Easy Cherry Scones #Bakeoftheweek

Cherry Scones

Firstly, I must give huge thank you to Jen from Jen’s Food and Lucy, Baking Queen 74 for doing such a brilliant job of hosting #Bakeoftheweek while I was away. It was lovely to see people taking part while I was sunning myself (it rained quite a lot so there actually wasn’t that much sunning!) I know that the roundups take forever to do and both ladies embraced them fully – really appreciate it, thank you!

Hard to believe that there is only one week remaining of the school holidays – I’m in full blown panic now about how I’m going to be separated from little Tara next week. I’m just not ready for her to go to school but she is. Its speedy recipes all the way for the next couple of weeks and if the kids can get involved with the bakes, all the better. Every second I’m spending with them counts. (The checkout operator in the supermarket the other day, said she bet I couldn’t wait for them to go back to school – I told her that actually I like my children and enjoy spending time with them! Bet she wasn’t expecting me to be quite so honest)

Anyway, back to baking – Cherry Scones it is. I had to check that I haven’t already posted a recipe for Cherry Scones as they are such a popular bake in this house but no. I get the littlies to help chop the butter into tiny cubes and snip the glace cherries with scissors.

Cherry Scones

Serves 12-15
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Quick and easy cherry scones - Perfect for afternoon tea or baking with the kids

Ingredients

  • 350g Self Raising Flour
  • 85g Very Cold Butter (Cut into tiny chunks)
  • 3 tablespoons Caster Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 75ml Milk
  • 200g Glace Cherries (Chopped into 4 ish pieces)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 210C and line a baking tray - This recipe makes 4-5 large scones and 12-15 mini scones
Place the flour and sugar into a medium bowl and rub the butter in with your finger tips - work as quickly as possible, you do not want to over work the dough
Add the lemon, vanilla & milk and mix together until just combined
Gently stir through the chopped cherries until just about evenly spread throughout
Bring the dough together and roll out until about 3-4cm thick and cut out using your preferred size of scone cutter - I particularly like the small sizes for this recipe
Bake until golden on top and bottom - About 20 mins for large scones, about 12-15 mins for small scones
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack - Best eaten same day

Cherry Scones

For more scone goodnes, why not try some of these fello bloggers’ recipes?

Wild Garlic & Cheese Scones from Foodie Quine
Cheese, Ham & Potato Scones from Fab Food 4 All
Rich Chocolate Scones from Tin & Thyme
Orange Scones from Sew White
Gluten Free Scones from Lancashire Food
Hot Cross Scones from The Crafty Larder
Mini Lemon & Lime Scones from Casa Costello

My featured Bake of the Week is one that I cannot stop thinking about – I am in awe of how smooth and white this frosting is on Andrea from Made with Pink’s Black Forest Cake – Just beautiful. I love the simplicity of the decoration and that’s even without thinking how gorgeous it must taste! I’m loving the revival of Black Forest after its recent appearance on GBBO.

Bake of the Week Black Forest Cake

Bake of the Week Cakes

I’ve split the entries into cakes and other bakes – As the nights draw in, there’s few things better than settling down with a brew and a slab of cake. There’s plenty of delicious recipes here if you fancy trying a new cake flavour:

  1. You cannot beat Malteser’s for fast, easy & effective decoration – Janice from Farmer’s Girl teams Malteser’s with Caramel in this luscious birthday cake.
  2. A classic combination of Coffee & Walnut in Jibber Jabber’s tempting offering
  3. Gin & Tonic Cake for an alternative way of eating madeira cake from Its not easy being greedy
  4. A warm welcome to Judith from Mostly About Chocolate with her creamy & dreamy Best Chocolate Cupcakes Ever!
  5. I’ve tried made traditional Snickerdoodles but never in cake form, this from Winnie’s Blog looks great

