Saturday, June 28, 2014

Some Kitchen DIY

So last week Jim was camping which left me with a whole bunch of nothing to do after work. I have a notoriously hard time sitting still, so I decided to redo this kitchen sink stand that "came with the house", so to say.

In its original form

It's not a huge element by any means, but I always felt like it was kind of a focal point just because it was right beneath the window and was over top of the most central part of the counter top. In and of itself, it's a really great, functional stand - but it doesn't match my current kitchen decor at all. 

My backsplash is gray stone, the walls are a bright avocado green and most of the accents are silver. Pair the fact that its light wood finish completely clashed with my dark cabinets and it was enough to drive anyone with decor OCD (like myself) insane. So when I had some time to kill last week, I decided to give the little bugger a makeover.

Luckily it was pretty easy to take apart and didn't require anything more than a screwdriver. Another fortunate event was the fact that  I had a small can of my green kitchen paint on hand in the closet, and I found a tube of silver acrylic lying around, as well. Really, I just wiped everything down and painted away. The silver turned out great over top of the black wrought iron & it has a little bit of an antique feel to it which I really like. 

And - the after result!

I think it turned out great, and it just looks like it belongs in there now! It's amazing what a little bit of elbow grease and some creativity can do for even the smallest items in our home. I even decided to finally plant some herbs (like I've been meaning to for months) in some mason jars that I just kind of "stained" silver with the same paint I used for the wrought iron legs.

Here's to not killing them :)

I'm really happy with everything overall & that's one more little project I can scratch off of my to-do list. Next endeavor is finding something to replace the bookshelf in the bedroom. It never ends, but that's exactly how I like it!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Grad Party Day

Evan's graduation party was over the weekend & everything went perfectly! I was really looking forward to this day just because I knew I would get to spend a lot of time with my family & I must admit, I do love planning for/setting up events like this. We got to the hall on Friday night to decorate and then we all went to Max & Erma's to eat. Evan's good friend Seth & his family came with us and it was a really awesome time. My dad and Seth's sister had everyone cracking up with their stories.

Evan kept saying how he only wanted a "small family party", but I think at the end of the day he was really happy with the way everything turned out. Between all of his friends being there and some family members that we hadn't seen in awhile, it was really great to see him just kind of in the spotlight for a day since he's not typically one to put himself center stage.

The giant 50 lb. cake! Thank God Jim & my dad went to get this thing and not me and my aunt like originally planned. We probably would have dropped it all over the sidewalk!

Being photo-bombed by himself waiting for the party to start.

Me, Evan & Mom

Jim & I hanging out during the party

There was one factor that emerged as extremely disappointing during the day, but I won't talk about that just because my goal is to focus on the positives. Mainly it stems from people just not making an effort, but that's no fault of anyone who was in attendance. Personally, I was honored to be able to play such a big role in the planning and preparation for Evan's party and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I've always viewed him as one of the most important people in my life & I'll always be willing to go out of my way for him when he needs it. I'm extremely proud of him and how level-headed he is, and I really hope that his ventures in welding school go exactly as planned. I want nothing more than for him to succeed & I look forward to celebrating his accomplishments down the road.

However, I really will miss watching him and his amazing marching band friends do their thing every Friday night in the Fall. It's been a fun ride, though.

Congratulations, Ev!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

When Things are Different

One of the big reasons that I wanted to start a personal blog is because I feel like I have a lot of things on my mind these days that I just need to get down. I have friends that I can talk to, sure, but sometimes I really feel like I need to organize my thoughts.

This will be one of those posts if you haven't guessed by now.

When I was in my late teens, very early twenties - I really thought I had this whole life thing figured out. The idea of not being married by the age of 27 seemed insane to me back then. I was shooting more for the 24 mark on that event, and I wanted to start a family by 26. Back then, that seemed normal and do-able to me. Now - it is a downright laughable thought. I suppose it didn't help that most of my peers were 21 with an engagement ring on their finger and a kid on the way, but I was convinced that was how things would play out.

