Brag

Rainbow Baby Shower

In case you didn’t know, my sister lost her first baby a few years ago. Adella would be turning 5 this year. When my sister had her second daughter, we threw her a rainbow-themed baby shower.  Here are some pics from her shower.

Rainbow baby shower

Baby Shower favors: soft salts. We made a huge batch, divvied them up into these snack bowls, and used double-sided tape to add favor labels (now available on my etsy store).

Rainbow baby shower

The nice thing about this baby letter-guessing game is that it makes a gorgeous room accent. Inside each of these bags is a baby item that starts with that letter.

  • R=rattle
  • A= applesauce
  • I= infant Tylenol
  • N= night light
  • B= bottle
  • O= outfit
  • W= washcloth
  • B= bib
  • A= afghan
  • B= book
  • Y= yarn

yeah, infant Tylenol is a stretch, but can you think of something that starts with an I? Besides, it’s more of a challenge, right?

Rainbow baby shower

We used these clothing items underneath the bags. I didn’t get a picture of them together. My mom made the first 3 things – the red dress, the crocheted sweater, and the little skirt. I found the other 3 on a great sale at Walmart ($1/piece!)

Rainbow baby shower

I made up these game pamphlets and a keepsake page for my sister to keep in her  baby book.

Rainbow baby shower

Rainbow napkins equal party win

Rainbow baby shower

My sister is allergic to corn, so she got a cupcake without a rainbow and everyone else got frosting made without powdered sugar. It was a pain, honestly.

Rainbow baby shower

We served Hot Chocolate and had a hot chocolate bar with something in every color. The blue element is home-made marshmallows (using tapioca starch for powdered sugar/corn starch. These were de-LISH-ous. I’ve made them multiple times since. The shape is actually a pumpkin, but I think it passes as a cloud. What do you think? The dish on the side is mint syrup (For the green element). We had raspberry jam for red, orange was made with pumpkin spice, caramel counted for yellow, and huckleberry syrup was our purple element.

Rainbow baby shower

these are our St. Patrick’s Day decorations. They worked pretty well as decor around the room. The white clouds from balloons just added that much more charm.

Rainbow baby shower

rainbow food table. There was a layered salad in the bowl, and taco bites went on the platter. I honestly don’t remember what went in the glass pan.

Rainbow baby shower

I made the rock candy myself. I need to improve, that’s for sure. My crystals didn’t get as big, and the color wasn’t as bold as those you can find in the stores. They tasted okay, though.

Rainbow baby shower

We played the candy game, where you are given a phrase tied to babies and pregnancy, and you have to guess what candy is tied to it. I had an added challenge (to take more time), guests had to play memory with numbered cards on a poster board. Guests took turns calling out numbers, and I flipped the cards over. When they made a match, they had a chance to guess what that phrase had to do with the candy. This is what we came up with:

the daddy big hunk
choosing baby’s name whatchamcacallit
girl’s name baby ruth
twins mike n ike
contractions now n later
hospital address 5th avenue
driving to the hospital rocky road
maternity nurses sweet tarts
hospital bills 100 grand
triplets 3 musketeers
11 lb babies whoppers
chunky baby rollos
time alone zero
nap time Fast break
baby giggles snickers
diapers, formula, medicine payday
lullabyes symphony
teething crunch
new babies treasures
ultrasound look
preemies runts
collic cry babies
postpartum tears gushers
loves for baby kisses
christmas baby junior mints
loaded diapers toosie rolls
mommy brain airheads
doctor life savers
Baby bump mounds

I’m sure you could play with the candy on one card and the baby phrase on the other. It’d be shorter. Up to you.

Rainbow baby shower

we also had the guests paint peg people for baby to play with when she gets a little older. I think they turned out pretty cute! I painted the guy in the suit in the back, and the orange girl  and Harry Potter with the extra pegs.

Rainbow baby shower

Brag

Charlie Sock Monkey Baby shower

Here are some pictures of my newest Etsy project from when I hosted a sock monkey baby shower for my little nephew. This is probably when I first realized that maybe what I was previously just playing with could actually be worth something. One of the guests told me it was the most Pinterest-worthy baby shower she’d ever attended. That filled up my brag-jar right away!

