Valentine’s Day – What to Wear?

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you are wondering what to wear this year, I have two stylish outfits to help you decide.

I was inspired by AUrate to show you some perfect accessories to add a little extra to the outfits

LBD Style –


Maybe you’re going out to a nice dinner with your love, or maybe getting fancy with your girls. Either way, a Little Black Dress and pair of red heels are perfect for a fun Valentine evening out

Add a little extra to this outfit by pairing it with a gold necklace, ideas pictured below.


Black Stones Choker by Au Rate


Crossover Necklace by Au Rate

Simple Chic – 


Maybe you like to be a little more on the comfortable side. I love pairing a shirt dress with leggings, and comfortable flats. In fact, this might be my outfit for this Valentine’s Day! I love this one, with cute, red lip prints; a perfect design for this occasion. 

A shirt dress would also pair wonderfully with a necklace like the one suggested below.


Reverse Radiance Necklace by Au Rate

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! 

I’d love to see your Valentine or AUrate inspired outfit, use the hashtag #LeopardPrintLindsay on Instagram or Twitter to share them!

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Staying Stylish From Head To Toe: How To Have All Bases Covered


https://www.pexels.com/photo/beautiful-eyewear-fashion-female-285171/

Fashion can be a bittersweet interest. Not only do you want to look good in what you wear (and often feel comfortable too), you want to be able to feel as if you’re wearing the style well and staying ahead of style. Trends might come and go, but there are also so classic fashion staples that never go out of style. When you stick to what you know, what suits you and what you feel your best in, your style will always be on point. But, it never hurts to boost your look whenever you get the chance. If you feel like ensuring your look is polished from head to toe, covering off these go-to areas should help.

Stay Supported

First of all, you’re going to want to make sure that your outfit is supported as best as it can be by your underwear. If you’re not wearing the right underwear, it can often show and sometimes spoilt your finished look. So, when you pick out and outfit, you need to try it on beforehand with different kinds of underwear. And, if you haven’t got a style that suits, it’s time to head out to the lingerie department of your favourite store and pick up the perfect set. True style depends on it!

Cover Up

Then, taking us from the bottom straight to the top, we’ve got to talk outwear. Sometimes, you can ruin a really good outfit with a pour jacket choice. When you’re planning an outfit, you can often think of dresses or tops and pants as the entire package, but in reality, they’re the bread and butter. You need to make sure that whatever you’re wearing alongside your clothing choices not only work with them but set them off in style.

Swim Prim

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of heading to the pool when you’re at home, on vacation, it’s usually always a feature activity. So, you need to make sure you give your swimwear as much attention as you would the rest of your wardrobe. And no, that doesn’t mean just picking out a pretty bikini or swimsuit – you need to think of the entire package. That means shoes, bags and other accessories, along with coverups, hats and sunglasses are included! Every item counts.


https://www.pexels.com/photo/girl-woman-sunshine-person-7307/ 

Live And Lounge

Outside of the house, you can often feel like a different person to when you’re at home and in your sweats. And that might be okay for some, but what if you were to get an unexpected visitor, or you had an emergency and you had to go out – wouldn’t you want to look your best? When you’re at home, it’s understandable that you want to be comfortable, but you can be stylish at the same time. When you’re lounging around, invest in chic and cozy loungewear, like styles made by Vanilla Night & Day lingerie, to feel good and look it too.

Sleep Tight

Similarly to lounging around the house, you’ve also got the option to stay fashion-conscious when you sleep. Again, the comfort factor is important here, but there is a wide range of nightwear options that look incredible and will facilitate your sweet dreams. Pajamas don’t have to be ugly, they can be chic, cute, or anything you want. And if you’re on a style hunt, it would seem silly not to cover off your sleepwear.

Hose Away

When you put an outfit together, you can often come to terms with correcting your underwear issues, but it’s easy to forget about those underwear accessories that count – pantyhose. Not everyone loves them, but depending on the look you’re going for, they can add a certain effect that nothing else can. If you’re not sure what style of pantyhose will suit you, or go with what you’re planning on wearing, then it will help to read up. This guide to pantyhose will certainly help. But, it’s important that you feel comfortable in your choice, so try out a few different styles first to see which works.

