If the Shoe Don’t Fit

We have all heard what we should do “if the shoe fits”, but what if the shoe DON’T fit?

Gardening, Birdhouses, Backyard Birding

I bought this “green roof” birdhouse a few years ago on our anniversary trip to Mentone. I love picking out a plant to put on the roof every spring.

Gardening, Birdhouses, Backyard Birding

This spring when I walked out to survey my birdhouse and check to see if it needed new potting soil, I noticed a hole in the side wall of the birdhouse.

Gardening, Birdhouses, Backyard Birding

At first I thought maybe there had been a knot in the wood there and it had fallen out. Upon closer inspection, I realized that something, some animal, had made this new hole.

Gardening, Birdhouses, Backyard Birding

As spring came, and birds began to nest, I began to see a bird coming and going out of the side hole of my birdhouse. I decided not to plant anything on top, so that water would not harm any potential babies that might be inside.

Gardening, Birdhouses, Backyard Birding

I knew when I bought it, that the original hole was too small for most birds, but I didn’t realize that they would make their own entrance hole! It took me a long while to actually figure out that it is a mocking bird nesting here. They will sit on those trellises before they enter the birdhouse.

Maybe one day I’ll catch them in a photo.

 

 

 

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Goldfish Dinner

Goldfish Dinner

It’s supper time at Uncle Henry’s Goldfish Pond! My granddaughters and I bought more goldfish a couple of weeks ago and it seems I got healthy ones. The sales clerk at Petsmart was very conscientious this time and picked out all different colors and markings so we could tell them apart. You can read about my goldfish pond set up HERE.

I am feeding my babies every evening after I get home from work, so that they hopefully get used to me and don’t “run” every time I walk up. It is so much fun watching them.

We are visiting my mama in North Carolina this holiday week. So I hope YOU will keep my fish company while I am gone. Be sure and leave them a comment or two and I will read them to them when I get home. ūüôā

Thanks for watching.

 

 

 

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Garden Art

Garden Art

You may have noticed that I love plants. I love buying them, planting them, watering them, gazing on them, smelling them, and just sitting and watching them grow. But I believe is necessary to have more than plants to make an interesting and unique garden. I believe in adding garden art.

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

Now don’t get me wrong. As much as I love my garden art, you can get too much! The picture below is a house in my old neighborhood where there is not one square foot of ground that doesn’t have a statue on it. It is kitschy overload!

I am going for a much more restrained look here. Although, you may disagree once you get further along in this post. LOL

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

I love finding unique art pieces for my garden, which is about an acre, so I have plenty of places to use art.

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

Generally speaking, I like my art to be in a flowerbed, as part of a garden area.

garden art, outdoor decor, yard artgarden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

My garden is always evolving. And in my mind I have major plans, with paths leading to different sections, and surprises around every bend.

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

I am pleased with how far it has come along in the 5 summers we have lived here, but I am excited to see where it goes in the next 5.

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

garden art, outdoor decor, yard art

We will be spending our July 4th holiday at my Mama’s in North Carolina. So I won’t be around to visit with you much online. But I will catch up with you when I get back. Enjoy your 4th.

 

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Moss Rock Preserve ~ Hiking Alabama

Moss Rock Preserve ~ Hiking Alabama

In the continuing effort to visit every nook and cranny in the great State of Alabama, and to share it with the world, today I want to take you on a hike at the Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover, Alabama.

See these other great Alabama travel ideas:

Mentone, The Shoals¬†Part 1, The Shoals Part 2, The Shoals Part 3, Lover’s Leap, Orange Beach

Hoover is a bustling suburb of Birmingham. It is home to the Galleria Mall and lots of other great shopping. It is also home to a glorious Preserve called Moss Rock.

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

My daughter and my two granddaughters and I decided to hike the Orange Trail to High Falls and then to the Top of the World.visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

The trail follows alongside a scenic creek.

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

We found lots of fungi and cute things to look at.

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

As we continued to hike, the rocks got bigger.

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

Of course, with mama and grandmama, 6 and 8 year old girls, the lunch time picnic was the best.

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

We ate lunch within sight of the High Falls, which made for a great view.

Well, almost.

Right at the most scenic area on the Orange Trail hike, someone had hung their hammock and was hanging out over the falls.

Literally.

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

The guy in the hammock is actually the reason we stopped short of the High Falls for lunch. But after we ate, we headed off to complete our adventure. We were hot and ready to cool off by wading in the cold waterfall.visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

That water was soooooo refreshing!

I didn’t actually get a great photo of the whole waterfall. I guess we were too busy playing.

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

Mossy Rock was everywhere!
visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

One of the girls spied this crawdad.

visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

And the Damsel Flies were gorgeous colors! We saw green, blue and purple.visit Alabama, hike in Birmingham, things to do Hoover

After cooling off in the waterfall, we decided to head back. The girls were tired and not interested in continuing on to see the Top of the World. We decided they had gotten enough exercise and it was time to head out of the woods for our next adventure.

Next Adventure?

Donuts.

Dunkin’ Donuts.

What’s your favorite?

 

 

 

 

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Poetry on Canvas

Poetry on Canvas

I shared with you¬†about redoing my bedroom last year, read about (Part 1) and (Part 2). But I have not rehung any wall art yet because I’ve had a project in mind that will be the main piece of art for the room. Have you seen any Poetry on Canvas yet? Or maybe song lyrics?

RESEARCH:

Mr. Menace writes beautiful poetry. The first poem he wrote for me was about 15 years ago not long after we started dating. We lived in different towns and he sent me a single rose for Valentine’s Day. On the card he had them write his original poem.

I decided I wanted to paint this poem on canvas and hang it in our bedroom. Michael’s had their art supplies 1/2 price and I purchased the largest canvas. Then I put off doing the painting because I just wasn’t sure how I wanted to go about it. Pinterest was again my best friend and I found several suggestions for how to create my vision.

And then, I just decided to do it and let the chips fall where they may.

BACKGROUND:

I painted my canvas with a coat of white acrylic craft paint and while I was doing it, I had a thought. After locating my leftover bedroom wall paint, which was white with GLITTER added, I put a coat on the canvas! The glitter is faint but when the light hits it just right, BLING!

TRANSFERRING:

I thought about free-handing the poem, but that really scared me, so I typed the poem into my Word program on my computer. Looking at fonts, I tried to find one that resembled Mr. Menace’s handwriting, but none of them were¬†messy enough. ha! I finally chose a font that looks like handwriting, called Journal, and I downloaded it for free from HERE.

The font was small so I enlarged¬†it to 150 and printed it out. I then placed the sheets of paper onto ¬†my 24″x36″¬†canvas and immediately knew the words were not big enough, so I then enlarged the font size to 250 and it fit perfectly!

The next step was to turn the sheets of paper over and shade the letters in pencil on the back side of the paper. This was a little bit time consuming but not bad.

When I finished, I turned the paper back right side up and placed them on the canvas and began tracing over the letters on the front side. This made the pencil marks on the back side transfer to the canvas. I had to place some books underneath the canvas to give it a firm backing to do this.

Luckily, I did not have to draw any lines on my canvas. Because my font was so big, only one word printed per page, so I was able to line up the top edge of the paper with the top edge of the canvas for the first line of the poem. For the other lines, I lined up the top edge of the paper with the bottom of the words on the previous line. This kept everything equal distance.

PAINTING:

Once I had the faint outlines on the canvas, it was time to paint.

I was very shaky at first. But after I did a little bit, I relaxed and got much better. Besides, I wanted it to look handwritten.

But bending over at the dining table sure was making my back hurt!

Thank Goodness Mr. Menace arrived home soon and was able to help me get my easel set up. It was smooth sailing from there!

As the afternoon wore on, and it began to get a little darker in the room, I finally realized that my reading glasses would probably help me to stay within the lines. Duh…


*This poem is copyrighted and may not be used or duplicated without the author’s consent. Excerpts and Links are permissible with proper credit.*

 

I am very happy with the way it turned out.

**Thank you Mary at The Boondocks Blog for featuring my DIY Wall Art at the Sweet Inspiration Link Party!**

And I love having the poem hanging where I can read it every single day as soon as I wake up.

This man. He knows how to romance a woman.

 

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How to Add Outdoor Ambiance

How to Add Outdoor Ambiance

I love solar lights. They provide just enough light for outdoor ambiance.

I already showed you my solar chandelier that I made. If you missed it, you can read about my first attempt by clicking here, and my redo by clicking here. The redo is holding up nicely.

**Thanks to HOME & GARDEN THURSDAY for featuring this post!**

A gardening friend of mine had solar cattails in her garden, but she had gotten them from a store up north that we don’t have down south, so I was really pleased to find some on clearance last year at Walmart! I have them beside Uncle Henry’s goldfish pond.

I put a solar spotlight¬†in a flower pot so that it is shining on my deck fountain. It’s just enough light to show off the fountain, but not enough to ruin the romance.

I put two path lights into this pot and set it by the deck stairs for safety. It not only identifies where the steps start to its right, but also where the deck drops off on its left side.

My arbor is nicely lit by these solar string lights that I bought from Target several years ago.

This accidental photo of the arbor is pretty cool I think.

I have another set of those same string lights around this window. This area is a work in progress. You will be seeing more of this area later.

See that green light to the right of the window? I can’t even remember where I got it, but it is one of my favorites.

It’s a cute painted metal flower and the light changes colors.

Here is a similar one at Target.

You might remember my Ginger Rock Garden. I have several “ball” solar lights in that garden. Most of them don’t work anymore, but I still like them, so I leave them.

I am thinking about spray painting them to update them. What do you think?

Do you love solar lights? I want more.

 

 

 

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Here Fishy Fishy

Here Fishy Fishy

When I was growing up, Mama had a fish pond in the yard outside our kitchen windows. She had a pretty flower bed there and a bird feeder. She bought the cheap small plastic swimming pool from the dollar store in town and buried it so that it was level with the ground. We had goldfish in that pond year round. This started my love for outdoor goldfish ponds. I often call my fish singing “here fishy fishy”. They don’t usually come, but that doesn’t stop me from calling.

ORIGINAL SETUP:

A few¬†of years ago I brought home a truck load of fun items from my mama’s. The fireplace mantels that you see in my living room and my bedroom, ¬†my bar stools, a couple of bookshelves, the church pews on my front porch, a glass door cabinet, a table, and an iron wash pot that belonged to my Uncle Henry.

Water Garden

Uncle Henry was my grandfather and his wife, Aunt Modie, my grandmother.

Confused? My Daddy’s parents died when he was a young boy and Uncle Henry took Daddy home with him to raise him. So even though we called them by their technically correct relationship names, they were my Grandparents. We grew up just down the road from them and I have many memories of good times spent with them and at their house.

Water Garden

RELOCATION:

I call it my “Uncle Henry fish pond”. I bought several goldfish and a couple of plants and set it up in a small bed by our driveway. But where it was, I really never looked at it, or paid it enough attention.

Water Garden

So I decided to move it. I was in the process of building a new flowerbed and decided that I would see it more if I moved it to the new bed. Iron wash pots are extremely heavy, so I disassembled it in order to move it.

 

It’s new location has been perfect. I see it every day.

UPDATES:

Over the years, I have added more aquatic plants and solar lights and the flowerbed has filled in. This might be my favorite part of my garden.

TODAY:

All of my original fish have passed away, so this spring I went to Pet Smart and bought 6 goldfish and 1 catfish. Four of those didn’t make it through the first week, so I am down to 3.

When you get your bag of fish home, you need to place the bag unopened into the water of their new home and leave it for an hour or so. This is to allow their water and body temperatures to become the same.

After they have had time to acclimate themselves, you can open the bag and release them into your pond.

My plants have grown so much, I have since pulled out quite a bit of the greenery on the left and added it to my compost pile.

Have you ever had a small goldfish pond?

 

 

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Across The Blvd
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June in the Garden

June in the Garden

We’ve had a lot of rain in the past 2-3 weeks and my garden is LOVING it! Everything from the grass, to the flowers, to the fruit, is so green and vibrant. The only trouble with that is, when the summer drought hits, they will be expecting ME to water them just as faithfully. Boy, do I dream of an irrigation system….

Anyway, I thought I’d share how beautiful things are looking right now. Join me for a brief tour of June in the Garden.

FLOWERS:

 

Four O’clocks have started blooming in both white and pink. I planted a mixture and am reallllllly hoping to get some yellow ones. I’ve never had anything except pink before. Although, these that I panted from purchased seeds don’t seem to have the sweet scent that the old fashioned pink ones did. I need to get some more of those, because I do love sweet scented flowers.

I planted three new Echinacea last year, supposedly all pink. But when they started to bloom one seemed to be TOTALLY green. I was ok with that, however it has now started to turn pink also.

These two chaste trees, (vitex), have my heart. The Japanese Beetles fight me for them, but picking them off by hand is worth it to spend some daily time admiring their beauty.

This butterfly bush was one of the few original plants in this yard when we moved here over five years ago. It isn’t doing as well as it should this year, so I have pruned it and am babying it and hopefully it will live many more years with us.

I have to show you these bird planted sunflowers. They come up every year underneath my bird feeders which are on the upper deck outside my kitchen window. They are so sweet, although it’s sure not the prettiest corner of my yard, but it’s real life.

I am almost positive that I planted more than one of these white verbena last year. However, I had forgotten about them until I saw this one yesterday. It is a distinct possibility that I have either cut the others down with the weedeater or the lawnmower…. shhhh… don’t let Mr. Menace know, because he gets in HUGE trouble if he cuts down any of my plants!

UPDATE:

The Moss Rose, (portulaca), is doing fabulously on the “green” roof of my fairy house. If somehow you’ve missed it, read about my adorable fairy house HERE.

FRUITS:

Not quite ripe yet, but my four blackberry shrubs are doing great. They are still tiny, but growing like weeds!

My two fig shrubs are doing right along. No fruits yet, but some day! Notice my cute “barn” on the left? It’s not really a cute barn at all. Read about that transformation HERE.

OTHER:

A late cold snap bit my Eucalyptus back to the ground this spring, but it has recovered nicely. You can also see my current compost pile in the background. Read about how easy it is to compost HERE.

What’s going on in your garden?

 

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What’s Working Here

What’s Working Here

My friend Leslie, from the blog What’s Working Here, and I are collaborating on a Stitch Fix Reveal blog swap. Leslie is a working Mom who loves food¬†and keeping things organized. (I am secretly hoping she¬†will help me become more organized in the future!) Leslie and I share a love for gardening, and we also both love Stitch Fix. ¬†Leslie has received 19 fixes and today, she is sharing a preview of her latest one.

Here’s Leslie:

 

I’m sharing my Vacation Stitch Fix Review with you today along with some fun news about our trip.¬† I’ve been planning and getting ready for our trip to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and up the West Coast. ¬†When I checked the weather forecast for those areas I realized this isn’t going to be my typical Summer vacation packing. ¬†With highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s I knew I would need some Spring/Summer layers. ¬†So I immediately¬†requested a vacation fix from my Stitch Fix stylist.

¬†Usually we’re beach vacation people. ¬†Which means packing is pretty simple: ¬†shorts, tanks, swimsuits, sun dresses. ¬†This year some friends of ours invited us to stay in a gorgeous house they rented in Lake Tahoe. ¬†We’ve always wanted to go there so we decided to join them in Tahoe. ¬†After spending a few days in Tahoe we plan to stay in San Francisco then head up the coast to see the Redwood Forest.

When I started thinking about what to pack and checked the weather I realized my typical Summer vacation clothes wouldn’t do. ¬†Since it’s typically warm in Texas by the Spring I don’t really have any Spring or Summer layers. ¬†So I thought who would know better what to wear in the climate we are going to than someone who lives there, my Stitch Fix stylist.

Vacation Fix

My regular stylist is now out on maternity leave so I got a note from my new stylist, Jan. The note makes me feel like she really spent the time to get to know me and my style.  She commented on my blog, made references to my Pinterest board and included notes about how I can wear my pieces on my vacation.

Jan sent me great layering pieces that all work well together.

All of the looks Jan sent are anchored by the Ruby Lola Ankle Zip Skinny Jeans by Just Black. ¬†I’m so glad I finally got over the fact that skinny jeans are tight and started liking them with my¬†last fix. ¬†I really like the color of the jeans. The zip detail, which my stylist says will draw attention to Spring footwear, is also fun.

Layers

I wasn’t too sure about the Polka Dot Jayai Pleating Detail Blouse by Collective Concepts at first. ¬†The more I wore it the more I began to enjoy it. ¬†I’ve noticed tops are starting to get shorter so I just need to get used to the style.

I really like¬†the top¬†paired with the Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan by 41Hawthorn. ¬†Only, I can’t figure out if the dots are Black or Navy? ¬†I LOVE this cardigan and am now officially a cardigan person. ¬†My stylist noted I can throw it on if the temps dip after sunset.

The lace detail in the Beverley Lace Side Panel Knit Top by Papermoon is fun. ¬†I followed my stylist’s suggestion and styled the top with the Skinny Jeans and my Converse sneakers. ¬†I can definitely see myself¬†strolling the streets of San Francisco in this outfit.

And if it gets chilly I’ll throw on my Abrianna Cardigan.

 

Fun Plans

Once I put two and two together and realized we would be staying in San Francisco, the same city Stitch Fix is headquartered in, I decided I must stop by. ¬†I reached out to the influencer team and can’t wait to tour Stitch Fix headquarters! ¬†Follow me on¬†Instagram¬†to catch a sneak peek. ¬†I’m so excited and will have full details when I return from vacation.

 

See The Rest of Leslie’s Fix

Want to see the rest of Leslie’s Fix?  Visit What’s Working Here to get all the details on the other layering piece she received for her vacation.

 

 

 

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Stitch Fix Reveal ~ Midlife Style

Stitch Fix Reveal ~ Midlife Style

*This post contains affiliate links to products or companies that I truly love and believed in before I joined the affiliate program. If you use these links to make a purchase, I will be compensated at no extra cost to you.*

I thought it was time to do an actual Stitch Fix reveal since this is my 31st fix and I have been receiving fixes for over two years now. Usually one a month but sometimes two a month and I have not been to the mall in FOREVER! haha (except for that emergency time for a formal gown. Read about that HERE.)

My box was waiting for me when I got home from work last Thursday. When I opened it up I was overjoyed at the color scheme that I saw!

I get so excited that I just HAVE to try everything on right away! Most of the time, it is after I get home from work and the gym, so I am not necessarily looking my best. And that is where this disclaimer comes in:

**You might call this a disclaimer, but I totally claim it, so that seems almost like an oxymoron to call it that, but ANYWAY….. These photos are awful. I am well aware of that. My bathroom is dark and the mirror is dirty. Let’s just say that gives the photos some charm. OK?**

Item 1:

The first thing I tried on was the Kut From The Cloth Mollee Knit Dress. I liked the floral print and the fitted style, however, it was a tiny bit too long. If that was the only thing wrong, it wouldn’t bother me since I can sew and hemming is an easy fix.

I told you in an earlier post HERE, that shoes can make such a difference, so I gathered up a few pairs of shoes that I thought might work and tested them with the dress.

First I tried some mint green sandals since mint green was the most dominate color in the print. I didn’t like them with it. They felt way too clunky.

Next I tried a pair of red and nude heels, which felt right. They were both casual enough and dressy enough to balance the dress. These turned out to be my favorite choice.

These are usually my “go-to” shoes because they seem to look great with almost everything. The nude color is unobtrusive and they are casual, but dressy. I wear these a LOT! But they didn’t work with this dress. I felt like they were too casual and too chunky.

Lastly, I tried on a pair of navy heels since the background color of the dress is navy. These are my second choice for what looked the best.

Ultimately, I returned the dress because it just didn’t wow me and I am trying to be frugal this month.

 

Item 2:

The second thing I tried on was the RD Style Zetta V-Neck Romper. This little romper is just so cute! And oh so tiny! It would look fantastic on a 110 lb girl with a A or B size chest, but I could barely get it on even though it was a size Large, and it didn’t even make an attempt at covering my boobs.

I was sad about that. I love a romper and have a dressy one that I wear often, so I was really liking this more casual one. This would look great with flat thong sandals for a picnic, or a day at the river, or shopping, or a ballgame. GO BIRMINGHAM BARONS!

Kaele, my stylist, knows I prefer v-necks and the back v was especially cute on this! Sadly, it had to be returned.

 

Item 3:

Next I tried on the Statement Maggie Crochet Trim Tank Top. It is a cute light blue chambray spaghetti strap top with with adorable white trim. However, Kaele sent a Large and sleeveless large tops often have armholes that are way too big and show my bra and side boob.

I had worn black pants to work that day so I first tried it on those. I tightened up the straps as much as I could and that made it wearable (and photographable) but the armholes are still a bit big.

Item 4:

Then I noticed that the style card showed this top with white pants and I remembered that white jeans were included in my fix so I changed into the Lila Ryan Liza Skinny Jeans. I had asked for white bootcut¬†jeans, but Kaele said they didn’t have any right now.

I already have 2 pair of white skinny jeans, so I sent those back even though they felt good and were better quality than the ones I own. At this time I don’t need to spend any extra money for something I already have.

               

I do however love this cute little top. So I emailed Stitch Fix Customer Service and asked if I could keep the Large and have a Medium sent so I could compare the fit and decide which one works for me. They always oblige and tell you how to handle a request like this. I was told to go ahead and check out, marking this shirt as an EXCHANGE, but to keep it. Then when I decide which size I actually want to keep, contact them again and they would send an envelope for the return of the other one. Their customer service is the BEST!

Item 5:

Lastly, I tried on the Kut From The Kloth Roxanne Drawstring Linen Short. I had a feeling that these would not work for me, but trust me when I say TRY IT ON, even if you KNOW you don’t like something. You will often change your mind. This time I didn’t change my mind though.

My skinny legs do not look good in baggy shorts. PERIOD.

These are cute shorts however! But they are not for me and I returned them.

 

Style Cards:

I briefly mentioned the style cards earlier but I’ve never really talked about them, so let’s hit on that subject just a minute. I know that some of us have a hard time pulling a good looking outfit together.

That’s where these style cards come in.

You will receive a card for each item in your box. Each card will show two outfits for that one item, usually one is a bit dressy and one a bit casual.

This can be so helpful when you are wondering what to pair with an item.

 

You will also get a note from your stylist and Kaele always gives me more styling tips in her note.

Kaele does a great job in picking out items for me to try. She has been styling me for most of my two years with Stitch Fix. My first 3 or 4 fixes were with a couple of different stylist, but when I got Kaele, we hit it off and we have been together ever since.

You can give Stitch Fix a try by clicking HERE and filling out a profile.

 

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