Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sarah Dares to Tries New Makeup

Thanks to L'Oreal for sponsoring my post about my favorite beauty looks, tips and tricks! Check out for beauty advice from the experts.

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After I agreed to write a post about beauty tips I remembered something important - I don't know jack crap about makeup. Well, that isn't exactly true. I know things about makeup I am just really bad at applying it.

When I was in 8th grade I took a modeling class (shut up) and one of the section was on makeup application. I learned a lot and I can knock a nice late '80s look out of the park, but since it is 2011 and the Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam thing doesn't really play well at PTA meetings I try to mix it up a bit.

Originally I thought I was going to try something new and show you. I heard that they now offer mascara and lipstick that have collagen in them to plump up your lips and lashes.

I found the lipstick right away.

Then I went to find the mascara.

Holy cow!

That is just the L'Oreal mascara selection. I was a little overwhelmed but I eventually decided on the Voluminous Extra-Collagen for two reasons. 1) the package says 12x more impact instantly. I really wanted to see if that was true and 2) the bottom says EXTREME VOLUME and that reminds me of EXTREME RICE and EXTREME RICE makes me laugh.

You know, I think that might be my husband's cousin.

But back to the mascara - these are just your options for black.

I choose Black Noir which sounds French but I believe is just redundant.

I was going to show you how awesome it made my eyelashes, but I think I broke Photo Booth and also nearly poked out my eye trying to use the monitor as a mirror. Maybe someday when I acquire more RAM I can humiliate myself in front of all of you. Sadly today will not be that day.

Oh wait. Yes, today will be the day.

Actually after I did look in the mirror and fixed what I had done the mascara actually looked pretty great. Please ignore my lipstick. That was the first video. It wasn't pretty. This is why they never ask me to be on Momversation.

I do have one trick, and by an absolute coincidence L'Oreal is actually responsible for my trick. Don't tell anybody, but I actually use the little chart on the back of the eyeshadow thing.

True story.

And it looks good.

So, I told you mine. Now you tell me your makeup secrets.

Clearly I need the knowledge.

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I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. Click here to learn more about or become a Facebook fan by clicking here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sarah Reviews Marzetti Otria Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip

Mmmm. Dip.

I love chips and dip. I love vegetables in dip. To be honest, I would probably eat friend onion dip with a spoon, but that is disgusting so let's just pretend I didn't say that.

Anyway, when my friends at the Clever Girls Collective asked if I would be interested in reviewing the Marzetti Otria Greek Yogurt Veggie dip I jumped at the chance. I mean, having to review veggie dip for work pretty much rules.

It is okay if you are jealous.

The deal was that I would get a coupon for free dip and I would go get some at the store and eat it and write about it and then I would get paid for the review. What actually happened was a great deal more complicated than that.

I take full responsibility.

First I went grocery shopping and like a responsible little blogger I remembered I needed Marzetti Veggie Dip. Unfortunately, I get no cell signal in Wegmans and I forgot to buy the Otria Greek Yogurt kind. I also forgot to present my coupon at check out.

I just bought the regular Marzetti French Onion veggie dip. It was delicious. It was good on carrots and potato chips even though chips are not the intended use. I don't care. It was awesome.

But I felt stupid.

So I went and bought the Marzetti Otria Greek Yogurt. I bought the Spinach Artichoke variety.

This time I forgot to even bring the coupon.

That night my son and husband went camping with the cub scouts and my daughter and I were invited to a girls party next door. At the last minute I realized I was supposed to bring something and I grabbed the dip and a bag of baby carrots. After an hour my daughter threw a fit and we had to leave the party early.

I never even got to taste that dip.

The third time is a charm and not only did I buy the correct dip, but I remembered to bring my coupon. With the planets aligned so well I splurged and bought precut celery and tried the dip as soon as I got home. It was the Garden Herb Ranch and it was very tasty. It was light, but it still had flavor. I was also proud of myself for eating vegetables and dip for lunch instead of my usual bagel sandwich or box of crackers.

There is no method to my madness.

But about the dip...