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When the guests enter, this table is waiting for them. There are raindrops for guests to write a nice word or two for the mother-to-be, name tags that say who they are and how they know the baby. There’s a coloring page off the internet (sorry, don’t remember where  I got it. I just googled it, feel free to do the same) for the little guests, a jar full of baby socks we had everyone guess how many socks it had, and yarn we used all over the room because not only did it add color, but it tied everything together. You know, because sock monkeys are made of yarn. The folded papers have all the portions of the games that guests will need to write. There’s a game where guests need a letter, so the Bananagrams game is there for them to draw a letter. It’s fittingly… a banana. Each of the bags has a baby item in it. I wish I could remember what I included, but I did a lot of google searching for that, too.

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I know, bad luck to open an umbrella inside, but it was so cute hanging these raindrops from it. I wish we could have hung it from the ceiling. Not bad enough to stick tacks into a place that’s not my own, though.

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I made this quilt just like one I made for my niece (hers was an owl), the back was red, orange, brown, green and blue stripes, no kidding. How lucky that I found such fitting fabric!

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Aside from the casual gathering and visiting, my favorite part of baby showers is most definitely the food! At the beginning of the food table, we placed all the utensils we’d need for the meal. Straws in varying shades of brown and red, utensils all bundled together with the napkin rings, and plates (Walmart. Once again, lucky purchase. The colors are perfect).

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We got the sock monkeys from Oriental Trading company.

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The baby-momma said the only thing she really craved during her pregnancy was chicken, so we had little chicken salad bites.

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and chicken pinwheels (sockful of monkeys is also from Oriental Trading)

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we also had trail mix (Jungle mix), banana bread, nachos, salad, and…

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these cheesecakes. Seriously, guys, these cheesecakes were amazing! I’ll have to post my own version of this recipe. I tweaked it to be corn-free. Seriously, guys. It was so rich! It tasted sooo good! you could only eat about one at a time (which is fine), but ohhh,  while it lasted!

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At the end of the shower, each guest got a cookie mix with M&M’s in it. We typed the instructions on the top. We had a few jars left over at the end. My family did not complain the random cookies for as long as the extras lasted.

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Signs made by me. Monkey from Oriental Trading, again, but I’ve seen him elswhere, too.

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So, what’d ya think? Like I said, this shower really gave me the confidence to think I could maybe design stuff to sell on Etsy. It’s there, now, if you’re interested. I should sound all cool and “I-got-this,” and say I’ve always known I was this good, but… sometimes it takes a push. If any readers buy the kit and use it for their own party, I’d love to see the pictures!

Brag, Recipes

Soft salts for a baby shower

Guess what? My sister’s having a baby! like, in a month. I’m actually pretty excited. We’ve got her shower coming up and so we made her favors the other day. I LOVE them. I’m sort of hoping she doesn’t have that many people show up, so I can keep some of the left-overs (Some, because of course the pregnant mommy should have her fair share).

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16 c Epsom salt ( I’d change it to 12 cups and add 4 more cups of sugar)
3 c sugar
2 c quick oats (or oats run through the blender)
2 cups Dr Teal’s Body & Bath Oil with Olive Oil & Aloe Vera
4 cups coconut oil (I would probably add more for personal use, but this was more of a bath salt instead of a scrub)
1 tbs vanilla
10 drops rose oil (ours was cheap stuff, so this may vary)
8 drops lavender

It smelled so good! And it was so pretty and sparkly. Perfect for a winter baby! This made about 22 cups of scrub. It ended up a really light scent, but that’s perfect for a baby-shower gift. For my personal use, I’d definitely cut back the salt and add more coconut oil. I’m more in favor of a scrub than just salts.

You could just use regular olive oil, but I’d recommend Dr Teals because it has a nice fragrance and because of the health benefits from the aloe.

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Soft salts for a baby shower
Author: Keira @ Searchforseven.com
Ingredients
  • 16 c Epsom salt
  • 3 c sugar
  • 2 c quick oats (or oats run through the blender)
  • 2 cups Dr Teals olive and aloe oil
  • 4 cups coconut oil
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 10 drops rose oil (ours was cheap stuff, so this may vary)
  • 8 drops lavender
Instructions
  1. mix all ingredients together.
  2. divide into favor-size containers.

 

A Day in the Life, Brag

Oz Cupcakes

I am pretty stoked about how these cupcakes turned out! I made all the toppers with Satin Ice Rolled Fondant Icing, that I always have on hand. Okay, I didn’t make the hearts. I had these sprinkles in my sprinkle stash (everyone has a sprinkle stash, right? Right? Just me? Oh).

