December Cara Box Reveal {Link Up}

27 December 2012

It's like Christmas all over again!

Today is the day for all of the lovely ladies who participated in this month's Cara Box Exchange to reveal their amazing boxes!

If you want to know more about the Cara Box Exchange, click on the tab at the top of my blog (:

December's theme was "Holiday Sparkle".
Everyone was supposed to get to know their partners and create a box that would brighten their holiday season. Anything glitter was encouraged.

My beautiful partners were Hallie & Amy.

I got to know Hallie and sent her a box (you can visit her blog to see what I sent her!)
Amy got to know me and created a special package to brighten my month.

Ahhhh!!! I was so excited to get my box (:

It arrived on Christmas Eve.

Oh my sparkle...

It started with the most adorable card.

Yes, we had a white Christmas, so the snow made for REALLY fun pictures...

A pretty gold glitter ornament to match our gold and green Christmas tree & a yummy candy cane (pictured in the first two pictures)

Shimmery earrings for the holiday season...or New Years (:

Two spools of gold ribbon - I may or may not be out-of-control using this to add some sparkle to future Cara Boxes I forewarned...

A glitter covered sunglass case...

...filled with an explosion of sparkle makeup (:

pink! sparkle nail polish

black shimmer shadow

gold liquid eye liner

I loved my box!!!

This was probably my favorite month so far for Cara Box.
I love glitter.

So what did you get in your box?!
Link up below and show off your shimmer!!!

Keep an eye out for the January Cara Box announcement on January 1st - it's going to be another great theme (:

Need a great stocking stuffer idea?
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Yummy Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

26 December 2012

Hello! I'm Marci and I usually blog over at Marce Lips.

When my husband and I followed a paleo lifestyle earlier this year, we came across this recipe for chocolate chip cookies and made them every week.

It's a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth in a healthier way.

Since I'm a picky eater, I was really surprised that I loved them so much.

We made some slight modifications (inside quotes) until we came up with something we really enjoyed.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies {serves: 24}


  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (Pure vanilla can be expensive; we used the cheaper stuff when we didn't have any)
  • 1 1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips (You can use dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup real Maple Syrup
  • 2 whole Eggs (free range)
  • 3 cup Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.
  3. In a small mixing bowl beat eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract with a hand mixer.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and beat with hand mixer until combined.
  5. Melt coconut oil, pour into batter, and continue to blend until combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drop balls of cookie dough, about a tablespoon in size.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Let cool and serve with coconut milk.
Need a great stocking stuffer idea?
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I Wanna Know...{Week 2}

19 December 2012

I had a great response to my post a few weeks back.

I basically opened the floor and gave you guys a chance to ask me ANYTHING.

When I say anything, I mean anything! Blogging, marriage, army, crafting, shopping...

I'd love for you to submit a question for me to answer & for you to be featured next week!!!
Click Here

So Week #2, here we go! I plan to answer a few questions a week and will try to include both blogging & personal questions.


Question #1: How do you make a button? Do you have to have experience to do so?

Hey Brandi! Brandi is one of my most favorite new bloggers that I have found. This is a great question because when I started my blog, I had no idea what an "ad" or "button" was. There are a ton of ways to create a button. And it takes NO experience to do so (:

First, choose what you want your button to be. You can have it be text or a picture. I've done both. All my current buttons are a picture of Ryan and I with the word "Wifessionals" written over it. You can also do one with just text, using the name of your blog.

Once you decide what you want your button to be, you need to create it! PicMonkey is the easiest website to use for this in my opinion. You have access to it wherever you are and it's free (unlike Photoshop). If you do a photo or even your blog's logo, upload it and crop it/resize it to the dimensions you need. If you use a photo, make sure to write your blog's name over the photo somewhere. Make sure it is readable and in a color that stands out. If you choose to do text, pick a background or color you like. I would recommend one that goes along with your blogs theme. Then just write your blogs name over it! You can always look at other blogs for inspiration!

