Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turkey Trot 5k 2013...

...Thanksgiving morning, the G-Fam headed out the door to the Turkey Trot 5k. Last year, it was just AR and me and we didn't make it to the finish line. This year Matt joined us and I'm happy to say that we all crossed the finish line!
It was a chilly 25 degrees at our house so we all layered...and layered...and layered some more. I was worried about AR because she's anti-hats these days. It turned out to not be an issue. I had her in tights, a long-sleeve onesie, socks, hooded sweatshirt, her big, puffy winter coat, and a fleece blanket! Luckily, her hands stayed under the blanket so I didn't have to worry about her hands. She did so well the entire race, never fussing the whole three miles!
We arrived and parked quit FAR away from the starting line. We all finished putting on our extra layers, got AR settled in the stroller and headed to the race. Here's AR and me before the race (this would be such a cute photo if Daddy's finger wasn't in the way!).
Turkey Trot1
As we got close to the starting line, we heard the music start and runners take off! Luckily, we weren't the only ones still making our way to the start. Did I mention that almost 3,500 people ran this race? We jumped in and took off running.
My goals were to run and to finish sub-45. With 3,500 people, it was a lot of darting and dashing and running way too fast in the beginning. After the first turn, Matt took off his hat and tried to put it in the stroller. I saw it drop out so I picked it up. He got ahead of me at that point and then I was chasing them down.
When I finally caught up, I took off my earwarmer and jacket and stashed it in the bottom of the stroller. Matt and AR took off again and from that moment on, we were kind of split up. It wasn't nearly as cold once we started running. I would say that I probably ran and walked about equal parts.
Finally, about 200 meters out a runner, who had already finished, yelled to us that there was only three turns left and about 200 meters to go. This was nice since all I could see were massives of runners and there were no mile markers on the course. I didn't know how far 200 meters was, the size of a football field? Two football fields? I had no idea, but I decided I was going to run it all. Then I saw the finish line and that runner's kick I have turned on. I took off sprinting. About 50 feet from the finish line, I heard/saw a shadow of someone sprinting behind me so I ran even faster. Whew-done!
I definitely have learned that even though I'm working out every day, I still need to run if I plan on doing races. Matt and AR's final time was 37:48 and my time was 38:38! I'm pretty proud of my little running family!

Turkey Trot

Look Who Was at Our House!!!

...Santa! I found this awesome website,, which allows you to add Santa or Rudolph to any of your favorite holiday photos.

The owner of the site says, "Six years ago I wanted to surprise my kids with a picture of Santa Claus caught in the act in our living room, so I created Since then tens of thousands of visitors all over the world have used our web site to 'Catch Santa'. For this, we want to say "Thank You". And to celebrate our 5th year anniversary we'd like to invite you to catch Santa for FREE through December 10th. Plus, we're giving away an iPad Air and gift cards from Amazon, Visa, and Starbucks. Anyone can help spread the word and enter to win prizes valued at over $1,500. Thank you for sharing."

How awesome is that??? Visit the website and use the code #SantaShare to create as many photos as you can between now and December 10. Here's a pic of my little Elf with Santa watching her take a bite out of her table.

It was super easy to do! I uploaded the pic, chose the Santa of my choice, adjusted him to fit the picture, selected a border, and presto-Santa and AR in the same pic! Now, don't delay-go check out and share the fun with your friends. Be sure to thank @catchacharacter on Twitter!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Chocolate Check-In Week 13...

...Lucky 13, maybe I'll actually run this week! It's going to be a tough week with all the delicious Turkey Day food...

Friday, November 22-Boot camp, legs and it was a good one! We had measurements again. Since the last time, I'd lost almost ten pounds and since the start of boot camp (October 14), I've lost 19.8 which is a total of ??? pounds since the end of August.
Saturday, November 23-Rest day. Toddler Thanksgiving, ate too much, but it was so worth it!
Sunday, November 24-Rest day, ate too many leftovers!
Monday, November 25-Boot camp, so cold this am!!!
Tuesday, November 26-Another day of boot camp. I really should run sometime, huh?
Wednesday, November 27-Cold, cold day which made it hard to roll out of bed, but I made it for a fabulous day of core at boot camp.
Thursday, November 28-Turkey Trot!!! Blog post coming soon.
Challenge: On the edge of the couch, do 45 seconds of tricep dips 5 times/day.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie...

