Thursday, March 28, 2013

FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA Link Party #4 and Features!

Ah, yes...it's that time of the week when things begin to wind down....the work week is wrapping up....time for relaxing and.....

WAIT!  This is EASTER WEEKEND!  No slowing down here!!!

We are gearing up for quite a crazy busy weekend at the HOME GIRL Household!!!

Friday is Good Friday, and my in-laws will be heading into town to spend Easter Weekend with us.  Friday night we'll head over to church for the Good Friday service!

Saturday is our "GOTCHA DAY"!  The one year anniversary of when we adopted our kids!  Soooo, we want to make that day very special!  Presents, some memorable and fun activity, etc.  Plus LOTS of preparations because on EASTER Sunday, we will be heading to a special outdoor Easter Service with our church, which is going to be a little farther than normal for us...and very early in the morning!  Then we'll rush home and finish up preparations for a HUGE Easter Dinner for 20 people!!!    WOW!   I'm praying NOW that I'll be able to get it all done in time! 

But I'm also so excited at the same time to celebrate this great upcoming weekend with people I love!

I'm also super excited about this week's FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA!!!   Last week we had some really neat posts!!!   Again, picking Features was extra hard, but I was able to narrow them down to a few great features!

Sarah from Hyacinths For the Soul put together this lovely colorful table for her Garden Club!  I LOVE these bright colors and beautiful details! 

Perfect for this time of year!  Check out her post for lots more of the lovely details of this luncheon!
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Christine from "Christine's Home and Travel Adventures" shared a BEAUTIFUL tour of her gardens and backyard area!"  It was so beautiful! 

I had a hard time not being envious of her gorgeous home, pool and flower gardens!  Just fabulous!!!
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Alexis from "Running Away?  I'll Help You Pack"  came up with some really creative ideas when her kids were invited to a "Mad Hatter Tea Party"! 


I love these crazy clock suitcases she made for the occasion!  She posted several great recipes and crafts for this party!  So fun!!!
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Kathleen from "Cuisine Kathleen" shared an absolutely LOVELY Hydrangea Tablescape this week!  

I love the textures she uses, her beautiful plates and those gorgeous Hydrangeas!!!
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And the post with the most views this week was Jo May from "LoblollyLane"  who shared her delicious looking Sweet Peach Cake she made after watching the Food Network!!  

This looks super yummy!!!  I've always wanted to go into the kitchen right after a cooking show and make the very thing I just saw!  You can even see the yummy chunks of peaches in there.....Deeeeelish!
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Thanks so much everyone for sharing your awesome creativity this past week!   Now...on to this week's party!!!!  

COME JOIN THE FIESTA!!!   Everyone is welcome!


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Can't wait to see what you've been up to this week!  Thanks so much for stopping by and have a BLESSED EASTER/PASSOVER WEEKEND!!!

This post is being added to...
Get Schooled Saturday

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Whadda We Eatin' Wednesday! Recipe for Spicy Sausage Pinwheels!

Hiya Everyone!!!

I hope you are having a great week!!!   I can't believe it's already half over!!! 

Today I'd like to share an easy and delicious party food recipe!  A great appetizer if you're having a get-together or even for an Easter gathering!

I first saw this recipe on Shannah's site from JUST US FOUR!   If you haven't checked her blog out yet, you should, she has got some great recipes and great ideas!  

This recipe looked so yummy and so easy that I knew I had to try it for a get-together!   Well, I found just the occasion!  

We had an outdoor movie night the day before St. Patrick's Day for our kids and their homeschooling friends and their families!  It was such a fun night!   I thought this would be a great time to test out this yummy looking appetizer!

I made a few small changes to this recipe....I used spicy Turkey Sausage instead of the regular sausage, I used full-fat cream cheese, and I wasn't able to find refrigerated Pizza dough at my grocery store, so I used the refrigerated crescent roll dough and just sealed the perforations.

 

Having said that, here is the recipe...

Ingredients: - 1 lb spicy ground Italian sausage or Turkey Sausage  (if you use turkey sausage...you may want to add a few spices to taste, but it was certainly good without the extra spices too.)
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 tube Pillsbury pizza crust  (or crescent rolls)
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese



Cook the sausage in a skillet stirring with a spoon to crumble. Drain well.  I pressed a paper towel over the sausage after it is done draining to get the excess oil off, that's how well you want to drain it.


Mix the sausage and the softened cream cheese together.  Make sure to stir well.
 
Roll out the pizza crust or crescent rolls with a rolling pin...making sure to seal the perforations if you use the crescent rolls....and spread the sausage mixture evenly on top.
 