Lastly, the most important thing about buttons is that you need to have them in multiple sizes. Do not upload a 200x200 button for a 50x150 Ad spot. Your button will be smushed, no one will be able to read it, and because of that, they probably aren't going to click on it. I just went and counted: I have 13 different buttons. I started with one, but every time I came across a new Ad size, I made a new button to match it. Yes, it takes some time, but there's no point in being lazy and uploading a button no one can read!

Question #2: Any blog design tips? I'm too cheap to invest right now.

Hey pretty girl! For lovely ladies that have been following my blog for awhile, it just recently got a facelift. I did it myself...and I did it completely using Blogger and the easy tools that give you. I have changed Wifessionals' design 5-6 times since starting.

I've never used WordPress, so I can't be much help there, but Blogger is so easy to play around with. If you go "Template --> Customize" you can change just about anything you want! I always try to tell new bloggers to get in there and get creative. People are turned off when they click on a blog and they can tell it's a typical template and no personalization. Mine was that exact way for the first few weeks when I started because I had no idea what I was doing!

My favorite additions and personal touches that I think everyone should add are:
- Add your Instagram feed! I love seeing bloggers in "real life"
- Insert "You might also like...." widget at the end of your posts. This encourages readers to stick around and read other things you've written.
- Add social media icons. I hate when I find a great blogger but they give me no way to connect with them! I even find bloggers who haven't listed their contact email anywhere!
- Create a logo or image for your header. You can easily replace the Header text with a logo or picture. Just go to "Layout --> Click on ( ) Header --> Upload an image. It ads a ton!!!

I could go on and on! If you guys would submit specific questions about things on my blog and how I did them, I can better answer them in detail in weeks to come (:


Question #3: Talk babies...because we are married and that's what we do! But seriously, are you all planning on any cuties any time soon?

Hi Mariel! I've got two words: Baby Fever. If you keep me completely away from any little bundle of joy, I can usually withstand the urge to go baby crazy, but if I see some cute little munchkin man dressed in Sperry's & a sweater vest, or a sweet little girl with a ginormous flower bow headband, I immediately NEED a baby (:

Seriously though, I definitely have baby fever. Blogging does not help. Every week proud mamas post pictures of adorable little children or baby bumps & I suddenly want exactly what they have! Ryan and I are open to starting a family soon. He's a little bit older than me so he was basically ready the day we got married. Every time I get excited and think "I'm ready!" I also get nervous that "What if when it happens I won't be ready at all?!?" We just trust God and believe that whenever we are supposed to start a family, we will feel ready and prepared and incredibly happy!!!

I hope you guys enjoyed seeing some of your questions answered! I'll be back next Tuesday with more!

I'd love for you to submit a question for me to answer & for you to be featured next week!!!
Click Here

Need a great stocking stuffer idea?
Check out:

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

13 December 2012

Christmas in my mouth.

Awhile back I made some delicious Cheesecake Fudge Brownies.
They were phenomenal.

But yesterday I was in the mood to create something festive - but extremely easy.
I'm always in the worst mood when I'm craving something, but don't have the ingredients.

Christmas + Dessert + Somewhat Empty Pantry = Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

These are easy, take almost no ingredients, and are pretty fool proof.

And they sure as heck look like a Christmas party waiting to happen in your mouth....

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

- 1 13x9 box of brownie mix (get a fudgy kind!) + ingredients listed on box
- 8oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (peppermint, not MINT!!!)
- 1/4 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch

1// Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2// Make brownies according to the box. If it gives a "fudge-like" option, use that.
3// Spray a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray and pour brownie batter into it evenly.
4// In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla & peppermint extract until smooth.
5// Drop large spoonfuls all over the brownie batter. With a butterknife, swirl the tops of the two batters together.
6// Sprinkle Andes on top and place in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the brownies and cheesecake are set.
7// Cool completely in the fridge before cutting and serving. Store brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Oh, heavenly.

Need a great stocking stuffer idea?
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BBQ Chicken & Coleslaw {Crockpot}

12 December 2012

I love me some BBQ.

I guess it's the Southern Girl in me.