...I did it! I made a pumpkin pie from scratch! Well, not technically from scratch because I used two Pillsbury pie crusts. Close enough, ok? Surprisingly, it was REALLY easy! You can find the original recipe here.

First things first, we got out all the ingredients.
AR had to check out the spices. She was wondering what the heck allspice was!

1 cup sugar
1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
3 cups pumpkin puree
1.5 cans evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 deep dish pie crusts

After we had all the ingredients out, we put everything into a bowl and started mixing. AR was a bigger helper with this. Thank goodness these were only for my family!
Mix well using a hand blender or mixer.
Pour into pie crust (don't overfill like I did!)
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Turn temperature down to 350 and bake for another 45-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
Cool and gobble up deliciousness!

Well, I wasn't paying attention as I was scooping in the final little bite of pie filling into the crust and I overflowed the pan on the left-oops!
While we put the pies in to bake, I started putting things away and cleaning up. I looked over and saw my daughter literally licking the bowl...she is so my child.
Ta-da! The finished pie, oh and I made a pecan pie too. Just go ahead and call me Betty!

Black Friday Shopping...for the Hubby!

...Good Black Friday morning! I'm sure some of you are waiting in line, hopefully not freezing, waiting for your favorite store to open and find some great deals. While you wait, read today's guest post by Arianna from Arianna Knows Best. Happy shopping! FYI-I'm still in bed, snug as a bug!
Finding the Perfect Gift for Your Husband… and You!
If you are searching for ideas for holiday gifts for your husband this year, why not get him something that you can both benefit from? There are many gifts that fit this idea, so you are sure to find something that will be perfect for him.
If your loved one has been working hard all year and loves to travel, why not surprise him with a trip to somewhere tropical? Whether it’s a fancy trip to Miami or a low-key getaway to Hawaii, there are always deals to be found in the winter for vacations. You can have some quality couple time and can return home after your vacation relaxed and ready for the hustle and bustle of daily life!
Another unique gift idea that will benefit both is a subscription for a wine/beer of the month club. You both can enjoy this gift either during a romantic movie night or dinner at home. From international vineyards to a local winery, this gift will allow you to experience wine in ways you never did before. As a new bottle arrives every month, you may find a new variety that will become your new favorite wine!
Is your husband’s favorite striped tie starting to look a little frayed? Maybe take this as an opportunity to update his wardrobe ! Casually ask him what styles he likes to wear, as well as browse through his closet for inspiration. Buy him a nice suit jacket with a modern silhouette or a trendy, yet comfortable dress shirt. Not only will a new wardrobe give him a powerful ego boost in the office, but it will also spice up his date night looks as well!

If there is a new upscale restaurant in your area that has caught your eye, make reservations and celebrate the holidays with a romantic dinner. If your town has other holiday festivities as well, why not add these into your plans before? Catch an exclusive showing of a holiday play or watch a dazzling holiday lights parade. Not only will your husband enjoy a great steak dinner, but also you will get quality time without having to clean up! Adding in a holiday event before the meal might be a great way to start a holiday tradition that you can continue each year!
If you and your husband haven’t made exercise a priority this year, purchase a gym membership for the two of you. Not only will you both shed a few pounds, it’s a great way to spend extra time together after work or on the weekends. These are generally affordable programs, and many gyms also have extras such as a sauna or hot tub to help you relax after a hard workout!

Whichever option you choose, your husband is sure to appreciate any gift you give him this year. Take into consideration what he likes, then make sure it is something you both can use and appreciate. Ultimately, any chance to spend time together is the best gift of all!

