Home Time

The cat grass has now been planted inside one of our large pots. The cats seem to like it here. They take it in turns to climb up and snack on the grass.

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Happy had an audience on her most recent visit to the cat grass, a game hen!

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We moved another one of the cat towers to the window cat happy place. They are now taking it in turns to sit in various places on these towers.

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I now have a mani to match my toes. As you can see in the background, the jasmine is flowering.

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The chooks are laying again, and we are enjoying the eggs.

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Somewhat sadly on our last grocery shop we did not find any brussel sprouts at Aldi, and the ones available at Coles were hugely expensive and not great looking. The season might be over. That is a sad moment for us, but it is balanced out by warmer weather. I can’t handle many more of the cold nights we’ve been having.

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Spring Cleaning Time

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It is that time of year again. The art room has somehow got very messy. I want to create art again, so work must be done. It turns out I needed to do some preparatory work in various other rooms before I could start working on this one. I started out with the hanging racks – this one you are about to see was covered in jackets, hoodies, ponchos, and tote bags. And now, not.

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The scarf bar has been rejigged to give me space to hang beanies and hats if necessary.

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The next job to tackle is the hanging rack of bags. This is going to be a tough job and one I have put off a few too many times. I will tackle this. I WILL. :)

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This space in my bedroom will soon become the Jewelry Bar. Watch this – and all these – spaces! There may not be much in the way of movie or tv watching happening for a while, until I get all this sorted.

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I have a supervisor helper cat. She’s watching the spaces closely!

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So That Was August

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Bargain Beanies – these were $3 each from Cotton On. I wear a lot of beanies around the house these days and I figured for $3 each I might as well have some stylish ones. Why have I been wearing beanies around the house, you wonder? Wonder no more – here are our temperatures for the month of August in celsius –

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No wonder I was freezing cold much of the time. Two days where the low was over 10C (50F) – that is very cold for where I live. We have not had much rain at all. We have had many days where there were no clouds, so as soon as the sun disappeared the temperature dropped.

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Thank the deities I found these gorgeous and extremely comfortable boots on sale at Mathers – these are the Colorado Caffara which I managed to score for the massive price of $40 during a sale on an impromptu shopping trip with my parents which came to me as a surprise one Saturday afternoon.. They were originally $249. I have been wearing them a lot lately.

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I found this goldstone ring for $10 at a local place – I cannot resist goldstone. It is one of my favourite things. I am planning to see if my favourite rings can be resized soon but until then, I can wear this one. It matches my new boots too.

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As mentioned in my No Buy July post, I intended to buy this pin from Noni B, and buy it I did, though I got it for just over $17 during a sale. It does pay to sign up for their email mailing list and rewards card thingy, if only to be told when things are going to be on sale. :)

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We did a little reorganizing and created a nice sun trap for the kitties which happens to sit right next to the chickens favourite place to hang out and dust bathe when they are free ranging.

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They can relax and enjoy the warm sun PLUS have chicken entertainment. Most mornings now they are both found somewhere here.

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They take it in turns for the cat tower, the other cat usually sits on the chairs which are covered by an IKEA bath mat.

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Meanwhile the chookies have just experienced their first blueberries for the season and they were very happy about it. Delicious blueberries = happy chook moments.

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There were two manicures in the month of August – my nail artist opened her own shop this month which was super exciting for her and I am so happy for her. The first manicure was blue with a holographic glitter in it, which threw a rainbow of colours. I got 3 full weeks out of this mani, but in the next photo you can see why I like to stick with tips only – see the new growth which has no polish?

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This particular nail colour also showed me exactly where I use my nails to do things, as parts of it turned pink with wear towards the final week of the manicure. The pinky finger in particular got a lot of wear – I figured out this is where my finger meets my tablet cover and I use my pinky nail to hold it upright while reading at night. It was so weird, there was no change in the thickness of the polish or the quality of it, not at all. Just a colour change.

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I mentioned the other manicure last week, but here it is pictured resting on the outfit I mentioned. Again it is difficult to take photos of these things and do them justice. You can almost see how it matches this dress perfectly. That is a chiffon tank dress from Millers which I bought in late summer and then the weather got too cold to wear it. I have been thinking about this dress for months, waiting to wear it and finally we got a warm day.

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The dress and I, plus The Other Half, went to Shellharbour, then we took our new “long way home” which goes via Robertson, where I took the obligatory Big Potato Photo. It was a beautiful day, reaching highs in the 20s. The next day it SNOWED in Robertson, and we suddenly went from 16C to 6.6C here.

