A Totally Serious Ranking of Fireplace Simulators (Updated 12/24/2018)

It’s nearly Christmas, which means that families all over the world are getting their holly jolly on. This is our first year with a television, which allows me to finally participate in one of my family’s oldest traditions: Enjoying a cozy festive blaze without the hassle of actually owning a fireplace. Some may scoff at our facade of flames as it burns merrily in an infinite loop, but really, wouldn’t it be even more absurd if we Austinites had the real deal in our apartment?

For those who join us in our devotion to an digital hearth (or are considering adding some cheery LCD embers to your  own home), I have taken it upon myself to review all the free options I could find on the internet…well, okay, more like the ones I could find with 30 minutes of searching.  I will act as a modern Prometheus, bringing light into your living room to keep the predators away at night. You might not be able to toast marshmallows on these fires, but you also can’t burn your house down, so merry Christmas!



1. Mesquite Fireplace–Quiet Fireplace (Amazon Prime):

This is a nice all-purpose blaze, with enough crackling to be noticed without dominating your living room’s ambient noise. However, I have my suspicions that their claim of “mesquite” might be false advertising. I’m no expert, but the fireplace looks like gas, not real wood to me. I also have to dock them points for being pretentious enough to have a trailer listed for their video.


2. Christmas Fireplace for your home with crackling sounds (Amazon Prime):

The lack of proper capitalization in the title says it all. This isn’t your traditional fireplace loop where your television serves as the frame for your fire. Instead, this is a video of a living room with a Christmas tree on the left and a fire on the right, only taking up a quarter of the screen. They didn’t even dim the lights. The subtitles claim that there is music playing, but if there is, it’s  thankfully very faint. Bottom line remains the same: This isn’t what I want from a fireplace simulator.



3. Fireplace: The Magic of Fire (Amazon Prime):

Magic of Fire

The description defends the sound of the fan in this video as a normal part of most fireplaces. But c’mon, we’re watching a fire on a screen. We don’t want realistic! We want festive! And the white noise totally overshadows the fire’s crackling. Plus, the logs are just big black shadows in this version. Extra points deducted for the track only being 7 minutes long. I’m paying good money for–oh, wait, forgot these are all free for a second. Well, free or not, I demand at least an hour of looping flickering before having to press start again!).  Bottom line: Sorry, but not much magic here.

4. Fireplace for your home – Birchwood Edition (Netflix):

Ah, now this is more like it! BirchwoodFireReal wood, gentle crackling. The flames start out small and grow into a proper blaze. The logs even char as time progresses. Are we sure those pixels aren’t emanating heat because I swear I feel warmer watching this beautiful glow.





5. Fireplace for your home Classic Edition (Netflix):


Wow, so these are a whole series? The only real difference between this and the Birchwood one is that this one has chopped wooden blocks for kindling instead of logs. I’m still totally into it. This fire can roast my chestnuts any day.

6. Fireplace for your home (Netflix):

A similar setup as the Classic Edition, but this one has tepid Christmas music playing in the background. I’ll pass, thanks

7. A Home Fireplace, Bright Edition (Netflix):


And now for something completely different! This is a fantasy riff on the cozy fireplace genre that we’ve been exploring. Based off the Netflix show, Bright, this features an urban backdrop for the mystical fire that changes colors every few minutes. Keep an eye out for a befuddled fairy that occasionally flits across the screen!




My choice for the month will be the Birchwood Edition, but leave a comment below with your favorite.

7. Darth Vader Yule Log  (Youtube):

This display is perfect for those of us who are celebrating Life Day instead of Christmas. While you watch Vader eternally burn on his funeral pyre, you’ll find yourself transported to the lush planet of Endor by the gentle chirping of space-crickets in the background. To quote a brilliant commenter on this video, “This should be called ‘Harth Vader Yule Log’!”. I couldn’t agree more! Given the choice between watching this and the Star Wars Holiday Special, this is clearly the better option.




8. “The Girl in the Fireplace” (Dr. Who, 2005): A total disappointment. The titular star of the show is only seen in a few scenes and gets completely upstaged by the personality of its owner and the fireplace inspector. Interviews lacked any interesting content due to constant interruptions by various other cast members. It appears the BBC is incorporating more elements of reality tv into their documentaries, celebrating the sensational and controversial at the cost of providing any actual historical substance. I was left with more questions that answers: What type of wood was traditionally burned in 18th century French palaces? How many fireplaces did Versailles contain? Who was the architect that designed the facade of the fireplace?