Bake of the Week

6. Mmm to Sew White’s Black Forest Brownies – Brownies are definitely on my ‘to bake list’ before the kids go back to school
7. More Brownies from Kerry Cooks with her Easy Gooey Triple Chocolate Brownies – Cor!
8. Pistachio & Caramel Biscotti – another inspired by GBBO recipe but perfectly executed by All You Need Is Love and Cake
9. Super pretty Shortbread Sandwich Biscuits from Winnie’s Blog
10. Gluten Free Chocolate & Pear Torte from Linzi at Lancashire Food – I’m lamenting the poor crop from our pear tree this year – only 10 useful pears!
11. Blueberry & Pecan Galette – Reminiscent of my recent travels to France from Petite Raisin

Casa Costello
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I’m going to leave the linky open for 2 weeks – I hope you understand, I want to savour every minute with the 3 girls before school especially Baby T. As usual there’s no theme and all types of bakes count – If its cooked in an oven or slow cooker, then you are welcome to take part. The badge is above for you to include in your post. Every entry will be tweeted, pinned, commented & Google +ed aswell as being included in the roundup. Feel free to join in the Pinterest board – If you would like to join the board and be able to link up any baking pins, please shout!

Follow Casa Costello’s board Bake of the Week – Link Up your Baked Creations every week on Pinterest.

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The Teenage Years Start – #MumsKnowBest

Mum Pretty Green Photography

*This is a sponsored post*

From next week I am the mother of a teenager! Eek – How fast did that come around? In fact, from next week I am the mother of a teenager for the next 15 years! Here could be where spreading those children out age wise becomes interesting (Believe me, life in this house is already interesting!)

I’m sure I will be turning to the 2 Grandmothers for advice and reassuring at various points during the next 15 years – after all, between them they have raised 7 children, with 6 grandchildren having gone through or already in the teenage zone.

My mum always laughs that I will check with her if she thinks something is still safe to eat – You know, when its been in the fridge a little too long or has it been in the oven long enough? Force of habit cannot get me out of this … not even my Advance Food Hygiene Certificate, 3 children of my own and my own food business! (The picture above is of my Mum and her 6 grandchildren recently taken at Pretty Green Photography – Blog Post about our photo shoot coming soon)

Mr C’s mum is very quiet with her advice but its always there. She has the best sayings imaginable which appear when we most need them. Such as:

* You can run but you can’t run from yourself (On someone who blames everyone else for their life being a bit rubbish)

* They look at you like ‘I’m it, your **it’ (This saying doesn’t really reflect how gentle and warm my MIL is …but it is a perfect way of describing some folk!)

and my favourite when I was expecting Violet and not all that hungry …

*An empty bag won’t stand up – Brilliant!

Over on the Casa Costello Facebook page, I asked for your mum’s favourite sayings. Here’s what you came up with …

Sonia – You canne have your pudding if you dinne eat your meat.

Paul – When she’d forgotten what she was about to say:
“Must’ve been a lie!”

Jayne – When you fell over, Mum used to wipe it with a cloth and say “that will be a pigs foot in the morning”. I never really understood it but still checked the next day

Sue – You won’t feel the benefit when you go outside, I.e take your coat off. (I bet ALL mums have said this!)

Sarah – My mum warning me about boys..” it doesnt matter how nice they are or how shy they are, they all know it’s not for stirring their tea with”

Jane – Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves

Barbara – ‘Go to foot of our stairs’. used when surprised amazed etc …

Karen – Something that my grandma says in difficult times is ‘they won’t always be dark days’

Paul – The other one my Grandma said that used to make us giggle was “Better an old man’s darling than a young man’s slave.”

Sarah –  “Keep your pecker up” was my mums catch phase and answer to everything! Even thought of having it on her grave stone.

Pippa – A friend to all is a friend to none.

And my favourite is from Jackie – My mams favourite is you’ll be twice married before you’re dead. She’d use this when we hurt ourselves.

Thanks for joining in everyone – A little gift will be making its way to you soon, Jackie.

As part of Littlewoods #MumsKnowBest campaign they have produced a series of videos about Mums. In honour of the Costello family approaching the teenage years, I thought the short film (34 seconds) below was appropriate: (PS So far Miss M is a dream and showing no signs of teenage rebellion – She may however kill me when she reads this post!)

