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People you need to talk to in YXE prior to a home renovation!

posted by My Saskatoon    |   March 22, 2015 17:09

After spending the weekend at the HomeStyles Home Show in YXE we are ready to tackle some of our own renovations and home decor projects.  But before we start knocking down walls and ripping up the floors, there are a few local renovation experts and stores that should be on our "hit list". 

photo credit: Better Homes & Gardens 

Contractors & Trades

Let's be honest, some of us have the best intentions in the world when it comes to handling our own renovation projects, but truthfully we should be either consulting with or hiring the pros.  Here is a link to the General Contractors & Speciality Trades found on My Saskatoon.  If you are planning to do any kind of relocating of light switches, electrical outlets, or lighting, definitely call Saskatoon Electrical Services prior to the demolition - electrical is one thing you don't want to mess with on your own.  

Kitchen & Bathroom Renovations

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are never a cakewalk. While the deals at Ikea and Home Depot look tempting, it is always worth your time to consult with local companies who specialize in doing the very thing you are planning to attempt. These two rooms in your home can add the most return on your renovation investment; however, if they are done poorly, they can actually decrease the value of your home.  Here is a link to the Kitchen and Bathroom category found on My Saskatoon. Consider getting an estimate from a local company in Saskatoon!

Flooring Stores

There are so many local options when it comes to flooring. Here is a link to the Flooring category on My Saskatoon.  Working with any one of these local businesses to find the right flooring for your space is well worth your time.  If you're looking to sit down with a flooring specialist consider visiting Braid Flooring and Window Fashions.  Braid Flooring currently has some great pricing on selected flooring until April 20th!    

Home Decor Shops

For those of us who are looking to complete minor home improvement projects this spring, take a look at these local home decor companies in Saskatoon.  

Financial Planners & Mortgage Specialists

If you're looking to free up some monies in order to complete your renovation dreams, consider connecting with a knowledgable financial planner and/or a mortgage specialist.  These experts can help you get creative with your finances!

 

photo credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Working with local renovation and home decor businesses in YXE is always a good choice!

Happy Renovating Everyone!

2015 Home Styles Show in YXE this week!

posted by My Saskatoon    |   March 15, 2015 21:49

In anticipation for this year's Home Styles Show we've been posting articles having to do with home improvement and home decor to our Facebook page, Pinterest, and of course to our blog. Well we are happy to announce that the week we've been waiting for has finally arrived! The home show is scheduled to kick-off this coming Thursday, March 19th - 3pm at Prairieland Park, with over 400 booths! 

The Home Styles Show is "the big event" in Saskatoon that truly speaks to the hearts of the renovation, home improvement, DYI types. With guest speakers Damon Bennett and Kate Cambell at this year's show, it's easy to see how people will be inspired to tackle their home renovation or custom home build with confidence after attending one of their speaking sessions.  

Now for those of us who may not have a home renovation or building project in the works, don't worry, because the home show also caters to those of us who might be in the market for a new home or are looking for lifestyle products like cookware and hot tubs! 

Speaking of being in the market for a new home, last week we met with local mortgage broker, Deb Murdoch, to discuss the benefits of working with a mortgage broker when purchasing a home, finding capital to renovate your home, and securing a great interest rate - click here to read the interview. Deb Murdoch will be at the home show this week and can be found at the First Avenue Furnishing's booth. Be sure to stop-by the booth to speak with Deb about your mortgage. 

Other local business found on My Saskatoon that will be exhibitors in this year's home show include: 

We're looking forward to this year's home show and can't wait to see all the local businesses in attendance!

  

photo credit - Home Styles

 

2015 Home Styles Details 

Show Times

  • Thursday, March 19th - 3pm to 9pm
  • Friday, March 20th - 12noon to 9pm
  • Saturday, March 21st - 10am to 7pm
  • Sunday, March 22nd - 10am to 5pm
The Home Styles website suggests visiting the show on Thursday if you're hoping to get some one-on-one time with the exhibitors, as this day tends to be one of the slower days. Saturday has traditionally been the busiest day out of the four days. 
 

Admission Rates 

Tickets available at the door - but CASH ONLY!!

