Saturday, August 31, 2013

Out of the Mouth of Dom

Thanks for your patience, readers. I know this is one of your most favoritest parts of Weekly Capture. It's definitely one of my favorite parts of being a Mama. Especially this boy's mama. I love hearing what comes out of his mouth. Without further ado, enjoy.




"You look like The Penguin with your toothbrush in your mouth."

"Mama, is punch a kind of beer or juice?"

"Mom, can I play Google with you?"
"I think you mean Boggle."
"Ok, fine. Can I play Goggle with you then?"

"Mom, I'm hungry for tea. Could you offer me tea?"

"Can I have some blueberries?"
"Sure, you can have a couple."
"No... Can I actually have 4? A couple is just 2!"

"Mom, I need a napkin! My hands are pouring ice cream juice!"

I commented that a helicopter looked tiny, and Dom said "Remember,we talked about perspective?"

"Daddy today I saw 50 or 4 helicopters!"

"Mama, can I please lick his hair? It's funny + cute, and I like it."

Hearing D outside...
"Wait, who said you could go outside?"
His response:
"The screen just wanted to be open forever and ever."

{Overheard}
Dom: "Thank you, B, for that chewed up cookie!"

David was attempting to read a bedtime storybook with a Southern accent. Dom keeps stopping him with "Daddy, Don't talk that way!"
To be noted: David switched to a German accent, and Dom doesn't seem to mind that...

"You did work all day, and work is pretty boring. And I did playing, and playing's not very boring."




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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
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This post Out of the Mouth of Dom first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 31 August 2013




Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekly Capture LVIII

Well, long time no see, Weekly Capture! As it's been more than month since my last one, perhaps I should just call this an August capture. However, I feel there is so much happening in our lives in a katrillion directions that I will just keep this focussed on my regular topics for this little peek into our lives.


What's pretty much been occupying the majority of our energy and time has been moving (see some pictures of our new place here!). We've stayed put around the home front, working to ready our home for another year of preschool homeschool and as I announced a few weeks back, joining the Catholic Church. As an added joy and treat to our life, my little sister lived with us for a good part of the month while she attended a summer intensive program with our city's ballet company. I loved having both her company and the added help, and the boys were thrilled to have a live in Aunt.


As of right now, we have been attending mass at the local parish, in which there are three churches, at the church closest to our house. If we were more organized and better at getting out of the house, we could walk. The boys seem to be making the switch fairly well, and the 9am mass time is making mama + LegenDaddy happy campers since the boyOs are able to sit still better earlier. We're also in the process of finding sponsors to walk with us on our journey to coming into full Communion. I'd love your prayers for this because this has been an added stress this week for me since I have no local Catholic friends.

As far as homeschooling, this coming week we'll be starting back our year with a recap on the letters A-G in Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven: A Catholic Preschool Curriculum, and then continue on with the alphabet. I'm thinking right now we'll be a bit more proactive this year and aim to complete a letter a week. Dom is definitely up for it. I've already caught him reading sight words and sounding out harder ones this summer. I am also hoping (*fingers crossed*) to sneak away every 2 weeks or so to have some actual planning time where I can add some extra outings and activities to go alongside the curriculum.


LegenDaddy is plugging away at finishing up his Master's whilst still keeping up full time at his job. The end is near though, and hopefully with some long nights and putting in some weekend hours, the final stretch will be completed as soon as December. We sure can't wait to have more time with him and actually enjoy all his days off + vaca time, and I'm pretty sure he cannot wait to add all these activities and hobbies he's had to push to the side these past few years. ALSO, this will be the first time in our married life when neither of us will be in school. Pretty excited about that. =)

The major blog change this month with the changing of the address (if you haven't noted yet, the new address is http://www.twoOsPlusMore.blogspot.com ) actually went better than expected. I was a little worried I'd lose tons of readers, but my stats only seemed to dip a tiny bit. I also had my first feature on *another* blog with my thrifting piece over at Fine Linen + Purple! And to continue on the First train, this week was the start of my first giveaway here. {The giveaway for a set of Woolzies dryer balls is open through 12am on September 7th, so you still have time to enter!}

Now onto the rest of the Capture...

