Big Easy Cafe

I am a Cajun food addict and now my husband is too! We love all the spices, thick sauces, and of course the seafood. Nothing has beaten the Cajun cuisine I’ve eaten in New Orleans, but we found a spot here in San Antonio that has brought those flavors to us. It’s like a bit of good ol Louisiana right here in SA. Aside from the food being yummy, the staff is great as well. As soon as you step foot inside Big Easy Cafe everyone is friendly and ready to make you feel right at home. My husband and I each picked a different dish (pictured at the bottom.). We were so stuffed there was no way we had room for dessert. As we comfortably enjoyed our lunch, it almost felt like we were in New Orleans listening to some live Cajun music playing. We totally recommend Big Easy Café & will be back soon! To learn more about their catering services, live music events, and view their menus, please visit their website at: www.bigeasycafesa.com

Big Easy Cafe

4822 Walzem Road (Just behind IHOP) San Antonio, Texas 78218 210-653-5688

 

 

 

 

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Teach Children to be Kind to all Sizes

With the school year starting again…I thought I’d share this blog I wrote a while back. With so much bullying and pressure going on at schools these days, I think teaching the children in our lives about being kind is important…no matter what their classmates look like…

Why do people like to insult those that are overweight? Especially women; women like to put down other women. You go to the store, the spa, the gym, or even a restaurant and get an ugly look or two from other women in the room. Is it your hair, makeup, outfit, the way you walk, your body type, your race, that you’re too friendly or not friendly enough? Who knows…all I know is women make other women feel insecure when it should be the other way around. Women should always support each other in all they do, complement one another, empower one another, and offer a simple gesture such as letting them know if their slip is showing from under their dress. I believe most women are natural born leaders, teachers, and full of strength and grace in their own unique way. But it’s those few women that make us all seem like we are all a bunch of judgmental shallow bitches. 292

5a5243eefe2f75387a7e4b90a2e26458Example:  I saw a post on Facebook a while back that was disturbing to me; it still is till this day. Now if you post something on your social media walls for the world to see, you should always be prepared for the opinionated comments of others, right? I guess my bluntness and opinion hit a nerve because it wasn’t pretty after I gave it.  But I have to admit, I felt it had to be addressed and I couldn’t help but comment on it. In my newsfeed, I see a picture of a heavy set woman wearing some really short white shorts walking on a track at a nearby park in my community and the same area I went to high school at. At this particular park, there are many people in the neighbor that walk and jog the track with their children, so chances are; everyone knows one another in some way. Now I’m not the fashion police by all means, but they were not very flattering on her and may be just a tad too short for her figure, I will admit that. What bugged me was why on earth would someone stoop that low and take a picture to post it? To think this a person that other women admire and look up to, loves quoting the bible, etc. posted this. You’re on the track walking just like the woman in the white shorts was. What was the point in taking a picture of her and posting it on facebook other than to make fun of her? Why not keep your ugly opinions to yourself instead of looking like some mean high school bully. Are you really that shallow? I guess so. The social media world is just as small as our world, you never know who knows who and would recognize the person in the picture, so always think about that when you decide you want to post pictures of other people that are in your community . 557144_428322070549078_1615213241_n

Next time you see a woman that you feel shouldn’t be wearing something, think of this: First off, this woman may be someone’s mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, best friend. She may be a doctor that has saved many lives or may have even been deployed and fought for our country. Would you like it if someone posted a picture of a family member or close friend to make fun of them…Probably not?  Who knows what that woman is going through in her personal life, she may have medical issues, lost 200 lbs and felt great about herself, lost a loved one, was able to walk again after a car accident, a cancer survivor, be an angel from heaven, or just had the guts to wear what she wanted because she’s just that confident or felt that way that day.  Didn’t matter what she was wearing, the point was, she was out there walking to make a change in her life or to enjoy the nice weather. Seeing this was a reminder how people can be so cruel and why our children today turn into bullies. Kids nowadays are mean and bully other kids…why? Because they learn how to be mean shallow pricks from their parents and do not know any better since that was the behavior displayed at home. 1342455262125_1992860Teach the children in your life to love and appreciate all shapes, sizes, colors, & genders. Teach them kindness, positivity, acceptance, and most of all be that example for them. The world cannot become a better place if these simple things are not taught at home. What kind of example are you setting for your peers and more so your own children being that cruel making fun of others? There are many single people that act this way and wonder why they can’t meet Mr. or Ms. Right, maybe it’s because the shallowness scares people off. I’ve never had self esteem issues, not even as a young girl. Unfortunately, there are many girls and women today that do and it’s mainly because other women bully them and put them down. I hear clients speak of things like this all the time. How the constant criticism from other women really affects them. And it happens everywhere where they go. One thing I’m grateful for is my mother raised me well. She taught me that you have to always accept everyone for who they are and what they look like. That god made us all different and special in our own ways, and making fun of people is cruel. For women to flourish, we have to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness that we all individually carry. I don’t care what Vogue or any other beauty magazines insist we look like; we are all beautiful in our own way. Let’s be better women by not putting our own gender down; inspire other women around us to do the same thing, especially those younger than you. Remember, as women, individually we are strong and together we are powerful. beautiful-marilyn-marilyn-monroe-monroe-quote-favim-com-450330

