Sunday Morning Coffee

coffee. sunday morning. journal. coffee cup

Boots here to wish you a Happy Happy Sunday.  I don’t know about you but there is something special about the leisurely perspective that a Sunday morning has to offer.  Sunday is a day to sleep in, to go back to sleep to resolve a weird dream that has an awkward or disturbing ending, and to make time to stretch before getting into a vertical position.  Sunday is always a great day to join the human race.

It’s a day to get caught up on bills, make out a weekly to-do list, and organize the hodgey-podgey stack of random little notes to myself that have accumulated during the week.  A day to squiggle more notes on my white board on the wall and to micro-erase the things that I did manage to get done in the previous weekdays.  In short, I love Sundays.

And one of my favorite things to do is to grab my journal and doodle some drawings or scribble some words onto the page.

But one thing that is not a leisurely activity on Sunday morning is making my coffee.  I just can’t wait to get my Joe brewed and commence Operation Catch-up.  Sunday Morning Coffee is one of those week-long-awaited luxuries that I just don’t want to mess around with.  I’m not one of those people who starts a load of laundry or empties the dishwasher or sweeps the front porch before I brew my coffee.  No.  Sunday morning is about getting caffeinated and investing some focused attention into my one day of the week that says I can prioritize my preferences — which always feels like a brighter degree of great.

I just ordered one of these planners (click on the image or link below) and it is one heck of a goal organizer.  The best part is that it focuses on breaking down your goals into baby steps so that you can find your way more easily.  Do check it out.  I am really loving mine!

  • NEW & Improved Planner: JULY 2016 to JUNE 2017
  • ❶ Need to Transform Life With Yearly Goals ?
  • ❷ Want to Set Motivating Monthly Goals ?
  • ❸ Ready To Make Every Day Count ?

Tools4Wisdom Planner 2016 2017 Calendar July to June – 4-in-1: Daily Weekly Monthly Yearly Goals Organizer (8.5 x 11 / 200 Pages / Spiral / Academic Year)

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and here’s another one of the covers . . .

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Enjoy life and make some dreams happen by mapping out what you can do and then doing it!  Make each day count!

Monday, Monday . . . coffee in bed, please.

quote. It's Monday. Coffee in bed, please. Val

cabindoorcoffee.wordpress.com

Boots here with some Monday morning cheer.  This little pup knows how to make snoozing look pretty darned luxurious.  Coffee in bed, indeed!

I don t know about you but come Monday morning, the thought of adding another morning to the weekend, reserved for sleeping in and a second cup of coffee sounds pretty good.

For this Monday morning, think about treating yourself to some caffeinated sunshine.  Go to your favorite coffee shop and order that fancy latte that you have been thinking of ordering.  Go in to work a few minutes later, should that be an option.   Linger over the newspaper for a few more minutes.  Order a doughnut at that crazy-good doughnut shop that everyone is always raving about . . . what a fun way to salute the week.  Sometimes you just gots to step out of the day-to-day routine of healthy-eating discipline and order a doughnut.

Today?  Make it extraordinary.  Me?  I am thinking about one or three things that I plan to do that will make my day even better.  I am going to take the wobble out of my favorite music stand, chase some sunshine, go on my Meditation Walk, and organize some writing.  One thing I know I am going to do is make a fantastic caramel mocha, put my feet up on my desk, watch some fun youtube videos, and just while away a few moments while I drink my coffee . . . all of this to be woven into my day of honest labor.  There are days that feel as if “work” has robbed the hours from my good intentions . . . but not today.  Today is reserved for Extraordinary.

And about the time that you think life is just one work day after another, take some sunshine into the workplace with you.  Do something nutty.  Dance like a long-armed, 3-toed sloth in front of a co-worker who won’t understand.  Wear your shirt backward.  Mismatch your socks.  Braid your hair into pigtails.  Wear only one earring.  Pick a bouquet of dandelions and give them to a co-worker.  Smile at every single person you see today.  Stand up and stretch, on the hour.  I don’t know . . . just do something to make the day memorable and good.  Drink good coffee — that always helps make the day a happy place for me.

