Thursday, May 31, 2018

{ Cooking Thursday }


It's been a long time, since I've last posted a Cooking Thursday.  I used to post it religiously back in the day, but that was also around the time I was cooking and trying new recipes, almost daily.

I obviously cook dinner every night, but I don't always have new recipes to try and share with you all, and I know that's not really an excuse, because I could be sharing all sorts of recipes, whether I've cooked them myself or not, but I really prefer to share those that I know for sure are good, or I think you will enjoy.

So, with that said, instead of making my Cooking Thursday a permanent feature again, or even making a commitment to doing it, I would rather say that when the opportunity arises and I have something to share, you'll see a Cooking Thursday.  I think that's better than promising and then breaking the promise.

Funny enough, today marks exactly 12 years since the very first post starting my Slow Cooking Thursday :)  

Anyway, the recipe I have to share with you today, is one I made for Memorial Day.

 

It is so easy to throw together and so delicious too.  It was loved by everyone in the family, and has earned a spot in my trusted and liked recipes list.

Hope you enjoy it too, it really is a great dessert for these hot summer days.



Banana Split Lasagna
Adapted from: Delish


For the Crust
2 c. crushed graham crackers
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
kosher salt

For the Cream Filling
12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c. sugar
8 oz. cool whip

For the Fruit Layer
2 bananas, thinly sliced
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 lb. strawberries, finely chopped

Additional Toppings
8 oz. cool whip
1/2 c. chocolate toffee bits


Grease a 9"-x-13” baking dish.

Make crust: In a medium bowl, add graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix until evenly combined, then press into baking dish. Refrigerate until set, at least 15 minutes.

Make cream filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, 5 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread mixture evenly onto crust.

To cream layer, add even layers of banana, pineapple and strawberries. Top with Cool Whip and sprinkle with toffee bits. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.



On this day in 2006 - Kids say the darndest things
On this day in 2007 - Welcome to my weekly crockpot recipes exchange
On this day in 2008 - Food blog updates!
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On this day in 2011 - Happy Tuesday :)
On this day in 2012 - Day 2
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

{ A sewing day }

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I grew up with a grandmother who was a seamstress.  I've actually talked about her quite a bit on here, if you go back and search through my blog, I'm pretty sure you can find those posts.

Of all the things I've been taught by the women in my family, I have to say that sewing is one of the things I'm most thankful for.

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Unfortunately, I don't always get a chance to pull the sewing machine out and sit for a few hours, just sewing whatever I want.

Now that we're in summer mode and I don't have to worry about appointments and schooling during the day, I am quite happy to pull out my machine and start knocking out some of the projects I've been wanting to make.

I was able to do that today and I wish I could describe how happy that made me.

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There's something about the steady ticking of the machine sewing, that brings me immense joy.  It immediately transports me back to my childhood, and sitting at my grandmother's feet while she worked away on a wedding dress, or did some alterations for clients.  There's sounds, songs, even scents that can take you back in time, and the sound of a sewing machine does that for me.

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I have a lot of fabric and projects that I want to work on, and today I was able to knock a few off.

I made 3 curtains, two for Jasmine's bathroom (guest bathroom), and one for my bathroom.  The ones for Jasmine's bathroom, I made in white and added a grey stripe at the bottom.

For my bathroom, I flipped the colors and did grey with a white stripe at the bottom.  I will take pictures tomorrow and show you as it's quite dark now to really see.

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The next project I worked on, which is the one that took a bit longer to do because it was the first time I was making one, was a double sided door draft stopper.

I have wanted to make a few for a couple doors in the house, mainly to stop bugs and mice, even frogs, from entering my house.  This is what happens when you live in the country, no matter how clean you keep your house, they still tend to find their way in, though it's been a while since I've seen any mice (I'm talking last year, summer time was the last time I saw any).

Anyway, I absolutely LOVE how it turned out and if you guys are interesting in making some for yourselves, I can take pictures when I make the next ones and maybe do a little tutorial for you all.


The fun part about these, is that you can use fabric to match each room's decor and also mix and match the fabrics, as I did for the one above.  I used grey fabric but chose a coordinating paisley in the same grey color, for the binding.


Next on the list to sew are a few more of these draft door stoppers, also some potholders for my kitchen.  I need new ones and I have SO much cute fabric needing to be used.  I just need to buy some more poly fill and some batting.