When we lived in Arizona there was absolutely NO BBQ. This was a hard adjustment for me since my family would get BBQ every Sunday after church. Every. Sunday.

Thankfully there's some pretty good BBQ in Colorado.

But that doesn't stop me from cooking my own!

This BBQ recipe is so easy and so unbelievably delicious.

I stacked the BBQ on sandwich thins to save unwanted calories from buns. Then piled high on top is a generous amount of healthy coleslaw. Yep, there IS such a thing.

BBQ Chicken & Coleslaw

serves 4-6

{BBQ chicken}
- 4 small frozen chicken breasts
- 12oz BBQ sauce
- 8oz beer
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1// Spray a crockpot with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts at the bottom.
2// In a bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken and cover the crockpot.
3// Cook on low 4-5 hours. Remove chicken breasts, shred and stir back into the sauce. Cook 1-2 more hours.

- 1 1/2 cups pre shredded coleslaw (found in a bag near salad at the grocery store)
- 1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil

1// Stir all ingredients together in a bowl
2// Place BBQ on a bun and pile coleslaw on top.
3// Add your favorite sides: I chose baked beans and buttermilk cornbread
4// Enjoy!!

Need a great stocking stuffer idea?
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I Wanna Know... {Week 1}

11 December 2012

I had such a great response to my post last week!
I basically opened the floor and gave you guys a chance to ask me ANYTHING.
When I say anything, I mean anything! Blogging, marriage, army, crafting, shopping...
If you'd like to submit a question for me to answer
Click Here
So as promised, here we go! I plan to answer a few questions a week and will try to include both blogging & personal questions.

Question #1: How long did it take you to get your blog to where it is today?

Hi Becca! I started Wifessionals back in July (2012). This question is usually asked because girls want to know how I grew so fast. I always tell them I think it's more of a snowball effect. It took me 3 months to get 300 followers. I hit that goal in October. Then, by November, I had 500 followers. Now, early December, I have already reached over 775! Sometimes it feels like you aren't growing at all. Just be patient and take steps to help your blog grow (tips on that below!). Once you meet other bloggers, word of mouth gets out and you'll notice more ladies stopping by to say hello! Don't get discouraged. Lastly, numbers and "growth" aren't everything. I DO love that my blog has grown, but most of all I LOVE all of the new friends it has brought into my life & I love finding new blogs to explore and stalk (:

Question #2: What is your number one tip for growing a blog?

Brandi, my ultimate, number one, most biggest, ginormous tip for growing your blog is: Write for you. I had a 9 to 5 before I got married to Ryan. I made A LOT of money. I was absolutely, utterly miserable. Because of our recent 2 moves, I now stay at home and take care of stuff around the house. Was that a hard adjustment? Yes. But it led me to create the blog. And I LOVE it. It's the first time I have ever been so passionate about something. I get to create new recipes for dinner, find creative DIY's to spruce up our home for cheap, meet tons of girls that I have so much in common with and love dearly (aka you!). In the past month I have seen a ton of girls writing posts, apologizing to their readers. They write that they need to take a step back, that they lost focus of why they wanted to blog, that they got so caught up in trying to "grow", that they no longer were writing heartfelt posts, but just writing to "put time in" on their blog. That saddened my heart. I do think girls get too caught up in wanting "to grow". I truly believe that if you just write about things you love, feelings you feel - the growth will come. When you are passionate and being honest, people sense that...and they love it!
On a more practical note, check out the post I wrote, "How To Grow Your Blog...Easily!". It is by far one of my most referenced post by other bloggers. I will get into more detail about growing your blog since I received more questions on it, but since you asked for my top tip, I'll stop, that was a long answer....

Question #3: What is the benefit for using Passionfruit for blog ads, besides earning some money? When I look at blogs that I'd like to "swap" with, I'm always saddened to see that I have to pay to my my button on their blog. It's a "blogger turn off" for me. I know some blogs offer free swaps, but most want $5 or up. I love my blog and I'd love to promote it, but being a college student, I'm not financially able to spend money for ad space on other blogs...especially when some bloggers ask for $40+ for an ad.

