1.29.2015

Thursday's 10 Thoughts


I had such a great time last week attending Blogger Scene here in DC. It was held at The Gryphon over in DuPont. Such a fun location and I was obsessed with their antler chandeliers #Iwantone Blogger Scene was the perfect opportunity to catch up with old blogger friends, and chat with some new ones! Weren't able to attend yourself? Here's some advice from the panelists.

I still can't get over the shock of Piperlime closing. I mean just last week I was talking about my new found love for them. The only upside of this terrible news? Plenty of sales coming our way. Go ahead and get started with this one.

I finally found the most perfect faux leather blazer. The search was well worth it... and hey, it's half price too.

Leave it to Budweiser to make me cry at work. Anything involving a precious puppy, brings on the waterworks.

Can spring just hurry up and get here already?! I'll take these... in all five colors!

I'm still searching for the PERFECT dress for Taste of the South. It's a big charity gala held here in DC in March. Please tell me you love this dress (in blue) as much as I do?! #dontbreakmyheart

The Super Bowl is this Sunday. Still searching for some scrumptious snacks to make? Try these. Super easy and very tasty. Just don't think about the calories. And if you need a good laugh in preparation, watch this. Or if football is not your thing, you'll definitely love this.

Thinking it's time to breakout the spring nail polishes. I mean I love my hunter green (the closest I can get to black without actually taking the plunge), but it's time for a refresh. Thoughts on this color or this one?

I wish this was my reaction after my first kiss. #notevenclose

People will do just about anything to find the one... or at the very least "the one for the night." Looking for something deeper and more meaningful? Maybe this is just the ticket. #getinline

kristyn
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1.27.2015

Caramelized Bacon Wrapped Smokies

This is probably the easiest and tastiest appetizer recipe you will ever find. I mean what is better than bacon + cocktail smokies + and dark brown sugar?! The only thing better of course is that it's super simple to make.

I've made this appetizer for numerous parties. Let's just say it won me a few cooking contests back in college and won over many frat boys back in my day. I've also made it for quite a few football parties and events since then. The one thing people say every single time they try one, aside from wondering how many calories are in each one, is "how can I make these? I need the recipe!" So that everyone can partake in these delicious caramelized creations, I decided to share the recipe with you all just in time for Super Bowl Sunday.



Caramelized Bacon Wrapped Smokies

What you'll need:
  • 1 package of cocktail wienies
  • 1 package of Oscar Mayer Hardwood Smoked Bacon (thin cut)
  • 1 box of dark brown sugar
Take the entire package of bacon and cut the slices into thirds. Take 1/3 of a slice of bacon and wrap around a cocktail wienie. Place on a baking sheet that's covered in nonstick aluminum foil. Continue till all wienies are covered with bacon. Heavily coat the wienies with dark brown sugar. Using dark brown sugar is key to getting the caramelizing effect. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or till the bacon is thoroughly cooked. Serve immediately. 

This appetizer is perfect for any party and will make a great impression on all your guests. I plan on making these for Super Bowl Sunday! 

A few things to note... make sure you serve immediately after they are cooked and cooled. They can harden pretty quick. Also, make sure you soak and clean any plates very soon after use. The sugar can harden quickly and not be the easiest to get off a glass plate or baking sheet. 

kristyn
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1.23.2015

Tea for the Tub?


So I definitely admit that I'm not normally a "lay in the bath" kind of gal. But the older I get, the more I find that I really enjoy a nice relaxing soak in the tub. I don't usually like to use bubble bath type products, as I have found those dry out my skin more. I have the most sensitive skin on the face of the earth... like ever! To me though, the boring ole water just isn't enough to sooth me. That's when I found Capital Teas', Tea for the Tub!

Okay, so I never in a million years thought about soaking in tea. I love to drink it... but take a bath in it? Never crossed my mind. Till now. I've tried the normal bath salts, soaps and bubble bath products before. I just didn't like anything I tried. They were either too messy, left a terrible residue in my tub or left my skin itchy. Tea for the Tub is different.