Don’t Leave Them Out

And, while we’re making this all about you, it might be an idea to focus on the little ones too. When you’re trying to pull a full look together, what your baby or children wear is just as important. Not only do you want them to look cute, but it can be super fun to style them up too. Having a stylish child doesn’t have to be a battle, you can keep cute clothes for special occasions and ensure they stay stain-free when it counts.

Fun Things To Do With Friends This Summer


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Now we’re all grown up, it’s hard to recapture that ‘school’s out for summer’ feeling. Remember when school closed and the holidays stretched on and on? Though we can’t go back in time, we can still have fun. Get together with a group of your girlfriends this summer and try some of these activities.

 

  1. Road Trip

A road trip is something that everyone should experience at least once. And what better way to do this than with a group of your BFFs. Throw your bags in the trunk, load up some tunes, and you’re off.

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  1. Camping

Camping is a great way to experience new places at a fairly low cost. Campsites are so much cheaper than hotel rooms. And you get to sleep beneath the stars and cook on a campfire. Combine your trip with a festival to make the most of it. There are plenty of events to choose from like these festivals.

 

  1. Shopping

Shopping is always fun but never more so than when you’re with your friends. Rather than heading to the mall or your local town, do something a bit different. Drive or get the train out to a different town and hit the shops. If you’re a little cash poor, then set yourselves a budget. See who can get the best haul for $20.


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  1. Movie Night

Set up a regular movie night and take turns to host it. The host gets to pick the film and must provide refreshments. Keep it simple with chips and dips or go for something more elaborate. Or treat your friends to some of your home cooking.

 

  1. Rent A Cottage

Rent a house or cottage for the weekend. Drive out to somewhere rural or remote and stay for a few days. Choose somewhere with plenty to do and see. You can then decide whether to explore or stay close to home. This is always a fun thing to do before someone gets married. It reinforces the bond you have before the bride’s life changes.


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  1. Pamper Day

Who doesn’t enjoy being pampered? But doing it with friends adds a whole new dimension. Book a spa or massage and spend the day relaxing. Choose somewhere with a pool and other leisure facilities. Make the most of your time. If a full spa day is out of your budget, then opt for a manicure or facial massage instead.

 

  1. Cook A Meal 

Gather your friends together and cook them a slap-up meal. Really go to town, serving different courses and wine. Complete the meal with a sumptuous and indulgent dessert.

  1. Hang Out

Remember when you just went to each other’s homes and hung out? Nothing much was achieved, least of all homework. You just talked endlessly. Rekindle this by inviting a few friends round. Talk, have fun, drink some wine.



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  1. Set Up A Culture Day

Set aside a day or afternoon where you can explore everything your local town has to offer. Visit a museum or art gallery. See what’s showing at the theater.

 

  1. Do Something Different

And lastly, try something completely different. Step outside of your comfort zone and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Who knows, it may become your new ‘thing.’

Kind Ways to Treat Your Friends and Show Your Appreciation

Friendship is important to me, as it is to most people. Your friends are there for you in hard times, and in good ones too. So sometimes you just need to show your best friends that you appreciate them. Treating them to a gift or a day out doesn’t have to be something you only do on their birthday. You can do something kind for them just because, so they know that you love them. If you want to do something for a friend but you’re short on ideas, have a look at the suggestions below for some inspiration.

Feed Them

People say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But the truth is that everyone likes good food, regardless of their gender. Even better than delicious food is free food, especially when a friend is treating you. Next time you go out to lunch or dinner with your friend, offer to cover their meal for them. Invite them along as your treat, with no expectation that they will pay you back, or it will be their turn next time. If your budget can’t stretch to a meal, coffee and cake on you will always be a welcome treat. And, of course, you can cook at home too.


 Image from Pexels

Pamper Them

Everyone loves a good pampering. It’s often seen as a girly thing, but even your guy friends can enjoy a massage or a proper shave. If you love spa days, take your friend along so you can relax together. You might think it would be better for them to go to the spa whenever they want to. In that case, spoiling a friend with a beauty gift voucher is the way to go. They can spend their voucher whenever they have the time to use it. And they can choose their treatments on their own terms too.