Home, shopping, sparkly

Snoskred-land Lately

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We are more than halfway through No Buy July – for me that means no buying of clothes. The very last thing I needed to do clothes wise was to update my sleep wear because that was anywhere from 4-6 sizes too big for present size me. Kmart was having a clearance and on the 30th of June I picked up 4 very comfortable new nighties in size 10-12 for $5 each. YAY!

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As we walked through the shopping centre to pick up one item from the supermarket that same day, I said to the other half – “I might just check Noni B. They had that dress in my size on the clearance rack when I was there yesterday but it was still very Up Money.” As I walked into the store the staff member greeted me and then told me everything on the clearance rack was $20. “Even the dresses?” said I? “Even the dresses” said she. I grabbed that thing so fast nobody saw it. I am sure if you could watch it on CCTV I became a blur of movement. I dashed into the fitting room so quickly The Other Half was messaging me “where did you go?”

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I fits, I buys. I had been wanting this dress for over 6 months, I even mentioned it here on the blog. And I got it for $20. That is CRAZY TALK I am telling you. :) The material feels amazing, it has kind of a crimp in it is the best way I can explain it.

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I did pick up another gorgeous top for $20 at the same time, and I pointed out my next wanted dress to The Other Half..

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Unknown to myself, I had matched my new kettle to my upcoming new outfit. This is the Breville 1.7 litre kettle in Dragonfruit. She is a sparkly delight. We’d had our previous kettle for over 10 years and the spout was plastic and beginning to biodegrade somewhat meaning hot water would go everywhere when I tried to pour it. Very dangerous, it had to be replaced. I was worried because my Mum had bought a stainless steel kettle which is the noisiest kettle ever, you have to shout to talk over it. But this one is whisper quiet and it makes a gorgeous BING sound when it is finished boiling. I love it.

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Speaking of things I love, no, I did not enjoy spending some serious cash on a new coffee machine but I love the one we’ve ended up with. We’d had the previous one for 6 years and when we did the maths, it cost us 12 cents a cup. I’d like a bit more than 6 years out of the next one, thanks appliance deities! We do use it quite a bit – 4 cups of coffee a day minimum, plus occasional extra shots for iced coffee or adding to a smoothie or milkshake.

I’ve been cutting down on dairy lately because I had a bad flu which just dragged on and on. It seems to be uncooked cheddar cheese which is my main problem – if I eat it I have a stuffed up nose for the rest of the day. I figured while I was eliminating things I would give some different milks a try for coffee. The new coffee machine froths coconut milk perfectly and almond milk not quite as well but it is do-able. I am loving my coconut milk cappucinos. You get a coconut flavour as a bonus. Our afternoon coffee is accompanied with one serving of Dark Kit Kat.

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June is my birthday month and Crabtree and Evelyn were having a sale plus they sent me a $15 birthday voucher, so I grabbed a couple of hand creams and some salted caramel fudge. They did not quite bring enough salt for my liking. Rose and Pineapple hand creams smells like a toilet freshener according to the other half – it just so happens that is the one I most love. ;) I gave him the Spiced Earl Grey to try and combat his winter hands. Carribean Island Wild Flowers is super loud in a good way and the fragrance sticks around through several hand washings.

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TVSN were also on sale. I am clearly not the only addict to this channel in the family but my biggest addiction is to their clearance pages. Grumpy suggested I buy this top.

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While I did not take that particular advice as I felt it was slightly up money though I may well buy it later on when it is reduced if it is still available in my size, I did purchase one Diane Gilman top which I had been watching for months in clearance that suddenly jumped down to $9.95, and one set of tops with rainbow holographic sparkly sequins. I am always impressed with the quality of the goods once I receive them.

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The Berry Bypass is now officially open – one lane of cars each way with a speed limit of 60km/hr. We ventured over to Berry on Saturday to check out the town minus all that traffic – seems like most other people in the world had a similar idea. We drove the bypass on Sunday on the way to Costco, it was brilliant.

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Quick Note

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No movie post this week, we have been too busy to watch movies. Part of the busy was an overnight trip to Canberra. We went to IKEA and picked up a few things, including another HODDE.

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One presently resides on the floor in front of my recliner. Something about this rug just makes me happy. If I could, I would cover the entire house with them!

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For now, I have settled for replacing an older rug in the Kitty Hang Out Area. This is a spot where the sun shines for much of the day. There are places for cats to sleep at varying levels, many including floor mats placed inside or on top of cardboard boxes.

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There is a pot of all the vegetables we did not eat over the last two and a half weeks bubbling away on the stove. Red capsicum, leek, one lonely carrot, cauliflower, zucchini, brussel sprouts and potato. It will be ready for lunchtime. Happy moments here!

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Kitchen Update

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Our new Westinghouse fridge has been a great addition to our household. So much space, and everything has a specific home. Today I will take you on a fridge tour.