I really like how the emphasis is on the soothing scents and not necessarily the effect the bath left on your body. I just want to relax. I simply dropped the tea sachet in the bottom of my tub while it was filling up. It didn't take long for the wonderful aromas of the tea to come out. I also love how the tea sachet didn't leave a mess in my bath. All I had to do was throw the bag away once the bath was over. No mess or stress!! To top off my me time, I added some of my favorite music, candles and a good glass of wine (hey, every gal deserves a night like this). I felt extremely relaxed. The perfect way to unwind before bed.

Tea for the Tub comes in two scents, purify and soothe. Purchase online or at one of Capital Teas' area stores.



While you're at it, be sure to checkout the whole slue of other products Capital Teas offers... like their wonderfully delicious teas. The Orange Grapefruit Wellness is my fave! It smells fantastic too!




kristyn
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1.22.2015

Thursday's 10 Thoughts


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting the gorgeous actress and model, Molly Sims. She was in town for a signing of her new book, The Everyday Supermodel. Molly shares her beauty, fashion and wellness secrets in a more simple form. It's an easy and fun read, and I highly suggest you purchase a copy of The Everyday Supermodel. Oh, and you're probably wondering how my chat with her went... great!! We gabbed about politics, my H&M bag and low-and-behold she's from the South. Actually 20 minutes from the little ole Kentucky town where my grandparents live. #itsasmallworld

I love, love, LOVE Chipotle. Like it's probably my favorite place to eat... ever. So naturally I'll be making my way over there next Monday. Why? Cause what do I love more than Chipotle... when it's FREE of course.

In case you didn't already know, it's Restaurant Week here in DC. It's not too late to get your fix people. Trust me, it's one of the best weeks of the year! #ilovefood

I'm absolutely hooked on Piperlime now. I didn't understand what all the rage was, till I purchased a few items from their big sale last week. Like this dress, this skirt and another dress. The quality of these pieces are incredible. I cannot wait to style them and share with y'all.

The beginning of this week was a little rough for me. I spent several days under the weather, battling a stomach bug. What helped get me through, other than Netflix and Real World reruns of course, was the most comfortable and warmest blanket... ever.

Last week I FINALLY reached my Starbucks Gold Card status level. #imawinner It only took me almost a year and 30 grande dirty chai-teas to reach this elite status. However, I'm over the PSL and dirty chai. Suggestions are welcome (gotta maintain my gold status).

My friend Alyssa has been trying to talk me into getting one of these. Have any of you used one of these vs. the FitBit. I'd love to get your thoughts.

I really need to revamp my work wardrobe, especially for the late winter / early spring time. I've been eyeing this skirt, this jacket and these shoes for awhile. Oh and I love this top, and this dress.

If you're in the DC area and a blogger... will I be seeing you at Blogger Scene tonight? I don't believe it's too late to pickup a ticket. See you at the Gryphon?

Did you know I'm giving away $500 over on my Instagram? Like $500 in cold-hard-cash (well it's really coming on a Visa card, but it's pretty much the same thing). Head over to my Insta to enter. Contest ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. EST.

kristyn
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1.20.2015

Dove 7 Day Challenge



I'm sure you've seen the commercial on TV, where Dove puts several ladies to a 7 Day Challenge. No mirrors and only a bar of soap to wash their face. The point? To show that you can really get healthy looking skin with just some good ole fashion soap and water.

I've always wondered if this really worked. Have you? So I decided to put Dove to the test. No, this isn't a sponsored post and I didn't receive any compensation from Dove to do this. I simply wanted to find a product that finally helped improve my skin and the feel of it. So I did just that. I stopped using the fancy washes, scrubs and make-up removers. For one week I used just the bar of soap + water. After seven days, I definitely noticed a change in the way my skin felt. It looked healthier too, but I wanted to take things up a notch to really get my skin hydrated, moisturized and looking great.



