It’s Okay to Reuse Holiday Decorations: Confessions of a Reuser

It's Okay To Reuse Holiday DecorationsOkay, so I have like a serious confession to make. I am a reuser. Yes, “reuser” isn’t a “real” word, but it needs to be because it describes what I really am…a person who uses things over and over again…I use them until they are a shell of their former selves…and then…I…repurpose and upcycle those things into new things that I can reuse over and over again. Even worse. I reuse my holiday decorations year after year *gasp* I am so sorry to have to confess this to you, sweet readers, but I must because I cannot live with this secret any longer.

20160202_164030_resizedI love decorating my front porch. It absolutely is one of my favorite things to do, and my hope is it makes the neighbors and passers-by smile. Now, when I say I like to gussy up the porch–that is for all the major holidays and seasons. I put out pretty pillows and cute holiday signs–even if it is only for a couple of weeks or so. It just makes me happy, and I believe we should all do more things that make us happy *big smile*

Because of my love of porch decorating and obsession with cute pillows, I can’t just run out every single month and purchase new decor and pillows because the hubby would not be very happy with me (he already thinks my cute pillow collection is ridiculously large) and because it seems wasteful to constantly be buying new holiday decorations. After all, we only put these themed items out once a year for a few weeks (sometimes less)–what could possibly be wrong with them!

I get it. It is so easy in this Pinterest world we live in to want to toss out and start over for every holiday and season…we want the latest “trends”…we want something different…and on and on goes our reasoning for tossing out the old and bringing in the new.

I added the smaller hearts to my front porch for this year's Valentine's Day. These hearts are not new. I just decided to add new ribbon and hang them on the front porch instead of by the back door.

I added the smaller hearts to my front porch for this year’s Valentine’s Day. These hearts are not new. I just added new ribbon and hung them on the front porch instead of by the back door.

As a blogger, I should be writing about all new everything all the time. I should be telling you to run out and scour the dollar stores and discount stores for new, new, new–but, that is not who I am. As I stated above, I am a reuser, and I want to encourage you, dear reader, to be a reuser too. Buy things you love and display them year after year. Don’t be ashamed of what you love *wink*

This sweet rug came from Target, and it was my new porch decor purchase for this Valentine's Day. Rugs are a fun and inexpensive way to add a little pizzaz to your porches.

This sweet rug came from Target, and it was my new porch decor purchase for this Valentine’s Day. **SSL TIP: Rugs are a fun and inexpensive way to add a little pizzaz to your porches.**

Made from a roof tile, this upcycled heart will last a long time *wink*

Made from a roof tile, this upcycled heart will last a long time! Hmmmm…next year, I may paint the little hearts different shade of pink + add new ribbons.

This adorable pillow is probably one of my favorites of all the pillows I have! It works perfectly with the Little Pink House by Lolly Molly Art.

This adorable pillow is probably one of my favorites of all the pillows I have! It works perfectly with the Little Pink House by Lolly Molly Art.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today and listening to my confession. Now, go decorate those porches without worry of using what you already own! It is your home–decorate it with what you love *big smile*

Whew! I kept the decorations simple this Valentine's Day because we have had some crazy weather here in Northeast Tennessee! The day I took these photos was indeed a blustery and cold one.

Whew! I kept the decorations simple this Valentine’s Day because we have had some crazy weather here in Northeast Tennessee! The day I took these photos was indeed a blustery and cold one. Who’s ready for warmer temps and Spring flowers!!!

Be sure to check out all the little houses I have available in my Etsy shop. I will be adding new ones soon *happy dance*

Be sure to check out all the little houses I have available in my Etsy shop. I will be adding new ones soon *happy dance* Click here to go directly to my shop.

