fact my daughter and I repurposed 2 teacups. She filled the blue cup and I filled the flowered one.

In fact my daughter and I repurposed 2 teacups. She filled one of her blue cups with wax and filled the other one with Sweet & Spicy tea.

I have a teacup saucer that is badly cracked. I don’t want to use it as I am afraid it will break sometime when I am carrying it full of hot tea. Even though I only paid 50 pence for it from a Boot Sale in Ipswich, I don’t want to throw it away. So I decided to repurpose it into a candle.

Ingredients – all my ingredients came from Michaels

  • Microwaveable soy wax shavings
  • Soy wick
  • Scent for soy candles (sage citrus)
  • Plastic container to melt wax in
  • Disposable chop stick
  • Scissors
This is the cup I turned into a candle See how clear the wax is? It cooled down from the outside in and turned to a lovely creamy white.

This is the cup I turned into a candle See how clear the wax is? It cooled down from the outside in and turned to a lovely creamy white.

Tips from Our Experience

  1. Put 2 scoops of wax into your plastic container. The scoop will be whatever “holder” you are filling with the melted wax.
  2. The directions on the wax shavings say to heat your candle holder to 100°. Our oven doesn’t go that low so we heated the teacups on 250° for 5 minutes.
  3. Use a generous glob of hot glue to adhere your wick to bottom of candle holder.
  4. DO NOT move the wick around once the wax is poured in. It looks like it isn’t doing anything. But it will leave a groove in the hardened wax.
  5. When you pour the wax into the holder, it is clear. Because I didn’t put any colouring in the wax, it dried to a nice creamy white.
  6. If there is tan colouring, that would be fun to use as it would look like a cup of tea (with a wick on fire in the middle).
  7. I adhered my cup to the saucer with hot glue. I put too much glue on the bottom of the cup and some seeped out when I pressed the cup onto the saucer. It isn’t totally noticeable, but something to be mindful of especially if gifting the candle.
Photo of my completed project by Reggie Williams.

Photo of my completed project by Reggie Williams.

 Your Turn . . . 

  • This is my first time making a candle. Share your 1st candle-making experience. 
  • What would you do with a teacup and saucer, if the saucer was cracked?

Thanks go to Kate Pruitt from Design Sponge. At this link she shows steps on how to do this project. This is the post that inspired me to make one.

Crafts and Food Made for the 21 Days of Tea Series . . . 

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Heart-Shaped Hand-Sewn Tea Bags

I am filling this heart shaped tea bag with Russian Morning #24 loose leaf tea.

I am filling this heart shaped tea bag with Russian Morning #24 loose leaf tea.

I am new to drinking loose leaf tea. I don’t care too much for using my tea-spoon shaped strainer (hard to get the leaves in and especially out). So I decided to search Google for how to make my own tea bags. Yes, I could have tried my other strainers, but I was in the mood to craft.

I used the idea and instructions from Marianne aka Songbird  It is posted here on Pretty Handy Girl.


Each tea bag has 2 tsp of loose leaf tea. I decided t not add a string or tag - this time.

Each tea bag has 2 tsp of loose leaf tea. I decided to not add a string or tag – this time.

Your Turn . . .  Have you ever made you own tea bags? If yes, what tips do you have?

Crafts and Food Made for the 21 Days of Tea Series . . . 

21 Days of Tea is after the jump.  (more…)

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Friday’s Fave Five

FFF daisiesWhat happened this week that makes you grateful? Below are five “grateful” things I am sharing with the gals who participate in Friday’s Fave Five (FFF).

ONE: Completed Visa. Some of the India Team Members met on Wednesday night. First we dined on hot dogs and chips. Then we tried to sort out the complicated mass of instructions for the visa.  I will mail it today and pray I/we did it properly. Please join me in this prayer. NOTE: Our yard sale fundraiser was a success.

TWO: Thinking God’s Thoughts. The below verses are my verses for this birthday year. I can remember where it is because I am fifty-five this birthday year and the verses are found in Isaiah fifty-five: 8-9. Sometimes I need a reminder that God’s thoughts and plans are way different from mine. And that’s good.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

THREE: Decluttered Kitchen. My daughter, Elizabeth, was here giving an “Art and Martial Arts” Camp for 3 families. She had some extra time for me. One thing I am especially grateful for is that she decluttered my kitchen. I actually have empty spaces. I am not in the kitchen like when my children were growing up. So I don’t need a service for 12 or tons of pots, utensils, etc.