Get Them a Gift

Presents will always be welcome, but they’re often only given on special occasions. You don’t need to wait for Christmas or their birthday to treat your friend. If you see something that makes you think of them, you can get it for them just to be nice. Of course, that doesn’t mean buying extravagant gifts all the time, which would be a bit strange. It can just be small things you think they would like. Maybe they’ve been feeling down, or you want to say thank you for something.

Do Something Helpful

Everyone has times of stress when they’re dealing with a lot. Being there for someone when they have to go through tough times is part of being a good friend. There are many times when you can do something to help them out. For example, if they’re ill, you could go grocery shopping for them or do a bit of cleaning. Sometimes doing something for someone is a much better treat than a physical gift.
Don’t wait for an excuse to be nice to your friends. Treat them to something because you love them, and they’re there for you.


–This post has been contributed.–

Wedding Jewelry Styling Tips

If the countdown to your big day is officially on, it’s time to think about the details. You may have your dress, hair and makeup sorted, but have you thought about your wedding day jewelry? Here are some simple styling tips to make your dress shine and create the perfect finishing touches.

 

Earrings

Earrings are a wedding staple and they can really bring a look together. The style of earrings you go for will usually depend on the look of your dress. If your dress is very simple, you can go to town with accessories. If your dress is colored, patterned or has an ornate design, it’s best to opt for something understated. It’s also a good idea to think about the neckline. Studs work well with high necks while teardrop earrings look beautiful with strapless styles. Match the metal to your engagement ring and wedding band. Pearls are a popular choice for vintage lace dresses while diamonds set in platinum work well with clean-cut, modern designs.

 Image by https://www.flickr.com/photos/fancy-diamonds/5511634443


 

Necklaces

Necklaces can be a perfect addition to your wedding day look. If your dress is strapless or Bardot style, a very simple, delicate chain is an ideal choice. If you have a high neck, you may not need a necklace and it may be better to go for some drop earrings. If your dress is very plain and you want to bring it to life, make more of a statement with your neckwear. Go for a showstopping pearl choker for an old-fashioned, romantic dress or a statement collar for a contemporary design.

 Image from https://pixabay.com/en/photos/pearl%20necklace/


 

Rings

Rings are all-important on your wedding day. During the ceremony, wear your engagement ring on the other hand. Once your new husband has placed your wedding ring on your finger, you can then swap over and enjoy the sight of both rings together for the first time. Choose a wedding band, which matches and complements your engagement ring. If you have a large or intricate engagement ring, pair it with a simple band. If you have a custom-made ring, for example, one from Tacori, you may wish to design your own band. Most couples choose to have matching bands, but you don’t have to go down this route. Try some different styles and see what you prefer.

 Image via https://pixabay.com/en/photos/wedding%20rings/


 

Bracelets and bangles

If you have a strapless or sleeveless dress, you may be thinking about adding a bracelet. Match the style of the bracelet to your dress and any other jewelry you are wearing. If you have pearl earrings, for example, choose a simple string of pearls for your wrist.

 Image credit https://pixabay.com/en/photos/bracelet/


Accessories can bring your dress to life and complete a stunning bridal look. When you have your final fittings, take some jewelry with you and try some different looks out for size. Add or take away pieces until you find the perfect balance. Remember that less is more when it comes to accessories, especially if you have an eye-catching dress. Your jewelry should complement our gown, rather than stealing the show.

 

–This post has been contributed–

Top Tips for Acing Your Photography Skills

Pexels

Having great photography skills can be a real bonus. You can be the one snapping everyone at parties, creating wonderful memories! And this hobby could even turn into a profession. If you can hone your skills, you could try making a living as a wedding photographer or bag a photographer job at your local newspaper. But how do you refine your photography? Here are some top tips for acing your skills.

Go Back To School

One of the best ways to get better with your camera is to enroll at your local Photography School. Courses can be anything from a couple of weeks long to a whole year. If you have time, you could even think about going back to university and signing up for an undergraduate course in photography. As part of your course, experts will take you through the basics. They’ll also teach you all the various technological theories behind photography. You’ll come away knowing how to take great still life and action shots!

