Most Anticipated 2018 Releases


It's that time of year again! It is 2018 and there are a ton of new releases popping up throughout the year. You all know I love books and I get so excited over them. I will be sharing all of the books that are being released in 2018 that I just can't wait to read. I did my Most Anticipated Books last year so you can check that out here if you are interested for more book recommendations. Without further ado, let's get on with the books!




Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: December 4, 2018
Buy at Indigo and Amazon

Summary: 
(spoilers if you have not yet read the other books in the The Dark Artifices series)

What if damnation is the price of true love?
Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love. 

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I am a huge Cassie Clare fan and I love the Shadowhunter Chronicles. She gets better with each book and The Dark Artifices is no exception. This series is so well developed and well written. Each of the books in this series is 720 pages but I finish them so fast as a result of her addictive writing. It's bittersweet that this series is coming to a close at the end of the year. After the tragic and shocking ending of Lord of Shadows I can't wait to see where Cassie leads the characters in this final installment.



Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Buy at Indigo and Amazon

Summary:

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.
There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.
Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

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I love Morgan Matson books so much. They always put me in the best mood. Morgan is one of the best YA contemporary authors out there. I am so looking forward to this book because...Hello! Weddings!! I love weddings even though I've never been to one. I adored her last book, The Unexpected Everything, and the main male character is my favourite out of all her books. I have high hopes for this one. I also love how long she's making her books now (this books is 480 pages). Don't get me wrong I love short books. However, I find that when contemporary books (which tend to be on the shorter side) are longer they are more developed and also I get to be with the characters for a longer time! Can't wait for this! I hope it's worth the 2-year wait.  


Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Buy at Indigo and Amazon

Summary:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

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I absolutely loved Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda which is also coming out in theatres next year!!! I am beyond excited. The trailer was released in December and I am just in waiting now for this to come out. I loved Leah's character in Simon so I am really looking forward to reading her story in 2018. Also, I love Becky's simplistic yet addictive writing. She talks about current things going on and doesn't shy away from being real and I love that about her. Super excited! ALSO, that cover!! That is the definiton of heart eyes 😍😍😍. 


Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Buy at Indigo and Amazon

Summary:

In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.
But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.
What could go wrong?
With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.
And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

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I fell in love unexpectedly with Jenn's 2017 novel, Alex, Approximately. It quickly became one of my all-time favourite books. That said, I am highly anticipating her new book. The title reminds me of Taylor's song Call It What You Want (starry eyes sparking up my darkest night). I also adore the cover for this one. I love the bold type font and gorgeous contrast with the light from the fire and the darkness of the night. Stunning. Can't wait to have it on my bookshelf and in my hands!



Always Never Yours by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Buy at Indigo and Amazon

Summary:

Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible. 

But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as none other than Juliet–yes, that Juliet–in her high school’s production. It’s a nightmare. No–a disaster. Megan’s not an actress and she’s certainly not a Juliet. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script. 
Between rehearsals and contending with her divided family, Megan begins to notice Owen–thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes, and wonders: shouldn’t a girl get to play the lead in her own love story?

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I was actually pretty surprised that this book made this list. I had never heard of it nor the authors of this book. I stumbled upon it whilst on Goodreads and I clicked on the cover because HELLO! Gorgeous! A round of applause for the books coming out in 2018 because the cover artist's are really stepping up their game. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but it is really the cover that attracts the reader to the book so having a good one doesn't hurt. Anyways, after I clicked on the cover I read the summary and immediately clicked "Want to Read". It sounds cute and fluffy and right up my alley. I hope this one doesn't disappoint! 


Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Buy at Indigo and Amazon

Summary:

Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.
Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere. 

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It's no secret I love Kasie West's books. They are always so cute, fluffy, and addictive in the best way. I know this book will make me smile and feel so giddy because that is just what she does. It's a talent! I also love the cover. Oh my gosh it's beautiful. Look at the stunning colour of the water! It's like they turned the saturation all the way up. I am so looking forward to this one. I'll probably finish it in 2 days and go back to dying for another Kasie West book as I always do.

The books I am about to mention do not have covers, one of them without a title and a summary.

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Buy at Indigo and Amazon

Summary:

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair. 

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

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Colleen Hoover is one of my favourite authors of all time. Her last book, Without Merit, fell flat for me though. I did not enjoy it like I usually enjoy her books. However, I'm hoping that was just a one-time thing. This book sounds very interesting and I'm looking forward to reading it especially since her editor said that this is Colleen's “best novel yet"! Now that sounds very promising. I can't wait! 

