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Bridal Shower Gift Idea

One of my oldest friends is getting married in six weeks. She and I don't live in the same city, but when we find time to get together {usually over lunch at Panera} we have a great time catching up.


She is marrying a great guy who is perfect for her. She loves her future in-laws {so important!} and cannot wait to be a Mrs. on September 8th. I cannot wait to stand next to her and be a part of her special day. She was there for me on my wedding day and I'm honored to repay the favor.

We threw her a bridal shower a few weekends back. So many people came and we had a wonderful time eating yummy food, playing games, and watching the bride {and groom - he came, too!} open gifts.

I had a hard time finding something that I knew she'd like. Of course, they registered for gifts... but when a close family member or friend is the person of honor, I like to personalize things a little bit. I thought back to the great gifts I got at my bridal shower. My mom quilted me a beautiful wall hanging that I will be able to hand down to my kids one day. To me, handmade, heart felt gifts are incredible special.

Finally, I decided I'd highlight their wedding date. They've been looking forward to this day for a long time {they got engaged only a few months after Trevor and I did} and, because they're also expecting a baby {oh.my.gosh. I am so excited!!!}, it will mark the day that they become a family - a Mr., a Mrs., and a little bean.

I found a 3-opening frame that fits 5x7 photos and embellished it with their {future} shared last name. It looks great with the wedding date in the photo slots, but if they decide they want to replace the numbers with some of their wedding photos later it will look just as wonderful!

The only supplies I used were: the frame, some scrapbook letters, colored paper to match their wedding colors, 3 5x7 photos of numbers, and some sort of glue/tape/adhesive.

Then, I put it all together and had to run to Walgreens to print the photos {side note: for some reason, they couldn't get my photo order right... it took three tries before I could actually put the photos in the frame!}
I was able to find the pictures I wanted online as stock images but I initially wanted to take my own photos. Since I was running out of time, I just went the online route but in the future I'd take an afternoon and hunt down the numbers in my own city.

My dear {beautiful} friend and bride-to-be with the finished product.

What do you think? Do you have any bridal showers or weddings coming up? This could be a great gift option!


Shared at Tatertots & JelloPincushion Creations, Katie's Nesting Spot, Shaken TogetherChic on a Shoestring Budget, At the Picket Fence, 504 Main, Six Sisters' Stuff, I Heart Naptime, Singing Three Little BirdsNatasha in Oz, A Lived In Home, CraftOManiac, Jam's Corner, I Should Be Mopping the Floor, & Sassy Sites!
 Visit thecsiproject.com

Black & White

July 31- Post a black and white photo you've taken.


Blog friends, meet Apollo - cutest little dog known to man.

I love black and white photos of landscapes but this little gem worked out pretty nicely, too!

Update:
Adding the same photo in color by request! It's straight out of the camera - no edits except rounding of the corners and adding YAMAW the the corner.

Do you like black and white photos or color photos?

P.S. Don't forget to pop over to Facebook and 'like' You.And.Me.Are.We's page!

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge.
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Facebook Page

Happy Monday!

I hope your weekend was wonderful :) We had great weather in Wisconsin which made everything great - even if I did have to work.

If you didn't know, I'm working on a blog redesign with a very patient woman - I think we've exchanged close to 100 emails about the design and we're only halfway done! I'm loving the way it's turning out and I think you will too. It's going to reflect 'me' a lot more than YAMAW does right now; I'm pumped! Keep your eye peeled - changes are a comin'! And good changes, at that.

As part of the revamping, I thought I'd take this opportunity to start a Facebook page for You.And.Me.Are.We. I think I'll be able to reach more people this way and it's a social media that I'm more comfortable with than Twitter. I have high hopes that you'll all head there right now and 'like' the page!

Go on, click here... you know you want to! Join me on Facebook and stay up to date with You.And.Me.Are.We!

See you over there :)

I'm No Artist!

July 30- Are you an artist? Show some artwork or doodling you've done. Don't do art? Share something you like then.