Arianna_2012Arianna is a full-time mom and a fashion-lover, world traveler, animal lover, and family woman extraordinaire. She loves to cook and bake, travel to new places, share great fashion finds, and spend time doing crafts and projects at home with her kids. She’s got a crazy busy life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! Follow her blog at!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Toddler Thanksgiving Recap...

...Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends out there! In my opinion, the greatest blessings in life are friends and family. As you saw on my post Monday, this past weekend, we were able to have good times with AR's friends and my Mommy friends. Both of us truly appreciate the friendships we've made in the past 18 months! Mondays post was more for Pinterest and today is to recap all the fun we had!
After we filled our bellies, the kiddos took out every single toy, seriously, and went to town on having fun. I caught Dez in an action shot throwing a ball.
There were a few toys that received more attention than others. The first, which isn't really a toy, is the Cardinals rocking chair. AR was sticking close to me, unsure how all these kids in her house, which is not what she normally does. Anytime, the chair was open, she'd sneak in it and watch all the other kids.
This pig was a big hit with Emma, AR and Mac. They weren't keen on sharing the coins so I had to ration them out and they all enjoyed it. 
All the kids loved the slide!
Nick got in a tickle war with his mom and Cadence thought it was hilarious.
One by one, they all snuck away and we found them playing in AR's room! All the kids love Ms. Owl on the wall.
This was the apple turkey area. The kids all would put the Fruit Loops on until they realized they could just eat the Fruit Loops instead. Emma and Shadow were happy when the party was over, because I let them upstairs to clean up the floor.
It was naptime for everyone, if you can't tell by the look on the final threes face. Oh, except my kid who was all quiet and shy the whole time until it started to clear out and then she was raring to go!
My greatest blessing of all, my sweet AR! I'd go to the moon and back for you, sweet girl. Mommy loves you more than you'll ever know. OXXO (not the store!)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Cooked a Turkey!!!

...It was purely by accident. I'm lucky it was a turkey and not a chicken and I'm not even sure I can really say I cooked it since I put it in a crockpot. Either way, I'm taking credit for it and it turned out pretty awesome if I do say so myself!
Last Friday, I was at the grocery store looking for a four pound turkey breast to cook for Toddler Thanksgiving. I'm hanging out in the freezer section, trying to find the smallest one I can. I hold up what I think is a turkey and ask the guy stocking turkeys, "Do you have any smaller turkeys?" He looks at me and says, "That's a chicken." Oops!
I move to the section he tells me is turkey breasts. I'm digging through them looking for a 4 pounder and all I can find is eight. Sigh, well, I guess we'll go an entire week eating turkey. I get home, leave it in the sink to thaw and right before bed, around 9:30pm, I open what I think is just a turkey breast to discover it's a full on turkey with a bag of innards and everything!
I fill the bottom of my crockpot with water. Salt and pepper the monster, sprinkle French onion soup mix on top and dump on a stick of melted butter. I tried to put the lid on, but the turkey was too big so it just sat on top. I went to bed and hoped for the best.
I woke up at 4am to the aroma of Thanksgiving morning. I laid in bed and thought, hey, this might actually work out. When AR and I got up at 6:30am, I went in and we saw the juiciest bird sitting in our crockpot.
We turned it off around 8am (so 9:30pm-8am on low). Then around 10:30am, I pulled all the meat off the bird, put it back in the juices and let it warm until lunchtime at noon. It was ah-muh-zing! So juicy and moist, it was all that AR ate.
So there you have it folks, I cooked a turkey, on accident, and it turned out GREAT! Now here's a bonus recipe for you so you have a dish to go with it.
Crockpot Corn
2 large bags frozen corn
1 (8 oz) cream cheese
2 T. sugar
6 T. water
1 stick butter
Cook in crockpot 4 hours n low.  Stir and cook on high for 2 hours.
Gobble, gobble and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies...