(best segue ever)

The cool thing about the Otria Greek Yogurt Dips is that they are only 60 calories per serving. Sixty. That is the same as one Tootsie Pop.

Please don't ask how I know that.

Normally when I eat veggie dip I cancel out the vegetable goodness with the dip badness but in this case the dip is low calorie and made with greek yogurt, so is isn't even bad for you. It just tastes like it is.

Again, mmmmm dip.

* * *

I was one of the bloggers selected by T. Marzetti Company and Clever Girls Collective to host a Marzetti Otria Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip review. They provided me with product to test and compensation for my time. However, my opinions are entirely my own.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The West Wing Complete Series is on Sale

Amazon has my very favorite television drama of all time on super sale this week. You can get the complete run of "The West Wing" on DVD for only $111.99.

And it isn't even Black Friday yet.

This show has the best pilot episode ever. I would watch it once a week if it didn't make me a creepy weirdo.

It is a Thanksgiving miracle!

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Nobody paid me to say this or asked me to write about it, but that is an affiliate link so I will make money if you click that link and buy something - anything really from Amazon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sarah Makes Her Own Word Searches

I don't mean to go all Martha Stewart mom on you, but I found something really cool. You can make your own word search on the internet.

This morning my son asked me if I would make him a word search for his elective homework assignment.

I said yes.

Back in the day (and by back in the day, I mean back when I lived at my parents house before college and actually had leisure time) I used to make word searches for fun. Yes, I am a geek. I also think writing crostics would be awesome. Let's just accept that and move on.

What I forgot was that it was time consuming and back then I didn't have to do laundry for four people or cook dinner for anybody. I also didn't have any jobs, deadlines, pets or debilitating twitter addictions.

So I did what anyone would do. I searched for a way to make my own word search.

And lo and behold. Discovery Education totally had my back.

This may be one of the easiest things I have ever done.

Then I added all of their spelling words from school.

And there it was!

It took me more time to search for "make my own word search" than it did to make the thing.

And I impressed the children, which isn't easy to do.

My kids are still at the table working on their fancy new word search.

I bookmarked the page. We're doing this one again.

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Nobody paid me anything or asked me to write about this. I just thought it was cool and a very useful tool. Hey! I'm a poet and didn't know it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sarah Reviews Swagbucks

You know how you end up googling things 40 times a day? Do you ever wish you got credit for all of that searching?

Search & Win

Swagbucks is kind of like that.

You can win "swagbucks" for searching, then you can redeem your swag bucks for actual stuff. Remember Blingo? It is sort of like Blingo except with less free iPods and more of a lot of things.

There are prizes - you can get concert tickets, electronics, games and things like that. You can spend your swag bucks in sweepstakes to try to win things or you can trade them in for money.

I almost always spend my swagbucks on Amazon gift certificates, since I spend so much money over there anyway.

I'm addicted. I've been doing it for years.

Check it out. It is free. If you don't like it you never have to do it again.

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Nobody asked me to write this or paid me anything for this, but if you sign up through my link I get some sort of credit for referring you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Why Would I Do This?

Why would ANYONE allow this?

It can post tweets, update my profile and follow new people!!!

Shame on you Unified and Windows Phone for asking.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Pork Loin Post (With a Contest!)

In honor of National Pork Month, Costco and The Motherhood asked me to share a recipe with you.

I love eating and I love pork so I readily agreed. Then I remembered I am not much of a cook. I mean, I get by, but when I was faced with an eight pound pork tenderloin I panicked.

Then I calmed down because I immediately remembered that I married very wisely and my husband is an outstanding chef. I also remembered that we recently purchased an enormous smoker.

Do you know what is better than smoked pork?

Me neither.

So Gabe took the pork loin and last night he put in in a brine.

Brine Recipe

  • water (enough to cover your pork)
  • salt
  • celery
  • lemon
  • peppercorns
  • white vinegar

Bring everything to a boil. After it boils, let it cool and then submerge the pork in your brine over night.

It looks kind of gross, but this is an important step.

Then, this morning around 9:00 am he lit the fire. Yes, 9:00 am. We take our barbecuing very seriously in this house.