 
Roll the pizza dough up into a log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes to make it easier to slice.  I actually made the logs the night before and put them in the refrigerator until it was time to bake. 

Then slice horizontally into 1-inch slices and place on ungreased baking sheet.
 
 Sprinkle slices with the cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes.
 
These came out really delicious!  I ate too many.  I couldn't help myself.   I made two batches for the party because I knew I'd eat so many!  They were awesome and were a hit at our party too!


I think I might just add one step for next time, just to make it a little more crispy and buttery....I would brush a little melted butter over the top and see what happens...it might work...it might not.  I'm willing to put in the work to find out...haha!

Thanks so much for joining me for another "WHADDA WE EATIN' WEDNESDAY"  and I hope you have a great rest of the week!

Also, I hope you'll join me tomorrow night at 8pm ET for the FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA Link Party!  The party is live Thursday nights at 8pm ET through Sunday nights at 8pm ET!

Have a good one!  Thanks again for stopping by!  =D
 

 
This post is being added to....
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tablescape Tuesday - "Last-Minute Lavender" Tablescape!

Hi all!

I hope you are doing well and having a good week so far!

We are back from Disney and had a great trip with the kids.  We got back late afternoon on Saturday and had just a little time to get ready and go to church Saturday night...then it was off to bed as we were all quite tired!

The following morning was SUNDAY....Yes, "Sunday Family Dinner" Sunday, but we had made plans to go visit my father and his girlfriend who live about 90 minutes away for the day.  

We still wanted to have a "Sunday Family Dinner" but my time was so limited to put a tablescape together...so, in the 45 minutes I had between when we got up to when we left to go to my dad's....I put a tablescape together for our Sunday Family Dinner for that evening...

In case you're new to this blog and wondering...."What in the world is she talking about???"  Here is a short blurb about our new Tradition and why I put together a tablescape in 45 minutes for this.....

If you've been here before and are already familiar with this, please feel free to skip this part....

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We started a new family tradition in January 2013 (a New Years' Resolution) that I hope continues even after the kids are grown.

"SUNDAY FAMILY DINNERS!"

We pretty much have dinner together as a family every night, but on Sundays, we have a special dinner in the dining room as opposed to the kitchen table, where we normally eat.

I get out the fine china and candles and make a special meal and so far, it has been something we look forward to each week.
Then once a month, we invite some of our extended family to join us for a Sunday family dinner.
It's also been giving me a chance to do lots of new TABLESCAPES..haha!

To see my previous tablescapes from other Sunday Family Dinners, you can click here:

Sunday Family Dinner #1 - Red and Blue Toile
S.F.D.#2 - Black, White and Silver
S.F.D.#3 - Winter Woods With White
S.F.D.#4 - The "Royal Treatment"
S.F.D.#5 - Super Bowl Table
S.F.D. #6 - Mardi Gras Table
S.F.D. #7 - Spring is Springing Up
S.F.D. #8 - "Apple of My Eye"
S.F.D. #9 - "Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss"
S.F.D. #10 - The "KNego" Tablescape (Designed by my 9 year old son)
S.F.D. #11 - The St. Patrick's Day Tablescape
 
 
 Because I'm on a budget but love to switch up my decor for the various tablescapes each week, I'm decorating my tables almost entirely on BARGAINS....finds from the Dollar Stores, Thrift Stores, or regular stores with sales or clearance items.
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So, here's what I came up with in that 45 minutes...haha!



I'm calling this my "Last-minute Lavender" Tablescape!

I'm doing so for many reasons.  I was able to get this table mostly done and clear off most of the tablescape stuff from the prior week, but I wasn't able to finish. 

Soooo, when we got back from my dad's it was dinner time...so we picked up Pollo Tropical  (a Latin-style chicken restaurant that is a favorite of our family!)  and decided to have that for our Sunday Family Dinner so I didn't have to spend time meal planning and cooking.   

I had 5 minutes once we got home with the food to finish the table, and I was literally taking pictures while my kids and husband were sitting down at the table and my husband was saying, "Sweetie, please put the camera AWAY so we can have our dinner!"  Haha!


 

 
 I had found this pretty lavender and purple fabric at Joann's Fabric for $2.99 per yard last month, so I got 2 half-yards of it!  It was perfect to put right across the table to give some interest to the white tablecloth as well as act as a sort of placemat for the plates.   2 runners for $3?  I was a happy camper!