So for the next week I decided to mix in a few other products to really get my face nice and clean, but making sure the base of it was using Dove beauty bar soap.
  1. I used a make-up remover wipe. I did this to ensure I got a good chunk of the make-up off and my mascara didn't run when I washed my face. I usually prefer these wipes.
  2. Next I washed my face with warm water + Dove Sensitive Skin beauty bar soap. Really scrubbing, making sure to remove all excess make-up and dirt. If you have sensitive skin, try this bar. 
  3. Finally, I used a moisturizer to help make my skin even softer. I also put a heavier coat around my eyes, because I feel those get hit the hardest during the harsh winter winds. Another great thing about Dove is that it already includes 1/4 moisturizing cream. So anything else you use is just an added bonus. 
The results? I realized that over the years I really haven't been protecting my skin or taking good care of it. I mean in just one week I noticed a drastic difference. I can proudly say in the past two weeks I haven't had a single breakout and my skin is really feeling softer, and healthier. I accredit that to using Dove and finally taking better care of my skin. This was definitely something I wanted to work on during the new year. 

Want to take the Dove challenge up a notch? Try their body wash, dry spray or body lotion. Visit Dove's website for info on taking the challenge + learning even more tips on how to get smoother and healthier feeling skin. **All Images via 

kristyn
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1.16.2015

Chambray + Gold for a One Year Bloggerversary







365 days... that's how long it has been since my little ole blog and first post went LIVE. Crazy how quickly time flies. Yesterday's post was all about what I've learned over the past year. But today? Today is about celebrating all I've accomplished by sharing a brand new outfit post + thanking the many wonderful people who've helped me reach my ONE YEAR BLOGGERVERSARY!!!

First, the outfit. The holidays may have come and gone, but I sure as heck wasn't ready to pack up all my holiday sparkle. To tone things down, and make my favorite skirt more post holiday appropriate, I added a chambray shirt and cropped sweater. To make this ensemble work appropriate, I chose a pair of thick tights (necessary during the cold winter walks to work) and nice black booties. What do y'all think?

Skirt // Chambray Shirt (similar) // Sweater // Tights // Boots // Watch // Ring (old, H&M) // Coat (old, Banana Republic)

Now for the thank yous!! I'm not going to go into a long explanation for each person, as I'm sure they know why they're on this list :) Special thanks to my parents, brother (for taking outfit pics when he absolutely didn't want to), close friends, roommate Liz (for also taking outfit pics when she didn't want to), Meaghan (for all your help and advice + awesome friendship), Brittney (for all your advice prior to me starting my blog), Brooke (for the many opportunities to work with you and BrandLinkDC), Ashton (for always asking how things are going and being so supportive), Tammy (for designing this killer new site), Julien (for teaching me how to white balance my camera and take wayy better photos), and the countless others that I know I'm forgetting here. I truly cannot thank everyone enough for all the constant love, support, encouragement, advice, and friendship. 

Oh, and the most important thank you goes to YOU, my readers!!! If it wasn't for you all, this little space on the Internet wouldn't exist. Thank you for the sweet comments, social media shout outs, emails, and in-person run-ins. Primp & Proper wouldn't even be here without y'all, so THANK YOU!!! I cannot wait to see what the next 365 days hold! Now, for some more outfit pics... (photos by Julien).













kristyn
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1.15.2015

Thursday's 10 Thoughts: First Year of Blogging

WOW! I seriously cannot believe that tomorrow marks my one year of blogging!! It's crazy, right?! That's 365 days, 170 posts, 2 blog names, more than 100K page views, a site redesign, many nights spent by the computer, lots of stress and panic moments, and countless new friendships... all since I began this journey last January.

I never in a MILLION years thought I'd ever make it this long. It's not that I didn't believe in myself, but more so I never imagined I'd enjoy blogging as much as I have. I've mentioned it several times before, but I never started blogging to expand into a business. It was merely an outlet for me to share my life here in DC. It grew to be so much more than that!