I'm no artist, that's for sure. I'm all about stick people, smiley face sunshines, and babies with the little curly cue of hair on their head. Yeah, I'm that bad.

I do appreciate art, though! My favorite is VanGogh's Starry Night... something about the colors, the shapes, the emotion...

I have a print of this in our guest room/office. The colors go perfectly with the blues/teals that we have for the bedding and other decor!

There are so many VanGogh pieces that I like:
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Are you an artist? If so, I am definitely jealous! What have you created?


This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge.
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Sunday Social


Sunday Social

The Sunday Social Link Up with Neely and Ashley is a great way to blog hop and meet new friends. Since everyone loves a good blog hop {and because I've answered some of these questions for the Summer Blog Challenge}, I thought I'd turn my whole post into one! Follow the links under the questions to find out how I'd answer them!
How's that for a fun twist on the normal link party?

1. What is your dream job?
Being a stay at home mom working casually as a pediatric or NICU nurse at our local Children's Hospital.
2. If you had just won the lottery and didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time?
3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Were you a career flip-flopper?
4. What piece career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
 Compassion, compassion, compassion. Treat every patient as if they were your grandma/sister/best friend/nephew/son.
5. Biggest Pet Peeves either in life or in blogging or at work
6. Biggest Fears

I Always Said...

July 29- How does your life measure up to the vision you had when you were younger? Submitted by Sarah-Jayne @ Keep Up With the Jones Family


When I was younger, I never thought that I'd be married to a guy I went to high school with nor did I think I'd be married in my mid-twenties! I always imagined myself living in a bigger city, enjoying life until I was older and finally settle down closer to 30.


I also never thought I'd end up working in health care! It is such a different type of field than I thought I'd like. Turns out, I love it! I love my patients, I love my co-workers, I love the passion, and I love that we are helping people live better.


The university that I graduated from had always been the university that I swore I'd never go to. I was never a fan of the city that it's located in and now I work there {but still definitely hate the city itself}.


How ironic is it that my life is nothing like I envisioned it to be like when I was young?!


Oh well, it's my life and I am loving that I married my high school sweetheart, that we live so close to our families and not in a bigger city, and that I work in a hospital! I wouldn't change it for anything!


Is your life close to or nothing like what you thought it would be like when you were younger?


This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge.
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Saturday Inspiration

Looking for some inspiration? I found this on Pinterest and it 'spoke' to me... My hope is that someone out there in Internet-World will read this post at just the right time and this will speak to their heart as it did to mine.
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Dream big, my beautiful readers, dream as big as you can!

Happy Saturday!

What do you have planned for this weekend?

Roughing It

July 28- When was the last time you "roughed it"? Submitted by Kristen @ KtMoxie


Yeahhhhh. I'm not the "roughing it" type...


...so the last time I roughed it was probably the last time I was forced to go camping with my little brother and my dad. I'd guess I was around 15.


The "roughest" that I now get is sleeping in a crappy hotel... which has only happened once. It was the first night of our honeymoon and we were forced to find a hotel near the airport to try and sleep for 3 hours before our flight left at 5am. The hotel we were supposed to stay at lost our reservation and wasn't willing to work with us to right it... so we had to stay at another place.


Hey, on the bright side, we didn't get any bedbugs from the crappy hotel!


When was the last time you roughed it?


This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge.
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

High Five For Friday

Today is the last Friday of July. Someone please tell me where the heck the month went!? I dislike August because it's hot and it means that summer is almost over. I'm all about preserving July! Gotta make the next few days count!

So what are my top five from this past week? Glad you asked.

1) We spent last weekend with some great friends. We met Keith and Holly on our honeymoon in Jamaica while they were also on their honeymoon. Turns out, we got married on the same day! It's almost scary how similar they are to us. Like, cue-the-spooky-music similar.