We take our barbecuing so seriously that we (and by we I mean Gabe) built a home for our smoker so it wouldn't get rusted out like our last one. We call it "The Shanty". I think my neighbors hate it but I secretly love it. It would be right at home in Kingston.

He got the fire to about 225 degreees and then it cooked.

And cooked.

And cooked.

And cooked.

For about seven hours.

The goal was an internal temperature of 180 degrees.

Note: In May, the USDA reduced the temperature guideline for pork loins, chops and roasts from 160 to 145 degrees F, with a three-minute rest.

Other Note: Gabe says that the 180 degrees isn't about safety (pork is safe at 145 degrees F) it is about the temperature when the connective tissue breaks down when you are slow cooking any animal. Same with beef ribs.

Now at this point Gabe says I need to tell you that he water smoked the pork loin.

I had no idea what that meant and so I asked him He says that water smoking is when you put a pan of water in the bottom of the smoker so that the water evaporates and circulates and convects moisture so that you are wet smoking the meat instead of dry smoking it.

In this case it made for a very moist, very delicious, pork loin.

Gabe served our pork loin with a mango relish. (At first he was going to do a chutney which sounded fancier, but probably wouldn't have been as good.)

Gabe's Mango Relish
  • mango
  • onion
  • red wine vinegar
  • chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
He usually makes this relish with some spice - generally jalapeƱos or serranos
but since the kids were eating with us he took out all of the heat. I was worried that it would be bland, but it was absolutely delicious.

We paired it with a bottle of 2008 Ledson Legend. The Legend is a Merlot blend and it paired perfectly.

To be honest, we just got lucky with the pairing. We only had four choices and it seemed like our best bet.

I'd tell you about the chocolate flourless waffle he made for dessert, but it would just make you jealous. Also, I'm too full to talk about it.

* * *
So! You probability want to know about this contest.

Costco is giving one of my readers a $25 Costco Cash Card and a digital thermometer along with more information about pork.

To enter, please leave me a comment telling me about your favorite pork dish. The contest is open to U.S. residents only and will end on Friday, October 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm ET. Please make sure you leave me an e-mail address where I can get in touch with you. I will draw a random winner by October 30th. One entry per comment, 5 comment maximum.

For more information you can also visit:
* * *

I am being compensated by The Motherhood and Costco for my participation in this promotion and they are also providing the prize for the contest. All opinions and words are my own. All of the recipes are from my husband.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Be Inspired By Pork

If you are a vegetarian or keep kosher you should probably look away right now.

If you are like me, you should probably get your butt over to Costco because they are having a huge pork sale.

October is National Pork Month. To that I say mmmmmm pork.

Even if you ignore the fact that my very favorite food in the entire world is bacon there are still so many kinds of delicious pork products: sausage, pork shoulder, pork loin, ribs, pork chops, ham, pork butt, pork belly, bratwurst - I could keep going but I'm making myself hungry.

Costco wants to help us celebrate pork month by giving us a $2 off coupon (if you hurry) and a few recipe ideas.

If you are confused by the new temperature guidelines you can go here or just memorize this new mantra:

I will be back later this week with my own recipe for pork tenderloin. Ah, who am I kidding? I'll be back later this week with my husband's recipe for pork tenderloin. In the meantime have good pork.

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This post is sponsored by Costco and The Motherhood. I have been compensated, but these words and opinions are my own.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sarah Has Another New Blog!

The kind folks over at Babble have seen fit to let me have my very own blog over on Babble Voices. I call it That's Right. You Heard Me.

Go check it out. They let me say whatever I want.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Why I Am Trying to be Healthy

Why am I trying to be healthy? That is a loaded question. There are so many reasons - vanity, longevity, I don't feel like buying new clothes, I feel better when I am healthy.

But the most important reason is easy. I try to be healthy to set a better example for my children.

I am not the biggest fan of exercise - or I wasn't until I realized that on the days I spent even 20 minutes on the elliptical I slept better, I cried less and my back didn't hurt.