Throne of Glass 7 by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Buy at Indigo and Amazon

This book does not have a summary nor a title yet but I am so excited/so sad to read the final installment of the Throne of Glass series. I have enjoyed this series so much and the previous book, Tower of Dawn, exceeded my expectations. Throne of Glass 7 was originally supposed to be Throne of Glass 6 but she felt so passionate about Tower of Dawn. I totally didn't mind because it just meant more Sarah J. Maas! I can't wait to see how she concludes this incredible series. I also can't wait to read her future works, especially the WIP's she created boards of on her Pinterest

I hope you enjoyed today's post and have some new books on your radar. I'll see you at the end of the month with my January Favourites! I hope you all have a fabulous Friday and wonderful weekend.


love xena

Goodbye 2017


This year has been quite the year. I have completed grade 11 and am almost halfway done with grade 12! I have been to some pretty amazing places, read some really great books, watched some amazing TV shows and movies, listened to some great new music, and just enjoyed this year in general. I have lots to share with you so if you want to see my year, then keep reading!


1) Goodreads Reading Challenge:
I set my reading goal to 45 books since I read 45 books last year and believed I could do it again. I'm happy to report that I sure did! In fact I read 49 books, exceeding my goal! I am so pleased. I have read some incredible books this year and I'll always be thankful for books for how they take me out of reality and enjoy life a little more. If you want to see my year in reading you can click here. Have you read any books this year? If so, leave them in the comments! Also, if you have a reading goal for next year, let me know! I'm very curious and love converting non-readers into readers.

2) Doing my own hair:
I have been attempting to go natural for 3 years now. I have tried and failed every summer and have gone back to heat styling again and again. This year July I stopped using heat tools on my hair and have started my natural journey. I have serious heat damage but after almost 6 months of no heat my hair has grown and I am beyond happy. I also could never do my own hair. I found it to be such a struggle so my Aunt Gi has been doing my hair since I was young. This year I started learning my own natural hair and with the help of natural hair videos I have been getting better and better. I am so happy with the hair I have and it's definitely thanking me for giving it a long-awaited break. I can't wait to see how it looks next year July as that will be my one year anniversary! I am excited to see how my natural hair will look in the future and just wearing and appreciating the hair God gave me. 

Vacation:



This is hands down one of--if not the best--vacation I've ever had. Going to St. Maarten with my Aunt Gi was such a great experience. I went to the beach for the first time in years, explored both the Dutch and French side, ate great food, met a little kitten we named Luke, met some great people, and even went on a speedboat across the ocean to Anguilla. I still think about it to this day and would definitely go back. It was relaxing and fun, exactly what a vacation should be! If you want to learn more about my vacation I made a blog post which you can view here.

Books:



Bring on the books! I have read some really great books this year but these 7 really stand out. I also added a couple to my all-time favourite books. All of these are 5 star books for me and have made me felt so many emotions. I can't recommend these enough. If you want to learn about these books and see my thoughts on them then click the titles below! The ones with an asterisk (*) are a part of a series so if you haven't read the previous books then do not read the summary or my review. 

1) Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett (review)
2) I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (review)
3) Always and Forever, Lara Jean* by Jenny Han (review)
4) Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (review)
5) Lord of Shadows* by Cassandra Clare (I didn't make a review for this one because I was completely and utterly speechless).
6) Tower of Dawn* by Sarah J. Maas (review)
7) Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (review

Music:


Music changes with the times and not all of it sounds very good. This causes me to miss the previous years and how good music used to be. These albums are an exception and will make you fall back in love with music. I was very surprised by Demi Lovato's, Tell Me You Love Me, and Maren Morris's, Hero, because I only like a few songs off Demi's previous albums and I had never heard of Maren Morris before. I am so happy that these albums exist because they were a part of my soundtrack of 2017. If you want to find out which songs specifically are my favourites from each album, click on the titles below!

1) Tell Me You Love Me by Demi Lovato
2) Melodrama by Lorde
3) Hero by Maren Morris
4) Divide by Ed Sheeran
5) Dua Lipa by Dua Lipa 
6) reputation by Taylor Swift

TV Shows:


I started a few TV shows and said goodbye to some TV shows this year. I watched incredible shows this year that I love/enjoyed so much that I had to include them in this post. To watch the trailer, click the titles below!

Shows I started:
1) Jane the Virgin
2) Home Town 

Continued series:
1) Outlander season 3 (the other half of my heart 💓)
2) Stranger Things season 2
3) Bachelorette season 13

Finished series 😭:
1) Baby Daddy season 6 (I'm going to miss this show so much)

Movies:


I have watched 21 new movies this year (I rewatched 5 of my favourite movies so technically 26) and these 5 are my favourite. I enjoyed a wonderful classic (Dirty Dancing), two incredible comic franchise movies (Spiderman: Homecoming and Wonder Woman), a spunky teen rom-com (10 Things I Hate About You), and a spiritual movie filled with wanderlust, food, and love (Eat, Pray, Love). 


I hope you all had a wonderful year in 2017 and I hope 2018 treats you well. Have a wonderful day, incredible week, and overall amazing new year! Thank you for reading my blog and commenting on my posts. This blog is work but it's super fun and rewarding. See you in 2018!


love xena


December Favourites


Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas break. I have some time to write some blog posts so that's what I'm doing! I've enjoyed a few things this month that I would love to share with you. If you are interested in finding out what they are, then keep reading!

Movie:


I watched Eat Pray Love this month since I am now on Christmas Break and it's my Aunt Gi's favourite movie. She always talks about it like it's the best thing ever so I decided to give it a try. I think it's now one of my favourite movies! It's so beautiful, simple, and uplifting. I loved that through Elizabeth's travels she was able to discover herself and enjoy life to the fullest. It was so nice seeing the culture of Italy, India, and Indonesia. I loved this movie so much and it's a great one if you are interested in self-discovery, travelling, and love.

Book:


Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Read: December 19, 2017- December 20, 2017
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 (4.5 stars)

Summary:
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came. 

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.

Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

Review:
I loved this book even more than I thought I would! I went into further details on my other blog which I created purely for posting book reviews. If you want to know my thoughts on this book, click here.

Music:


I've been listening to Carly Rae Jepsen for a while now and I loved her last album Emotion. I've been listening to Emotion Side B this month and I love it! My favourite songs are First Time, Higher, The One, Cry, and Roses.


I love Anne-Marie's song Alarm and when I went on iTunes I saw that she released a new song. I am obsessed with Then by Anne-Marie and I have it on repeat. She has such a unique voice and I hope she keeps making music like this.


I have been a fan of Bad Suns songs since their first album, Language & Perspective. I have been listening to Daft Pretty Boys also on repeat. It's so catchy and I just love alternative/indie rock music. 

Candle:


Last year when Bath and Body Works released Hot Cocoa & Cream it was my new favourite candle. It still holds up. I bought another one this year as well as a wallflower. The new labels are so cute with the little squirrel on them. I just love the smell of hot chocolate and it just makes my room feels so warm and cozy. Definitely a must for this season. 

Fragrance:


I was running out of perfume and I really love the smell of vanilla. I went to Shoppers to see if I could find a cheap body spray. I came across Body Fantasies which I've heard good things about. I am obsessed with this Vanilla Body Spray and wear it every day. I get a lot of compliments on how I smell and recently my Aunt has been sneaking in my bathroom to spray it on. I recommend Body Fantasies if you need a body spray and don't have a lot of money to splurge on an expensive perfume. 

Body Care:


It's winter time and my skin is dry all year round but especially when it is cold. I've been loving Bath and Body Works' new formula of their body lotions. I love the scent of vanilla so I bought Warm Vanilla Sugar. It's so moisturzing and my skin feels soft and smells great.

I hope you enjoyed this month's blog post. I have two more on the way so stay tuned for those. Have a wonderful day and week ahead!


love xena

November Favourites


Hello everyone! November is over so it's time for my November Favourites. A lot of new things came out this month and I also discovered some things that I can't wait to share with you. If you are interested to learn what they are then keep reading!

Music:



reputation by Taylor Swift has been my most listened to album this month. After three years of no music, she has finally released her fourth album. It is amazing and did not disappoint. I love Taylor Swift songs and I really like the songs on this album because they are all so different. She experimented with different styles and I really appreciate how different the tracks are but go together so well. My favourite songs on the album in order are: Delicate, Dancing With Our Hands Tied, Dress, End Game (feat. Ed Sheeran & Future), Getaway Car, New Year's DayDon't Blame Me, King of My Heart, Call It What You WantSo It Goes..., and Gorgeous



I discovered Naked by James Arthur when I was looking through new singles on iTunes. I was immediately obsessed with this song and his voice. I like this style of music and his voice suits it very well.  


