Wednesday, May 31, 2017

“Is It An Ant?”

Hey, hey! Happy JUNE! How’s it going, friends?

My morning started bright and early with a pug walk around the block. I usually rush through this part of my day because I typically want to get back to my laptop to start working, but, recently, I’ve started to slow down a bit, not have my face in my phone, and actually enjoy our morning walk together. And it’s really started to make a difference in how I face the rest of my day. Positive vibes, baby.

After our walk, I get Qman ready for school and drop him off. After the holiday weekend, it was especially hard to say goodbye. #momguilt

Back at home, I make a quick batch of Bacon & Chive Egg Muffins (<— new favorite – recipe coming to CNC next week) and cooked up some veggies for the week. I didn’t have a proper food prep day over the long weekend, so I figured some prep is better than none!

Then, it was time to dig into breakfast: Overnight oats made with cottage cheese and goat’s milk. I am obsessed and have eaten this combo pretty much everyday for the last week or so – usually for breakfast, but sometimes as an afternoon snack… and often with almond butter or a drizzle of honey. It’s SO GOOD and SO SATISFYING!

While enjoying my breakfast, I heard a knock at the front door. It was the swing set guys, ready to install Qman’s birthday present! (I was seriously so excited to see them!)

I spent the rest of the morning work, work, working before whipping out my lunch, which was a Cucumber, Radish & Feta Salad (recipe below) with chunked chicken breast mixed in. Yummmmm!

Cucumber, Radish & Feta Salad


  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Grab a fork and dig in!

Makes 4 servings

FYI: The recipe above was inspired by the Mediterranean Cucumber Salad from Real Food Slow Cooker Recipes <— Get 30% off this ebook with code CARROTS30!

Mid-afternoon, my stomach started to grumble, so I ate a mug full of Blueberry Chex. The photo was taken when I was almost finished, but it was indeed filled to the top when I started! 🙂 After that, I had a quick phone call and then I picked up Quinn early from daycare.

On the drive home, I told Quinn that there was a birthday “prize” waiting for him at home. Mal and I have “secretly” talked about his swing set for weeks now, and I was curious to know if he had caught on, so I asked Quinn if he had any idea what we got him for his birthday. His reply: “Is it an ant?” Haha! I seriously died laughing. It was so darn cute.

When we rounded the turn on our street, Quinn caught a glimpse of the swing set. His eyes were open wide, but he didn’t say anything. He didn’t even smile, but when I parked the car, he hopped right out and ran over to the swing set.

He immediately climbed up the stairs and started exploring. He still didn’t say anything, so I asked what he thought of his present. His reply: “Good.” Ha! Man of few words. He did eventually say “thank you” to both Mal and me for the swing set, so we’re pretty sure he liked it! 🙂

Shortly after that, our friends and neighbors arrived with their sons to help “christen” the new swing set. Qman had a blast playing with them on his new “prize”!

It eventually started to get pretty cold, so we headed inside for some snacks and drinks with the kiddos.

After awhile, our friends needed to get home, so we said goodbye. I snacked quite a bit during our happy hour, but I needed some real food in my stomach. I heated some egg muffins + kale and dinner was done!

And the night had a sweet ending with cookie dough ice cream from Hornstra! 🙂

Question of the Day

Did you have a swing set growing up? What was it like?

I didn’t have a swing set growing up, but I played on the one at my grandparents’ house all the time. And I’m pretty sure my Grampie bought it at Kmart one afternoon and just stuck it in the ground for us. No installation needed! 🙂 It was quite the dangerous play-set that never quite stayed put, especially when you really got going on the swings, and it had rust spots and random screws sticking out here and there, but, man, we had fun on it!

Oooh, how things have changed in the swing set world!


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from Carrots 'N' Cake

Summer Reset: 30 Days, 30 Actions (Plus a 21-Day Staff Challenge AND Giveaway!)

21-Day Summer ChallengeAt the onset of our annual 21-Day Challenge this past January, I offered up a post that proposed thinking small—“41 Primal Action Items and Individual Experiments for Success in 2017.” The idea here wasn’t shrinking our scope to the exclusion of big visioning, but homing in on the day to day aims we can set for ourselves that make the big changes happen.

I think June is a good time to revisit that premise—and to host another 21-Day experience for those more inspired in the summer months. 

For several weeks now, we’ve all seen the calls for “swimsuit season.” And while that’s not a bad motivation in and of itself to make positive changes, it’s hardly the only reason to feel spurred to a Primal reset.