  • Adults $12.50
  • Seniors (65+) $10.00
  • Children (12 & Under) Free

Location

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Home and Garden | Support Local

Places in Saskatchewan you need to visit this summer!

posted by My Saskatoon    |   March 4, 2015 21:53

The Saskatoon Sports and Leisure Show starts today at 6pm!

For more details regarding the cost, time, and location click here

 

In the spirit of the Sports and Leisure Show, and for all of us who are dreaming of summer, we've put together some links from the Tourism of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Parks  websites that list all the amazing places in Saskatchewan we should be exploring this summer. 

Happy planning!
 

Photo Credit - Saskatoon Sports & Leisure

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Support Local | Travel

10 Tips for Booking a Vacation Rental

posted by My Saskatoon    |   February 25, 2015 11:37

If you read our last blog post about the variables to consider when booking a vacation rental over a hotel room, you may have come to the conclusion that a vacation home is the way to go for your next trip. Whether you are looking for a quaint cottage for two or you're planning a multi-family vacation for 22, there are a few key things to keep in mind as you browse the online options. So we've put together a few pointers for those of you who are on the hunt for the perfect vacation rental. 

Source: vrbo.com

1. Browse multiple sites. Some of the best websites for booking a vacation rental are VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb, and FlipKey.

2. Refine your search. You can narrow down your search results by number of bedrooms, cost, location, etc. Do you want a pool? Are you bringing a pet? Save yourself some time by refining your search.  

3. Look at the kitchen. Look closely at the pictures displayed on the listing to gauge the age and quality of the home. A good indicator is the kitchen. Look specifically at the appliances and the countertops. If the kitchen looks run down, the rest of the home will likely be in the same condition or worse. 

4. Find the property on Google Earth. You’ll be able to get a good idea of what the surrounding area looks like, and this way you'll be able to confirm exactly what the owner means by “beach front property”. If you’re staying in a city, you’ll be able to take a look up and down the street to be sure you are comfortable with the neighbourhood surrounding the home. 

5. Talk to an actual person. You can test how quickly your needs will be taken care of based on the response time of the owner or property management company. If you are renting from the owner, take the opportunity to chat with them about the local area, local attractions, and popular restaurants. 

Source: tripadvisor.com

6. Ask questions. Is the swimming pool open year round? How often is the hot tub serviced? Is the grill gas or charcoal? It is also wise to ask specific questions about pets, both if you are bringing one or if you have any pet allergies. This way, you'll be sure to avoid any surprises upon arrival. 

7. Read the fine print. Is there a cleaning fee or is it rolled into the cost of the rental? Are there additional taxes per night? Do you have to bring your own linens? Is the pool heated?

8. Beware of cancellation fees. Unlike hotel rooms, there are usually stiff fees for last minute cancellations on vacation rentals. Be sure that you are committed to the dates you have chosen prior to booking. 

9. Read online reviews. The best reviews come from other renters, and many homes on the websites above have good reviews with detailed information. Taking time to read the reviews will often produce good information like good restaurants nearby or tips for how to use local transit system.  

10. Book early. Most vacation rentals allow you to book 12 months in advance, so it may be wise to start looking 6-9 months in advance, especially for vacation homes large enough to house several families. 

Do you have personal experience with vacation rentals? Share your tips and advice in the comments!

12 Tips for Packing Like a Pro

posted by My Saskatoon    |   February 18, 2015 13:03

Winter vacations certainly take the edge off of Saskatoon's longest season. If you're planning on joining the throngs of people leaving our city for a little break this month, check out our Travel page for some helpful tips, tricks, and inspiration for everything from staying healthy while traveling to the best ways to utilize your smartphone while you're away. Today we thought we would share some tips for something that applies to most any getaway- packing. We've put together some of our favourite packing tips that are sure to make your trip prep simpler and your vacation easier and more enjoyable!

Source: thefreshexchangeblog.com

1. Taking a plane to your destination? Some essentials to keep in your carry on: an empty water bottle to fill up once you're through security, gum to take the edge off of that nasty ear pressure, snacks, and lip balm. Entertainment like books or pre-downloaded movies and games are also key. If you anticipate sleeping on the plane, we also recommend bringing a sleeping mask and a large, light scarf that could be used as a blanket. 

