September 30, 2009

Old Navy, Baby

As a self-described shopping frugalista, I love me a good deal!  Yes, I routinely give thanks to the denim Gods for giving me my Sevens & David Kahn’s, and down right crave another pair of Uggs or a new Juicy tracksuit.  However, “in these uncertain economic times”, it has become less of an option and more of a must that I shop with savings in mind.  Which is why I heart Old Navy.  You can truly find some very cute tops, tees, sweaters, and even workout gear!  The cost of course can’t be beat, and at those prices it’s absolutely no biggie if the clothes only last one season.  Personally I haven’t had much luck there with pants over the years (just capris), and I definitely sometimes walk out empty-handed.  But, most of the time it’s worth it to stop in and take a gander.  And don’t EVEN get me started on their girl’s toddler clothes!  So cute!

All this is to say, that Old Navy has this fabulous web site where they offer in-store coupons on a weekly basis.  It’s a little bit like a treasure hunt, wherein you have to click around and find the hidden coupons (each valid for only 1 week).  The site has taken on a huge following and the most valuable coupons  (like $50 off $100 purchase) are literally gone within seconds of  it being updated with new deals, which usually happens sometime in the wee hours between Thursday late night and Friday early am.  Seriously, hundreds of women across the country hover over their laptops every week at ungodly hours, just waiting until that refresh button reveals a spankin’ new web page.  As I don’t have quite that much dedication, by the time I check things out on Friday late morning, I usually end up with a $10 off $50 or 25% off total purchase.

So, if you didn’t know about this wonderful little gem already (surely most of you are totally in-the-know), then by all means….GO FORTH & CLICK TO YOUR HEARTS CONTENT!  Your husbands will thank me :)

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September 28, 2009

A Blog Award, for Moi?


I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon to see that Momma Such over at Raising My 4 Sons was sweet enough to bestow upon me the BEST BLOG AWARD!  How awesome is that (for a newbie like me)? ?  If you’re a fan of reviews, giveaways, and delightfully charming musings on life as a mommy of 4 (yes 4!) boys, then by all means, go check her out!  Thanks lady!

If you’re new to blog awards:  they’re given out from bloggers here and there, in various shapes and sizes, and are a fantastic way of  not just calling out some fabulous bloggys, but also of connecting with new & interesting peeps across the blogosphere!   Who doesn’t love that?!

So, the Best Blog Award rules are as follows:

1.  To accept the award, post it in your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.

2.  Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have recently discovered and think are great!  Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here we go……

September 25, 2009

Tylenol Recall


Is it me, or are we getting inundated these days with recalls of various nature?  I subscribe to a notification email from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that alerts me every time an item is recalled in this country.  No joke, I get at least 2 or 3 emails a week, sometimes with lists of more than 5 items.  Anyway, I guess as consumers & parents we have no choice but to take these notices seriously, especially when they relate to children’s products.

So I saw this morning that Tylenol has recalled 21 children’s and infant’s liquid medications.  Here is a brief excerpt explaining the issue: 
In a written statement, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Tylenol's manufacturer, said it detected bacteria in an inactive ingredient. While that ingredient was not used in any packaged final products, it was produced at the same time as those products.
In consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, McNeil, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson (JNJ, Fortune 500), decided to "recall all product that utilized any of the raw material manufactured at the same time as the raw material that tested positive for the bacteria" as a precaution, adding that "the likelihood of a serious medical event is remote."
According to McNeil's statement, scientific literature about the bacteria suggests that ingesting a contaminated pharmaceutical product orally doesn't trigger an infection, but use of products such as a nasal spray with the bacteria has lead to infections.

To see a complete list of products, go here.

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September 24, 2009

Random Randomness

My brain is a bit scrambled today…so to honor my current state of mind, here are some stray thoughts for the day.

1. Yo Gabba Gabba – I mean seriously, what the hell is this show supposed to be about?  It has got to be the most bizarre, pointless children’s programming I have ever seen. 