If you haven't guessed, that is not how things played out. I'm currently 27 years old and my left hand is not sparkly nor do I have a child on the way. However, I recently bought a home with the love of my life (6 years strong) and I could not be more content with where everything currently is. My dog means more to me than I think any child with the ability to speak ever could (sorry future children), I love my job(s), I have hobbies that have completely stolen my heart (hello, running) & I've accomplished things that I am so, so proud of.

But this does not stop the general public from commenting on my choices/where I currently stand in life. Attend ANY wedding with a family member or someone who has known you for more than a year and you will undoubtedly be harassed about "being next!" They'll ask "What is taking him so long?" and "Have you sat him down to talk about it?" Pretentious chicks in their early 20's will judge you for wanting to wait so long to have kids & criticize the fact that you're okay with having a dog instead of a baby at age 27. When any major event or vacation comes up, expect every single person to sulk away in disappointment when you inform them you did not get engaged during it. It could have been the best trip of your life, but apparently if you didn't get a ring - it was a waste.

Their opinion, not mine.

Do I want to get married? Yes, of course. Do I want to have kids? I'm sure I will one day. But why on Earth do people feel that it's okay to comment on MY LIFE and MY CHOICES? It infuriates me that Jim & I just spent our life savings on a house and everyone just CAN'T UNDERSTAND why we don't want to drop everything and plan a wedding. What's taking him so long? Maybe the fact that we don't want to spiral into debt over spending thousands of dollars back to back to back. That could have something to do with it. And why do I want to wait to have kids? I don't know, maybe because I'm not freaking ready to have a kid yet. I'm completely over people who think there's some set timeline you have to follow & if you don't - you're ruining your life. The same thing happened to me whenever I made the unpopular decision to stop going out to bars and getting hammered drunk around age 25. You get looked at like you have three heads and anyone who shares a different opinion will try and convince you that you're wrong. I'm fine with being "wrong" if that's the case, but please don't criticize me just because I want to do something different. I really love my life and that's because of the choices I've made. Being happy apparently isn't good enough for people anymore.

I've also had to cut some people out of my life recently, as well. That's never an easy decision, but it mainly just stems from lifestyle differences and criticisms as mentioned above. A big problem of mine was that I had a lot of friends who were younger than me, and I never expected my opinions and interests to change as much as they did when I hit 25-26ish. It kind of put a rift between me and some of those people, but at the same time it brought me closer to people I had drifted away from. The friends that I have right now are so incredibly loving & supportive, and they just understand me. If building stronger relationships with them means paying less attention to those who bring a bit of drama and negativity into things, then I am okay with making that change. I understand I might be criticized by some for doing so, but letting others' opinions weigh heavily on my choices is something I have also been working on letting go of. Things are much different than they were just a year ago, and I'm doing my best to look out for myself. I was never one to put my happiness first, but I'm starting to see how important that is.

I'm grateful for a lot of things - Jim, Luna, my family, my friends, my dancers, my jobs, my hobbies... Things might be different than I pictured, but in my opinion - they're better. I wouldn't trade who or where I am for anything, and I'm happy just seeing where the road takes me. Sometimes, it's best not to plan.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Finishing Up the Season

I've been teaching dance at my current studio for 4 years now. In the past, when the annual madness of recital week ended - I felt somewhat of a sigh of relief. For the next 2 months, I didn't have to stress about what the dances looked like or work 14 straight hours on Wednesdays or spend all my time after work making props/head pieces/costume accessories/etc. I could just kind of relax and enjoy my time off until classes started back up in the Fall.

But this year I did not feel the same way at all. I looked forward to the recital like it was Christmas morning, which I'm sure made me the minority among the studio staff. I woke up at 7:30am on Saturday with butterflies in my stomach. I was so excited to watch my girls perform and bring my visions to life for their friends and family and MY friends and family. We had poured so much into these routines this year & they truly went above and beyond for me on both a personal and dance level. I had thought that I was close with that group before, but I truly had no idea what we were capable of. It feels like a family.

Everything went perfectly. I couldn't have been happier or prouder of them. I got such a rush during the Michael Jackson routine that we were all so excited for that my face was tomato red after they were done. If I could have run on stage and hugged every single one of them during the blackout, I would have. And my younger girls proved that they're ready to fill the big shoes of my older girls when their time comes. For that, I am really grateful, because I would have a super hard time letting this group go in a couple years if it weren't for those little peanuts having the same enthusiasm and energy that I saw in my older group so many years ago. I'm just so thankful to have a group of kids to work with that love coming to my class as much as I love teaching it.

