A Family Dinner

There is this Taylor Swift song called The Best Day where she describes different stages of her childhood, and when I look back on mine I find this song to pretty much sum up my life. Of course, there were a few rough patches, and there will always be, but having a loving and caring family means that there will always be a new Best Day.

Tobias, my baby brother, moved out two weeks ago because he has a proper job and a shit load of money, so you see, he‘s nothing like me – and it should feel weird, but, you know, I kinda enjoy not sharing the bathroom any more!

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Tonight we had him over for the first time since he moved and it was such a lovely evening. I made a pineapple-kumara salad and risotto, and it was surprisingly delicious, considering that I never cook. My family is slowly turning vegan (although we can‘t quite let go of Nutella) and I took the recipe straight out of Vegan Lovestory, a beautiful vegan cook book I got my mum for her birthday.

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I like having my family together and listening to their stories about work and friends and idiots they met at the supermarket. Our favourite topic is my mum‘s trouble with her work computer, because she has to phone the IT-company about once a week and then practically tells them what to do. We always joke that they must be pretty terrified when the phone rings because they have started giving her administrative rights, even though they are not technically allowed to do that.

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So there you go, a little insight in my friday night. I know it‘s not the most exciting thing to talk about ever, but it‘s what matters most to me in the world, and I like people knowing.

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Oooohh, and I must also tell you that tomorrow I am going to watch all of Season 9 of Doctor Who! I haven‘t seen one single episode of the new series, and you will not believe how excited I am! This is my christmas, I swear!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

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Last But Not Least: Day Four

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Ten years ago someone asked me what my favourite part about Winchester was, and I answered, «the catherdral.»

And I still feel mesmerised by this ancient structure that stands there so proudly. The windows were once destroyed and yet, people gathered the broken pieces and rearranged them, a beautiful chaosof of unfitting colours and shapes. The floor is crooked, and do not trust these walls. All those small imperfections that show just how desperately people want to live. How little effect war and destruction have on our need of beauty and light and divinity.

They say that Winchester is the hometown of Camelot.
I believe it.

(Quote: The Sword in the Stone [Disney])

«Snowy Linen Land»

Apparently, what people are most likely to do when it snows is not going outside to build a snowman, but post «snow» on Facebook and take Snapchat pictures through their living room windows – or, you know, blog about it!

Winter is my favourite season and it‘s true, I mostly enjoy it from the inside. I love being all snuggled up in a blanket and working away with a mug of tea. I can‘t work when the sun is out, I always have to draw the blinds. But then snow is something else. I still get giddy when the first snow falls, even if that happens way after Christmas. I feel like snow is a valid excuse for the cold wheather, because cold with no snow, that‘s just eh. At least with the snow there it looks pretty.

I still don‘t massively celebrate the white scenery, but having a dog I‘m out in the woods almost every day anyway, and this week has been simply stunning. And because I have the world‘s cutest dog I decided to share some moments with you.

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On wednesday night I went ice skating with Samantha for the first time this year. It‘s funny how you can just go round and round in circles for hours and not notice that it doesn‘t get you anywhere. We discussed all the books collecting dust on our shelves and we talked about working in bookshops and how it‘s the best job in the world and yet the routine gets too much sometimes. And we talked boys and castles and poems.
It was a pretty night.

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Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Sexy Books: The Empire Strikes Back by Donald F. Glut

Just read: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back by Donald F. Glut.

I wasn‘t going to talk about this book, I really wasn‘t because, you know, it‘s a novelisation! But then I read it and as far as novelisations go (which, btw, isn‘t very far at all) it was really quite okay. In fact, it‘s the okayest novelisation I have read in a long time!

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I‘m sure everybody knows what Star Wars is about, but I‘ll give you the blurb anyway, if only because I love the word blurb.

«Though the Rebel Alliance won a significant battle, the war against the Empire has only just begun.
Several months have passed, and the Rebels have established a hidden outpost on the frozen wasteland of Hoth. But even on that icy backwater planet, they cannot escape the evil Darth Vader‘s notice for long.
Soon Luke, Han, Princess Leia, and their faithful companions will be forced to flee, scattering in all direction – with the Dark Lord‘s minions in fevered pursuit…»

I have a pretty clear image what «the Dark Lord‘s minions» look like, and the internet has not failed me! It just takes the edge off the entire saga a bit when THIS is what stormtroopers really look like!