I've learned a lot along the way too. Looking back, there were many things I wish I had known or researched before I started a blog. The biggest challenge I faced was figuring out how to keep up with writing posts, and at the same time learn how to even use half the tools out there to expand my blog. So I wanted to share a few tips I learned over the past year for those of you new to the blogging world or simply tossing around the idea of creating one. *Image via

  • Educate Yourself // This is extremely important in both expanding your blog and protecting yourself online. Learn how to use the various resources out there. Whether that's simply taking a photography class, all the way to learning how to properly attribute photos or text. 
  • Be realistic // Set achievable goals. You're not going to be that blogger who has 30K followers overnight and spending her weekends in Paris, staying at a lavish hotel for free. It takes hard work to get there. Set small goals at first, and work towards the bigger benefits. 
  • Ask // You'll never get what you don't ask for. I also want to bring in the "be realistic" point. When you're first starting out, reach out to smaller brands and new businesses. If there's a brand you want to work with, send them ideas of how you wish to collaborate. A brand is more willing to say yes if you do the work for them.
  • You will have naysayers // Not everyone is going to agree with you or like that outfit post you did. It happens. Do what you feel is best, and the amount of supporters will FAR exceed the naysayers.
  • Network, Network, Network // This is super important. Attend events in your area, connect with local businesses and bloggers and then keep up with those connections. You never know where one conversation will lead. 
  • Participate in giveaways and linkups // These are the easiest and quickest ways to grow your viewership. Who doesn't love the opportunity to win something?!
  • Listen to your gut // If your gut tells you something is sketchy or feels wrong, odds are it is. Just be careful and do your research about a company when they reach out to you.
  • Be positive // Nobody likes a Negative Nancy. This goes for in person and on social media. Don't be that girl that lashes out at her ex-boyfriend through Twitter or trashes fellow bloggers. It will keep future brands from wanting to work with you.
  • It's okay to say NO // When I first started blogging, I wanted to say YES to everything! Yes to you, yes to that guy, yes to this brand... EVERYBODY GETS A YESSSSS (in my best Oprah voice). You're one person and only human. You can't do it all. Prioritize what is important and fill in around that. 
  • Real life comes first // This took me the longest to figure out. I've always been a dive in head first kind of gal. I don't do anything half way. So when it came to blogging I wanted to seize every opportunity. After awhile, I got worn out. Blogging should never come before things going on in your real life. It's all about organization and prioritizing. Make time for you, your friends and having fun.

There are MANY more thoughts I have and things I learned throughout my first year of blogging that I'd love to share. Do you have specific questions? Always wondered something about blogging? Email me! I'd love to grab coffee if you're in the DC area or happy to chat over email if you're not. I'm always happy to help however I can!!

Stop back by the blog tomorrow for a brand NEW outfit post and help me celebrate ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING!!!!!

XOXO,

kristyn
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1.13.2015

Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week

If y'all know me, then you probably know how much I love food. Not just eating to eat, but I have a great love for good cuisine. I couldn't have ended up in a better city, because Washington D.C. has some of the world's most renowned chefs who've chosen to open restaurants here in the District. Like Richard Sandoval, Mike Isabella, José Andrés and more!

While I've eaten at my fair share of places in this city, I haven't even come close to making a dent in all that DC has to offer. One of my favorite times to get out and try new places is the Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week. This seven day event is held twice a year, in January and August. More than 100 or so area restaurants offer a prix-fixe lunch ($20.15) and/or dinner ($35.15) menu, showcasing some of their more popular items from their full menu.

I absolutely love this week because you get the opportunity to try more food for your money. For this winter's restaurant week, I already have reservations lined up to try Ambar, Zengo, Lincoln DC and more! *Image via



If you've never participated in the Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, there are a few things you need to know...
  • Make your reservations now. This is the most popular week of the year for diners, especially since it's during the winter and people don't have anything better to do than eat out. 
    • Even if you aren't sure you are going somewhere, go ahead and reserve a spot through Open Table. Just make sure you read the restaurant's cancellation policy and cancel in enough time to not get charged.
  • For restaurants that feature small plates or four courses, I recommend going with a smaller group of people. That way you can share your plates, and get to try even more items on the menu.
  • When it comes to tipping your servers, tip based on what the meal actually would have cost. At some restaurants your meal would ordinarily cost twice what you end up paying. For most places, 18% is the customary tip amount (you can't tell that I was a server once, can you?! ha!)
  • Try places out of your comfort zone. Restaurant Week is a great time to try places that you normally wouldn't go. You can always hit up your favorite restaurant any other week of the year!
  • It's a great week to go on a date! You can get whatever you want that's featured on the menu and don't have to worry about ordering something too expensive. 
Now for a few restaurants that I highly recommend. I've been to all of these places during restaurant week, and I feel they are some of the best options for several reasons (I'll explain below).

