Nat Geo Wild 10 Days of Thanksgiving begins November 26, 2015



Can you believe that this Thursday is Thanksgiving? Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday we were cranking up the AC and making plans on what we were going to do for summer vacation. Now our thoughts have turned to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, the official start to the holiday season and what do with all of the leftovers from dinner.

After you have stuffed yourself more than then the turkey you just devoured, you’ll probably want to sit back, relax, and watch some great entertainment while your body digests all that yummy goodness. Some people put on football. Others look for something the entire family can enjoy.

Nat Geo WILD has some great programming that kicks off on November 26th (Thanksgiving Day). They are hosting a DisneyNature movie marathon.

I am a huge fan of DisneyNature films. I own most of them (I had to add them to my family’s movie collection). There are a few films I still need to add.

Starting at 1:00 PM (EST) / 12:00 (CST), Nat Geo WILD will host four beautiful DisneyNature films.

Deep Blue – Discover creatures of the deep that most people will never have the opportunity to see up close including majestic whales, adorable penguins, seals, polar bears and some of the weirdest deep sea dwellers you’ll ever see.

I had the opportunity to see this film (screener). Wow! It just blew my mind. Watching Deep Blue made me realize just how itty bitty each person is compared to this ginormous planet we live on.

There are some pretty amazing creatures that call the ocean home. Some I’d like to see up close and others – NEVER! Most especially the deep sea dwellers (where sunlight can’t reach).

There is a section featuring crabs that I found interesting, comical and creepy all at the same time.


Chimpanzee – This is a delightful film about chimpanzee’s and how they are more like humans than you would believe. They can form close bonds, just like people do. Chimpanzee follows the life of a Oscar, a baby chimp who gets separated by his mother, and who is able to form a deep, loving bond with another (elderly) chimp name Freddy.

The Crimson Wings: Mystery of the Flamingos – This is one of the DisneyNature films that I do not own (yet), nor have I ever seen it. It’s the story about a million crimson-winged flamingos who live, breed and continue the circle of life in a desolate location called Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. I’m looking forward to finally having the opportunity to see this film. This film came out in between Earth (2007) and Oceans (2009).

Wings of Life – This is the other DisneyNature film that I have not seen yet or own. The film gives viewers and intimate look into the lives of butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and even flowers. I love butterflies. I find them fascinating – especially how Monarch Butterflies migrate. I can’t wait to see this film either.

In case you miss any of the films they will be re-aired later on in the evening.

Friday (November 27, 2015) kicks off Big Cat Week with a line up of amazing programming.

I think all Big Cats (Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cheetahs…) are beautiful, but I find Tigers especially magnificent.


Check out the program line up for Big Cat Week.


Cougars Undercover

Premieres Friday, Nov. 27, 9/8c

This is the moving story of two mountain lion mothers raising their cubs, each trying to survive the harsh conditions of a bitter winter season outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Never-before-seen video captures the playful, intimate and sometimes tragic lives of these two families — part of a groundbreaking study by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project. This is the most intense study of mountain lions ever conducted in the U.S., and the research raises some key questions. Are these cats the solitary hunters we previously thought? Why is their population dropping in the Rockies? The answers are fascinating and the stunning portrayal of the highs and lows of daily life will keep you glued to the story.

I had the opportunity to screen this special.

I understand that the cats needed to be “tagged” to be studied, but it broke my heart to see them wearing big, bulky collars.

These are amazing creatures, and I am happy that I had the opportunity to learn more about them (their spotted cubs are adorable!). If you like big cats you won’t want to miss this special. Check out the trailer (below).


Safari Live

Premieres Friday, Nov. 27 – Sun, Nov. 29, 11/10c

Premieres Sat, Nov. 28 – Fri, Dec. 4, 9a/8c (two-hour morning specials)

Now there’s no passport required to go on the trip of a lifetime to see big cats up close and personal. We provide you with two expert guides who will lead the way to stunning wildlife, in real time. You can follow along with our online bingo game to win your very own African safari, and even reach out to the guides to ask questions via email and Twitter. All you need is an appetite for adventure and a love for our wild friends in the African bush. We’ll go deep into South Africa’s Sabi Sands Park and come face to face with the best of Africa’s wildlife, including lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo and many more.