And check out some of these fun Monday morning coffee treats and accessories. Life truly is but a breath.  Enjoy yourself and be kind one to another.   Click on the images (or the links) below and have fun doing some imagining on this Monday morning.

. . . AND scroll to the bottom to listen to an AWESOME Monday morning song!  Make today all you hope it will be .

Wild Republic Hanging 3 Toed Sloth


http://amzn.to/2aFxkc3

Torani Lavender Syrup, 750 ml Bottle. . . add to a white mocha.  Yummy!


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Ghirardelli Chocolate Chocolate Flavored Sauce Squeeze Bottle, 16 fl. oz.


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Retro Spoofs Workaholics Thank God It’s Monday


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Now Panic and Freak Out


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Keep Calm and Drink Coffee


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Thermik Handle for Tumblers

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kate spade new york Thermal Mug – Cold Hands Warm Heart


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and just for the heck of it because I like old wool blankets . . .

Extra Heavy Duty Swiss Army Military Wool Blanket Cover


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Enjoy the music!

The Mamas & The Papas – Monday Monday

It’s Coffee O’Clock!

coffee-1300031_960_720

Love this art!

I feel like I am lagging today.  It is mid-day for many of you and I am just sitting down with this Friday greeting.  And late as it is, according to Boots Time, it’s still Coffee O’Clock and I want to wish all of you good people a Happy Friday Feeling.

There is something about the Friday Feeling that give me a boost of joy — the same feeling that I get each morning when I look at my first cup of Joe.  Why is this?  I don’t know.  Coffee is a beverage that packs a powerful boost — which I thoroughly appreciate . . . but I am also thinking that there is also a great deal of the Sense of Tradition that coffee brings to my day.

Cup_of_turkish_coffeeTradition.  What is it?  Google’s “define: tradition” offers this: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.  Well, this hardly defines my relationship with my first cup of coffee in the morning.  I distinctly do not recall having a cuppa with my grandpap or sharing a latte with my mother in a swanky coffee shop.  Maybe the word tradition is a misuse . . . I am now thinking that it is more a sense of Ritual.  Back to Google’s “define: ritual” . . . a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.  

That works for me.  Ritual.  A ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.  Is my Coffee Ritual religious or solemn?  Well that kind of depends on how much sleep I got the night before or what kind of day I am heading into.  I can definitely see how making my first latte of the day could be considered religious and solemn.

coffee and burlapI remember this old-timer that used to come on one of the pack trips.  At the time, I thought he was sort of different concerning his morning coffee.  He wanted to drink it privately, away from the madding crowd surrounding the campfire.  He would go off on his own, yet within eye-shot of camp.  He would find a rock or a log to sit on, turn his back on the other guests, and sip on his coffee.  Looking back, I can now see that there was a Ritualistic endeavor that he was participating in while enjoying some relative solitude with his brew.   That or he was super grumpy in the mornings and couldn’t stand the circular B.S. that the campfire tended to generate.  Either way you look at it, I have to hand it to the guy as to knowing how he liked to start his day.

What about you?  What is one of your favorite coffee rituals in the morning?  For me, I grab my cup of Joe and head to my desk.  I get myself settled, look out the window at the glorious day and I start to collect my thoughts via the keyboard.  The days that allow for this luxury I call special.  The days that don’t allow for this luxury I call my Friday Feeling . . . knowing that the next day is going to be wide open for my sense of Ritual of drinking coffee and writing.  I know that life is all-encompassing and it’s all wonderful, but I have to confess to super-enjoying the mornings when I am able to prioritize and enjoy my Preferred Rituals.   Simply put, it’s fun to be living my preferences.

Check out these cool coffee mugs below that give a shout-out to your Friday Feeling:


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And I know some of these added gizmos seem kind of over the top but check out this inexpensive mug warmer to keep your Joe hot:

http://amzn.to/2aevZs8

Life is a super lively event and ALL days are good.  Make them even better with the ritual of some morning Joe!