Policy // Probably one of my favorite restaurants in this city, Policy gets my vote for the best "bang for your buck" during Restaurant Week. I went here this past August for my birthday dinner, and barely touched the dessert! They say "small plates" but the portion sizes are anything but! I didn't have a single thing I didn't like. They offer a very extensive menu to choose from during restaurant week, where as most restaurants have a very limited, prix-fixe menu. *Image via



Floriana // I fully admit that I've eaten here more than 5 times. I can't get enough of their homemade pastas, mouthwatering mussels and some of the best Brussels sprouts I've had in the city. Based on the deal they offered up last year, you get one appetizer + one entree + one dessert for the $35.15. Also, I believe Wednesday's are half price wine night... need I say more?!

Lincoln DC // I love their twist on American cuisine. I tried four times to get into this restaurant and let me tell you, it's worth the wait. It's that good. The Brussels sprouts and mac&cheese are to die for. I highly recommend this place for lunch or dinner.

Bandolero // Looking for a fun take on Mexican cuisine? Try Bandolero in Georgetown. One of my favorite places in DC, I recommend the crazy corn or alambres! *Image via



Oya Restaurant and Lounge // This place gets my vote for "best date environment." Now, I admit... I've been on two dates here, both times with different guys #awkward. Unfortunately it didn't work out with either guy, but the atmosphere of Oya definitely made this one of my favorite places for a romantic night out. From the chic all white furniture, to the crystal chandeliers, and cozy rock fire wall, it's the perfect place to impress your date! *Image via



There are a few other places I've eaten at on the list, but I feel the ones mentioned above are the must try places, as well as the restaurants you really get your money's worth. Oh, and for a few others I should definitely mention, but forewarning haven't tried...

America Eats Tavern, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Fiola Mare, G by Mike Isabella, Graffiato, Jaleo, Lavagna, Second State, and Zaytina.

kristyn
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1.09.2015

Blackwatch Plaid

One of my favorite patterns for the fall/winter is blackwatch plaid. Okay, so I'm from the South and I love a good plaid print, ha! But the buffalo plaid or more brightly colored patterns can be a little much once the holidays are over. Thus I turn to a more subtle approach to one of this season's biggest trends.

There are two brands that have really brought out the blackwatch plaid this season... Brooks Brothers and J.Crew. My favorite dress in my closet right now is this Brooks Brothers below. Unfortunately it's no longer in stock, but not to fret!! I featured a few other great picks in this wonderful print below the photo...





Blackwatch Plaid

kristyn
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1.08.2015

Thursday's 10 Thoughts


WOW, this week has been crazy pants. All of the rest and relaxation I had coming off a two week vacation is pretty much gone after the past few days. Between work, and the million things going on outside of work, I haven't had much time to catch my breath. On the bright side, it's almost the weekend!! I've got two very good friends coming in town, so I'm excited to catch up with them and blow off a little steam from this week! Anyways, you didn't come here to hear me ramble on... so here are my 10 Thoughts for the week...


I am seriously shocked at how well my New Year's manicure has lasted. Going on a week and a half and my paws are still freshly polished, thanks to my esthetician Kim! My friend Laura and I went to a brand new place here in DC, the Nailsaloon. What did I love almost as much as my freshly painted nails? The gorgeous space of the salon and the complimentary wine, duhhh.

Can't get enough of this lipgloss or brand. Thanks Bluemercury for getting me hooked.

I seriously pray that I find a man like this... no, not the idiot who won't get off the phone. We all need a man who realizes when a lady is being treated poorly!