Visit www.WildSafariLive.com to play Safari Bingo for your chance to win the most amazing trip of a lifetime!

Safari Live is a live event, so no video preview available. 

The Lakeshore Killers

Premieres Saturday, Nov. 28, 9/8c

Deep in the heart of Africa, three male lions are coming into their prime with much to prove. They must forge strong bonds with a new pride and navigate the dangers of this unique wilderness, competing with hippos and crocodiles, to become true pride males and rulers of this land. We get a bird’s-eye view of their survival tactics, including adapting their hunting skills in surprising ways.


Cat Fight

Premieres Sunday, Nov. 29, 9/8c

A special edition of the popular series Animal Fight Night, Cat Fight reveals the secret tactics of the animal kingdom’s most ferocious feline fighters and brings you closer than ever before to adrenaline-packed fights from Africa, the Americas and beyond. Watch lions fighting tooth and claw to protect their pride from outsiders, and tigers fighting for rights to a hunting ground. In Africa, the big cats of the savannah go head-to-head with their ultimate enemy — the hyena.


The Ultimate Predator

Premieres Sunday, Nov. 29, 10/9c

It is said that the lion is king of beasts, but is he alone? There are 41 species of cat — the embodiment of feline grace and power, spectacular top predators that command our respect. But who is The Ultimate Predator, the one to rule them all? They have a lot in common, including elegance, agility, strength, heightened senses, silent feet and the killer instinct. So which of them has what it takes to be a top cat — the giant tiger, the powerful jaguar, the speedy cheetah or the socialite lion? Tune in to find out and learn all about your favorite cats.


To finish up this amazing line up of programming, Nat Geo WILD will finish off the 10 Days of Thanksgiving on December 6, 2015 with Wild Yellowstone (9:00 EST/8:00 CST).

Wild Yellowstone

Finishing off Nat Geo WILD’s 10 Days of Thanksgiving with whole new look at Yellowstone, from the producers of “The Art of Flight.” Wild Yellowstone took two years to film and features cutting-edge film making, drone use, time-lapse and infrared technology to capture scenes that we’ve never seen before. The film kicks off a cross-network 100th anniversary celebration of America’s national parks. The series continues on National Geographic Channel with 8 hours of programming throughout 2016. The two-hour event includes a visit in summer and in freezing winter, an extraordinary world of fire and ice, ever changing and always testing its animal inhabitants.

Yellowstone National Park is one of our countries great parks that I would love to visit someday.

There are actually two episodes airing back to back. One is called Frozen Frontier and the other is called Grizzly Summer. I had the opportunity to view both of them.

Warning… you’ll need a cup of hot cocoa (or two!) when watching Frozen Frontier. Brrrr!!! I’m amazed that living creatures can survive such harsh conditions.


Grizzly Summer does feature a lot of bears, but it also touches upon other creatures that call Yellowstone home. It shows how their lives are in the Spring/Summer months after a long, harsh winter.

I would not recommend either episode for young children. There are several cases of animals being hunted down and killed by other animals for food, fighting and animals eating other animals.

It’s amazing to think that all of this happens in one state park. Yellowstone seems as big as a country – not a park.

These are must see specials. Be sure to mark your calendar or set your Tivo so you don’t miss out.

For more information about these and other Nat Geo WILD programs visit NatGeoWild.com. You can also check them out on Facebook (NatGeoWILD) and Twitter (@NatGoeWild).

Will you be watching any (or all) of these shows? Which one sounds the most interesting to you? Be sure to leave a comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Nat Geo Wild Logo


*I received free screeners and other goodies from Nat Geo WILD in order to do this review and in exchange for this post. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Hisense Chromebook – Perfect Holiday Gift




If you are around my age (forty-something) you’ll no doubt remember the computers that were available for home use back in the earl-to-mid 90’s. They were huge – and by huge I mean HUGE!