In January, it’s easy to get caught up in the stir around turning over a new leaf. This year is the year I’m turning my entire life around. And maybe it is. But for some people, that aim ends up feeling too big and distant, and their ambition is short-lived.

This time of year, however, (at least for me) it’s easier to think about a Challenge in more immediate terms. I’ve honestly seen people more inspired by the closer-in question, “What kind of summer do I want to enjoy?” There’s an automatic framework implied here. It’s not about what one should do but what one wants to do. It’s less about living a healthy life than living up the good life…summer’s specialty.

So, what kind of summer do you want for yourself? Take a moment and really ask. What activities do I want to enjoy? What seasonal foods do I want to take advantage of? What do I want to have the energy to take on? Where can I build more leisure into my week? How can I be outside as much as possible? In summer, the means and the end can often feel more potently one in the same.  

Likewise, it’s easier to stay in the scope of daily choice if your goal is to relish the season one day at a time. Grill the best meats you can get your hands on? That’s dinner tonight! Use the freshest produce in new ways? There’s your salad to go with said meats. How about a walk after dinner to take in the extra light and balmy evening? Early light makes a few sprints in the morning sound pretty good with time for coffee on the deck afterward. You’re always looking for the next thing to enjoy, which sounds like the perfect way to live a great Primal life to me.

Personally, I like mini-challenges as an overlay to the larger endeavor anyway. There’s an instantaneous kick-back. No long arcs of progress to get vague about. Do the action today and bask in the benefit. Uncomplicated achievement. Immediate gratification.

In that spirit, I’m offering 30 actions for the 30 days of the month. Pick all or as many as you feel inspired to do. Let them prompt other ideas. Use them to get the momentum going. Claim your summer, and don’t let any of it slide by unappreciated.

30 Days, 30 Actions

June 1st: First things first. Commit to the most resonant elements of slow living this summer. Make clear intentions to keep your schedule and pace in check. Because, really, does anyone want a hectic summer?

June 2nd: Write down everything you eat in a day and how you feel afterward. Clarity is a good starting point, no matter what level of change you’re looking to make.

June 3rd: Practice some cold water immersion in a larger lake or river that’s still cool this time of year.

June 4th: Unplug today (or maybe one day every week).

June 5th: Join my staff in taking on a summer Primal Blueprint Challenge. Yup, no need to wait until New Year’s for the support and fanfare of a group endeavor. We won’t be giving away any cows this time of year, but you’ll be in excellent company with tips, recipes, and stories from some of my Worker Bees. (See below for more details!)

June 6th: Assess your true fitness level.

June 10th: Hit your local farmers market (or take a day trip to one nearby). Enjoy the vibe and the collect as many recipes as you can.

June 11th: Take a nap…preferably outside.

June 12th: Experiment with a supplemental food that’s new to you.

June 13th: Spend the whole day barefoot.

June 14th: Do one (or more) of the awesome workouts featured in our guest posts lately:

June 15th: Get a retreat on the calendar ASAP.

June 16th: Go keto for the remaining two weeks. We’ll have recipes for it all summer long in addition to informative articles (including a definitive guide next week).

June 17th: Hike a new trail or park in your area, or devote the day to an urban hike.

June 18th: Skip the commercial kits for a “summer detox” and try safe and genuine forms of detoxification support.

June 19th: Relish summer the old school way.

June 20th: Bike to work.

June 21st: Invest in collagen for health—with the rich quality bone broth or a high quality supplement.

June 22nd: Upgrade your morning coffee routine.

June 23rd: Give some serious thought to activities and people who drain you. Give yourself permission to take a break from them for 21 days (or as many days as possible) if you can. Just maybe this is a gift you should’ve given yourself a long time ago…?

June 24th: June is National Camping Month. Whether it’s a solo adventure or a full-family endeavor, commit to one night under the stars this month as one of the great Primal joys (with added benefits of course). The National Wildlife Federation every year sponsors the Great American Campout event. They’re taking pledges and even hosting a contest with some fun prizes, so take advantage.

June 25th: While you’re at it, try your hand at some Primal survival skills. Pick at least one, and set out to master it in the wilds.

June 26th: Expand your Primal eating into a new international cuisine.

June 27th: Encourage someone in their health journey (e.g. friends, family, MDA comment board/forum), or submit your success story to MDA to offer the ultimate inspiration to others.

June 28th: Try a sweet meat of some kind—grilled, braised, slow-cooked, sautéed, open-fire roasted…whatever sounds most appealing. This usually isn’t the first thing Primal newcomers do, but it’s a tasty threshold to cross. Order it from a clean eating restaurant if you’re not ready to cook up the innards yourself.