Late Night Thoughts

nighttime the lil spa roomMany friends are going through tough times right now; some have family and friends to lean on and some don’t. All you can do is stay true to yourself, love yourself, and keep telling yourself everything is going to be ok. And before you know it, the bad has passed you by. Every obstacle I have been through I have learned something; whether it’s a good lesson or a bad, I learn something and use it for whatever comes my way next. What I have also learned the older I have gotten is that some things we just cannot control. We most definitely can’t control the thoughts and actions of others either. Try to not stress out on things you can’t change. It’ll eat you up inside.

When you feel alone, remember that you are not. You have YOU. Learn to love yourself. Know that you serve a purpose just like any other human being and the beauty of not knowing what that purpose is just means that it could be something beyond anything you have ever imagined. We are all unique and special in our own way. That’s what makes life so great and interesting.

For those going through marital/relationship problems; let go. Stay strong and take care of YOU. You cannot make someone love you and you can’t force yourself to be in love with someone.  If that person is meant for you they will fight for you, they won’t give up, and they will try to right every wrong they have done. I believe in forgiveness and that you can start over if  changes are made for the better. If someone leaves you to move onto another life with someone, don’t ever think it was you. Sometimes people run away from reality, get caught up in a fantasy world, or are just so unhappy they look for something to fill the void in.

Not all may agree, but I believe in karma. I think when you hurt people; you create this bad energy for yourself. I believe that we are all meant to learn a lesson after we have wronged someone; sometimes that lesson is far greater than the hurt we have caused. So before you hurt someone, think about that. Bad things also happen to good people sometimes. I think it’s to strengthen us for the good we deserve. Don’t let heartache stop you from living. Pick yourself up.

Every day I talk to people; I have some really deep conversations and I always wonder if they see what I do. Many people don’t realize all they are; how beautiful they are on the inside as well as the out. It took me a long time to love myself; to realize what I deserved and what was toxic in my life. Now that I am at a place of growth, happiness, and stability, all that I have gone through makes sense. Stay strong my friends…we only get one life…make the most of it. Good night.

Texas Hill Country’s Hidden Lavender Treasure

texas lavender farmsWith the 2014 Lavender Festival coming up this weekend (June 13-15 2014, Fri. 12pm-6pm, Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-4pm) thought I’d share the experience of our Hill Country road trip to Blanco, Texas where we attended the 8th Annual Blanco Lavender Festival. The town of Blanco (which means “white” in Spanish) was named for the limestone hills and banks along the river there. On our way up highway 281 we enjoyed the view of the hills, orchards, wineries, and even a few deer crossing the road. This was my first time visiting Blanco; usually I just pass right through. I was so amazed at how much beauty this little town has, from the Blanco River running through it to the small downtown strip of antique shops, local restaurants, and other small businesses. After having some yummy breakfast tacos at El Puerto Restaurant, it was time to make our way to the festival.