2. Although I’m not completely challenged when it comes to all things related to housekeeping, I’m certainly no domestic diva (as my husband will attest) and have a tough time finding the inspiration to scrub a toilet.  I simply HATE cleaning, and find my daily/weekly  chores as a dutiful housewife (just threw up a little bit in my mouth while typing that part) to be less than joyous.  But, I do them….it comes with the part where I play the stay-at-home mama, right?  So what if I sometimes have to wash a load of laundry twice because I forgot about it when it was done and after sitting for 24 hours it had a bit of wet dog smell to it!

3. Peanut butter & chocolate, together, in various concoctions of deliciousness…..need I say more??

4. Modern Family = hilariousness……….Cougar Town,  not so much!

5. Last year I discovered that Clarks now makes baby & toddler shoes (or at least they are newly available in the US) and that they are absolutely adorable!  We just bought 2 pairs there for the peanut, including these Gore-tex sneakers…..I mean, how cute are they????


That’s all…..for now!

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September 23, 2009

A Few Of My Favorite Things

I’m in a giving mood……so, for those living in the Southeastern PA suburban Philly area, I thought I’d dish out some blog love and share a few places that make my little corner of the world a bit easier to enjoy.

1. Limoncello Restaurant – It’s no secret that the hubby and I always appreciate great Italian food, and that is exactly what you’ll find at this little gem located in downtown West Chester.  Every item on their menu is absolutely delish, and the rustic & charming dining room/bar area provides for a great atmosphere, even when just stopping in for drinks.  And who knows, you just might run into Cole Hamels (pitcher for the Phillies) there, who’s been known to stop in from time to time.

2. Salon 926 – My FABULOUS hairdresser!   As I’m sure most ladies who care an ounce about their hair will agree, finding someone who will give you a great cut that you actually like & can re-create is like finding the holy grail…it’s certainly not easy, and once you do, you will travel limitless miles to get there.  Not only do I get stopped at least once a week by someone who compliments  me on my hair & wants to know where I go, but Kerri (who owns the salon) was the only stylist EVER to have carried me through the pains of growing out a pixie cut with relative ease, simply because she’s that good (now if that isn’t an indication of a talented coiffeur, then I don’t know what is)!  Of course, the rest of her staff is just as phenomenal!

3. ACAC Fitness Center  -  Trust me when I tell you that once you enter this place, you will never want to look at another gym ever again.  We spend most mornings there, and it has become an essential part of my (social) life.  Besides the obvious exercise classes (which include body pump, boxing, kettle bell, cycling,  yoga & pilates), cardio and weight training equipment, what really sold us were the extra perks……1. the outdoor waterpark & activity pool that can be used year round 2. the cafe where you can enjoy smoothies, salads, paninis, and lattes 3. the spa (think massages and facials) 4. the Kids Zone, where children are not just simply thrown into a day care area…but where, under structured supervision, they can do arts & crafts, play games & run around in a large arena,   jump on a moonbounce, or maybe even cook pancakes!  I gotta’ say, getting into shape is a heck of a lot easier when you not only enjoy the classes, but get to relax with coffee & friends afterward.

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September 20, 2009

Joining The Twitter Revolution

I never thought I’d actually say this, but I joined Twitter today!  For months and months I’ve been swearing up and down that I wouldn’t jump on the Twitter bandwagon, that I don’t get what the hype is all about, that the whole thing IS SIMPLY RIDICULOUS!   Alas, as I tend to do, I could no longer ignore the roar of the masses… addition to the many sites that insist twittering is simply a must for any blogger.  So, check out my cute little Twitter button in my sidebar and it will take you directly to my home page.  

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September 18, 2009

Fightin’ Phils

On Wednesday evening the hubby and I took our big girl to her very first Phillies game and I gotta’ say, it was a ton of fun!  The peanut had an absolute blast and just loved taking in all the sights – the fantastic crowd (which was pleasant that night…no beatings, thank you very much), the beautiful stadium, the yummy food (all I can say is: Tony Luke’s cheesesteak & crab fries), and last but certainly not least, THE PHILLY PHANATIC!  If you have no idea who that is, then I guess I should introduce you to the FUNNIEST & MOST LOVED mascot in the MLB!