June 29th: Envision something big for your Primal lifestyle and commitment to the good life (whatever that means for you) in July—and make a plan for it.

June 30th: Don’t forget to chase down more awe, pleasure, and euphoria this summer.

The Summer, Staff-Led 21-Day Challenge

Join several members of the Mark’s Daily Apple, Primal Blueprint, and Primal Kitchen staff as they kick off summer with a 21-Day Primal Blueprint Challenge reset.

Follow along on the Vimify app (accessible from your desktop computer or iOS-compatible device – iPhone or iPad) for Challenge prompts and progress, and see more of the staff’s tips, recipes, and stories on the PRIMAL KITCHEN®, Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple Instagram pages. 

The Staff 21-Day Challenge kicks off on Monday, June 5th, so get set for next week with these preparation ideas. And for more guidance and tools, check out the 21-Day Transformation Challenge Packages—for the ultimate reset support.

The Giveaway…

And now I want to hear from you…. Which challenge are you willing to take this month? Will you be joining the staff on their 21-day reset? Choosing something (or several) from the full list here? A new idea entirely?

Share your answer on the comment board, and I’ll select one random comment for a PRIMAL KITCHEN® gift package that includes:

A canister of my new PRIMAL KITCHEN® Collagen Fuel (Vanilla Coconut or Chocolate Coconut)

A 6-pack of PRIMAL KITCHEN® Coconut-Cashew Bars

The full collection of PRIMAL KITCHEN® Dressings: 


The Deadline: Midnight tonight PDT

Who’s Eligible? Everyone. We’ll ship this prize package anywhere in the world!

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone. I’m excited for this summer. Are you? Offer up your Challenge commitments, and good luck!


The post Summer Reset: 30 Days, 30 Actions (Plus a 21-Day Staff Challenge AND Giveaway!) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

The Alzheimer’s Antidote

Guest post written by: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP

Hey Folks! (As Robb would say.)

Long-time readers of Robb’s blog might recall that a couple years back, I introduced you to a book I’d written about using a low-carb/ketogenic diet to fight Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Back then, it was a simple little pdf that I put together with help from my friend Ellen Davis (creator of Ketogenic Diet Resource, one of the best keto information sources out there). Well, I’m happy to announce that a lot has changed since then, and the book—The Alzheimer’s Antidote—is now a “real” book, available in print and for Kindle! (No audio version yet, but that might be coming down the line.)

I was fortunate to team up with the people at Chelsea Green Publishing. They have their finger on the pulse and they can see how beneficial these dietary interventions are for a huge range of otherwise intractable conditions. Chelsea Green publishes Travis Cristofferson’s Tripping Over the Truth, a tour-de-force looking at the metabolic theory of cancer (check out Travis’s interview on Robb’s podcast), as well as The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, a brand new book on implementing the ketogenic diet for this purpose, and they’re the U.S. distributors of The Ketogenic Kitchen, by Patricia Daly and Domini Kemp, an Ireland-based nutritionist and chef, respectively, who both used carbohydrate restriction as an adjunct to conventional cancer therapies. As if that weren’t enough, Chelsea Green publishes Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation (a.k.a. “the fermentation bible”) and distributes Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome – the original GAPS™ diet. Bottom line: this publisher gets it.

So I’m happy to be on board with them, and even happier to let you know that The Alzheimer’s Antidote has been completely rewritten, expanded, and updated in the two years since the e-book release. It presents new and even more powerful information, all of which only strengthens my basic premise: Alzheimer’s disease is, at least in part, a systemic metabolic condition, and as such, there are dietary and lifestyle interventions that could potentially stop or slow the progression of this condition, and possibly even reverse some of the damage that has already occurred.

If you happened to have read the pdf version (and if so, thank you for that!), I would still recommend checking out the new print or Kindle version, especially if a loved one is afflicted with cognitive impairment or decline. Not because it’ll sweeten my bank account (it won’t; if you think anyone writes a non-fiction book about a topic like this as a moneymaking endeavor, you are wrong), but because it contains a lot of information that wasn’t in the e-book. The chapters on exercise and sleep have been expanded significantly, as have the chapters on the controversial role of beta-amyloid, the role of the ApoE4 genotype, and others. (The idea of the infamous amyloid proteins & plaques as major causal factors in this illness is crumbling, and rightly so. We have funneled millions of dollars and decades of research effort toward a hypothesis that looks increasingly false.)