Some Fierce Boots & A Dearth of Spirituality

putting on fierce bootsI remember the time when someone told me that I was buying way too many boots and heels . . . and that if I only spent the same amount of energy on my spiritual life as I did on buying new shoes, I would be a much happier person.  Yep.  Someone told me this as I was going through my urban coffee days — as a top-notch barista in a singularly-popular coffee shop, sporting a green apron and pushing beverages to the  Needy Uncaffeinated .

This good-advice person’s name was Ernest, and I took his advice as Ernest  being Earnest.  At the time, I appreciated Ernest’s insights.  After all, it isn’t often that someone tells you at the hand-off bar that you could use a whole lot more spirituality in your soul.   It’s the sort of thing that makes you stand up a little straighter and take notice of your foot apparel for that particular day.  And while Ernest certainly  hit one of the nails on the head, there were yet a whole lot more nails dotting the board a’waiting some serious banging.  It was a time of life when a whole lot of is were waiting to be dotted and a lot of ts were hoping to be crossed . . . in other words, I was experiencing Life just like everyone else — what with it being so uncertain and all.  The best word for that time of my life could be summed up as: Major Transition. and we all know that Periods of Transition can use a Goodly Dose of Imminent Spirituality.  

Transition.  Not a bad thing, transition.  I look back now, what with hindsight being so great and all,  and connect the Scattered Dots that have led me to today . . .  with Now being pretty darned great in comparison to Then.  Life has its moments and its cycles.  And I am the first to say that I am always glad when I am out of my Frail-Souled, Boot-Buying Paradigm.  However . . . please, let there be a however in this story’s moral.

Here’s the However: Ernest’s Sage Words aside, there is nothing wrong with feeling a moment of joy when buying and wearing a  super-cute pair of shoes or boots.  This little tale is in no way meant to serve as a warning to those of you who have a passion for buying Boots, Heels, or Sandals.  After all, the purchase of such items need not mean that your Soul is experiencing a Dearth of Integrity.  It just means that you have Fun wearing your boots.  Simple.  I have spent many a happy hour, fighting off the Challenges of Transition as I danced my boot heels into oblivion on the dance floor.

I think of Ernest on occasion — especially when I am looking in my Shoe Closet.  He was a kind soul who meant extremely well and who carried with him an Eye for Spirituality — and its Lack Therein.  He was a good person who could see Life Conflict written on me and who believed that putting those Boot Dollars into a 401K would have served me in a much better way.  Maybe Ernest was right.  I don’t know, but I do think that his heart was in the right place by speaking up and putting it out there.

Life is a lively event.  Wear your boots with fun in your heart, drink coffee, and get to it.

What’s stopping you?  xox Boots

As for the boots below . . . I want!

Ariat Women’s Unbridled Roper Western Cowboy Boot

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Ariat Women’s Showbaby Western Boot

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Ariat Women’s Fatbaby Heritage Vivid Western Cowboy Boot

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The Summer of the Pie Wars

pie iron IBoots the Badass Coffee Babe here!  It’s nearly summertime, so I am thinking that it’s time to branch out into the Arena of Pie.  Campfire Pie.  You might be thinking: Pie out on the trail?  Yes, indeed! with good old-fashioned Pie Irons.  Check them out below . . . they are so much fun! I’m hoping that you find these Pie Irons to be as gadget-y and interesting as I do!  And so simple and magical, too.

I don’t know about you, but there are stories galore that come to mind when I think Pie — stories that are steeped in family tradition from childhood holidays and birthdays and stories that take me back to a time when I found myself in the midst of an undeclared Pie War.  I guess you could say that Pie is an Emotional Food that has the power to stir love, guilt, stubbornness, creativity, and forgiveness.   And I don’t think I can think the word Pie without reminiscing about an important personage from my past whom I will call Pie King henceforth.