I had an old IBM computer my dad got from work (he worked for the company). It was massive. I could barely movie it. The screen looked like a television and the computer part was so big and heavy that I needed help moving it.

Mine was similar to the one pictured above – complete with slots for the floppy discs. The screen was black with only a tiny green dot (or green text). You couldn’t “Google” anything or even see photos. Even printing stuff out looked awful.

We’ve come a long way (thankfully). Now we have computers that are utlra-light and easy to tote around to work, school and play. Some are even small enough to wear on your wrist. The technological advances in the past 20 years blows my mind. I cannot even begin to imagine what advances the next 20 years will bring.

I like how the price point for computers has dropped dramatically (for most brands anyway). I remember when laptops were $3,000. Now you can get decent laptops for under $200.

I still remember when my kids were little and they wanted their own computer to play games on. Back then computers were still pricey. They are teenagers now and have their own computers (refurbished ones). We recently gave our daughter a new computer to help her with her college work. She needed something she could take with her anywhere she went to do homework and research on (and often watch Netflix).


Our daughter is using a Chromebook from a company called Hisense. Up until now I have never heard of the brand, nor has my husband and he’s a computer tech.

Hisense’s mission is to develop technological innovations that improve the lives of others. They want our customers to happily exclaim, “Life is better with Hisense.” For that reason they make it a point to provide consumers with the products they need at affordable price points. They want to make sure technology is accessible to everyone, not just for those with big bank accounts.

In addition, Hisense prides it’s self on providing quality products, excellent customer service and providing warranties to back up their products.

Hisense sent me their Chromebook to review.

The Hisense Chromebook is a tiny, lightweight, thin laptop computer (or some might call it a netbook). It does exactly everything my larger laptop does – just in a smaller, more portable package.

Hisense Chromebook 1

Here are some product highlights;

  • Weighs only 2.5lbs, is 19.5mm thin, features an 11.6-inch screen, boots up in less than 10 seconds, and has an 8.5 hour battery life.
  • The Chromebook is a new type of computer for everything you love to do. It’s easy to use, has virus protection built-in, and keeps going with a long-life battery, so you can, too.
  • Chromebooks are automatically kept up-to-date, so you’ll always have the latest virus protection, along with the latest features like Voice Search. Best of all, your Chromebook won’t slow down over time.
  • Chromebooks stay synced with your Android phones & tablets, and everywhere you’re signed in with your Google account – so your stuff stays with you, even when your laptop doesn’t.
  • No setup is needed. Just log in with your Google account and enjoy. No long load times, just flip it open and get busy doing anything other than waiting. And with a long-life battery, you can leave your charger at home.
  • Switching between accounts is a snap, so you can easily share your Chromebook without anyone else messing with your stuff. 
  • Chromebooks keep Gmail, Maps, Docs and pics safely stored in the Cloud, so a laptop spill really is just a laptop spill. In addition,100 GB of FREE Google Drive storage is available for two years.

We gave the Hisense Chromebook to our daughter for her college work. She is able to put it in her bag and take it to school with her. It doesn’t weigh her down. She uses it in between classes to do research or to help her with her classwork (she has big gaps in between classes). She tells me this has been a huge help to her. Not only does she have the information right there when she needs it, but she’s also been able to get a lot of work done during her gaps between classes so she doesn’t have to wait until she gets home and work on it all night. With another laptopt she couldn’t do this. It would be more for her to carry and the battery life wouldn’t last as long (she charges it when she gets home in the evening after work).

Hisense Chromebook 2

“We know parents want to make sure their children are fully equipped for the school year, including having a computer at their disposal,” said Jerry Liu, CEO of Hisense USA.  “The Hisense Chromebook gives parents the peace of mind that their child has all of the necessary tools for learning while not breaking the bank.”

