Friday, May 31, 2013

Pregnancy Knowledge | Skincare...fun in the sun.

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Skincare is extremely important while pregnant, especially during this time of the year when the sun is bright in the sky.  Due to the hormones surging through the body during pregnancy, it makes skin much more susceptible to harm.  Although my skin is of a deeper complexion, I still burn, especially on my back, shoulders, and nose.  No one is exempt from the sun's damage to skin, so diligence is key.  Yesterday at my 20 week appointment my PA told me that there is an increased chance to develop brown spots during pregnancy because of the increased hormones in the body.  That means its that much more important to wear sunscreen and limit time in the sun.  Now, don't get me wrong I love the summer, the sun, and the hot weather, but fortunately I work inside all day long at my job, so I don't have to worry as much as someone whose job or lifestyle gives them more exposure.  However, I do love the beach and it will be even more vital that I slather sunscreen all over, especially on my bump this year. 
Important things to remember about sunscreen while pregnant is:
  • Level of sunscreen you need for your skin type.  Typically 30 is good across the board, but if you are pale or ivory you may need a higher number.
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  • The type of swimsuit or summer clothing you are wearing.  Now I know we all like to show off those bumps, but it may be best to not have it exposed to long periods of time.
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  • How long you're in the sun.  This is important, because you will need to continuously reapply throughout the day if you are spending a long time outside.  These even applies on cloudy days.  Another note, it is easy to get dehydrated while out in the sun, so hydration is key for your insides and outsides.
  • Don't forget your hands and feet.  This may seem like common sense, since you are using your hands to apply the lotion, but someone could very well be doing it for you and you miss both, and they burn too and can get harmed.
  • Also, don't forget your ears...and eyes!  Of course you can't put sunscreen in your eyes, but make sure you have a nice pair of UVA/UBA block sunglasses.  Pregnancy can do a number on the eyes, from affecting vision to drying them out, and combo'd with the sun...its not a nice feeling.  When it comes to ears, well its easy to get the face, but the ears could easily get forgotten.  Make sure you apply sunscreen to them as well.

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  • If you have a daily moisturizer, its best to have one that contains an SPF.  I use the Aveeno Daily Essentials, which has SPF 30 in it.  Many foundations and BB creams on the market also have SPF in them, so its easy to ensure that the face in covered.
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  • Lips...now mines don't do very well with SPF laden chapstick, but this might be an option for you.  I will have to trial and error a few, but in the past they have dried out and chapped my lips.  I do know that Maybelline's Baby Lips has SPF in it, so I might try that out, because the traditional chapsticks just don't work for me.
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I think I've covered all the bases, but this is not by any means an all inclusive list.  Use your own discretion and even that of your medical professional went it comes to skincare if need be.  We all have different skin types and the ways to cater to them might be different, but most importantly the end result is that we our skin healthy and unharmed.

Happy Bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns
                                                                                                                                                                                                       


Thursday, May 30, 2013

20 Appointment Update

Today was my 20 week prenatal appointment.  It was relatively uneventful, which was good!  I got my second set of labs back and they were negative and normal, so baby is good to go as far as any chromosomal defects that they can test for via blood.  My PA did tell me that the blood tests are only 95% accurate, so that 5% is still there, but I put my trust and faith in God and I know in my heart that baby is good, well, normal, and healthy.  I do have my big anatomy scan coming up tomorrow, in which hubs and I are stoked about.  Baby’s heartbeat was 148, so since 10 weeks (at my first prenatal appointment) it was in the 160s and has only dropped 12 bpm, which is totally normal as babies grow.  We are team GREEN and are staying that way until the birth, so I couldn’t tell you whether it’s a boy or girl from the heart rate.  I’ve read that boys are lower and girls tend to be higher, but as I’ve seen with many that is not an accurate depicter.

The PA talked to me about signs of pre-term labor and gave me some info to keep on hand, just as precaution.  Thus far, thankfully, I’ve had an uneventful pregnancy and I would like for it to stay that way.  She mainly recommended that if I for any reason show any signs of pre-term labor, such as contractions, cramps, bleeding, etc. to go to the ER and get checked immediately.  She also gave me info on classes I can take, which I’m super excited to sign up for.  I have attended two class so far, one on early pregnancy and one on breastfeeding.  I enjoyed both classes, but plan on taking the breastfeeding one again, plus an additional breastfeeding class that she informed me of.  The first breastfeeding class I took a few weeks back was a little overwhelming and I still have 5 more months until baby is here, so that’s a lot of time to forget what I learned in the class.  I want what I learn to be pretty fresh when I have baby and feel as prepared as possible.  The breastfeeding class that my PA told me about said that the lactation specialists who will be at the hospital when I deliver will be the same ones at the class.  She also gave me info on the Dtap shot, which I have already had through the military, but it recommended that I get it again, so that the baby is vaccinated through me.  The main reason is because of whopping cough, which is extremely dangerous to babies. 