I spent the whole afternoon sitting at my sewing machine, surrounded by pins and fabric, while I listened to some cool history documentaries on the TV.  Great way to spend the day, if you ask me :)


On this day in 2006 - Treasure Tuesday
On this day in 2007 - When is school starting again???
On this day in 2008 - Five Senses Saturday
On this day in 2009 -
On this day in 2010 - All gave some....and some gave all
On this day in 2011 - Happy Memorial Day
On this day in 2012 - Day 1
On this day in 2013 - Interrupted by cuteness
On this day in 2014 -
On this day in 2015 -
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On this day in 2017 - Oh my gosh, can the allergies go away?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

{ The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd - TLC Book Tours }

 

About The Weaver’s Daughter

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 10, 2018)

Kate’s loyalties bind her to the past. Henry’s loyalties compel him to strive for a better future. In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions? 

Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder — including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father’s pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.

Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war hoping to find a refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather’s goals to modernize his family’s wool mill, regardless of the grumblings from the local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort out the truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family’s livelihood and legacy.

Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stocktons, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry’s side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with the powerful decision that will forever affect her village’s future. As unlikely adversaries, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, and their village, and their souls – even if it means risking their hearts in the process.

‘Ladd continues to write refreshing Regency romance with a spotlight on the working-class countryside life as opposed to the ballrooms and bustle of London. . . the Romeo-and-Juliet-esque romance between Kate and Henry is perfectly paced and dimensional. . .’ (RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars, TOP PICK)


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

About Sarah E. Ladd

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever.

Connect with Sarah

Website | Facebook | Twitter


My thoughts:

 I LOVED this book.

I know it's the usual romance story that has been told a thousand times, and I guess one should know exactly what to expect, and even though I knew full well how it would end, I couldn't help but soak in every single page.

It's the usual man and woman from a feuding family, trying very hard to not allow their feelings for each other to come to the forefront, but unable to hide it for long.

Kate Dearborne and Henry Stockton, are both children of successful business men....weavers.  Their fathers have been at odds for a while, and the small village constantly sees itself caught in the feuding families path.  Henry goes off to war and is presumed dead by everyone, but reappears three years later, fully unaware that people assumed him to be long gone. 

I absolutely loved Kate and Henry, they want so badly to end the families war, but are both bound by loyalty to their father's names and their weaving family business. 

It is when they are forced to come together to try and unite the village, that their hearts will be put to the test.

Watching both of their characters develop individually as well as a couple, was such a joy, I honestly could have just kept reading and reading and reading, always wanting more.

Thrown in between all this, we have both Kate's brother Charlie, who has a mind of his own and a difficult relationship with their father, and Henry's sister who finds herself pregnant, not married, and stowed away to London to hide until the *business* has been taken care of.


The Weaver's Daughter gives us an insight into 1800's England and paints the perfect setting for the cloth industry, the ins and outs of the business and how at times, all lines were crossed in the name of a quick buck. 

I honestly could NOT put this book down, it is the perfect read for spring/summer.


Monday, May 28, 2018

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 05/28/2018 }



Happy Memorial Day!!!

I want to start by taking a moment to honor the brave men and women, who died fighting for this country.  It's important to remember exactly what this day is about, to honor, to pray, and to think about those who have gone on before us, and their families.

It's Monday morning, another week is upon us, and I must say that I've quite enjoyed my long weekend with my family, only wish it wasn't already the last day before hubby returns to work and life gets back into normal schedule....albeit, summer schedule, but still.

Hope you all have a wonderful day, whatever it is you choose to do on this Memorial Day, I wish you blessings and joy and that you have the best day ever with your family. :)
 

Happy Homemaker Monday



The weather.....Insanely hot already. We've seen one day in the triple digits and the rest of the week, we are headed to the triple digits too.  It's going to be a scorcher. 


Right now I am....Sitting on the couch, with Marley next to me begging for my breakfast.  I'm having some hot cross buns that I froze from Easter, and just toast up when I feel like one.

Thinking....Not really thinking about much today, if I'm honest.  Usually my mind is buzzing with thoughts of this or that, so it feels good to have a day where I'm just sitting, not thinking, not going a thousand miles a minute.         

On my reading pile.... The Weaver's Daughter, which I'm quite enjoying, it's just the kind of book I like.  I actually need to see what review is next up so that I can get started on the next, since I'm almost done with this one.  I must say that I used to get a bit overwhelmed when I had so many books unread on my shelf, but I've since grown to really and I mean REALLY love having tons of unread books just waiting.  It's nice knowing that when I'm done with one, I can just grab the next and get reading.     