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Holiday Home Tour: The Parlor + Easy Decorating Tips

Mattie is not happy I disturbed her napping *wink*

Mattie is not happy I disturbed her napping *wink*

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Hathorn Hall! Come on in and sit a spell for the 2015 Holiday Home Tour of Hathorn Hall–a completely renovated and updated 1920 home located in Northeast Tennessee. Today, we will be touring and chatting about the Christmas decorations in the parlor + easy tips on how to spruce up your own homes for this fantabulous holiday season with things you may already own.

SSL Tip: If your tree isn't as tall as you would like for it to be, build a wooden base for it and hide the "box" with a tree skirt (tablecloth, sheet, fabric...).

SSL Tip: If your tree isn’t as tall as you would like for it to be, build a wooden base for it and hide the “box” with a tree skirt (tablecloth, sheet, fabric…). 

This year I decided to put only one tree in the parlor (last year, I had three) because I wanted a simple, rustic winter-wonderland feel. To be honest, this year, I was feeling a bit lazy with the decking of the halls. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am totally feeling the spirit of the season, and I am totally excited about all the lights, sounds, and joy of Christmas. But sometimes, it is good to be a bit lazy and simple *big smile*

SSL: To save money, make your own burlap ribbon from burlap fabric.

SSL Tip: To save money, make your own burlap ribbon from burlap fabric.

I made all the little wooden Christmas trees from leftover wood I had stashed in the basement.

I made all the little wooden Christmas trees from leftover wood I had stashed in the basement. I added bells to them because who doesn’t love Jingle Bells *let’s all take a moment and do some caroling*

Normally, I weigh my Christmas trees down with ornaments. Like, seriously. But I am really loving the pops of red, green, and gold on this year's tree.

SSL Tip: Sometimes, less is more. Normally, I weigh my Christmas trees down with ornaments. Like, seriously. However, I really am crushing on the little pops of red, green, and gold + each ornament stands out and isn’t crowded, hidden, or tucked deep inside never to be appreciated

What winter wonderland would be complete without snowmen!

What winter wonderland would be complete without snowmen!

I got this adorable set of wooden snowmen from The Next Best Thing.

I got this adorable set of wooden snowmen from The Next Best Thing.

One thing I really wanted to do this year was to work with decorations and decor items I already owned, so I went “shopping” in my basement and cabinets for things to use. Focusing on the rustic, winter-wonderland theme made it easier to sort through over 20 years of accumulated treasures! Because, believe me–if I had not focused, I would still be in the basement looking *wink*

This collection of milk glass is perfect for the fireplace mantel. If you don't own any milk glass, that's okay because it is super easy to find at antique malls and flea markets. SSL Tip: Don't be afraid to stack pieces to create a unique look + add height.

This collection of milk glass is perfect for the fireplace mantel. If you don’t own any milk glass, that’s okay because it is super easy to find at antique malls and flea markets. SSL Tip: Don’t be afraid to stack pieces to create a unique look + add height.

Old basket + rolled up newspapers = easy, peasy decor that will last through the season. For a more festive look, add a Christmas bow.

Old basket + rolled up newspapers = easy, peasy decor that will last through the season. SSL Tip: For a more festive look, add a Christmas bow and/or tie the newspapers with ribbons.

I wrapped empty boxes I forgot to put in the recycle bin in kraft paper + added big ribbon for a traditional and rustic look.

I wrapped empty boxes I forgot to put in the recycle bin in kraft paper + added big ribbons for a traditional and rustic look.

Chair from the basement + basket I already owned = no money spent--which makes the hubby smile!

Chair from the basement + basket I already owned = no money spent–which makes the hubby smile!

More empty boxes I forgot to put in the recycle bin *wink* I bet the hubby is happy about that because these Christmas packages cost him no money *wink*

More empty boxes I forgot to put in the recycle bin *wink* I bet the hubby is happy about that because these Christmas packages cost him no money *wink*

Yep, you guessed it! *wink*

Yep, you guessed it! *wink*

The completed look--baskets and table I already owned + empty boxes wrapped in kraft paper (which I have lots of because of my framing and art). All of this equals happy husband (and more money for me to spend on art supplies *giggles*).