That’s the great thing about the Hisense Chromebook – it DOESN’T “break the bank.” You can find the Hisense Chromebook at Walmart (and Walmart.com) for $130 – $150 (currently I see it on their website for $134). Think about it – how many laptops are available for you at that price point? Hardly any, if at all. That makes the Hisense Chromebook a great holiday gift option, especially for a child who has been begging you for his/her own laptop/computer.

The Hisense Chromebook is made very well. You would think for the low price point it would be cheaply made. I personally don’t think so. I thinks it’s very well made. I have another small laptop (different brand), which starts off at $550, and the Hisense one compares nicely to that one. You would think the Hisense cost as much as the other one.

When they say quick start up they were not kidding. This Chromebook boosts up in mere seconds. My laptop takes at least 3 minutes to boot up. When I get up in the morning I turn my laptop on and go and make my coffee so that when I come back it’s finally booted up.

Hisense Chromebook 3

This is a Chromebook which uses Android apps. It’s NOT a Windows computer. For some (like me), that takes a little getting used to. Kids and teenagers adapt to technology a lot quicker than adults do.

I’m not sure how well this Chromebook fairs with games, but I do know it works well for all my daughter’s needs, and she can watch Netflix on it so she’s happy.

If your child/grandchild has been begging you for their own computer, or if you have a teen in college, the Hisense Chromebook would make an excellent holiday gift. This Chromebook would also make a great gift for anyone else on your holiday shopping list.

If you would like to learn more about Hisense please visit Hisense-USA.com/Chromebook. Hisense also makes other fine products including televisions and appliances.

What do you think about the Hisense Chromebook? Does it sound like something you would like for yourself? Would you consider giving one as a gift? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Hisense Chromebook


*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Just 5 more minutes Mom…


Alarm Clock

Stall tactics… we’re all guilty of it. I know I certainly am – especially when it comes to cleaning. I love a clean house but hate to clean. I’m always finding other things to do instead of tackling the tasks I need to do.

Kids are the masters of stall tactics. Whether it’s doing chores, homework or going to bed… they are full of excuses which delay the inevitable.

Take my teenage daughter for example. She goes to college full time and works part time. She hangs out with friends on occasion and sees her boyfriend on Thursday afternoons and all day Saturday (when she’s not working). She uses these things as excuses as to why she can’t keep her room clean. She has laundry piled up on top of her dresser and clothes all over the floor and I have no idea what could be lurking under her bed. Whenever we ask her to clean the room she always finds some way to stall. Her usual reasons are she has homework or she’s too tired. Really? Right now, as I write this, she’s lying in her bed texting. She’s been up since 9:30 AM (EST) and she doesn’t leave for school today until 1:00 PM. Now is a perfect time to clean the room but I know if I insist she does she’ll say she has to take a shower, go to the gym, study, finish up homework or any other excuse she can come up with to stall having to clean the room. Ugh!

Sleeping Child

My kids are teenagers now so they know the consequences of not getting a good night’s sleep. We used to insist on a 10:00 PM bedtime (ideally 9:00 but once they hit high school that didn’t work anymore). I tell them at 10:00 I’d like the TV off, phones put away, music turned off and lights out. Usually this all happens (finally) around 11:00 PM. They employ the usual stall tactics… they are thirsty, they need to finish up homework, there is something good on TV they can’t miss, they are not tired, or the use this time to tell us about something that happened when they were at school/college and/or work – stuff that could have been told to us at the dinner table. Oh yeah! I forgot about the infamous “I need something signed for school” tactic where they take a half hour to find it. Ugh!

They have been fighting their bedtime since they were little. I even used a system my mom set in place for me which didn’t work.

My mom had a rule that for every minute past my bedtime that I was not in bed with the lights out I would have to go to bed 5 minutes earlier the following day. That meant if I was in bed 5 minutes after my bedtime I’d have to go to bed 25 minutes earlier the following night. I learned my lesson real quick when I ended up having to go to bed about 40 minutes earlier because I stalled the night before. Oddly enough, this method didn’t work with my kids. They would continue to stall even when they were forced to go to bed earlier.