On my TV.....I started The Handmaid's Tale yesterday, and I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with it.  A lot of people have raved about it, my sister in law including, but I just don't know if it's the kind of show I would enjoy, it's pretty strange and out there for me.  I'm going to watch another 1 or 2 episodes and then decide if I want to continue.  It's like Game of Thrones, everyone raves about it and I can't get past the second season, I'm finding very boring.  I'm a strange person I guess LOL
I do want to watch some movies today, so I may do that.   

On the menu for this week....
Monday - Bratwurst, Potato Salad
Tuesday - Spaghetti Bolognese, Garlic Bread
Wednesday - Tacos, Cilantro Lime Rice
Thursday - Bangers and Mash with Gravy, Salad
Friday - Pastelao de Galinha (Chicken Pie)
Saturday - Pot Roast, Roast potatoes and Carrots
Sunday - Pot Roast, Potatoes and Carrots

On my to do list....
Nothing, absolutely nothing today.  Laundry is all done, house is clean.  I did it all over this long weekend so that today I could have the day to myself to do with, whatever I pleased. 

In the craft basket....NI am working on some crochet placemats.  I was gifted a ton of yarn last year and I remembered that a lot of it was quite stiff cotton, which I think will be perfect for the placemats, so I'm working on that right now.    

Looking forward to this week....More gardening, some sewing and crocheting and warm weather, making it really feel like summer.   

Looking around the house....It's so quiet, the whole family is still asleep, the only ones up are myself, Marley and Bella.  The house is clean and tidy.  Makes me smile just looking around.    

From the camera....
Freshly washed lace curtains, waiting to be hung back up. 


Inspirational quotes, Bible verse, Devotional....



Saturday, May 26, 2018

{ My Saturday }

May 26 and 27, 2018

May 26 and 27, 2018

Saturday was mowing day, here in our country home.  Mowing 3 acres, even with a riding mower, can take hours and it's hot and tiring to do.

My husband and I take turns, it's easier to get everything done with more than one person putting in the effort, and I must say I do quite enjoy using the big riding mower.

May 26 and 27, 2018

With living in a big property like ours (big to us at least, I'm sure 3 acres for some is just a tiny little blip), one of the perks is that when spring and summer roll around, the land burst into color with gorgeous flowers and trees.

It is during these months that I take full advantage of all the beautiful flowers available, and I fill vases or mason jars with the cuttings to bring a bit of color indoors.

I've also been reading up on how to propagate cuttings so that I can try and regrow some of my favorite flowers and trees outside.  If you have advice and tips on doing that, please let me know in the comments.

May 26 and 27, 2018

I pulled out my cotton yarns to see what I have, because I really want to make some crochet placemats.  The picture below is just a pattern that I was testing out.

May 26 and 27, 2018

Wish I could spend more time out on my back patio, but the Wasps are out in full force and making it unbearable to be out there.  We need to get some wasp spray to get all the nests they've been building around the patio overhang and the walls etc.  It's the one thing about this time of year that frustrates me to no end......wasps, flies AND the darn mosquitoes that are out in huge numbers too.

May 26 and 27, 2018

I looked through all my yarn to see what kind of cotton I had because I've been wanting to make some crochet placemats, and maybe even see about selling some.  The picture below is of a simple pattern I was trying out, but I'm not thrilled about the colors of this yarn.

May 26 and 27, 2018

This weekend has been so relaxing, between the usual daily tasks, I've been able to take moments to have a little fun and do things I enjoy too.


May 26 and 27, 2018


May 26 and 27, 2018

Last night, hubby and I decided last minute, to make fajitas for dinner.  We ran to the store, bought the fajita mix, and some beer and came back home, then quickly invited my brother, sister in law and nephew to come join us.  It was not planned at all and I have to tell you that I am the kind of person who loves being spontaneous and just up and deciding to do something and going.

I only really like planning for something big in advance, if it's a road trip, or a special occasion coming up in the future etc.  But, on a day to day basis, I love just being like "let's go" and jumping in the car and leaving.

We had a wonderful couple of hours with the family, ate good food, enjoyed some cold beers, ate ice cream for dessert and played Jenga and so on.  Truly feel that those are the best moments, the last minute get togethers :)

I did try to stay up and watch some TV, but by the time I climbed into bed with my Marley, we both  asleep within a few minutes. 

Best kind of Saturdays!!!

Friday, May 25, 2018

{ My Friday }

It is late, 9:27PM to be precise.

It's been a long day, a long busy, tiring, but fulfilling day.  My husband had the day off for Memorial Day Weekend, and I always love having him home with me.  He doesn't get days off, and hasn't taken any leave for the past year, so moments like these are always appreciated and very much welcomed here in our home.