The completed look–baskets and table I already owned + empty boxes wrapped in kraft paper (which I have lots of because of my framing and art). All of this equals happy husband (and more money for me to spend on art supplies *giggles*).

Mattie photobombing--her favorite room is the parlor or perhaps the hubby's office. I guess anywhere as long as she is allowed to nap undisturbed!

Mattie photobombing–her favorite room is the parlor or perhaps the hubby’s office. I guess anywhere as long as she is allowed to nap undisturbed! P.S. taking photos in my house is a challenge because Mattie and Ziva love having their photos taken and posted on Instagram *wink*

This area will be spruced up with live greenery and winterberry branches before the neighborhood party.

This area will be spruced up with live greenery and winterberry branches before the neighborhood party. SSL Tip: Always leave room for live greenery and berries! 

View from the hubby's office

Lots of people have asked me to post more photos of the parlor’s fireplace from different angles, so they could see more of it. Here is a view of it from the hubby’s office.

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Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about the simple and easy holiday decorations in the parlor. Now, y’all, go and enjoy this special time of year + no fretting about decorating and holiday traffic *big smile*

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The Fall Home featuring Gracious Designs

These collectible, one-of-a-kind pumpkins created by Carolyn Tomko are available at Gracious Designs in Johnson City, Tennessee.

These collectible, one-of-a-kind pumpkins created by Carolyn Tomko are available at Gracious Designs in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from DIY projects to fabulous places to visit and shop. Today on the blog, I am getting us all ready for my favorite time of the year by sharing my experience at the “The Fall Home” decorating class at Gracious Designs in Johnson City, Tennessee. I had such a fabulous time attending this class, and I am totally ready to get my porch and home gussied up for fall, y’all *wink*

Outside Fall display at Gracious Designs--which is located in a wonderful old home on Knob Creek Road

Outside fall display at Gracious Designs–which is located in a wonderful old home on Knob Creek Road

Last Thursday (September 10), Cassie Kitzmiller of Gracious Designs gave a fabulous presentation about how to make your home grand for fall. She chatted about everything from pops of traditional and nontraditional colors to touches of whimsy. One of my favorite items that she presented to the class was the battery-operated candles. To be honest, I thought the candles would look hideously fake–but no…they were beautiful and very realistic! The “Moving Flame” candles by Liown come in a variety of sizes and colors–and did I mention how pretty and realistic these candles are!?! I know! I can’t help but to repeat myself because I still can’t believe it *wink* These candles can be used on mantels, in centerpieces, and even tucked in places that “real” candles cannot be tucked *smile*

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Speaking of candles, Cassie chatted very excitedly about adding lights to your home–especially for fall because the days are getting shorter and touches of glimmering lights just warm up the home–especially those dark little “holes” and corners. She challenged all of the class attendees to go home and look for those dark spaces and to fill them with light–from battery-operated candles to lighted branches.

Lamps are a great way to bring soft light into the home and to fall arrangements. Another great way to decorate for Fall is to add texture--layers of texture to your displays.

Lamps are a great way to bring soft light into the home and to fall arrangements. Another great way to decorate for fall is to add texture–add layers of texture to your displays by using soft linens and natural elements like pinecones and branches. *fall decorating tips from Cassie Kitzmiller

One of the easiest ways to decorate the home for fall is to add pops of color–from bold oranges to fiery reds. But did you ever think to add shades of rich purple and metallics? Cassie challenged the class to go home and “shop” for metals and nontraditional colors to use as accents. For example, add deep purple hydrangea blossoms to a traditional fall wreath for a touch of the unexpected. She also encouraged using hydrangeas throughout your home for fall because these blossoms are more than a spring/summer flower.

How sweet and easy is this little arrangement!

How sweet and easy is this little arrangement! Don’t have the time to make it yourself? No need to fret! Head on over to Gracious Designs for all your fall decor needs and more.