One idea I recently learned of is letting you kids do something for 5 minutes and then after that it’s lights out no matter what. This could be reading a book or maybe even watching a few minutes of television. I know what you are thinking – how can you stop a child watching TV after five minutes. That’s easy – let them watch a 5 minute show. There are some to be found on Netflix.

Netflix and DreamWorks Animation launched Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites, new episodes of the latest hit, all in a nice little 5-minute package.

5 More MInutes

I like the idea of 5 minutes of a fun television show then it’s lights out. Netflix has many other popular children’s shows and movies this could work with. Simply set up a timer and allow your child to watch only 5 minutes then the TV is turned off and it’s lights out. You can even sit and watch with your child to make sure the follow the rules.

I kind of like this idea because if it’s a show/movie your child really likes they will be anxious to get to bed just so they can watch five minutes of it. If I was a child and my mom did something like this with me I would look forward to bedtime just so I can watch a little bit of my favorite show/movie. This is an ingenious idea.

Netflix has so many great options like Disney favorites (the Disney Short Films Collection would be a great choice), Clone Wars, Penguins of Madagascar, Girl Meets World, King Julien, Popples, Callious, Super Why and Goosebumps – just to name a few.

Some new movies and shows are coming to Netflix which would make great options too.

New on Netflix

For more information about Netflix, or to check out what films and shows they have to offer, visit Netflix.com. You can also check them out on social media.

What tactics do you use to prevent your kids from stalling when it comes to going to bed at night? Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section of this post with what worked, or didn’t work, for you.

How do you feel about letting a child watch 5 minutes of their favorite show/movie every night in order to encourage them to get to bed at a specific time? Would you try that with your child/grandchild? What movie/show do you think they would be excited to watch?

To see what ideas others have check out the hashtag #5MoreMinutes on social media.



*I was not compensated for this post. I receive a free membership and goodies in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Halloween costume ideas inspired by popular television programs


Halloween costumes

I miss my kids being little. They are both teenagers now. My son has no interest in Halloween anymore and our daughter only wants to get dressed up for a Halloween party with her boyfriend and friends. Gone are the years of trying to come up with fun and creative Halloween costume ideas for the kids.

I used to love going trick-or-treating when I was a little girl. Back in the day we wore those plastic masks and capes that came in boxes. If you are forth-something year old like me, I’m sure you recall the costumes I am referring to. The plastic mask went on your fact with holes cut out for your eyes. They attached to your head with a very thin piece of elastic.

The best Halloween costume I ever wore was inspired by the film Mommy Dearest. My best friend dressed up as Joan Crawford. She work a long, black, velvet evening gown and a lot of rhinestones. She looked like she was about the walk the red carpet. I dressed up as Christina, her daughter. I wore a little girl’s dress and carried a wire clothes hanger and a bottle of Ajax (if you saw the movie you know why). Talk about creative. LOL!

Over the years my kids have worn some fun costumes. One year a friend of mine made the kids costumes. My daughter was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and my son was Winnie the Pooh. She made my son’s costume too “fluffy.” His tummy was so fluffy that he could barely walk. We had to “de-fluff” him a bit.

Winnie the Pooh


Unbeknownst to me my sister dressed my nephew up as the Tin Man and my niece as a dog. It was fun to see Dorothy and the Tin Man trick-or-treating together.

These days I see A LOT of costumes inspired by popular television shows and movies.

Gina Lee, who is a wife, mom and photographer, created some fun Netflix-inspired costumes. They are so easy to make too. You probably have most of the items you need already in your home.

#StreamTeam Halloween costumes

Inspector Gadget


Do you need more inspiration?

Look to these Netflix favorites.

Halloween Costume Inpiration 1

Speaking of Netflix, if you are looking for some scary Halloween entertainment don’t forget to check out Netflix’s Horror movie section. They have plenty of spine tingling films to jump start your heart and get  you in the mood for some frightful fun. They even have some creepy series like American Horror Story: Freak Show and iZombie to get you in the Halloween spirit.

For me you can’t beat the classics like Scream, Children of the Corn and the Halloween films.