2) Trevor and I met up with Keith and Holly in Chicago. We had a lovely time walking around downtown on Friday night! The four of us visited Navy Pier, ate way too much at Grand Lux, and bought the yummiest popcorn at Garrett's. I love Chicago! If I were living the single life, I'd make every effort to live there, I swear.
And just like that, #4 is checked off the Summer Bucket List! So happy we got to hang around Chicago, but next time we're staying for longer!

3) Saturday was spent on Lake Michigan hangin' at the beach. Trev got some nasty sunburn {like always} even with sunscreen, but it was totally worth it and the beach was beautiful!

4) I'm working on decluttering our house. We never really got the chance to go through all of our stuff when we got married and combined households so we're doing it bit by bit. This week I tackled the kitchen, being the brave soul that I am, and while it's still not perfect it's a heck of a lot better than before! We don't need old pots and pans that we used in college. We're married adults now and have much nicer stuff - so why do we keep the crappy stuff around if we never use it? Well, it's gone now!

5) Trevor and I bought a patio set on clearance. There's still plenty of time this summer to use it and we're hoping that we will be able to have the whole extended family over in the next few weeks as a very late housewarming party. The only family that has seen our humble abode is our immediate families, so a bit of a party is much overdue! We wanted to get a patio set earlier in the season but I'm so glad we waited until now because we scored a great deal!

Cheers and happy Friday!


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Wind Farms

July 27- Write up something about an alternative energy source.


A little known fact about Wisconsin is that our energy companies are required to have at least 10% of the energy they sell come from renewable sources by 2015. I'm all in favor of renewable energy - so much so that I think the 10% is too low! I'd love to see 40-50% of the energy come from renewable sources in the next few years - heck, how about ALL of it coming from renewable sources?!


There are a few areas within day-trip driving distance of our home that have "wind farms". That is, where there are communities in the country that have tens of windmills {more precisely, 168 in six towns in one county} strategically placed out of the flight paths of birds and bats. The energy is piped into the grid and sold to homes and businesses just like non-renewable energy.
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I've always agreed with green energy, specifically wind energy. Using wind to create energy seems like one of our best options for a sustainable future because wind is not taken away when it is used to make energy. Therefore, the same wind can be used to turn many, many wind turbines and create more energy than a finite resource like coal or natural gas.


What are your thoughts about renewable energies? How do you feel about windmills and wind-produced power?


This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge.
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Super Powers

July 26 - If you could have a super power, what would it be? - Submitted by Sarah-Jayne @ Keep Up With the Jones Family


As I mentioned in this beaut of a post, I would love to be able to read minds.
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One of my biggest pet peeves is being left out and with that comes the feeling that sometimes people are talking about me right in front of me without me knowing or are thinking nasty thoughts without saying them aloud.


If I could read minds, I'd be able to know exactly what people think of me and what they're thinking in general.


If you were a fly on the wall of our house, you'd know that I often say to Trevor "I'm not a mind reader, you know" because of an assumption on my part or his part about what we expected from a situation. It can lead to disappointment and hurt feelings and we always try to avoid that!


Sometimes people will have such a look of bliss on their face and I wonder what is going on in their heads. Other times, people get so angry due to lack of communication and expectations. If they would have just been honest about how they really feel or think, so many issues would have been non-issues.


I'm all about transparency... I guess that's why mind reading would be my super power of choice!


This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge.
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Well Said Print Review - Etsy Shop

I'm incredibly excited to share today's post with you because it's a good one!

I hope you know Kelly from Live Laugh Rowe... and if you don't, you should! She's one of the nicest bloggers you'll come across and there are a lot of nice bloggers out there, let me tell you!

Kelly is a talented, talented woman so imagine my delight when I found out she has an identical twin sister - who is just as talented! Together they have an Etsy shop that sells incredibly well priced prints that could easily hang in every room of my house.