True fans of fireplaces shouldn’t waste their time with this nonsense.



My Non-spoilery Thoughts on Last Jedi:

My non-spoilery thoughts on Last Jedi:
Overall, I liked it better than Force Awakens because it took more risks. This new trilogy will never be *my* Star Wars, but I still watch them with interest.
1. The movie has a weird self-awareness that I’m conflicted about. There are moments that feel like the actors are winking at the camera. In particular, Luke’s scenes all seem to have a certain sarcastic swagger to them. It made the movie fun, but it also made it feel less authentic, imo.
2. I thought FA had a lot of humor, but WOW was there more in LJ. It was sometimes a bit much. Some of it was brilliant, but other times I groaned out loud at the heavy handedness. This ties into the self-awareness mentioned above. As for the porgs, I felt like they were basically furry Minions from Despicable Me.
3. Adam Driver delivers the emotive performance I wish Lucas had demanded from Hayden Christiansen. Every irrational decision Kylo makes is 100% believable and I cannot wait to see more of him in the next movie.
4. I wish Rian Johnson had the same dedication to practical effects vs CGI as JJ Abrams. Although, Abrams is the guy who added by biggest pet peeve of this whole new trilogy, which is the sapphire blue hyperspace. Every time I see it, I cringe. It’s just so flashy and fake looking. Ugh, it’s silly, but I hate it sooooo much. Is this Dr. Who or Star Wars?

Falcon or TARDIS?


Old School

My Cooking Tips For People Who Never Cook

Despite growing up with a stay-at-home mom who cooked amazing meals for us every night, I rarely lifted a finger in the kitchen as a kid. I mean, I sometimes followed directions (ie, stir this, fetch that, don’t stand on the counter), but never actually stored the information to my mental hard drive. Cooking was a chore adults had to do, so I would avoid it as long as possible.

Like so many of us, that all changed when I got married. Now, of course, there’s no rule that says marriage = cooking. But luckily for me, I landed a guy with some restaurant experience, so we equally divide the burden of weeknight dinners. After three years, I’ve gone from an apathetic rookie in the kitchen to an apathetic-but-competent cook.

I don’t love cooking, but I am proud of my accomplishments. So for anyone who feels completely awkward around a stove, here are some practical tips that might give you an edge.

NOTE: There’s lots of common advice for beginners that I’m gonna skip. Common advice includes learning how to menu plan, using basic spices, and investing in a good set of knives.

1. Don’t start with Bon Appetit recipes.

Pie For Dinner, Bon Appetit Magazine, February 2015, Volume 60 Number 2

Maybe when I’m retired, I’ll have time to braid a pie crust…

While a few of their recipes are simple, many of their dishes are best attempted once you’ve mastered the basics. Almost every Bon Appetit recipe I’ve made has used terminology I’ve had to google (example: bain-marie) and required me to buy a random ingredient I will likely never use again (looking at you, poppy-seeds gathering dust on my spicerack).

Plus, their advice tends to use a lot of “ALWAYS” and “NEVER”, which can be intimidating to beginners who don’t realize that their meringue probably won’t be ruined just because they didn’t use room temperature eggs. Bon Appetit is a great resource, but better for intermediates, in my opinion.

May I suggest Food Network in the meantime?

2. Water takes forever to boil

Question: You are making chicken nuggets and box macaroni and cheese (it’s been a rough week). The nuggets take 14 minutes in the oven and the macaroni needs 7.30 minutes in boiling water (the Kraft box is very precise). Which should you start first?

Image result for water boiling in potAnswer: Always put the pot of water on the stove first. For some reason, water takes a ridiculously long time to boil, so by handling it first, you’ll probably end up having both foods ready at the same time.

If you’re in a rush, spend an extra ten seconds waiting for the tap water to get hot before filling up your pot. You’ll shave minutes off your time.

3. What ingredients are your instant recipe killers/winners?

For us, we tried a bunch of casseroles with sour cream and never really enjoyed the results, so now we just avoid those recipes. On the other hand, we’ve discovered a fondness for sauces with cream cheese.