2. Doing a multi-city trip or visiting a place that will require you to lug your bags on trains and up staircases? Consider bringing enough clothing for just one week and doing laundry midway through your trip. Spending a couple of hours at a laundromat beats hauling around a massive suitcase (or two)! 

3. Before putting anything in your suitcase, lay out the outfits you’d like to wear and analyze which items could be combined in order to remove a couple of pairs of pants or shirts from the mix. 

4. Put a shower cap around your shoes to keep dirty soles from touching your clothing in your bag. 

Source: backtoherroots.com

5. You've probably heard that rolling up your clothing items saves space in your suitcase, and it does!. An even better alternative to the traditional folded and stacked method is “filing” your clothing. Fold each item into a rectangle and insert it into your suitcase vertically. This enables you to clearly see what each item in your suitcase is and easily pull out what you need once you arrive at your destination. Gone are the days of having to pull everything out of your suitcase in order to get to something at the bottom! Another tight packing tip: stuff belts in shoes and shove socks anywhere you see a void in your suitcase.

6. Mark your bag FRAGILE if you can. That way, the baggage handlers are likely to put your bag on the top of the pile, and it will then be unloaded first, meaning first off the carousel!

7. Long necklaces can become an unfathomable jumble after being jingled around in your suitcase, even when stored in a pocket or separate case. Avoid this by using empty pill containers to keep necklaces separate! Empty sunglasses cases or pencil cases can also be used to store computer and phone charger cords separately to avoid the inevitable tangle. 

8. Throw a couple of plastic grocery bags in your bag- you never know what you’ll need them for, and they are great for wet bathing suits!  

9. Place beauty products in the middle of your suitcase to avoid breakage. If you have glass foundation or fragrance bottles that you must bring, consider tucking them inside shoes or inside a rolled up sock. 

Source: goodhousekeeping.com

10. Consider purchasing packing cubes like these to fit inside your suitcase. This will make it easier to put together outfits as you can separate your items into categories like "tops", "bottoms", "unmentionables", etc. This method also works great when packing for multiple children in one suitcase, as each child's clothing can be put into it's own packing cube. This will make mornings much easier while you're away!

11. Another tip for travelling as a family- save space by combining toiletries into one bag and share items like toothpaste and soap. 

12. Packing for a theme park with toddlers and preschoolers? Some things you'll want to be sure to bring: diapers, wipes, snacks, water, spray sunscreen, ziplock bags for wet or dirty clothes or leftover snacks purchased at the park, and a muslin blanket to take the chill off in the morning also serves as a necessary sunshade in the afternoon!

We hope that these tips are helpful to you as you anticipate your trip!

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Support Local

Valentine's Gifts For Him

posted by My Saskatoon    |   February 13, 2015 18:44

Flowers, chocolates, wine and rose petals - the stuff tomorrow is supposed to be made of. February 14th is often perceived as the requisite day for men to kick up the romance in one way or another (which we are definitely in favour of) but perhaps it should also serve as an opportunity for the ladies to do something to honour their men. If you’re a woman, this may be something that’s already crossed your mind, or perhaps exchanging gifts is something you and your sweetheart do every Valentine’s Day. Either way, coming up with a Valentine’s Day surprise for a guy can be tough and time is not exactly on your side. So we thought we would put together a little list to help you get your creative juices flowing for things you could do to make the man in your life feel special tomorrow. 

‘Open When’ Envelopes

If your man loves words of affirmation, ‘Open When’ envelopes could be the perfect gift for him. Take some time to write down heartfelt messages to your guy and then categorize them into envelopes along with photos or other mementos that will make him smile. 

Source: welivedhappilyeverafter.com

A Few of His Favourite Things 

What does your man love the most? If you can come up with a list of a few small things he really enjoys, and compile them into some sort of receptacle like a box or bucket, trust us, he will love it! This can be as easy as picking up his favourite snack, sweet treat, beverage, and a couple of other items that you know he’ll love like a book, game, movie tickets, clothing item, or tech accessory. 

Source: Pinterest

Pallet Coasters

Have some extra solo time tonight and the will to do a crafty little DIY? These pallet coasters seem easy enough and are so on trend! 