Kaitlyn! Sweet name (: I LOVE this question. When it came in I knew it would be in the first set of ones that I answered. So here is a little secret: I have only ever paid for one ad. Yep! I got to where I am by never paying for an Ad until this month. Ryan and I have been on a strict budget because our wedding and the moves took a big hit on us financially. I couldn't justify spending money on a "hobby" of mine when I started out. I always promise to offer swaps to ANY size blog. I do this because I know how it felt to have 3 followers & how grateful I was when girls with bigger blogs agreed to swap with me. Now not all bloggers will swap. I actually had tons of girls tell me to "come back when I was a similar sized blog to them". They blew me off. And it hurt my feelings. I always try to remember how that felt and that is why I have different swap spots for EVERY sized blog.
Now the advantage to using Passionfruit is HUGE. I didn't jump on that bandwagon until about 3 months in. Big mistake. Passionfruit is awesome! They manage all of your ads, rotate them for you, take them down when they expire. It's free to use too. They take a small amount out if you make money on an ad, but it's not much, and I would never go back to managing my own ads. It's too much work. Now if you are doing swaps it's free to use their service and you aren't charged for anything! If you or anyone ever needs help setting it up, feel free to email me (: Now I did pay for an ad this month. I did it because it was on sale and it was an in-post ad (at the bottom of every post). It was a very affordable deal, so I used money I made on my own ad slots to pay for it. But before that, I swapped my butt off. Swap with all sized blogs, but always try to swap with at least 1-2 that are slightly bigger than you. This will bring in a lot of new girls and you'll reach an audience that maybe you haven't before. Lastly, enter giveaways for ad space! I've won a ton of free ad space so I got a lot of exposure, but didn't have to pay!
Melissa & Me Like Weird Faces

Question #4: Can I sign up for Cara Box since Kylie will be going to daycare (*tear*) and I will have a few minutes of sanity? (:

Hi Melissa...(yes, you can see the lovely picture to the came from a guest post I did about how we are twinsies) I get emails daily about signing up for the next Cara Box Exchange. Do you not know what the Cara Box is? It's a box swap I created to promote women encouraging each other. I hate that girls are known for being catty & cut throat to one another. So, I decided to create a box swap where you are assigned a few women to get to know, build your partner a box around that month's theme, write them an encouraging note and then everyone shares their boxes around the blogosphere! This month's theme is all about glitter. I love that glitter is in right now! I encouraged everyone to send their partner's items that could add some shimmer to their holiday season! And here's something special: shhhhhh! Next month's box is going to center around a healthy and happy start to the new year (:
So how do you get in on this? You can click here to go to the Cara Box tab. It explains all of the details about the swap. Then you can click the link at the top of that page or just click here to sign up for the next month! I always have the sign up open, so if you missed the previous month's sign up, even by a day, it will automatically enter you in for the upcoming month. It's a great way to meet other bloggers and to get fun treats in the mail! The official announcement post for January's sign up and theme will come out on January 1st.

Question #5: How do you go about writing a guest post?! I'm doing one for the first time and I feel like goob!! Its for a good size blog I sponsor so I would really like to make it count. Still trying to grow my baby blog so it seems like a great idea... but where do I start?!

