TORONTO TRAVELOGUE


We don't do it for the fame. We don't do it for the fortune. We do it for the friendships! Remember last Monday, when I posted about Excitement and Fear and this was what I was feeling as were many of my The Blended Blog cohorts in regards to your upcoming trip to Toronto. Well, let me tell you, any nervous butterflies we were all feeling melted away the minute we saw each other's beautiful and sweet faces! I truly believe there is a reason that this group has come together. While, we are all bloggers, we are so much more than that. We have been blessed with the gift of friendship, comradery, commonalities and are definitely a group that loves to have fun, eat good food, shop, walk, laugh and share the joys of life! And in case you don't have time this Monday, I will warn you this post is long because I'm overflowing with my love for these ladies and I want to share it while I am hopefully sleeping in, lol.


Sitting on the rooftop Saturday evening, our wonderful leader that glues us all together, Deena from Shoes to Shiraz mentioned something that really hit home. In this world of blogging, you often hear about blogging conferences and big speakers talking about SEO's, social media, algorithms, how to grow your blog, how to be more engaging etc. etc. yet how many groups of bloggers do you know that get together just to enjoy each other's company and build the friendships that began on a computer screen? I think it is so selfless to not just be concerned about how you're engaging in performing on your own blogs, but to want to support and lift each other up for each other's blogs and our wonderful cohesive blog called The Blended Blog.


I know many of you readers are familiar with the wonderful ladies of The Blended Blog and their personal blogs as well, but I just want to reiterate today how wonderful they truly are and how important it is, if you want to enrich your life, to go read their blogs, their wonderful words, feelings from their heart, stylish savviness and zest for life. 
Before I talk about Toronto shenanigans, let me tell you a little bit about each of these wonderful ladies. I love each and everyone of them and I'll discus their awesomeness in order of their arrival into Toronto. And let me start off first by saying, I knew these ladies were going to be wonderful, but they absolutely exceeded my expectations and how truly amazing they are!

Lisa from Daily Style Finds. Lisa and I had the privilege of coming in together on Wednesday as she was meeting a friend there for dinner and we were happy to get in a little extra shopping in. I swear, Lisa is the younger sister I never had. We had so much in common even down to having the same make and model of vehicle, both being only children, both having moms and husbands that are very similar and absolutely loving fashion! She was the best roomie and being as were so close living in sister states, I know I might get a chance to see this girly again before the next group meet up. If you want the ultimate sweet style, on trend pieces, and affordable fashion finds, you do not want to miss her blog all the wonderful stuff she finds for us all. Plus, let me tell ya, nobody can wear a crop sweater and high waisted jeans jeans better than this beautiful lady! She has the cutest figure!

Shaunacey from Simply Shaunacey. Oh sweet Shaunacey, where do I begin? Shaunacey was exactly in real life as I had always pictured. So down to earth, so freaking funny and just as sweet as they come. I owe so much to her because she is the reason that I was able to become part of this magnificent group. She is raising the most precious and intelligent children and I can't wait wait to see pics of baby three. This busy mama is taking a little blogging break, but I am here to tell you that you might as well just run over her blog now and read all her past posts because this girl has a writing voice that will knock your socks off! She is the real deal! And, she frickin' does pregnancy like a rockstar! We gave her a little baby shower at the restaurant on Friday night. Cutest.Belly.Ever!




Nicole from Nick and Nicole + 4. I was so excited to meet Nicole! She is the most amazing photographer, and when she showed me some of the shots she has done, let me tell ya, if you're ever in her neck of the woods, Miller Ellis is the best photography duo there is! Nicole is the proud mama of four beautiful girls who love fashion like their mama does. She just beams when she talks about them and she is so sincere, sweet, funny and this girl has some serious cute style, and finds the cutest dresses! Plus, her make up is impeccable and can I just have her brows now! Get over to her Blog and find out the amazing journey she has been on! She will inspire you and you will love her as much as I do


Whitney from Whitney ala Mode is such a doll! I love talking to Whitney as she is such a Midwest girl smitten with the mitten where she lives just as much as we love Michigan. She is from a town that we go to quite often in the summer and I'm hoping to meet up with her and dine alfresco overlooking Lake Michigan. This girl is so smart and so poised and just as precious as they come! Get over to her Blog and who knows you may learn a little French along the way. Her students are lucky to have her as a teacher.