Decorating the home should always be fun and fabulously you. Make it personal by adding in fun, whimsical treasures that you adore–if you love frogs…find fall frogs. Tuck little birds into your centerpieces, bring the outdoors inside with leaves and branches, put clay pumpkins on your bookshelves…whatever suits your fancy! But remember to have fun with it *big smile* Thanks, Cassie, for all the wonderful decorating tips on how to make our homes grand for fall.

I am totally crushing on this everything in this picture!

Gracious Designs has everything you need for the home for Fall, y'all.

Gracious Designs has everything you need to gussy up your home for fall.

Here’s a quick recap of what I learned from Cassie about making the home grand for fall:

  • Accent with Color–from traditional to nontraditional colors, don’t be afraid to use bold pops of color + add a new, nontraditional color to your fall palette (think mauves and purples).
  • Layer with Texture–use linens, natural elements, metals, and pottery for a variety of textures.
  • Add Mood and Movement with Lights–from lamps to battery-operated candles, add lights for a touch of glimmer and twinkle.
  • Create an Inviting Space with Fragrance–from potpourri to soups simmering on the stove, the sweet smells of the season invite us all to sit a spell with a good cup of apple cider.
  • Don’t Forget the Whimsy–from one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pumpkins to cute, little birdies, make your home you with things that you love and that make you smile.

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Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about making the home grand for fall. Stay tuned for a special post about local potter Carolyn Tomko, my top fall fragrance picks, and more.

To learn more about Gracious Designs, click here to check out their Facebook page.

To learn more about Gracious Designs and their free decorating classes, click here + click here to like them on Facebook.

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How to Decorate a Front Porch for Easter

A pretty wave pansy spilling over the edges of a turquoise flower pot--this arrangement will be a shining star several weeks after Easter.

A pretty wave pansy spilling over the edges of a turquoise flower pot–this arrangement will be a shining star several weeks after Easter.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversations about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, we are chatting about Hathorn Hall’s front porch Easter decor.

IMG_9772If you have been following along with my random madness, you know that the hubby has been building a deck/outdoor living room. This project has taken up nearly all of our free time…okay, all of our free time…so that left me with little to no time to create simple and easy Easter decor for the front porch. I absolutely love Easter because it is all about new life and resurrection, so I had to do something to gussy up the place!

I took a basket that I already had and added big yellow Gerber daisies to it--for that perfect pop of spring yellow.

I went shopping in my own basement for items that screamed spring. I found a lime green stool, a basket, and yellow Gerber daises. Perfect!

Fun patterns + bright colors

Fun patterns + bright colors

Y'all know how much I love accessorizing my porch with pillows! I already had the bright chevron ones, and the large ones came from At Home in Knoxville.

Y’all know how much I love accessorizing my porch with pillows! I already had the bright chevron ones, and the large ones came from At Home in Knoxville.

I love this adorable window that I found at The Next Best Thing in Johnson City.

I love this adorable window that I found at The Next Best Thing in Johnson City! Be sure to check your local shops for holiday decor because you never know what you might find.

I apologize for the quality of my photos. The hubby is my photographer, but he has been a bit busy with building decks and traveling for work!

I apologize for the quality of my photos. The hubby is my photographer, but he has been a bit busy with building decks and traveling for work. However, I do believe that I am getting better at using that fancy camera of his *wink*

I will keep the evergreens in the flower pots until the weather gets and stays warmer.

I will keep the evergreens in the flower pots until the weather gets and stays warmer. I just added cute pansies to them to add a pop of spring color.

I created this egg + grass from leftover wood that I found in the basement. So this little project cost zero dollars *smile*

I made this egg + grass from leftover wood that I found in the basement, so this little project cost zero dollars *smile* Be sure to check out the Facebook page for more about the egg project + my other randomness and projects.

Holiday decor doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive to be fun and cheery!

Holiday decor doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive to be fun and cheery!

I moved the lime green pillows (the ones I used for St. Patrick's Day) from the swing to the rockers.