Here's what Well Said says about themselves:
Well Said opened in July of 2012, owned by identical twins, Kelly & Kristine.  The twins behind the shop are Kelly Rowe of Live Laugh Rowe and Kristine Kuert of Kristine Lynn Photography.  They thought they would put their artistic and creative juices together and open a shop with some of their favorite quotes, statements, lyrics, etc.  They're both based out of St. Louis, MO and collaborate on all kinds of fun projects.    All of the prints are created by them and printed at a professional photo lab.  
So many of their prints have quotes on them that just speak to me. I mean, "be yourself. everyone else is taken." and "comparison is the thief of joy" are two great sayings that I'd love to hang in my home as daily reminders.

Kelly sent me a complimentary print to frame and use in my own home and I was so excited when it arrived. As if the print wasn't beautiful enough, Well Said packaged it so that it wouldn't get bent on its way to my house and made it look super cute!

I fell in love with everything about the "you are my sunshine" print - the colors, the saying, the graphics, everything! The quality is fantastic. You can't find prints like the ones from Well Said at WalMart or Target {and that's sayin' somethin' because I love me some Target!}. Plus, they're priced just right!



It looks better than I could have imagined!


This print is definitely going to be on our wall for quite some time. I can even see us putting it into a nursery when the time comes to think about babies. It looks great on it's own but I bet it would also look phenomenal hanging as part of a gallery!

Take a look around Well Said and you're bound to find something that speaks to you and you could display in your own home!

While you're at it, head on over to  Live Laugh Rowe and see what Kelly's been up to!

Linked up at Naptime Review!

Healthy Eating for Kids

July 25 - Give us 3 easy healthy meals or snacks for young kids & toddlers.


I was brought up eating lots of vegetables and not a lot of sugar {uh, duh, I grew up on an organic farm!}. I got to go with my mom or dad to the grocery store every weekend and pick out one sugary treat for the week. Then, I had to ration it {that was the hard part} so that it lasted me until the next weekend when I was allowed to get more. Maybe that's why I have such a sweet tooth, but that's besides the point. What I'm really trying to say here is that it's important for kids to eat healthy food!

Kids will eat when they're hungry. And if you teach them to make smart food decisions, they will - maybe not when they're 3 or 4, but when they're 33 or 34.

Any type of veggie is a good option for young kids and toddlers. As long as the pieces are small enough so they won't choke, all is well. Cut up bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers for the kids to snack on!
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On the same note, encourage your kids to eat fruit. I've known plenty of young children who love to eat strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and bananas. Again, cut them small enough so there is no choking hazard and let them feed themselves.

And finally, as a general tip, make food fun! Make kabobs, dip fruit in greek yogurt, allow your children to be a part of the meal planning/making process, cube up eggs and low-fat cheese and squish them between your fingers before eating, and theme your meals {I can still remember the Halloween dinners my dad used to make: witches hair (spaghetti), eyeballs (grapes), swamp water (water with food coloring in it), fingernails (almonds), etc.}. Whatever you do, enjoy your food together!


Nourish their bodies with healthy food and if they're anything like me, they will grow up craving salads and fresh fruit!


This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge.
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Music, Lately

July 24 - What's a band that you've been listening to and liking lately?

Well, I talked about my love for Adam Hambrick's music in this post but in case you needed to be reminded, here's one of the most beautiful songs I've heard:


Pretty great, right?

I love the lyrics, the melody, Adam's voice, the guitar, everything!

I don't usually venture into country music teritory, but once I heard this song I couldn't help myself!

Also, this next song is from a group that's from Wisconsin. We caught them on Letterman the other night and I've been enjoying their music since! Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons:


So, what do you think? Do we have similar taste in music?


This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge.
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Beat the Summer Heat

July 23 - How do you beat the summer heat?

Honestly? I go to work. Pathetic, I know.
But hospitals always have to be cool enough for their patients... and it's their dime to cool the place, not mine! Perks of the job, I suppose.

We don't have central air at home - only a window unit that cools our bedroom - so when it's hot out we spend 99% of our time at home in our room. We set up a card table to eat dinner, we chat, we do homework, and we try not to get too sweaty. We're lazy bumps on logs when it's hot out!