Sarah from Foxy's Domestic Side is just pretty as a picture and so full of life! Sarah just bubbles over with enthusiasm for life and I adore her grace and sweetness! Plus, it helps that her daddy is a big Notre Dame fan. You do not want to miss Sarah's Blog, her style and amazing make up finds and hair tutorials will have you saying, "oh my goodness she is so cute!" I swear I can see her smile all the way from California and I can't wait to see it in person again, miss her already and her amazing talents including taking the BEST selfies and sharing onion rings, poutine and club sandwiches with me!!

Alison from Puppies and Pretties is our regal one, for a gal who does not like hugs, you just want to squeeze her all day long! She has mild manner about her that just makes you feel so at ease. And can I tell you, this girl can wear a maxi dress and rock it like a beauty queen on vacation! And how can you not love such a trendy palm print on pink! This girl will find you the best books and adorable style so get over to her Blog.

Katie dear sweet Katie from The Mishaps and Mayhem of Solitary Life, the librarian from Long Island that lights up any room! I swear this girl is constantly smiling and her enthusiasm for life is contagious! Her Blog name is so adorable as is her take on life. Check her out and know this girl can drink a mill street beer that is almost as big as she is. 

Deena from Shoes to Shiraz. All I can say is WOW! This lady has got it together in spades. I did not know how eloquent she was and her voice is so calming. Yet, She commands the room and you want to hang on her every word. She is a loyal and lifting friend and I didn't want to stop hugging her. Her Blog is so real and a reflection of what she is feeling and where she wants to go and you don't want to miss it! Her wit is fabulous and I found myself watching her watching us all and wondering what is she thinking? I bet she's thinking that the blessings bestowed from blogging have enriched Life in a way unimaginable. 

Sandwiched between REAL LIFE BFF's for over 3 decades!!

Christy from RSquared is my spunk sister! What a little gem! We love the same books and shopping galore. The bff of Deena is so funny and has the cutest head, true story about her head. I love to hear abut her 2 boys as it takes me back to my boys younger days and she can see what she has in store for the future in raising busy boys. Be sure to head over to her Blog, Christy is like a sweet treat, even better than a magic bar!!

Lana from My New Happy and I were the oldest of the group. We hold a special bond in the sense that we started our blogs as an outlet in anticipation of our boys flying the nest off to college. We have loads in common and Lana just makes you feel HAPPY when you are around her. A safe and comforting peace. She is a friend anyone would want to have. Her Blog is so uplifting and it will motivate anyone to love life the way Lana does!!


Toronto treated us well and my how much I love Canada and their hospitality. We stayed at a wonderful hotel called the Grand Hotel in two bedroom suites that were lovely and quite accommodating. Our itinerary could not have been perfect, as everyone trickled on Thursday night with all got some cocktails and each one of us got the most wonderful burger offered on the menu. The next morning it was up bright and early to board our bus headed to Niagara Falls with stops in a quaint little town where we indulged in warm drinks and sweet treats like magic bars, cookies and bran muffins.



Then, we stopped at a winery for many of us tried ice wine for the first time.
Then it was onto Niagara that included a trip on the boat getting personal with the Falls where we got to Sport the most fashionable red ponchos.


That evening we had the most wonderful share a tapas nine course meal at a Mexican restaurant called El Catrin, it was amazing margaritas, fabulous food and fellowship. 