4. Cornstarch can make you cry

Image result for cornstarch

Cornstarch is often used as a thickener for gravy because it’s faster than alternate methods. However, this is one shortcut that has backfired on me MANY times. Sometimes the moment I add the cornstarch into my gravy, it seizes up into large lumpy flakes. It’s scary and once it has happened, there isn’t much you can do to salvage it except spend 15 minutes spooning out the lumps.

Experienced chefs will probably tell you, “Oh, just mix your cornstarch with cold water before dumping it into the sauce”, but even after lots of practice, my gravy still seizes up 50% of the time. Don’t avoid this ingredient forever, but until you’re more advanced, stick with the old butter/flour technique (called making a “roux”)

5. Your oven (not you!) might be the problem

There’s a good chance your oven heats unevenly. This means that some spots are hotter than others. To test it, try baking a box cake mix. If you have some sections that are burnt and others that are raw, that’s your oven’s fault, not yours!

One way to help this problem: Fill a baking dish or tray with water and put it in your oven to preheat. Then put your cake pan in the warm water bath (also called a “bain marie”) if you’re feeling fancy). This will help create a more even heat around your food. It won’t fix severely uneven ovens, but it can help.

6. Trying new recipes is expensive & will take extra time

We’ve always noticed that our grocery bill seems to increase significantly on weeks when we’re cooking a new recipe. This is because we usually have to buy ingredients that aren’t in the pantry already. Sometimes it’s a fancy cheese (looking at you, edam!) that we use the first time and then later substitute for a cheaper alternative. Other times, it’s because the recipe wants you to use 3 lbs of chicken and you didn’t realize that will feed like 8 people and you only have 2. The next time you make the recipe, you’ll cut it in half and save money.

I probably don’t need to explain why it takes double the time to make a new recipe, so my advice is to do your experimenting on the weekends when you have plenty of time to read each line four times. Eventually, you’ll get the process streamlined and you’ll be breezing through a casserole on a weeknight, but give yourself time the first go ’round.

A Few of My Favorite Starter Recipes:


  • Easy Meatballs by The SpruceMeatballs: Add 1/3 cup parmesan inside the meatballs to make these SO much better. I love it because it’s literally dump everything together in a bowl and roll balls. So easy and you can use them for leftovers in sandwiches, spaghetti, or Swedish meatballs. https://www.thespruce.com/easy-meatballs-480711

If you have an HEB grocery store near you, this is our favorite brand of crumbs (the

garlic flavor is addictively amazing).


We put them in everything from meatballs to mac and cheese. Speaking of mac and cheese…

  • Quick Mac & Cheese: The recipe claims this is like Kraft mac, which hasn’t been my experience…although, I never have been able to find noodles in that very specific shape. Even though it’s not Kraft-like, it’s still delicious. Top with breadcrumbs for extra yumminess. https://www.thenest.com/content/homemade-mac-and-cheese-recipe
homemade mac and cheese recipe

Actual results will probably NOT look like this, but don’t worry 🙂

  • Ham & Cheese Bread Pudding: Breakfast for dinner = the best thing ever. This recipe won’t work for a weeknight because it has to bake for an hour, but everything else about it is a breeze (cut stuff, beat eggs, dump it all together, stick in the oven, bam, you’re done). Plus, it’s one of the few recipes that will turn out Pinterest-perfect on your first attempt. Easy peasy and great for impressing guests. http://www.theworktop.com/breakfast-brunch-recipes/savory-bread-pudding-ham-cheese/



  • INTERMEDIATE — Chicken & Bacon Pasta: Don’t forget to cook the bacon while the pasta water heats so it’s ready in time–or make the bacon ahead of time. Also, we usually substitute ground beef instead of chicken because we already have a TON of chicken recipes. Lastly, we tend to favor bow tie pasta instead of penne for this one, but it works well with both.): http://www.plainchicken.com/2011/05/chicken-bacon-pasta.html

Chicken Bacon Pasta - grilled chicken and bacon served over a creamy cheese sauce - The BEST pasta I have ever had. Seriously better than you'll find in any restaurant. You can make the chicken ahead and reheat it.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!



Super Important: Most Supplements Don’t Contain ANY of the Listed Ingredients.

This isn’t remotely related to the topics I normally cover, but it’s something we need to spread the word about. I first heard about this back in 2015, but since the information hasn’t spread to the general public yet, I want to give it a signal boost. This is stuff you NEED to know so you can make informed choices.