Just before I finish, don’t forget to leave me your pearls of wisdom on how to cope with teenagers – If gin is your answer, that’s completely fine!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

A Lovely Week

Tara School Visit

As we come to the end of the school year, there are so many happy events taking place.

We have started a ban on Minecraft in the last week – straightaway the craft boxes came out, the girls started chatting, they played outside and life became more about the family. I’m terrified to hear that Minecraft is being considered as an addition to the curriculum – please no!

The girls’ social calendars are bulging – Even Baby T is flitting from one party to another. Last week saw my baby go to her first party where I could leave her for a while. It was at our friend’s house but even so I thought she would insist on me staying – How wrong I was, she couldn’t wait to be left!

It wasn’t the only big event in her week though – Little Tara had her first afternoon in school! I know! How fast has THAT gone? There were absolutely no nerves whatsoever – It helps that she knows loads of little ones who will be in her class. The teacher must be wondering what a year she has in store, with all these confident kids starting at once.

We were to leave the children for about 1/2 an hour while we filled in paperwork. Again, not a nerve in sight – We returned to find the children sat drinking juice and eating biscuits on the carpet. The teacher was asking them about their brothers & sisters – Tara didn’t talk about her sisters, she just wanted to tell everyone she had a cat!

Minion Movie

We also had a visit to the Minion movie on Monday – complete with plenty of minion accessories! The girls (and one boy) sat really still throughout – aided by plenty of popcorn obviously!

In other news, I had a great night out with Violet watching Millie in the school dance show – I actually watched it twice, having a rare night out with my mum too.

And so we start another crazy week with plenty of plans – I’m hoping we have little Sonny come to visit again this week. Who knows what his outfit will be this week – this pirate ensemble was last Monday’s creation!

Sonny

So how has your week been? I’m joining in with Tanya from Mummy Barrow who has started a linky inviting us all to share our weeks – Bit of a crazy one here this week … Blackpool, School Music Concerts, Leeds x 3, Awards Ceremony, Art Festival, Christmas in July London, Bristol & Manchester. Next week’s instalment is going to be enormous!

Mummy Barrow My Week Linky

When the Costello girls became models with Matalan

Matalan children sizing event

Model Tara – She’s got some work to do on her pout!

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to a children’s sizing event, ‘Fashion Fit’ with Matalan. I have worked with Matalan before and always try to support their events. Happily, all 3 girls were available and the event was only 10 minutes up the road at Matalan’s new swish Head Office in Knowsley.

The purpose of the day was to talk about children’s clothing styles, what we like buying (Good quality, tasteful, well-fitiing clothes), what we don’t like (Huge logos) and what sizes we tend to buy for each child.

Matalan is one of the only shops that consistently manages to have sizes and styles suitable for all 3 of my girls – Millie may be almost 13 but is very small – Doesn’t mean that she want to dress like a young child though.

The room was sectioned off into Teenage style, Pre-teens, Schoolwear, School Shoes, Accessories, Fancy Dress and Nightwear – The ladies in all of the sections were so patient and spoke to each child properly. They were asked if they would like to try on some of the clothes – I will admit my heart was in my mouth – Would M have a teenage moment? Would T have a pre school meltdown? Well no, all 3 trooped off into the makeshift changing rooms – giggling and smiling. Well done Matalan – Brownie points there for starters!

Tara Uniform

Now trying clothes on is definitely not Violet’s cup of tea but she played the part – The ladies just seemed to get it though and asked her if she would like to take some items home to try out and feedback on later. These included some little vest bra tops -Oh my, that little girl is in heaven! The bond between a 9 year old and her vest tops is immeasurable – I’m not kidding I have to vet when she puts them on. I have visions of her parading around school at PE time. The good news is they have washed brilliantly and are very comfortable with no scratchy seams – even last night when I caught her wearing one in bed! Violet also got a winter coat to try – which I had to ban last week when it was 23C.