Pie King was an old-timer for whom I worked a short summer season in a remote fishing camp located up in the high country.  The camp was in the midst of a roadless area that had with zero amenities, so you can imagine how beautiful and pristine it all was.  Pure silence and clean darkness at night.  No electricity, no running water, no telephone.  Camp was only accessible by trail or by float plane, so business was slow and spotty — thus allowing for time better spent rowing, swimming, reading, writing, roving, and just plain thinking.  And getting all of the chores done, too.

The chores that came with the job weren’t really all that bad: renting the occasional rowboat, bucking up some firewood, splitting wood for the cookstove, filling and trimming the kerosene lamps, doing a little bit of cooking, going down the hill to pick up mail from the Mail Boat . . . this sort of thing.  It all kept me pretty busy in an unruffled sort of way.  Pie King declared me Hired Girl #10 — a name that didn’t take a lot of figuring to figure out.  I was part of a Hired Girl (HG) lineage — #10 in a string of outdoorsy women who had come and gone before me, leaving the HG legacy with an imprint stamped with their virtues, their idiosyncrasies, and their imperfections — all defined and assigned by Pie King.

Pie King had a habit of using the other Hired Girls’ virtues as a way to get what he wanted.  He also had a habit of using the other HG’s imperfections as a way to get what he wanted. During the Pie War, I thought of Pie King as an Epic Manipulator, but now I would say that he was simply a Good Read of Human Nature.  Most people essentially want to Please, especially so in the radiant light of a predecessor’s Halo of Sainthood.  Pie King understood this Wishing-to-Please component of human nature.  I wouldn’t say that he exactly exploited it, but I also wouldn’t say that he didn’t.  After all, there are fine lines crackled and drawn all over life and, with enough backstory, I think the lines get a little blurred and sometimes even erased.

Mr. Pie King spent that entire summer trying to trick, guilt, dog, and wheedle me into making him a pie.  I was also soon to learn that Pie King claimed to have worked out his version of the Zen of Pie thing.  He said he could judge someone’s character based on their Relationship with Pie.   In fact, Pie was one of my interview questions — one that, with Pie hindsight,  I now know was the Weighing Grace as to whether or not I would become the Privileged Hired Girl who would be swamping this old timer’s boats, cutting his firewood, and laying his Morning Fire in the cold cookstove each night.  The interview question: Do you know how to make pie?  My answer: Yes.  His answer: You’re hired.

pie-vintage-image--graphicsfairy10Now I know what some of you might be thinking:  Let the Wookie win and just make him the damned pie.  But it was more complicated than this.  I knew — or maybe I should say intuited — that once I made that first pie, I was going to be chained to the cook cabin for the rest of the summer.  Which was NOT going to happen.  Not on Boots the Badass Coffee Babe’s watch.  And would you feel any differently?  Option A: spend glorious, pristine days working outdoors in the unspoiled high country?  Or Option B: spend the summer in a dark cabin peeling fruit, rolling crust, spicing filling, and baking the danged pie?  I don’t need to tell you which option I preferred.

It wasn’t so much that I disliked cooking and baking, but between hauling water, breakfast clean up, morning chores, and the mandatory chess game at lunchtime  — I wanted to be free to roam the great OUTDOORS.  At first Pie King made passive references when I was leaving the cabin for my daily-afternoon-off: Wouldn’t a slice of pie taste good right about now?  When that didn’t work, he wheedled.  Then he demanded.  He even tried pouting and giving me the silent treatment.  All for Pie.  I simply didn’t get it.

His was not a personality to give up a cause once he started to wave the flag.  Nor was mine.  I, being of sound and stubborn mind, body, and spirit, was not about to give in.  The thought of firing up the cookstove mid-day to a 400-degree oven on a 90-degree summer day was NOT going to happen.  If it had been the middle of winter?  Sure.  Why not?  But middle of summer in the high country?  No.  Mr. Pie King was just going to have to wait until October started to chill the air with the promise of day-long fires. Above all, given the stories of Glorious Hired Girls past, I wasn’t about to start a precedent that I knew I was not willing to continue.

camp at high lakeThe Battle must ensue!  Or so it seemed until one day when I was mucking out the barn.  I was digging through some old camp boxes when I came across some old rusting Pie Irons.  They were in need of a good clean-up, but they were certainly serviceable and a goodly remedy to our sparring match over pie or its lack therein.

