Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In and Eat in Month Potluck

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Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In

We entered the last half of the Eat in Month 2015 Challenge with Week 3. I’m ready for a little eating out, but I feel like I’m doing pretty well with the challenge so far. Our meals have been pretty simple. I thought I’d have more time for meal planning. But a meal plan is better than no meal, even if I don’t have new or fancy recipes to test out. Maybe next month I will experiment more?

You can check out my meal plan for Eat in Month Week 3 by clicking here to see what I planned. Here’s how I did:

Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In

Sunday, January 18, 2015: My Epic Eater friends came over on Sunday for an Eat in Month themed potluck. Many of the ladies are doing the challenge, too, so it was fun to eat in together. And you guys have seen many of them on my blog before. As you know, they can coooooook! We had so many delicious eats to enjoy, including leek cornbread muffins, Russian dumplings with an assortment of toppings, mini frittatas, hash brown casserole, Katie’s vegan broccoli casserole, braised lentils, my Orange Marmalade Meatballs, cookie dough dip, cookies, my mom’s Filipino sweet rice (I owe you this recipe!), and Katie’s vegan triple layer almond butter brownies.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In

{Kseniya, me, Erin, Katy, Monica, and not pictured – Jen and Katie} It’s always a fun and delicious time with these guys!

Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In

Monday, January 19, 2015: I had Monday off from work, so we tried a slow cooker recipe for pulled beef tacos. While that cooked away, I also enjoyed some Honey Lemon Ginger Tea (from scratch – recipe coming soon!) and slow cooker chili leftovers (with one of Monica’s delicious corn muffins).

Side note: Have you seen all the cute stationery at Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls? I’m finding the cutest stuff and having a hard time not wanting to get one of each.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In

Tuesday, January 20, 2015: Tuesday’s eats were simple. I had a KIND bar for breakfast, leftover pulled beef as a taco bowl, and mom’s pork chops.

Other side note: I’ve been straightening my hair and doing loose curls while the weather is cooler and dryer. Does anyone else tend do one style during one season? I feel like my natural waves are harder to style at this time of year and the straighten/loose-curl look would be harder when it gets warmer. I guess I’m going with the flow.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In

Wednesday, January 21, 2015: On Wednesday, I cracked into my Back to Nature Chia Almond Granola and had that with some So Delicious coconut milk yogurt. This is just one of the easiest breakfasts I do, and I love the mix together. I especially like that it can be grab-and-go so I can eat it at the office. And as new tradition, it was spaghetti night.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In

Thursday, January 22, 2015: On Thursday, hubby was really excited to make grilled cheese sandwiches. They were really paninis, but close enough. We had them with some boxed tomato soup. I don’t know why we don’t do more simple meals like this more often. This one took so little time to throw together, and we really enjoyed it. From-scratch soup would have been better, but this worked okay for a quick week night meal.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In

Friday, January 23, 2015: Does anyone else like to compare how frozen meals look to the picture on the box? Whenever I post a photo of a frozen meal, I like to put the meal side by side with the box photo so you can see the difference. Regardless, these Amy meals are really good, especially since I don’t love the way meat tastes cooked in the microwave. I worked late on Friday and then came home to pack and hit the road to visit my parents. We had more paninis before we left, but I made a quick noodle soup at my parents’ house since I was a little hungry when we arrived. I posted the “recipe” on my Instagram along with the photo.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 3 Check-In

Saturday, January 24, 2015: On Saturday, we celebrated my mom and hubby’s birthdays. Sissy’s SO made the most delicious fried shrimp I think I’ve ever had. Impressive! They came with not one but three dipping sauces! Surprisingly to me, the Thai chili was my fave. I didn’t think I’d like it since it sounds so spicy, but it wasn’t too hot at all. We also had miso soup, honey ginger chicken, steamed veggies, brown rice, and streusel cheesecake (a Pampered Chef recipe).

All in all, another great week! Though some days were a little challenge for eating in, I generally felt like the challenge has been pretty easy this year for us. As I’m typing, it doesn’t even seem like we’ve been eating in for almost an entire month already. We’ve had a couple times where we wanted to use our cheat pass, but nothing too pressing. We may make it the whole challenge without using it! What about you?

Thanks for stopping by!

Eat in Month 2015 Week 2 Check-In

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Well, we’ve entered the last half of the Eat in Month Challenge 2015. Woohoo! Just a couple weeks left. You can do it!