Besides staying indoors where it's air conditioned, I enjoy eating really, really cold watermelon. Have you ever tried almost-frozen watermelon? You should! It's so refreshing.
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Another favorite is to head to our nearest lake on a hot day. Even if the water is warm, it's still great to hang out in the water especially if there's a nearby tree who's shadow we can hide under.

Trevor and I also like to use the heat as an excuse to eat ice cream but let's be honest - we never need an excuse to eat ice cream!

What do you do to stay cool when it's hot out?


This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. 
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

His and Her Q&A

His&Her Q&A
Hey guys! We just got back from a short little vacation to visit some friends. I came home to about a hundred emails, 18 Facebook notifications, and a zillion blog posts that were posted by my favorite bloggers while I was away and enjoying time offline.

One of those blog posts was written by We & Serendipity and is freaking genius!
I've been wanting to do something like this for awhile as a way for us to remember this point in our lives and where we're at.

I'm not sure if I'm going to do this every Sunday because there are other linky parties that I post to on some Sundays but I'll start today and see how I feel next Sunday! Maybe I'll make it a Monday post or something to make it seem more manageable. We'll see.

Anyway, this genius post I'm talking about is a His and Her Q&A. The hosts post 10 questions that they've asked their husbands {and both husband & wife's responses} and invite everyone else to do the same and link up...

...so, here goes nothin'!


What will your firstborn daughters name be?
His: I don't think about baby names all the time! Eleanore.
Her: Eleanor, after my grandma... Ellie or Elle for short.

What is your biggest shopping pet peeve? 
His: I hate when people wait until they're at the register to pay with a check. Either have it filled out as much as possible before you get to the checkout or use cash/debit/credit.
Her: I hate when I'm having a bad shopping day and nothing looks good on me. I hate it!


If you could have any single superpower what would it be and why?
His: Be able to fly; I just think it would be fun. And, to clarify, I would be able to take other people flying with me. (haha, I love that he considers these things!)
Her: To be able to read mind so nobody could keep secrets from me!

If you got a life-supply subscription to any magazine what magazine would you choose? 
His: Motorcycle Classics, it's a well made magazine.
Her: Better Homes & Garden because it gives me inspiration to make my house look dreamy!

What was your favorite subject in elementary school (recess and lunch don't count)?
His:  Math or science. I can't quite remember, but reading and writing could not have been my favorite!
Her: Science. Always science!

You just scored $5. What do you spend it on?
His: A $5 footlong from Subway... I don't know, $5 isn't too much.
Her: Target. Target! TARGET!

What were your thoughts when you first met your other half?
His: I don't know - I just liked you.
Her: Man, he's cute!

If you could punch a company/business in the face who would you want to punch?
His: Subway, for taking all those subs off their $5 footlong menu (can you tell he enjoys his Subway?! Ha!)
Her: AT&T for not doing what they say they're going to do. It took two months to get freaking internet hooked up... and then we were billed wrong. Just get it right, kids, just get it right.

Favorite classic Disney princess?
His: I don't know - they're always just "the princess"... heck, just put down the mermaid lady.
Her: Pocahontas! 

If you could reincarnate into any animal after you die what animal would you want to be?
His: Probably like a hawk or something because they have amazing vision!
Her: A dog, I think, because a lot of people treat their dogs better than their family members!



Asking these questions ended up being a fun way to spend a Sunday night {during commercial breaks from The Bachelorette, of course!} and I hope you enjoyed getting to know us just a little bit more. What do you think - should I make this a weekly thing?!

The Secret to Happy Plants

July 22 - What's your best gardening tip?

Well, you've seen the beginning of my garden here but it's grown quite a bit since then. We've had some Roma tomatoes, some peas, beans, and lots of lettuce already; all which were delicious!
Recently a little cucumber has started growing and I'm already looking forward to making pickles once I have enough cucs to keep me busy in the kitchen for an afternoon!

I can't say I'm a professional gardener but I do think I have a little bit of green on my thumb ;) It hasn't always been that way, but it's getting there!

The best tip I can give you {and I'm not joking here} is to water your plants.