I’m not quite sure what he actually is (don’t think most fans do either), but his antics between innings and during various parts of the game are quite funny.  Phillies fans just love when he dances on top of the dugout & shakes his huge belly, or when he taunts the visiting team’s players, or when he performs all sorts of stunts driving around in the outfield on his quad.   He often plants big kisses with his large snout on everyone from players to coaches to fans.  And of course, the kids ADORE him.  Naturally, we couldn’t leave the game without buying Miss E her very own stuffed Phanatic toy!

[I do have to throw in a little side comment here:  the prices at these games are just RIDICULOUS!  Between the parking, food, drinks and any extras, it’s easy to spend at least $100 or more in just a few short hours.  I mean, come on…..$7 for one beer??  Never mind the dough you typically have to shell out for decent seats!]

Good Lord, I just looked at the time….this mama needs to get some much needed beauty sleep!  But before I shut down the engines, here’s a funny clip showing the big green guy doing what he does best – bustin’ some moves and entertaining the crowd!

The Philly Phanatic Gettin' Down!

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September 15, 2009

My Name Is Mama And I’m A Shopaholic!

So, I love to shop…it’s no secret.  I come from a long line of shoppers (well, just my mom, but she taught me all I know!).  I always seem to be in dire need of basically an entire new wardrobe each season (really, it’s true).   If I had unlimited funds for clothing & shoes, I think I could honestly go shopping almost every single day of the week…no problem. Sadly though, ‘unlimited’ is definitely not the word my husband let’s me I am able to associate with my couture finances.  The hubby has recently put me on restriction when it comes to these matters and advised I use some [much] restraint.  His burdened groan was clearly audible as I notified him last week that I wouldn’t mind a new pair of Uggs for my upcoming birthday, and did I mention my very serious NEED for a new pair of  brown boots to wear with a pair of Seven jeans that I know would fit me oh-so perfectly?!

Naturally, the peanut and I went to the mall today.  I was looking for a long sleeved tee to wear under my Phillies t-shirt  for tomorrow's game, since I didn’t have one at home that was suitable.  I ended up finding a great deal at H&M, where they were offering a buy 1 get one 50% off deal.  Yes, I now have 2 shirts (one of which is not a tee)…..but did I mention the great deal  being offered and at these prices, could I really pass this up?!   

But what I really wanted to point out is my child’s constant need to touch every single thing she sees while  strolling through various stores.  As I usually do, I repeatedly grumble ‘don’t touch that….please don’t touch that……for the love of GOD, don’t touch that!’  Clearly though,  toddler etiquette dictates this means to go ahead and do it even MORE.  And so today, as we were passing an unclothed mannequin in Macy’s, she instinctively reached out to touch it, inevitably aiming right for the plastic man’s, ah, crown jewels.  I giggled loudly and quickly pushed her along, hoping  nobody noticed.  Obviously  she didn’t direct her curious little hands there on purpose…’s just moments like this that continuously make me feel like I’m living out the ‘Dumb & Dumber’ movie.

Aaaahhhh….I could really use some good retail therapy!  *Sigh*

You can't resist my cuteness!

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Papa’s Girl

To congratulate her on a fabulous first day of school, Papa (that’s what my daughter calls him – it’s the German word for ‘daddy’….not to be confused with the ever popular Popop!) brought home 3 sunflowers for his little peanut yesterday.  I thought it was such a sweet gesture and really loved that  it made her feel just so special!   Of course, after the initial rush of sheer delight,  Miss E  quickly started demanding that ‘we have to go plant them outside…RIGHT NOW, PLEEEAASEE, so they can grow and we can have honey’ (yeah, not sure how or why she made that connection)….and I was all, whoa nelly…hold your horses….mama barely has enough energy at this moment to put them in a vase, never mind going outside to attempt the act of gardening (those who know me will tell you this is not something I am very good at, hence it doesn’t happen EVER)!


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Although his death was definitely expected, I have to admit I find it so sad to hear about the passing of Patrick Swayze.  Besides the fact that he seemed like such a sincere, down-to-earth human being (at least from what you can tell of someone through articles & interviews), the way he faced his illness despite what he knew was inevitably a death sentence, is truly admirable.

“Dirty Dancing” will forever be one of my favorite movies…at this point I must have seen it at least 50 times.   I don’t know what it was, but the whole story – handsome yet rugged dance instructor,  summers away in the Catskills, shy wallflower blossoms into an awesome dancer, young lust – just always stuck with me over the years.  I know, totally cheesy, but it’s true!

One memory I always recall is from what must have been the summer of 1988, I was 12 years old.  My best friend Lori & I had watched that movie over and over again.  We both had the soundtrack on cassette, and would listen to it on our walkmans (I believe mine was the bright yellow sports version) as we rode our bikes all over the neighborhood, round and round for hours.  We knew all the songs by heart and would sing them at the top of our lungs.   Boy does that seem like it was a lifetime ago….aahhh, good times!

don't forget it was water-proof too, for all that under water audio listening that might occur

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September 14, 2009

She’s Not A Baby Anymore!

My big girl ready for her first day of school!
Boy, it’s been busy around here the last couple of days – birthday party, shopping sprees for school clothes & shoes, Costco trip (one of my absolute favorite things to do), mama feverishly running around looking for a cute backpack (so bummed that Hannah Anderson was all sold out, but found one at Gap Kids)…..whew!   I will say though that at this point my daughter has quite a fabulous wardrobe and I am completely jealous!   And the shoes, THE SHOES….sooo cute.  Ugh, I SO need a new fall/winter wardrobe (in order to spare the hubby a coronary, let’s keep that on the down-low). 
So the little peanut’s first day of school was today and it went great!   She had no problems whatsoever and happily leapt out of the car when the teacher came out to get her.  To my surprise though, I found myself getting a little choked up as were waiting in car line and totally shed a tear or two as I headed out.  It was all good though…I continued the normal morning routine of going to the gym.  It was weird being there by myself, but also strangely liberating at the same time.  This is definitely going to be a learning experience for both of us!
All ready to go
I'm readyThat backpack is almost the same size as me!My teacher's helping me out of the car!

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September 10, 2009


So, my little peanut started dance class today and oh my – how CUTE are those tiny munchkins all hopping around in their ballet flats, tights (which inevitably bunch up around their feet no matter WHAT you do!), and leotards?!  Only bummer was that pretty much right after we got there the teachers asked all the mamas to take a hike since we’d be a distraction to our kiddos.  Makes sense…..except that most of us kinda wanted to watch from the sidelines at least on the first day, since the windows that look into the room from the little waiting area are almost completely blocked out (some of us spent most of the time squinting through little itty bitty openings and developing headaches behind our eye balls).   As a result, I hardly got any pictures since I had expected to take most of them during the actual class…all I was left with were a couple of pre-class poses and those I quickly snapped as we were all being ushered out (while all the kids were still SITTING).  Needless to say, they’re not the best pics.  Oh well, guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

And just for good measure, check out the glorious rainbow we saw tonight.  The other end was visible too…now if only we could have found that elusive pot of gold!


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September 9, 2009

What the Dealio, Part Deux for 9/9

Often, when I’m in the car, my mind starts to wander aimlessly about anything and everything.  So, today we were coming back from buying ballet shoes (yes, mama waited until last minute to do this) and a very random memory entered my scrambled brain as Miss E was squeaking on about starting dance class and “sometimes girls dance with boys” ….wait, what was that?  Anyway, that triggered a thought about how when I was in junior high school, each year part of the oh-so- brilliant phys-ed curriculum included a month or two of SQUARE DANCING!   Four couples per square, dancing around, set to music, for an entire hour…..I shit you not!!  This was a public school, in an award-winning school district.