We talked a bit more about the anatomy scan, upcoming appointments, and she told me that I’m measuring right on track to where I should be at this time.  She said my uterus is level at my bellybutton, which is exactly where it should be.  As far as future appointments, they will start being every 4 weeks now instead of 5 up to 36 weeks.  She also told me that we’d discuss the glucose test at my next appointment, because I’ll be doing it at my 28-week appointment.  From my previous appointment she hit on the gluclose test and told me it would be coming up and that she would tell me more about it as I got closer to taking it. 
In other news, baby has been super active today and was all over the place she my PA was checking the heartbeat.  Hubs & I went for ice cream at Baskin Robbins afterwards and I don’t think baby has calmed down since the appointment.  This is probably the most active baby has been since I started feeling him or her.  Nonetheless, I love feeling the movements and look forward to feeling more!  Overall, all is well and now gears shift to the scan tomorrow and just enjoying the rest of my pregnancy and growing everyday.


Happy Bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pregnancy Belly | Georgia Sweet Tea & Lemonade Ice Cubes


Being the South sweet tea is a staple of the southern experience.  Its considered the South's table wine, and rightfully is should be.  If your from Georgia like me, you know we take sweet tea to a whole other level.  I thought I'd share my recipe for Sweet Georgia Sweet Tea with  a fun twist of tart and sweet lemon ice cubes.  I love nothing more than a good old fashioned sweet tea/lemonade mix, or what some refer to as an Arnold Palmer.  These delicious lemonade ice cubes give you a milder version of one with keeping the integrity of the satiating sweet tea.

Sweet Georgia Sweet Tea

Ingredients:

1 Family size tea bag
8 cups of water
3 cups of sugar
*Ice

Directions:

In a large pot boil the 8 cups of water, once to a rumbling boil turn heat off and put tea bag in water and cover.  Let tea seep for 20-30 minutes, then remove tea bag from brewed, unsweetened tea.  Pour brewed tea into a pitcher and pour in 3 cups of sugar and stir until sugar is dissolve.  Add plain ice from the freezer to cool tea off and add a balance of water to the tea.  The tea itself should fill the pitcher approximately 3/4 of the way, so you will add as much ice to fill the pitcher up.

Lemon Ice Cubes

Ingredients
Country Time Lemonade Mix, either the regular or pink lemonade...its up to you!
...or you can use real lemons
2 cups of water
1/2 -1 cup of sugar (this is to your taste, start off with less and add more)
Ice trays

Directions:
Mix lemonade mixture with water and sugar until well mixed.  Pour into ice trays and freeze until frozen.  Its just that simple.  If you prefer to make fresh squeezed lemonade from real lemons, add in some of the pulp for a true old-fashioned lemonade feel.

Pour your sweet tea in a glass tea filled with your lemonade ice cubes and sit back and enjoy!

Happy Bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns
  Cast Party Wednesday
Bubbly Nature Creations

Things I'm Loving | The Top Ten [5.19-5.25]

This week's contenders are:
Cherries

Lush Bath Bombs


Mango Body Butter
BBW Pure Paradise Fragrance

Hershey's Bliss Milk Chocolate
Scrambled Eggs w/ cheese
Food Blogs...no picture needed, lol!
Pinterest
Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil
Cupcakes...who doesn't love cupcakes.  And no, unfortunately I can not take credit for making the ones in the picture.  I wish I could though!


Happy Bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Baby This Week | 20 Weeks (& counting…half way there!)

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Baby is as big a banana this week, can you believe!  We’ve come a long way from a poppyseed at 4 weeks!  20 weeks marks a huge milemarker in pregnancy, it’s the halfway point.  I feel so blessed to have made it here and look forward to another 20 weeks.  Baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces, around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel.  He or she is swallowing more these days, which will be good practice for their digestive system. Baby is also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in the bowels, and will in essence be baby’s first poop.

Baby -  Baby has been moving a lot more and the movements have been getting stronger.  I still haven’t witnessed any from the outside, but I definitely feel them from the inside.  Baby usually hangs out on either my left or right side, although I have felt him or her smack under my bellybutton (like just now, lol!).  Again, just like from last week baby seems to move most in the middle of the day and sometimes in the evenings.  Seems like I feel baby most when its time to eat, go figure!  I also feel baby the most when I’m sitting down or slouching.  I feel like baby is pretty laid back, but that could just be for now while it gets bigger and stronger, and then who knows!