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The top shelf is where lunches for The Other Half reside. Those are his cans – every second can is a Solo can. While I no longer drink my calories he is losing weight without trying so the occasional can is cool with me. The next shelf down is mainly dairy storage AKA extra cheeses, chook yoghurt and meats.

Then we have a treats shelf, that grey storage container there holds all our dark chocolate, there is some hommus for me and on the other side is a roll out shelf with things like garlic, chili, ginger, jams, and our aioli. I get the wasabi aioli from Aldi, it is amazing.

The final shelf here has tinned tuna, our cheese in use drawer, eggs, and in that little alfoil package is a ham and cheese croissant snack. I made them for lunch for The Other Half yesterday and there was an extra one, so I saved it as a snack for myself in case I wanted it for lunch today. For lunches now I find it really difficult to go past my protein shake. My body needs the nutrients in there way more than it needs a butter croissant, especially after a tough workout.

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The shelf with the large pink container – that has all our potatoes – sweet and normal. I can fit about 10kg of potatoes in there. We found a place that sells a 5kg bag of potatoes for the same price I buy 2kg for normally, so when we go past there we tend to stock up.

I keep them in the fridge now which extends their life significantly BUT it makes my hands super cold when I have to peel them. I try to remember to put them out an hour before peel time.There is a watermelon treat for the chooks there too. Next to it in the grey container is my apples.

Then we have two fruit and vegetable shelves. Carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, leeks, zucchini, then in the bottom crisper there is a cauliflower, green capsicum, red capsicum and 1.5kg of brussel sprouts which finally returned to the shelves at Aldi this week. The Other Half had to stop me from buying even more of them! I have missed them so much, we will incorporate them into every single meal this week.

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Some more treats reside on the top shelf here. Peanut butter on apples is my daily treat right now, and we usually have something dark chocolate with afternoon coffee – kit kat dark is the present go-to, but I limit myself to just one serving.

San Pellegrino is my other more occasional treat. I grab them if I am headed out for errands or if we are going for a drive in the car. When we are staying here I mostly drink my Soda-Stream carbonated filtered tap water.

Next to that some more condiments – the South Aussies will recognise the Beerenberg tomato sauce. When we first moved here we could not get it, relatives would bring us 2 litre flagons from the store in Hahndorf. Now it is available on the shelves and it is the only tomato sauce I could imagine using. It is that good.

The vegemite is not for me – I am perhaps not Australian enough because I do not like it. The Other Half does, though. The olives are mine.

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My soda stream bottles, the Costco maple syrup which I was surprised to find should be kept in the fridge, a bottle of mineral water with lemon for visitors, bottles of water, and then all that milk. I switched to almond milk for my smoothies – it is less calories and tastes incredible to me. The A2 milk you see there will last us for 2 weeks.

Right at the bottom there, some more bottled water, my lemon and lime squeeze bottles and some whipped cream which I will *very* occasionally put on top of a hot chocolate, milo or coffee.

We are down to one grocery shopping trip a fortnight, made after 6pm on the weekends when everyone else is doing other things. The bigger fridge has helped a lot – I can buy milk for two weeks now without having to worry about where I will put it, and the next time I go to Costco I will probably buy 4 of their large cheeses which keeps extremely well, that will mean I don’t have to buy cheese for 3 months at least, maybe 4.

We buy all our meat in bulk once every 2-3 months then foodsave and freeze it except for beef mince which I buy fresh each fortnight. But the freezer and how we organise it, that is a story for another post. :) I just did a big pantry clean out this weekend too. That is also a story for another post.

food, Home

Getting Organised

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Sometimes you just need to de-clutter and reorganise. This process is happening all over my house at the moment. Everything from getting a new fridge to cleaning out the cupboards to reorganizing my wardrobes and letting go of a lot of clothes that no longer fit me, and welcoming in new clothes, shoes, even underwear that does fit.

Part of this process which came to me as a surprise on a recent Saturday was organising our movies. There are a lot of movies which The Other Half likes which I do not enjoy, and vice versa. We went through the list to organise my movies into two groups – watched, and to be watched.

After the sorting, I now have a directory on the server with over 70 movies that are marked “to be watched”. These are movies I have never seen that somehow got lost in our movies directory. When I would go in there to pick something to watch I would often get tempted by something I have already seen and love, or there would be so much choice I could not choose.

My plan now is to work through these movies one by one. After I watched the first one, I thought maybe I would keep a little list, maybe once a fortnight – or once a week depending on how much watching I get done – and post it here on the blog. I might organise it similarly to how Zandria does her book posts, but maybe with loved, liked, disliked.

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Here is a fridge preview – on Monday next week I have a post where you get a closer look.