I also seemed a lot less hypocritical when I made my kids exercise.

The same is true for eating. If I eat an apple or banana every day with lunch not only do my children see that I practice what I preach, they also see that it is normal. And maybe we don't all need dessert for every single meal.

I went to a panel this year at BlogHer 11 about owning your own beauty. The panelists talked a lot about how we can make our daughters see that they are beautiful by leading by example. It isn't about being thin, it is about being healthy.

I recently hired a personal trainer and I was so careful not to tell my daughter (who at age 7 has no body fat whatsoever and is 75% legs) that I was working out not to lose weight, but to get into better shape, to be stronger, to be healthier.

And I am. After three months I am stronger. I feel better. I am setting a better example of how grown ups can fit exercise into their lives ever day.

Well, maybe not every day, but at least four times a week.

Marie Callender's is trying to help it make easier for us to be healthy in a hurry.

Today I tried the Cheesy Chicken and Rice meal. It was only 380 calories and very, very filling.

The Cheesy Chicken & Rice is one of the nine one-dish entrees that Marie Cellender's offers for under 500 calories. Not bad, huh?

I try to be healthy for my kids and for my sanity. And you?

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Marie Callender's and The Motherhood sponsored this post, but these are my words and my opinions.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sarah Struggles With Portion Control

Portion control is not my strong suit.
When the folks at The Motherhood and Marie Callender's suggested I write about portion control this week I chuckled. Besides beer, portion control is probably my biggest struggle when it comes to weight loss.

You know how when you buy a bag of Doritos you eat some and then put a chip clip on the bag and walk away? Yeah. I eat the entire bag. I am a like a dog - I will eat until my stomach explodes.

(When I first typed that sentence I typed "I am like a god" which is also true if you find eating a whole bag of Doritos a super human skill.)

So portion control is a problem for me.

When I went to pick out my three Marie Callender's meals I got a Chicken Teriyaki first. I know that teriyaki is great in low calorie meals and rice is good in frozen meals. For my second week I went out on a limb. I got the Smoky Cheddar Mac & Uncured Bacon.

I admit it. I was skeptical. Cheese, pasta and bacon for 380 calories? I figured it would either have like three noodles in it or taste like artificial sweetener, but the truth was not only was it good, there was plenty of food.


And it was only $ 3.19.

Had I made a box of my regular mac and cheese it would have been 400 calories a serving, and you know I'm not measuring a serving.

I think today was a win. I'll definitely buy it again. This is a great choice for something to keep in the freezer for a super busy work day.

* * *
Marie Callender's and The Motherhood sponsored this post, but these are my words and my opinions.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sarah Eats on The Go

The theme I was given this week was eating on the go. The thing is, I work from home, and while yes, I am terribly busy, I am also rarely on the go. I am usually sitting right here on my butt at this computer.

That doesn't mean I have time to shop, eat, or plan meals wisely.

To be truthful, most of the time I am pretty good about dinners. My mom was a dietician and so I have a lot of ingrained ideas about family dinners and well balanced meals. I try really hard to make sure we at least have a protein, a vegetable and a starch for every dinner.

Now lunch - that is a different story altogether.

Response: That is a different story.

My typical weekday lunch is less than satisfactory. I would say twice a week my midday meal consists of Triscuits or Wheat Thins and whatever random cheese I have in the fridge. Sometimes it is even worse, if I am out on appointments or running the kids around in the summer I'll run through a drive thru and eat Value Meal #1.

With a coke.

This (and beer, sweet sweet beer) is probably the reason I ended up hiring a personal trainer.

I've been eating like crap lately.

Enter my friends at Marie Callender's.

Marie Callender's have out a whole (I keep wanting to use the word series) of frozen meals that are under 500 calories. I went for broke and tried The Chicken Teriyaki - it only has 280 calories.

It cooked in under four minutes and it was actually pretty cool. It came in a basket in a bowl. You put it all in the microwave and the sauce underneath steam the rice, chicken and vegetables and then you dump the food part into the sauce part and stir it up.