Meagan, I actually had this same type of question submitted twice! The other blogger wanted to remain anonymous, but also said: 'How do you think of so many relevant things to post about?' Here's what I do. I have a planner. Whenever I come up with an idea, I flip to the back and write it down. I have three columns: Blog Posts, Guest Posts, & Obsessed. Obsessed is a series I do on items I can't live without. So every time I use something around the house (makeup, cleaning products, etc) and I think 'I love this!' I jot it down and use it for that series. The same goes for Blog Posts & Guest Posts. I have about 7 or 8 unused items on each of those lists as I type. I've found that some days you wake up and you know exactly what you want to write about....other days, not so much. So to avoid writing boring or blah posts, I always have a few ideas stored up! Now when it comes to guest posting specifically, get creative! I get ideas from other guest posts I see (& jot them in my planner). A great example is that guest post I reference above in Melissa's question. That was one of the best ones I've written. It was fun for me to stalk her blog and try to find all of the ways that we were similar. It also helped me get to know her a lot better. I would encourage you to skip the blog highlight posts as much as possible. Unless the blogger specifically asks you to write a post introducing your blog - don't do that. I have personally written guest posts like that before, but now I try to avoid them. I know when I see those posts on my bloglovin' feed I generally don't click on them. They just aren't that interesting. Why not write about a recipe, or a trip you took, or why you can't live without your snuggie? Seriously, just write about something that will engage the readers and make them want to travel over and stalk your blog!

Question #6: What is the most recurring argument you and your hubby have?

Ashley, I am so grateful to say that Ryan and I rarely argue! No, I'm not lying, and I'm not saying that just to sound like we have a perfect marriage. Could it be the fact that we are still newlyweds? Maybe. But I honestly think he is my perfect match. We view a lot of issues the same way, so that helps. There is something that CAUSED a lot of arguments though: Facebook. Hilarious, huh? When we first got married we were both still friends with a lot of people who were friends with our ex's from the past. We started having problems with those ex's getting involved in our lives or just knowing things they shouldn't because they were using our friend's Facebook's to stalk us. One night, after we hit the breaking point (we were both so sick of fighting about Facebook) we decided to just unfriend any friends that still had connections to ex's. We talked to our friends, and most just unfriended our ex's since they were better friends with us. But that wasn't the case for everyone. I actually lost one of my dear friends over this. She hasn't spoken to me in months. But for me and Ryan, our marriage comes first. I refuse to let something as petty as Facebook cause marital problems! I really don't care if other people think that decision was stupid - especially if they are single and have no idea what it's like to be married!!! And along those same lines, Ryan and I have a shared Facebook account. We've seen divorces based on infidelity that occurred through Facebook. I'm not saying that everyone should have separate accounts. If it works for you then great! Ryan and I just knew we didn't have anything to hide from one another and didn't want to give evil a foothold. We just wanted to do every thing in our power to prevent a problem before it ever started (:

Question #7: Are Tiffany and Lauren the most amazing bloggers you have ever met?!? When will the next blate with them be planned?

Lauren (aka the baby whisperer) - of course you two are the most amazing bloggers I've ever met...but that may be because you're the ONLY bloggers I've ever met...Just kidding! If you want to check out our blate, click here. What is a blate? Blog + Date = Blate! I love blates. You get to know your bloggy friends so well that when you meet, you don't even waste time with "getting to know yous". It was honestly like you had just had coffee the week before!
I'm trying to have a blates with three of my Colorado blog friends Elise, Jami, & Jenni. Hopefully I will get to meet up with them after the holidays. And as for another Lo/Tiff/Kait blate, I've had this ingenious idea to maybe create a "Weekend Getaway Blate". How cool would it be to get a big group of girls together and have a weekend getaway a blate on steroids!!! More to come on that later, but I'm just throwing that out there to all my bloggy friends....
I hope you guys enjoyed seeing some of your questions answered! I'll be back next Tuesday with more!
If you'd like to submit a question for me to answer
Click Here
Need a great stocking stuffer idea?
Check out:

Peppermint Chocolate Krispie Treats {In A Jar}

07 December 2012

Hi Lovlies!

Today I bring you a special treat. Not only are these scrumptious, they make an excellent Christmas gift as well!

I have been trying to come up with a treat that I could make into a "jar recipe". Ryan and I will be with my family in Colorado for the holidays, so I wanted to make sure to send some holiday cheer back to New Jersey to his side. His sisters & mom read the blog & love the recipes, so I thought it would be fun to send them some baked goodness along with their other gifts.

I've seen the peppermint marshmallow/cocoa krispie combo floating around pinterest, but I wasn't thrilled with the recipes I found. Then I saw this post and knew that a twist on Rice Krispie Treats is what I wanted to make!