Keep Your Backgrounds Clean

One of the main things that make or breaks a photo is the background. One of the number one rules of photography is to remember to keep your backgrounds clean and free from clutter. This means there shouldn’t be too many distracting things behind the subject. Otherwise, these will take the viewer’s eye away from what they should really be looking at.

Remember Your Camera Isn’t Your Eye

Your eye has a better dynamic range than your camera, no matter how good it is. This means it can see different lights at different times. It allows us to see dark objects against a bright background. However, your camera is unable to do this. So bear this in mind when shooting in bright light. Just because you can see your subject perfectly, doesn’t mean your camera can.

Find Your Very Own Style

It is very important to find your very own style of photography. This will set you apart from the crowd! Try and let your personality come out through the picture and to find a style that no one else is doing. It is also a good idea to specialize in one type of photography. Think about whether you’d prefer to take portraits, landscape shots, or still life. Rather than trying to take pictures of everything, picking one speciality will let you concentrate on it. You’ll have a better chance of getting good quickly if you pick just one specialty!

Practice, Practice, Practice!

There is one thing you can’t escape – practice makes perfect! Don’t expect to be a fantastic photographer the very first time you pick up a camera. It will take time to develop your skills and become a competent and confident photographer. Don’t try and rush this process, though. It’s a long process, one that will be full of mistakes at the beginning! You should also show your pictures to your friends and family. They will be able to give you their feedback and offer you some advice.

Now it’s time to get snap happy!

-This post has been contributed-

Guest Post – Hair, Hair, and Hilarity by Peggy Geerhart

Peggy is one of those women who is simply gifted, and doing exactly what she was created to do – hair. Below, Peggy talks of how she got started into doing hair, and shares what some of her favorite moments have been so far.

Enjoy!


Hair, Hair, and Hilarity by Peggy Geerhart

Hold on to your butts. This is gonna be a long one.
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a hairstylist. I can’t explain it. It’s simply what I always wanted to do.

It took me a bit longer to get there (I was at least 25 when I went to school and had 2 kiddos) but I did. That’s where I met our lovely Lindsay. We started school together on the same day. She was open to my immediate and insistent chatter and the rest is history!

So here I am 15ish years later. A busy and specialized hair stylist in the Willamette Valley. I made it. I followed my dream and you know what? It IS exactly what I thought it would be! I meet new people all the time. I’ve developed some amazing friends from all over the world. I’ve traveled across the US for training with world known hairstylists. I’ve done the hair for our President’s own sister-in-law for a People magazine photo shoot. (You KNOW I still have that particular issue!) I’ve done 1st haircuts ever, proms, locks of love, updates and new changes, and weddings. Oh,weddings!

  
See, the thing is that my clients usually, at one time or another, ask me what my favorite part of doing hair is. The answer is usually dependent on what I’m doing at that moment. If I’m foiling and coloring then that will likely be my answer. If my sheers are sliding and snipping through the ends of your hair then THAT is the answer. The thing is, though, I think I would give it all up if I could just do formal styling all the time. I love updos (and downdo’s) and more specifically I love weddings! 

The hair is my part and I’m not too humble to say that I do it well. But the the entirety of it is just wonderful. I love seeing all the emotions the bride and her “people” experience from the 1st time she calls me to ask for a consultation (I get stupid giddy when I hear “I’m getting married”) to her walking down that aisle. (I mean how beautiful is that?) I love hearing about the pretty details about the ceremony and reception (and I really do need to know about them if I am to understand your taste, preference, and expectations for the day. Awesome perk for me, right?) I, also, truly care about those funny stories about your great aunt who, without your knowledge, invites every “cousin” you’ve never heard of to your $25 each plate dinner reception. Those are personal and wonderful details.

But do you know what I love the most? It’s my bride. Simply … the bride.

  
(Side note, this is Peggy and I’s mutual friend, Kristen, isn’t she gorgeous?! Okay, back to Peggy’s post.)

I love her excitement and happiness. I love her confusion and wonder. I love her questions and suggestions. I’m so honored to be chosen as a part of her team.

Do you wanna know a secret, though?

I truly, honestly, and completely love the unexpected moments. The funny mishaps. Basically, … the embarrassing stuff.