Additionally, the print version contains two entirely new chapters that weren’t in the e-book at all: one on brain fuel metabolism and one on prevention strategies. Learning about the concepts of “type 3 diabetes” or “diabetes of the brain” alone is worth checking out the book because I guarantee you millions of people with Alzheimer’s have never heard that before. In my (admittedly biased) opinion, the chapter on brain fuel metabolism, which includes the whys and wherefores of ketones, is even more crucial, particularly for people who are completely new to all this. (Some of you reading this right now probably know why it is perfectly logical to elevate ketones as a therapeutic strategy for a brain that has lost the ability to harness energy from glucose. It could not be more obvious, frankly, and why this is not already the standard of care is beyond me.) According to Stephen Cunnane, PhD, one of the most prominent researchers in this area, “two points are clear – (i) AD is at least in part exacerbated by (if not actually caused by) chronic, progressive brain fuel starvation due specifically to brain glucose deficit, and (ii) attempting to treat the cognitive deficit early in AD using ketogenic interventions in clinical trials is safe, ethical, and scientifically well-founded.”

Truth bomb: I should not have had to write this book.

I wrote it because no MD or PhD beat me to it. No neurologist, no geriatrician. (They’re catching up, though.) The Alzheimer’s Association should be banging the drum the loudest about the connections between glucose, insulin, and Alzheimer’s, and instead, what we have from them is silence. Crickets. And when connections are made between chronic hyperglycemia and cognitive impairment, the dietary recommendations are what you might expect: lots of whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.

Right now there’s really nothing to help individuals with dementia and their families. There are long term care facilities, nursing homes with dementia wards, and financial planners who can assist people with getting their affairs in order in preparation for their decline and debilitation, but there are few to no resources arming people with information and strategies they can implement to actually do something about disease progression. For certain, many unanswered questions remain and there are many decades of research still ahead of us, but that doesn’t mean we are completely without actionable information right now.

I am not a physician, nor am I a researcher who works with mice or humans in a laboratory. As a nutritionist and writer, I see my role as being that of an interpreter, translating the scientific findings into plain English in order to empower people to apply the relevant information in their own lives and the lives of the Alzheimer’s, dementia, and cognitive impairment sufferers they care for. Beta amyloid inhibits the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex? What does that mean, and why does it matter? More ATP and fewer reactive oxygen species are generated from metabolizing ketones than from glucose? Okay, so what?

My book is the so what.

Check it out if you are so inclined, or tell your friends and family that there is a resource for them now. They’re not powerless; there is a light in the darkness of dementia.



About the author: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is a USAF veteran and Certified Nutrition Specialist who specializes in using low-carbohydrate nutrition to help people reclaim their vitality through eating delicious foods, and showing them that getting and staying well doesn’t require starvation, deprivation, or living at the gym. Her motto is, “Real people need real food!” She blogs at Tuit Nutrition, where she writes about a wide range of health and nutrition-related topics, such as insulin, metabolism, weight loss, thyroid function, and more.



from The Paleo Diet

She Said Sure By The Sea Shore

Actually she said “YES I would love to marry you!”

As I shared on Instagram, Thomas asked me to marry him over our long weekend at the Outer Banks!! We are both so excited! Here’s the story.

I flew into Richmond on Friday morning and made the journey back to Cville. I had one hour at home before we were scheduled to depart for the beach, so I frantically packed and unpacked and we hit the road. Our destination was the beautiful Sanderling Resort, which I can’t say enough good things about! The rooms were beautiful, the pool was epic, the beach was wonderful with the complimentary chairs and umbrellas, and the restaurants were awesome.

We headed out the beach to enjoy a beer and the sunshine. It was great to r.e.l.a.x.

We got dressed up for dinner and ate at the Lifesaving Station restaurant on the Sanderling property.

Burrata and tomato salad (they offered to split everything that we shared which is always much appreciated!)

Tuna with asparagus, arugula, quinoa. The sauce was awesome!

And this chocolate mousse cake for dessert 🙂

We grabbed some breakfast from the resort bar and then headed to the grocery store for provisions for our mini fridge for the rest of the weekend, which was much more cost effective. We shared a bagel and this yogurt parfait. The coffee at the resort was really good too (and complimentary in each of the building lounges!)

We had wonderful weather for a day at the beach!

We had lunch each day at the Sandbar, the poolside lunch spot and bar.

We shared a caesar salad and a burger that first day.

Back to the beach all afternoon!

My only exercise for the week was to get 5 miles of walking in each day, which I think I did all but one per the Apple Watch. We usually did a long morning and an afternoon walk, so around 4pm we set out on our afternoon stroll.

We walked past this crazy driftwood tree sticking out of the sand in a spot clear of other beach-goers, and when I pointed it out, Thomas hung back for a second. (Reenactment photo!)