Dom and his life



So, Dominic's quote-worthiness was out of control over the past month, plus, you know, waiting 4 weeks does equal quite a pile-up, SO find some Dom quote love in a separate post later this weekend. =)
In other news, the boy is really getting into story-telling. This has not only manifested itself in random stories he wants to share with us, but also elaborate dreams at night and drawings that have an epic novel to accompany them in order to explain all the parts of the picture.


B-man Updates


So, those teeth that took a lifetime and many prolonged periods which I was sure the crankiness must be due to teething. Yeah, they came in. He now has 5 or 6 molars, incisors on their way in (I can actually see the whites this time), and still the 7 in front.

His vocabulary is becoming increased, and he tries to say all kinds of things. Still pretty sure I'm the only one who understands most of what he says.

The newest obsession for the B-man. Light switches. I'm pretty sure children of this age are as captivated by the light as moths though I can at least say his brainpower might be a little higher since he revels in the switching on and the switching off. Everlasting rave shows!


Listening To




Took Dom for his first movie theatre experience to see the Planes movie. Of course being Mr. SmartyPants, he comes home and requests the soundtrack off of Spotify. Annnnd, that's what I've been listening to.

When I get the chance to play the Mama Mix, I've thrown in a bit of Paloma Faith {Fall To Grace} to my playlist at the recommendation of my sister. Do you have any Autumn inspired tunes for the coming month?


Checked off our Summer Bucket List

With summer drawing to a close, you'll see that we've been working at checking off as much as we can from our Summer Bucket List! Amazingly, we haven't done too shabby of a job.



Visit a splash park √



Eat ice cream at a creamery √
My brother + his girlfriend were in town for a few nights. That's her, isn't she gorgeous (super jealous of her locks!!!)?



Finish library summer reading program √
Ok, so this is not exactly the reading part rather the celebratory afterwards.
Also please be impressed with this awesome ice cream sharing happening- I sure was!



Read books outside in the grass √
A great way to get in listening to chapter books!



And, not on our original Bucket List, buuuut we went on a fabulous day trip to
a local amusement + water park! The boys loved it as did the adults.




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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
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This post Weekly Capture LVIII first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 30 August 2013



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Woolzies Dryer Balls {Review}


Hey Folks!

I was given the fun opportunity to try out a product I would possibly buy anyways. Woolzies Dryer Balls sent me a set to review AND I get to offer one reader a set of their own! I'm always super excited to try out things that make my life more simple whilst remaining green and eco-friendly, so these Dryer Balls were perfect. Read on to hear my takes on why I loved this product, and enter for a chance to try out your very own! (Giveaway is now over)


First off, a little About the Product
Woolzies Dryer Balls are handmade in Nepal using high end wool from New Zealand. They are then distributed by a company in the Hudson Valley of NY (yay NY!).


Eco-Friendly/Reusable
As you well know, I'm all for reusable products as I hate to throw away pretty much anything. These bad boys will last you at least 1000 washes (or your money back)! And by washes, I mean "dries." You can immediately ditch the softener AND the dryer sheets, and instead throw these Dryer Balls right into the dryer with your wet load o' laundry.


Healthy
Anybody that's read about the crud that typical laundry softeners are made of should probably think twice before pouring that baby color, liquidy stuff into their wash. The chemicals in them are horrible for you and your family! If you don't believe me, read this article from Natural News. Chloroform just doesn't sound pleasant at all.
Instead Woolzies are HypoAllergenic + Great for Sensitive Skin. Everyone in my little household has super dry and sensitive skin, and most of us experience eczema breakouts several times a year, so I am always careful about what touches our laundry.
Even those with wool sensitivities can use these since they only come in contact with your laundry and not you. If that was the case, I'd just recommend not rubbing the actual dryer ball all over your skin...