The tall hurricane candleholders were a find from Old Time Pottery, on sale for $10 each. The silver candleholders were  thrift store find for super cheap ($2 each, I believe!)   My small Pier 1 bowls worked as tealight holders on this table, and my clear and purple wine glasses were just $1 each (Dollar Tree for the clear ones, Thrift store for the purple ones.)


 
 Here's a quick plate breakdown, since I just didn't have time to take all the pictures of the different layers....

The purple charger is from Michaels (I bought them on sale for $1.50, but I've heard of them getting as low as 49 cents on sale....sure wish I would have gone to THAT sale!)

On top of that is a white plate I've had forever...since I was first married....I believe they were a wedding gift, in fact!

On top of that is a pretty lavender, purple and green salad/dessert plate that I found at our church's local thrift store for 50 CENTS EACH!   They were $1.00 but they were marked down 50% for this sale....I loved them and bought all 6!  

I sure wish I would have put some nice purple napkins down, with some fancy napkin rings....but....well, I didn't have the time...so we just used the FASHIONABLE white POLLO TROPICAL napkins with our dinner...haha!

The centerpiece was a glass pedestal with an upside down purple wine glass as a candleholder, a lavender painted vase
with purple and white flowers, and a purple candleholder with some darker purple ornaments lining the bottom.


It was very last-minute and several elements to the tablescape were forgotten...

It was not a meal that I created myself...the good folks at Pollo Tropical did the job for me...

BUT...I'm still really glad we had time to squeeze in our traditional Sunday Family Dinner, despite our very busy schedule!  I think it meant a lot to the kids to know they were still going to have it, even though we had been gone so much.

I hope you have enjoyed this Tablescape Tuesday and I hope to see you tomorrow for the WHADDA WE EATIN' WEDNESDAY, (No, I will NOT be posting our meal from Pollo Tropical...haha!)  where I will share a great recipe that I recently served at our outdoor movie night!  A great and very easy party food!

Also, I hope you will come join me for the FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA Link Party later this week...I'd love to see some of YOUR awesome creations!   The link party goes live on Thursday night at 8pm ET and runs until Sunday at 8pm ET.

Have a wonderful week!  Hope to see you soon!

This post is being added to...
Tabletop Tuesday
Pretty Things Link Party
Fluster's Creative Muster
Spring Into Spring
Wow Us Wednesdays
Centerpiece Wednesday
Let's Dish
Open House Party
Tablescape Thursday
Thrifty Things Friday
Show and Tell Friday

Thursday, March 21, 2013

FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA Link Party #3!

Hey Everyone!!!!

Greetings from DISNEYWORLD!

I would like to apologize for not commenting on everyone's posts, although I did look at each one.  We have taken the kiddos for a short trip to Disney for the week!  

Today we went to Epcot Center just in time for their "Flower and Garden Festival"  We got to see some GORGEOUS Flowers and even a pretty butterfly garden!

Here are some pics of the lovely florals they have at the park right now through Mid-May!

 Now THIS is flower arranging at its finest!!!

 The water was just shimmering as we walked by these lovely arrangements in this pond!

Can you believe all these characters are made out of plants and flowers?!?!   So inventive!!!

If you get a chance to get to Disney World, this is a great place to see some amazing flowers and plants at the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot Center!  I'm not getting paid anything to say that, by the way....just sharing the wealth!
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It's almost Friday!  And you know what that means!!!!

It's Time for the 3rd FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA!!!!!

But first....a few fantastic features from last week!

I was loving all the creativity I saw on these links!  You guys have some incredible blogs with some wonderful posts!   It was tough picking out just a few features....

But here are a few of the many that stood out for me!
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Laurie from Simply Creating Home was a guest photographer at a WONDERFUL activity that I'm totally going to try to set up! 


It's called "POWER COOKING WITH FRIENDS" and it is a wonderful way for girlfriends to get together, and cook a bunch of family meals to freeze and use for their families!   I love this idea!
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Jenna from The Painted Apron created this ADORABLE Bunny Garden Tablescape!  


I just love every detail she thought of to make this table just wonderful!  You'll also have to check out her "carrot garden dip" recipe she made that looks like a little carrot patch on this wonderful table!  I'm planning on making that dip for Easter!   I LOVE THIS whole table!!!
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Desiree from "Your Crafty Friend"  showed us how to make this very cute Mason Jar Door Hanging to hang her fresh flowers! 


What a cute idea!  And the instructions are very simple and straightforward!  
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And the post with the most views this week is this beautiful St. Patrick's Day Hors D' Oeuvres Table from Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie!



What a fun and festive table to enjoy some St. Patty's Day Hors D'oeuvres!

