MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN:

Have you ever walked into a space and wondered why you felt so immediately uncomfortable? Something just felt off.

I bet the opposite has happened, too. You entered a room and instantly felt at home.

Our environment profoundly affects us, whether we are consciously aware of the reasons why or why not. It definitely makes the difference between feeling happy at home or not so much.

This week’s article talks about this very subject—how interior design affects us on a subconscious level. It was written by Nina Wells from the UK.

Enjoy!

Article: HOW INTERIOR DESIGN AFFECTS YOU SUBCONSCIOUSLY

When we think of interior design some of the first things we might think about is the colour on the walls and the furniture in a space. We also think about lighting and how arranging everything can make a huge difference in function and traffic flow. What might not be immediately apparent is the ways in which your home may be a clue to your personality likes and dislikes, and how these design features may be having an impact on our subconscious. Think about the last time you went to a home of a new acquaintance or client. You might not be aware, but the surroundings of the space probably led you to make immediate assumptions about them, whether positive or negative. If the space was filled with very bland, neutral colours and many hard surfaces (quartz, tile, ceramic, glass) then you might have got the impression that the person living in that space was cold and not very welcoming. Colour probably has the single biggest impact on how we feel in a room. Different paint colours can serve to stimulate appetite, make us calmer, or even help us to wake up in the morning.

Red; this colour can warm up a space and add drama. It symbolizes both power and passion.

[Source]

Yellow; the most obvious colour for a happy, creative space. If you have a room with lots of natural light, a pale yellow will make a space in which you’ll return time and again for a mood boost.

Orange; used in a large amount, orange can be a bit overwhelming, but as an accent or feature wall, this colour can deliver big on positive energy.

Blue; you’ll often see blue in kitchens or bathrooms and that’s because blue gives the perception of freshness and is a calming colour. In a bathroom this colour can help create a spa like surrounding without being stark, which sometimes happens when homeowners resort to too much white.

[Source]

Green; a colour that can help stabilize mood, the right green can soothe.

Gray; this colour has had a surge in popularity for use all over the home, and it’s likely that we sense the need for a space of relaxation that this colour achieves.

Purple; another colour that is great as a feature wall but hard to take as a main colour in a room, purple gives the sense of luxury and sophistication.

[Source]

Black; this is a very bold colour, and like red is a great symbol for power when used in a space, although black may come off as a little more aggressive.

Since most people pick a variety of colours for their homes, it’s easy enough to create different moods in different spaces. It’s amazing how many people paint a room in a soft shade of yellow only to find their family gathered in this space more than any other in the home. Without realizing it, they’ve gravitated to a room that is ideal for feeling good and getting those creative juices flowing.

[Source]

Besides colour, another primary reason that you may feel the way you do in certain spaces is the clutter or starkness in your home. In a home that contains a raft of clutter from ceiling to floor, you may not realize that you harbour anxiety or a low mood, even to the degree of leading to a feeling of helplessness. Good organization within your home can help to relieve this problem and allow for a more clutter free environment in which you can take your ease. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may also feel that a space devoid of personal belongings isn’t inviting or welcoming. Generally a home that is fairly tidy and neat gives most people a sense of calm, and allows them to move about the space without any feeling of angst. Placing a few key and meaningful possessions around the home will help you to feel that the space is truly yours; a reflection of your personality or the personality of family members. Framing and displaying funny family photos may lead you to enjoy a space even more, sparking good memories and sending a message to visitors that you don’t take yourself too seriously.

[Source]

The furniture in your home also sends a lot of messages about who you are and what is important to you. A large comfortable couch, for example, might subconsciously invite family members (especially in regards to children) to snuggle while they watch a movie, while a stiff love seat might make family members feel that the space is more conducive to adult visitors for conversation.

This article is written by Nina Wells. Nina is a guest author from Vidalux and is a respected and expert voice in a plethora of health related subjects with over 10 years of writing under her belt.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the other way around

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In honor of complete transparency, you won’t find this week’s article talking about interior design at all.
 
Instead, I’m sending you quips that ask the simple question “why?” on mundane things you may have wondered about, too. They were sent to me from a friend by a clever anonymous author.
 
I promise they’ll make you smile and even laugh—sometimes, on some days, that is the best thing of all.
 


Why do supermarkets make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions 
 
while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?
 

 

 
Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke?
 

 
 
Why do banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pens to the counters?
 
Why do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in our driveways and put our useless junk in the garage?


 
 
EVER WONDER…
 
Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
 

 
 
Why can’t women put on mascara with their mouth closed? 


 
Why don’t you ever see the headline ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’? 
 

 
Why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word?
 