The next day we went on a walking tour of Toronto and were literally gone from our hotel about 12 hours, 22,000+ steps later, having a ball, soaking in the sites of the city, finding our spirit animal houses, taking a trek down graffiti alley, many of us indulging in poutine for the first time at the most precious little diner and ending of course with shopping and dinner at a place called The Pickle Barrel. 

A little chitchat up on the roof where the hot tubs are and a giant screen TV screen showing 80's videos and then just like that our weekend was about come to a close and I was already getting emotional just thinking about it.

A few of us had a fairly early flight/departure so we met in the lobby and got one last group photo in our pink The Blended Blog Squad tank tops.

Never in my wildest dreams what I began blogging would I have known that was going to gain so many wonderful friends that I know are going to be friends for a lifetime! 

REMEMBER THIS:
Blogging, may come and go, it may prosper and grow, but through it all, we will remain a cohesive group that supports one another, lifts up one another, and spreads just a little more joy to each other's lives. Never have I loved a entire group of ladies so much. 


#tbblogtoronto2017
So many photos, I'll share more snippets in the next few weeks.
Hoping the 3 Lovelies this we missed, Carrie, Leslie, and Shelia will be able to join us in 2018. Here's to next year! Destination.....TBD and Cheers to going from blogging to REAL.LIFE.FRIENDS!!!!


62 comments:

  1. What an absolutely fun trip!! There is so much to mention...12 hours away from the hotel and lots of sight seeing, the pool hot tub and watching 80s movies, great food, good friends - just an all around wonderful time with a group of fabulous ladies! So glad you enjoyed your time girl! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. What a fun trip! Sounds like you ladies got to see and do so much together and your rocked it with all your outfits! Love the first photo of the ladies in front of the painted wall! I haven't been to Niagara falls in over 10 years. I really need to make it back there. Such a cute town to explore and I love Toronto and the Distillery District too.

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  3. Aw this made my hormonal pregnant self tear up this morning! It was truly a pleasure to meet you and I want your readers to know that you are every bit as sweet and kind and cute in real life as you are in person!
    I don't remember how we found each other in blog world but clearly it was for a reason, you were the perfect addition to our group.
    So grateful to call you and all of these ladies friends.

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  4. I knew you would have the best time and come away with a full heart! The Blended Blog is such a fantastic idea and what a great group of women- Deena is right, so much attention paid to SEO and other crap,in the end love is what matters most. So happy to see a group of women with so much love and friendship to offer, there just simply is not enough of this in our world! Glad you're back, I missed your posts!
    love ya,
    Kellyann

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  5. Sounds like so much fun!!
    Jaymie

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  6. Such a fun trip! I'm so glad you were able to go and meet up with those girls! I agree that blogging sometimes brings the best friendships!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  7. Oh my goodness! It looks like you guys had a blast! What a fun trip!

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  8. Andrea, this post is making me tear up!! Wonderful recap of our time together! Love spending time with you and getting to know you more...in real life!! Take care my friend!!

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  9. Love. So fun.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  10. Blogger friends are the best! It looks like such a great time!

    Xoxo,
    Whitney & Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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  11. What a fun trip! The best part about blogging is the friendships you develop. It's so cool you were all able to meet up!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  12. Looks like you girls had such a fun and wonderful trip! So awesome you all were able to meet up in person! Happy Monday, Andrea!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

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  13. It looks like you ladies had an absolute blast and I'm so glad!! So fun to get to actually meet up with and take a trip with other bloggers!

    Rosy Outlook

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  14. The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was come to your blog. I cried a little! This is the best re cap of what was one of the best weekends ever. You are the sweetest - and I'm so glad I got to meet you ❤️❤️

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  15. This post made me so happy! What a fun trip! All y'all are so gorgeous & I love your Blended Blog tank tops. They're super cute.

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  16. Yay! Sounds like it was a great trip! And yes, I'm with ya that with all the talks about growing your blog it is nice for a change just to hangout with other like-minded bloggers and enjoy each other's company!

    www.rdsobsessions.com

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  17. What a great recap of a fantastic weekend. Speaking of magic bars... I think I had some in my mouth in the picture of you and I hence the closed mouthed smile. I loved getting to meet you in real life and am proud to call you a friend.

