Category Archives for "Organizing/Decor"

Tired of all the clutter and ready for change? This incredibly powerful organizing method not only will get your closets organized but will restore your spirt and make over your life. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without this amazing tidying up method!

An Incredible Method To Tidy Up Your Home (and Your Life)

My home (and my life) has been transformed by the most unexpected treasure: tidying up. 

Honestly, I didn’t even know I needed this unexpected gift, and I found it in the last place I thought I needed to look.

And now I want to share this incredible method and mindset with you.

This is more–way more!–than a post on cleaning or organizing. I promise this fresh new approach will bring surprising amounts of joy and simplicity (and don’t we all need more of that?!).

Ready to be inspired (and to learn the secret)?

Tired of all the clutter and ready for change? This incredibly powerful organizing method not only will get your closets organized but will restore your spirt and make over your life. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without this amazing tidying up method!

The Secret That Found Me

She handed me the book at Thanksgiving and I rolled my eyes. My home (and my life) has been transformed by the most unexpected treasure: the magical art of tidying up. Honestly, I didn't even know I needed this unexpected treasure, and I found it in the last place I thought I needed to look. Friend, I want to share with you my story so that you too can be released to a fresh, new perspective on life, joy and simplicity. Don't miss this post!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?” I said, with more than a little disdain in my voice.

“Yes!” my mom cried, chuckling a little. “I’m telling you, it’s an incredible book! You’ve got to take a look at it.”

I held the book in my hands and quickly leafed through the heavily highlighted pages covered with many sticky notes and my mom’s familiar handwriting.

An organizing book? What was she trying to say? Is my house that much of a mess? I was not convinced this was something I needed to read, let alone implement in this hectic life season.

I found myself a little later that afternoon in my parent’s living room with no one else around. My mom’s usual assortment of housekeeping magazines wasn’t on the endtable. In fact, the table was completely empty except for the lamp, a lonely coaster… and that book.

Alright, fine, I mused to myself. Let’s take a look at this.

“Does It Still Bring Me Joy?”

My home (and my life) has been transformed by the most unexpected treasure: the magical art of tidying up. Honestly, I didn't even know I needed this unexpected treasure, and I found it in the last place I thought I needed to look. Friend, I want to share with you my story so that you too can be released to a fresh, new perspective on life, joy and simplicity. Don't miss this post!The first few pages weren’t honestly that transformational for me. Another organizing book, another woman with the “perfect answer” for how to keep your home tidy. Yawn.

But then I sensed something different lurking between the pages. Author Marie Kondo‘s criteria for keeping or discarding items was something I’d never heard before. She simply asks herself, “Does this item still bring me joy?”

This got my attention. Joy? That was something I spent much time pursuing as a mom and Christ-follower. What was this link between my stuff and my joy level? And why had she elevated this to be the highest criterion for determining if something should stay in my house or hit the Goodwill pile?

I kept reading. In fact, I took the book home the next day and devoured its short 224 pages (confession: I can’t remember the last time I’ve finished a non-fiction book this quickly. It was that interesting!)

The more I read, the more I was convinced that this book’s wisdom was the anecdote to the subtle fog of discontent and restlessness that’d settled over my heart recently.

The Heart Magic of Tidying Up (That I Didn’t Know I Needed)

I hadn’t been sad or depressed or anything of that sort. But for quite some time I’d been dealing with a sluggishness–a malaise–that left me confused and frustrated. Things in my life had been good (a great marriage, awesome kids, stable future, strong faith, etc) and yet, for months I couldn’t shake the weight I felt on my heart.

That same phrase “Does it still bring you joy?” kept appearing throughout the book. “It may have brought you joy in the past, but if it doesn’t anymore, then it’s time to release it to someone else so that it (and you) can move on.”

My home (and my life) has been transformed by the most unexpected treasure: the magical art of tidying up. Honestly, I didn't even know I needed this unexpected treasure, and I found it in the last place I thought I needed to look. Friend, I want to share with you my story so that you too can be released to a fresh, new perspective on life, joy and simplicity. Don't miss this post!