If you were featured this week, feel free to grab a button for your blog if you'd like.  I'm also including a button for the fiesta for those of you who like to use buttons versus links!  Thanks!

Here's the General Link Party Button!


Here's the code for the general button....

<center>


Here's the Button if you were featured!

And here's the code for that button....



Hope that works! Thanks again!

Now, Let's get on to This Week's Party!!!

The Festive Friday Fiesta will be running from 8pm ET on Thursdays to 8pm ET on Sundays!
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Whadda We Eatin' Wednesday - Boston Market/Disney Easy Sweet Cornbread Bites.

Well, hello everyone! Hard to believe it's already Wednesday! But, that means it's time for another...
Whadda We Eatin' Wednesday!
This week I would like to share with you a super easy recipe for some of the best cornbread I've ever had!
We hosted an outdoor movie night the other night with some other homeschool families and I made these to go along with a crockpot chili I made.
The recipe is very simple!  I found it on Pinterest recently, the blog that posted it (The Sisters' Dish) called it "Boston Market Cornbread" and then, my mother was telling me that one of her friends made it as well for a get-together she had and everyone loved it.
So, without further ado, here is the recipe..
First you take 1 box of cornbread mix, and 1 box of yellow cake mix.  Add the ingredients to make them according to the package directions (pretty much eggs, oil, water and maybe milk).


Prepare each according to the package directions, then combine them into one bowl and mix well.
Then, scoop  the mixture into greased muffin pans (make each muffin cup about half full)  and put them in the oven for the same amount of time that the cake mix calls for.  I made both bite sized muffins (which, next time I will make the entire mix this way...they were so cute and easy to pop in your mouth!  haha!) and the regular sized muffins.  The smaller ones took about 15 minutes at 375.  The larger ones were about 18 or 19 minutes. 


Here's how they turned out for the party! 
 
I'm telling you, the kids loved them and my daughter, who is NOT a bread-eater, also loved them and kept asking for more! 
 
I can see why!  They were very good.
Hope you enjoy!!!
This post is being added to...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tablescape Tuesday - Saint Patricks Day Tablescape

Top o' the mornin to ya! 
 
Thanks so much for joining me for another Tablescape Tuesday!
 
This week we had a wonderful Sunday Family Dinner at our home to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.
 
If you're new to my blog...here's a wee bit of information for ya' about our Sunday Family Dinner Tradition...if you're NOT new to my blog and already know about this tradition...feel free to skip right over this part!!! 
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We started a new family tradition in January 2013 (a New Years' Resolution) that I hope continues even after the kids are grown.

"SUNDAY FAMILY DINNERS!"

We pretty much have dinner together as a family every night, but on Sundays, we have a special dinner in the dining room as opposed to the kitchen table, where we normally eat.

I get out the fine china and candles and make a special meal and so far, it has been something we look forward to each week.
Then once a month, we invite some of our extended family to join us for a Sunday family dinner.
It's also been giving me a chance to do lots of new TABLESCAPES..haha!

To see my previous tablescapes from other Sunday Family Dinners, you can click here:

Sunday Family Dinner #1 - Red and Blue Toile
S.F.D.#2 - Black, White and Silver
S.F.D.#3 - Winter Woods With White
S.F.D.#4 - The "Royal Treatment"
S.F.D.#5 - Super Bowl Table
S.F.D. #6 - Mardi Gras Table
S.F.D. #7 - Spring is Springing Up
S.F.D. #8 - "Apple of My Eye"
S.F.D. #9 - "Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss"
S.F.D. #10 - The "KNego" Tablescape (Designed by my 9 year old son)
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 Because I'm on a budget but love to switch up my decor for the various tablescapes each week, I'm decorating my tables almost entirely on BARGAINS....finds from the Dollar Stores, Thrift Stores, or regular stores with sales or clearance items.

We had a very busy week this week, setting up an outdoor movie night for some of our homeschooling family friends, so I didn't have time to put a very elaborate table together, but I was hoping to do the "simple, yet elegant" tablescape with this table... 
My colors were the cooler colors of mint green, kelly green and silver with white. 

I started with a white tablecloth and put a round mint color tablecloth from the Salvation Army ($2, I believe) over top.
 
The centerpiece was a bargain candelabra I got at Goodwill for $4, I believe. I added the lovely silver candles that I got on clearance after Christmas.  This is the same one you've seen in my Winter Woods With White Tablescape a few months ago...this time it looks a little different.
 

Next to that candelabra on either side were two beautiful silver candle holders I got at my church's local thrift store for 75 cents each.  The green sparkly taper candles were on sale at Goodwill for 50 cents for both...again, as part of their Christmas clearance.
 