A study was conducted of a bunch of herbal supplements from big name drug stores like Target/Walgreens/GNC. Scientists tested the DNA of the pills and concluded that 4 out of 5 of the bottles contained ZERO traces of the ingredients listed. For example, a bottle of “Ginseng” would be tested and they’d find it full of random fillers like rice powder or asparagus (researchers also noted that wheat would be found in products advertised as “wheat free” — yikes!).

How is this possible? Well, it’s because there are laws in place that prevent the FDA from regulating supplements (see John Oliver sketch for more info). Normally, it would be illegal for food companies to participate in false advertising, but on the FDA’s website, it states very clearly that the FDA isn’t allowed to regulate the advertising of supplements. Scary, huh?


John Oliver presents a more entertaining version of what I’ve been discussing:

Now, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a hypocrite. I still take a multi-vitamin every day, even though I really wonder if it’s a waste of money. And I know many people who have anecdotal evidence that their Fill-In-The-Blank has improved since taking XYZ. That’s fine–I’m not judging you or trying to tell you how to live your life. Just because many of these products are fraudulent, doesn’t mean you haven’t found a good one. But be careful out there and realize that you can’t always trust the label of those supplements you’re buying.

More links about this topic (Including the good news that GNC pledged to improve their standards and will even submit reports to the NY attorney general to prove it!):

OverAnalyzing Winnie the Pooh

Any other adults out there who still love Winnie the Pooh? I imagine there are quite a few who are still charmed by its timeless humor and wisdom. But you know what’s better than gushing about a dearly beloved book from your childhood??? Over-analyzing it ad naseum!!!!

Related image

Or is that just me??? Nah, I’m pretty sure other people are into that too. Which is why I have dug up an old college paper I wrote about Winnie the Pooh. Below is my overview of some of the crazy theories scholars have come up with about Milne’s characters. Some of them are pretty far fetched. Enjoy!


Taking a Magnifying Glass to Pooh’s Stuffing by Tahlia Merrill

Deep in The Hundred Acre Woods, A.A. Milne’s beloved characters welcome readers to their simple, enchanting world. For over 80 years, Winnie the Pooh and his friends have delighted both children and adult readers with their adventures. Milne’s books have become classics and, while most of us read them purely for enjoyment, there have been many scholars who have done considerable literary analysis on Milne’s work. What follows is an examination of several lenses scholars have used to interpret the inner meaning of the Winnie the Pooh books.

Benjamin Hoff’s bestselling book The Tao of Pooh and its sequel, The Te of Piglet are undoubtedly two of the most famous interpretations of Milne’s stories. Hoff uses all the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh and House at Pooh Corner as illustrations of Eastern philosophy. Winnie the Pooh, he argues, is the perfect example of a western Taoist. He embodies the concept of “wu-wei”, which means “not doing”, or a way of doing that is effortless because it goes with the flow of nature and does not fight against it.

Image result for tao of pooh

In The Tao of Pooh, Hoff calls wu-wei “The Pooh Way” because Pooh is has “the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with this comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, even if it appears odd to others at times. As Piglet put it in Winnie-the-Pooh, ‘Pooh hasn’t much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right’” .

Piglet, on the other hand, represents the Taoist concept of virtue, which is believed to be attained by “sensitivity, modesty, and smallness”. In both books, the other animals in the Hundred Acre Woods represent the flawed philosophies of our world. Owl is portrayed as a Confusionist who accumulates knowledge for the sake of appearing wise, Rabbit makes life unnecessarily complicated by constantly working, and Eeyore twists everything in life into a complaint. Tigger is contrasted with Piglet because Piglet has achieved harmony with the world by working within his limitations, but Tigger’s downfall is that he claims he can do anything and does not acknowledge his limitations.