Now I don’t necessarily endorse personifying our stuff as having “feelings” and “needing to move on,” but I get the author’s point.

There was all kinds of stuff–physical and emotional–that I’d allowed to collect in the recesses of my home and heart. It was time for me to examine each area and determine which I needed to keep, and what I needed to let go.

And that’s why I (rather excitedly) put a tidying up session at the top of my to-do list for Christmas break.

Sifting Through and Letting Go

I won’t get into the nitty gritty of my clean out process except to say that the author’s tidying up methods (and subsequent organizational tips) are spot on.

Per her suggestions, I pulled everything out of my closets and couldn’t believe all that I’d collected. And I couldn’t believe my response (and the corresponding freedom I felt) as I went through each item.

My home (and my life) has been transformed by the most unexpected treasure: the magical art of tidying up. Honestly, I didn't even know I needed this unexpected treasure, and I found it in the last place I thought I needed to look. Friend, I want to share with you my story so that you too can be released to a fresh, new perspective on life, joy and simplicity. Don't miss this post!

The pile of hangers on the ground kept growing and this alone inspired me (especially since, in our home, it never seemed like we had enough hangers).

My home (and my life) has been transformed by the most unexpected treasure: the magical art of tidying up. Honestly, I didn't even know I needed this unexpected treasure, and I found it in the last place I thought I needed to look. Friend, I want to share with you my story so that you too can be released to a fresh, new perspective on life, joy and simplicity. Don't miss this post!

I think this process was so transformative for me because it released me from the guilt I normally feel when forced to clean out (notice my choice of words there? “forced”?).

This time, I was still able to give each item worth–even those with a particular emotional attachment–because I could acknowledge that, yes, this item had been valuable to me at one time but it had faithfully served its purpose.

This item still had value but its time with me had come to a close. By holding on to it, I was keeping it from serving someone else, and I was just heaping more and more baggage on myself.

And that’s why the longer I sorted the easier it was to let go. The freedom of release was intoxicating and life-changing.

I shared the principles with my daughter and my husband (and my three other kids are tackling their tidying up project next week right before Christmas). I can’t wait!

The True Magic of Tidying Up

Cleaning out my home was important (and even brought purpose to my Christmas decorating this year). But ultimately, the true magic of tidying up was when I applied the book’s principles to the heavy burden weighing on my soul.

I began to wonder:

What regular activities were important at one time, but were no longer necessary?

Why did I now dread some of my must-do daily activities (and what reframing could I do to change that)?

Who knew that organizing and cleaning my home could produce such great soul inspiration?

Seriously, if you’re looking for a fresh start–and a chance to feel clean and organized in your home and in your heart–you’ve got to check out The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!

Get the book here and give it a try for yourself!

Other Posts on Organizing and Cleaning Routines

18 DIY Natural Cleaning Recipes for Every Room

DIY All-Natural Cell Phone Screen Cleaner (3 Ingredients!)

How to Organize Your Kids School Papers (for Good!)

Drowning in Your Kids School Papers? What to Keep & How to Get Organized

How to Develop a Household Cleaning Routine That Works

Looking for a way to finally find a cleaning routine that works for your family? You'll LOVE the great ideas (and practical tips from lots of moms!) in this post! Perfect for spring cleaning or whenever you need help keeping your home tidy.

How to Develop a Household Cleaning Routine That Works

Want to know how to establish a household cleaning routine for your family… that actually works?

Then you’re in the right place!

Let’s talk about some great tips on how to develop a routine to keep your house clean (that is flexible to your family’s busy lifestyle)!

This post isn’t just a list of ideas that you can throw against the wall and hope one of them sticks. I want to help you develop techniques that really will work.

That’s why, before we get to the suggestions and tips, I need to tell you 5 key secrets to creating a realistic household cleaning routine. These simple truths will set you up for success!