May 25, 2018

I had my coffee this morning, got dressed for the day and threw in a load of laundry, and then remembered that I am supposed to be trying to blog as often as I can.

Quickly grabbed my camera, set it on the tripod and let it snap a few pics as I got busy with the day's work.

It's funny but I used to be so good at daily blogging, that I didn't take a step or do anything without whipping out the camera and remembering to document that moment, to later share on the blog.  I guess I'm out of practice because I completely forget at times, so I'm thinking it will take a few days to get myself back into the habit.  We will get there, I'm pretty sure.

May 25, 2018

You know what I find funny about housework?

The fact that I can never just stick to one single task and move on, I tend to start one thing and see something else that needs doing, and before I know it or can even blink, I've now added 5 more chores to my already long list.

For example, I vacuumed all the floors and then decided that I needed to clean out and organize my dresser, so did that too.  My goodness!!!

May 25, 2018

Once all the floors were done and the dresser organized, I pulled down the curtains to wash, and then lit one of my favorite Lavender candles.  I bought it at our local Atwoods, last year some time, and I'm hoping that they still sell them because this one is almost out.  I'll have to take a look next time I'm in the area.

May 25, 2018

My wood paneling was needing some TLC, so I pulled out my Old English oil and gave every single wall in the den area, a really good cleaning.  It was hard work mainly because it hurts my shoulder, but it needed to be done and the end result is well worth it.  Beautiful, shiny, clean walls :)

May 25, 2018

As the weather has gotten hot, I've stopped using my dryer as much, and unless it's raining outside, it really doesn't get turned on.  I get immense pleasure out of hanging clothes out to dry, I honestly don't know what it is about it that I like so much, but the act of hanging them out, watching them blow in the breeze and then pulling them off, makes me happy.

May 25, 2018

While I worked inside, Curt started the mowing of the huge yards.  I usually help him, and tomorrow I still have the front left of the house to do.....not because he told me to, but because I enjoy mowing and I do like pitching in too especially when we have 3 acres to mow.

May 25, 2018

The mower needed a new belt, and I also needed a few things for the house, so we both headed to Walmart.  I picked up milk, creamer, toilet paper, some sodas and chips for the weekend and Curt grabbed the belt.


May 25, 2018

As we were leaving, he said that he was starving and wanted to take me to lunch, to a place I hadn't been yet.

We don't get to go out to eat together very often, we usually have the kids with us or if we get something to eat, we bring some back for the kids too.

This time, he took me to The Gypsy Kit Cafe.

They do tacos and sandwiches but with very different ingredients, not at all the kind of tacos I would have thought to make at home, but oh my word, they are delicious.

They are famous for their Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Tacos with Kimchi Sauce.  Yes, Kimchi Sauce, and they also do AMAZING Kimchi and Bacon loaded fries.  I can't even tell you how good those were.

Anyway, really enjoyed my time with my husband, it was a nice change from my usual day to day.

May 25, 2018

Came back home and got right back into my chores.  Laundry all finished, gathered from the clothesline, folded and ready to be ironed tomorrow.

I went ahead and changed our bed linens, gave the room a good tidy up and clean and opened all the windows.

May 25, 2018

Once all my chores were done, I sat down with a cup of coffee and my current read "The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah Ladd".

I also needed to color my hair, I swear it doesn't last but 3 weeks lately and the greys start coming out in force again.  I could be irritated about it, but I count my blessings that I even have hair to be fussing over, and that I'm old enough to sport greys, because it means that the Lord has blessed me and allowed me to live this long :)

May 25, 2018

As the day has come to an end, I find myself with a very achy lower back.  I've noticed that over the past 2 or 3 years, my achy back seems to be a constant in my life, especially if I've been on my feet all day, which means that most days, after my busy day of pottering around the house, I will for sure be laying in bed all achy.

So here I am, just finishing this post up, and getting ready to dry my hair real quick, then hop under those warm covers, do some more reading and pop on something on the TV.

I hope you've had a blessed Friday. I'm off to bed, good night friends.
xoxoxoxoxo

Thursday, May 24, 2018

{ The past few days }


It has felt so good, not having to worry about doing school, and just having the full days to myself to do with as I please.

You know I love that I am blessed enough to do homeschooling with my children, or rather, child, since he's the last one in school.....but it IS time consuming, and needs a lot of attention and concentration, and those days where you have portfolios/projects to complete as well, it can become quite overwhelming for the child and for the parent.