That night after supper I got a good bed of coals going in the fire-pit down by the lake before surprising Pie King with the Pie Irons.  It was one of those beautiful high-country nights.  One with swallows and bats streaking and darting across the sky taking care of the mosquito population.  Stars pricked the canopy while a dry moon hung above us while we baked pies.  I kept the coffee hot above the coals while we baked pies in silence — a good earnest silence.   The kind of silence that marked a truce and that laid to rest any animosity that had been brewing in the weeks previous.

Pie King asked me to run up to the cabin and get his stash of Irish Whiskey.  We had nudges and we baked a few more pies to have for breakfast the next morning before letting the coals die down.  He surprised me by laughing and saying he had to hand it to me for sticking to my guns.  That I was skookum.  That I was the longest hold-out that he had ever had in the Hired Girl line-up.  And that I somehow still not only didn’t make pie but he made his own pie in the end.

I laughed, not really knowing what to say.  How do you say thank you after waging such a war-of-wills and then sort of winning.  Not the stuff of humility and grace.  But still.  I still think I read the situation rightly.  I guess there is something to be said for diligence and perseverance in the face of battle, albeit a battle waged in the Pie War.

He told me that he had almost married once to a woman named Lorna.  They had had a squabble over — you guessed it — Pie, among other things.  Their incompatibility had reared its complicated head over an incongruous list of baseball, whiskey, cork boots, and general lifestyle.  How Pie figured into it, I didn’t ask.  I didn’t mine for details and he didn’t offer much more than he thought that  Lorna was likely The One who had gotten away.

I wasn’t expecting any kudos for having been so damned stubborn to an old man who could play heartstrings like they were tuned on a fiddle.  It’s sometimes hard to feel any pride when winning a tug-of-war kind of battle.  But, looking back, I think he admired that I was willing to give as good he gave — and come up with a solution that suited us both in the end.  Maybe that is what he had hoped would happen with Lorna.

Maybe this is what life sometimes is.  A series of solutions that give as good as they take and that leave everyone feeling both pretty banged up and danged good in the end.  A happy ending?  I don’t know.  I’m not the one with the Pie Zen experience.

pie iron IVWe ended up having a few more Pie Iron shots of whiskey before the fire died down. The rest of the season passed without Grand Incident, and I packed up my duds in early October.  Times change and we with times but not in the ways of Pie Iron friendship.  I sent Pie King a home-baked apple pie up on the float plane each summer to commemorate a war well waged.  He never thanked me but he didn’t have to.  Sometimes you can let the Wookie win post-war.

Perhaps this story has gone for too long.  Back to Pie Irons!  Check them out . . . so much fun!  Pie out on the trail?  Grilled Cheese?  Breakfast sandwiches?  Fried potatoes?  Sloppy Joes?   French toast?  Yes to all of these great trail options.

So check out the fun products and cookbooks below!  I tried to find a good video for you . . . . and just wasn’t finding one.   I did find a blog with some recipes (Blueberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast and Stuffed Hash Browns) that sounded pretty though so I am sharing it with you below.

Click here to view the website: http://www.dirtygourmet.com/pie-iron-cooking/

And here is another site that specializes in Pie Iron cooking:

http://www.bestcamprecipes.com/pie-iron-meals/

And is there anything that goes better with Pie than Coffee?  (And Irish whiskey?)  True, you might say whipped cream, ice cream, cheddar cheese, or yogurt . . . but they don’t call me Boots the Badass Yogurt Babe.  I’m all about Coffee as you know, and I would contest that Coffee and Pie are the peanut butter and jelly, the peas and carrots, the wheat-grass and kale of the culinary world.  You can argue with me, and you’ll win.  After all, I’m an easy going kind of buck-a-rina, as evidenced by my summer of working out The Pie Accord with the Pie King.