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But moving on! Novelisations always have that exciting feature of telling you a little something that isn‘t included in the movie, and there are always small surprises, like a variation in dialogue or a change of action; many things that might not work in a movie, can happen still between te pages of a book. And besides, the book doesn‘t have to be incredibly good because all it does is still my inner geeky needs. And this one certainly did!

What I loved most, of course, was that there is some extended action between Han and Leia. C-3PO doesn‘t interrupt their kiss and that actually makes the entire scene more endearing. My favourite thing about the book, however, is the fact that Leia calls Han «Hot Shot» – repeatedly so!

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Leia has even more jazz in this book version than she already does in the movies, which I absolutely love. Still, my favourite part of the book has got to be when they settle in Cloud City and Han tries to win her over:

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Of course the book isn‘t just a sloppy Han-Leia fanfiction novel, it covers all the fun parts that we love in the film as well. It‘s just that Luke never call Yoda a «Hot Shot», or he might have got a bigger mention here!

Have a lovely (snowy?) afternoon!
Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Role Models

Whoohoo, I am so done for this week! In the best possible way. I have literally JUST handed in a spontaneous essay – in which I stopped believing on sunday, but somehow it still turned out okayish. Yay for that! Tomorrow I am off to Lübeck, also quite sopntaneously and the reason I‘m writing a post tonight and not as ususal tomorrow. And I‘m going out tonight to see a photo exhibition that my friend made, more yays for that! (well, he contributed one small part of the exhibition, but that still counts, right?) Frankly, I‘m just happy to be leaving the house for a reason other than to watch my dog poop. Yay Yay Yay!

Something I have been wanting to write about for a while now are role models. I remember that when I was little I had this massive crush on Emma Watson. I wanted to BE her in every way possible, so I would braid my hair at night to have curls the next morning; it helped that I was a huge geek in primary school, so all I had to do was tell others how stupid they were for not basically living in the library. But I also remember that a few years later I read an interview in a magazine, some hot shot singer or what have you, that I would have snogged at any given moment. He said that he had no role models at all because he wanted to follow his own path, blah blah. And I thought, neat! The truth has been spoken! From now on I will only rely on myself and trust my own instincts and Imma rock this! I don‘t really remember how that decision went down. I probably just locked myself in the library and checked my teachers‘ assignments for spelling mistakes (I did that repeatedly – the search for missing commas always proved to be very successful!) But you know, now that I‘m thinking about it, that was such a crappy thought! The truth is that we all have role models, people we look up to. It shouldn‘t get to the point where we compare ourselves to them in everything that we do, of course – but I firmly believe that we need people to look up to in order to believe that something can be done. So here are my own personal role models:

Hermione Granger

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This much has never changed. I sometimes still find myself wondering what Hermione would do in a particular situation and I find great comfort in the fact that she‘s a huge bookworm, and yet that doesn‘t make her any weaker at all.

Emma Watson

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Obviously. She is basically a real life Hermione and I admire her for being super pretty and standing up for women‘s rights and gender equality. She seems to be staying very true to herself and that‘s a hard thing to do.

Sophie Scholl

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Sophie may well be my greatest hero of all time. She was in a resistance movement during the Second World War and was killed by the Nazis. What I admire about her, however, is not that she died, it‘s that she lived. Even in the midst of a horrible war she wrote about spring and about hiking in the alps. To keep believing in something good and pure when everything around you is falling apart is such a strong and wonderful character trait.

My Mum

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My mum‘s just one super cool lady, and if you tell me «you‘re acting just like your mother», then that is a compliment.

David Mitchell

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The comedian, not the writer. Although he has written books as well. Anyway. I‘m not absolutely sure David is actually a role model to me, it may well be that I just identify with him quite a lot. But then I catch myself thinking, hey, he‘s still alive and happy, so there‘s not a bad chance for me!

Carrie Hope Fletcher

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I never realised that I actually see Carrie as someone I idolise with until I watched one of her recent videos on Youtube where she announces that she‘s moving in with her boyfriend. And it got me thinking, I don‘t necessarily crave a boyfriend, but I like to think that I can one day manage to actually grab hold of my life enough to enter that happy place… Oh my, I sound severely depressed! I‘m not, I am a very happy person and there is nothing wrong with me. But you know, I feel like I haven‘t quite grasped the concept of being a grown-up.

Elizabeth Bennet

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She is such an amazing heroine. Every person, male or female, should learn to think for themselves. Elizabeth doesn‘t get married just to secure her future and just because that‘s how it is done. She does what she thinks is best for herself and what she believes to maje her happy.