Source: cookinglikelou.com

Bacon Roses

Okay, so our next few suggestions operate under the pretence that most guys love bacon. Forgive us for making this assumption! But really, don’t most guys love bacon? This bacon roses idea is the ultimate in Valentine’s Day bacon gifts. If you’re a little bit ambitious, this could totally be done in a couple of hours and we think any bacon-loving guy would love it!

Bacon Salt

A great gift for a guy who enjoys cooking and loves bacon, this recipe for bacon salt is sure to please. 

 

Bacon Jam

In a similar vein as the bacon salt, this recipe for bacon jam pairs well with a ton of savoury recipes. You could even pick up a baguette and enjoy it together as an appetizer on Valentine’s Day! 

Jack Daniels Soap Dispenser

Some guys just like to hold onto empty liquor bottles. If yours is one of them, you probably have easy access to an empty 26oz bottle. Earn extra points on this one if you can use your man’s favourite brand to make this unique soap dispenser. 

It is also important to recognize that a gift may not be the most meaningful thing you can do for your sweetheart. For some people, simply spending time together can mean the most. Others may really appreciate an act of service like having their car detailed or their closet organized. Whatever you decide to do, we hope that you enjoy the sentiment that comes with Valentine’s Day and that you spread love and joy to your nearest and dearest in the way that means the most to them. Here’s to everyone in Saskatoon getting spoiled with thoughtful gestures tomorrow!

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Support Local

Family Day in Saskatoon

posted by My Saskatoon    |   February 11, 2015 10:50

Making its way onto our calendars in 2007, Saskatchewan's 'Family Day' hasn't been a part of our history for very long. Coming every year on the wake of the much-loved (or loathed) Valentine's Day, Family Day isn't something many of us plan ahead for. We enjoy the day off and if we have kids, the time spent together as a family, but it isn't something we give much thought to. Have you ever noticed that while simply hanging out with loved ones is wonderful, it often requires a somewhat unique experience to build a memory you look back on? It usually takes something just a little bit out of the ordinary to really make a meaningful experience. We suggest that this Monday, you take some time to come up with something fun and unique for you and your loved ones to do together! You never know, it might turn into a Family Day tradition! Here are a few ideas we came up with. 

Skating Party

Make it easy with a trip to the Cameco Family Day Skating Party at the skating rink by the Bess! Gather up your family and friends and head to downtown Saskatoon to enjoy sleigh rides, skating (of course), and a heated tent with fun kids' activities like face painting, balloon animals and crafts. There will even be hot cocoa and cookies if you get there early in the day! The party is from 12-4. 

Family Movie Night

This might seem like a cop out, but there are several fun ways to kick family movie night up a notch! Print off some of these downloadable movie bingo cards, and add an extra element to your movie night experience! Let the kids keep their treats handy by stringing goodies onto DIY candy necklaces. Pile up on the floor! Cover your living room floor with blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags for a family snuggle while you watch. 

Family Games

Take family game night to the next level by setting up a series of 'Minute To Win It' challenges! This can be a ton of fun for both adults and kids. Some good ideas for this style of game night can be found here

Spread Kindness

Random acts of kindness are great to do as a family. Consider taking some time on Monday to do something nice for a stranger. If you need some ideas, here is a list of 'RAKs' that kids can be involved in. 

Arts & Crafts

If this is an everyday occurrence in your household, try arranging for the kids to make something unique that they've never done before. If your kids are old enough, paper mâché or mod podge projects are a ton of fun and can have really cool results. 

Cook or Bake Together

If your kids are the type to want to help in the kitchen, Monday might be a good day to arrange to spend time together in the kitchen with a fun kid-friendly recipe! This list has some tasty options. 

 

Get more Family Day ideas on our 'Family Day' Pinterest board!

Do you have plans for Monday? Let us know in the comments!

Valentine's Day in Saskatoon for Couples & Singles

posted by My Saskatoon    |   February 6, 2015 13:20

Whether single or taken, you’re probably well aware that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. There can be a lot of pressure surrounding this day, so for those of you who need some inspiration we've put together a little list of fun things to do in Saskatoon this V-Day. If you're single, remember that the love theme of the day doesn't have to be about romance. Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse to go above and beyond to cherish the loving relationships you have with your friends and family. Any of the following ideas can be turned into a girls' night or fun family excursion! 