I, once, had a bride that forgot to bring her photo inspiration to our practice session. The only way she knew how to describe the Elizabeth Taylor style swoopy soft side bangs was to say “You know, like Conan O’Brien bangs!” I, literally, whined: “Please don’t make me give you Conan O’Brien bangs for your wedding.”

I had a bride that brought an old, flimsy, light blue banana clip to wear in her style because she needed “something blue”. (I was able to improvise something blue for her and NOT use a banana clip in her wedding style.)

  
I had a bride that had nerves that caused loud, uncontrollable, burping while we she was getting her hair done.

There was a bridesmaid, in my chair, one summer that had to get up several times to vomit because she was so hungover from the rehearsal dinner the night before.

Another bride was concerned that the curls in her hair was making her hair too short. She refused the option of clip in extensions for the ceremony because she didn’t want it to “look too fake”. she immediately asked, after refusing that suggestion, if there was a way we could tape her curls to her breasts to keep the length pinned in place. (It was my turn to refuse that option. I am not in the habit of taping hair to boobs.)

  
I’ve had several brides on the edge of passing out.

Only one bride described herself as a bridezilla. When it came to wedding day she refused to speak. She didn’t want to be “that” bride. Literal silence.

One bride wore nothing but panties while I did her hair. No Shirt. No bra. No robe. Just panties.(I’m not uncomfortable with nudity and I’ve been around when almost every party has changed in to their dresses but this one was a little more casual about it than most. I give her props for her comfort!)

BUT I have had EVERY bride be beautiful, prepared,and deliriously happy at the altar.
I am so lucky to love what I do.

ps: Our very own LeopardPrintLindsay may or may not be one of the brides that I listed above.

pps: She is.

  
(Yes, that’s me dancing with my Dad on my wedding day; with gorgeous hair thanks to my Peggy!)

Guest Post – How To Dress Well, Without Spending Too Much

I am very excited, and thankful, for this guest post. Andrew Hardy found me on Facebook and Instagram and reached out interested in guest posting. 

His first post is “right up my alley”, and even better, is geared toward men. Men’s fashion has been a growing and trending subject over the last few years; and I, for one, am thankful. I greatly appreciate a male who takes care, time and thought in putting an outfit together. 

Below, Andrew delves into the wonderful world of suits. Men of the world, it’s time to take note!

How To Dress Well Without Spending Too Much

My name is Andrew Hardy. I am an Image Consultant and my mission is to connect people with great advice and even greater clothes. Today a fashion blogger is paid between $5k and $50k dollars to review fashion houses such as, Gucci , Prada , Armani , Versace , Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel and Ferragamo. My goal is to show the common man how to dress well enough to mingle in these circles without spending a fortune in time and money, and to show those with a fortune to spend how to spend it well – in short, without letting the designers “shank your bank”!
  
Just a short walk from this storefront Is a little street called Savile Row. You may buy a fully bespoke suit at any one of the houses on Savioe Row for about the same as an off the peg suit by Gucci. If you have a few thousand dollars to spend on a suit I would definitely recommend starting with bespoke. A bespoke tailor will measure you and draft a pattern from these measurements. The suit will then be cut to your specification from a fabric of your choosing. The fabrics sourced by Savile Row tailors are second to none, and they will upstage a designer suit any day. The best part is that it will fit. I can’t think of anything more repulsive than seeing a man who has spent $2k-$3k on a suit that has dimples on the shoulders, divots in the sleeve heads and a collar that sits up off the neck as if it were made of cardboard.

For those of us on a stricter budget, I would recommend starting in a department store. Macy’s, Dillard’s and Nordstrom will often have someone who can measure you and tell you roughly what size suit you should wear. The suits you find in these stores are manufactured and shipped to each facility for $24 to $37 per suit. This is why I try to never spend more than $150-$200 on a wool or wool/viscose suit. I do not suggest buying one of these suits, unless you can afford another $60-$70 in alterations. My personnal suggestion is to find a good tailor.

If this is still too rich for your blood, you can try a resale boutique or second hand store. Often you can find a premium wool suit worn only a few times for $12-$50. Keep in mind fit is key. Shoulder and upper sleeve alterations are the most expensive, and little too big is better than too small. A good tailor will be able to make this look fantastic. Remember, a moderately stylish suit that fits well, is a world better than a expensive suit that fits poorly.