...As I prepared last Friday for the big Toddler Thanksgiving, I had thawed an entire gallon bag of pumpkin puree. I only needed two cups for two loaves of pumpkin bread so I made another two loaves (that's four total). I was tired of washing the pans so I jumped on Pinterest to find another way to use up the last of the pumpkin. I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies over at What's Gaby Cooking. The recipe called for Greek yogurt, which is my new cooking ingredient so I started the batter ASAP. They turned out delicious! Very dense because of the Greek yogurt and not too pumpkinish, probably because I didn't have exactly a cup left, but I added a little pumpkin pie spice. Oh, and I also added Brewer's yeast, because I always add that to anything I bake.
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer combine the eggs and sugar and whisk for 3 minutes until it doubles in volume. Add the yogurt, pumpkin, and vanilla and blend until fully combined. Mix in the flour and then add the chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours.
  4. Once chilled scoop 3 tbsp scoops of the dough onto the baking sheets, 12 cookies per sheet. Bake for 16 minutes and remove from the oven. Let the cookies cool for a few moments on the baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat the process with any remaining dough.

This is the first recipe I've ever found that is exactly what it calls for. My cookies baked for exactly 16 minute and made almost exactly 24 cookies (I ended up with 27). 
Ta-da! The finished product. I thought they were pretty tasty and DH got to sample at least one.
Happy baking!

Ozeri Rev Digital Bath Scale Review...

...I was super stoked when I opened my new Ozeri Rev Digital Bath Scale! First off, I love it because it's digital and the numbers are huge. This means I don't have to squint or squat down to see what the number is. It's powered by batteries and when you replace them, it will auto-calibrate which is awesome! This means it'll be more accurate when I can easily read how bad I'm beating Matt in our weight loss challenge. It also means, that I can accurately know AR's weight rather than waiting until we go to the doctor. And if you're having a particularly fat day, it easily switches to kilograms to make you feel super skinny. :-)
This is our old scale. See how AR stands on the numbers and I can't read it. Plus, as soon as she steps off, the numbers are gone.
"Hi Mom! Try to read the scale, come on, I dare you!"
Here she is on the Ozeri Rev Digital Bath Scale. It's so easy for her to step on and look at those big numbers, easier for Mommy to read, too.
No worries if she steps on and hides the number, because when she gets off, it stays on so I can see it!

*I was provided this product free of charge, but my opinions are my own.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Toddler Thanksgiving...

...This past weekend, AR and I hosted the first Toddler Thanksgiving to celebrate the many friends she has been blessed with. I even cooked my very first turkey, purely by accident and we're lucky it wasn't a chicken, but that's another story for another day. On to the party, shall we?

I sent a quick FB invite out to her friends that read:

"Gobble, gobble! Join us for the First Toddler Thanksgiving at AR’s place. Bring your little Pilgrim or Indian with a big appetite to celebrate the friends we’re thankful for. Please sign up to bring a dish to share with the other kids and mommies. We do have one sweet potato allergy but other than that no known allergies. Lunch will be served around noon with crafts and games to follow!"

We hung a sign on the front door that read, "AR is thankful for..." and surrounded it by pictures of her friends that were coming to the party. At the end of the party, each mom took home the picture of their child.
I made a "Gobble, Gobble" banner for the window over the food table and bought orange balloons that I taped turkeys on. Each kid took home a balloon as well.
I had a smaller kid size table in the kitchen. One side had turkey apples and the other side had cardboard, clothespin turkeys.
A closer look at the cardboard, clothespin turkeys. I simply cut out a turkey body out of cardboard, drew on a face, and wrote "Thanksgiving 2013" on the back. Not sure that they'll see another Thanksgiving, but just in case. I bought regular wooden clothespins and dyed them orange, red and yellow with Rit dye. This was perfect for the kiddos, all mainly 18 months give or take, to practice their pincher grasps and fine motor skills.
This is the close-up of the apple turkeys. I had this in mind as a healthier dessert. I took an apple and put coffee stirrers around it. Each kid got a bag of fruit loops, again fine motor skills, to string them on or gobble up themselves. The face is a pumpkin marshmallow on a coffee stirrer and the gobble, or whatever that red thing is called, is licorice.
For the craft, I had already glued feathers made out of scrapbook paper on white cardstock. Each mom painted their kids foot brown and used a Sharpie to add on the eyes and legs. I bought red and orange fingernail polish, because I found it was easier, and less wasteful, to paint on the beak and gobble.
I didn't forget the mommas! I made them a take-home container filled with pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies. I used leftover scrapbook feathers to label them.
We all enjoyed a huge feast of turkey, cranberry salad, cheesy corn, mashed potatoes, fruit, macaroni and cheese, cookie cake and more. We pulled out all the toys and the kids played while the moms chatted after we all filled our bellies. It was a fun afternoon of friendship, but this momma was worn out by the end of the day! Anything for my AR, right? #lovemyAR