When the show ended I just felt a void. I drove home after grabbing some dinner and drinks with the rest of the staff just kind of in a haze. It didn't really feel real that I had closed a chapter with the group I had spent the past 9 months with. They worked so hard this year. It was so much different than any other season. I woke up yesterday and just thought, "How the HELL am I going to get through the next 2 and a half months without seeing these girls every week?" But I should be thankful that I feel that way, because not many dance teachers get to work with kids that mean that much to them and work as hard as they do.

Congratulations on another great year, girls. Can't wait to see what next year brings.

Some of my peanuts in their ballet costumes waiting to go on stage

The Fab 5 & myself

Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay

My Little Surf's Up Peanuts

ALL HAIL THE KING! This number will live in my heart & mind forever.
Thank you for the memories, ladies.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

10 Years Later

Recently, I had the pleasure of coming across the blog I had before blogging was cool. Of course, this online journal was kept on the very-popular-at-the-time website known as DeadJournal. It was somewhat of a little online cult that many of my friends also participated in, and looking back on my entries triggers a mix of nostalgia and embarrassment.

But I've been going through these old posts in my spare time recently, & I keep stumbling upon these surveys that I used to fill out. These things were quite popular & offered a nice way to make personal information public without anybody actually asking. I mean, that's what high school is all about - right? So I thought it might be kind of fun & interesting to post a quiz that I completed on June 11, 2004 & then fill it out as 2014 Kell, exactly 10 years later. Even though I don't feel any older than I did in high school, I'm sure this will be an eye opener as to how much change there has been since those glory days.


[195] Pepsi/Coke: i like coke better.. but vanilla pepsi is better (I still like Coke better)

[196] Cats/Dogs: dogs (I'll never be a cat person lol)

[197] Singing/Dancing: dancing (Same answer here)

98] Sleep/No sleep: no sleep. (HA! Sleep all day!)

[199] Math/English: english (I still love to write, so English. Math was never any fun)

[200] Internet/Phone: internet (I far prefer talking to someone on the phone than online. Come to think of it, do we even talk to people online anymore? AIM doesn't really exist these days)

[201] Eminem/50 Cent: theyre both sort of annoying (I really liked Eminem's last album)

[202] Chocolate/Vanilla: <33 vanilla (Hmm, you know I always did think Vanilla but I think I like Chocolate better now)

[203] Snow/Sun: sun sun sun sun (Oh yes, sun all the way. I still hate the snow)

[204] Love/Hate: LoVe :) (Love, just without the alternating caps & smiley face)

[205] Ketchup/Mustard: ketchup (Mustard)

[206] Short/Tall: i dont really care (I really love being short, it makes finding maxi dresses that don't come up to my ankles a lot easier)

[207] School/Home: neither.. (I love being at home)

[208] Shower/Bath: shower (Baths still creep me out, so shower)

[209] Gamecube / Xbox: i like gamecube better (Well I have an Xbox now and have never owned a Gamecube so I'm not sure why that was my preference)

[210] Christmas/Easter: christmas (Christmas)

[211] Drugs/No drugs: no drugs (Drug free 4 life)

[212] Dark/Light: in reference to what? (I painted and decorated my living room with warm colors because I like the dark. It's cozy)

[213] Night/Day: night (In between? Can we go with like - dusk?)

[214] Ocean/Pool: the ocean -- even tho i havent been there in forever.. (It's really old and lame of me to vote pool now, but I vote pool)


[215] Last birthday: partay @ 54 belvidere!! wooo (Sonoma Grille with Jim & then hanging out in our basement drinking good beers - my favorite thing to do!)

