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FTLSWEETIE's Recent Blog Entries

BLC20 12 Week Goals & Before Pic

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Part of our weekend challenge for the first week of the BLC20 is to blog about our goals and what we will do to reach those goals for the 12 week program, as well as post before pictures.

I was at my goal weight of 145 for quite awhile (fluctuating between a few pounds) and have gained since getting ill. I was at 164 this past Wednesday, however weighed in at 158 this morning. I'm not sure if it was water weight being held over from TOM or too much sodium (from eating those "healthy" soups) but I'll take it:-)

My first and foremost goal is to get my back into healthy shape. For those not reading my statuses, I hurt my back while picking up some heavy boxes when I moved in with my DH (at least I think that's what did it!). I have a herniated disk with L4 and an extruded right-sided disc herniation, L5-S1 with Thecal Sac and Nerve Root Impingement (diagnosis from the MRI) causing sciatica from the buttock to the ankle on my right leg.

I went through physical therapy with my chiropractor for 6 weeks, trying to get relief without medication. Although some days were better than others, I still wasn't getting the pain relief. I finally went to an orthopedist this past week and he put me on the Medrol (Methylprednisolone) 6 day pack and gave me Percocet for the pain. I am continuing Physical Therapy with my chiropractor as well as working on strengthening my core, hamstrings, glutes and quads at home. I go back to the orthopedist on 9/24 for follow-up. If this doesn't work, I may have to have the disk removed. Please pray that it works as I do not want to have surgery.

Two other goals are to start tracking my food and fitness again. I've really fallen off track with doing both of these and I know that they were the key to my success in the past. That's another part of this weekend challenge, so I'm glad it got me thinking about it again. I tracked yesterday and so far today. I thought it was taking me too much time, but really it's only 5-10 minutes out of my day and will show me where I need to change up some things based on how I weigh in.

I desperately want to get in cardio exercises, however my doctor has advised against this for now until my back is in more stable condition. I can't wait until I can start again as I also know that this was a key to my success.

I believe that if I can accomplish all of my goals within this twelve week period, I can get off some of the weight that I've gained and be much happier with myself.

So, here are my before pics taken this morning at 158 pounds and no make-up...don't get scared!

Here's to all of us getting healthy the right way! I've done it before and I know I can do it again!!!

PS...I love my Blazing Blue Bombshells! They are also a key contributor to my success as I know that I can always count on them to provide encouragement or a swift kick in the boot-ay, if needed:-) Love you ladies!!!

Big Hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 9/28/2012 11:10AM

    you look great....and beautiful with no make-up

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LYNMEINDERS 9/20/2012 6:32AM

    Go you...you can so achieve this

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    You look beautiful as always, GF, and will get that weight off in no time. I have gained also as a result of stress and not being able to take care of myself. We will both get back to basics and get it done.

I sure hope you have a speedy recovery and that you don't need surgery. My prayers are with you. Love you always!!

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FAERY_FACE 9/17/2012 5:30AM

    Great pics and great plan! emoticon

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TATTER3 9/16/2012 9:11PM

    Pretty lady!

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    Paula, you are so beautiful! I sure hope you start to feel some relief soon. Don't over do it and take it one day at time. emoticon plan too!!! Keep up the good work!

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AIRYELLE 9/15/2012 8:03PM

    Sending healing thoughts your way. You are still so adorable even though you may not feel it.

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IXCHEL23 9/15/2012 7:37PM

    Paula, great plan! Yes, you WILL do it again!! Will be praying for you you won't need surgery. Don't worry I didn't get scared seeing your pics, you look cute!

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KSMGLASS 9/15/2012 7:21PM

    Paula, you are a true beauty, makeup or not!!! You absolutely look awesome. Sure hope the relief of your pain is around the corner!!!! I know you will rock this round, your plan is super!!! I love your tatoo!!!! I'm so glad you are a Blazing Blue Bombshell!!! emoticon

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FITLIKENIC 9/15/2012 4:05PM

    emoticon Great goals, photos are fantastic!

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ARKPLE 9/15/2012 2:53PM

    I'm not at all scared of your photos! I'm just sorry that you're in such continual pain. Just do what you can and leave the rest. YOU WILL GET BACK TO YOUR GOAL. And, as you wrote on my blog, I'm also VERY glad to have been on most of your Spark Journey with you. You are a great source of strength and support. xo

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AGK3112 9/15/2012 2:47PM

    I hope you get recover soon and feel better. I am sure once you will be ok you will do great. Good Luck

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 9/15/2012 2:23PM

    Paula- so sorry you've been having so many back issues. Sending healing thoughts your way. You can only work within the doctor's set limits. So, cardio can wait until you get the ok. Love your eating plan- track, track, track emoticon

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SUCCESSN2014 9/15/2012 12:54PM


I hope your able to get some pain relief and pray that you don't have to have surgery. Do what you can and don't stress about the rest. Your awesome team of Bombshells have your back emoticon

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On the Search for Pescatarian / Flexitarian Friendly Meals!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hi All,

A couple of months ago, my husband came home and announced that he wants to become a flexitarian. I was like, "What the heck is that?" Well, a flexitarian is someone who eats a mostly vegetarian diet, but occassionally eats meat. He told me that he could eat as much seafood as he wanted, but was very rarely going to eat beef. I found out that a pescatarian diet actually allows you to eat as much seafood as you want, but excludes all other meat.

I stopped eating beef and a whole lot of other animals when I was 12 years old. My proteins have consisted of chicken, pork and turkey...no other type of animal and have been fine with those options, however was gung-ho to try a new way of eating. We started having salmon, tuna or shrimp every night at home, because these are the most economical options, along with sides of veggies. My husband can cook just about anything on the grill and make it come out tasty.

However, I quickly got tired of the same routine with our meals at home and went on the search for some tasty options. I would like to share them with you including my additions / deletions and thoughts on the recipe...good, bad or ugly! My rating for each recipe will be based on 5 Stars, with a 5 being the best. So, here goes!

Shrimp Gazpacho (5 Stars)

I used a SlimCado instead of an avocado in this and only used one of them as they are so much bigger than a regular avocado, however you can use as many as you want. I de-seeded the cucumbers prior to cubing. I added about 1 Tbsp Low-Sodium Worcestershire Sauce and 1 tsp of celery salt in place of the salt in the recipe. I also replaced the tomato and clam juice cocktail (Clamato) with 64 oz of Campbell’s Low Sodium Tomato Juice and 1 bottle of clam juice (found with the canned tuna). You can leave out the clam juice if you don’t like it. This does make 12 servings so you can always reduce the recipe in half or quarter based on your needs. It is absolutely fantastic and only gets better the longer it sits in the fridge! The avocado adds a smooth creaminess and all the veggies meld nicely for a party in your mouth:-)


I just added this recipe to SparkPeople recipes to get the accurate calorie count with the ingredients I used and it came out to 117 calories instead of the original 322 calories!


Summer Peach and Tomato Salad (5 Stars)

I made this almost exactly to the recipe. My peaches were really ripe so I diced them instead of cutting into wedges. If you want perfect wedges, you can always get the frozen peaches and thaw them or just make sure you don’t get overripe peaches:-) I also couldn’t find sherry vinegar so I used balsamic vinegar instead. In addition, I used reduced-fat feta cheese instead of the full fat. This was incredibly refreshing on a hot summer night and although I was sceptical at first about putting peaches and tomatoes together, they really do go together nicely. I let this marinate in the fridge for about an hour to let the tomatoes/peaches get cold and to let the flavors meld.


Portobello and Black Bean Quesadillas (5 Stars)

I used low-carb whole wheat tortillas, otherwise I made the recipe exactly the same! I served this with the Summer Peach and Tomato Salad and it was incredibly delicious and satisfying! Leftovers for lunch today were even better!


Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps by Giada DeLaurentiis (5 Stars)

I tried this recipe last Friday night and it turned out fantastic! Obviously, it's more in the category of the Flexitarian:-)

I got lemongrass in the tube from the herb section because I couldn’t find fresh and used 3 Tbsp. I also used the Jennie-O White Meat Extra Lean Ground Turkey (which comes in a 1.25 pound package instead of the 1.50 pounds of dark meat ground turkey). Otherwise, I left the remainder of the recipe the same. I was able to get all of the ingredients at my local grocery store.

I served it with Basmati rice. When we were finished eating, I mixed the remainder of the rice with the turkey mixture to refrigerate for leftovers. The next night we had it for dinner and I diced up a ripe mango to put on top. It was even better the second time around!!!


If you try any of these recipes, please comment and let me know what you thought! Until next time!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KSMGLASS 6/29/2012 7:57AM

    Paula, wow, these sound fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing. I've been trying to change up my summer menu and this is going to be a big help! Can't wait to try the tom and peach salad and the potobella-bl bean Quesa! THanks! emoticon

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    Fish and seafood is actually my favorite protein but I live far from the ocean so fresh fish here is an oxymoron unless it is local. I'm sure you know you have to be careful eating too much fish because of mercury and other contamination. I keep track of it before I buy any.

I like fruits and veggies but am not sure I would want to be a vegetarian again. I did it it high school and ended up with vitamin deficiencies and had to take vitamin k shots for years. I think being a flexitarian or pescatarian would be a lot better.

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 6/28/2012 2:36PM

    Sounds delicious!!! emoticon

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CARBJUNKIE83 6/28/2012 2:09PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing!!!! I can't wait to try the lettuce wraps!!!!! Adding something new to my list of "stuff" is emoticon Thanks again sweetie!!! YUMMMY-O!

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LIN1111 6/28/2012 1:31PM

    Thanks for sharing these recipes...always looking for something new and something good to eat that is healthy for me too...Be Blessed and have a great day!

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1TRULYBLESSED 6/28/2012 1:26PM

    Paula, thank you so much for sharing these recipes -- I look forward to trying them! emoticon

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Monday, May 21, 2012

We had a weekend FREGGIE challenge with the BLC this weekend with a round of BINGO. Silly me should have read everything prior to the last day of the challenge! I thought it was all about eating freggies (fruits and vegetables), however there were a few more details. At least I did my pre-work and got those free squares!!!

Five facts about fiber:

Fiber is defined as material made by plants that is not digested by the human gastrointestinal tract.

Fiber is one of the mainstays in the treatment of constipation though it also may have additional uses such as the treatment of diverticular disease of the colon. (Awesome for those of us who have IBS!!!)

Many types of fiber bind to water and keep the water within the intestine. The fiber and water adds bulk (volume) to the stool, and the water softens the stool. (So gross, but so necessary:-)

A high-fiber diet may be just what the doctor ordered to get your blood sugars under control. Keeping our blood sugars stable is a goal that we would all benefit from. If you don't have type 2 diabetes, this could be the way to prevent it. If you do have it, this could be the way to keep it under control.

There is some evidence that "bulking up" could lead to slimming down. In a recent study of more than 1700 overweight and obese men and women, those with the highest fiber intake had the greatest weight loss over 24 months.

Five Facts About Calcium:

It’s a metal, shiny and silvery like other metals. It is not white powder as most people think. It is a silvery white, soft alkaline earth metal.

Then why tablets are white? The white coating on calcium metal is an element that has reacted with the oxygen in the air and formed calcium oxide.

Human breast milk provides all the calcium a child needs.

Vitamin D is needed to absorb it.

Caffeine is “washing away” calcium. So don’t forget to add milk or cream to your morning coffee!

A new veggie tried:

There are not many veggies that I have not tried, but parsnips were one of them! Here's a recipe (Apple-Parsnip Soup from Cooking Light) that was absolutely delicious!


My favorite Fruit Dessert Recipe?:

Slice up an apple, saute in 1 tsp of Smart Balance butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon over medium heat. When apples are starting to soften, top with 1 tsp brown sugar and cook until caramelized. Scoop 1 serving of your favorite vanilla ice cream into a bowl (I prefer Breyers No Sugar Added Vanilla) and top with the apple topping! Absolutely delightful and tastes sooooo decadent!

Five Facts About Sodium:

Sodium is an essential element for animal nutrition. In humans, sodium is important for maintaining fluid balance in the cells and throughout the body. The electric potential maintained by sodium ions is critical for nerve function.

The symbol for sodium is Na, which comes from the Latin natrium or Arabic natrun or a similar-sounding Egyptian word, all referring to soda or sodium carbonate.

Sodium is a silvery-white metal belonging to Group 1 of the Periodic Table, which is the alkali metals group.

Sodium is highly reactive! The pure metal is kept under oil or kerosene because it spontaneously ignites in water. It's interesting to note, sodium metal also floats on water!

Sodium and it compounds are used for food preservation, cooling nuclear reactors, in sodium vapor lamps, to purify and refine other elements and compounds, and as a desiccant.

Try a new Fruit:

Dragon Fruit! We actually have Dragon Fruit plants that wrap around our trees in the back yard. I had never been willing to try one until this weekend challenge. They flower at night and then the flower closes during the day. It's kind of citrusy but also kind of odd because it has seeds like a kiwi. It was yummy and I will be having it again:-)

Check out this link to see what they look like (this is exactly what is in our trees!)


I hope you've learned a little from me:-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    The dragon fruit is beautiful!! I wish we had them here!!

Your favorite dessert sounds yummy too!

I tried parsnips and did not like them so I assume i didn't fix them right.

I spent a long time recently looking at all your wedding pictures. You were a beautiful bride and I hope you are always as happy as on that day.

Love you!!!

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LYNMEINDERS 5/22/2012 4:51AM

    I should have read it prior to the day as well...I missed the pre totally....
Never mind...we are in a new week....

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1TRULYBLESSED 5/21/2012 8:54PM

    I learned a LOT from you -- thanks, Paula!! emoticon

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Transformation - Health, Fitness, Wellness

Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm interupting my wedding blogs for a challenge that we have for this weekend that is all about transforming ourselves. One of the pieces of the challenge is to blog about your transformation in health, fitness and wellness.

I started my journey in March of 2009 on SparkPeople at 204.5 pounds (highest weigh in ever was in September of 2008 at 208 pounds), but have been really dieting my whole life. It's been a constant, vicious cycle of losing weight, gaining weight and then losing, gaining again. I'm now at my goal weight and want to stay within a 2-5 pound range.

What has really helped me is the BLC challenges. Once I joined the Light Blue Bombshell team, I still had some ups and downs, however I had support like I had never had before! I also had Last Chance Workouts (LCW), Weigh in Wednesdays, Tone N Tighten (TnT) Thursdays and Weekend Challenges that lasted from Friday through Monday.

I won't say that it was the easiest thing to do. I still had my fights with food and fitness and doubting myself that I could ever do it. Believe it or not, even at my goal weight, I still have those doubts that creep in and tell me that I'll never be able to maintain it. However, I know that if I need support, I have the right people to help me through.


I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2008 with an A1C of 8.3. I take Metformin and Byetta (although it is a fight with Medco every time I have to have the prescription refilled) and my A1C was at 6.4 in December. I wish I could say that I have conquered it with my weight loss, as have many friends who have lost weight, but it doesn't want to seem to leave me. One day I hope to say that I am no longer a diabetic.

One thing that helped me with losing weight was to stop dieting and start living! I eat what I want when I want but in small portions. Most of the time, I eat very healthy (lean proteins, fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, no added sugar), however if I feel like having french fries with my grilled mahi mahi, then I have them. I don't eat the whole plate! Just a few will satisfy because I now live by the philosophy that if I deprive myself, I will overeat when I do allow myself what I want.


Starting a fitness program was hard, but like I said, once I got into the BLC challenges, it seemed a lot easier because I knew that there were others out on the team that were having some of the same challenges. I've gone from being barely able to lean over and tie my shoes to someone that loves cardio and ST! Now, do I have a perfect body? NO!!! I have bat wings that still need to be firmed up and a belly, butt and thighs that still need more work...however, I know that I will get there as long as I continue to perspire! I've gone from a size 22W to a 6/8 Misses.


I've gone from someone that didn't care what they looked like to someone that wants to improve their appearance, both internally as well as externally. I think that having the love of my life as well as my SparkFriends and Bombshells helps me a lot with the confidence I need to go forth in this world and spread the Spark:-)

As an old title on my page said, "You've come a long way baby!"

I want to continue to encourage and inspire those out there that if you stick to your plan and work it, even when there are plateaus or ups and downs that drive you bonkers, you will meet your goals!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANDYGETNFIT1 2/10/2012 9:55PM

    Oh, Paula, it seems to me that I'll never get there! You went from a 22w to a 6/8misses!!! Wow, I've been stuck with a shirt size 12/14 and a skirt size 16/18 for forever!!!! Sigh, you are such an inspiration!!!

Thanks for stopping by my new team! I do miss you guys!

Good luck on the Bingo Game this wknd!

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ABISMITHY 1/31/2012 10:17PM

    You have come such a long way. I hope you get somewhere with your diabetes soon... What a pesky little nuisance! at least you're making headway with it. Good for you!

I'm so happy to be a Bombshell this round! You are a great bunch!

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1TRULYBLESSED 1/31/2012 9:10PM

    You HAVE come a long way, Paula!! I am SO happy for you!!
emoticon emoticon

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SEEMAINE 1/30/2012 10:30PM

    emoticon blog! You've helped me understand that I can and will maintain my loss this time! Congratulations on your success and I appreciate all of your encouragement and hard work with the Bombshells! emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/30/2012 10:22PM

    You have done a remarkable job of transforming yourself. You have worked hard and deserve your success. You look amazing and I am so proud of you and so thrilled to see you so happy!!!

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BLACKROSE_222 1/30/2012 1:32PM

    Wow - thanks for sharing! What a great little blog!

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More Wedding DIY and My Bridal Flip Flops! (Pic Heavy)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hi All!

I'm excited to share with you some more of my wedding DIY! I still have a few more things to make but I'm almost done:-)

I decided to personalize our favors/place card holders, so here is a new pic of the top of the chair and the bottom.

Here is our table number holder without the table number card:

And the table number holder with one of our table number cards:

Next up is our sign for the Signature platter. I can't wait until I get it so I can show you what it looks like...I ordered it from Etsy. I took the glass out of the frames so you can actually see the words:-)

Your signatures matter,
So please sign our platter!

Stick figure drawings and doodles
are welcome too,
but sign your John Hancock
so we’ll know who!

And then, there is our Card Box sign. I found a hat box covered in purple and white seashells from Home Goods that is perfect for our card box.

Card Box

Cards arrive from here and there
and get placed who knows where.
If you put them in this special box,
then we'll be sure not one gets lost.

And last of the DIY for now is our Favor sign.

A Gift from the Mr. and Mrs.

For the reception, you’ll know
where to find your place;
Once you are home, you’ll have
something cute for your space.

Any suggestions on changing any of the verbiage on the signs? These would be very easy to change if anyone has any better ideas!

And last, but not least...I painted my toenails the color that I will be wearing for the wedding. I purchased these flips flops from a great seller on Etsy.com and I love the way they turned out! I probably could have made them myself, but my fiance wants me to leave some of the DIY to other people:-)

I will make sure that I post pics of everything at the venue on my wedding day so you can all see how it all came together!!!

Make it a fabulous day!


Edited to add the verbiage on the signs since the pics came out so little:-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COURAGETOMOVE 2/29/2012 3:50PM

    I love it all! The beach chairs are wonderful

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PKCTTS 2/27/2012 9:06PM

    Great ideas. You are so talented! Best wishes.

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    I absolutely love everything. You are a genius. So creative. You are going to be the most beautiful bride ever.

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ARKPLE 1/30/2012 3:00PM

    Everything looks perfect. I love the colors and all of your crafts. Here's to your perfect day! xo

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FITNFUNJEN 1/30/2012 2:01PM

    Wow! Love it all!! You're an amazing DIYer! The flip flops and your toenails look fabulous dahling!!

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 1/30/2012 12:28PM

    Everything is PERFECT down to the letter!

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TATTER3 1/29/2012 8:43PM

    Love this ...what a great job! Keep Sparkin'!!!

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BUTTERFLY_MT 1/29/2012 4:56AM

    Awesome...forgot to say...I love the wording!!

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-SEVEN- 1/29/2012 2:42AM

    Your theme is just beautiful! I think the verbiage on the signs is cute- wouldn't change a thing!
And those shoes are fabulous!! Thanks for sharing more with us, Paula! emoticon

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KMICHA 1/28/2012 10:49PM

    Love it!!! you are doing a terrific job!

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IXCHEL23 1/28/2012 8:08PM

    Everything looks BEAUTIFUL!!

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TACONES 1/28/2012 6:23PM

    You are emoticon and you would make a great scrapbooker. emoticon

Excellent job with all of the details down to the toes. Wow!!!

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1TRULYBLESSED 1/28/2012 6:20PM

    Paula, your creativity continues to astound me! Everything looks wonderful, and the flip-flops are adorable! emoticon

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ESCHIWAL 1/28/2012 5:44PM

    Love it it is classy and unique! That makes it fun and not cookie cutter. I love the lavender nail polish one of my favorites

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SEEMAINE 1/28/2012 5:35PM

    Everything is beautiful and lovely! I love your flip flops and your nail color! Absolutely beautiful! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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