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Pretty easy place to start. For the Scarecrow cupcakes, I used a simple yellow paper, frosted the cupcake with a thin layer of yellow icing (if you do the yellow icing before you do the “straw,” you see less  cupcake peeking out, and it looks much cleaner. Even thought the “straw” is meant to be messy anyway), and then took the Wilton Grass Tip (#233) and used long strands to coat the cupcake in more yellow buttercream. As I said before, the topper is made from satin ice (seriously, way way better than Wilton fondant). It is representative of the Scarecrow’s fabric patches.  I already had orange and blue from previous purchases, and I had a smidge of green that I tinted myself from a previous project. Any time I don’t have to mix color into fondant, I’m a happy camper.  To make the plaid look, I just rolled the fondant into snake-like strands and made a grid on the cut-out square. I tried to round the edges, but I didn’t do it so evenly. Or so well.

The Tin Man cupcake is my favorite. It’s simple and elegant.

The Tin Man is encased in a red wrapper (my wilton wrappers aren’t cut evenly. I’m pretty disappointed, but they work well enough for a bunch of nine-year-olds. Just be warned for your own purchases. I tinted up the buttercream with black cake  coloring, and liked the depth I got by not mixing it in all the way. I don’t know, maybe it’s tacky, But with a simple Wilton large round tip (#2A) swirl, it needed some kind of depth. To decorate it, I dug out the red hearts from my set of  Valentine Sprinkles.

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Then I just added a few to each cupcake. By using the round tip, starting at the outside, and building a little spike in the center, you get the feeling of the Tin Man’s hat.

I think the Cowardly Lion is my least favorite cupcake this time. If I ever have to make lion cupcakes again, I think I might build a little tower of frosting in the middle to give it some depth. It just seems so flat.

I used the same yellow wrappers and  frosting for the foundation of this cupcake that I used for the scarecrow. Then I tinted some of the yellow buttercream with a bit of copper and a bit of brown cake coloring. I used the same grass tip (washed, of course)  and went around the outside of the cupcake, making messy long strands, again. I tried a few with short precise strands, and it just didn’t look as … lion-y. The courage badge was satin ice with a little bit of grey cake coloring (that made the finished product blue. Way to go Wilton…) and coated it with white Pearl Dust. I rolled it flat, lightly set the end of the roll from my fondant ribbon cutter set onto the Satin Ice to get some depth to the badges, then I used fondant ribbon cutter set to actually cut the circle. Clearly, use what you have.

The Dorothy cupcakes were my girly’s favorite. I wish that more blue had shown up in the frosting. I just made a buttercream cupcake rose with my Open Star Tip (#1M), and decorated it with satin ice that I colored red (the HARDEST color to achieve), shaped the shoes(mine are flats. every time I tried for heels it looked funny), and then coated with a layer of eggplant petal dust and a layer of  Wilton Ruby Red Pearl Dust (I hope that’s the right one. Wilton doesn’t label their dust once you take it out of the package. I have 2 pink colors from them. This is the darker pink, but it’s not really red. More of a dark salmon.

 

And, as you saw earlier, inside we did rainbow colored cupcakes. I cheated and used a box this year, and I could sure taste a difference. But kids don’t care. I’ve just got refined tastes. ;c) . To me, box mixes (especially cake boss’s box mixes) taste and smell like a combination of playdough and plastic.

But at least they look cool.

[warning]disclaimer: I used a lot of Amazon affiliate links in this post. I linked to products that I have and that I use. I could be paid for linking, if you were to purchase a product from Amazon, but I linked more for convenience than for expectant purchases.

Also, most of my links are to Wilton products. If I had to start all over, knowing what I know now, there are many other brands and some of their products are superior to Wilton, but when I started collecting cake supplies, Wilton was the only product locally available. Shop around. Read reviews.  [/warning]

A Day in the Life, Brag

Oz Party Food

All the best parties have food. Of course. And I worked really hard at figuring out the food for this party. I just didn’t get to frosting the cupcakes before pictures. Story of my life.

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We went with pink and green utensils because the little miss wanted these plates, but Pinterest led us astray. They don’t exist anywhere anymore.  She had her heart set on representing the witched with her plates, so all that I could think of was to match up pink and green. Not as cool-mom-award, but at least it worked for her.