I moved the lime green pillows (the ones I used for St. Patrick’s Day) from the swing to the antique rocking chairs.

I got this darling basket at an antique shop in Elizabethon.

I got this darling basket at an antique shop in Elizabethon. I started to paint it, but I decided I liked it just the way it was *smile*

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It is amazing what a few pops of color can do to add a bit of Easter fun!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we took at look at the simple and colorful Easter front porch decor. Stay tuned to see how I transform the Easter front porch to a spring one!

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St. Patrick’s Day Front Porch Ideas

Pillows are the easiest way to add a fresh pop of color and fun to your home--inside and outside.

Pillows are the easiest way to add a fresh pop of color and fun to your home–inside and outside.

Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, we are chatting about an easy way to gussy up your porch for St. Patrick’s Day. I had a much bigger decorating plan for St. Patty’s Day, but the snow and extremely chilly temps kept me from decking Hathorn Hall with green and gold. No need to fear because I bundled up and created simple +  cute holiday fun.

On a quick trip to Walgreen's to pick up diet beverages and a few necessities, I discovered this adorable hat and knew exactly where to put it when I got home.

On a quick trip to Walgreens to pick up diet beverages and a few necessities, I discovered this adorable hat and knew exactly where to put it when I got home. It was totally worth braving the snow and chilly temps for this perfect St. Patrick’s Day find *wink*

After a couple of days of complaining about the weather (almost pouting--okay, I was pouting), I decided to spend some time in my art studio. I created this four-leaf clover using leftover wood that I found in the basement + five or so shades of green paint.

After a couple of days of complaining about the weather (almost pouting–okay, I was pouting), I decided to spend some time in my art studio. I created this four-leaf clover using leftover wood that I found in the basement + five or so shades of green paint. Wanting it to be a little cuter, I added polka dots + stitching + a gold burlap bow.

While I was working in my studio, the hubby was working in the basement creating a sign for Hathorn Hall. He repurposed a cabinet door + used the Cricuit to create a stencil for the letters. I think the hubby did a fabulous job *smile* *kiss for the hubby*

While I was working in my studio, the hubby was in the basement making a sign for Hathorn Hall. He repurposed a cabinet door + used the Cricut to create a stencil for the letters. I think the hubby did a fabulous job *smile* *kiss for the hubby*

A simple pop of color brightens even the dreariest of days *smile*

A simple pop of color brightens even the dreariest of days *smile*

Even though my big plan did not happen, I am happy with how my St. Patrick's Day front porch decor turned out.

Even though my big plan did not happen, I am happy with how my St. Patrick’s Day front porch decor turned out. I am sad to report that I killed another plant. May that sweet little tree-shrub-evergreen rest in peace.

Keeping it simple makes decorating easy and affordable.

Keeping it simple makes decorating easy and affordable. The hat was about $5.00–big decorating bang for the buck *wink*

I really love the black + white of the "Hathorn Hall" sign. It is simple and classic.

I really love the black + white of the “Hathorn Hall” sign. It is simple and classic + it won’t compete or clash with any holiday/seasonal decorating I do.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we took a look at Hathorn Hall’s new sign + St. Patty’s Day front porch decor. Keeping my fingers crossed for warmer temps and sunshine!

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It’s Love at Hathorn Hall, Y’all

I found the darling heart pillow at Target. I really do have a pillow addiction!

I found the darling heart pillow at Target. I really do have a pillow addiction!

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from handmade goodness to holiday decorating. Today on the blog, we are chatting about decorating your front porch or entrance for Valentine’s Day–awwww, it’s all about love, y’all *smile*

I must admit that I have never decorated my front porch for Valentine's Day--but when I spied this giant wooden heart sign at The Next Best Thing in Johnson City--I knew I had to gussy up the place for Love Day :)

I must admit that I have never decorated my front porch for Valentine’s Day–but when I spied this giant wooden heart sign at The Next Best Thing in Johnson City–I knew I had to gussy up the place for Love Day 🙂

After getting my sign, I headed to my go-to place for pillows--Stein Mart.