Looking for a way to finally find a cleaning routine that works for your family? You'll LOVE the great ideas (and practical tips from lots of moms!) in this post! Perfect for spring cleaning or whenever you need help keeping your home tidy.

5 Secrets to Creating a Household Cleaning Routine (That Works)

1) There is no “one-size-fits-all” household routine.

There are no right or wrongs here. If a certain method works for you, that’s great. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s fine too.

2) Everyone has different opinions about the what, the where and the how often.

You can decide how often it’s acceptable to clean your bathroom. You can determine the best method for folding and distributing laundry. It’s up to you what aspects of a daily or weekly household cleaning routine are non-negotiable.

Your opinions about what’s “acceptable” may vary vastly from mine. And that’s OK, because I live in my house and you live in yours. Can we give each other freedom here? And on that note…

3) Consider your season and responsibilities when determining “acceptable” household cleaning routines.

If you have young kids at home, you’re in the midst of a very demanding season (not that you needed me to tell you that).  That’s why you may need to lower your expectations of what a “clean” or an “organized” house looks like because of the extra demands on your time.

None of us have perfectly kept houses. We need to stop imagining that “other people” do (and that we just have to get it together more). Stop the comparing and define (with your spouse) what you deem acceptable for this season. And be OK with it. Truly.

4) The household cleaning routine may work for you now, but it may not work later.

Family life is an ever-changing entity. Each family member has needs, involvements and responsibilities that are in a constant state of change.

That’s why household cleaning routines may work for a season, but not forever. Try not to get stuck in discovering a “forever” routine because it won’t happen. Instead…

5) Experiment and try something new.

Try several techniques until you land on one that works for you. And then if it stops working, try something else.

It really is that basic. Just pick something and give it a go! The main point I want to share here is that some routine (even if its an imperfect routine) is better than no routine. 

Feel better? Good!

Now it’s time to discover some fantastic cleaning routine ideas! Click “read more” to be inspired.

Oh my gosh... this is exactly how it feels! Are you drowning in your kids school papers?There's just so many of them! So many great tips here on how to determine what papers to keep and then how to set up a system to organize kids school papers for good! EVERY MOM needs to read this!

Drowning in Your Kids School Papers? What to Keep & How to Get Organized

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Your kids make the cutest stuff in school, right? All those art projects and school projects are adorable!

But I’m telling you, kids school papers also have a sinister dark side.

They start out innocently enough, simply collecting on the corner of your kitchen counter. They seem like no big deal—just little papers behaving themselves, staying nice and neat in a stack.

But then… it happens. 

Somehow those adorable little papers migrate from their happy pile home and begin a silent-yet-sinister crusade to transform open counter space into (un)organized chaos.

Oh my gosh... this is exactly how it feels! Are you drowning in your kids school papers?There's just so many of them! So many great tips here on how to determine what papers to keep and then how to set up a system to organize kids school papers for good! EVERY MOM needs to read this!

Soon there’s a pile on your coffee table. And your kitchen table. And of course, the floor of the minivan looks like a regular art gallery with all your kids’ artwork.

And then, those adorable works of art become that dreaded word that every mom hates: CLUTTER.

And when that clutter builds up, just watch how long it takes for mama to blow!

Suddenly, we just want those lovely little treasures to GO AWAY. (Kids, can you say, “mommy anger?”)

OH yes. It happens to the best of us.

And it’s OK to admit it: We love our kids school papers, but it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated by them when they pile up and turn into clutter!

What if we take a different approach to this madness?

What if there was a way to keep the blessing of our kids artwork from turning into a burden?

I’m SO excited… because that’s exactly what I want to show you how to do!

I want to share with you two key things:

  • First, 6 questions to ask yourself about which papers to keep and which to toss; and

Yes, you can have a powerful, easy system in place for handling school papers!

Imagine—no more crazy piles! And no more guilt about not keeping every single paper your kids create!

It’s a system that I use in my home, and it works!

Let’s get started!

(Click next to learn the system)

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Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! You'll be doing a happy dance after reading this!