Roxana Vasquez

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Roxana is a girl I met on Zacate Grande in Honduras. She is working at a radio station where she fights against landowners trying to take away local farmers‘ lands. She‘s very upbeat and actually risking her life in the struggle of keeping her home. She told me that she might get killed, but if she doesn‘t fight at all she will surely die of hunger – so there isn‘t actually another option. I just can‘t help but think that we need way more people like her!

Princess Leia

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Of course Leia‘s on the list! How could she not be! Leia is very badass, she knows how to handle a gun and she rocks a lot of braids. I don‘t know where we get the picture from that strong women can‘t also be pretty or care about their hair – Leia clearly has her priorities set. Even in war time she must spend hours braiding her hair. And she knows how to fly a space ship, no one can argue with that!

Between writing this post and actually publishing it eight hours have passed (the exhibition was great btw) and I have only just realised that there are almost only women on my list. It‘s not that I‘m the sort of hardcore feminist that refuses to look up to men, but they simply stand for things that I feel I am lacking myself. Getting my own mind, standing up for what I believe in, embracing my own weirdness in its full beauty… I think these are the things everyone of us is struggling with all the time. We all want to be a better version of ourselves, and I think that is the best thing we can want. Because we are good the way we are but we can change if we want to to, and if we do want to we should! And it‘s good to have someone to follow, but sometimes we also forget that we can set examples to and that maybe one small person would like to be more like us. Isn‘t that encouraging?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Meet: Deliah

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Deliah in three words: Cosmopolitan, Creative, Impatient
Deliah’s dream dinner party guests: Clint Eastwood, Julie Andrews, Ellen DeGeneres
Deliah’s favourite post: Healthy Living: Chia Pancakes with Fresh Fruit Topping
Deliah reads: Negin Mirsalehi, Food52
(because my computer’s a bit poorly I can’t link anything at the moment. You can find Deliah and Lara on http://www.halfwaytobroadway.wordpress.com)

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Deliah and I graduated together from High School in 2013, but lost touch soon after. I knew she was going to be an actress, and when I discovered the blog she keeps with a friend, http://www.halfwaytobroadway.wordpress.com, I couldn’t help but feel intrigued. I met Deliah in early October in Lucerne. Because of a play she was cast in, she returned to Switzerland for the term, thus making it easy to catch up. Of course we gossip all the way to the café we have our hot chocolates in. Who did we keep in touch with? Are these two still dating? Did that guy find a job? The talk evokes a burst of giggles from both our side and it takes a while until I finally get my tablet out and start with my questions.

Deliah and Lara are both completing their Musical Theatre Course in Hamburg and they soon found that very little is known about the Musical world. «When I tell people what I do, they often say, Oh, then you must be a good singer? – It’s a shame, because there is so much more to it than that!» Together the actresses decided to launch a blog where they talk about everything to do with acting and singing. «There is so much to be considered,» Deliah explains. «What food can I eat? What do I pack for tours? Which vitamins are essential? Musical is a serious sport!»

Being an actress holds many big plans in stock for Deliah. In twenty years she hopes to have lived in New York for at least a year and to have been invited to a Broadway Audition. «Being cast in a Broadway show would, of course, be a dream come true. But just being invited for an audition, that would already blow my mind!» Another secret little dream of hers is to study interior design, a little passion Deliah’s has always hoped to one day develop further.

Just as diverse are the plans for Halfway to Broadway. Deliah and Lara burst with ideas to write about. Their readers can look forward to reviews of plays the girls have attended, fashion posts and hair styles to try out. «One thing I would particularly like to write about is about dating an actor or actress. Being in a relationship with someone like us is very different from most other relationships. The other person has to deal with intimacy on stage and the stress of constantly being on the move. It’s not always easy.»

Deliah is very happy in her long-term relation with her boyfriend back in Hamburg. And she is incredibly proud to have pursued her dream. «I’ve been very lucky! But I also believe that we should not let our talents go to waste. If you’re good at something and if it makes you happy, then do it!»

As our time together ends we get off topic and down to business: Disney! «If I could make any fictional character come to life, it would have to be Mary Poppins!» Deliah grins. «She’s super cool – a nanny that’ll jump inside paintings with you? Come on!» But if she had to identify with one Disney character it would be Belle. «But I want Kristoff, not the Beast!» Now, wouldn’t that be a combination!