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  18. What a great recap of a wonderful weekend. So glad we were finally able to meet in person!

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  19. I'm tearing-up as I read this post. I feel so so blessed to be a part of this amazing group and to be able to share friendship, love and support with all of you. Andrea, you are one of the great ones in life and I can't wait for our next date overlooking Lake Michigan.

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  20. How wonderful that you've met these amazing ladies, and thank you for sharing with us..as now I need to go find a few of their blogs! Love the Falls picture, what a totally cool experience and how neat that you got to do that all together! This makes my heart so happy to see all of these pretty and smiling faces!!

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  21. Andrea, this post makes me SO HAPPY! There's nothing more beautiful but when your blogging friends become your REAL friends in life! I remember your post about being nervous and I am so glad that all of the nervousness went away as soon as you all met each other! They all seem very lovely -- and I love a group of fashionable mom's! Your fried who is expecting baby #3 is so adorbs! Loved reading this and again: I'm so inspired by you! You are beautiful inside and out!
    Happy Monday, babe!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    www.WhatWouldVWear.com

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  22. This looks like the best weekend ever with some wonderful ladies! I can't wait to check out all their blogs. I like what you wrote at the beginning of the post - that blogging is more about the people you "meet" and friendships that grow than conferences or stats. Keep up with the positivity on your blog and the Blended Blog...love it!

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  23. How fun was this meet up for you ladies?!?! I loved the recap and "meeting" everyone from The Blended Blog! Happy Monday!

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  24. It sounds like you had the best weekend with some fantastic ladies! I never anticipated being able to build relationships like I have through blogging, and I whole heartedly agree with you that blogging may come and go, but the relationships you build are the best part! I bet that your next meet up will be even better!

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  25. What a wonderful trip!!! That is so awesome that you all became friends in real life. So fantastic! Toronto looks like so much fun.

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  26. I am so happy to hear that the trip was a success. With such beautiful personalities its no wonder you have all found a great friendship with one another. Everyone looks fabulous as always.

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  27. So fun! I loved following along with your trip in real time on instagram. These group shots are so great..framers for sure.

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  28. Well this is just SO fun! I love that you all got together. It looks and sounds like you had a total blast. How cool that your blogs have brought you together and that you have all formed genuine friendships.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  29. I can just imagine all the fun that was had... &all the pics taken ;) haha

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  30. Awww, I am so happy you had so much fun. I loved reading about each of the bloggers and what amazed me the most is how insightful you are and just how gifted you are at describing each of them. You truly have a way with words sweet Andrea!!! Welcome home!

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  31. Aw, after reading that I could use an Andrea hug for sure. You nailed everybody's personality to a T. Loved every second with you and can't wait for the day we hang out again.

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  32. It sounds like you ladies had such a wonderful weekend!!!! I am all about meeting bloggers for friendship and support over blogging conferences. I care nothing about how many followers I have or what my social media reach is. I just want the connection. I will have to check some of these blogs out because everyone sounds so wonderful!

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  33. Blogger meetups are seriously so good for the soul! And this one looked so much fun... All these ladies are so fabulous and so are you! So fun!

    Brittany ;)
    www.kingdomofsequins.com

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  34. What an amazing weekend, Andrea! Just amazing. How crazy wonderful that you got to meet all of those sweet ladies! One of these days I want to get together with some of my blogging faves! I wouldn't even know what to do with myself if I met one of y'all in person... it would almost be like meeting a celebrity. Lol.

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  35. what an amazing experience and so happy Toronto and Canada treated you all well. I will enjoy meeting all your blended blog buds. Thanks for sharing

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  36. Oh this just makes me smile from ear to ear! I love seeing the friendships formed through this crazy journey.
    The overall trip just sounds like so much fun! I'm so glad you have met so many amazing women, Andrea.
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

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  37. We need a get together like this in the UK. I'm with you on the friendships. It's why I do it. I'm certainly not believing im imparting knowledge. I do enjoy the community spirit in blogging and the shared interest in style.