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Usually by this time of the year, we are so ready for a break.  So, it's been really nice to just relax and take it slower.  I absolutely love summer and everything that comes with it :)

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I'm not going to lie, there are days during the school year, that even my homemaking chores feel rushed, so even in that sense, it's nice to slow down.

The past few days, I've done loads of laundry, and have avoided my dryer, choosing instead to make full use of the wash line.  I find the rhythm of hanging the laundry out to dry, such a peaceful and relaxing task, not to mention how I love the scent of freshly line dried clothes.

If you have a clothesline, make full use of it, it really does cut down on the electric bill during the hot months of summer.


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I've also been trying to wash more dishes by hand.  I've always found it relaxing as well, just standing by the window, talking to God, watching the birds outside....and again, saving on electricity by not running the washer.

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I will admit that during the busyness of the year, I don't often have time to fill the cookie jar, it's more of a "eat from the bag" kinda thing.  It's a nice change to be able to do such simple things for the family.

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My garden has been tended too, meticulously.  Plants moved in and out, watered, pruned, watched and loved on.  In return, they are growing beautifully and giving my gardening skills a boost.

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I've been successfully regrowing veggies for many years, with great results and I currently have green onions, garlic, potatoes, and now some celery growing.

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Also planted some sunflowers, which I'm hoping to transplant once they start growing.  My idea is to line my wooden fence with some gorgeous bright yellow sunflowers.

I've been reading a lot too, my review pile is continuously growing, which makes me happy.   For me, opening the door to a new book every week, is the best feeling ever.

This week we celebrated my husband's 45th birthday.  We were both laughing the other night because we turned to each other and said "you know, we really are middle aged now, isn't that insane?  We have a 19 year old and a 15 year old about to start 10th grade, what???????".

Life just zips right on by doesn't it?

This coming weekend we have memorial day, of course.  I don't think we're doing anything, we wanted to barbecue, but just not sure if that is going to happen.  I DO have my husband home tomorrow, he has the day off and I'm thrilled about that as he doesn't ever take time off from work.


Yesterday I worked on a project with my Jasmine.  Her close friend in Scotland, is an amazing talented young girl who draws like no other.  She has a university project needing to draw some real life people and the theme was protesting etc.  She gave us some ideas on what she was looking for, and we just went to town.

I'm thrilled at how the pictures turned out, of course it helps that I have a gorgeous red head as a child to model for me.


Speaking of Jasmine, we are still waiting to hear back from the recruiter, she's frustrated and so are we, just don't understand why we never heard anything after turning in the paperwork.  Apparently, this is the norm nowadays.  My husband has tried to contact him numerous times and just can't get him to return any of the calls or emails.  I think it's time we look for a different recruiter.


Life has been good, I'm plodding along, puttering around my house and doing what I love most.  If you were to walk into my house most days, you would see just that, me, at the stove cooking, or doing dishes.

Speaking of which, perfect example, when I was in San Diego for the weekend, Marley kept looking for me in the kitchen and would go lay down by the entrance and just stare and wait.  Jasmine sent me quite a few pictures and videos of him just waiting and running in there anytime they said "where's mommy?".  Hahaha

So sweet!!!

Well friends, today I'm having a bit of a down day, I'll just say that it's the first day of *THAT* time of the month and I always get really bad cramps, feel lightheaded and plain worn out.  I'm going to do the dishes, I don't have to worry about lunch because we have a ton of leftover pasta casserole from last night, and later I'll be making the chicken chimies again for dinner.

Until then, I'm going to be on the couch, working on blog stuff (since updating my food blog template, a lot of the blog post thumbnails are not showing up, so I have to go in individually and add the photos from blogger itself).

I'm going to watch youtube vlogs, read and I also want to start on some crochet placemats for our dinner table.  I have a lot of cotton yarn that needs using and haven't had a chance to sew some place mats yet, and since I have a pattern for crochet ones that I haven't yet used, it might be the best time to try them out, especially since I'm having a down day.

Well friends, I hope you are all having a beautiful week, and I wish you a blessed Thursday :)


On this day in 2006 - Works for Me Wednesday
On this day in 2007 -  Slow Cooking Thursday
On this day in 2008 - Back to my roots!
On this day in 2009 -
On this day in 2010 - Summer Days #1
On this day in 2011 - Homeschool Curriculum for new year
On this day in 2012 - Spring Reading Thing 2012
On this day in 2013 -
On this day in 2014 - New Place
On this day in 2015 -
On this day in 2016 -
On this day in 2017 -
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