Eat in Month 2015 Week 2 Check-In

You can check out my meal plan for Eat in Month 2015 week 2. Here’s how my second week of the challenge went.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 2 Check-In

Sunday, January 11, 2015: My dance fitness company had a holiday party, but luckily for me, it was potluck-style. I had a couple people ask me if this counted as a cheat, but I didn’t think it did for a couple reasons: 1) we weren’t at a restaurant 2) most of the food was home-cooked. I enjoyed some great eats with some sparkling vino and the company of my dance friends. It was a great time!

Eat in Month 2015 Week 2 Check-In

Monday, January 12, 2015: We actually cooked pot roast in the slow cooker Sunday even though I had the potluck for dinner. It was supposed to be hubby’s dinner on Sunday and our lunch for later in the week. I recently became one of the co-organizers of a local Meetup, so I had that after work. I should have planned better because I was really, really hungry even before the Meetup started. I had a late dinner of soup, steamed veggies, and a toasted bagel.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 2 Check-In

Tuesday, January 13, 2015: On Tuesday, I started the day with an egg and whole wheat toast breakfast sandwich on-the-go. And we had more pot roast, so that made for a great lunch. I cashed my once-a-week Starbucks in on Tuesday with a grande chai tea latte. We did a simple dinner of grilled chicken with Homestead rub. That stuff tastes good on everything! I think we were supposed to have rice pilaf, but hubby requested mac and cheese. We whipped up a box of Annie’s.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 2 Check-In

Wednesday, January 14, 2015: Wednesday was a big day for me. We moved my Zumba class to a new location after having been at the old one for well over a year. I had another toasted egg sandwich for breakfast, a turkey cheese sandwich for lunch, and a ginger tea and KIND snack bar in the afternoon. The new class location kick-off went great! We had a couple unexpected issues we had to deal with right before, but overall it all went well. One of the issues was a giant stage that isn’t normally supposed to be in the space. You’d think it would be good, but the floor pieces weren’t locked in. So, all the pieces were moving around under the instructors while we danced. Yikes! Luckily, no one fell through and class went off swimmingly. I think the new location is going to be great!

Eat in Month 2015 Week 2 Check-In

Thursday, January 15, 2015: As the week closed, I found myself running a little later, so I had a KIND bar for breakfast. Hubby made my ginger soy grilled chicken for dinner, and we cooked extra for lunch. I had a half pumpkin chocolate chip muffin from Great Harvest for dessert. I was supposed to have it for breakfast, but I forgot it was there in the morning.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 2 Check-In

Friday, January 16, 2015: I tried doing the leftover chicken for lunch, but it wasn’t my favorite. I’m not a fan of the way chicken tastes re-heated. I ate it, but I’m not going to plan for another one of those any time soon. The only way I can seem to eat chicken re-heated is if it’s in soup. I really, really wanted another Starbucks on Friday, but I held strong and made some Sleepytime tea instead. And Friday has become my late work day. I was at the office till 7:30pm. I had planned an easy dinner just in case this happened, so dinner was a cinch. I made my Easy Tortellini Soup, and it hit the spot. I used Trader Joe’s spinach tortellini this time, and I think it was even better with this than the cheese I used originally.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 2 Check-In

Saturday, January 17, 2015: I had a meeting in the afternoon on Saturday, so I had a late lunch of leftover tortellini soup. The star of Saturday was definitely dinner. I haven’t had this shrimp in forever, but it’s one of my fave ways to prep it. I cook it quickly with lemon and garlic. It’s yummy! I also whipped up some of my Rosemary Garlic Farro. A whole foods oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and milk went great with a relaxing night in and my new Sleep Haven candle.

How’s your challenge going? Is it getting easier or harder as we near the end?

Thanks for stopping by!

Eat in Month 2015 Meal Plan Week 2

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Eat in Month 2015 Meal Plan Week 2

Well, I guess I’m slacking a little already since I’m a couple days late with my meal plan, but at least I’m making one? One change I’m doing to be more efficient is to not plan breakfast. As long as I plan my morning to include *a breakfast*, eating breakfast isn’t much of a challenge. I have stocked my pantry so I have plenty of great things to choose from for breakfast. This will save time in my meal planning and let me focus on my real challenge areas – lunch and dinner.

Here’s my plan for the upcoming week of the Eat in Month Challenge 2015

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I had a holiday party on Sunday that was a potluck. Some of my friends at the party asked if this counted as a cheat, but I didn’t think it did, especially since I wasn’t at a restaurant, I wasn’t paying for food, and most of the eats were home-cooked anyways. Do you have any gray area meals coming up? Remember, it’s your challenge, so you can make a call on whether it’s a cheat or not.