Millie on the other hand, is a clothes horse and the ladies in the Teenage and Pre-teen sections spotted it straightaway. She was in and out of that changing room for hours and loved every minute.

We were so pleased to be able to help out at Matalan – The girls enjoyed their morning of being models – Tara very much enjoyed her Elsa dress that she was gifted. We even got a glimpse into what Tara will look like in September in a school uniform – Too cute!

Ultimate Chocolate Birthday Cake with White Chocolate Frosting #Bakeoftheweek

Ultimate Chocolate Birthday Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

It feels like AGES since the last #Bakeoftheweek – As suspected, half term was crazy busy with Millie’s England swimming training. This week is all about Violet – My lovely, kind, crazy, extreme, beautiful girl is now a very grown up 9! How did those years disappear so quickly? The baby that arrived in less than 1.5 hours has turned into a stunning young lady that makes us so proud and makes us tear our hair out in equal measures.

I couldn’t share this week’s #Bakeoftheweek before the birthday girl had seen her own cake, could I? She had a full on day, plenty of sweets after school, a special pick up by her cousin, followed by the opening night of Wicked at The Lowry. Violet is amazing to go to a show with – she gets completely stuck in, laughing heartily and clapping like mad. Love it!

And so back to the cake. A rich chocolate cake with melted dark chocolate (use milk chocolate if you like – totally not precious here!) I split the mixture into 2 cake tins and then sliced them in half making a 4 tier cake. Filled in with plenty of white chocolate frosting and completely covered in approximately 34 Kit Kat fingers, One bag of Aero Mint Balls, One bag of Maltesers and One bag of White Chocolate Buttons. I MAY have bought some spare chocolate packs just to make sure we had enough – I’m sure you understand!

Ultimate Birthday Cake

 

Ultimate Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

Serves 10+
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 45 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Ultimate Chocolate Cake - Easy to decorate but with the WOW factor - Chocolate Sponge Cake with White Chocolate Frosting decorated with various chocolates - A true Showstopper!

Ingredients

  • 300 + 220g Butter
  • 300g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 6 Eggs (Separated)
  • 2 + 1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 300g Self Raising Flour
  • 200g White Chocolate (Melted)
  • 350g Icing Sugar
  • 100g Dark Brown Chocolate (I use 85% cocoa and melt at 10 second intervals in the microwave)
  • 2 tablespoons Double Cream

Directions

Chocolate Cake
Preheat the oven to 160C and line 2 x 8" cake tins with baking parchment
Using an electric mixer on a medium setting, whisk the first lot of butter and dark brown sugar together until pale and fluffy
Add in the egg yolks and 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract gradually until fully combined
Stir in the melted dark chocolate
Fold in the flour, until just coming together
Whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks and fold into the cake mixture gently to keep as much of the air as possible
Separate the cake mixture between the 2 tins and bake for 45-55 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. When cool, cut the cakes into 2 halves - If you are not confident about slicing the cakes in half (across) then it is fine to leave as 2 whole cakes
White Chocolate Frosting
Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate at 10 second intervals in the microwave and leave to cool slightly
Mix together the remaining butter and the icing sugar in an electric mixer and add the white chocolate and remaining vanilla.
Add in the double cream. If the frosting is not as stiff as you would like or it is a particularly hot day, you may need to add more icing sugar
Stack the cooled cakes, spreading a layer of frosting between each layer and fill in any gaps with remaining frosting
Stick Kit Kats around the sides of the cake until you meet up - You may need to add extra frosting to help a couple of them stick - this cake is perfect for disguising any lumps and bumps in cake (I also turn the top tier of cake upside down for a flatter surface)
I made 6 segments and separated them with matchmakers but just us whatever you have - Extra Kit Kats will do but they will be thicker
Fill in the segments with whatever chocolates you prefer and consume within 2 days - Keep in the fridge if you have room!