Now, no matter how weird that may seem, what really impacted my already troubled teenage existence is how unbelievably torturous this whole thing was.  See, I was not one of the pretty, popular, cool girls….I was the geeky girl with braces & glasses who was the clear definition of UN-COOL!  And so, when in the beginning of each class the somewhat masculine female gym teacher (who was also the hockey get my drift) asked us to choose a partner, my entire body filled with dread & terror.  The popular girls of course immediately paired off…..and then waited with empathetic boredom as girls the likes of me stood there, humiliated that I wasn’t exactly the top choice for the rest of the boys.  And then I had to actually touch hands with my less-than-desirable partner. …eeek.  What the hell were those school administrators thinking?

On a side note, this also reminded me that a few years earlier in elementary school, also in gym class, we were taught a line dance to the song “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang and practiced this for several weeks as part of their educational program.  WTF??

Hmmm, this is starting to answer some questions for me…..

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What The Dealio?

I’m starting something new here at EllaBellaMozzarella that I hope to turn into a weekly post…..oh hell, knowing my SLIGHT tendency to procrastinate this may very well turn into a monthly thing!  Anywho, sometimes I may just want to rant/rave/blubber on incoherently about something I observed that day, the week before, or even last Christmas.   That’s when I’ll add a quick line or two and lovingly title it “What The Dealio?”

920576_29600173 So, ok, seriously….why do celebrity mamas always look so fabulous when they are pregnant?  They seem to radiate a vibe that practically screams “I’VE NEVER FELT SO GREAT IN MY LIFE!”.  Never mind the fact that they have this whole mama sexy-glam look about them as they either wear the cutest maternity clothes you’ll ever see or (*gasp*) parade around the beach in a bikini.  After viewing the following link today, I am convinced if you were to look up that whole “pregnancy glow” thing in a dictionary, this is what you would see:

I only WISH I could have felt this wonderful while I carried a baby for 10 months!  Instead, as the days went by and the pounds piled on, all I felt like was wearing sweatpants &  tees  while I tried to ignore the growing list of  issues (swollen feet, stretch marks, back pain, the inability to stop the steady flow of sugary/sweet /bad-for-you goodies entering my mouth)  Bikini?  NO THANK YOU!

September 7, 2009

Support the Cause

Thought I’d point out that I added two new items to my sidebar today to support a very important cause - cancer research..….just keep scrolling down and you’ll see them.  We all know cancer sucks.  In fact it sucks ass!   In this day & age everyone knows someone who’s been effected by this terrible, rotten disease.  Through much hope, research, donations and support we can only hope to one day completely free ourselves from it’s grasp.

OvarianCancerResearchFund1 The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund - an extended family member was diagnosed with Stage III Ovarian Cancer just about 1 year ago.  After surgery & chemo, today she is doing well and looking fabulous.  But her battle is certainly not over and continues on.

4337_79156448290_78199508290_1628541_779242_n The Noreen Fraser Foundation’s mission is to fund ground-breaking women’s cancer research.  What I like about this is that it encompasses all cancers affecting women & focuses directly on reducing the rate of women cancers.

All you have to do is click on either sponsor’s icon below and you can help…all for FREE!

September 5, 2009

This Sucks!

Wow, I knew the aftermath of Skye’s passing would be difficult…..but this is freakin’ HARD!  I miss her so much it hurts.  As I look around my house I am constantly reminded of her.  I couldn’t even go in to our laundry room this morning (which is where she had her litter box and food & water dishes) without feeling like I couldn’t breathe.  So, while I was out for a few hours this afternoon (getting my hair cut – just the kind of therapeutic outing I needed today), I asked my hubby to throw out all that stuff for me.  He’s not nearly as emotional as I am, so I know he’s not able to completely understand where I’m coming from…but he’s trying.  Last night he ran out to pick up Chinese takeout for us and came back with some additional goodies for me – chocolate peanut butter cups, peanut m&m’s  and liquor…..what can I say, the man knows the keys to my heart! 

But what’s really having an impact is the QUIET that’s now in this house – I’m missing all the quirky little noises she made (purring, chirping, meowing), the soft padding of her feet on the linoleum floor as she walked to her litter box, the crunching when she ate her food, the floor creaking slightly as she walked in & out of our bedroom.   Even in her advanced illness, she would still always sense me as I walked around and would follow my every move.  I miss my little shadow :(

Guess I didn’t really end this chapter yet, as I said in my previous post.  Oh well, we’ll have to just play this one by ear….I’ll try to be a little more cheery tomorrow.