  • Lunch: Leftovers (soup)
  • Dinner: Potluck for me (I made my mom’s Filipino sweet rice – I need to share this recipe!) and slow cooker pot roast for hubby

Monday, January 12, 2015

I had a Meetup event after work, so I knew dinner needed to be simple. Since I feel like I may have a bit of a cold (or am coming down with something…no!), I finished off the last of my mom’s Filipino Get Well Soup for an easy dinner.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ok, here’s where we’re really planning. Tuesday is my night for either cooking something more elaborate or focusing on errands/to-dos at the house. I’m feeling a little behind on things, so a simple dinner is sounding good. One of our favorite meals to make is grilled chicken that is simply flavored with a spice blend. We just rub whichever flavor we’re feeling into the chicken and grill away! I love to eat these with steamed vegetables and rice pilaf. We have a bunch of boxed pilafs and will use one of those.

  • Lunch: Pot roast
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken with spice blend, steamed veggies, rice pilaf

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I have a BIG event tonight that I’m so excited about! My Zumba class is moving to a new location! I’ll be doing a second class after mine, so hubby will cook dinner so I’m not eating at midnight. Wednesday is quickly becoming our spaghetti night.

  • Lunch: Sandwich, veg, chips
  • Dinner: Spaghetti and veg

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Class night! Hubby loves grilling, so we’ll make one of my favorite ways to grill chicken that only uses 3 ingredients, too! We’re going to make a double-batch of everything for an easy Friday lunch.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Leftovers – the easiest lunch. I love packing these the night before so I can just grab and go in the morning. I’ve been so tired on Fridays after my crazy-busy work weeks, I’ll look forward to a cozy bowl of this super simple soup.

  • Lunch: Leftover Ginger Soy Grilled Chicken, steamed broccolini, and rice
  • Dinner: Easy Tortellini Soup with toast or rolls

Saturday, January 17, 2015

I have a busy Saturday, so I’m thinking easy eats that are quick and delicious. We haven’t had shrimp in awhile, so I’m going to whip up my favorite way to eat them. I think it’s based on a 30 Minute Meal, but we usually just wing it these days, especially since it’s so easy to make! Let me know if you’d like to know how we cook our shrimp, and I’ll put a recipe together.

  • Lunch: Easy Tortellini Soup with toast or rolls
  • Dinner: Garlic lemon shrimp sauté, Rosemary Garlic Farro, veg

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Do you have any meal plan tips? Leave em in a comment or feel free to share your meal plan for the week. Thanks for stopping by!

By the way, it’s never too late to join the Eat in Month Challenge. Click here to learn more about it!

Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In

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How did everyone’s first full week of the Eat in Month 2015 Challenge go? Mine definitely had some challenges, but overall, I thought it went really well! Here’s my Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In

You can check out my Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Meal Plan here to see how it compares.

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Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In

Sunday, January 4, 2015: On Sunday, we made good use of the leftovers to make fried rice. I forgot how much I love this stuff, and it’s just so easy to make. We even were able to put some of the leftover pork adobo into it, which I’ve never done before. But, it worked! We made one of my all-time favorite The Chic Life recipes for dinner: Beef and 3 Bean Slow Cooker Chili. This thing tastes so good, and the leftovers re-heat really well to make for easy meals later. We managed to have leftovers for lunch the next day and even froze a couple more portions for another day.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In

Monday, January 5, 2015: Monday was tough mostly because it was the first Monday post-holidays. Phew! Don’t the holidays seem like they were so long ago already? We kept things simple with eats with the leftover chili and leftover frozen soup for dinner. I got some treats from a sweet co-worker and decided to do one Starbucks out per week. It’s an improvement over what I usually end up doing during the work weeks, so I’ll take it.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In

Tuesday, January 6, 2015: I could potentially eat eggs and toast for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch everyday. But, I’m trying to add some variety into the meal plans. Still, I do look forward to both eats-wise and had them a couple times this week, including both back-to-back on Tuesday. I’m working on adding more veg to my lunches this year by cooking extra vegetables or having salad ingredients on hand to whip something up quickly. Another staple in our house is the stir-fry. We usually do chicken with whatever veggies we feel like eating or are on sale. I haven’t posted a recipe, but there are lots of good ones online. Let me know if you’d like to know how I do mine. Also, had to throw a Bailey photo in here.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In

Wednesday, January 7, 2015: I pulled out an old favorite for breakfast on Wednesday – oatmeal! This stuff is great to eat around this time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick since oatmeal is good for your immune system. I also had an apple for extra fruit nutrition and a pre-workout snack. I busted into my Trader Joe’s coconut almond chocolates and am going to try to not devour them in one week. And, hubby cooked one of his staple meals – spaghetti. We may be doing this every Wednesday. This is another thing we cook all the time, but I haven’t posted a recipe yet. Would you like to see it?

Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In

Thursday, January 8, 2015: Another eats upgrade we’re trying to do (in addition to veg at lunch) is fruit at breakfast. Sliced oranges are so easy, we really should do it more. We had more leftovers for lunch (love how easy this makes the work week eats). Hubby made chicken in a jarred simmer sauce for dinner. Those jarred sauces make dinner so simple!

And the top-right photo is a preview of some upcoming content. Any other planner geeks out there? I’m going to be sharing more posts about my planner, how I set it up, how I decorate it, shopping hauls for it, etc. soon. First up, I have a tutorial on how to decorate it in a very simple way. I’m hoping to get that post up this week. In the meantime, I’ll share photos on my Instagram if you want to see it there first.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In

Friday, January 9, 2015: On Friday, I went completely off the plans. I forgot breakfast but had a KIND bar as a back-up at my desk at work. I was planning to work from home and have soup at the house, but I ended up needing to go into the office. Luckily, we had enough ingredients for one more sandwich. And for dinner, I cooked my Mom’s Get Well Soup for hubby, so I had some olives, bread, and cheese as a snack while that cooked away.

Eat in Month 2015 Week 1 Check-In

Saturday, January 10, 2015: I really enjoyed the eats from the last day of Week 1. I made a big bowl of oatmeal and finally found my favorite nut butter, Barney Butter, on sale. I happily added a spoonful to breakfast. I had more soup leftovers for lunch with my new favorite way to eat kale. I just steam it for about 5 minutes and drizzle a little soy sauce over it. And for dinner, I made a from-scratch TV dinner with Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals Salisbury Steak recipe, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, and a Great Harvest roll.

Not too shabby for Week 1! I hope the rest of them go this smoothly!

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I’m a little late completing it, but I’m finalizing my Week 2 meal plan and will share that as soon as it’s ready.

In other news, you guys have been uploading TONS of photos on Instagram and twitter, and I truly love seeing them. Thanks for adding #eatinmonth to your photos, and keep em coming. It’s so cool to see how everyone’s doing with the challenge, and I’m already hearing some great success stories about people eating well and even saving money already! Woohoo!

If you’re new to the challenge, you can still join in! You can find more info about the challenge on the Eat in Month Challenge page (click). Thanks for stopping by!

Eat in Month 2015 Meal Plan Week 1

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Eat in Month Meal Plan Week 1

I always say I’ll do a meal plan for the Eat in Month Challenge, but I don’t usually do one for every week of the challenge. I’m planning to do better this year. I’m also planning to share my meal plan in advance in case anyone else wants some meal inspiration for the week ahead.

Here’s my Eat in Month Meal Plan for Week 1

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I love cooking things that take longer on Sunday since I usually can plan ahead on Saturday. Also, I’m around most of the day Sunday to watch it. I’ll probably do most of my slow cooker recipes on Sundays.

  • Breakfast: Power Toast (whole grain bread, peanut butter, and chia seeds)
  • Lunch: Fried Rice (using leftovers – I took photos and may blog this recipe)
  • Dinner: Beef and 3-Bean Slow Cooker Chili (this is probably our most re-made of the recipes here on The Chic Life) and salad

Monday, January 5, 2015

I’m expecting Monday to be a challenge since it will be my first work day back post-holidays. Not gonna lie, I’ve been staying up a little too late and sleeping in a little too much. Monday morning is going to be tough. I’m hoping to keep eats/prep simple. I also usually do class on Mondays, so dinner will need to be easy and fast, too.

  • Breakfast: Fried eggs and whole grain toast
  • Lunch: Chili leftovers and salad
  • Dinner: Soup, salad, toast

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday is a night I typically like to dedicate to getting mid-week stuff accomplished. I usually have more time to cook, too.

  • Breakfast: Stovetop Oatmeal
  • Lunch: Turkey/cheese sandwich, chips, raw veggies
  • Dinner: Chicken stir-fry and rice

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Class night. Hubby is in charge of dinner.

  • Breakfast: Fried eggs and whole grain toast
  • Lunch: Turkey/cheese sandwich, chips, raw veggies
  • Dinner: Spaghetti and steamed cabbage (anyone interested in the spaghetti recipe?)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Class night again. Hubby’s on point for dinner.