These particular dryer balls have no dyes or chemicals of any kind. Even the rubber and plastic dryer balls that are becoming popular on store shelves are still full of chemicals. Though they are reusable, as soon as they heat up in the dryer, they release the chemicals that are in the rubber or plastic.
They are scent free though an essential oil can be added directly to the dryer ball and thrown in with your dry laundry for a 15 minute air dry to leave a lovely scent, if desired.

Practical
I happen to be a practical person. OK, maybe more I strive to be a practical person, especially when it comes to saving time and making my household run a wee bit more smooth. Bring in time savers! Woolzies save 25% or more on your drying time! They naturally separate and move your laundry about which helps to reduce static and dry your clothing faster. I noticed my clothes were dry about 10 minutes sooner on a load that would normally take 50 minutes to dry. This is particularly great when drying cloth diapers that take forever to dry (think prefolds + fitteds!)

Inexpensive
At first the $34.95 price for a set of 6 dryer balls might seem a bit steep, but then think about the alternatives:
1 Set of Woolzies - $34.95 for 1000 washes = less than $0.04 a load (Shipping is free in USA!)
1 Bottle of Downy Softener - $4.99 for 60 washes = over $0.08 a load
1 Box Bounce Dryer Sheets - $2.49 for 80 sheets = about $0.03 a sheet - typically you use 2-3 sheets per load


So, for a more eco-friendly, practical, and healthy option, you are at roughly the same or less cost!

Fair Trade + Socially Conscious 
If I haven't sold you yet, hopefully this one helps you think twice. Being handmade in the Democratic Republic of Nepal, this product helps to provide steady income to the needy women who live there.

Annnnd, a Great Entertainer for Toddlers
Oh, and if you're not using them often enough to feel like they need to stay in your laundry room, you can always add them to your Montessori play basket in the living room. They provide hours (or at least parts of hours) of entertainment. =)

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed using my Woolzies, and I intend to keep using them to test how they hold up over time. I'm thrilled to have a product that not only provides the softness I want to feel in my laundry but also adds nothing the fabrics. I love the "green" factors and being able to know this product was created in good social consciousness. And, of course a good deal on time and money is always attractive! The only downside I found was the noise they make whilst in the dryer... tis a bit thumpy, but for all the good they are, I can get over a bit of noise. I do live in a house of boys after all.

Also, I would like you, my readers, know how conscious I was each time I went to type out "balls" and instead wrote "dryer balls." =)

On to the Giveaway...


To Enter

--Giveaway is now over--

Using the Rafflecopter Widget below, earn entries by:

{1} Answer the Question: What is most appealing to you about using Woolzies dryer balls? (Dryer time, no chemicals, etc) {Mandatory - Leave comment in Comment form and put name in Widget} (3 entries)

{2} Like Two Os + More on Facebook. (2 entries)

{3} Follow @TwoOsPlusMore on Twitter (2 entries)

{4} Tweet about the giveaway (1 entry)

{5} Share via Facebook (1 entry)

{6} Pin on Pinterest (2 entries)

{7} Like Woolzies on Facebook (2 entries)

{8} Follow @Woolzies on Twitter (2 entries)

{9} Subscribe to Two Os Plus More via E-mail (2 entries)

There are 17 possible entries, with a few options to come back daily and earn extra entries. I will use Random.org's generator to choose the winner, who will then be announced here on the blog + via social media. I will also e-mail them - e-mail address you provide will only be used to contact you if you win. U.S. mailing addresses only. Entries will be accepted until 12:00am 7 September 2013. Giveaway is now over.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I received a complimentary set of Woolzies Dryer Balls to review however all opinions are my own. I only review products I truly would use and therefore, recommend to you.

Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Woolzies Dryer Balls {Review + Giveaway} first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 27 August 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Celebrating the Feasts of St. Monica + St. Augustine



Today's post celebrates two outstanding saints that are a mother + son pair. The first that we will celebrate is St. Monica (Feast : August 27) and then the following day, we will celebrate her rather famous son, St. Augustine (Feast: August 28). One of the things I love the most about these two saints is how much they show the importance of family and the passing on the Faith. Without St. Monica's fervent prayers for her son, we wouldn't have St. Augustine, a great saint and doctor of the Church. Without St. Augustine's writings, we wouldn't know anything about St. Monica, the mother who he loved much and attributed his conversion to.

St. Monica was born around the year 331 to Christian parents, and she lived in the region of Tagaste in North Africa (in present day Algeria). Married at an early age to a pagan, Patricius, Monica experienced a trying marriage. Until his dying day, Patricius denied God. However, the first example of her faithfulness and patience was on the day before her husband died when he accepted the Faith she clung so close to.

Her marriage union produced three children, the eldest of which Augustine. While the younger two brought their mother no extra worry, St. Augustine (born in 354) in his early life caused his mother no end of anxiety for the state of his soul. He was brilliant and passionate, but lazy and wayward. He kept a mistress, by which he had an illegitimate child, drank overmuch and was bawdy and rowdy, and to top it off, embraced the Manichaeism gnostic religion. Monica's strong will was put to the test as she prayed and wept over her son for 17 years (!), but her prayers held true. 

At the Easter Vigil in 387, Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose in Milan. Monica experienced a cup that ran over as she witnessed this great event. Augustine left his wayward lifestyle and fully and passionately committed to the Church. In 391 he became a priest, and then 4 years later became the Bishop of Hippo. St. Augustine gave the Church many great writings, including his most famous: Confessions and City of God. (I have read Confessions, but City of God is still on my list).

And here you have a shortened version of the story of a mother who faithfully prayed her son into Christianity, and a son who once he saw Truth, threw his whole life into never-ending service. A beautiful story of love and persistence, and of a strong will put to fantastic use.


Saint Monica by Benozzo Gozzoli, 1464–65 Source: Wikipedia

We're excited to be celebrating these Feasts this week! Since I don't have enough ideas for two full days of celebration (and our calendar is booked for tomorrow night), we'll be putting together a Feast for Wednesday's dinner, and splitting the activities + crafts between the two days. I hope you can use some of these ideas to help celebrate these two great Saints!

Food

Here's our menu for Dinner. We'll be going all Algerian on you if you couldn't tell...

Algerian Chicken with Chickpeas + Couscous (from Catholic Culture)
Algerian Carrots (from All Recipes)
Algerian Flatbread (from Epicurious)
St. Augustine is the Patron Saint of Brewers, so the adults will be enjoying a craft brew with our meal.

St. Augustine's symbol is a flaming heart pierced by crossed arrows. We are going to try to combine this symbol with some sort of sweet treat!

If you're feeling creative and ready for a challenge, check out this superb Tears of St. Monica cake from Catholic Cuisine.


Crafts + Activities

First off, as a tribute to St. Monica, pray for the mothers and grandmothers (and greats!) in your life. You could even have your kiddos write a letter or make a piece of art!

In honor of St. Augustine and the power of confession and forgiveness in his life, for adults and older children, go to confession.

St. Augustine is the patron saint of Printers, so we'll be putting our painting and printing skills into full gear. Might as well since with warmer weather, paints can be done outside! Yay less mess.

Here is a pin from my board on Homeschooling Preschool with 52 ideas to get your brain startedHere's another great idea for printing with q-tips from Land of Nod's blog.


To Read





For older children and adults, a passage from one of St. Augustine's books could be read. Right now The Confessions of St. Augustine is free for the Kindle version, and City of God is only $0.99!

I'll be reading to my boys from Loyola Kids Book of  Saints (St. Monica) and Lives of the Saints: An Illustrated History for Children (St. Augustine).


Angelico, FraThe Conversion of St. Augustine (painting). Source: Wikipedia

And a prayer to St. Monica and my favorite quote from St. Augustine to wrap up this post:

Exemplary Mother of the great Augustine, you perseveringly pursued your wayward son not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven. Intercede for all mothers in our day so that they may learn to draw their children to God. Teach them how to remain close to their children, even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray.

"For Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee."

St. Augustine
Happy Feasts of St. Augustine + St. Monica, two faithful Christians with passion and perseverance! Enjoy the day however you're able to celebrate!
Sarah

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This post Celebrating the Feasts of St. Monica + St. Augustine first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 26 August 2013



Today you can find me at Fine Linen + Purple!



Heyo lovely readers!

I promise I haven't fallen off the planet. I'm just attempting to get this house in some sort of order before summer ends, and our home-pre-schooling year begins. Whilst you wait for more posts here at Two Os + More, Today you can find me over at Fine Linen and Purple, a Catholic fashion blog, sharing a little about my love for thrifting! I'm super excited about this post since it's my 1st feature ever, so be sure to get over there and check it out and leave a comment. =)

Hope you are thoroughly enjoying your last days of summer!

Sarah









Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Today you can find me at Fine Linen + Purple! first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 26 August 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Blog Address Change!

Please note the name of the blog is the same, BUT the address has changed from:

twoortizesplusmore.blogspot.com

TO


Please update your readers + bookmarks accordingly!


Also, please bear with me as I make the changes across the board. The backlinks in ALL the posts as of right now do link to a redirect site. I'll be changing them slowly though. Also, if you want to help me out in a major way, go back to your favorite posts and Pin them again. All the old pins will have the old web address, and therefore, will no longer work. I'd greatly appreciate any help re-pinning posts with the new address. Thanks!




Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links.
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::
This post Blog Address Change! first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 19 August 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

7 Quick Takes :: the Catholic Church, the Blog, and me

So as you probably have noticed I haven't joined in for the weekly Quick Takes link-up since way back in March. However, I have several announcements, you know blog related, life related, and the like, so I thought this would be an easy way to shortly ("quick" as these are...) tell you about them!

Also feel free to hum this week's title to the tune of "Rainbow Connection" because I certainly am.






Probably the BIGGEST announcement for us is that we're beginning our journey to join the Catholic Church. This obviously is a life related happening though it'll change the blog in some ways as well, making it a more decidedly Catholic approach.

For all you who thought I was Catholic already, sorry to confuse you. I get that a lot. The church we've been attending for the past 15 years for me + 11 years for LegenDaddy, although Protestant, has been something of a CatholicLite type church. And in the past few years we've been making serious strides towards the Roman Catholic faith as we practice the Liturgical Calendar in our home and make a point to celebrate Church holidays and the Saints. 

For all of you who are Protestant, I'd love to talk further if you have any questions about our coming into full communion with Rome. Please feel free to e-mail or otherwise contact me, and I'd be happy to answer whatever I can! I will also be sharing what we learn along our path here on the blog.

So, that's our biggest news. No baby, but two new homes within a month. =) We'll be meeting with the Faith Formation director at our new parish in the next few weeks to see where we personally are at and how to proceed from here. I'm excited and a little nervous. Prayers would be super appreciated!




I'm rather slowly attempting some changes around here on the blog. Working on an 'about me' and a blog descriptor, both of which I am super horrible at. Please leave me ideas of anything you think gives a helpful description of what Two Os + More is all about. I'd so appreciate the help.




And another change on the blog is that I'll be changing the name on the webpage. I will give you alerts via Facebook, Twitter, and here on the blog as much as I can when I do officially make the change. But I wanted to warn you it is coming soon. I've been thinking of doing so for awhile, but it's now finally happening. 