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  38. Oh this is just so fun! I am so glad you all got together, got to meet in real life and bonded more. And ate and drank like champs! I have some new blogs to check out, so sweet of you to feature them all!

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  39. It looks like you had such a fun trip! Love the pictures and I definitely recognized a few of those faces!

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  40. Oh my goodness what an awesome post Andrea!! I have so many blogs I need to check out now! Looks like you all had the best time!!

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  41. Oh my goodness, what an amazing trip and group of ladies! It truly is about the friendships you make and I'm glad you had such a wonderful time. I hope to get to attend something similar some day and maybe our paths will cross, sweet friend! :)

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  42. Yayyyyy for you sweet girl!!! What an amazing opportunity and I'm SO glad you were able to meet up with these beauties. :) :) :)

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  43. You my friend are one of a kind. You are even sweeter in person than you are on your blog. Your laugh and love for everything is contagious and makes me want to be around you ALL THE TIME! So looking forward to next year! Here's to many more adventures together!

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  44. I enjoyed this very much! It must be wonderfull to have such a group of blogging Friends! And I didnt know most ofthem so thank you for introducing!

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  45. Sounds like a wonderful weekend with lots of great friends.

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  46. This sounds like such a wonderful trip, it looks like you all had a lot of fun!

    Amy;
    Little Moon Elephant

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  47. Aww, yes, you are the sister I never head. I loved reading the recap - you summed up the trip so well.

    Lisa
    Daily Style Finds

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  48. Thank you for this wonderful recap! It's almost like I was there! Minus the selfies! 😌

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  49. This looks so awesome!! What a great thing to all get together and appreciate one another. What a bunch of stunning ladies with wonderful blogs. Loved your recap of all the ladies. Such a fun read Andrea!

    xx, Elise
    www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

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  50. What an amazing group of women and wonderful trip you all had together. It's amazing that blogging brought all of you together and allowed you to make such fun memories and create meaningful relationships <3 Beautifully Candid

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  51. So much fun. I love seeing you ladies all together. I bet it was a great time!

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  52. So glad you had a blast! You are such a positive person, and I love how you took the time to highlight the strengths of each of your girls! Keep up the great work!

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  53. Y'all had an amazing time! Need to take time to visit each gal on her blog...nice commentary on each lady...but then again, you are just that sort of person...thoughtful! xoxo

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  54. Awwwww! Loved getting to see all your great pics and meeting all your new blogging Sistas! I know y'all had an amazing time and Toronto will never be the same! Ha! So many jean, cargo, and bomber jackets in that first picture. It made me smile! Miss you, too! xoxo

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  55. How Freaking Awesome! I love that y'all made a real trip to meet each other! Looks like an awesome time!

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  56. Oh my gosh!!! Looks like it was so much fun and this post is so inspiring! I really had no idea blogging could be like this...reminds me of a sorority almost! I am glad you had a great time!!!

    Sarah
    Trendy & Tidy

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  57. Oh, I want to attend a blogging "convention" like this. What a fun, memory making time. Love all the pics!!

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  58. I knew you would have a blast- you're such a sweet soul how could you not?! Love this recap and getting to know about everyone. Isn't ice wine soooo gooood?! I love Canada- so happy you had a blast!

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  59. Wish we could do the whole weekend over again. I feel like we need hours more time to talk! You are such a kind, lovely soul and I'm so blessed to call you friend!

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  60. How amazing and I must admit I'm a little jealous Andrea. I would love to meet my blogging tribe for real. You're right we are the glue that holds each other together

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  61. Hello Andrea! This looks like it must have been such a fun event :) Thank you so much for joining the party at Dishing It & Digging It!

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