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cranberry Salad... seems as though cranberry is one of those must have dishes at Thanksgiving. I remember years of having a blob of canned cranberry sitting on a plate at the dinner table while everyone turned their nose up. When I was in college, one of my mom's friends brought over a delicious cranberry salad that has taken the place of the blobbed cranberry at the table. Now, we're fighting over who gets the last bite, because there's never any leftovers. I figured I'd share the recipe with you in case you, too, had a blob that sat on your table. I made some this past weekend for Toddler Thanksgiving and I'll make it again for actual Turkey Day. Note: This is an overnight recipe!

16 oz. pkg. cranberries, frozen
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 cup mini marshmallow
1 1/2 cup apples, diced (I use Granny Smith)
1 cup white grapes, halved
1 cup nuts, chopped
Rinse frozen cranberries under cold running water to wash off any loose stems.
Grind or chop frozen cranberries using a food process or BLENDER! I use my Magic Bullet.
Put chopped cranberries in a large bowl and add sugar.  Thoroughly mix by hand and refrigerate OVERNIGHT!
Before serving, whip the 1/2 pint of whipping cream in a separate bowl until peaks form. Usually Matt is in charge of this, but he was gone hunting so I pulled out the 'ole Kitchenade.
Here we are waiting for peaks to form. AR was sampling the grapes as we waited. I was lucky there were enough grapes to put in the salad!
Fold whipped cream into the cranberry-sugar mixture.

Add the marshmallows, apples, grapes, and nuts.

I mix the fruits first.
Then I add the nuts and marshmallows. I had the 'mallows sitting on the table the night before and AR saw them. I had to hide them, because she kept bringing them to me wanting to open them. She was so excited when I got them out to put in. She was a big helper though and stirring in the nuts before devouring the stack of marshmallows I put on the counter for her.
Finished product!
I let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours, but it's fine if you don't have time to do that. Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"AR The Good Friend" Book Review...

...I was asked to review a book from My Fairy Tale Books. They had a HUGE selection of books to choose from. I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one! I finally decided on "AR The Good Friend." When we got the book, I told AR that we were going to read a book about friends. What'd she do? Well, she grabbed her closest friends and sat down ready to read. She waited patiently with Ms. Monkey and her bestie in the frame ready for me to pick up the book and start reading.
It was cool, because it's personalized but not just with her name. It had a whole list of questions for you so that the child can really relate to the book. For instance, it asked the name of her school so I put down her babysitter's name. It also asked for two of friends names so I listed the two kids at the sitter's and it even asked for her favorite foods! After we read it, I took it to the sitter's so they could hear their names, too. Ms. Pam said the other kids loved it!

I was also able to put a dedication in the book so AR's reads, "May you always have good friends and be a good friend to others." I know at this age, it doesn't mean much to her, but hopefully as she gets older it will.
The only, and I mean only and it's so minuet it's not really worth mentioning but it's kind of funny, downfall is that the main character (AR) looks like a boy to me. See here, left hand page, red shirt. But it was such a sweet book and so personal that it didn't even matter.
As we were reading it, I said Mommy (yes, even I'm in the book!) and she laid down to give the Mama Bear a hug! My girl is so sweet, I love her so much!
The book we received was a hardback book, with bright pictures and easy words. It definitely kept AR's attention since I was calling out names she was familiar with. I'm sure this book will be added to our nightly routine!