How to Organize Your Kids School Papers (for Good!)

welcome

Do you have stacks of adorable kids artwork piling up everywhere?

You know, stacks of priceless treasures from your kids that you want to keep (but have no idea what to do with)?!

What if I told you that you could get rid of those stacks (and all the guilt that goes with them) forever?

What if I could show you a way to neatly and easy keep kids school papers organized now (without the crazy piles) and preserved for years to come (in one central place)?

Hundreds of moms love this method for organizing kids school papers… and I know you’re going to love it too!

(happy dance!)

Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! Hundreds of moms are loving this amazing method to organize school papers... and you'll be doing a happy dance once you start using this method too!

Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! You'll be doing a happy dance after reading this!

This simple system–known as the My Memory Box: Kids School Paper Organizing System–is easy to set up and basically runs itself once it’s in place.

Why is the My Memory Box system so effective?

  • One easily organized, central location for ALL your children’s artwork
  • One file folder for each child’s school year from Toddler to 12th grade
  • Record fun facts about your child at that age (favorite book, activities, friends–even their signature!) on the front of each year’s folderCLOSE-UP-OF-TAG
  • Easily store small memorabilia (awards, ribbons, memory books) all in one place with artwork and papers
  • Papers are organized as they come into your house (no more piles!)
  • No big pile of papers to sort at the end of the year!
  • No more losing awards, artwork or other special papers
  • Create a customized precious keepsake for your child’s entire school experience
  • Once it’s assembled, it’s done! No need to make a new binder or scrapbook each year! Easy peasy!

And the best part? I’ve done all the work for you!

Ok… well… most of the work. 🙂 All that’s left for you to do is to download the printable, print off the papers, and cut and assemble.

Ready to get started?

Here’s where you can purchase and download your My Memory Box files.

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Still not sure? No worries… let me tell you more about how it works (and how I–and hundreds of other moms like you–now have freedom from the paper stacks and the guilt)!

Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! You'll be doing a happy dance after reading this!
Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! You'll be doing a happy dance after reading this!

My Story About My Paper Stack (I Know You Can Relate!)

Just so you know I’ve been there, I have to share my story.

For months a mounting pile of papers (which I’d dubbed “The Stack”) had not only taken over part of my schoolroom desk, but had spread across the floor.

The worst part about The Stack wasn’t the mess itself. Oh no.

The part I hated about him the most? The Stack mocked me. 

The Stack reminded me of all the cute adorable papers sitting there (papers from my kids that I placed there).

He reminded me that those papers were priceless and that I should be doing something with them (oooh… mom guilt!).


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And THEN, he laughed at me because he knew that I had no idea what to do with them all.

(Mom guilt and guilt from being unorganized! He was relentless!)

But one day, I took a long look at him and realized that, really, all I needed was one great plan to kick him out of our home for good.

And that plan became the method I’m sharing about here–the highly popular My Memory Box: Kids School Paper Organizing System!

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I want you to see for yourself the power of the “My Memory Box” plan that finally brought order to the school paper chaos!

Get a sneak peek of what “My Memory Box” looks like inside! Just click next!

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TIRED OF THE “OUT OF STORAGE” MESSAGE ON YOUR PHONE? So many of us moms deal with this! Here’s my simple solution that ensures that you don’t ever miss a photo because you have no phone memory.

Mom Hack: How to Always Have Photo Storage on Your Phone

Here’s my confession: Despite my best efforts to stay on top of everything, some days most days I feel like I’m running by the seat of my pants and I often feel like I can never do enough to keep up with all the demands of being a mom. 

You get it, right?

Meeting our kids’ needs (funny how a screaming child can grab our attention!), continually working on a strong marriage and keeping our home running are our highest priorities. And, as a result, there are some things that just have to go by the wayside.

For me, that’s being faithful about managing the photos and videos on my phone.

TIRED OF THE “OUT OF STORAGE” MESSAGE ON YOUR PHONE? So many of us moms deal with this! Here’s my simple solution that ensures that you don’t ever miss a photo because you have no phone memory.