Check out this super cool Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator — like the kind that Pie King kept going on the cookstove throughout the morning.  I love the sounds of a percolator, don’t you?  So retro, cute, and good!


http://amzn.to/261avUI

And for a blue-granite-ware camp experience:

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And in red!  I love this cheery color!


http://amzn.to/28CYebi

And here are the Pie Irons!  A fun way to cook a meal and a dessert over the campfire! All for about $14 – $22 — what a deal!

Rome’s 1605 Double Pie Iron with Steel and Wood Handles

http://amzn.to/1tpyyyh

Rome’s 1805 Round Pie Iron with Steel and Wood Handles


http://amzn.to/1PZHxkm


http://amzn.to/1U7wOAE


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Happy trails to all of you Pie Lovers.  Try out these Pie Irons and make a memory!

Life is a lively event.  Make pie, drink coffee, and get to it!  What’s stopping you?

xox to you, as always . . . Boots

Make your own sunshine. Drink some coffee. Be happy. What’s stopping you?

 

make your own sunshineWhat a great way to start a Friday morning — enjoying a cuppa Joe and listening to the fire crackling in the cookstove while the coffee boiler sweetens the air with caffeine molecules.  My kind of morning.

There is nothing like a rainy morning with a fire in the stove and a pot of coffee steaming its richness into the toasty cabin air.  The only thing that could make it more idyllic is a few loaves of bread baking in the oven.  These unassuming, humble pleasures.  They truly are what make for a full present moment.

I love the sound of rain on a tin roof.  The smell of wet wool sweaters.  Heck, I even like the smell of wet dog.  There is something just so comforting about being tucked inside on an unseasonably-cool, late spring morning.  The kind of morning that gives me the inspiration to pause and to appreciate life at its simplest.

cabin window rainAfter this crazy-wet week of wind, rain, and bluster, I made hay and created my own sunshine.  I painted and read and wrote and washed windows on the inside of the cabin.  I made a really good dinner that required more than one pot, and I folded some laundry.   I mucked out the barn, and I replaced the salt lick with a brand-spankin’ new one.  Yes, some days, it just feels good to attend to the quiet things.

enjoyIf it is raining where you are today — or if you feel a little dreary on the inside — create your own sunshine.  Do something out of the ordinary.  Take one step closer to completing that project you have been dreaming about.  Turn off your computer and call a friend.  Pour yourself another cup of coffee and curl up with your journal.  Go for a walk with a giant umbrella.  Rescue a few stranded worms.  Stomp happily and deliberately through a puddle.  When was the last time you intentionally got your pretty boots dirty?  What’s stopping you?

cute cup winking. fridayWhat’s stopping you?  The question that sounds so innocent and easy and, actually, involves a lot more than a one-word answer.  Today, I am pulling on my favorite pair of Wellys and I am going to go hunt some puddles.  Nothing stopping me today!

I couldn’t resist adding these fun and fanciful Wellys for your Friday (below).  Be it raining or shining, these boots are just the ones to have at the ready for some puddle-stomping fun.  And if you do encounter a puddle, do some serious damage!  What’s stopping you?

And are you missing the sound of the rain?   Do you now live in the desert and hearing raindrops?  Click on the video below.  Listen to the rain and relax.  Even better . . . go boot shopping while you listen.  [Yes, I am aiding and abetting.]  Rain boot shopping!  There are so many great styles that combine cuteness with function.  I finally broke down and bought a pair (the pink polka dot pair below) for going into town.  I feel pretty darned fancy and fun when I wear them, too!

Click on the images or the links below and do some daydreaming about what it would feel like to just let loose and have some spontaneous fun.  I am thinking that these boots are the perfect inspiration.  So cute!

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Oh, and attention all Seattle-ites!

Check out these nifty rain-boot socks!  I never cease to be amazed at how clever people are when it comes to thinking things up!

Fashion, function, and FUN!


http://amzn.to/1U1a0G2


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Happy muddy, puddle-stompin’ trails!  xox

Boots the Badass Coffee Babe