Me -  I have been feeling relatively good over the past week.  My appetite has been a little all over the place, but I’ve been eating much better for the most part.  I’m liking most meats again and even had steak like twice this week.  Hair, skin, and nails are looking really good this week.  My energy level has been up and down, definitely not consistent, but on the days its high I get a lot done.  I honestly think my energy level is more linked to emotion than actual pregnancy…which could still be hormonal, I guess.  I’m not eating as many sweets, but I am still indulging in plenty of fruit.  This has me thinking…I need to ramp up on my veggies.  I have seriously been slacking on those and I don’t even know why.

Hubs -  Good as usual!  He liked having me at home for the past few days.  It gave him a chance to kickback and not have to do too much of the domestic stuff.  I honestly enjoy doing the domestic things, and can’t wait until I can get back to doing them full-time.  Of course this won’t be until after baby comes…gotta keep that paycheck coming in!  Hubs has been touching my belly more and commenting on the growing size of it.  He teases me all the time, that I’m in denial when it comes to not being able to fit into my clothes anymore.  Its true…he’s right, but what can I say.  I’ve been the same size pretty much since high school, kinda hard to see yourself grow and realize that your bigger than you’ve ever been.  He keeps me laughing though, so it keeps me and baby happy.

I’ll be posting on both my prenatal appointment these week and my 20-week scan, so stay tuned!  Send us positive thoughts and good vibes and blessings!

Well folks, until next time!

Happy Bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns

Monday, May 27, 2013

First Birchbox


I’m a little late to the game but I finally signed up for Birchbox.  If you haven’t heard about it, its basically a box of samples your get in the mail monthly.  The samples can range from makeup, haircare, skincare, fragrance and even lifestyle products.  For example in my Birchbox I received a Cargo Water Resistiant Blush, COOLA Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face, Isaac Mizrahi FABULOUS Issac Mizrahi Eau de Parfum, Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive, and Runa Guayusa Tea.  I am excited to try out all of the products, with the exception of the tea since its green tea and that’s not at the top of the list of things to ingest while pregnant.  Its only $10/monthly and I think it’s a fun surprise to get in the mail and a good way to try out different products. 

Many of the products are on the higher-end, so without maybe someone giving you a sample at the makeup or fragrance counter, you wouldn’t have an opportunity to try it out without purchasing it first.  I also decided to purchase the Birchbox subscription, because I figured once baby is born I won’t have any opportunity to get out and about and shop for myself too much.  Baby’s coming in October, so the means the holidays will be right around the corner, which means no shopping for me, but mostly for family and loved ones. 

As I try out each product I’ll more than likely do a post on it, if not once I try out all of them.  Also, the products your receive are based on your profile that you fill out when you sign up for the subscription, so what you get in your box is tailored to you.  If you watch reviews on Youtube or come across other’s posts on their Birchboxes, they may differ from yours.  It took me a sec to figure this out, until I went back and watched Birchbox’s actual video for the May box on Youtube.  I’ll tell you that it was reassuring, because I thought I was missing something. 

Click here to visit the Birchbox website if your interested in learning more about how to obtain a subscription.  I will tell you that I had to wait a few weeks to get my subscription, because there was a waitlist at the time.

Happy Bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns

Pregnancy Knowledge | Breastfeeding

As a FTM (first-time-mom) breastfeeding is a world unscathed by me.  I've always read and heard that its best for the baby, especially during the first 6 months of babyhood. Without a doubt I totally plan on breastfeeding for at least 6-8 months. I know there are moms out there who plan on breastfeeding for a year +, but I'm not sure I'll be one of them.  I would like to avoid formula at all costs, so as long as my milk comes in and I have a sufficient amount of it to breastfeed I will be doing it.

I recently received an email from FitPregnancy.com about the benefits of breastfeeding and wanted to share this knowledge with you all.


1. Fewer infections

“The incidence of pneumonia, colds and viruses is reduced among breastfed babies,” says infant- nutrition expert Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and OB-GYN at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y., and the author of Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession [2] (Elsevier-Mosby). Gastrointestinal infections like diarrhea—which can be devastating, especially in developing countries—are also less common. 

2. Reduced risk of chronic illnesses

Breastfeed your baby and you reduce his risk of developing chronic conditions, such as type I diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the digestive tract).

3. Less chance of SIDS

Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome by about half.

4. A leaner baby—and a leaner mom

It’s more likely that neither of you will become obese if you breastfeed.