Flume by Alice Kristiansen was recommended to me when I was listening to a playlist I made on Spotify. This is such a beautiful song and she has such a gorgeous voice. She also makes covers on YouTube if you want to hear more of her. 

Beauty/Skincare:




I have been using Thursday Plantation tea tree oil since elementary school to get rid of my pimples. I noticed at a heath store that they also have a Tea Tree Thursday Plantation Face Wash for Acne and Medicated Gel for Acne. I love it! My face feels so clean and I have been noticing fewer pimples and if I do get a pimple they go away faster. I recommend this if you have oily, acne-prone skin.

Movies:



I've been watching W Network on weekends for the romantic Hallmark Christmas movies. I've watched a few in the past couple weeks and Christmas in Homestead and the next movie I mention below are my favourites. This movie is about when one of the most famous actresses in the world heads to the Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa, to shoot a holiday-themed movie. She is thrown for a loop when a romance brews between her and local inn keeper and single dad, Matt. As she gets a taste of small-town life, she discovers the true meaning of Christmas. 
It was adorable as to be expected and funny in some parts as well. Super cute Christmas movie for you romance lovers!



A Christmas to Remember is also another Hallmark movie that I really enjoyed. This movie is about Jennifer Wade, an emerging celebrity chef in NYC, who is having a meltdown on the set of her Christmas Homestyle show. Desperate for a break from the "stress of her success" she takes a spur of the moment vacation in a remote Colorado town. On the way to her friend's chalet she crashes and suffers amnesia. A widower with young children, still grieving for his dead wife, takes a dazed Jennifer to his home and they wind up having magical and healing holiday experiences that both transform and heals them all. 
This sounds sort of cliche but it was really fun and cute. I loved the scenery in this movie as it was filmed in British Columbia. I recommend this if you want a cutesy, cozy, and lighthearted movie to watch. 

TV Shows:



I loved Stranger Things last year and since then it has become one of the most talked about shows. Stranger Things season 2 came out around Halloween time and I watched it and loved it. I was really hoping it would be just as good as the first season and it totally lived up to my expectations. This is one of the best TV shows ever made in my opinion. So well-thought out with a great cast and plot. If you haven't watched it already, go and watch it right now!


If you saw my other posts I love Jane the Virgin. I've been watching and loving season 4. As usual, it is hilarious and unpredictable. This also has such a great cast and plot line. Watch this if you love romance, drama, and comedy!


Every Sunday, my mom and I have been watching reruns of Home Town and we are obsessed. We both love HGTV and saw ads for this show. It is about a couple, Erin and Ben Napier, who live in Laurel, Mississippi and are trying to fix up their town one house at a time. This couple is so sweet and hard-working and I love watching their ideas unfold into beautiful masterpieces at the end. Ben is a craftsman and Erin is the interior designer and they make a great team. If you love home renovation shows, check out this one!  


Books:


Midnights by Rainbow Rowell 
Read: November 19, 2017
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(5 stars)

Summary:
"Midnights," takes place over five New Year's Eve parties, as two characters -- Noel and Mags -- meet, become friends, then become best friends, and then try to figure out whether they're supposed to be something more.

My Review:

Rainbow Rowell is a brilliant writer. This short story was incredibly sweet and even though it is only 22 pages, I felt so connected to the characters in such a short amount of time. Rainbow is so talented and I hope she writes more short stories in the future. As a matter of fact, this story and her other short story, Kindred Spirits, are a part of their own short story collection called Almost Midnight. It also has illustrations done by Simini Blocker who does a lot of art for Rainbow Rowell. I hope to get my hands on it soon so I can read Kindred Spirits. 

Food:


Every Sunday morning, either my mom or I will make pancakes and eggs for breakfast. My favourite pancake mix is Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix and I have it with Mrs. Butterworth's Original Syrup. It's a delicious way to start the morning and a nice change from having cereal Monday-Friday. 



Carnation Rich and Creamy Hot Chocolate is an annual winter favourite. This is the best hot chocolate and perfect drink for staying warm in the colder months. I have it almost every night with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (I put 3 spoons in the milk because I like it super creamy and chocolate-y). Also, they claim that this specific bag of hot chocolate is more concentrated which is incredible because it is already a super concentrated mix. Love it!


My aunt Sue over at www.suzetteroberts.com made this amazing original chocolate ice cream. It is incredible. It's so rich and creamy, like the hot chocolate above! I couldn't get enough. Good thing she's making more!


Thanks you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post. I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend. I'll see you soon with a new post. 


love xena

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