Blanco Lavender FestivalThe Festival

As always, the husband found a great parking spot on Main Street, our first stop (right across the street from where we parked & not on the festival grounds) was at the Blanco River Lavender Company booth, these lovely ladies were setting up and getting everything ready for the fest.  We then made our way to the information booth at the festival (where I couldn’t help but buy a Lavender Fest themed t-shirt, cap, & lunch bag), which was located on the grounds of the Old Blanco County Courthouse. There we were greeted by some of the sweet local women of Blanco. They were very helpful in giving us the best way to fit visiting the farms and the enjoying the fest all in one day.  As excited as we were to visit the farms, we were sadly informed that only 3 out of 8 lavender farms made it this year due to the drought last year.  Hearing news such as that made us really look forward to visiting the farms; we made it to 2 of them. As we walked towards the fest booths, it was kind of hard to choose where to start. Everything smelled so good and looked interesting to see. Lots of art, crafts, food vendors, music, local beer, Texas & Lavender specialty foods…you wouldn’t know where to begin either! But being the “spa junkie” that I am, the first thing that caught my eye was a booth filled with lavender products!

Lavender Margarita Mix MimosasAt Heron’s Nest Herb Farms’ booth, we met farmer, Mrs. Melanie Van Aken, not only did she have her products (lavender bath & body, pet care, & home care) for retail; she was also selling lavender cookies, brownies, and lavender tea.  The 2nd stop was Wimberley Lavender Farm’s booth, gorgeous cobalt blue bottles filled with lavender spa products & homemade soaps; I was like a kid in a candy store!  My poor husband probably thought he was going to be a guinea pig (as always!) for some kind of lavender spa creation I’d come up with. Other nearby fest goers were enjoying the Lavender Lemonade that was at the booth.   Still walking through the fest, we were approached to try this lavender bubbly adult beverage, though it may have been 11:00am, how could we say no to a glass of fizzy, sparkling purple stuff!   While sipping on our lavender mimosas (made with Miller Creek Lavender Margarita Mix) the Sanaloma Laser booth caught my husband’s eye.  I have to say we were both quite impressed with their work. The Georgetown, Texas Company creates all kinds of really cool 3D wooden models. They are great gifts for all ages; you must check out their online store, I know my husband is going to order a couple of things since they did make Military themed models.  Lavender Margarita Mix

Another booth my husband enjoyed was San Antonio’s very own Photo2wood. They use state of the art equipment to turn your photos into a wooden masterpiece. The festival was not only packed with vendors of all sorts, it also had many special guests speakers (including Jeannie Ralston, founder of Hill Country Lavender, the first lavender farm in Texas, and author of “The Unlikely Lavender Queen” ) educating on the history, uses, growing tips, and how to cook with lavender.

Learning about LavenderLush Lavender Learning

Being in the beauty & spa industry for 19 years, I have become a huge fan of lavender, I use it just about every day. Not only does its soothing aroma make my clients happy, it also has many benefits.  It’s used in many beauty products, so you can see why I am such a fan of this little purple bloom. Lavender has therapeutic and antiseptic qualities, it’s known as an effective remedy to combat restlessness, insomnia, cure headaches, ease anxiety, soothe stress, and promote relaxation. The lavender herb is also used for bug bites, burns, skin disorders, to relieve itching, rashes, and reduce swelling. Another lavender fact is that it is also an effective cleanser when added to bath water and for washing hair. It is claimed that lavender, due to its antibacterial and antifungal qualities, kills head lice and other scalp infections. Hence, lavender is seen to be effective in combating balding and promoting hair growth. Also, the lavender herb has been effectively used as an antiseptic for the treatment of acne. Another use for lavender is as a floor cleaner, and also for cleaning counter surfaces and bathrooms. Again, it works effectively due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties and it also gives out a pleasant fragrance to cleaned surfaces. Now you know why you see many cleaning products on the market that are lavender infused.

Texas Fields of Lavender Hill Country Lavender Farm

Native to the Mediterranean, (Latin root name: Lavandula. Lavare (to wash) Livendula (livid or bluish)) Lavender, is grown all over the world, lucky us, it’s right here in our beautiful Hill Country. The first farm we visited was Miller Creek Lavender.  The farm offers 3 acres of lavender, a variety garden with over 70 varieties, butterfly garden, blackberries, picnic tables/benches, granite sand trails, plenty of parking, and a gift shop filled with lavender food products, lavender bath and body products, books, pottery, t-shirts, ball caps, and much more. There was even lavender colored port o’potties with a hand washing station, which I thought was pretty cool. Owners Karen & Don Roets were very welcoming and had a spread of their lavender edible goodies. We tasted Lavender Strawberry Lemonade, Lavender Strawberry Jam (we liked this so much we took some home, Yummy!), Lavender Raspberry Chipotle Salsa, Lavender White Wine Jelly, & Lavender Jalapeño Mustard, each had their own unique flavors. Tasting all these Texas treats and enjoying the view of the lavender farm, made them even more enjoyable.  Remember that lavender bubbly we drank at the fest? We found the Lavender Margarita Mix it’s made with…yes, you know a bottle of the purple pleasure went home with us, let’s see how long it lasts! Ha-ha

Hill Country Lavender StoreThe next farm we visited was Texas’ 1st Commercial Lavender Farm. Another beautiful sight to see, this farm is next to an orchard, and has an amazing view of hills and live oaks. The farm has more than 2,500 lavender plants spread in neat rows across a 2 acre hilltop where visitors are invited to cut their own lavender throughout the season. Their farm store carries a complete line and over 70 of lavender products, including soaps, sachets, lotion, linen spray, eye pillows, bubble bath, lavender essential oil, & much more. I think I did the most damage at this store! Who’s ready for a Lavender Facial? My husband and I thought we’d see how well our “green-thumb” would do and bought our own lavender plant at this farm for our yard; they even give you growing easy to follow instructions when you purchase a plant. The girl who rung up our goodies said the lavender plant survives off neglect. I have never been the gardening type of girl, so there is a good chance of our lavender plant living forever. Ha-ha

The River Runs Through It Blanco River State Park

After our lavender adventure, the lavender kicked in and we were relaxed, we decided to have a picnic and enjoy the scenery of the Blanco River at Blanco State Park. The park is 104.6 acres located along the Blanco River in Blanco County. The land was deeded by private owners in 1933 before the park was opened in 1934. The park area was used as a campsite by early explorers and settlers. A spring in the park made the location ideal when the river was dry.  This park is very well kept and clean; we sat in a picnic area under shady oak and pecan trees watching geese, ducks, and saw a couple of turtles and perch. There’s nothing more relaxing than being by the water, even more so under the influence of lavender. Since our family loves the outdoors, we plan on returning to this park for some camping, hiking, fishing, and of course swimming. This is a perfect weekend spot for families; the park also rents canoes, tubes, and kayaks.

Hill Country Lavender ProductsTime to go Home

This was by far one of our best road trips. Texas has many small secret scenic places and Blanco is definitely one of them. Who needs France, when we have our own Lavender Farms here in the Hill Country? There is something for everyone in Blanco, fishing for the outdoorsman, antique shopping for you treasure hunters, hill country hiking for you thrill seekers, and lots of great picture spots for photographers. We enjoyed all it had to offer, the Lavender Festival was the bonus. Support your fellow Texans by trying some of the lavender goodies & checking out their products, we sure did. The information to all the vendors I mentioned is provided for you below. My husband and I looking forward to this year’s Lavender festival; hope to see some of you there. ❤

Blanco Lavender Festival 2014: June 13-15 2014, Fri. 12pm-6pm, Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-4pm.

Randy Monterrosa April Mae Monterrosa

Blanco Chamber of Commerce

830-833-5105

312 Pecan Street

Blanco, Texas 78606

Puerto Restaurant

830-833-5813

115 Main Street

Blanco, Texas 78606

Blanco River Lavender Company

4136 Ranch Road 1623 Blanco, Texas 78606

830-833-4494

www.blancoriverlavenderco.com

Heron’s Nest Herb Farm

1673 River Bend Drive

Blanco, Texas 78606

830-833-2627

http://www.heronsnestherbfarm.com

Miller Creek Lavender

8453 Miller Creek Loop

Johnson City, Texas 78636

512.934.1616

droets@hotmail.com

http://www.millercreeklavender.com/

Wimberley Lavender Farm

11300 FM 2325 Wimberley, Texas 78676

830-833-1595

www.wimberleylavender.com

SanaLoma Laser, LLC

(512) 930-3882 5203 Taos Court Georgetown, Texas 78628-1745

info@SanaLomaLaser.com

http://www.sanalomalaser.com

Photo2wood

210.365.01117

info@photo2wood.com

photo2wood.com

Jeannie Ralston: The Unlikely Lavender Queen

http://www.jeannieralston.com/

Blanco State Park

P.O. Box 493

Blanco, TX 78606

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/blanco

Texas Lavender Farm Pink Tractor

Spring Time Beauty Tips

While the cooler temperatures were here we used heavier moisturizers, hydrating masks, and less sunscreen. When the temperatures change we often change our hair color and wardrobe to fit the season. Now that spring is on its way, there are things you need to change about your skin care regimen. It’s time to shed all that dead dry winter skin and look nice and polished for spring. Now that the days are going to be longer, the sun is going to get stronger also, so we need to be prepared.

Start off by shedding all of those layers of winter dead skin build up with exfoliation. Not only will your skin feel smooth, but it also stimulates your circulation, this is a great way to give your new skin cell production a boost. There are different varieties of exfoliation, so what ever you are comfortable with is up to you. Personally, I prefer using a dry body brush prior to my bath; ill scrub myself vigorously,  focusing on knees and elbows. After my shower, ill put on body lotion while I am still a bit dewy so my skin will drink up the moisturizer nicely. If your skin is sensitive, its best to use gentle strokes when using a body brush or a hydrating body scrub works well too. Same for your facial skin, try exfoliating from 2-3 times a week. I would not recommend exfoliating on days that you will be out in the sun for long periods of time. spring

Time to book that manicure and pedicure or do it yourself, what ever is easiest for you! If your body and face are feeling dry, I am sure that your hands and feet are too. Get those cuticles trimmed, heels buffed, and those toes nicely polished for those open toed shoes you will be wearing. Keep cuticle oil near you as much as possible to prevent those cuticles from looking chalky or splitting, hangnails may be very small, but are very uncomfortable and can even hurt.

 

Since you will be hanging up the jacket, putting away all long sleeved clothing, wearing shorts and short sleeved tops you will have more skin exposed. If you are prone to body acne, with warmer temperatures and sweat, your pores have a bigger chance of getting clogged which can cause breakouts. Try a medicated body cleanser with benzoyl peroxide to clean out those pores or find an esthetician that performs back facials to really clean and extract impurities from your pores. If you have extreme back or body acne I suggest you see a dermatologist.

Don’t leave home without it…I’m not talking about your American express card either. I’m talking about SUNSCREEN! Make sure you apply to all areas of the body that are exposed to the sun. Apply 20 to 30 minutes before going outside; this will give the sunscreen time to penetrate into your skin. Your face is the most important thing you should protect from the sun. Use a SPF of at least 20 for you face. Don’t forget about your ears and your lips, they need protection as much as anything else.

Your scalp can also get sunburned from being out in the sun for long periods of time, for protection try wearing hats or caps. Keeping your head covered will also prevent you from overheating. The sun can also make your hair brittle and dry, which can cause hair breakage. If you plan on taking a drive in your convertible, there’s nothing sexier that your hair flowing in the wind, but that warm breeze also dries out your hair too. Try keeping your hair pulled back in a cute ponytail to avoid it getting so dry. Use more detanglers or hydrating masks for your hair weekly to keep that nice sheen and your ends moisturized.

These are just a few tips to get you ready for spring break. There are many more I plan on sharing so stay tuned.

Shallow People, Bullying, & the Overweight

Why do people like to insult those that are overweight? Especially women; women like to put down other women. You go to the store, the spa, the gym, or even a restaurant and get an ugly look or two from other women in the room. Is it your hair, makeup, outfit, the way you walk, your body type, your race, that you’re too friendly or not friendly enough? Who knows…all I know is women make other women feel insecure when it should be the other way around. Women should always support each other in all they do, complement one another, empower one another, and offer a simple gesture such as letting them know if their slip is showing from under their dress. I believe most women are natural born leaders, teachers, and full of strength and grace in their own unique way. But it’s those few women that make us all seem like we are all a bunch of judgmental shallow bitches. 292

5a5243eefe2f75387a7e4b90a2e26458Example:  I saw a post on Facebook a while back that was disturbing to me; it still is till this day. Now if you post something on your social media walls for the world to see, you should always be prepared for the opinionated comments of others, right? I guess my bluntness and opinion hit a nerve because it wasn’t pretty after I gave it.  But I have to admit, I felt it had to be addressed and I couldn’t help but comment on it. In my newsfeed, I see a picture of a heavy set woman wearing some really short white shorts walking on a track at a nearby park in my community and the same area I went to high school at. At this particular park, there are many people in the neighbor that walk and jog the track with their children, so chances are; everyone knows one another in some way. Now I’m not the fashion police by all means, but they were not very flattering on her and may be just a tad too short for her figure, I will admit that. What bugged me was why on earth would someone stoop that low and take a picture to post it? To think this a person that other women admire and look up to, loves quoting the bible, etc. posted this. You’re on the track walking just like the woman in the white shorts was. What was the point in taking a picture of her and posting it on facebook other than to make fun of her? Why not keep your ugly opinions to yourself instead of looking like some mean high school bully. Are you really that shallow? I guess so. The social media world is just as small as our world, you never know who knows who and would recognize the person in the picture, so always think about that when you decide you want to post pictures of other people that are in your community . 557144_428322070549078_1615213241_n

Next time you see a woman that you feel shouldn’t be wearing something, think of this: First off, this woman may be someone’s mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, best friend. She may be a doctor that has saved many lives or may have even been deployed and fought for our country. Would you like it if someone posted a picture of a family member or close friend to make fun of them…Probably not?  Who knows what that woman is going through in her personal life, she may have medical issues, lost 200 lbs and felt great about herself, lost a loved one, was able to walk again after a car accident, a cancer survivor, be an angel from heaven, or just had the guts to wear what she wanted because she’s just that confident or felt that way that day.  Didn’t matter what she was wearing, the point was, she was out there walking to make a change in her life or to enjoy the nice weather. Seeing this was a reminder how people can be so cruel and why our children today turn into bullies. Kids nowadays are mean and bully other kids…why? Because they learn how to be mean shallow pricks from their parents and do not know any better since that was the behavior displayed at home. 1342455262125_1992860Teach the children in your life to love and appreciate all shapes, sizes, colors, & genders. Teach them kindness, positivity, acceptance, and most of all be that example for them. The world cannot become a better place if these simple things are not taught at home. What kind of example are you setting for your peers and more so your own children being that cruel making fun of others? There are many single people that act this way and wonder why they can’t meet Mr. or Ms. Right, maybe it’s because the shallowness scares people off. I’ve never had self esteem issues, not even as a young girl. Unfortunately, there are many girls and women today that do and it’s mainly because other women bully them and put them down. I hear clients speak of things like this all the time. How the constant criticism from other women really affects them. And it happens everywhere where they go. One thing I’m grateful for is my mother raised me well. She taught me that you have to always accept everyone for who they are and what they look like. That god made us all different and special in our own ways, and making fun of people is cruel. For women to flourish, we have to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness that we all individually carry. I don’t care what Vogue or any other beauty magazines insist we look like; we are all beautiful in our own way. Let’s be better women by not putting our own gender down; inspire other women around us to do the same thing, especially those younger than you. Remember, as women, individually we are strong and together we are powerful. beautiful-marilyn-marilyn-monroe-monroe-quote-favim-com-450330

What Does Love Mean to You?

Another weekly blog challenge I came across asked what love meant to me…What does love mean to you? Everyone has their own opinion of what love really is…others simply don’t even believe in it at all. I’ll tell you what love means to me…love is fucking crazy…it’s not rainbows, butterflies, hopping and skipping together in pure bliss. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are those days too. Love is sticking around even when shit is going wrong…when someone hurts you to the core where you wish they felt the same pain in their heart that was eating you alive. The butterflies that fly around in your tummy when it’s all fresh and new turn into worms eating at your flesh till you’re in extreme agony when the person that you love hurts you. And though you ache, you still love this person and want to be with them. Love makes you feel like you are invincible, like some super hero that can save the world and can also make you feel like the world is going to end. I can go on and on about what love means to me…but if I had to choose one thing, it be forgiveness. Love is about forgiving the person that broke your heart; realizing that no matter what, they are still there wanting to be with you even if they made a mistake and most of all proving that it will never happen again. Love has shown me how much of a demon I can become when I’m hurt and how much my heart has grown through all the healing. Enough with the random love talk. Time to dream…Good night.

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