September 4, 2009

It’s Done – The Day After

I wasn’t sure I would even be able to write a post today, but I feel the need to sort of end this chapter (at least in the blogosphere) with some final thoughts. 
Last night was unbelievably hard.  It sucked….it still sucks!  I am incredibly sad and handling it the best I can (which is really not that well).  I was alright up until we left for the vet and then of course once we were in the room I fell apart.  Holding her, comforting her, watching her drift away…..I will have memories of these final moments for the rest of my life.  It was not easy seeing her so helpless (don’t think I’ve ever sobbed so hard in front of someone I wasn’t close to), but I am SO thankful that I could be there for my little Skye.  I can hold on tightly to the belief that she was peacefully at ease in my arms and knew just how much I love her.
So, now time moves on and it will get easier.  Maybe some people out there won’t get how I could be this upset.  But they will never know the unconditional love, companionship, and joy that my Skye brought me for over 11 years.
I hope she’s up there in kitty heaven now – jumping around, playing, chasing butterflies, and so very happy to be healthy & free of pain again!

September 3, 2009


IMG00112 (2)
As the hours tick by and our vet appointment draws closer, I am trying to feel more at peace with this whole decision…and surprisingly, I think I am because I KNOW this is what’s best for my kitty.  Of course, that’s not to say that I won’t be a complete mess in 3 hours &  balling my eyes out at the vet’s office.  The peanut and I stayed in today, spending some time with Skye, taking pictures, and saying goodbye in our own way.  I decided to go by myself, while the hubby stays home with Miss E.  As I look at Skye now, sleeping all cuddled up in my arm, I know that I will miss her greatly.  I hope so very much that when I head back home, empty cat carrier in hand, I can somehow feel at least empowered that I had the strength to face this.

Quick Tip

Received an email from Chick-Fil-A about a special promotion they are running on Labor Day – just wear your favorite sports team logo to any of their locations from 10:30 a.m. until close on Monday 9/7, and receive a FREE Chick-Fil-A Original Chicken Sandwich!  Not a bad deal…free is always good!  My hubby loves them, so you bet your tushie we’ll be headed to our local Chick-Fil-A on Labor Day!

September 2, 2009

Coming To Terms

Life is all about ups and downs, I know that.  Part of being an adult is to have the balls to face not just the positive, but especially the negative stuff that life throws at us.  I've been saying that a lot to myself today as I face a looming appointment tomorrow evening, when I'll be taking my kitty to the vet for the very last time.  But knowing all these things about life and facing reality still doesn't make this task any easier.  Skye has been sick for a long while, and has been progressively getting worse.  She is blind, has a permanent upper respiratory condition, and shows various signs of neurological damage (weakness in her hind legs, some trouble walking, possible senility) which most likely is attributed to cancer.  The senility part has been slowly worsening, where now she is literally up all night crying & meowing and nothing I do will completely comfort her.....I truly believe this is because she is just so very disoriented.   Although she's still eating, she is drinking & peeing like crazy (probably due to the continuous loss of kidney function) and is for the most part no longer grooming herself like most kitties do. 

I had made this same appt. a while back, only to cancel at the last minute.  I wasn't ready.  It has taken me several months to finally realize this is not about me at all.  And part of owning a pet is to give them that one final act of kindness when their quality of life just is no longer what it should be.  Now, I hope, I can start to feel more at peace with this decision and can finally find the courage deep within me to face this terribly sad a 33 year old woman/cat owner/grown adult.

It's time.

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September 1, 2009

The Answer We've All Been Looking For

A few months ago I found this wonderful link on youtube and think it just might make many of you mama's go "AHA, so that's how you do it!" right out loud.  It's a short video on HOW TO FOLD A FITTED SHEET.....I know, right???  That small task all of us face every time we wash our bed linens has always annoyed the crap out of me.  And now, finally, someone has shown me the way! 

You're welcome :)

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