Source: Pinterest 

Wanna go out?

It’s supposed to warm up just in time for V-Day! As much as we tire of winter here in Saskatoon, a snowy backdrop and twinkly lights certainly lends a festive vibe to an outdoorsy activity. Head to the Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink and cut some laps with your love, or round up a few friends and celebrate with a group skate. Follow it up with a visit to the stunning Frosted Gardens at the Delta Bessborough.

Would you prefer to stay indoors while you're out? Local restaurant Calories on Broadway is hosting a special Valentine's dinner menu with live entertainment on both February 13th and 14th. Reservations are highly recommended! Check out the Calories Facebook page for the details. We'd also highly recommend spending the evening of February 13th enjoying your favourite Broadway and jazz love songs at The Bassment. More information can be found here.

Looking for an activity that's a little more anti-valentine-esque? There are some great Canadian hockey match-ups happening on February 14th, as well as the annual Motorsports Spectacular at SaskTel Centre, conveniently held each year in Saskatoon on Valentine's Day!

Source: Pinterest

Rather stay in?

Planning a night in? We love the idea of building an indoor tent for your sweetheart or BFFs. Use your imagination and supplies you have on hand, or get some inspiration here. Put together a nice charcuterie board from The Bulk Cheese Warehouse or grab takeout from Keo’s Kitchen. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine from Ingredients!

If you'd rather do the cooking yourself, local Saskatoon foodie Renée Kohlman has a ton of amazing recipes on her blog, Sweetsugarbean. We think Renée's recipe for Chocolate & Blood Orange Pots de Crème would be a perfect V-Day dessert. If you're trying to keep things on the healthy side, her recipe for Chocolate Pistachio Energy Bites sounds amazing too!

Photo Credit: Renée Kohlman

We also love the idea of giving back on V-Day. Getting together to do something for others increases the bond you share with your friends and loved ones. Spread the love by giving back to our community on Valentine’s Day, whether through a random act of kindness or giving your time or financial support to a local cause that speaks to your heart. 

We hope that you are inspired to honour those you love in a special way next weekend! If you hear of any other fun Valentine's Day events happening in Saskatoon, please let us know in the comments so we can share them! 

Trending Bridal Hair Accessories

posted by My Saskatoon    |   January 28, 2015 12:57

Aside from the dress, your hairstyle will probably be the most important element in achieving the look you desire for your wedding day. Whether you opt for loosely flowing locks, a chic chignon or something in between, a hair accessory has the power to pull your entire look together. Regardless of whether you wear your hair up or down, the most important thing to consider when adding a lovely little something to your 'do is the vibe that you want to exude through your bridal style on your wedding day. Whether you're going for a look that is boho, glam, vintage, or classic, there's a hair piece that will take it to the next level. We've put together a list of trending wedding hair accessories that can work with a variety of dress styles. Keep reading for some of our favourites!

Fascinator

A fascinator clearly gives off a vintage vibe. With pearls, red lips, and a tea length hem a fascinator can be beautifully retro, but it is versatile and works well with modern dress styles as well. There are no subtleties with a hair piece like this, so if you're going for a dramatic look, a fascinator will take you there! 

Source: 100layercake.com

Flower Crown

A flower crown is an especially great way to pull a boho look together, and the versatility of flowers and greenery makes it easy for a bride to customize this look to work with the colours and style of her wedding. A flower crown adds a very feminine, free-spiritedness to your wedding look and pairs beautifully with a lace gown or flowy chiffon fabric. If you want your flower crown to make a statement, large blooms are the way to go, while dainty blossoms can add a subtle, carefree touch.

Source: theweddingscoop.com

Jewels

Hair jewels are so versatile, complementing nearly any bridal style. Jewelled hair pins can be positioned near the face for a more dramatic, glamorous look, and can add subtle interest to an updo when positioned at the back or side of the head. Ornate, jewelled headpieces can also add a unique bohemian flair to your bridal look. 