5. Faster recovery from pregnancy and childbirth

The oxytocin secreted when your baby nurses helps your uterus contract, reducing post-delivery blood loss. Plus, breastfeeding will help your uterus return to its normal size more quickly—at about six weeks postpartum, compared with 10 weeks if you don’t breastfeed.

6. Lower risk of some cancers

Breastfeeding can decrease your baby’s risk of some childhood cancers. And you’ll have a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer, an often deadly disease that’s on the rise. You may also reduce your risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

7. Confidence boost

“There’s nothing more empowering as a new mother than seeing your baby grow and thrive on your breast milk alone,” Lawrence says.

8. Bigger calorie burn

You may have heard that breastfeeding burns an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. And that’s almost right. “Breastfeeding doesn’t burn calories, but it does use them,” Lawrence explains. “Breast milk contains 20 calories per ounce, so if you feed your baby 20 ounces a day, that’s 400 calories you’ve swept right out of your body.”

9. A green machine

Dairy cows, which are raised in part to make infant formula, are a significant contributor to global warming: Their belching, manure and flatulence (really!) spew enormous amounts of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. “Plus, most formula companies don’t purchase milk from American farmers, so they’re not even helping our economy,” Lawrence says.

10.  A customized food supply

Whereas formula isn’t able to change its constitution, your breast milk morphs to meet your baby’s changing needs. Colostrum—the “premilk” that comes in a day or two after you deliver—is chockfull of antibodies to protect your newborn baby. “It’s also higher in protein and lower in sugar [than ‘full’ milk], so even a small amount can hold off your baby’s hunger,” says Heather Kelly, an international board-certified lactation consultant in New York City and a member of the Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council’s advisory board [4]. When your full milk comes in (usually three to four days after delivery), it is higher in both sugar and volume than colostrum—again, just what your baby requires. “He needs a lot of calories and needs to eat frequently to fuel his rapid growth,” Kelly explains. “Your mature milk is designed to be digested quickly so he’ll eat often.”

11. More vaccination protection

Research shows that breastfed babies have a better antibody response to vaccines than formula-fed babies.

12. Fewer sick days

Since your baby will be ill less often, that means less missed work for you.

13. A vacation from your period

Breastfeeding your baby around the clock—no bottles or formula—will delay ovulation, which means delayed menstruation. “Breastfeeding causes the release of prolactin, which keeps estrogen and progesterone at bay so ovulation isn’t triggered,” Kelly explains. “When your prolactin levels drop, those two hormones can kick back in, which means ovulation—and, hence, menstruation—occurs.”
Even if you do breastfeed exclusively, your prolactin levels will eventually drop over the course of several months. Many moms who nurse exclusively get their first period somewhere between six and eight months after having a baby, Kelly adds; others don’t for a full year. Another benefit in the green category: Fewer periods mean fewer sanitary products in landfills.

14. Free birth control

Breastfeeding can be 98 to 99 percent effective as birth control if a few general guidelines are followed: Your period must not have resumed; you must breastfeed at least every four hours around the clock; you must not give your baby any pacifiers, bottles or formula (doing so may cause him to nurse less); and you must be less than six months postpartum.
According to Kelly, nighttime feedings are the most important to the “lactation amenorrhea method,” so do not let your baby (or yourself) sleep through a feeding. “Going long stretches at night without nursing seems to be directly responsible for the return of ovulation,” she says. In the same way, prematurely sleep training your baby can hasten ovulation—which means, of course, that you can get pregnant.

15. Faster familiarity

“You have to read your baby’s ‘satiety cues’ a little better, because unlike with a bottle, you can’t see how much he’s eaten,” Kelly says. “You have to rely on yourown instincts [6] and your baby’s behavior to know when your baby is full.”

16. Budget boost

According to La Leche League International, the cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 in one year!

17. Just so easy

Simply pull up your shirt and latch your baby on. No mixing or heating of formula necessary—breast milk is always available and always at the right temperature. And it’s in a pretty nice container to boot!

18. Perks for society

According to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, the United States would save about $13 billion per year in medical costs if 90 percent of U.S. families breastfed their newborns for at least six months. Even more important, because of breastfeeding’s health benefits, as many as 911 infant deaths would be prevented.

If 18 reasons explaining the benefits of breastfeeding, then I don't know what will! Of course as with any personal decision, it all comes down to comfort level and lifestyle. At the end of the day I want to do what's best for baby and myself. I will base all of my decisions on what my child needs and what I will be able to execute and make available to them. I believe that breastfeeding is great, it's natural, it's what a woman's body is made to do after giving birth and it really is a beautiful thing. I am looking forward to bonding with my child and knowing that I am supplying their nourishment for however long I feel baby needs it and that I can.