[216] Today: nothing.. singing @ graduation soon though (work work work)

[217] Last weekend: went out for my bday with guy, saw harry potter, took the SATs and then partied for my bday :) (Ugh! I am so jealous that at this time 10 years ago I was enjoying Harry Potter in theaters!! But um, last weekend I celebrated my birthday & had Kickline's first recital of the season for the younger girls. I also went for an awesome 5 mile run on the trail on Saturday)

[218] Christmas: went to beaver and got snowed in :( (Ha, I remember that Christmas very well. Now, Christmases are spent usually at my mom's house followed by stopping out to Laura's in the evening.. and obviously celebrating Jim's birthday! Christmas Eve is spent with Jim's family)

[219] Thanksgiving: grandma's house then aunt naomis to visit baby jacob :D (First of all, Naomi is not my Aunt she's my cousin - way to go, genius. And now Thanksgivings are spent at the turkey trot, followed by my mom's, followed by me and Evan Black Friday shopping from 8pm to 2am.)

[220] New year's: ohhh new years eve at the spotti household.. always BaNgIn (I miss those NYE's very much. Now, we go over to Jim's mom's house for her get together)

[221] Halloween: trick or treatin with 4/5 of suyag & lots n lots of drraaammmaaa (WOW! This was a Halloween for the record books that I am referencing here! Halloween is still a blast now, spent dressing up with Jim and typically going to the big party that Kiss throws at Stage AE)

[222] Easter: grandma's house and then.. aunt carol's maybe? i honestly cannot remember.. hmmph (Lunch at my mom's - this is the one holiday that has lost the most oomph over the years)

[223] Valentine's day: oh god.. went to the movies miserable as HELL and i also had wpials that day -- that was the ONLY highlight.. lol. (LOL I remember this one, too. I'm pretty sure I saw Miracle. But this year Jim & I got pizza and rented movies, and we celebrated a few weeks later again by seeing Taylor Williamson at the Improv)


[224] Thing you ate: a mini pizza (it was a baby linz) (The strawberries I packed in my lunch today)

[225] Thing you drank: milk at like 1:30 last night.. blech. (Dr. Pepper Vanilla Float - it was the highlight of my lunch. Sad but true)

[226] Thing you wore: well considering i still have clothes on, blue fuzzy pants and blue hollister tanktoppy thing.. (Wish I could remember these blue fuzzy pants I'm referencing, but right now I have on jeans, my work shirt, a cardigan, boots and my nerd glasses)

[227] Thing you said to someone: "ok" to my dad telling me my khakis were clean ("Is it working?")

[228] Thing you got pierced/tattooed: my ears when i was 4 (My bellybutton when I was 18 - which caused me to pass out in the middle of the piercing sending Whitney into a panic)

[229] Person you saw: my dad (My coworkers)

[230] Person you hugged: whitney yesterday while walking through the point in a monsoon. (Jim this morning)

[231] Thing that made you cry: oh god, pat pat pat.. (Well this is embarrassing, I was listening to Michael Jackson this morning on my way to work & sometimes I just get emotional that he's gone and well... you do the math)

[232] Person you talked to on the fone: guy dedola. (phone? Elise)

[234] Person you poked: probably erin. just a guess. (Do people still do that?)

[235] Person you instant messaged: stinelli (RIP AIM)

[236] Person you laughed with: on the phone with guy at some certain human beings' assholeness (My coworkers)


[237] What are you eating: nothing but I'm hunnngryyy (Nothing at the moment)

[238] What are you drinking: nothing but im also thirsty.. (Dr. Pepper Vanilla Float!)

[239] What are you wearing: we already went over this (Same, 2004 Kelli. Same.)

[240] Any shoes on: no. (Yep, brown boots)

[241] Hair: in a big poof atop my blonde head. (Ah, I still love that poof. But right now it's just down and straight)

[242] Listening to: a commercial about ashlee simpson's show. (LOL @ Ashlee Simpson.. but right now, Pompeii by Bastille is on)

243] Talking to anyone: stinelli / amanda (Nope)


[247] About flag burning: waste of fabric. (Lol, was this a hot topic at the time? This is a very random question to ask)

[248] Of the war on terrorists: i think its going a bit too far if you ask me (Oh dear lord, these are not things 17 year-old Kelli should have been commenting on!)