Source: Pinterest

Veil

The classic! Veils come in so many styles, materials, and lengths that they can work for almost any bridal look. A veil is essential if you are going for a traditional style, and embellished or lace veils add romance and glamour. You can also pair a veil with other hair accessories like flowers and jewels to totally customize your look. 

Source: stylemepretty.com

Au Natural

You don't have to accessorize! A bridal look that is free of hair accessories can be simply stunning. The natural look works perfectly for brides who are getting married on the beach, or who have a very simple gown. It's so important for a bride to feel like herself on her wedding day, and so if you are someone who doesn't particularly love dressing up, don't feel the pressure to adorn yourself!

Source: bridalmusings.com

Head Wrap  

Head wraps are something we are seeing more and more brides choosing, and in our opinion serve as a modernized version of the fascinator. A head wrap can kick up the drama of a boho look, and would also pair well with a vintage style dress. Similar to a fascinator, a head wrap makes a bold statement and would be stunning with a very simple gown. 

Source: bridalguide.com

We just love the versatility of hair pieces and the beautiful way they can enhance a bride's beauty. But they aren't just for brides! Accessories like flower crowns and jewels can also add a really nice touch to bridesmaids' style, and we could totally see the mother of the bride in a fascinator! For more wedding hair accessories inspiration, check out our Wedding Accessories board on Pinterest!

Our Favourite Wedding DIYs

posted by My Saskatoon    |   January 23, 2015 13:50

January is wedding month on My Saskatoon, so in accordance we thought we would put together some of our favourite wedding DIY ideas. We have been absorbed by all of the inspiration floating around on Pinterest, and we've found ourselves pinning like crazy these days. If you like what you see here, check out our Wedding DIY board for more of our faves! 

Paper Goods

There are so many beautiful wedding invitation designs to draw inspiration from. We love the look of this Tuscany-inspired design found on Ruffled Blog. If you find yourself in need of some expert help with invitations, connect with Michelle at Michelle's Flowers to chat about her wedding invitation design services. 

Photo Credit: ruffledblog.com

With a totally different vibe, we love how this wedding program showcases the personalities of the bride and groom. And of course the rustic brown card stock and clothespins are so on trend right now!  

Photo Credit: rusticweddingchic.com

Wedding Shower

Looking for wedding shower ideas? We love the thought of having a girls' brunch complete with an adorable mimosa bar like this one from Green Wedding Shoes. It's all in the details! Localize it by including Saskatoon-grown berries and thrifted goblets and vases. 

Photo Credit: greenweddingshoes.com

Every shower has some sort of game or icebreaker element, and we love the idea of including an activity that results in something the bride and groom can enjoy together. Whether its a recipe book, advice cards or date night ideas compiled by shower guests, a takeaway for the couple is always a nice touch. We love this DIY Date Night Jar found on Life in the Green House

Photo Credit: lifeinthegreenhouse.com

Handmade Flowers

DIY paper flowers can actually be really beautiful, and fairly easy to do. This giant paper rose DIY from Green Wedding Shoes would provide a perfect opportunity for bridesmaids to bond over crafting. And what a fun photo op! 

Photo Credit: greenweddingshoes.com

If you're into the idea of paper flowers but don't want to use them in place of bouquets, they can be used in garlands, table centres, or on the wedding cake. If you're including fresh ranunculus in your bouquets, we love the idea of mirroring that with these lovely DIY paper ranunculus in your wedding decor.

Photo Credit: emmalinebride.com

Wedding Favours

Probably the most frequently DIY'ed of all wedding details are the favours. They provide such a great opportunity to do something unique and personal! We came across this fun trail mix idea that we think would be perfect for an outdoorsy couple and a rustic wedding. 

Photo Credit: weddingchicks.com

Perhaps a bit more time consuming, but oh so lovely are these terrariums that could serve as both place markers and favours. Take advantage of any remaining sales on Christmas ornaments and this DIY idea from Green Wedding Shoes could be very wedding-budget-friendly.

Photo Credit: greenweddingshoes.com

We hope you are enjoying wedding inspiration as much as we are! For more wedding related blog posts and articles, and information about local businesses who specialize in weddings, pay a visit to our Weddings page on My Saskatoon. There will be one more week of local Saskatoon wedding goodness coming your way! 

Thanks for reading! :)

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