It was actually quite good. I was pleasantly surprised. I know Marie Callender's is usually high quality frozen foods, but my expectations were low since it was a frozen one dish lunch that was under 300 calories. It tasted good and I wasn't hungry afterward. What more could I have asked for?

And at $ 3.19 it is still cheaper than a value meal.

There are 34 different meals under 500 calories, but I'll be reviewing three of them. Stay tuned.

* * *
Marie Callender's and The Motherhood sponsored this post, but these are my words and my opinions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sarah Helps Kleenex Save the Field Trip

Do you guys remember being in elementary or middle school and going on those big field trips? I remember back when I still lived in Ohio going to The Museum of Science and Industry and thinking how cool it was.

Last Thursday my kids (The Goon Squad) and I went to the Natural History Museum for one of those super cool field trips.

I would like to point out that I am well aware of how lucky I am to live just outside of Washington D.C. and within 20 minutes of some of the best museums in the world. I recommend ALL of the Smithsonian museums. Those places are amazing.

It was so cool. The kids got to go into a forensic anthropolgy lab and a discovery room that had a ton of hands on activities for kids.

I forced them to pose with this skull. They think I am crazy.

We also met the curator of the insect exhibit, hung out in the butterfly pavilion and saw an IMAX movie about water conservation.

It was a great day. Thanks to Kleenex for trying to Save the Field Trip. You can go to their facebook page and try to win a $5,000 field trip scholarship for your local school.

All you have to do to register your child’s school for the chance to win $5,000 in support of field trips is “like” the Kleenex Facebook page and click the pink “support your school” button on the Facebook page, then follow the instructions. Easy peasy.

They are giving out 100 of these scholarships, so don't be shy. Sign up!

* * *

#KleenexFieldTrips is a campaign coordinated by The Motherhood. Kleenex sponsored admission to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is free but our tickets to The Butterfly Pavilion and IMAX, as well as vouchers for lunch, were provided. I am receiving compensation for my involvement in the campaign but all opinions are my own.

Further disclaimer: I copy and pasted that last disclaimer directly from Tech Savvy Mama's website.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sarah Goes on and on About Her E-Mail

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

* * *

This is my second post about about how an e-mail has affected my life and I am having a heck of a time picking just one thing. I easily get 100 e-mails every single day. How has e-mail not changed my life? I now work from home. I could never do what I do for a living if it weren't for e-mail. I suppose I could still do some freelance writing but I could never sell swag. My artists live in Boulder. It would take weeks to get anything accomplished.

But how do you pick one?

I can think of a handful of e-mails that I got that made me geek out that were actually twitter notifications (a response from Warren Sapp, being followed back by Yoko Ono, being randomly followed by Eric B. from Eric B. and Rakim) but twitter notifications don't really count.

I can think of e-mail that were comment notifications (one time Nancy Lieberman commented on a post I wrote about her on BlogHer) or friend requests on Facebook or myspace (two long lost friends from high school on myspace alone) but those don't really count.

I was going to write about the time Erin asked me if I could go with her to see Duran Duran, but then I remembered that it wasn't an e-mail, it was an IM. I thought about lying and saying it was an e-mail, but if I have been honest here since 2005 it seems wasteful to start lying to you about that.

I could write about the first picture I saw of friend's babies. I could write about job offers or really cool sponsorships. I could write about being invited to have one of my pieces published in Mothers of Intention.

How do I choose just one e-mail?

I can't.

I mean, I already wrote about the e-mail from John Flansburgh. (Am I getting creepy about that? I'm getting weird, aren't I?)

I can't imagine living without e-mail. I spend probably too much time thinking about how different life would be if we had the technology we have now in high school. I love technology. I am an obsessive e-mail checker and I am okay with that. I have had e-mails that made me cry, e-mails that made me jump up and down like a little girl and hundreds of e-mail that made me laugh, and those are the ones I am the most grateful for.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sarah Reviews Net Nanny

I had heard of Net Nanny. I even had a lap top for the kids once where it came pre-installed, but as so often happens when you are me, I didn't really know how to use it so I forgot all about it.

Yes, I am over here being ashamed.