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Here’s where I apologize profusely for my camera skills again. I am so frustrated with myself that  these pics are blurry. I think I need a new phone case. My pics are getting worse and worse.

But, with that apology noted, here’s our rainbow licorice.

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And “lions and tigers and bears.”

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The emerald city. I wish I had thought about it before, but I had crystal-fill beads downstairs. At the time, rice was all I could think of. Tacky, I know. But with everything still in  boxes, who knows if I could have found the crystal fill.

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And then we have a yellow brick road.

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and bananas for the monkeys and apples from the haunted apple trees (had to have SOMETHING healthful).

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And Tin Man hats

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and, of course, lollypops from the lollypop guild. FYI, check your dollar store before you spend tons of money at a party store or online. I’m sure they’re still bad for you, and the color is “painted” on, but we’re talking kids. They don’t care. And they were way cheaper.

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Next up, straw for the scarecrow. I had apple straws and veggie sticks. Believe it or not, I approve of both sets of ingredients, and it was the biggest hit. Health-Nut-Mom-approved, and the kids devoured it. Go team!

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I know it’s also tacky, but cake pans and my cool vintage funnel made a nice Tin Man cupcake display. And it was easy peasy. Sorry again that I didn’t get a pic of the finished cupcakes on the stand… But, I have a pic. That’s better than nothing.

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And to drink we had glinda punch. I have to admit, just a taste of this sent me into corn-syrup trauma, but I searched and searched for a good pink lemonade and couldn’t find one. And you can forget about finding a corn syrup-free sherbet. I did find a pink lemonade, but it was expensive, so I drank it, and the kids had this cheap toxin-laden punch. See how nice I am?

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And of course, Glinda’s wand tops off the drink perfectly! I know that Glinda is a gold more than a silver, but first of all, the kids don’t care. And secondly, have you ever tried to find a food-safe gold wand? Good luck. we talked about painting them, but didn’t know if it would leach out.

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Anyway, when I got the cupcakes frosted (confession: after the party…), they were pretty cute. Check out my next post to see how awesome they looked.

A Day in the Life, Brag

Oz Party Games

We had lots of cool games at our Oz party. And none of them took too much time on my part, which is also a plus.

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First we played toss the heart in the Tin Man. I kind of just let the girls toss it as much as they wanted, and they kept going and going, so I didn’t really stick to any rules.

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I got the hearts and the pails at the local craft stores. Easy peasy.

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Then I totally cheated and pulled out our Halloween game of pin the nose on the witch, drawn by yours truly last October. The Girls wanted to play it a few times, too. And I let them. Why not? It’s their party?

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Then it was time to move to the table, where we had a bunch of “teacups” set out. We got what we could find at the local thrift store. Don’t get me started… See previous post, about the shoes). They don’t all match, but what do the girls care? They’re all going to their own houses, anyway. I had them take them home to bake, so I sure hope they worked. We sent home a little note that said to place them in the oven and then pre-heat it to 400 degrees.Leave them in for 40 minutes, and then turn off the oven and let them cool inside. I’d google it before attempting. It seems like a hit-or-miss project. My girly hasn’t baked hers yet, she just keeps her pens in it. Works for me.

 

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Next, we moved on to the snacks. Seriously, I know what they say about teenage boys (and I’ve witnessed that it’s true), but 9-year-old girls can still eat their weight! (I took the cup pictures while they were eating, hence why there’s wrappers and 1/2 eaten suckers in all of them.

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When we were all done, the placemats became the next activity and the party favor bag. Two birds, one stone. The girls really enjoyed it, and it made me feel better about the fact that I was going to have these made up and just didn’t find the time. So, on the fly, I created this craft! If I had been the one to make it I would have cut off the little brand-name strip and probably would have glued instead of taped, but tape sounded like the best bet for a bunch of girlies. Quick, easy, and mess free.