This is one wall that was "taped." Didn't they do a great job?

This is one area that was “taped.” The artwork extends from the top to the bottom of the wall. Although you can’t see it well, my fave part is the hedgehog. It is to the bottom left of the big tree.  Didn’t they do a great job?

FOUR: Art for the Hallway: As part of Elizabeth’s camp, she and the kiddos created an art tape mural. It was layered onto 1.5 walls of  the children’s ministry (cm) wing. It is a spectacular and fun sight to greet all who enter into the cm wing.

FIVE: Community Prayer Meeting. As part of the July 4th festivities, our community had an outdoor worship service. This 2 hour service interspersed singing with praying. Various community clergy led us in prayer about our community: schools, first responders, homeless, etc. This was an encouraging event because of the prayer and praise but also because it brought a majority of the churches together.

NOTE: I didn’t celebrate the 4th of July this year (no fireworks, parade, waffle/ice cream breakfast) because of the flu. However, I AM very grateful to live in America despite her flaws: 5 Reasons I Love My Country.

Your Turn . . . Share your five faves in the comments or write a post and link to Susanne’s FFF.

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1st Quarter Review of 55th Birthday Yearlong Plan

Thsi year when I blew out the candles, I had more in mind than birthday wishes. I had a plan: a Yearlong Birthday Plan.

This year when I blew out the candles, I had more in mind than birthday wishes. I had a plan: a Yearlong Birthday Plan.

TIME to share how well I am doing with my birthday yearlong plan. I wrote in detail here what I want to accomplish in 9 areas in my yearlong plan.

One. Collect 55 Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. I’ve packed 19 boxes so far!!! Go here for this first quarter update.

Two. Raise $4,000 so I can go to India in July. I have about $2,200. We have had a car wash and yard sale. 3 more events are coming up . . .

  • June 29th – yard sale and car wash (if enough people to help)
  • July 4th – sell food & drink before/during parade
  • July 6th – India Dinner & Raffle

Three. Practice gratitude 55 times. I have not been very intentional about this besides writing Friday’s Fave Five and two posts on gratitude. The posts are Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss – a book review and Choosing Gratitude And Why It Matters.

Four. Move 55 minutes daily. I have not progressed in my daily minutes count – still at 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.

Five. Write 55 posts. I have written 50 posts so far. In April I was part of the Blogging  From A-Z Challenge and I wrote 23 posts that month. I am so sure I can reach my goal of 55 posts.

If you want to see what I’ve written go to my right side bar (towards the bottom). “Stuff I’ve Written and When.” There is a monthly archive.

Six. Create 55 times. Go here to read about the things I created this first quarter.

Seven. Read 55 books. 14 read, 41 left to go.

Here is what I’ve read so far.

1. Fearfully & Wonderfully Made by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey
2. Acts of Love: The Power of Encouragement by David Jeremiah
3. Plan B by Anne Lamott
4. The Mysterious Voyage of Captain Kidd by A.B.C. Whipple
5. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
6. Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
7. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
8. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
9. Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science by John Tiner
10.The Quest for Character by Charles Swindoll
11. Masters of Mystery: 56 Short Stories of Mystery, Intrigue, & Suspense (by different authors)
12. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
13. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
14. Secrets of the Vine for Women: Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Wilkinson

Eight. Do 55 things from previous bucket lists. I haven’t even looked at these lists, so I probably haven’t done any of them.

Nine. Bake 55 pies. I have made 7 pies so far. Below are the reviews.

1. Raspberry Freeze Pie
2. Derby Pie
3. Apple Pie
4. Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
5. Strawberry Yogurt Pie
6. Toll House Pie
7. Tamale Pie

Tally – 5 of the categories are going GREAT, 1 is okay, and 3 are a fail (so far). Come back in September for the next review.

Your Turn . . . 

  • Did you make any goals on your birthday this year? If yes, how’s it going?
  • If not yet, what would you like to accomplish before your next birthday?

Related Posts . . .

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