Supreme Chocolate Birthday Cake White Chocolate Frosting

Princess Castle Cake

So many wonderful bakes once again for this week’s #Bakeoftheweek – I have to give a special mention to Eileen from ET Speaks From Home with Princess Castle Cake – I know that this will have taken forever and she has done such a great job. Lucky little girl!

Baked Asparagus

I also want to mention Herbs, Spices & Tradition with Baked Asparagus – I love that this is entered into #Bakeoftheweek – completely the spirit of the linky that anything baked is valid …and I don’t eat enough Asparagus, so thanks for the reminder!

For the first time ever, we have enough Cheese related entries to have their own section! So I present to you the Cheesy Bites …

Cheese Bake of the week

1. Paul’s Food World with Ultimate Cheese Scones
2. Baking Queen with Feta, Pepper & Courgette Filo Pie
3. Jen’s Food with Wholemeal Stilton & Broccoli Pasties

We move on now to the individual portions – For people like me that just don’t find it easy to share!

Bakeoftheweek

4. Hijacked by Twins with Muesli & Chia Seed Morning Buns
5. Paul’s Food World – Chocolate Rolls
6. Julie’s Family Kitchen with Chocolate & Cashew Buckwheat Cookies
7. Kidgredients with Cacao & coconut seedy bliss balls
8. Snap Happy Bakes with Mexican Veggie Burgers
9. The Dream Baker with Homemade Char Siu Buns
10. Misplaced Brit with Caramelised Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin
11. Nic Bakes with White Chocolate & Strawberry Cookies
12. Lemon & Lime Thyme with Chocolate Biscuit Scones & Vanilla Glaze
13. Winnie’s Blog with No Bake White Chocolate & Strawberry Marshmallow

And the more substantial bakes – Perfect for showpieces!

Bake of the week

14. Domestic Gothess with White Chocolate, Passion Fruit & Coconut Layer Cake
15. My Little Italian Kitchen with Moist rich chocolate Pie
16. ET Speaks From Home with No Bake Chocolate Tarts
17. My Little Italian Kitchen with Strawberry Crumble Recipe
18. Hijacked by Twins with Chocolate Mint Cake
19. Mummy Mishaps with Choco Aztex Spiced Tea Cake with Blackberry Cream
20. Truly Madly Kids with Banana & Pecan Cake
21. Baking Queen with Zebra Striped Vanilla & Chocolate Cake
22. Petite Raisin with Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberry& Rhubarb Cream
23. Winnie’s Blog with Chocolate Mousse Cake on Hazelnut Crust

Thanks so much once again for your entries into Bake of the Week – Hopefully next week’s #Bakeoftheweek will be bang on time next Tues/Wed! There’s no theme so get spreading the word when you see someone baking online. Have a great week!

Casa Costello
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Baileys Chococcino Cheesecake Cake

Baileys Chococcino Cheesecake Cake

It’s been Nanna Val’s birthday this weekend – A pretty significant 65 on the 1st May. Now Nanna Val is rather partial to a tipple of Baileys – She rarely drinks it neat but a cup of coffee just isn’t the same without some. In honour of the birthday girl, I decided to make a substantial cake – We are off out for the day tomorrow, so this is joining us.

A triple Chococcino Cake (Coffee & Chocolate) with luxurious Bailey’s cheesecake sandwiched between – Topped with a soft Bailey’s frosting, made into pretty roses. Definitely not one for the kids – although they’ve been hinting about a slice of the cake all day!