Started by folding our paper into fourths. Then cut off 1/4 of the page. Turn the paper around, and fold the other direction, but this time, fold in from the sides and skip the middle fold. Then, on each corner, fold diagonally by taking each folded corner and having them meet up. The girls needed shown what I meant, but they all figured it out (The one that struggled with the craft had my sister and the “birthday” girl help her the whole time, and everyone else cruised along). When all the corners were taped (My sister and I debated about which end was better to fold the triangles at, and never really decided. I think it mostly depended on how the girls folded), we moved on to the lid. Measure the lid against the box, and cut (it’s 1/2 of the paper, in case you were curious), then take the lid and fold in half plus an inch (meaning find half, then scoot it over a little bit so there’s a spot to tape it to the box), on both sides, so the basket has 2 openings. Then cut the other strip in half and either use one strip for a stronger handle, or use both halves taped together for a longer handle (some of the girls picked one option, some picked the other. Personally, I’d pick stronger, but it doesn’t really make too much difference. No one had too weak of baskets, or had any break before they made it home, so it worked out well.

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Then pass out the favors (ours included bubbles, an apple, and a lollipop from the snack table. I would have loved to include a glittery red nail polish, but I can’t find Bon Bons anymore and I’m not paying 6$ per kid just to include polish! So we used it as an activity, bought 1 bottle of nail polish, and painted everyone’s nails in turns between “Yellow Brick Hopscotch,”  (Hopscotch drawn with yellow chalk).

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Oz party success with incredibly easy games. I say that’s a win.

A Day in the Life, Brag

Oz Party Decorations

Dun dun dun Duh! The moment you’ve all been waiting for! I’m finally sharing our Oz party… 2 months later! Sorry it’s been so hectic! Canning really takes a lot of time. Especially when you’ve filled 5 moving boxes full of apples from your newly-claimed trees.

This little miss (who is not so little anymore. Seriously, no one told me that nine might as well be 16!) has a thing for the tin man. It has sparked a love for all things Oz. It started with Pentatonix’ Wizard of Ahh’s song. which sparked burning coals of fandom for all things wizard of Oz. And then I introduced her to the Tin Man miniseries. If you combine those inspirational muses with the new Oz the Great and Powerful movie and the the classic the Wizard of Oz, and there is plenty of fodder for the fire and sources for inspiration. And then you add Wicked (some day I’m gonna see the play and not just rock out to the CD. They were here in July, but it was finals week), because no Oz party is complete without just a little bit of Glinda vs Elphaba. At least for me.

Anyway… Since we were moving all summer, and since moving made it so the friend pool was rather small, we decided to wait until school was in session in order to help make friends, and we’d call it a back-to-school party.

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Of course, if we’re going to create Oz, we’ve got to squish a witch with our new house, right?

So, a story about the witch legs: first of all, aren’t the socks perfect? Secondly, the shoes… Oh, the shoes. I wanted to glitter a pair of shoes and add some flair to my personal shoe collection (bonus). I have no closed-toed shoes, at all. I had things to do, so I sent Ranger into town. Our favorite thrift store was closed for training, go figure. So Ranger ran across town to the other thrift store. Yeeeeah, never send a man to pick out shoes in a strange store. And when you do, make sure there are at least some good options (he showed me pics afterward. There WERE no good options), and that he has seen the Wizard of Oz in this decade, and that you’ve pointed out subtle nuances in shoe detail that the male brain is not programmed to notice. I ended up with two pairs of shoes that would have done the nineties proud. And by that, I mean big platformed clodhoppers with no feminine shape and big heels and square toes, instead of anything slightly fitting. I tried to find a good pic but even the internet is embarrassed by this footwear choice. There are no good representations online (why were those so popular, again?).

Shudder.

So, plan B: shoes from my wedding. They’re open-toed, but at least they’re red.
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It was pretty easy to create. I simply rolled up pillowcases and pulled the socks up around them. I only used 2 pillowcases, Next time I’ll use at least three each. My witch looked a little thin.

Later, I went to the party supply store again, and found these. Fistpalm. Seriously?

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You can use these socks but I got mine at my local party store.

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And a few rolls of streamers made quick, easy, and affordable decorations.

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“over the rainbow”

Otherwise, our decorations were quite simple. I just pulled out our paper lanterns from my wedding (Did I mention I’m a party hoarder? I could throw entire receptions with the stuff I’ve got in storage. In fact, I used to).

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[disclaim]there are multiple Amazon Affiliate links in this post. Amazon could pay me for the links because I’m promoting them, but honestly, I’ve never made anything from Amazon. I’m linking to these particular products because they fit with my post. I’ve been incredibly selective on what I link to, and it is more for reader content than sales pitch. And believe me, it wasn’t easy to find a non-rauchy pic of black and white striped socks![/disclaim]