[249] About abortion: blech.. disgusting. (Eh, I can't say I'm not pro-choice)

[250] Who do you think you'll still be friends with in 5 years: guy, kerr, erin, linz, devney, frank, vince, honestly.. who knows. (Well, I've got news for you - you're still friends with all of them except one, so good for you, Kell)

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Some Birthday Reflection

I have been notoriously unexcited for my birthday ever since I turned 25. This year I'm turning 27 & the feeling is still consistent. It's nice to hear from old friends on June 6th and spend some quality time with Jim, but other than that I don't feel the butterflies in my tummy over today like I used to. My birthday just used to be so MOMENTOUS for me, I guess I couldn't possibly expect that feeling to stick forever lol.

But I figured that instead of being a Debbie Downer about the occasion, I would use it to look back on some of the things that I did/accomplished this year that I am really proud of. Birthdays can be a good chance for reflection, so why the hell not. We'll go with a nice even number and make it a list of 10.

Everyone who knows me knows that my dancers mean the absolute world to me. This year was a lot different at Kickline, though - in a very good way. I really feel like so many of my dancers kind of reached a turning point with themselves where they're taking dance more seriously and really growing into beautiful, mature dancers who I am so proud to call my students. They laugh with me, work with me, stick it out through tough weeks with me... Really, I would not be the person, teacher or dancer that I am today without them & I'm grateful for having them in my life every single day.

Jim & I took our FIRST big kid vacation last year in July to Vegas and I have to say it was the best trip I've ever been on in my life. From the amazing dinner at Steak to seeing the Michael Jackson Cirque show *FRONT ROW* - I am so lucky and grateful to have my best friend by my side to make memories like this with. Not many people have the privilege of spending all their time with someone who enjoys all of the same things as they do, but we really hit the jackpot (Vegas pun intended) with one another. I love him more everyday & we both can't wait to go back to sin city very soon.

And aside from going to Vegas together, Jim and I also hit Ocean City with his brother, mom and a few of their family friends. This was kind of a sacred family vacation that I had never gone on before, so getting to attend this year was a big deal for me and I had so much fun. My favorite day was the one we spent at Seacrets listening to Reggae music and drinking fruity drinks all day in the Bay. I'll always remember that.

Convincing my friends to run with me was something that I had always deemed as somewhat impossible, so I was really thrilled when my best friend since age 4 agreed to run Warrior Dash with me, my aunt & my uncle this year. We had so much fun together & it was such a cool experience to cross the finish line together. We'll be back for Round 2 in August of this year!

Jim & I bought our first house in September and I honestly can't believe how absolutely perfect it is for us. It has everything we wanted and then some - we got very, very lucky :) We laugh every single day & it's almost unreal to me that I finally get to live with my best friend after what seemed like an eternity of waiting. We have had so much fun decorating and just discovering all of the things that go along with being new homeowners - even some of the unfun stuff still seems fun right now. I always knew I would love living with Jim and having our own place, but I never imagined it would be this great.

Going right along with convincing Dev to run Warrior Dash with me, convincing my mom to participate in the Pittsburgh Penguins' run (she did the 1 mile walk and I ran the 6.6k) was another really awesome memory from this year. Not only did I get to high five Mario Lemieux coming across the finish line (!!!!) I got to spend an awesome day with my mom at an event hosted by an organization that we both love. AND we got to watch the boys practice afterwards inside Consol, which was also really nice.

Mine and Jim's first Christmas season in our house was perfect in every sense of the word. I have always loved the holidays so much, but getting to do our own thing and create new memories/traditions was better than I could have ever imagined. I've never cut down a Christmas tree before, and I'm really glad we decided to start this tradition right off the bat! From buying all kinds of fun decorations to taking a picture perfect Christmas card picture on the first try (even Luna looked!), you can say I am already counting down the days until I can string up the icicle lights again.

And speaking of holiday traditions, deciding to host an annual ugly sweater party is another decision I couldn't have been happier that we made. This party was such a huge success and we had family & friends (both new and old) streaming in the door all night. It was so much fun that I even enjoyed shopping and cooking for it! Already can't wait until next year (Saturday before Christmas - mark it in your calendar now!)