Deliah walks me back to the main train station later that day and explains her busy schedule at the theatre. I express my admiration for her work, but she just shrugs and says, «Being a professional means getting there on time, being prepared and not taking up everyone else’s time. That’s a quote I’ve taken very much to the heart.»

And as we hug good-bye, I’m sure this will not be the last I’ve seen of Deliah.

Sexy Books: Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher

Just read: Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher.

I‘m going to try and be a bit better with book reviews this year, since this is the kind of thing I enjoy reading the most myself. And maybe be a bit more active on Goodreads, too. And finish reading all the novels I have started reading simultaneously. Good plan!

I absolutely adored reading Dream a Little Dream, and I think the reason for that comes down to the fact that once you‘ve heard Giovanna Fletcher talk you can‘t not love her books! She has the loveliest squeaky voice and whenever I read one of her novels I just imagine her narrating it and that makes it very hard to put the book down.

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I know I only rated it three stars on Goodreads, that is because it‘s not actually a good book (oh, how it pains me to say this). It‘s not incredibly well written, not very original and there are some seriously awkward sex scenes. Plus, at one point Giovanna‘s husband, Tom Fletcher, pops into one of the protagonist‘s dreams which is, you know, a little weird. Also, I feel like she‘s trying very hard not to describe herself and her own pretty little life by creating a character who‘s in her late twenties, unmarried and a bit cynical towards her parents‘ posh lifestyle. Yet, I‘m sure Giovanna‘s way of living is pretty posh (being married to the lead singer of McFly must be some perk, right?).

All that being said, the story is incredibly heart warming and made me cry towards the end.   I fell completely in love with Real Brett for being such an utter sweetheart throughout the entire book, he made me yearn for raspberry jam (I now have a jar in my fridge!) and, yeah, he did make me believe in true love again (not that I ever not believe in that. I just like the confirmation). So, if that peaks your interest, here‘s the blurb for you:

Sarah is doing just fine. Sure she’s been single for the last five years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend and their mutual friends, and the rest at her tediously mundane job, but it’s fine. She’s happy(ish). But it’s not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins looking forward to falling asleep at night. Reality isn’t nearly as exciting. That is until her dream-stranger makes an unexpected real-life appearance, leaving Sarah questioning everything she thought she wanted. Because people never really find the person of their dreams… do they?

Basically, Dream a Little Dream is a soap opera in book form, and I firmly believe that anything that comes in the shape of a book is better than television. It contains a couple of super cute quotes and is a very good read when all cuddled up in a blanket while «the wheather outside is frightful»! (Ha! See what I did there?)

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Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Also, here’s a video from Giovanna Fletcher’s Youtube channel because she is one lovely lovely lady and you’ll fall in love with her INSTANTLY!

Blog another… 2016!

Hellooo!

Happy New Year Everybody!

I hope everyone has started well into 2016 and you‘re not feeling too rotten today! I spent last night at my friend Tashina‘s house. It was so lovely; seeing as her boyfriend is currently in the States and I‘m actually in the country for once, it was just the two of us. We made pizza and then cuddled together for a movie. Of course, for me there is no such event without a cake and I had tried the vegan chocolate cake recipe from the Primrose Bakery recipe book – it was marvellous, I can tell you!
Tashina‘s family has the tradition of doing Molybdomancy on New Year‘s Eve, a technique of divination using molten metal. We melted a spoonful of lead over a candle, then poured it into a bowl of cold water. The resulting shape can either be directly interpreted as an omen for the future, or, as we did, be rotated in a candlelight to create shadows, whose shapes we then interpreted. The interpretations are very vague, however. Apparently I need to be more careful not to trip – which is a good enough piece of advice, but being as clumsy as I am, it‘s not a very unique one!

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We ended up being in a bit of a hurry towards midnight when we were supposed to meet another friend in the city centre. When am I ever not in a hurry on a holiday, huh? In the end, we were stood right on the bridge that leads into town when Midnight happened. It was perfect. We popped our prosecco and put on our party popper hats and watched the fireworks all around us.

I think the new year can‘t be half bad if the first face you look at is that of someone you love. We just stood there and took it all in, and everybody passing by shouted their new year‘s blessings, and we were a little tipsy when we finally got a move on, but the new year already felt good.