So I give you:

Peppermint Chocolate Krispie Treats {In A Jar}

All you need is:
- Cocoa Krispies
- Peppermint Marshmallows
- Andes Peppermint Crunch
- Quart Sized Mason Jars
- Ribbon
- Small Plastic Baggies
- Printed Out Instructions

1// Grab a mason jar. Fill it with 2 cups of Cocoa Krispies.
2// Add 1 1/3 cup Peppermint Marshmallows on top. Pack it down and put the lid on. It will be tight, but this will keep the two ingredients from mixing together.
3// Place 1/4 cup Peppermint Crunch into small, sealable plastic bags. I found them in the beads area of the craft section of Walmart.
4// Assemble the jar however you would like. I attached the Peppermint Crunch to the top and tied a gold bow to the jar. Then I took jute and attached hand made instructions I created.

You can see the instructions listed above. Make sure the lucky gifted person knows they need 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of butter.

I loved that I found a way to give a dessert in a jar that didn't require my friends & family to have 20 other ingredients on hand. They just use the jar you give them + butter!

I have personally  made the recipe TWICE in the last week...some little treat elf keeps gobbling them down when I'm not looking ::cough cough, Ryan::

Who could blame him? These treats are sooooo yummy! The peppermint + chocolate is such a festive combination.

I think the jars turned out lovely and I am so excited to ship them out this week (:

Need a great stocking stuffer idea?
Check out:

I Wanna Know You - And/Or Your Secrets...

06 December 2012

Well hello my dear, sweet friends!

This morning I wanted to do something a little different.

I have always been very upfront on where I stand with my blog. I love that Wifessionals continues to grow! But I will never, ever forget how my blog got to where it is today.

This is why I always promise to offer Ad swaps with ANY size blog & why I do my best to help promote and encourage any other bloggers who contact me.

Lately I've been getting A TON of email asking various questions on all sorts of topics.

Every time I get one of these, you all apologize profusely for bothering me (as if I am this crazy busy wonder woman) and then so nicely ask me for my opinion or help.

No need for the apologies ladies!!

I love talking to you and helping you out. That is why I love my blog and this community. Getting the opportunity to "meet" and connect with new friends is why I do this in the first place!

help me mom!
Well, a lot of these "questions" from you are things that I wondered myself when I started my blog, or questions I still ask to this day. I have spent thousands of hours on this blog...and I've discovered a lot along the way.

- What is a "link party" or "blog hop"?
- How do you host one?
- Is Bloglovin' like McLovin'???
- Want to get link hosting for free?
- What is a Passionfruit?
- How much should I charge for Ads?
- How do I make a button?
- Where can I make more friends?
- Rafflecopter, huh?
- How do I grow my blog?
- No Comment Blogger - NO MORE!
- HTML to make a pretty blog
- Where to edit photos
- How to make pictures look professional
- I can't think of anything to write!!!
- Blogging takes too much!!!

I was blamed at my blate with Tiffany & Lauren for not getting personal on this blog. Well, in my defense, I lived in the middle of nowhere for the past 6 months. I mean, I only did my hair and makeup when I had to do a post for the blog - yep, THAT bad.

So I promised when I moved I would do a better job of offering up ME. Connecting more personally, showing off more of my life, outside mouth watering recipes and crafting...

So here it is: What do YOU want to know?

You can ask me anything! It can be about HTML, or growing your blog, or where I buy clothes, or what my favorite cheese is....You can ask me about my marriage, my crafts, my puppy or my weird & crazy sister....

Whatever you want to know.
No question is too "lame" or outrageous.

Especially the questions about help with the blogosphere...I know a ton of ladies probably have the same question. I know I still have 1,000.

Depending how many of you lovely ladies offer up questions, I may make this into a monthly or weekly post. I think it's a great way for me to get to know some of you better and also for us to help each other out with things we may want to know, but haven't known who to ask!

Click the link below to submit your question. I can't wait to hear from you!!!
(there's an option to stay anonymous if you want!)

Submit a question

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