Spring Sundays

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Spring is here, and no one can deny just how beautiful it really is.

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Everything is green and lush and vibrant. And of course that also means the start of Spring Sundays. Once Spring hits, my mother and I will join my older sister and her two kids (+husband sometimes) at the one of the many natural springs located in Central Florida. Almost always it is this beautiful place called Silver Glen. My mother is actually on a first name basis with almost all of the rangers by now. It is her dream job. Hippie set free amongst nature and getting paid for it? Yeah. A dream for her.

Now, last night was Day Six of taking Seroquel and Day Three of taking Seroquel at 150 mg. There have been some noted constant side effects (namely my face has broken out like a bad prison TV show) but that is for another time. However every night like clockwork an hour after taking the Seroquel I would become very drowsy and simply have to concentrate on counting for the following hour to fall asleep.

Yet last night even with taking the medication at 7:30 PM and getting the drowsy feeling on time – why did I not fall asleep until almost five in the morning?

The only thing I could think of was the fact that I would be leaving my house, and driving over an hour into the middle of the woods to see aforementioned family.

Now my sister and I have the epitome of a love/hate relationship. I have recently begun within the last couple years to making a lot of ties to a number of my anxieties to my older sister.

Fear of blood in the water

Talking to strangers

How I interact with children

She never intended for this to happen I know. She even was the reason why I worked to gain back my ability to connect emotionally.

“No one can love you if you can’t love yourself with the guard you have goin’ on. Are you hiding the crown jewels in there or somethin’?”

But she also would place wagers with my brothers about how quickly they could make me mad, or cry, or have a sensory overload.

They loved me in their own special way.

I think my mother noticed how twitchy I was (probably my nonstop pacing) and offered me an outlet by asking me to drive the truck. If I had been made to sit absolutely still for the near hour out, my hackles would be saying hello there.

But they weren’t -too much. I was ready if need be and ready to not need be.

We took our little trolley down to our tables we had every weekend, every spring season. I was to be grilling some kabobs. Never ending freakin’ kabobs. I probably grilled close to fifty skewers.

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My mom has already warned me that she let it slip to some of the family as to what I was going through which I am kinda okay with but am attempting to be more okay. Nancy was one and one I was actually alright with her knowing as her biological (she was a stray that came into my family’s life) family has a pronounced history of mental disorders and bipolar disorder was a big player.

I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear that someone really understood. Like, hear, hear. Not here ye/hear ye. But sitting with someone and hear them give just support and love.

“You have needed this for so long.”

“It must be hard but I can already see how much calmer you are. Your leg isn’t bouncin’ like mad.”

“I am really proud of you. Really proud.”

We spoke of the medication, I opened up about my social and work anxieties the constant feeling that something is always watching me. Always watching and judging.

It left me with good vibes and hope.

Hope is a beautiful and powerful thing. Even if you don’t have much, a little is much stronger than nothing.

So, yeah. Gorgeous day out today.

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I even got in the water. Which was freezing in case you were wondering.

There was just one damper that was like a skinny tick in a tight spot.

At this park the rangers are very active and interactive. Like I said before, my mother is on a first name basis with many of them.

However there was the new guy who had apparently only been there two weeks and had a staring problem. When my mother and I were walking down and I had the little trolley he was in his little golf cart and just followed us at the slowest crawl.

Normally I hate the assuming anything about anything.

So I tried to use reason.

Maybe he wants to stay on the path.

Maybe he wants to see where we set up so he can check the cooler

Maybe the boss told him to stay near the clay trail to not mess up the landscaping.

Yeah, no.

My mother and I get there and start setting up after greeting Nancy. He parks about twenty to thirty feet away and just stares at me. Not my mother. Not my sister. Me. I was separated from them getting the grill going.

He continued to watch and stare for the next hour and a half.

I have no idea why I did not confront him. Normally I do. Especially if I am with my nieces and nephews like today. But I did not. The kids were out in the water and it was just me. So why didn’t I?

When my mother and Nancy got back from the trail he of course chose then to get up and drive off.

Bah.

So. Just for random funsies, I have recently been making sure to have my SIII charged and taking pictures around the house and yard. And yes, still working on the latest dress but I am going as slow as possible to relax back into practice.

Now without further ado…

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They love this pew that we have had for close to fourteen years now. Doesn’t matter that they can barely fit.

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Til next time.

This post was drafted from mobile device and is more than likely riddled with typos and grammatical errors. Please forgive and forget folks. If it is not too much of a bother, that is.