Movies and maybe some music will be Wednesday posts for a while, going forwards. I am slowly getting my blogging mojo back. ;)

blog housekeeping, Home, movies

The Bin Theft

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Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house..

Not a creature was stirring, except for the mice in the chook pen.

The bin had been placed on the kerb with care..

In the hope that the bin truck would soon be there.

The Other Half and I were nestled all snug in our bed..

While visions of sugar plums danced in our heads.

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When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

but because we were asleep,

nobody sprang from our bed to see what was the matter.

Luckily the security cameras caught the bin thieves,

who rather stupidly live just up the street

and chose to use their quite recognisable 4wd to try and steal our bin.

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Because they took off like a bat out of hell,

This bin theft did not go very well.

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Because I use very recognisable bin bags,

we found our bin right where they left it.

Just between you and me,

The council replaced our broken bin for free.

And they would have provided our caught on CCTV thieves with a free bin regardless of why it went missing. Your results may vary depending on your council.

Perhaps in the old days before CCTV, people might have snuck out in the night to steal someone else’s bin if something happened to theirs, and the destiny of the bin would forever remain a mystery. These days, not so much.

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Building A Chook Fence

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The previous fence arrangement was Not Great. It worked for the most part AKA it kept the chooks on the lawn where they were meant to be and NOT on the concrete pooping up a storm. However as time went on, it began to biodegrade and holes began to appear.

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It was originally meant to be temporary until we built our Queensland room onto the back of the house. Realistically that is a HUGE job and may even require getting council approval depending on what we want to build and how we want to build it.

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Normally the chooks ignore the holes but sometimes one would find their way into the promised land. That was no big deal. But when all 5 of them scratched up my seedling bed – seen above with Grumpy before I planted the seedlings in it, it was time to get to work on something a bit more permanent.

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I never question the how, what, why, where or when. The Other Half just creates a plan and implements it. I am purely there to assist and sometimes this causes problems when I do not understand his vision. But I must say I am usually very fashionably attired to assist. These are my Aldi $15 wellies which originally were gorgeously shiny, several months of doing chook jobs has dulled them a little. They are due for a good clean.

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So his plan involved stardroppers, chicken wire, and wire to tie the chook wire to the stardroppers. That was the time consuming fiddly part of the job.

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It did turn out very well indeed.

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Here are the girls back out free ranging once it was finished. This photo was taken on the Sunday before Purple Comb became so unwell. You can see she seems perfectly fine, free ranging happily with her besties. However it is more likely she was starting to feel unwell and just very good at hiding it.

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I had become very sick of our hose arrangements, and it was time to find a better solution. You know when you change something and it works so well, and you are left wondering why did I not change this thing before? That applies to this hose purchase. It is incredibly useful and has me out watering the plants way more often than ever before. Which can only be great for the plants in the long run.

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Life goes on, for the girls. They do seem to be sticking together in their flock more, just recently. They are still being spoiled rotten with blueberries, baby spinach, corn on the cooler days, tuna, strawberries, and occasionally scrambled eggs as well.

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If we make it through the summer with 4 chooks remaining, we will be very lucky. Rosie and Dark Comb are over 6 years old now. Lizzy and Kitty are expected by our vets to have shorter than expected lives due to the early vitamin deficiencies their previous owner inflicted upon them by feeding the wrong food. We will make their remaining days as great as they can be.

Chickens, country life, Home

Cup Clean Out

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Having cleaned out the mug cupboard, it felt like it was time to keep going with some decluttering and donating. I moved on down to the next cupboard – the cup cupboard.

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Kitty supervisor was otherwise engaged and oddly chose not to wake up from her long sleep in front of the gas heater. It was a cold day so I understand, but I need to be supervised!

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I took all the cups out and put them on the counter. Many of them are the IKEA Vaken which has been available in different colours (and names I think) over the years.

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These cups above and below are from Costco – it was this set. My parents have the same set. The tall cups are favourites of The Other Half. To be specific, he loves the tall blue ones. He also has a tall blue acrylic cup not seen here and I have a matching pink one which can be seen in the overview shot above next to the purple travel coffee mug. He likes to use one cup a day. I’m more of a three cup a day person.

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I like to use the small version of these cups when I visit my parents. At home I prefer the Vaken because they hold exactly 2 cups of liquid, it makes it easier to track my water intake.

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These are the IKEA KALAS childrens cup. They are part of the Kalas range of childrens tableware. I have many MANY of the KALAS plates and bowls. These cups hold exactly 250mls so they are also great as a measuring cup. The whole range is microwave and dishwasher safe.

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Here is the finished cupboard – much neater, and much easier to use. I’ve sorted it into sections, which will make life a lot easier for me. :)

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Goodbye cups! Thank you for everything. :)

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