OH friends… is there anything worse than getting that annoying message on your phone–“Your phone is out of storage”just as you’re about to capture that priceless childhood moment? I can’t tell you how many times I have dealt with that.

So what do we do? We start frantically deleting as many of those unnecessary photos and videos as we can (you know, like those 22 pictures of the dog’s bowl from when your preschooler kidnapped your phone last week). Been there, done that!

But what happens when there’s really nothing to delete? Or if you can’t delete it in time (“I’m sorry, honey, but you’re going to have to take your first steps again because Mommy needed to delete 100 photos from her iPhone.”).

Here’s my secret mom hack for this issue: A brilliant little photo storage device called Picture Keeper Connect.

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Picture Keeper Connect is a special storage drive that inserts into your phone and immediately downloads your photos and videos, instantly freeing up your mobile storage space for that priceless video you need to take now.

It’s so stinkin’ simple it’s pure genius. And let me tell you–it’s saved my hide more than once.

Last summer, a friend of mine and I were in the middle of Times Square taking the most amazing photos when–no joke–I got that dreaded “out of storage” message.

Oh. My. Word!! I was less than pleased at that moment to say the least.

However, thankfully, I had just picked up a Picture Keeper Connect the day before at a trade show. I was curious to see if it worked (and really hopeful it would!). Sure enough, I simply inserted the Picture Keeper Connect into my phone, downloaded the app and it did the rest.

Yep, it was that simple! I couldn’t believe it. What a total godsend for busy moms like me who–sometimes rarely Ok, almost never!–download her mobile phone photos.

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Most recently, I used my Picture Keeper Connect again when I had to use my phone to film some marketing videos for my latest product, the Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions System.

I needed space to film 7 different videos and–big shocker!–my “out of storage” message came on during the filming. Ugh!!

The thing was that I had recently deleted a whole bunch of those “my preschooler kidnapped my phone” photos so there wasn’t a lot of stuff to delete. We had recently had several family gatherings, so there weren’t lots of photos on there that I was ready to just delete willy-nilly.

But then, I grabbed my Picture Keeper Connect and quickly inserted it into the plug on my phone. BOOM! This tiny little device solved the problem in an instant. The photos were magically–and safely–whisked away to my Picture Keeper Connect device; and I could continue on with the filming. Yahoo!

I’m telling you, this little device is something every mom needs at her disposal.

Why Is Picture Keeper Connect Such a Great Mom Hack?

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The Picture Keeper Connect drive plugs directly into the charging port of your cell phone and tablet for simple, easy backup of your data right to a portable compact USB drive! Fast, easy and simple!

You can transfer photos, contacts and videos directly from your Phone or Tablet (iOS and Android) to your Mac or PC. It’s totally plug-and-play, which is what we busy moms need, right?

Here’s some other great features I love:

  • Files can be accessed and backed up without WiFi or data connection and are always within reach.
  • If you fill up one Picture Keeper Connect, you can plug in another and it will continue right where the other left off.
  • Picture Keeper Connect skips duplicates during the backup.
  • Picture Keeper Connect requires no software to install and no monthly fees.

6 Everyday Mom Uses for the Picture Keeper Connect

Wondering how you might use your Picture Keeper Connect in your busy mom life? Here are some ideas:

  • The most obvious one is to keep it in your purse for when the out-of-storage messages strikes. Here’s a tip: keep it in the box packaging when you’re not using it so that you don’t lose it. I am famous for misplacing things (just ask my very patient husband) and so this helps me keep this fairly small device from getting lost in the vortex of my obnoxiously oversized purse.
  • Bring it with you on vacation. I am traveling on a week-long school trip with my oldest son next week to our nation’s capital and I am definitely packing my Picture Keeper Connect in my travel backpack. I don’t want us to miss not being able to take photos at all of those amazing picture-worthy locales in D.C. Take that “out of storage” message!
  • Use it as a backup storage device for those priceless photos you never want to lose! You know, your wedding, the birth of your kids, etc.
  • Share photos between family members. Does your mom want copies of not just one but all the photos from your recent family get together? Instead of trying to email everything, you can simply save the photos onto your Picture Keeper Connect and have her upload them onto her phone that way.
  • Help your kids when they run out of stage on their devices. My older boys just recently got smart phones, and I keep my Picture Keeper Connect handy in case they run out of storage too.
  • Use it as a storage holder for photos you’d like to add to a new phone or tablet. Do you have some all-time favorite photos of you and your husband or of your kids? You can easily upload those to your new mobile device using a Picture Keeper Connect.