After getting my sign, I headed to my go-to place for pillows–Stein Mart.

I already had the red chair on my front porch--i just moved it to the front door area. If you don't own a red chair, no problem. Check out local thrift stores for one to paint...easy DIY for Valentine's Day + the color also works for Christmas!

I already had the red chair on my front porch–I just moved it to the front door area. If you don’t own a red chair, no problem. Check out local thrift stores for one to paint…easy DIY for Valentine’s Day + it will also work for Christmas!

There is just something about old baskets that I love. I found this one at Redeemables in Johnson City. Stay tuned to an upcoming blog about their new store + their awesome mission.

There is just something about old baskets that I love. I found this one at Redeemables in Johnson City. Stay tuned for an upcoming post about their new store + their awesome mission. What makes this basket so great is its versatility–pink bow for Valentine’s Day, tulips for spring, brightly colored eggs for Easter…the possibilities are endless!

White pillows + red tulle bows = Valentine's Day ready

White pillows + red tulle bows = Valentine’s Day ready

The flower pots needed a little love so I added pink tulle bows. It is really easy to add Valentine's Day touches--just think pinks and reds with touches of white.

The flower pots needed a little love so I gave them pink tulle bows. It is really easy to add Valentine’s Day touches–just think pinks and reds with a little bit of white.

Even the milk can gets a Valentine's Day pink kiss!

Even the milk can gets a Valentine’s Day pink kiss!

Decorating for the holidays doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. Work with what you have and just add  pretty pops of color.

Decorating for the holidays doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Work with what you have and just add pretty pops of color.

Shop local and handmade for your decor. Even though the hubby and I could have made a wooden heart sign, it was great supporting local artists and small business owners + i was able to put together my front porch in less than an hour (and that includes cleaning it!) *BIG SMILE*

Shop local and handmade for your decor. Even though the hubby and I could have made a wooden heart sign, it was great supporting local artists and small business owners + I was able to put together my front porch in less than an hour (and that included cleaning it!) *BIG SMILE*

Keeping it simple and sweet.

Keeping it simple and sweet.

I still can't believe how easy this decorating project was--it almost seemed too easy...haha

I still can’t believe how easy this decorating project was–it was almost too easy…haha

I started to fill the stairs with decorations--but I really like it being simple. Mainly because it is winter and cold outside--and I did not want to fret with a lot of plants and hearts flying through the air *wink*

I started to fill the steps with potted plants and decorations–but I really like it being simple…okay, truthfully…because it is winter and cold outside–and I did not want to fret with a lot of plants and hearts flying through the air *wink*

I have really enjoyed my front porch! Just sitting outside with a good cup of coffee--taking time to renew the spirit!

I have really enjoyed my front porch! Just sitting outside with a good cup of coffee–taking time to renew the spirit!

IMG_9315Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about easy Valentine’s Day decor. Honestly, this was so simple that I think I will gussy up the place for St. Patrick’s Day–shhhhh, don’t tell the hubby *wink*

"Hey, Mom! What are you doing out there? Why can't I come out and help?"

“Hey, Mom! What are you doing out there? Why can’t I come out and help?” P.S. notice all of Ziva’s nose art!

 

 

 

Hathorn Hall Holiday Home Tour: Twinkling Lights

O Tannenbaum

O Tannenbaum–the family Christmas tree in the hubby’s office–it has 20+ years of ornaments on it *smile*

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from holiday memories to home renovation. Today on the blog, we are going to take a twinkling lights tour of Hathorn Hall. Now, grab a cup of hot cocoa, bundle up, and sit a spell with me *smile*

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IMG_8720IMG_8717Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we took a little tour of Hathorn Hall’s twinkling lights. Now, I am off to wrap a few holiday gifts and watch Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel *smile*

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