It’s not just the Taoists who have tried to claim Pooh as their own, but also Christians. C. J. L. Culpepper believes that Milne can be grouped with the great writers of Christian literature: Spenser, Bunyan, and Milton. He says that Winnie-the-Pooh contains a plethora of allegorical elements, starting with the very first chapter where Pooh climbs the honey tree. Culpepper places Pooh as an Adam figure:

He conceives a passion for removing and eating something he finds upon it (the tree). With increasing pride in his ability to snatch the spoils without assistance, much less with official permission to touch this certain product, he climbs nearly to the top of the tree and–falls!…having landed sorrowfully in a gorse-bush (East of Eden), betakes himself directly back to the forbidden food with renewed lust. This time he is significantly black from head to toe, and is pursued and tormented by “the wrong sort of bees“, little avengers which, in bring to my mind Christian devils…

If Pooh represents Adam, then Christopher Robin is an easy choice for the character representing God. Culpepper believes this is because Christopher Robin not only has a position as an authority figure in the stories, but he also has a sort of omnipresence that allows him to both teach and rescue with timing akin to divine Providence. And lastly, while Hoff’s analysis of Milne’s work results in the character of Eeyore being cast as the ultimate villain, Culpepper’s analysis does the exact opposite, making a case for the pessimistic donkey being the Christ-figure of The Hundred Acre Woods. Eeyore, Culpepper believes, is “the Lowly One, the Despised, Acquainted with Grief”, whose journey follows in the steps of the biblical Jesus. Eeyore not only follows the Golden Rule, but also acts as savior for several of the characters. He gives up his thistles to Tigger, tries to save Roo from the stream, breaks Tigger’s fall from a tree, and even gives a speech at a farewell party reminiscent of the Last Supper.


Image result for winnie the pooh falling

The fall of Adam???

Image result for christopher robin party

The Last Supper????

Not all Pooh philosophy, however, centers on religion. In her article “Milne’s Pooh Books: The Benevolent Forest” Anita Wilson discusses The Hundred Acre Woods as a model for the Utopian ideal. In this imaginary world, Christopher Robin is able to play the adult and rules over the forest animals with benevolence. There is no need for law in this world, since Christopher’s authority stems from affirmation and friendship rather than enforcement. There is no death in Pooh and danger is manifested in the mildest of forms. The bees are a mere nuisance, the Heffalumps are imagined, and hunger is only felt as a rumbly tummy. “The animals do no mimic the everyday aspects of human life such as working and spending money; their existence is emancipated from such requirements…” (Wilson). The outside world is unavoidable, because it is part of growing up. It means Christopher Robin has to go to school and leave the forest behind him.  But as Milne says, “the Forest will always be there … and anybody who is Friendly with Bears can find it” . Pooh’s utopian lifestyle isn’t compatible with the grownup world because its purity and innocence are impossible to achieve in our corrupted world. While the highest level of a childhood ideal is not possible, the world would be a better place if people reminded themselves from time to time of those ideals.

Pooh has not just been evaluated on a purely philosophical level, but also on a psychological one. Elliott Gose looks at Winnie-the-Pooh through a Freudian lens, seeing all of the forest animals as extensions of Christopher Robin’s psyche. Gose suggests that there are two ways to view Pooh’s position in the forest—both as a protagonist containing all three aspects of Freud’s three-part diagram of self (Id, Ego, Superego) and, as a single facet of the diagram (the Id), with the other characters acting in the other roles. According to Freud, the Id contains a person’s subconscious appetites and drives. The super-ego is the conscious force that criticizes the Id and tries to suppress it, which can be a good thing if the Id’s impulses are harmful. The Ego is the conscious force that seeks to mediate between the other two halves, trying to find a balance. Gose sees Pooh as representative of the Id because the driving force behind most of his actions is an appetite for honey. By this appetite constantly getting Pooh into trouble, Milne shows that he needs to learn how to tame his appetite instead of letting it control him. When he gets stuck after eating too much, Rabbit acts as the scolding voice of the super-ego and Christopher Robin finds a middle ground by being supportive of Pooh, but insisting that he cannot eat anything for a week. Christopher Robin is never the star of the stories, but he is important because his “strengths are implicitly emphasized by contrast with the protagonists’ relative lack of competence.” At the end of the book, all of the animals are invited to Pooh’s celebration party. All parts of Christopher Robin’s self are accepted: “Gloomy Eeyore, aggressive Rabbit, expressive Roo, competent Kanga, pontifical Owl, anxious Piglet, and a basically self-confident Pooh”. This, Gose explains, shows that when every facet of a person is integrated with the others, you get a balanced and complex whole that is what makes personal growth possible.