It's a sad week for fashion ladies... or a good one if you're Tory Burch. C. Wonder announced this week they're closing all of their stores and website within the next few weeks. The stores here in DC have already closed. What's the positive?! The only good thing is you can head over to their website to stock up on some amazing steals at 50% off... #rundontwalk Here are a few of my faves for you to snag...
In other news one of my favorite bands of all time, I mean of ALL TIME, is coming back together for a huge documentary... here's your sneak peek. #forallmy90sfans

Looking for a comfortable black bootie that's chic, yet appropriate for work? I've been living in these recently. They look vicious, but surprisingly my feet feel great! Oh and I LOVE these too.

I recently got into the green juice thing. For Christmas I got a brand new NutriBullet. I'm really looking for some delicious green juice/smoothie recipes. I'm loving the ones featured this past week here. Do you have a good recipe I should try? I'm all about adding in the green, but I love a juice with more of a fruity flavor.

I'm pretty sure it's almost impossible to outdo T. Swift... but this couple sure gave the gal a run for her money.

In case you're living under a rock, this past week Target announced its AMAZING collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer. Want to see more? Checkout College Prepster's recent post or follow @LillyforTarget on Instagram (yes, that's already a thing). The collection launches April 19th. **Photo via College Prep

















































If you need a little laugh, this has basically been me all week when I head to bed... anyone else wish they could turn their brain off at night?!


kristyn
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1.07.2015

"Let's go listen to the night train"





Jacket // Tuxedo Shirt // Jeans // Boots // Necklace // Watch (old, similar)

One of my favorite memories growing up in East Tennessee was laying in bed and listening to the sounds of the night train put me to sleep. I didn't live far from the tracks, and every night at the same time you'd hear the horns of the coming train. Many people would find this extremely annoying and others would hate the rumbling shakes of the train waking them up. For me, I loved it! It was the sound of home!

So when I went home for the holidays, I wanted to head down to one of my favorite places to checkout the lake views and breath in that sweet Tennessee air. I promise I'm not that lame, but when you live in a large city like DC, it's good to get back to the basics of home sometimes.

Speaking of basics, now that the holidays are behind us, I've packed up my holiday themed outfits and sparkly numbers and headed back to the basics... good ole denim, boots and a button down. Everyone needs a good tuxedo button up and that perfect pair of jeans. This is definitely the type of outfit you'll find me in, all winter! By adding a good quality jacket and fun statement necklace, the whole look is perfect for a casual day of shopping or running errands!




Oh and special thanks to my little brother for taking these fab pics!! I tested out the camera settings on him before he took my pics and what do y'all think? He could be a blogger too, haha! Love you Zack!!



kristyn
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1.05.2015

Over the Weekend, Ringing in a New Year

Happy New Year everyone!!! I hope y'all had a great time ringing in the new year last week and over the weekend! It's so hard to believe that 2014 is behind us and a brand new year is here!












One thing many people do before a new year begins is create a list of resolutions or things they hope to accomplish. Whether it's personal goals or milestones for your business, we all have big dreams and hopes for our future. In years past I've created list after list, cause y'all know this Type A extrovert loves her lists, ha! So I decided to take a look back at the list I made in the beginning of 2014 and see what all I had completed. While I certainly accomplished a lot last year, I at first focused on all that I hadn't. "I didn't reach this many followers on Twitter," or "I continued to sweat the small stuff." There were many things I intended to do, but after awhile I forgot about the list and focused on what really mattered... living life. Because of that, I accomplished so much more than what was written down on paper!

When it came time to sit down and think about what I wanted to do in 2015, I of course set some personal and career type goals. But I decided to not make this year's focus about checking items off a list. Instead, I hope to plan less and enjoy the wonderful blessings going on in my life now. It's like the saying goes, "God laughs every time you make a plan." It's soooo true y'all! A much bigger plan is meant for us than some bullet points on a list. Yes, goals and resolutions are important. But for this new year, I decided to do away with the lists and resolutions, and instead focus on the unplanned moments and adventures. It's gonna be hard. Trust me. But I'm sure gonna try!

Does anyone else have this mindset going into the new year? Also, if you're interested in winning a $400 Shopbop gift card, head over to my Instagram to learn how to enter!!

Happy Monday and let's make 2015 the best year yet!

kristyn
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