For the younger members of your family you can find non-scary Halloween entertainment on Netflix such as Curious George: A Halloween Boo-fest, A Magic Puppy and Children’s Favorites: Halloween Treats.

To check out what else Netflix has to offer visit Netflix.com. You can also find the brand on social media.

Don’t forget to check out what is new on Netflix too.

New on Netflix

What Halloween costume is your child wearing this year? Are you getting dressed up in costume too? Have you or your child ever worn a costume inspired by a television show or movie?



*I was not compensated for this post. I receive a free membership and goodies in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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When Calls The Heart: Follow Your Heart


When Calls the Heart Follow Your Heart

Now available on DVD is feature length film, When Calls The Heart: Follow Your Heart. It’s based on the popular Hallmark Channel series by the same name.

If you read my blog on a regular basis you might recall that I did a series of posts for When Calls the Heart a few months ago during season two. Season three will premiere in February 2016.

When Calls the Heart was inspired by the best-selling books by author Janette Oke. The series is produced by Michael Landon’s son, Michael Landon Jr.

When Calls the Heart tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young woman of privilege, working as a teacher in a prairie town in the Western Frontier.   In the season finale’ Jack distracts himself with work while he and Elizabeth try to decide their future.    Elizabeth’s doubts take a new turn when she realizes the danger Jack faces each day as a mounty in the wild Canadian frontier.

When Calls the Heart: Heart and Soul is a feature length film from the episodes of the When Calls the Heart television series.  Season two of the When Calls the Heart television series debuted on the Hallmark Channel to more than 2 million viewers.   Distributed by Word Entertainment, previous DVD’s are available to purchase in Christian Retail.

From celebrated author Janette Oke (The Love Comes Softly series) comes a rigorous and romantic adventure as epic as the wide frontier. Erin Krakow (Army Wives), Daniel Lissing (Eye Candy), Jack Wagner (Melrose Place) and Lori Loughlin (Full House, 90210) star in When Calls The Heart, “a beautiful story with roots in relationships, self-empowerment, and the enduring power of love” (Common Sense Media). While Jack and Elizabeth’s relationship has cooled following their arguments in Hamilton, Jack is hot on the trail of a counterfeiter right in Hope Valley! When he finds the culprit, a two-fisted brawl ensues as Jack apprehends the man. Seeing Jack in danger prompts Elizabeth to confront her feelings and seek him out… but she inadvertently sets Rip, Jack’s dog, loose at the same time. As a violent storm bears down on Hope Valley, Jack and Elizabeth search for Rip and take shelter in an old mineshaft together. But the storm won’t be escaped so easily, and the unstable shaft begins to collapse…

Here is a trailer for your enjoyment.


Look for When Calls the Heart: Heart and Soul where ever DVDs are sold.

Are you a fan of the series and/or the movies? Do you have a favorite character or story line? Feel free to share your thoughts.

When Calls the Heart Hallmark Channel


*I received a free screener copy. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Christmas! Available today DVD


Turtles Christmas

When I think about the holiday season I think about spending time with family and friends, decorating, holiday music, presents, stockings, candy canes and Santa. The LAST thing that comes to mind is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Guess what? The turtles now have a holiday DVD. Can you believe that?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Christmas, is available today, October 13, 2015, where most DVDs are sold.

There is good and evil hiding in the shadows of New York City and the Turtles are ready to spread Christmas cheer to their allies, and fear in their enemies, in the new DVD Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Christmas!This Yuletide adventure includes three episodes from the classic 2003 series and is sure to make a perfect stocking stuffer for both the naughty and nice Turtles fans! Created by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Christmas! is available on DVD October 13, 2015 for the hot, bargain price of $9.99.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Christmas!Episodes:

  • The Christmas Aliens
  • The Way of Invisibility
  • Fallen Angel

This DVD has a run time of 65 minutes.

What do you think about the idea of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles holiday DVD?

This would make a great holiday gift/stocking stuffer for the TMNT lover on your holiday shopping list.



*I received a free copy in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influence in any way. 

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