Because I don't host my own site, there will be no warning page that says, "Go here now," but rather it'll just say "This page doesn't exist." So, be forewarned: I'm not closing the blog, just renaming the address.




And to go along with all that headache... two giveaways are on the horizon!

One promo and one self-hosted. Keep watch, and they will appear.  =)




Changes (cue song by David Bowie) beget horrible attitudes in my children. These past weeks have not only been non-stop with getting out of the old house, unpacking our new house, and getting used to a new church, but my boyOs are testing my patience in completely new ways. Maybe they can tell I'm already constantly frazzled?

B has forsaken his newfound talent of sleeping in his own bed all night, which has left me with a crick in my neck this whole past week. Not to mention, he's above and beyond grumpy more than half the time. 

Cue grumpy mom. 



On a happier note, I'm prepping to take Son #1 out for his first movie theater experience today. Oh my goodness, I may be as excited as he is. Memories of going to see Beauty and the Beast with my Mama and Star Wars (when it was re-released) with my Dad are floating in my head. So flippin' excited.

We're going to see Planes because what else do you take the worlds biggest Cars fan to? I saw this review of the film over on the NC Register and figured it would have more pros than cons. 




I wrap this up with an adorable photo of my boyOs once again enjoying our backyard annnnd a request for your prayers as we experience all these extreme, yet wonderful, changes. Thanks!


Don't forget to follow me on FB: Two Os Plus More and Twitter: @twoOsPlusMore to catch all the changes as they happen!



For more Quick Takes, check out Conversion Diary!


Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.
All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links.
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::
This post 7 Quick Takes :: the Catholic Church, the Blog, and me first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 17 August 2013


Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Favorites: Our New Home! {Vol. 19}


I posted a peek at our new house last week, but I figured since there's so much more to it that I might as well devote this week's 5 Favorites post to a visual peek at my favorite aspects of this new place. You know, besides the fact that there's no one beneath me banging on the ceiling...
Oh, and I'm keeping it real by not moving boxes and piles of stuffs from the frame. =)


{1.}


Our reading room, which in reality is a spare room off of the Master bedroom. I think perhaps it's meant to be a dressing room, but as I don't need a whole room devoted to a task that I barely get 5 minutes a day to do, we are instead going to use this extra room to store extra books and supply with mountains of pillows to lounge upon.

You can't say you're not jealous... 


The above photos are obviously lacking in pillows. Please add many in your imagination. Thanks.


{2.}

It's no secret that I LOVE our new backyard. It definitely deserves a spot in my Top 5 Faves. I'm just loving being able to step out of the back door into the grass. Heaven.


Also, I can read whilst the boys play outside. Every day. So much awesome.

Such a great change from our last place where we lived on the 2nd floor and the backyard was not only shared but also was wide open to the driveway and street.


{3.}

  
All the details. I love the oldness of our house (1920s?) and all the unique details that entails.



 Yup, that's a picture of our toilet paper. 



{4.}


                               

Closets! (To be sung in a lovely sing-songy pitch)
Oh my goodness - I didn't realize how much I missed the extra storage. We now have a linen closet, coat closet, and every bedroom has a usable closet. So much more than we had before. Though the Master bedroom closet only fits LegenDaddy's clothes, so I keep getting questions from Dom like: "Why are there all these dresses in my closet?"


{5.}



The light. Also not a small secret that I'm a lover of beautiful light. It's one of my musts when looking for somewhere to live. Being a photographer, light permeates most of my thoughts. I decorate and organize our belongings in relation to the natural light patterns.


I can say I'm perfectly content with the lovely rays that stream in my windows here.


Oh, and we have a working fireplace. Being August, it's not yet in my Top 5, but give it a few months, and it'll probably have to join. 


I'm certainly enjoying my new home, I hope you enjoyed this peek into part of it!

Sarah

Linking up with the ever fab MoxieWife today! 



Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Five Favorites: Our New Home! {Vol. 19} first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 16 August 2013

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