I've been asked to do a giveaway for the book. This would be an excellent gift for your child to wake up to on Christmas morning.

Check them out on their website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't win, don't worry! Use coupon code XMAS2013 for a 10% discount on any product from My Fairy Tale Books! Good luck!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chocolate Check-In Week 12...

...Gearing up and getting excited for the Hot Chocolate 5k and the Ugly Sweater Run. They're both right around the corner! Life is getting hectic with work, holidays and a little one, but my plan is to keep working out 5 days/week.

Friday, November 15-Bright and early core day at boot camp!
Saturday, November 16-Rest day and I had to work.
Sunday, November 17-Rest day.
Monday, November 18-Core day at boot camp. Monday's are always hard to get going.
Tuesday, November 19-Leg day at boot camp.
Wednesday, November 20-Arm day at boot camp, if I have to do another push-up, I may scream!
Thursday, November 21-Core day at boot camp. Why do I feel like core day comes around much faster than the other days?
Challenge: Each morning when you get out of bed and each night before you got to bed, do two straight minutes of butt kicks.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Raking Leaves!!!

...Who knew raking leaves could be so much fun?! I had a Monday and I was irritable and tired by the time we got home. Matt had beat us home and was blowing leaves in the yard. As soon as AR got out of the car and saw her Daddy, she wanted down to play. It was a welcomed break so I headed inside to start dinner, change clothes and had a few minutes to just unwound. I looked outside and this is what I saw:
I grabbed my camera and headed outside. Daddy had given her a stick to let her "rake," she was being a big helper. Then Daddy showed her how to jump in the leaves. Check out that smile, she loved it!

Luckily, she's still little so her jumping and rolling around didn't mess up the pile too much. She played outside in the leaves for over an hour.
She did take a break though. This is where our driveway has settled so there's a little step down. AR thought it was a seat so she sat down and tried to do table after table after table...Ms. Hollie, her gymnastics teacher would be so proud!
We played in the last leaf pile and then swept them onto a tarp. Matt pulled one side, I pulled the other and AR rode in the leaves on the tarp. You should have heard her giggling, I loved it! The dogs were out in the backyard so when we got there, they ran up and gave her kisses which she loved.
She had so much fun that it almost makes me want to rake leaves every day....nah!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

AR "Is a Multicolor Kid" Book Review...

...AR and I were asked to review another book from FlattenMe. Of course we said yes because we loved "Owl Always Love You" so much! This time we were asked to review, "AR Is a Multicolor Kid."

It was a bright and colorful hardback book. As I stated in my other review from FlattenMe, the way AR's name was printed, it looked like it was specially written just for her.
She loved all the bright colors on each page. When I read it to her, I really emphasized each word and she loved it. She was clapping as I read.
I had brought her carseat in to put in my stepsister's car. Of course, she had to sit in it while we read it the first time.
The book describes characteristics by color. I love that it isn't your typical picture book yet it still captures her attention and she's anxiously turning the page to see what it holds for her.
My favorite was the orange page, not just because it's my favorite color. I think it represented her name very well because it reminds me of leaves on the ground.
After we read it once, we had to read it again but this time in Mommy's lap and AR turning all the pages on her own.
After we read it a few more times, I put it down so we could eat breakfast and get dressed. No sooner had we walked back into the living room, she found it and wanted to read it one more time!
AR even liked it when she read it upside down!

As you can tell from the photos, the book kept her attention and she loved looking at the pictures! I'd definitely recommend it, not only for the bright colors and pictures, but who doesn't love a book all about themself?

You can find FlattenMe and their products on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, their blog, or their website. Be sure to check out the Holiday Cheer Giveaway they're running from now until November 30!

*I received a copy of "AR Is a Multicolor Kid" at no charge to review. All opinions are my own. Thank you FlattenMe!