Happy bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pregnancy Belly | {Eggless} Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I found something yummy for use preggos!

I came across an awesome recipe for eggless chocolate chip cookie dough and decided to share. Recipe is courtesy of AllRecipes.com



Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, and butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla and water. Mix in the flour until well blended. Shape into a loaf or log, and freeze for 1 to 2 hours.

Recipe makes about 8 servings and takes about 25 minutes to prep and make.

I seriously can't wait to try this recipe out myself.

Happy bumping!

 

xxoo,

Tenns Sig


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Friday, May 24, 2013

First Trimester In Review

I decided to put together a collage of all of my belly shots from the first trimester.  I'll do they same for the second trimester once I get into the third one.  I think its really cool to see the growth and change week to week.  Its been fun chronicling the pregnancy and I'm excited to see even more change and growth as baby develops by the day!


P.S:  The 7 weeks photo got cut off, but there wasn't much change between weeks 7 and 6 anyways.

Happy Bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns

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Pregnancy Belly | Strawberry Sorbet and other delights

We went strawberry picking last weekend and unfortunately strawberries have a relatively short life span. They are good for about 5 days if kept cool, but after that they pretty start disintegrating and getting mushy. I noticed this more with the fresh picked strawberries we picked, but that could have been because they made a long 10-hr drive from Ga to Va the day after they got picked. I had some store bought strawberries in the fridge sense earlier last week and they were actually still pretty good looking. Nonetheless, I chopped up all of them and puréed them into a a sorbet this morning. I thought I'd share my recipe while I'm waiting for the sorbet to freeze solid. I will post picks once the sorbet is completely frozen and ready to eat.

I've always, always loved sorbet, my faves being strawberry and raspberry.  I've made strawberry sorbet in the past before, but never a raspberry so it's next on my agenda.  Who knows, I might even delve into a blackberry.  Anyhow for your viewing and reading pleasure here are some picks of the strawberries we picked and of hubs and I just having fun at the farm and the recipes.


Strawberries still on the plant.  I never knew they grew like this!


Variation in young/mature strawberries.  Notice the color variation from green, to yellowish-red tint, to bright red, to deep red.


Strawberries hubs & I picked.


Hubs & I being silly! ;-)


More silliness!

Strawberry shortcake that my mom had. It was made with the farms fresh picked strawberries and topped with their homemade strawberry ice cream. Hers is minus the quintessential whipped cream, because she doesn't like it. She loved the strawberry shortcake, and we even tempted to purchase one of the farm's homemade strawberry pound cakes, but figured she'd hold off and have a reason to try something different next time. The shortcake itself was the same strawberry pound cake, so she still got her fix.

Strawberry ice cream that is homemade at the farm. Hubs & I had one each, so yummy. Funny thing is that neither one of us are big strawberry ice cream people, even though I love strawberries, but this ice cream was delist. Baby liked it too!

Mom's strawberries that she picked. And yep those are my pink and khakis flats.

Strawberry Sorbet Recipe

2-3 lbs of fresh or frozen strawberries, cut in into halves
1/4 cup of OJ or lemon juice. I used OJ, because I didn't have any lemon juice on hand.
1/4 cup of sugar or honey. I used sugar, because I didn't think about honey until after the fact.
A splash of vanilla extract. Roughly a 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp, depends on how much flavor you prefer. I'm guesstimating I used about 1 tbsp.

Add all ingredients to a blender and purée. Once puréed transfer mixture to an ice cream maker, if you have one. Or you can freeze in a container, however I recommend the ice cream maker, because the sorbet will set up better.
*The pictured sorbet was not done in an ice cream maker, so it turned out more icy than previously made ice cream maker versions that I've made.

Happy bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns

More the Merrier Monday
Lil\'Luna

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day


Memorial Day to many is simply the weekend to mark the beginning of summer. To me, it’s a little more being an active duty member of the Armed Forces. I am also the wife and daughter of Armed Forces veterans. While I couldn't be more excited about the upcoming weekend to have some time off work and enjoy the beach (hopefully!). I wanted to take some time out to not only just remember those who have made those great sacrifices to keep us safe from foreign and domestic threats, but to honor those that currently do as well. For generations men and women have been making these sacrifices and lost lives, limbs, and loved ones in the process. Many have also lost their hearts and mind, not being able to deal with the trauma and stress of combat or even just the day-to-day challenges that come with being a servicemember. So this weekend, while you're at the beach or bbq'ing in your backyard, take a second to think of our veterans and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. 

Happy Bumping!

xxoo,

Tenns
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Full-time Marine, wife, jewelry designer, and blogger. Creating is what I love and its what I do.