Another thing that I have really enjoyed this past year is all of the fun DIY and home improvement projects that we have taken on. Two of my personal favorites have been the guest room (that I did as a surprise while Jim was away camping for the weekend) and the beach room that we had such a blast doing together. Decorating and personalizing my home has always been a dream of mine, so I didn't shy away when the home we found needed basically a complete overhaul in every room. We repainted the Pepto Bismol pink walls with beautiful browns and burgundies and every room has such a unique and different vibe. Our house has so much personality and I wouldn't want it any other way. These projects are the best way to spend a weekend (or two, or three) if you ask me :)

And last but not least, it is basically a religious experience for me to run the Pittsburgh half marathon every year, and even though I dropped from the full to the half this year - I had another amazing experience that was truly unforgettable. On top of that, I had the honor of running for the Steel City Greyhounds again, which is a group that I have grown to love so much over the past 2 years. As always, Jim was there to cheer me on and make me feel even more accomplished than I already did! It was also great to see my family in the West End with their signs and camera phones and smiles :) This is another one I look forward to repeating in my 27th year!

Honorable Mentions Include:
* Our DC trip for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler 
* Watching Evan have a blast through his senior year of high school
* Our awesome Sonic & Tails Halloween costumes

Here's to another great year :)

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

An Unexpected Surprise

When my dancers discovered through social media that my birthday was coming up, I wasn't really expecting anything to come of it. They asked me what day it was on and joked about throwing a party in class for me, but I really didn't give it much of a thought. They're all so busy with the recital coming up next week, finals and school ending right now. I'm lucky they have time to make it to class.

So when one of them came up to interrupt me teaching my younger class to tell me that she hit my car, I wasn't thinking of cupcakes and birthday candles. She said that she wanted me to come look at it & her facial expression was pretty grim. It didn't help that as I walked into the parking lot, the first thing that caught my eye was the MANGLED door of the car immediately next to mine.

But that really had nothing to do with what I was coming outside for.

They had taken my car keys & totally decked out my car while I taught my younger girls. I mean, these kids went to town - garland on my steering wheel, flowers, a banner, post-it notes describing me all over the windows & dash, and about 15 balloons floating around inside. It was by far one of the sweetest & most thoughtful things that someone has done for me, and I was totally blown away by how much thought and effort went into it.

And just when I thought the party was over, I went back upstairs to the studio to find the lights turned out & the rest of my girls ready to surprise me with a cookie cake, buffalo chicken dip & possibly the loudest noise makers of all time. Again, I was blown away by their thoughtfulness and generosity. I have always loved being a dance teacher, but this group of girls has really bonded with me over the past three years together. I'm very grateful I get to spend at least another 2 years with most of them since a majority are freshman & sophomores, but I really just feel lucky to have gotten to know them like I do. 

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A New (Slightly Different) Endeavor

I've been out of the blogging game for a little while. Writing is one of my favorite things to do, but both my blogs just got kind of stale to me after awhile. Both (RIP, I stopped paying for the domain name) & were awesome experiences while I was into them; I built a great network of contacts in both the beauty & fitness industries and I had the honor of discovering a ton of small businesses that I am still a loyal fan of to this day.

And even though I am still a makeup lover and an avid runner, I just got tired of writing about the same topic over and over and over again. I mean, how many ways can you say that you absolutely love this running headband or my readers should totally go buy this eyeshadow? I wanted to write about my life on these blogs and share other memories, but it always felt really out of place. I had a bigger reader base & they weren't there to hear about what I did over the weekend or look at pictures of my dog. But that's what I wanted to write about, dammit. 

So I kind of decided to push my ego & marketing skills to the side for this blog and for once, I'm not writing for others. I started "Wouldn't it be Nice" for myself, and if I gain some fans who care about what I have to say along the way, fantastic. But it feels really nice & surprisingly relieving to know that I have a place to come and share things without worrying about putting together the perfect review post or running a sponsored contest. Most of the time, I'll probably talk about my dog, my dancers, my boyfriend & my never ending quest to never sit still. I'm a new homeowner who's taking on DIYs every day, and I'm always finding new recipes and projects to try. I'd love to share all of this with anybody who wants to listen, and maybe this can be the start of a whole new blogging experience for me.

No contests here, though :)

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