But good news! I figured it out! And just in time, really.

As my children become more literate and more computer savvy, and also because they have computer lab at school as well as friends who unsupervised will watch hours of the Annoying Orange on youtube I think that it is time for something like this.

Now, I don't want you to think that I generally let my seven year olds go online completely unsupervised, but I tend to get engrossed in writing posts or tied up on work phone calls and there is always a possibility that my kids will stumble upon something unintended.

Say for example (and this has happened to a friend of mine) my kids wanted to do a google search for their favorite sporting goods store - Dicks.


And we all know that a SpongeBob video on you tube is one click a way from a related video that might not be what Nickelodeon originally intended.

I am pretty liberal and I don't mind explaining distasteful things to my children. What I really worry about is 1) online predators, 2) them spending my money by downloading stupid stuff, 3) them downloading viruses or 4) them accidentally seeing something that scares the crap out of them.

I only checked a few boxes, but you really have a lot of options with Net Nanny.

I hope that is big enough for you to read, but if not you can block things like sex, religion, violence, auctions, social networking, racism, pay to surf, lingerie, chat, shopping, hacking, alcohol etc.

I love that you can personalize it.

I am fine with it if children choose to read about religion or racism as I am happy to talk about it with them later, but if they want to learn about hacking they are going to have to ask their uncle. I don't need two seven year old hackers living this close to the pentagon.

If your child (or you, if you forget to turn it off) stumbles upon a restricted site, they will get a very clear message and a redirect.

Easy peasy.

The other cool thing is that you can go back and see what your child was doing online.

My kids are pretty predictable, then again, they are seven and haven't yet really learned how to surf the internet.

Here is what it looks like when I am on.


Net Nanny is $39.99, but you can check out a free trial here for mac or here for a PC.

I am also giving away a few subscriptions, so leave a comment here and tell me why you want it and I will randomly choose the winners who I will then e-mail a code so please don't forget to leave me your e-mail address.

* * *

Disclaimer: I received a free subscription and compensation for this review, but these words and opinions are my own.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sarah Reviews Karizmac Luminous

* * *

Karizmac Luminos.

I know, when the Clever Girls first asked me to review it I thought I would be interviewing a psychic or escapologist (I did not make up that word. I found it on Harry Houdini's wikipedia entry.) The name also kind of sounds like a spell you would learn at Hogwarts, but it is neither human nor something from Harry Potter. It is an app and it turns out Karizmac is the maker and Luminos is the name of the app.

That clears up the first part.

So you are wondering what kind if app this is. This is from the website?

Still confused? Watch this video.

My experience was pretty much like the video.

It was all

and I was all

and it was all

Then it was all

and I was all

and it was - You are like Miss Piggy.

Then I was all "I am NOT like MIss Piggy. I think this thing just called me fat."

But I'm sure it didn't mean I was a pig. I mean, really, Miss Piggy isn't even fat. She is kind of glamorous in a really irritating way. When it comes down to Muppets I've always identified more with Janice - or Animal.

Seriously, you could at least pretend to be surprised.

Whatever - then Luminous said I was like Princess Leia Organa so I forgave it, because I AM like Princess Leia, especially if that means I am not wearing a bra and I want to make out with Harrison Ford.

Again, I've said too much.

Would you like to see my personal Charisma Map?

Yeah, I'm not exactly sure what it means, but it would appear that I am much more accepting than I am reasonable and that sounds about right.

Anyway, you can find out which famous women you are like too. They have a free app and a paid app. The paid app is only $ 1.99 - cheap - and you can get it for your iPhone or iPad at the app store.

Did I mention I just got an iPad? Feel free to believe the hype. It is as awesome as you have heard.

Check it out. I played it like six times and I got compared to Dorothy Hammil, Anna Kournakova, Ayla from Clan of the Cave Bear, Judy Blume, Brooke Sheilds, Susan Boyle, Mary J Blige, Dana Torres, Angelina Jolie and Edith Bunker.

Who are you like?

* * *

While Karizmac Luminous provided me with the app to review, the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Karizmac Luminous, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity.
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