 
 
Why is it that doctors and attorneys call what they do ‘practice’? 


 
 Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons? 


 
  Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
 
  
 
 
Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?

  
Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
 

 
 
 
Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
 


 
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes?  Why don’t they make the whole plane
out of that stuff??
 


 
 Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains? 
 

 Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?   
 
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal? 



Now that you’ve smiled at least once, it’s your turn to spread the stupidity and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to (maybe even a chuckle)… in other words, send it to everyone.  We all need to smile every once in a while. OH you didn’t smile – well how about this one: 
 

Have a happy day.
 
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
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How did you feel late last Tues. night or on Wed.?
 
If you’re in the camp that isn’t happy,
 
If, as I am along with millions of others, you’re feeling depressed, anxious, unsure, and worried about your future, I want to share something that will make you feel better.
 
I received this email from a mentor, Pamela Bruner, makeyoursuccessreal.com.
 
It lifted my spirits and I hope it will be of comfort to you, too.
 
Here it is in its entirety. Be sure to click the link; the song is only a few minutes long.

Whatever you’re feeling about the election results, there are many people out there hurting, and hating today.

I wrote this song the year after 9/11, when it seemed that all I heard around me were messages of hate and upset. I thought it might be time to share it again.

I hope it brings you hope, and peace. LISTEN

 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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This week’s article and photos are from HOME DECOR ARCADE. They eloquently express how the majority of us wish to live in our homes today.

If I think of singular words to describe contemporary living, they would be simplicity, comfort, easy care, stylish, and attention to detail.

Read on and see if you don’t agree.

CONTEMPORARY LIVING ROOMS
The modern living style entails a seamless and simple design rather than an overly glamorous one. What people now a day like is simplicity rather than overt enthrallment. The modern interior design is about ‘less is more’ philosophy and the home interiors are done in a way that you do not miss out on the comfort and yet have an attractive décor. The furniture and décor now days are functional, they are not just mere decorative pieces, rather they are absolutely wonderful to have. They have a great value in our lives and are in no way just decoration. Here are some strikingly enthralling home décor ideas that would give you a variety of choices to be inspired from. The modern interiors displayed here are bright, attractive and yet very simple. Neutral shades are used as the backdrop of these rooms and the décor, furniture, and art work everything is bright and striking.

Fabrics used these days are more of jute, cotton and linen as these are extremely comfortable and easy to look after. These fabrics also give a great texture to your room as they are available in a huge range of colors. The textures are simply unmatched and are easy to clean too!

The contemporary décor is all about simplicity and less jazz, but that does not mean that the décor would be boring or dull. Rather the rooms come alive with the gorgeously stylish décor done in basic colors, textures and tastes. A lot of contrast is used when it comes to color combinations and the décor being so chic it is high fashion too. The furniture designs are distinct too as they stand out in the room and have a heave impact on the visitor’s mind as well.

Your guests would somewhat be awestruck when they come and visit you! They would witness a great décor style which is so simple. The combination of furniture, furnishings, display items, electronics all plays a great role in uplifting the mood of the room. The bright furniture or cushions against the soft and subtle backdrop of the wall or couch create an enigmatic effect.
A different side table or a huge photo collage up the wall does all the magic. The room begins to reflect your personality and style immensely. A little attention to detail does the trick and you not only start loving your house but begin to live it too!

Bright Interior Decor Living Room White
bright-living-room

Bright Interior Decor Living Room Stylish
bright interior decor living room stylish

Bright Interior Decor Living Room Green
living-room-design

Bright Interior Decor Living Room White
living-room-decor

Bright Interior Decor Living Room Entertainment
living-room-ideas

Bright Interior Decor Living Room Colorful
colorful-living-room-designs

Bright Interior Decor Living Room Beige
bright interior decor living room beige

Bright Interior Decor Living Room Antique Mantle
bright interior decor living room antique mantle

Bright Interior Decor Living Room Contemporary Living
bright interior decor contemporary living

Bright Interior Decor Living Room Classy Furniture
bright interior decor classy furniture

Bright Interior Decor Living Room Artistic Dining
bright interior decor artistic dining
Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

Dedicated to helping you create a home in which you live your rooms, not the other way around.

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There are many things, too many, that we can’t control when we’re out in the world.

For instance, the service person who snapped at you because she was having a bad day.

Or the traffic jam you couldn’t get around and just had to wait your way through; car by car, foot by foot.

Maybe you picked up your favorite dress from the dry cleaner’s and was told they were very sorry but that stain just couldn’t be removed.Doubly sad because you’d plan to wear it to an important event that evening

You get the drift.