He bent down to pick up a seashell and said “hey look at this shell” to get me to turn around. When I did, he had the shell in one hand and opened his other hand to reveal the ring. As soon as I saw it, he dropped to his knee and asked me to marry him. When I think back on that moment now tears fill my eyes, but then I was all smiles! He had put the ring loose in his bathing suit pocket so I wouldn’t notice a box bulge. Thinking back I do remember some shorts shuffling and a visit up to our room….! The whole walk home we wore huge smiles on our faces as we talked about the planning and details that had gone into this day.

When we reached our chairs (and our phones) we took this photo <3

I absolutely love the ring he chose! It has a round center diamond a halo of tiny diamonds around it and along the sides.

We both couldn’t keep our eyes off of it all weekend as it sparkled through the sunshine!

But even more, I love what it symbolizes. I knew a proposal was in the cards, as we had talked about the future many times, but I didn’t know when or how. The timing of this weekend was just perfect because we had the rest of our stay to celebrate! I’ll be sharing more about our special celebration dinner and the rest of our trip in a post coming up soon : )

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from Kath Eats Real Food

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend + Strawberry Milk Brings Me Back

Hey, hey! I hope you guys had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

We actually started with no real plans for the long weekend, but then ended up being pretty busy – lots of friends, family, and barbecues!


Our local Orangetheory added a 3:00 PM class to their Friday schedule for the summer, so Mal and I popped in for a fitness “happy hour” before picking Qman up from daycare. It was an awesome workout and, holy cow, were we sweaty by the end. Check out my leggings! Haha!

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On Saturday, Mal and Quinn were invited to a “boys only” adventure at the zoo.

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So, I spent the morning with my favorite pug!

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We had such a nice time exploring Forge Pond Park. Murphy loved all of the sights, sounds, and smells, and I got to listen to my favorite podcast.

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After our long walk at the park, I dropped Murphy off at home and then headed to downtown Hingham to wander around and pop into some of the adorable little shops. I always drive through on my way to Orangetheory, but never have time to stop, so I made it a point to stroll around.

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It was lunchtime, and I was starting to get hungry, so I stopped by Square Cafe for lunch. So many people have said good things about it, so I just had to see what it was all about – and it did not disappoint! It’s super cute inside and the food was so fresh and flavorful!

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After that, I headed home to meet my boys. Qman went down for a nap and then we all headed over to our friends’ house for a barbecue.

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The boys (both big and little) had such a great time together! 🙂

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The next morning, Mal, Quinn, and I went to Lucky Finn Cafe for breakfast. It’s the cutest little coffee shop right on the ocean, and it’s most definitely a family favorite!

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The coffee was excellent as well as the breakfast sandwiches and croissants.

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Qman was definitely a fan! 🙂

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After our visit to Lucky Finn, we stopped by Hornstra Farms to see the cows.

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And buy a few treats for a barbecue later that afternoon. We also bought a couple of apple cider donuts to share because the ones at Hornstra are to die for!

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We also purchased a bottle of strawberry milk to share, which brought me right back to my childhood. We always had Nesquik strawberry in the house, so I drank it like it was my job! Qman actually wanted a sugary, red 40-filled fruit punch drink from Hornstra, so we steered him in the direction of strawberry milk (beet juice for color), and he ended up loving it! 🙂

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After our morning adventures, we headed home for nap time. When Qman woke up, we went to our friends’ barbecue where we enjoyed lots of delicious food, including coffee cookie and cookie dough ice cream from Hornstra. I’m not a huge ice cream person (I’d much rather eat a piece of cake or a cookie), but Hornstra’s ice cream is something else. Holy yum!

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Saturday actually ended up being a late night – Qman didn’t get to bed until 9:00 PM – so we made it an early night on Sunday. We were ALL in bed by 8:30 pm or so.

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Monday started bright and early with Memorial Day “Murph,” a CrossFit hero workout in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. It’s a tough workout, and I was actually feeling kind of blah about it since I don’t go to CrossFit all that much anymore and feel like my fitness level has declined quite a bit. But I surprised myself and shaved off 3 minutes from my first (and only) Murph time. Not too shabby!

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After CrossFit, we (of course) headed to Coffee Shack for donuts and iced coffee.

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Back at home, we quickly showered and then hopped in the car to drive to my Grammie’s house for her 85th birthday party!

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Her great-grandchildren had a blast playing with her birthday balloons! They were entertained for hours!

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After dinner and cake, we said goodbye to Grammie and headed home.

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What a wonderful weekend!

Question of the Day

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

Anyone else grow up on strawberry milk? 

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