As one of the most beloved and long-lasting authors of children’s literature, it’s only natural that Milne’s work has come under close scrutiny. Some scholars make more grandiose claims than others, but what is important to see is the deep impact that Pooh has made on his readers. While most of the analyses surveyed in this paper are not compatible with one another and some may take offense at scholars putting meaning behind Milne’s words that the author clearly did not intend, instead of letting them ruffle our feathers, perhaps we should take our cue from our mutual friend the good-natured bear and receive the Owls and Rabbits of our own world with the same easygoing acceptance as Winnie the Pooh.


  • Hoff, Benjamin. The Tao of Pooh. London: Egmont, 2003.
  • Hoff, Benjamin. The Te of Piglet. London: Mandarin, 1993.
  • Culpepper, C. J.L. “O Felix Culpa! The Sacramental Meaning of Winnie-the-Pooh.” The Pooh Perplex: a Freshman Casebook. By Frederick C. Crews.
  • Wilson, Anita. “Milne’s Pooh Books: The Benevolent Forest.” Touchstones: Reflections on the Best in Children’s Literature. Ed. Perry Nodelman.
  • Gose, Elliott “Id, Ego, and Self.” Mere Creatures: A Study of Modern Fantasy Tales for Children. Ed. Children’s Literature Review. 


Image result for winnie the pooh

When Pandemic Seeps Into Real Life…

You know you’ve been playing too much Pandemic when you have this conversation:
R: Did you check mail today?
Me: Oh, no, I really only had time for tidying up and making dinner today, so I totally forgot. I can do it tomorrow on my way to work though.
R: Well, I have to take out the trash tonight, which is right next to the mailboxes, so I’ll just grab it while I’m there.
Me: Wait! You won’t have enough actions.
R: Yeah, I will. It’s one to travel there, two to deposit the trash, three to grab mail, and four to travel back home.
Me: (shakes head): That region is contaminated, so it’ll take you an extra action to pick up the mail. So you’ll be able to travel there, but not get back. So unless you want to sleep outside tonight, I’ll just get mail on my first turn tomorrow.
R: Hmmm, well, normally I’d say it’s worth it, since my special power is “Sleep Anywhere”, but that zone has already been hit with the virus pretty bad, and I really don’t want to be scarred tomorrow morning…
Me: Oh, hang on! We have a helicopter. We’ll just use that to get you home safely. *High Fives*
In other news…

2016 Resolutions

Last year, I talked about how I don’t like resolutions because, if you want to do something, why wait until January 1st to set a goal? In fact, my husband and I already set ourselves monthly goals. Sometimes it’s good to evaluate big picture stuff, though, and the start of a new year works just fine.


So, just to recap, these were my 2015 Resolutions:


1. Contribute $20/month to a cause I believe in (see previous post for my update on that)


2. Be more informed about local politics.

Result: I now give our monthly local community paper a thorough reading whenever it comes in the mail. I now know that our governor’s name is Greg Abbott. A few months ago when I saw picketing signs for “Say No to the PUD”, I knew they wanted to stop housing developments being built in Austin.



Also, I’ve been listening to NPR during my commute. This definitely has made me more knowledgeable because it helped me win Scattergories with “Netanyahu” (president of Israel) as a World Leader whose name starts with N. Bam!

3. Read through Auto Repair for Dummies. Auto

Result: Ermmm, I kinda read through the book, but haven’t finished it yet. It has helped me diagnose several of my car problems this year. They were things I couldn’t fix on my own, but I think the mechanics respected me more because I knew what I was talking about.

2016 Resolutions

1. Experience Austin
In general, we’re pretty happy with our lives, but we discussed how we don’t feel like we’re taking full advantage of living in such a lively city. There’s so much to do here and we mostly stick to our favorite local hangout, Emerald Tavern and Games. So this year, we’re going to make an effort to visit a new location once a month. This can include restaurants, parks, or museums, but probably not friends’ houses.
And our first destination will be…
2. Maintain friendships 
You know how it is after you graduate. If your out-of-town friends aren’t actively posting on facebook, they basically don’t exist in your life anymore. I made lots of deep friendships in high school and college that I’ve let drift indefinitely because keeping in touch is hard. Well, this year, I’m going to stop feeling guilty about it and set up a skype date with one friend every month…ummm, since it’s January 24th already, I might want to figure out who that first person should be…eek!



Who will it be????


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