Ok, I'll wait for you to stop laughing.

Better? Great. As I was saying, you want to make sure your plants aren't drying out!

When I first started trying to keep something alive {other than myself}, I couldn't figure out why my plants weren't thriving. They weren't dying but they sure as heck weren't really growing much!

I was a busy college student and didn't exactly put "watering the plants" at the top of my to-do list everyday. Heck, the plants were lucky if they got watered once a week! It wasn't that I was thinking plants only needed water on Sundays, it was more because I just plain didn't have time between taking classes for two degrees, working a paid job, an unpaid internship, and trying to do homework.

When life settled down and I was able to bust out my watering can more frequently, I noticed the plants perked up and actually grew. {Huh, who knew, you water plants and they grow!}

Now I water my outdoor plants depending on the weather. If it's going to rain, I hold off. But if it's supposed to be sunny I try and water my plants before work. I usually water them about 5 times a week.

My indoor plants are mostly outdoors for the summer but I do have two low-water, low-light plants that stay in. They get watered once a week, sometimes once every two weeks. It just depends on how moist the soil is.

If you're anything like I was and didn't realize just how much water plants need to thrive try adding another day or two to your watering schedule every week. You may be surprised just how nice they grow!
{and if all else fails just add some Miracle Gro to that baby and watch it go!}

What are your gardening tips?


This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. 
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

Summer Fun With Kids

July 21 - Talk about a free activity to do with children.

 A few summers ago, I spent 10 weeks teaching at a college prep school. I taught some math catch up classes for students who were to be attending the school in the fall and needed some help to get caught up to their peers but mostly I taught fun summer school classes. I taught a photography class, a cooking class, lots and lots of science classes, a nature class, and a 'let's get outside and run around so we fall asleep at the dinner table' class.
Ok, maybe the falling asleep at the dinner table was what I did - not what the kids did.

Anyways, I found that kids love the weirdest stuff. They don't care if you go out and buy super expensive water toys - they just want to throw sponges at each other. They don't care if you buy all the fixin's for ice cream sundaes - they just want to pour the chocolate sauce in their mouths. They don't care if you spent three hours the night before cutting out objects for your lesson plan - they just want to fold them up and make paper airplanes out of them.

I'm making it sound like I have no classroom management skills at all - which is not true in the slightest; I'm pretty decent at using my "teacher voice" and getting a classroom under control - but my point is that kids are going to be kids and that they just want to have enjoy their summers and have fun! They don't care if you spend all kinds of money on something because most likely they just want to spend time with you & their friends while having a great time!

My students loved a lot of free activities - here are just a few:

1) Go to the library and get as many books as you can carry. When it's rainy out or the kids aren't feeling well, books can be a wonderful alternative to movies and TV.

2) Cut up sponges and tie them together to make "water bombs".

3) Get out a hose and let the kids go wild. Pair this with #2 and you've got a water fight!

4) Head to the park and let the kids run until they can't run anymore. You'll thank yourself for doing it when they're in bed by 8 with no complaints :)

5) Go fishing, go camping, go exploring in your local state/county parks. Kids can collect leaves/stones/whatever to make their own "collections". If you want to get educational, have them figure out what each kind of rock is/what kind of tree each leaf is from/etc.

6) Start a garden. Flowers or vegetables - your choice! {looking for gardening tips? check back tomorrow! there's a whole post about gardening scheduled!}

This post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge. 
To see more posts inspired by the challenge visit my Summer Blog Challenge page!

High Five For Friday!

Hey there!

The past week has been full of work, work, and more work. Even on my days off I've been working around the house. There aren't enough hours in the day!

Last Saturday I went to see Magic Mike with one of my oldest friends.
...and that brings us to today's H54F :)

In no particular order, here are my top five moments from this past week:





Um, yep! I think that pretty much sums it up!

Have you seen Magic Mike? I've heard some people say the didn't like the plot... but to them I must say: you didn't go to see the movie for the plot. I know you didn't. You aren't fooling anyone!


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