Powering Through Dyslexia

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I took up sewing entirely based on the fact there was no money for clothes. So when I finally get the call back to work and that mean five days (at the least) of professional attire and all the clothes I had were either left over from high school (2010) or from garage sales. I didn’t ask to go shopping so I could have nice clothes to properly present myself to my new leaders and coworkers. Instead I went through piles of fabric that date from the seventies and on to attempt several levels of difficulty higher than what I have attempted thus far. It is so frustrating whenever I attempt to ask for help and my dyslexia is turning everything backwards and the reaction I recieve is contempt and discriminatory.

As many of you know, I suffer from severe dyslexia and it has been one of the reasons for my bullying ever since I was a small child. To be raked over the coals like that by someone who recognized my dyslexia for what it was as a toddler, and never even tried to get me help for this – hurts.

Anyways. I’m trying to use mostly dress patterns since I honestly don’t have any blouses. The problem now present however is most of the fabric I have found in the house is two yards or less. Mostly scrap fabric bits that have been essentially hoarded in piles since the seventies.

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Please, do ignore the Chinese take away.  Haha.

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I really love the design of this pattern but it requires over 3 yards of fabric not including the lining! Yowza!

Recently, I decided this next pattern would be choice even though it required princess seams (which is a skill I apparently suck at. But I will get better with practice!) and on its way to three yards of fabric. At 2 5/8 yards, those 3/8 of a yard really count when you are trying to squeeze a pattern onto the panels.

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I did acquire these really pretty and flowy “silky prints” from Jo Anns during their firefly sale but only two yards of each excusing the butterfly which I was able to get a 3/4 remnant.

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I’m just going to have to keep trying and sew into the night. As long as mom has her tv on it shouldn’t wake her up. I would be more worried about waking up my dad in the adjacent room.

Do you have any tips for working through sewing or life in general with dyslexia?

P.S. Please excuse any typos, I’m back to posting from my phone!

Hand Picking

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Hello there!

So, if any of y’all follow me on Twitter¬†you may have heard about a little incident that may have caused some frustration this past Saturday night. I thankfully was able to save it for the most part, but I will be having to reinforce most of the seams and maybe add an extra length of fabric along the inside of the zipper bed so I can redo the stitching on the Hummingbird Dress.

Anywho, this prompted me to kick into gear and bang out another dress out of some red tag fabric I had picked up from Jo Anns a while back! This pretty neat print with some lotus blossoms and the like.

Koto Grid

¬† ¬† ¬†As this was an on-the-fly-I-can’t-even-find-the-pattern-instructions-anymore dress, I decided the say screw it and wing quite a bit of it. This presented itself mostly in way of inserting the zipper.

Now, I have a supreme and utter crippling fear of inserting zippers. I’m as jumpy as a grasshopper in May. Stories of needles breaking, needles breaking people, and bobbin cases cracking have all played a part. So when I came upon Tasia’s tutorial on how to Hand-pick a zipper into a dress a few weeks ago, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

It is actually very simple as long as you know how to perform a back stitch! I also learned this technique from my favorite Designer and DIY…er from YouTube, SecretLifeOfABionerd thanks to her many sewing¬†tutorials.

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¬† ¬† ¬†All it took for me to figure it out was to think as I naturally do, which is backwards. I am constantly translating things to being read or perceived in the manner they should rather than backwards or jumbled. To complete a back stitch just take your (hand sewing) needle and bring through from the underside of the fabric about a 1/4″ from where you actually would normally start. Then, take your needle and make a stitch back at the point where you would normally start your sewing. Thus a backwards stitch. Supposedly this is a much more sturdy stitch and if you were hand sewing a garment from start to finish, this is the stitch you should use.

And a prick stitch is just a back stitch that is teensy weensy on the actual back stitch part.

….¬†By no means is this a tutorial! I would be much more clear minded and provided pictures of the process.

So, please forgive my rambling and crappy explanations. ūüėÄ

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        There was so much more control and ease in inserting this zipper that I actually found it quite calming and relaxing. I am looking forward to the next zipper I have to install! It was very easy for me to adjust the tape really just take my time with it. When I am using a machine, I am so terrified I just want it done with! So, I zip whoop pun! through it and I am not too happy with the results.

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¬† ¬† ¬†As you can see there is quite a bit of tangled thread, uneven application and the top of the tape was not done is such good taste. I found even using the universal invisible zipper foot I found, it just wasn’t easy! It may have also been because of my feed dogs. They started to actually feed the fabric… sideways. I kid you not. Kinda like testing the alignment of your car.

¬† ¬† ¬†“Look, Ma! No hands!” And if you your car is like any of the ones I have had in my possession, they will almost always slide to the right or left. Beauty of living down country dirt roads. Lotsa, lotsa sugar sand.

     And that is exactly what my machine did. I always thought perhaps it was just the table I was using since it is slightly wobbly and unstable. I would always have to have a firm hand and feel like I was feeding a line through a reel.

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¬† ¬† ¬†Even down towards the end here you can see that it was indeed rough. But with the hand-picked zipper, this prick stitch is barely visible and still adds this cute little dotted detail. …I also have a weird eye for things.

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¬† ¬† ¬†I don’t know exactly how I am going to fix this raveling issue for the poor Hummingbird Dress, but hopefully I will. Cause I love this dress. Lots. We have this special bond, ya know?

     How would you guys fix something like this? Have you ever tried a prick stitch or hand-picked zipper?

¬† ¬† ¬†….I really shouldn’t be asking this for my own sake but I want to know! Do you have any zipper horror stories?

          Til next time!

The Hummingbird Dress Is Here!

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*When I feel like I have failed, have no control or don’t like the upcoming out come, I abandon it.

*New Look 1080 View C

*Skipped interfacing since we didn’t have any and Mom said the cotton was sturdy enough for it. Big mistake. Stupid girl (I mean me)! The facing could have really used some interfacing. ūüėõ

*Totally Jury Rigged the hem and… it turned out better than expected! (meme moment)

*I need to put some darts in the bodice front some how or just make a note for next time. I don’t like how it seems to poof out strangely under the bust.

*Should I post it like this or just use this as an outline? I feel like I’m trying to force this if I try to post as I normally do.

My blog! Why am I worrying about this?! Gah.

Lara, you crazy.

Pictures!

I love my phone, and I love it very much. But it is very difficult to take photos of myself on it. It is hard to take photos of myself in general. So attempting to take photos of my dress was extra aggravating. I did get plenty of likes on Facebook however! Well, eleven but that is an astounding number for anything I do. In general, Facebook or otherwise. So I felt special for a moment.

¬† ¬† “Mama, am I pretty?”

¬† ¬† “What does Facebook say?”

    Not an actual conversation. Just my mind.

Anyways, onto pictures!

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Maxi, one of our wolves had come over wondering what the heck I was doing in a skirt. She was quite fascinated smelling the hemline. No, I do not know what that means and I don’t think I want to linger on what it may mean. Haha.

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This was one of the two pictures that I had posted to Facebook and eventually became my profile picture. I hadn’t changed that thing since… last August, I believe? Haha.

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I was trying to show how swingy/swirly/skirty the skirt was, and just failed, miserably. It was hard okay! I was trying to get the bodice in the shot, otherwise mostly my knobby knees were the star of the show and that would simply be a bad show.

In an attempt to cover up the evidence of my mother’s disease, I quickly jury rigged a back drop. It doesn’t look to fantastic but hey! I tried! It actually turned into a bit of a work out. ūüėõ

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My noodle arm shows exactly one of the reasons why it was extra awkward. Anyways, this was the picture that showed the little pleats in the neckline the best. I was so darn proud of those little things.

We cut out a size 12, which was actually a lot harder for me to come to terms with than I would have thought. I thought I had beat the anorexia and all the demons with it. I weigh only 125 pounds. I have worked hard to accept that that is okay and actually quite awesome, but apparently I haven’t as well as I thought I had.

¬† ¬†Bust – 33 1/2″

‘Band’ – 29″

Natural Waist – 26″

Hips – 39″

¬† ¬†That’s good. That’s good, right? I wound up taking it in, in the side seams a solid inch and a half using a dart because the waist was about perfect. It’s good. I’m good. 125 lbs is good.

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This picture shows the actually coloring of the fabric the best. I was and am truly in love the fabric. It sing spring, and happiness and bright thoughts to me. Just what I needed. I love to choose to wear brighter colors, and designs. In high school and every year before that you would only find me in dark clothes and black. (No I was not goth or emo or what have you.)

Brighter color and designs helps me feeling brighter, and happier. It promotes positive thoughts for me. Dark outfits tend to darken my mood, as odd as it sounds. It brings me back to my dark years where I didn’t have control over my depression and anxiety.

…I don’t have control still, but I am not swallowed by it as I was in the past.

 

Anyways, I hope you like the dress, and the photos! I am really still trying to find “my style” and “my fashion”. So please, if you have any pattern or fabric suggestions, I would love the help!

Have a magical amazing day, and hold your loved ones close.

 

Take A Walk On the Wild Side! Chapter Two

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So about two days after our adventure in North Central Florida wild, I had managed to transfer and post my pictures to my personal Facebook page where they were actually quite popular!