Piped Roses on Baileys Cheesecake Cake

 

Baileys Chococcino Cheesecake Cake

Serves 8+
Prep time 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Serve Cold
If you like a really strong Baileys taste, feel free to substitute one of the teaspoons of milk for Baileys in the Rose frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 + 3oz Butter
  • 8oz Caster Sugar
  • 2 + 1 + 1 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 10oz Self Raising Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baileys Irish Cream
  • 100ml Double Cream
  • 250g Soft Cream Cheese (Full Fat)
  • 150g Melted Chocolate (I used half white/half milk chocolate)
  • 2 TBSP + 10oz Icing Sugar
  • 2oz Milk

Directions

Cake
Preheat the oven to 160C and line an 8" Cake Tin with Baking Parchment
Using an electric mixer, whisk the 8 oz of butter and the caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract
Reduce the mixer to a slow speed and add the flour and cocoa powder, one spoon at a time
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 55-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean - remove from the oven and allow to cool fully
Baileys Cheesecake
Using an electric mixer on a medium speed, whisk together the cream cheese and the double cream until they start to thicken
Add the Baileys and 1 of the remaining teaspoons of cocoa powder and the 2 TBSP of icing sugar and mix through thoroughly. Stir in the melted chocolate which should be cool by now.
To Assemble
Cut the cake into 3 even layers - this can be quite tricky to do so just do 2 if you are not confident
Re-line the cake tin with fresh baking parchment and place the bottom cake layer at the base of the tin
Scoop half of the Baileys Cheesecake on top of the first cake layer and smooth out evenly
Add the middle cake layer and repeat with the remaining cheesecake
Top with the top cake layer and place in the fridge for 2 hours
To Decorate
Using an electric mixer, whisk the remaining butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract until well combined
Add the milk a splash at a time - if the frosting is getting too runny, then add a couple more tbsp of icing sugar
Scoop into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe roses on top of the cake (I use a Wilton 2D nozzle for mine)

Making a Chococcino Cake

If you fancy having a go at piping your own roses, its a lot easier than you think – I’ve produced a super short video showing you how (Its only 8 seconds long!)

If this recipe has whetted your appetite for more Baileys recipes then why not try some of the recipes over at the Bailey’s website

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. This recipe uses just under 2 units of alcohol in this recipe. The NHS recommends that you do not regularly exceed 3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women a day.

Bailey Chocolate Coffee Cake

The Gang at Nanna’s Birthday Meal

We're going on an adventure
Link up your recipe of the week

Annie Dance Workshop at Pineapple Dance Studios

Pineapple Dance Studio Annie Movie

I know there’s quite a few people eagerly awaiting this post. Its not often you get the chance to see me dancing. Definitely not a strong point of mine. Luckily my girls don’t seem to have inherited my dance genes and love a good routine.

When we were given the chance to visit Pineapple Dance Studios during the Easter holidays to perform routines from the Annie Movie, I knew Millie and Violet would love to go. To celebrate the release of the Annie DVD today, we were taught a routine to Its A Hard Knock Life by Richard Marcel. Richard is choreographer to the stars on “So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ … and now choreographer to The Costellos!

Millie is such a dance fan and Pineapple crazy – We’ve even trekked across London before now just to stand outside. Inside is exactly as you would imagine, busy, bustling and loads of lycra! Its massive but not nearly as posh as I thought it might be – and then I remembered its a dance studio!

Annie Movie dance

It was great to meet up with some fellow bloggers and their children – Lovely to see pre-teens chatting and being relaxed all due to dance. The dance was aimed at all ages – The professional dancers were completely brilliant with the little tots – although I was rather glad I hadn’t taken Tara.

Annie Movie

We had a great time – I sat out for most of the dancing, thoroughly enjoying watching my girls. Richard was so patient and a true professional. He was right to be more afraid of us mums than any of the celebs on Strictly! Sadly Louis Spence missed out on seeing my efforts with a broom – He will never know what he missed.

The video below shows the making of the dance: Enjoy!

Tip 1: Look out for the mad woman at the end waving a brush around – I’ve obviously missed my calling in life!
Tip 2: If you want to get noticed, wear bright pink socks. Could Millie’s socks get any brighter?

Annie Movie Sony DVD

I’ve been saving watching the movie until our epic journey to France in the summer – I have a feeling it will get watched several times and sung at high volume! Annie the Movie is out on DVD today (Monday 27th April 2015) by Sony Pictures, Prices start from £9.99

Huge thank you to Colette at Going On An Adventure for sharing this opportunity – We loved every minute!

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