Guest Post – Big Brother


There are many reasons to love summer. Warm days, longer nights, ice cream, the general feel of a more relaxed time, and the return of reality TV show: Big Brother.

This show started many seasons ago on CBS, and I not only enjoy it for the entertainment factor, but because I know my dear friend, Peggy, will be watching as well. We greatly enjoy spending the summer chatting about episodes, competitions, and of course, spoilers!

I am so touched that she decided to guest post this week and share why she loves the show:

My name is Peggy and I am a Big Brother-holic.

I have not always been a BBHolic. I, once, enjoyed a full, busy, summer season outside and with others.

I remember my first episode. It was early in the 4th season. That’s right. Fourth. It is now the 17th season. That’s 12 years (12 summers and one magical winter {thank you, writer’s strike ’07/’08!}.) of being hopelessly addicted to Big Brother.

I’m not even sure how I ended up on that channel that fateful summer evening but I was hooked immediately. I mean, really, how could I not be? Who were these people? What did I miss? Seemingly one of these “houseguests” aka HG’s was just kicked out. Like, scandalously KICKED OUT. Not the normal weekly eviction kind that was apparently scheduled to happen later that week. Oh, yeah. Later that week because BB doesn’t mess around. It’s on THREE times every week all summer long! AND! And there are cameras that are filming the entire time the HG’s are residing in there. Meaning this program truly is live and REALLY “reality”. You can, actually, pay CBS to watch these cameras 24/7! All access, baby! That’s right! If I so choose I can pay to watch neurotic and narcissistic people eat, sleep, compete, argue, make out, drink, drank, drunk and repeat!

But I digress.

Season 4. Violent outburst. Houseguest kicked out. SCANDAL!

Girls are bffs. Boys are best bros.Secretly the girls and boys used to date outside of the house. (They all think they have this secret advantage.) Wait. WHAT?!? Jun and Jee used to date?? NO!! Erika and Robert?? I don’t believe it!

I. am. hooked.

Season 5 is even better! Project DNA: Do Not Assume. Oh, please! Tell me MORE!

There are actually twins playing as one HG this season. The sisters secretly swap locations (one is segregated completely while the other is in the house playing the game) until a predesignated week when they both get to enter the house and play the game together and individually. They fool EVERYONE. Also, there are biological siblings in the house. The catch? They don’t know this because daddy never told them about each other! DELICIOUS!

Season 6 was juicy. Some of my personal favorite HG’s (I’m looking at you Janelle and Howie!) were this season. Honestly, the whole group was smart and competitive and I have trouble picking one out. I would like to point out that this is the group that caused the change in the free flowing booze option. I suspect you can imagine how good the drama was to illicit this particular change!

Season 7 was All-Stars. I mean, how perfect is that?? The best of the best and the most dramatic of the dramatic all back in the house. Together!

Dr. Will and, his “Chill Town” partner, Mike “Boogie” dominated All-Stars. Apparently, they owned season 2, also, and played the game exactly the same way all over again. (I’m still sad that I missed that season.) All-Stars is, obviously, THE. BEST.

(Dr. Will and Mike “Boogie”, “Chill Town”)

The next few seasons aren’t particularly noteworthy. Well, if you consider bikini baristas, estranged father/daughter duos, real born relationships (we’re talking eventual marriage and babies, here) and porn stars as “not noteworthy”, anyways.

So, now, here we are at season 17. This was a rough start. We’re beginning week 7 right now and the game is finally picking up. Of the, record setting, 17 HG’s I believe that there are MAYBE half a dozen game players in the house. It’s been frustrating watching a power couple (awww aren’t they cute being all cuddly?!?! GAG!) not play the game and still continue to run the house. Week 6 changed up the dynamic a bit and I’m finally curious about the eventual outcome of the game. As of now, I believe, that the professional poker player has this game in the bag. I kinda hope not, though. I have a weird crush on the Bobcat Goldthwait sounding dentist. Don’t judge. He’s great and I think he’s playing the game intentionally and smartly. There are others that are starting to peak my interest, too. I guess this season isn’t a total wash.

Is it Sunday, yet?

*twitch*

(“Johnny Mac”)