I actually remember a day when all 3 above examples happened to me.  I’m sure you’ve experienced days like that as well.

The one place we have control of (at least most of the time) is home.  That sacred place which has been mindfully designed to reflect calm and order.

Here are some ideas that show how tranquility can be found in all of  the spaces in your home.

Entry and Mudroom

Try something low. A long, low table or bench in the entry invites you to come closer and investigate, rather than dump your keys and bag in a rush through to other rooms. It’s a subtle difference, but it could be just enough change to slow your pace from the harried outside world to the peace and comfort of home. Enhance the peaceful effect by placing a single, beautiful orchid or vase of flowers and a pretty cloth on the table.

Living Spaces

Establish a basic housekeeping rhythm. This may sound a bit old fashioned, but knowing you have a system in place for keeping the house neat and tidy can be a great source of comfort. Ask yourself what the hallmarks of “clean” are to you — for some, it may be a perfectly scrubbed kitchen; for me it’s clean floors and fluffed cushions. Whatever says “clean” to you, make time for it in your weekly schedule.

Stick with a serene color palette. This is not to say that homes done in pale neutrals are the only ones that feel calming (it may be that deep, moody colors are what invite you to sink in and relax), but generally speaking, the more colors and patterns there are in a room, the less restful it will feel. So if something feels off in a particular room, a good starting point is to simplify the color palette or try removing a pattern.
Filter light and views. Natural light streaming in through wide windows can be lovely, but if there is an obnoxious view out the window or the light is too glaring, it can be a nuisance. Judiciously placed window films, sheer curtains or translucent shades will modify the light without blocking it completely.
Bedrooms

Make your bed each morning. This one simple thing can go a long way toward feeling that all is right at home. If it’s not already your habit, resolve to begin smoothing your sheets and covers and plumping your pillows each morning. Just walking by the bedroom will give you a little lift, and sliding into a crisply made bed each evening is one of life’s little pleasures that shouldn’t be missed.

Store linens where they are needed. Rather than keeping all extra blankets, sheets and towels in one central closet, try breaking up the collection and storing just what is needed in each bedroom. Neatly folded and stacked quilts look appealingly restful, so feel free to stack them atop your dresser or shelving unit if you are short on space.
Workspace

Go wireless. Cables and cords are an eyesore, but more than that, they can contribute to a general feeling of chaos and disorder in a home office. Choose wireless devices when possible to cut down on the cord tangle, and sort the rest with labeled clips to keep them out of the way. If you have the option, installing outlets exactly where you need them below your desk is a wise investment.

Minimize visual clutter. When it comes to paper storage, the easiest thing is to sort it all into matching containers. Woven baskets and bins along with simple white magazine files or kraft paper photo boxes are versatile pieces that can handle almost anything you have. Get a label maker if you don’t like your handwriting, and stick on a fresh label each time you make a new bin or file.
Offset tech gadgets with living plants and handmade objects. Workspaces tend to be filled with plastics — and even if those plastics are sleek, they are still plastics. Bringing in something tactile and handmade, like rustic plant pots filled with succulents, an intricately woven textile or a hand-turned wooden bowl, will help bring much-needed balance to the space.
Kitchen and Bathroom

Keep counter space cleared. Stow all small kitchen appliances except those used daily, and you can free up a lot of counter space in the kitchen. And cleared counter space is like money in the bank: Use it to spread out ingredients for cooking or papers for a school project, or just enjoy the lovely feeling of having a clean, orderly counter.

Bring nature in. As with workspaces, kitchens and bathrooms can become so utilitarian that they feel cold and impersonal. Warm things up with small potted plants in the bath (ferns do well in this humid space) and herbs in the kitchen, along with rustic woods and hand-thrown pottery.
Allow for orderly open storage. Knowing that you can easily find exactly what you need in an instant is incredibly comforting. Instead of digging through an entire assortment of mismatched dishes (and let’s face it, most of them never get used), keep your favorite set stacked neatly on an easy-to-reach shelf.

Dining Room

Treat your dining room as a flexible living space. By keeping this room fresh and clean, with a vase of flowers or potted plant and candles on the table, and a few artistic finds or thoughtfully chosen books about, it can expand from eating place to all-around hangout zone. And without the tech trappings of the den or home office, it can actually be a more peaceful spot to spend an afternoon in. It does take some effort to keep that large expanse of table clear of piles of clutter, but it is worth it.

Photo credits: Houzz

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

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Have you ever wanted to change something in your home and yet the mere thought was daunting? Just the thought of starting the project seemed overwhelming so maybe you put it off, even when it was something you really wanted. You dreaded going through what you knew what all would be involved to get from start to finish.

This week I want to share some thoughts on this subject that I received from someone I admire. Her name is Karen Rauch Carter. She’s a best-selling Feng Shui author, consultant and educator. Her website is: www.karenrauchcarter.com.

This was a home project she recently finished and these are her words:

I am writing this from my back yard that we recently changed/upgraded. We removed a lot of unnecessary concrete paving and replaced it with a stone walkway, lawn and planter. What a wonderful change! It is so much more inviting in this space now – like there’s more room to breathe back there. But I gotta tell you, the jack-hammering that had to happen to get this done was, well,…jacked-up! SO noisy, and SO dusty…and it seemed like there was twice the concrete needing to be removed when the noise was over.

Interesting Image

When you make a conscious change to your environment so that your life improves in some way, there is often a time when “the dust gets kicked up from the train changing tracks.” Some of my clients come to this point and stop for fear of that “mess.” But it is at that moment that you have to remind yourself (by visualizing and feeling how you’ll feel when it is complete) that it will all be worth it in the end.

Interesting Image

The mess is sometimes inevitable with change, but as long as you hold firm on the vision of your intended outcome, it should be able to bear. During this time additional steps in the self care department may need necessary, or there needs to be a “no” said somewhere if asked to take on new workloads, etc.

This little note should cheer you on if you are facing a big change. Hold on to a positive outcome vision and you will find yourself pleasantly surprised by how you feel on the other side.

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

 

Get a copy of the best-selling book “Success in (High) Heels” that I’m so proud to have been a part of. My chapter is called “Transitions: The Path Through Personal Change.”

The book is filled with inspiring stories, ideas and tips from 30 successful women across the globe that can absolutely help you to live your very best life—happy, fulfilled, and living your promise.

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If a stranger were to enter your living room, what might their impression be? Would they be able to guess who lives there and would they be at all accurate?

Today’s photos are from HOUZZ and the descriptions were written by SAMANTHA SCHOECH.

They’re all guesses on her part and are great fun to read. Some of my guesses were different from Samantha’s and others were very close to hers.  What would your guesses be?

I am a successful, urban woman with no children, and I can mix a martini. Once a month I host a women’s book group at my house.
We live east of the Mississippi, and I vote Republican. My grown children all attended college. We enjoy traveling to England.
We spend most of our time reading and traveling. Our politics are liberal, and we are over 50. We like good red wine.
We have no pets or children.
We are a young, college-educated couple in the suburban South. We love cooking shows and attend church every Sunday. Next year we are going to either get a puppy or start a family.
I am a young woman who writes a lifestyle blog. I like to cook and entertain. I go to France whenever I can. I have a cute little white dog.
We are two successful professionals under 50. We live in an urban area, like to see live music and alternative theater, and eat out on the weekends.
I live in California, and back in the day I used to hang out with Joni Mitchell in Topanga Canyon. I buy organic food, like to travel to exotic locations and practice meditation.
We rent this place. One of us is very traditional — beige and burgundy, please — and one of us is a little more adventuresome. This room is our compromise.
I’m a bachelor who made a lot of money in technology. I let my designer pick out everything, and I can control it all from my iPad.
I grew up bicoastal and then lived in Morocco, where I still have a second home. I am a painter, and my father is a huge donor to major art museums. My children attend a very highly rated private school.
We own a gallery in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood and hold fundraisers for Democrats.

I’m an architect, and my wife is a poet. Last year we traveled to Denmark during the summer. We enjoy classical music. Both of us are originally from the East Coast but live in the West now.

And does your living room give non-verbal clues that are true to who you are?

Maybe your living room has remained the same and no longer reflects who you are today; maybe you’re at a different stage in your life and your interests and taste have evolved.

If so, and you’d like to tweak your living room space, email me. I’d love to help you with your re-design. Sometimes it’s just changing colors, or replacing something that’s long past its “use by” date.  Often, it’s just little things that can make all the difference in how your room looks, feels, and functions.

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

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This past week our entire country has been in a collective state of mourning.

We grieve for the senseless murder of 20 precious children; barely out of babyhood.

Many of us grieve for the tortured soul of the gunman who was little more than a child himself. And his family as well.

We can see and feel ourselves in the shoes of the parents, families, friends and the residents of the beautiful small New England town of Newtown, Conn.

We try to make sense of something that is senseless. It’s impossible to do and that leaves us feeling even more helpless and desolate.

Perhaps Albert Einstein when writing to friends who had suddenly lost a child said it best:

“When the expected course of everyday life is interrupted, we realize we are like shipwrecked people trying to keep their balance on a miserable plank in the open sea, having forgotten where they come from and not knowing whither they are drifting.”

He also believed there were 2 ways to live. One was that everything was a miracle in this world, or that nothing was.

For Christians, we are just a few days away from the greatest miracle of all—the birth of Christ. Is it just coincidence that this terrible tragedy happened now?

I don’t know.

I do know there is still beauty in this world everywhere we look in spite of evil. We see it in people, places, and things. We can find it in words and hear it in music.

Hopefully, we can all cling to that as we begin to heal. We can be a reminder of this, too, to all of the people directly affected by the sad event that occurred on Friday, December 14, 2012.

As citizens, we can’t write our laws, but we do have the power to insist that our politicians know it’s beyond time to use common sense and do the right thing for the major good. Politics be damned. We have the right to feel safe. For ourselves and certainly for all of our little children.

Only then can this horrific act make some kind of sense. To make our world safer can give some kind of meaning. Maybe then it will be easier to forgive and freely see and feel the beauty around us and smile once more.

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

P.S.  We live in a very small world with so many good people willing to help. We really can all stand by each other and lessen the load.  Watch this video and it will warm your heart. That’s truly a beautiful thing.

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I readily admit to being a Francophile and loving all things French (excluding Sweetbreads and anything covered in Aspic)!

But you don’t have to be. Let me transport you to a magical place located in the small and quaint 16th century village of Brantone, France. It’s the Hotel Moulin de l’Abbaye.

As a holistic interior designer who specializes in creating spaces that excite all of your senses, this little hotel has it all.

Traditional with its bright blue shutters, pink flower filled window boxes, and ivy colored, white washed walls, it positively screams “let me take you away to a simpler place and time.”

The suites are exactly what you would expect; French country design.  Comforting, cozy, yet also sophisticated. You really don’t want to leave your suite. But…

Imagine walking on ancient cobblestone streets not knowing what “treasures” await you just around the next corner. You find the perfect “thing” to take home, or maybe more than one. Something that is exactly right for your home and will remind you of this beautiful place.

Now you’re back at the hotel and dining on a sun-dappled patio along the River Dronne. Can’t you just taste a chilled glass of white wine along with a warm, freshly baked, just out of the oven baguette?

I hope you enjoy your visual journey and that your senses are heightened enough to maybe want to visit this wonderful little town and the Hotel de l’Abbaye.

It’s certainly on my list of places to see and enjoy. For real!

Until next time, au revoir…

Blessings,
Nancy

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0

What is Butt Dust?

January 21st, 2011

January is the doldrum’s month for me. It’s too early to start thinking of spring and what decorating changes I’ll make in my home to celebrate the “awakening season” of spring.

A dear friend sent me the following email and it was just what I needed……it made me laugh and see through the delightful, creative mind of a child again and forget January. Maybe, it will be joyful for you, too.

What Is Butt Dust??

What, you ask, is ‘Butt dust’? Read on and you’ll discover the joy in it! These have to be original and genuine. No adult is this creative!!

JACK (age 3)
was watching his Mom breast-feeding his new baby sister… After a while he asked: ‘Mom why have you got two? Is one for hot and one for cold milk?’

MELANIE (age 5)
asked her Granny how old she was.. Granny replied she was so old she didn’t remember any more. Melanie said, ‘If you don’t remember you must look in the back of your panties.  Mine say five to  six.’

STEVEN (age 3)
hugged and kissed his Mom good night. ‘I love you so much that when you die I’m going to bury you outside my bedroom window.’

BRITTANY (age 4)
had an ear ache and wanted a pain killer. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle.  Seeing her frustration, her Mom explained it was a child-proof cap and she’d have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: ‘How does it know it’s me?’

SUSAN (age 4)
was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. ‘Please don’t give me this juice again,’ she said, ‘It makes my teeth cough..’

DJ (age 4)
stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: ‘How much do I cost?’

CLINTON (age 5)
was in his bedroom looking worried When his Mom asked what was troubling him, he replied, ‘I don’t know what’ll happen with this bed when I get married.  How will my wife fit in it?’

MARC (age 4)
was engrossed in a young couple that were hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: ‘Why is he whispering in her mouth?’

TAMMY(age 4)
was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mom knew. Tammy  looked at her for a while and then asked, ‘Why doesn’t your skin fit your face?’

JAMES (age 4)
was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: ‘The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.’  Concerned, James asked: ‘What happened to the flea?’

The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget…

This particular Sunday sermon…. ‘Dear Lord,’ the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. ‘Without you, we are but dust…’  He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, ‘Mom, what is butt dust?’

Make sure you pass this one on and spread the smiles…

Until next time.

Warmest regards,
Nancy

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