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We met up with our friend way past midnight and stepped inside some club and whipped in the rhythm of bad music for the better part of an hour before we decided to go home. I always love January 1st. I have a sore throat and a runny nose and every movement hurts, but I just put on my onesie and rewatch old episodes of The Vicar of Dibley with my cat. Actually, now I‘m debating whether or not it‘s acceptable for me to watch The Empire Strikes Back again (I‘m going through one horrid Star Wars phase at the moment, bear with me!)..

Tonight I‘ll be having dinner with Anna who you may have met (in a sense) when I was doing Blogmas. She has a wonderful blog which you‘ll find on www.tinytrinket.wordpress.com and was my blogging cooperator last month. I‘m gulping down cup after cup of tea, so I‘m fit for tonight – after all, Sherlock is airing, and we‘re both crazy excited (as in, I‘m crazy and Anna‘s excited).

The new year is going to be good, and I wish you all good luck and much love for every day to come!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Blogmas (Day 25) – «Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time!»

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I‘ll be leaving you with a short last post for this wonderful Blogmas night, seeing as it takes up all my strength not to finish Giovanna Fletcher‘s Dream a Little Dream right now!

Today‘s been the first day in months that I didn‘t have to get up at eight and head off to work or uni or my desk. Instead I took it slow, got up at nine and made Christmas cookies in my jammies while my mum fixed her Christmas Day with her boyfriend. Around midday Tobias and I headed over to our dad‘s house, almost missing the train – but then again, what is Christmas without a race through a busy main station, right?

We had pasta for lunch because my wonderful stepmum just knows her picky eaters well, then stuffed ourselves with the Red Velvet Cake I made for my dad‘s birthday a few days back. Opening the presents was as exciting as ever, especially as I didn‘t expect anything! My dad and his wive already got me an (almost) new MacBook and as a (wannabe) writer I couldn‘t have asked for a better gift! However, they still managed to whisk up a book series that I didn‘t know and that‘s right up my street. It‘s called The School for Good and Evil by Soman Ghainani, and part of the reason why I want to finish reading Dream a Little Dream so much is that I can start on this one. Oh, the agony!

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Of course nobody had as much fun tearing off paper as my niece did. And finally, when all the excitement of that was gone I kept walking around the richly decorated Christmas tree with her and discovering all the gorgeous little ornaments and baubles with her. It‘ a wonder, really, that she didn‘t knock any of it down!

To finish this grand day off we watched Three Gifts for Cinderella, my all time favourite Christmas movie, and The Rise of the Guardians (am I the only who‘d totally hit Jack Frost?!). Now I‘m sitting on the couch by myself and taking in the Christmas atmosphere. It‘s smelling of gingerbread and sugar cookies and chocolate and blown out candles. It‘s quiet with all the giggles and music having faded away and it‘s peaceful. It‘s me and my books, and I think that looking back on all of my Christmases, it‘s always been that – me and my books having a little Christmas party when everyone else has disappeared into their own beds.

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I hope everyone has had an amazing Christmas and I‘m sending out virtual hugs to all of you!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Don’t forget to wish a Merry Christmas to Anna who has been an amazing Blogging partner this Christmas season! You find her blog over on http://www.tinytrinket.wordpress.com. This will certainly not be our last project together seeing as we booked a trip to London – and how could I ever visit London and not blog about it, right?!

Blogmas (Day 24) – Christmas Eve Celebration

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

I have just had the loveliest Christmas Dinner with my family. We went to my grandmother‘s house as we do most years because out of all of us she cooks the best. Also, in contrast to my mum and me, she‘s quite well organised. She‘d made a vegetarian lasagna and I brought a butterscotch roulade for dessert. My family loves eating, so dinner was clearly a highlight of the evening. We usually go to church after opening the presents, but this year we took our time singing Christmas carols, my mum read us two stories, then we each took turns opening our presents.

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I feel so blessed having been able to spend another Christmas with the people I hold dearest. It‘s such a privilege to be alive and well and happy. I was also given amazing presents, and I realise that that, too, is not something to be taken for granted. To wish for something and to just get it, that‘s a huge wonder in itself and I‘m amazed to have been so lucky all my life. Even when times were not as good as they are now, my parents always gave my brother and me everything they could.

I don‘t care if I get a laser sword next year or if somebody buys me an Around-the-World ticket, all I‘ll ever want is this: my family gathered around the tree and laughing until tears flow.

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Tomorrow Tobias and I will be spending Christmas with our dad and our adopted patchwork family which will probably include even more eating. I can‘t wait!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx