One Tunic, Three Ways!

Oh, how I love wardrobe pieces that can be worn multiple ways! I love these pieces even more when they are flattering and affordable! You will find lots of pieces like this from from my favorite local boutique, Sweet P & Fi! Today I’m featuring my new favorite: a black long-sleeve tunic with side button detail!

(We’re working with indoor pictures thanks to a lovely ice storm, so bear with me. I miss the sunshine!)

Basic AND beautiful! I love this piece on it’s own because black is always a good idea. The buttons and asymmetrical hem give it just the right amount of visual interest, but don’t make it too complicated. The thin weight allows it be layered in the winter and worn solo into the spring!

Black tunics should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe because they can be worn SO many ways! This one from Sweet P & Fi is only $26 so it won’t blow your clothing budget! Let’s take a look at a few other ways to wear it…

The Everyday Look

Comfy, cozy, classic. I’ll call this my “mom-on-the-go” look, but you don’t have to be a mom to rock it! Target skinny cargos, Minnetonka moccasins, and a great fashionABLE scarf are all you need for this everyday look.

The Day Out Look

Let’s go shopping! This would be a fun look for shopping with my mom and sister or having coffee with girlfriends. We’re supposed to hit temps in the 50s later this week – this fabulous vest (also from Sweet P & Fi) would be just enough to layer over the tunic and keep me warm! Distressed jeans, riding boots, and a black floppy hat pull everything together.

The Date Night Look

Time to get a little sassy with gold leggings and heels for a night out with my main man! This is such an easy AND comfortable look, but it has just the right amount of edge and bling to make your date night special. We could all use an excuse to wear gold leggings, right?!

The black tunic goes with ANYTHING and everything. At $26 you just can’t pass this up! But wait…I also have a discount for you! Use the code Home20 to get 20% off your entire Sweet P & Fi order! That makes the tunic just $20.80 and shipping is always free! Grab that fabulous wrap vest while you’re over there at 20% off, too!

Don’t miss out on this 20% off deal! The Home20 code is only good for one week! Have fun shopping the already great pieces and prices at Sweet P & Fi with a little extra discount on me!

What’s your favorite black tunic look?

 

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Get a Fresh Start with Free Products from Grove!

This post contains referral links. I received product from Grove Collaborative to review for this post.

This year is all about a fresh start for us. We moved into a brand new home on December 30th and rang in 2017 surrounded by unpacked boxes, but so grateful and happy to be settling in.

A new year, a new home, a new outlook not clouded by the uncertainty of building timetables and moving dilemmas. I’m breathing a lot easier these days. Making this house into our home as we kick off a new year just feels right. And with a fresh start in a new home, I want to be using things that make it feel clean and fresh and wonderful.

Enter Grove Collaborative.

I had a monthly shipment arrive the week we moved in – a box full of pure joy! Who knew I could be so excited about dish soap and toilet bowl cleaner?

These are a few of my other Grove favorites! I take the cleansing towelettes everywhere – traveling, the gym, and even use them in the evenings before bed! The hand sanitizer spray is super convenient and the hand cream smells LOVELY. The best part of all – everything shows up on my doorstep!

I was skeptical about Grove Collaborative at first, but I have been completely won over by their natural selection, great customer service, and wonderful deals. I want you to give it a try and this Fresh Start offer is a GREAT time to begin your Grove experience!

Right now, when you sign up for Grove and place your first order of $20 you’ll get this Fresh Start offer for free:

  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s lotion
  • Free Grove Collaborative Enamel Cleaning Caddy
  • Free Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges
  • Free shipping

Can you believe that? $40 of free product with first order! I’m pretty giddy about all the Mrs. Meyer’s products, especially the exclusive hand lotion!

If you’re already a Grove customer, you’ll get a free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap with your next order when you use my link here

Choose your favorite scent — honeysuckle, lemon verbena, or lavender — when you check out. These brand new lotions are only available at Grove, so don’t miss out on your chance to try them! The offer ends January 15th at 6PM PT and supplies are limited. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the Fresh Start Kit for free when you sign up!
  2. Answer 4 quick questions about your home that Grove Collaborative will then use to customize your first basket — this takes under 30 seconds!
  3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items.
  4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box.
  5. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.

Once you have submitted your Grove order, you’ll be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you’ll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. (I decided to keep the VIP membership after my trial ended, and I can say it’s well worth it! It has paid for itself in free shipping alone.)

Remember, there are only a limited number of free kits, so place your first order and get your free kit before they are gone!

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Friendships and Books and New Things!

This post contains affiliate links.

Wow. That was a LONG blogging hiatus! I’ve missed this space!

If you follow me on any social media (@homewiththeboys everywhere), you know that we were in the process of building a house this fall. We just moved into the new house on December 30th, so life is starting to finally settle back into a normal rhythm. It feels SO good. I’ll be doing a couple house tours once all of our furniture is here, but for now, I have other fun news!

I am in a book! Yes, a real book! A book that will be on bookstore shelves and on Amazon has my words in it!

I was incredibly honored to be asked to write a chapter in the very first book published by (in)courage, which is all about one of my favorite topics – friendship.

Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement features the writing of 29 of my favorite internet (and real life) friends. Reading their stories of community has given me so much inspiration and encouragement – I can’t wait for you to read it!

This feels like a different take on women and friendship for me because it features many voices – introverts, extroverts, mothers, wives, single women, women in ministry, working women, women who have been hurt by other women, and women who find their true purpose in friendships with other women. And every single one of them loves the Lord, our true foundation for all meaningful relationships. I sincerely believe every woman can connect with at least one of the heartfelt chapters in this book and benefit from the accompanying challenges.

 

My chapter is based around the story of Ruth and Naomi and my own long-term friendship with my friend, Janna. When you’ve been friends since second grade and made it through all the ups and downs of middle school, girl drama, going off to college, and living in different places for the past 18 years, you know you have something special. Our friendship did not always involve our faith, but it has grown richer and more meaningful than I could have ever imagined because we now share a love for Jesus. It was pure joy to share our story of loyalty and growth. I pray that this chapter encourages you to be the loyal friend you’ve always wanted.

I’m writing about this lovely book because Craving Connection releases today! Yes, you can buy it today! I have the actual physical book in my hands and it’s just wonderful. I know you and your friends will be blessed by it, so grab your copy today! Make sure you’re also following along with (in)courage because they have SO many fun things planned to go along with this book birthday!

Here’s a challenge for today: think of a friend who has truly blessed you. What about her has been the biggest blessing to you – their humor, honesty, loyalty, something else? Leave a comment here with your answer and then tell that friend what you appreciate about her! YOU will be a big blessing to HER with your gratitutde!

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Five Fashion Friday Favorites!

This post contains affiliate links.

You had to know this Fashion Friday with Cents of Style would be a special one because it is Black Friday! This week’s amazing deal is not on one item or two items. There are FIVE fabulous customer favorites on sale today, so take a quick break from your Gilmore Girls marathon to check them out:

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You just need the code BACKINBLACK16 to get 40% these five items AND free shipping on your order! Here’s a closer look at each piece on sale:

The Annabelle Cardigan

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The Annabelle Cardigan is just $17.97 on this sale! It comes in sizes small-3XL and 18 different colors! I have the navy and sized up to a medium because I like my cardigans to be a little more roomy. I am VERY happy with the larger size, so consider your preference and check the size chart before ordering!

The Dempsey Beanie

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The Dempsey Beanie is a warm beanie with great texture that comes in 16 different colors! The beanie is only $10.77 with the BACKINBLACK16 code!

The Brayden Blanket Scarf

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A classic, cozy blanket scarf that will be the perfect accessory to your holiday outfits for only $12.57? Yep! And those booties are on sale, too…

Moccasin Bootie Boot

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Look how well all these items go together! The moccasin bootie boot with fun details is available in two colors and is on sale for only $19.77 shipped!

Cassie Herringbone Coat

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I had not seen this herringbone coat until this sale and I’m in LOVE. It looks so versatile and classic. I can’t even believe it’s only $25.77 with the code BACKINBLACK2016 today!

These items have all been HUGE hits in the past, so shop early and grab your favorites before they sell out of your size and color!

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My Favorite Black Friday Sale of All Starts Now!

This post contains affiliate links.

I know this is a busy time of year, so I’m just going to get right to it: my favorite Black Friday sale of the year is back and I have to show you some of my favorites!

DaySpring is currently running a sitewide 30% off sale which means EVERYTHING on the site is 30% off! Use the code FRIDAY16 to get 30% off cards, journals, home decor, and great gift ideas for the whole family.

There are a few exceptions to this 30% off sale, but that’s only because the items in the Black Friday specials section are marked down up to 60%! A few of my faves from this amazing sale:

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These GORGEOUS wooden candlestick holders are normally $60 for the set, but they are marked down to just $25 right now!

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Love Does is one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read, so I think this Love Does set makes the perfect gift. These four items – calendar, journal, mug, and gift bag – are only $15 total during this sale!

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If you are a creative person or have one on your gift list, this starter set for creative bible journaling would make an amazing present. Illustrated Faith has been very popular on DaySpring, so these sets will go fast at just $60 (normally $89.98)!

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We LOVE the Letterpress block set we have in our home and there are several sets on sale during Black Friday. This “Jesus” set retails for $48, but it’s only $15 right now! $15!

Amazing deals, right?! You don’t have to wait for Black Friday to score some great sale items – shop DaySpring now! You’ll also want to stay tuned because more sale items will be coming your way in just a few days! I’ll be sharing them all so you don’t miss a thing!

Happy shopping! Let me know if you have any questions about the sale or items – we own so many DaySpring items that I’m starting to be an expert!

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Just Be Kind

This post contains affiliate links.

We pray every day on the way to school. The boys share prayer requests and I pray. As he has gotten older, the youngest developed quite the long list of prayer requests he likes to share. This year, he added this prayer to his daily requests:

“That the boys and I would be good friends to others.”

I’m feeling the weight of the world this week with all the negativity and meanness floating around amongst adults, but when he shares that hope and prayer in his sweet four-year-old voice, I can’t help but feel lighter.

To be clear, I don’t think we have to be friends with everyone, but in his heart and mine is this plea to all of humanity:

JUST BE KIND.

That’s all I want. Disagree, stand up for your beliefs, defend your rights, but I beg you to do it in a civil manner and treat one another with kindness.

Just be kind. We can do this, friends.

Want to spread the message of kindness with me? The “Be Series” from Cents of Style is just the way to do it and it is all on sale today!

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I shared my “Be Brave” tee and story before, but I think it’s time to add this “Be Kind” sweatshirt to my closet! Yep – there are sweatshirts now and they are fabulous!

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The whole “Be Series” is 50% off this weekend with the code BESERIES1 at checkout! This includes tees, sweatshirts, bracelets, and brand new designs! I’m grabbing a sweatshirt for less than $20 and shipping is always free!

Be kind. Be the good. Take some time to be still this weekend. And spread the word of the message you love most by grabbing it on sale and wearing it for all to see! Remember – this weekend only, use the code BESERIES1 for 50% off and free shipping!

Which “BE” message is your favorite and why?

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Thankful, Grateful, Blessed, and a FREE Tee!

I received this shirt to review. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

Do you know what these words make me feel?

These three words make me feel cozy. Warm and fuzzy.

Maybe it’s because we talk a lot in the fall about thankful, but I think it goes deeper than that.

Gratitude does not come naturally to us. It is something we must practice frequently in order to make it a more regular part of our lives. I became more fully aware of just how little I was giving thanks for the things around me when I first encountered the writings of Ann Voskamp. Her simple, but powerful idea of counting the gifts in our days changed everything.

Here is what I found: when I am deliberately looking for the gifts in my life AND giving thanks for them, I can’t help but be filled with joy. I feel warm and cozy, wrapped in the knowledge that God’s love is everywhere in my life, present in sunrise and dishes dirtied by my children and the kiss from my husband as he gets home from work.

When I’m giving thanks, I am lighter, not weighed down by the stress, but lifted by gratitude. This changes not only how I feel, but how I act:

“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” – Ann Voskamp

I can tell you that in this season of life, the thanksgiving has slowed greatly as busyness takes its place. It shows up in how I feel and how I treat those around me. Then this shirt showed up on my doorstep:

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I think Cents of Style has been reading my mind because I just had to smile and know God was sending me a message with this shirt. The answer to happiness isn’t in doing more or having more – it’s in the gratitude for what we already have surrounding us. I started looking for gifts and wouldn’t you know? I felt warm and cozy and happy because I have so much to be thankful for, even in a stressful season.

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“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.” – Ann Voskamp

This is it, friends. We give thanks because it shifts our focus off of us and gives glory to God, and then comes the miracle – we are changed. Thanksgiving isn’t just a day on the calendar – it is an every day act that will transform us.

And this shirt? You can get it FREE today!

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Sorry. I get a little excited about Cents of Style deals. This weekend, when you spend $25, you will get this tee FREE!

Here’s how it works:

  • Find products you love (jewelry, clothes, shoes, whatever you have to have) and add them to your cart.
  • When the cart totals $25 or more, add the Thankful Grateful Blessed shirt from the Fashion Friday page to the cart.
  • Hit Checkout.
  • Put the code THANKFUL1 in the “Gift Card or Discount Code” Box to make your t-shirt FREE!

Remember: the code is THANKFUL1 and it will make this brand new t-shirt FREE with any $25 purchase, + FREE SHIPPING! Anything on the Cents of Style site is fair game – any purchase that totals $25 qualifies for the free t-shirt!

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Pick out $25 of great items, grab your free tee, and let’s practice gratitude together right now!

What are you thankful for today?

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Those First Years

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

I’ve been through that first year with a little one three times. Thanks to WaterWipes, I’ve spent a little time thinking back on those first years. Each of my sons’ first years had lots in common, but they were also so different for me AND for them.

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The first “first year” was full of new things for all of us. Every milestone was a first for our son, but also for us as parents. The first feeding, first diaper change, first time getting peed on during a diaper change – and that was just the first day! I remember lots of exhaustion, but I also remember being in awe of this little person and the fact that he was ours.

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The responsibility was weighty, but it also brought my husband and I together as a team like nothing before it. We were raising this little man and we couldn’t do it without one another. Marriage united us, but parenting together that first year elevated our teamwork to a whole new level. Of all the firsts – foods and words and steps – being parents together for the first time might have been my favorite part.

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The second “first year,” with our second son, was a whole new world. With a two-year-old holding much of our attention, this little one learned to fall asleep on his own much faster and had built in entertainment AND competition from his older brother. We had joyful firsts, but we also had challenging firsts – our first experience with reflux and a teething nursing baby – YIKES! Where my husband and I solidified our unity during our first son’s first year, with #2, I was learning how to be a stay-at-home mom. And I started a blog. This blog. That first year of blogging is a whole different story…

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There was a longer gap between the second and third child, so I almost felt like I was starting over! Our third son’s first year was a little stressful as it involved moving to a new city, job change, and homeschool. When I think back on it now, though, our third little boy brought so much joy and laughter during that first year. Our oldest son was too young to remember when his middle brother was a baby, so both him and our middle son were fascinated by all the new things their youngest brother was doing! Remember that awe I talked about with our first son? I could see it on the faces of our older two boys when the littlest started to crawl, took on the stairs (way too early), and started forming words.

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How can it be ten years since that first year? When I think back on it all, it can be a blur, but it’s been a beautiful, messy, wonderful blur of life with these boys of ours. These memories helped me realize that it didn’t matter where we were or what we had during those first years. What mattered was this family and realizing those boys needed and loved us more than anything else. And we love them even more.

I’m thankful that WaterWipes is taking the time to discuss, celebrate, and bring transparency to baby’s first year. Take a look at this fabulous video from WaterWipes and moms just like you and me:

This is just another reason I love WaterWipes. Their product is pure and perfect for the first years that we are remembering and celebrating here! Whether you’re in that first year or down the parenting road a ways, WaterWipes can keep you and your kids clean in the simplest, purest way (99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract).

Let’s talk about the first year! Favorite memories? Craziest moments?

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The Swing Dress

I received this dress to review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

This is a style trend I can TOTALLY do. Yes, I already love dresses, but even if you don’t, I think this swing dress will make a believer (and a dress-wearer) out of you!

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The Remi swing dress from Cents of Style will be your go-to dress for being comfy and looking put together at the same time! This dress – in 17 different colors and sizes S – 3X – is only $21.95 shipped with the code DRESS2016 this weekend!

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I have a thing for gray. I knew this dark gray swing dress (size small) would get worn all the time! We’re finally experiencing fall temperatures, so a blanket scarf and ankle boots (mine are from Tecovas) were just what the swing dress needed to be fall ready.

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A swing dress can be worn by itself or paired with boots and tights, leggings and flats, distressed jeans, and so on. It is THE versatile dress you need this fall because you can wear it a million ways! I’m thinking a chunky necklace and a floppy wool hat for a girls’ night out! Best part: you’ll be comfy wherever and however you wear it! Check out this video for more great styling tips from women of all shapes and sizes!

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Now you just need to decide which color (or colors) you’re going to buy! Remember – each dress is just $21.95 shipped with the code DRESS2016 this weekend only!

What color should I buy next? What color is your favorite?

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My Fall Uniform

I received these items to review from Sweet P & Fi. I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own.

I am a capsule wardrobe dropout. I just couldn’t stick to 30-40 pieces exclusively for a whole season because I like to mix things up. I do, however, like to have a go-to outfit for the days when I want to feel comfortable, confident, and put together without too much thought. Honestly, we want to feel like that every day, right?

My fall uniform is something you will find me in at least four days a week. It’s more of an outfit formula and looks like this:

long top + skinny bottoms + boots

This formula gives me a starting point, but it also allows for lots of creativity, so I never feel stuck like I did with a capsule wardrobe. While I adore this uniform, I have a found a few challenges within this formula.

First, long tops such as tunics don’t always fit me well because I am smaller on top and wider on bottom. More fitted tunics are tough because, if I pick a size to fit my hips, the shoulders are much too big. This is why I pick longer tops either with stretch, a slight flair at the hips, or with lots of flow.

Second, skinny bottoms can mean lots of things: skinny jeans, jeggings, skinny pants, faux leather leggings, and leggings. I LOVE comfy leggings for my “skinny bottoms” option, but leggings present lots of questions. Are they soft? constricting? see-through? Will they fall down over and over again?

As fall officially sets in this week, I’ve been pulling out my fall clothes, planning different variations of my uniform, and adding a few new key pieces to update it for 2016. My new go-to place for all things fashionable is Sweet P & Fi, an online boutique, owned by lovely local mom, Molly!

Here’s my fall uniform, the Sweet P & Fi edition!

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The very second I saw this tunic, with its amazing fall color, front pocket, cowl neck, and perfect fit, I knew I had to make it mine. It has a great texture and won’t be too hot on a sunny fall day. Sweet P & Fi is also getting the same top in black – I must have it! These will be up on the site very soon, so keep your eyes open!

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What is it about a pocket that makes a tunic so much more awesome?! It just does. The cuffed sleeves are another fun detail – you can show off your arm party on both arms!

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Let’s talk about the leggings – yes, those are leggings! They totally look like jeans, but they are incredibly soft and don’t fall down! HOORAY! I wore them all day and felt fabulous in them!  Check out the ribbing around the knees – isn’t that fun?

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One last Sweet P & Fi piece you may have missed in this outfit – those leather earrings! Molly makes them all herself and they are SO reasonably priced. I picked some brown snakeskin-like leather to go with all the warm autumn colors and I adore them!

I can’t tell you enough how much I love Sweet P & Fi. Molly has great taste and is very picky about what she adds to her shop. She also cares about giving her customers a good deal. Her prices are AMAZING and shipping is free! FREE! Here are a few of my other favorite pieces:

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Pumpkin Spice Latte top (SUPER soft)

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flowly floral top (from the awesome sale section)

Don’t forget – shipping is always free! You can’t beat that!

Two questions for you:

  1. Do you have a fall uniform?
  2. What Sweet P & Fi pieces are you loving?
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