Check out Picture Keeper Connect here at their website and learn more about how this awesome little device can help you too in your everyday mom life!

Enter to Win a Free Picture Keeper Connect!

The folks at Picture Keeper Connect have generously offered to give away a free device ($119.99 value!) to ONE lucky winner! Enter below for a chance to win!

FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Picture Keeper Connect. All opinions are mine.

 

Whoa--you won't believe this list of 194 FREE SEASONAL HOME DECOR PRINTABLES! There's home decor prints for Christmas, Fall, Easter, Spring, New Year's, Mother's Day, Summer and more! This is a great post to reference over and over throughout the year for seasonal decorating!

How to Decorate Your Home Seasonally for Free (257 Printables)

Don’t you love decorating your home to match the season? Me too!

However, something I don’t like? Spending a lot of time and money on seasonal decor.

What if I told you that you could have nearly FREE home decor (with little effort!) that welcomed the spirit of the season to your home? It’s possible!

In fact, I want to give you 257 free printables to decorate your home for each season!

Let me show you how to use these as free seasonal decor for fall, Christmas, Easter, summer–you name it!

Whoa--you won't believe this list of 194 FREE SEASONAL HOME DECOR PRINTABLES! There's home decor prints for Christmas, Fall, Easter, Spring, New Year's, Mother's Day, Summer and more! This is a great post to reference over and over throughout the year for seasonal decorating!

(Photo credit: St Patrick’s Day printable from Landeelu; Thankful Tree printable from Landeelu; Christmas printable from Yellow Bliss Road; and Spring printable from Blooming Homestead.)

It’s all about creating a simple picture frame gallery.

I want to give you my tips and tricks on:

  • where to find cheap but durable frames
  • the best ways to arrange your frames
  • how to choose the best location for your photo frame gallery

And… drum roll, please…

Best of all, I want to give you links to over 257 FREE Printables that would look great in these frames, including:

Get the scoop on how to decorate your home for each season–on the cheap!

Plus you don’t want to miss the incredible list of printables (seriously, they’re all in one place here!)

Just click next and let’s get started!

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Natural disasters can happen anywhere! But when you build your own disaster preparedness kit, you'll be prepared, not scared! This post has everything you need--including a printable supply list--to put your kit together!

How to Create a Disaster Preparedness Kit for Your Family (Resources)

Natural disasters can happen anywhere.

But when you build your own disaster preparedness kit, you’ll be prepared, not scared!

Our family recently put together an emergency kit and it’s brought so much relief.

Today, I want to give you that same peace of mind as well!

Natural disasters can happen anywhere! But when you build your own disaster preparedness kit, you'll be prepared, not scared! This post has everything you need--including a printable supply list--to put your kit together!

 

I get it–it’s confusing and overwhelming to think about what to buy and what we really do need. 

That’s why I’ve made it super simple for you.

In this post you’ll find:

–Exactly which products you’ll need to buy;

–How much of each product you’ll need; plus

–Tips on supply storage.

Each product is explained in detail and is linked to where you can purchase it. Awesome, right?!

And best of all, you can download a FREE Disaster Supply Checklist (a printable list of what’s in this post!).

CLICK HERE to get the list now!

Ready to build your own disaster supply list?

Let’s look at these amazing resources and get you prepared and not scared!

Click “Show Me the Supplies” to see the supply list!

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