A friend there commented suggesting we should go to the beach right then! “Within the next fifteen minutes if possible.”

… O.o Okay? Sure! Why not.

“Oh, crap, I have to kids I’m responsible for. You should have responded earlier.”

“Cause an hour ago you would have magically not have had two teenage children, but you do now. Yes, yes, I see your logic.”

…I’m not always very nice once you have tried my patience.

My mother was sitting next to me as this conversation occurred and suggested, “Well, why don’t we go to the beach?”

It was already about four in the afternoon, so it was odd for her to suggest we do something that would ultimately have us out late. Since it was so rare, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity.

We packed up cheese and crackers and headed out!

Our destination?¬†The¬†West Coast Beaches of Florida. How did we get there? Go up North 42. Okay, now keep going. And just keep going. You hit¬†Pedro,¬†Florida, and make a right when the Brother’s tell you to.

Blue looking away

But be careful, someone might get creeped out that you were trying to take a ¬†picture of the Blue’s Brothers.

Blues Looking Right At Me

I did feel bad when I looked at the photos and noticed that detail.

The West Coast is kinda like the not so popular sibling. Not with my mother, however.

¬† ¬† “Are we at my beach yet?” “Nope…. still in Lake County, Mom.” “Well… Drive faster!”

Yes, my mother has her own “beach”. A sorta love affair on the side from her love for the woods. Don’t judge her! We hopped in the car and drove the hour and a half drive to the west coast via Follow That Dream Hwy. That is a really highway, too. The particular part of the coast we were aiming for was a sleepy little town called Yankeetown. On our way we would stop at some of the reserves and parks on the way. ūüôā
We were able to arrive shortly before sundown and get just amazing photos. The sunset, some shrimping boats and the more marsh like beach line that the west coast has rather than the cliche idea of a beach the east coast brings to mind.

West coast lie down

Sandy Beaches

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Rich Umbers (450x600)At Sunset

If you look closely on the left side right behind the little island out there is a shrimping boat. Those are fun. Haha. My mother has many many dreams and one of these dreams is to own land right along side this beach and to have a shrimping boat.

She really liked the name of the boat "Neptune's Pride".

She really liked the name of the boat “Neptune’s Pride”.

After that we left, but of course on the way home we had to stop at the different parks and reserves dotted along the ride home!

obscure camp groud

Cypress Knees

Cypress Knees

Some fancy cypress knees all decked out in daisies. :3

Some fancy cypress knees all decked out in daisies. :3

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These boots have been waiting to make their way back to Disney for too long...

These boots have been waiting to make their way back to Disney for too long…

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This flower was actually smaller than a dime. ... I love my phone.

This flower was actually smaller than a dime. … I love my phone.

The next day, I’m woken by a phone call from my mom. “Lara, I’m going to Save-A-Lot and when I get home we are going walking. Wake up and take a shower.”

Hm… Okay? haha. I didn’t know if my butt could handle any more sitting in the driver’s seat. No worries, turns out we were going to the Lake Norris Conservation Area, just a short fifteen minute drive away.

See, that is the funny part about where I live exactly is if I need to go Wal*Mart, or the mall, or even just your generic grocery store is a solid twenty minutes drive to even an hour in the seat. But if we need to go to the “middle of nowhere”, haha. Just walk down the driveway. Bam. No annoying kids –¬†are we there yet? Are we there yet? What about now? Are we there yet?¬†

Ladies and gents, I now give you Lake Norris!

Does this not look a meeting of forest kings?

Does this not look a meeting of forest kings?

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Since my grandfather has fallen ill, and my dog’s tumor burst, we haven’t had the opportunity to go out like we did last month. We had one more outing to Hooton Island, and we went for a walk around Lake Jessop near my sister’s property on Easter. The next chapter will include the photos from these outings.

So! Tell me what you think! I hope you enjoyed the pictures and if you have any tips or comments please let me know. Whether they are about the photos themselves, how I write these particular posts or perhaps suggestions for places to go! Please comment away.

I have a Twitter that I update pretty frequently now and am finally starting to get the hang of it! Come follow me @LaraInStitches, and start a conversation!

Lastly, I would like to thank all the kind people who have sympathized and reached out to me following my posting of Pretty Princess.

William at Living with ADHD and Trice at Sew Tell have been so kind to me, please go show their awesome blogs some love!

Now, I am off to take pictures of my finished Hummingbird Dress!

Take A Walk On the Wild Side! Chapter One

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   Rodnam Dam

It can be fun to take a walk on the wild side!