Here is a plate breakdown for you...
For the placemats, I used white circle shaped placemats from the Dollar Tree last year. My silver Chargers from Walmart - 98 cents each around the Holidays, but if you can wait until after the Holidays they go on clearance and then you can snag them up for a super-bargain!  One of my blogger friends said she got quite a few green ones for 25 cents at her Walmart after Christmas!!!   WOW!
 
My "white workhorse" plates from the Dollar Tree made yet another appearance!  Love these plates....cost effective and cute!  A great combo!

 

 Next up are some silver large salad plates, also from the Dollar Tree...available now.  They they worked really nicely as a salad plate on our table and for future tables that will contain a silver element!  They are so shiny and the edges have an interesting pattern that give some texture to the table.  AND ya can't beat the price!  haha!
Some dark green dessert plates from Goodwill... Also $1 each, I believe!
 My 50 cent saucers from Goodwill...I love this pattern in the plate edges.

Then I topped it off with a green napkin and a silver bling napkin ring from ebay!   I was really hoping to be able to find my dark green napkins, but I couldn't seem to find them all, soooooo these had to do!  =D
 

I also got back out my green Ross hurricane candle holders in the mosaic pattern that I got last month for Mardi Gras time. These were $4.99 each at Ross.
 
My Dollar green bowls from Goodwill were turned upside down as well as a few glass flat marbles to represent the "Rolling Green Hills of Ireland!!!"  
 
A bit cheesy?  A bit of a stretch?  Yep, probably so!   =D
 
I hung some shiny green curly ribbon on the chandelier to add a bit of Irish glamour to the table.  I loved the pops of green on this table and the curly ribbon just added a little more of that Irish Green that I was looking for!
 
All in all, I really liked the way the table turned out.  Simple, but I felt like it had a bit of elegance to it. 
 
 

The buffet was very simply dressed, with just a white tablecloth, and dark green runner, and some mint green and kelly green accents.  The side table just had some simple candles and a few tall vases with some green accents. 

Now, I know St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, but if you're unfamiliar with St. Patrick, here is a really cute video to get you up to speed...haha!  This is the history of St. Patrick...done in such an entertaining way!  Great to watch with the kids, or even just for you for a little giggle and some learnin'!  Hope you enjoy!

 
 
Thanks so much for joining me today for another Tablescape Tuesday! 

Let me leave you also with this Old Irish Blessing...

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you again soon!


This post is being added to...
Centerpiece Wednesday
Open House Party
Let's Dish
Tutorials Tips and Tidbits
Two girls and a party
Tablescape Thursday
Thrifty Things Friday
Feathered Nest Friday

 
 

 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Welcome to FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA Link Party #2

Welcome to the 2nd 

FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA!!!

I would like to thank each and every one of you who participated in last week's FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA!   It meant so much to me that you came by and posted your awesome links!  I checked out each and every one and was amazed at the talent out here in the blogosphere!!!  =D

I wanted to highlight a few really great features that stood out to me!

Moni at "Zu Haus at Home" put together this beautiful Casual Spring Brunch! 


What a gorgeous way to start the Spring season!  I love these tulips wrapped in the napkins and that cloche with the bunnies!   
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And, Speaking of BUNNIES, is this not the CUTEST wreath???  


This Rabbit Burrow Spring Wreath was put together by Lizbeth from "Just Dip It in Chocolate!"  I love the colors and the "wreath within a wreath" that she put together!
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My mouth was absolutely watering when I saw this recipe for
Lemon and Blueberry Butter Cake  from "Cupcakes and Crinoline"!!!


 
Actually, she pretty much had me at "BUTTER"!  I also loved this beautiful presentation!  This is a must try!!!
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And the post with the most links for my very first Festive Friday Fiesta was Alycia Nichols over at
"Table Twenty-One"  with her absolutely lovely Birthday Dinner table she created for her blog friend called "The Party She Deserves"! 




Absolutely Stunning!

Thank you one and all for participating!   I've got some buttons to share if you'd like to put them on your site or if you were featured!   Here they are!

Just copy and past this code onto the HTML portion your site.  Please let me know if this does not work!


Here's the Link Party Button!


Here's the code for the general button....    

<center>
 


Here's the Button if you were featured!

 
 
And here's the code for that button....
 



Hope that works!   Thanks again!

Now, Let's get on to This Week's Party!!!

The Festive Friday Fiesta will be running from 8pm ET on Thursdays to 8pm ET on Sundays!
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