In a recent post I mentioned my mother dragging out to door and into the wild for some good old fashioned Hippie Therapy. You know, running through the flowers and spinning in the breeze?

For our first trip out we went all the way out to the Rodman Dam on the Ocklawaha River and the areas and parks surrounding, and it was gorgeous.

Experimenting with Panorama camera on my S3 was a lot of fun!

Experimenting with Panorama camera on my S3 was a lot of fun!

Mom told me the reason she wanted me to go out there was for when Mike (we patched things up!!) came down again and maybe we could camp out rather than lock away at a Disney Resort. I was in such a daze at the time from shutting down from everything, I took as the full face truth. So, I walked around taking pictures of everything, trying to ignore the looks I was getting spectators atop the dam (I keep adding that extra ‘n’ out of habit. Bad habit! Fix that, Lara!!), and those fishing from the cypress shores. It was very beautiful and that certainly helped me feel quite easier about it all.

I noticed a couple quirky things. A bit out from the base of the dam was a line of¬†buoys¬†obviously meaning, “you shall not pass!” with birds perched from one end all the way to the other side when we arrived. I tried getting a clear pictures, but this will have to do.

Gave a feeling in the back of my neck in line with an Alfred Hitchcock film...

Gave a feeling in the back of my neck in line with an Alfred Hitchcock film…

There was a lot of driving done that day. Rodman Dam is roughly about an 1.75 – 2 hours depending on your speeding morals. ūüėČ

When I was in high school, my mom would say all the time, “Girrrlll, you need to learn to drive! I want to be able to look around for once!” Haha. Fun fact, she was terrified of teaching any of us kids to drive, so we had to take the car and teach ourselves on our dirt roads out here in the country. And once I did get it down, it benefited us both! My mind takes in and requires so many things for once, otherwise I get bored and don’t pay attention at all, haha. So, I actually take in more while driving than if I was in the passenger seat, so Mom was more than happy to hop into that spot and get her look around.

Anyways, moving on!

After Rodman dam we went down to where the old wooden bridge used to be underneath the current bridge, before it burned down. Gorgeous vibrant greens and blues, rich brown and blue shadows falling and accenting the luscious Florida waking to Spring.

I love the reflection of the wide green leaves on the water.

I love the reflection of the wide green leaves on the water.

The air was so clear, and even with all my lung issues as of late, I could actually feel like when I took a breath it was nice and full. Not these simpering little half breaths that are followed by sighs that do no where near the job of oxygen intake I need! The flowers were blooming every where and I discovered when playing with all the fantastic settings and options on the camera of the S3, I noticed I could changed my zoom settings to something besides “Auto focus”. There you are, Macro!! I was looking for you everywhere! Once I changed that the pictures were so much better with much richer saturation and hues.

I mean, look at these!

I'm not the biggest fan of flowers, but I love daisies in almost every variation.

I’m not the biggest fan of flowers, but I love daisies in almost every variation.

Little raccoon paws on the edge of the water. So cute!

Cypress Knee

    Down one path by the boat launch where you could launch a small boat onto this section of the Ocklawaha, were these build ups of cypress and cypress knees. Gorgeous and some were very interesting shapes and characters like this one! If you look around in this next pan, you should be able to see all the wacky shapes and my tiny mom in the corner. Haha.

Oklawaha pan

That Ol' Bridge

¬† ¬† Now, I could be very wrong, or very right on this one but if I remember what mom said correctly, the Ocklawaha Bridge burnt down during the only Civil War battle to happen in Marion County, Florida. There are remnants as pictured here as well as the burnt down remains of the Bridge Keeper’s cabin just off the bend. Which sadly, I could not reach for pictures.

   And so that ended our day out on the Rodnam Dam region of the Ocklawaha River and we  followed this gorgeous road back out to SR 19.

Down the winding road

¬† ¬† For our next adventure my mother and I trek it all the way out to the West Coast Beaches of Florida, formally Yankeetown along the Follow That Dream Highway (yes, that is its real name), and the Lake Norris Conservation Area! The second was much closer to us, and my numb bum was very thankful for that! Tune in for chapter two for more hiking, more “Mom, we’re lost again!”, and more pictures like these!

Milk ThistleSandy BeachesMeeting of the Kings

   P.S. Please, comment below and let me know what you guys think! I would love to hear any feed back and get a conversation going! Tips on the photos I am taking, any editing that needs to be done Рphoto or content wise! Anything! I love constructive criticism and a chance to grow as a writer, creator, and person in all! I also have made a Twitter (for the first time at a real shot!) @LaraInStitches so please take a looksie, send me a tweet and follow me if you please!

Thanks again, and I’ll see you tomorrow!