  • Breakfast: Fried eggs and whole grain toast
  • Lunch: Spaghetti and cabbage leftovers
  • Dinner: Chicken in tikka masala simmer sauce with rice and green beans

Friday, January 9, 2015

I like to take it easy on Fridays post-work. Planning to make one of hubby’s faves for dinner.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday is a good day for cooking, but I also have to balance that with wanting to be productive. Sometimes I spend more time getting stuff done and don’t want to use a lot of time for food prep or cooking. I usually do class on Saturdays, too. I prefer light breakfasts before I workout, so oatmeal will do the trick.

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Eat in Month Week 0 Eats

{Above – Eat in Month Week 0 Eats – click here to check out my Week 0 Challenge Recap}

Eat in Month Meal Plan Week 1 Notes

I was hesitant to post breakfasts above because I a) have been struggling to wake up early enough to cook and eat breakfast (I usually grab a bar on the way out) and b) usually prepare something based on how much time I have and what I feel like eating. When I have the time, breakfasts aren’t usually a challenge. I like to keep things around that are easy to make, so I usually have a few options every day. We’ll see how the plan goes.

Also, the meal plan above doesn’t include snacks. I like to keep almonds and snack bars at my desk in case I get hungry during the work day. I’m not adding them to the plan, but I’ll have some available in case I get hungry. I also have lots of great teas at my desk, which I’m hoping will replace my Starbucks trips.

For “soup” referenced above, I like to make big batches of soup and freeze the leftovers into individual portions. I have a couple options in the freezer at the moment, and I’ll pick one as needed. I may also make a new batch on Monday, time and energy permitting. These re-heat really easily on the stove.

Did you post a meal plan online? Feel free to share the link in a comment. Or comment below with your meal plan ideas or questions. Thanks for reading!

Eat in Month Challenge 2015

The Eat in Month Challenge 2015 is here! Well, it’s almost here. But, I wanted to get the information out a couple days before the challenge officially begins so you can start preparing.

What is the Eat in Month Challenge 2015?

The Eat in Month Challenge is a challenge I have hosted for the last five years here on The Chic Life. The goal of the challenge is to eat in *more*. I eat every meal *in* for the whole month of January with only one cheat pass. But, you can tweak the challenge for you. I find January to be the perfect time of year for this for me since I tend to eat out a lot in during the holidays. This also helps me with starting the year off on the right foot eating more healthy foods and saving money.

You can read the full rules of the challenge on the Eat in Month Challenge page by clicking here. Just come back here to sign up for this year’s challenge!

When Does It Happen?

The challenge lasts for the whole month of January – from the 1st to the 31st. But, you’re welcome to join late or even do the challenge later in the year. It’s fun to do it now, though, to see what others are posting on twitter, Instagram, etc.

The Badge

Here’s the Eat in Month Challenge 2015 badge – feel free to copy the code below to use this badge on your site or blog:

Copy this code to add the challenge banner to your site/blog:

<a href="http://thechiclife.com/2014/12/eat-in-month-challenge-2015.html"><img src="http://thechiclife.com/wp-content/uploads/images/EatInMonthChallenge2015.gif" border="0" width="170" height="170" /></a>

The Players

Are you playing along in the Eat in Month Challenge 2015? If so, leave me a comment, whether you’re playing for the whole month, a couple weeks, a single week, a couple days, etc. Add the URL to your blog, Instagram, or twitter, and I’ll link (just the first URL you post) you up, too, so others can see if you post about the challenge. I’ll also make sure to get your name on the list if you join the Facebook event. Woohoo!

  • Me & hubby – month
  • Alex T – month
  • Alexandra J – month
  • April – month
  • Bobby and family – month
  • Briana L – month
  • Carmen A – month
  • Chad D – month
  • Cindy K – month
  • Dana S – month
  • Debra P – month
  • Ellen – month
  • Emily S
  • Erin B – month
  • Hannah L – month
  • Jemme H – month
  • Jennifer M – month
  • Jessica B – month
  • Jessica C – month
  • Julie D – month
  • Katelyn N – month
  • Katie M – month
  • Kelly W – month
  • Kimberly A – month
  • Kristin M – month
  • Leslie S – month
  • Lindsey G – month
  • Lisa B – month
  • Lizzy Q – month
  • Mary L – month
  • Megan P – month
  • Samantha B – month
  • Sarah M – month
  • Scott L – month
  • Serena T – month (except Friday lunch tradition)
  • Sue P – month
  • Toya B – month
  • You – a week? the whole month?

Remember, you can join any time by simply commenting below or joining the Facebook event. Check the Eat in Month Challenge page for tips, useful links, and more details.

New This Year

I’m trying something new this year. I created a Facebook event where I’m hoping to share more tips throughout the month. It didn’t let me specify a date range, so I selected the last day of the challenge so it wouldn’t get filtered to past events, which I think are harder to see. I think if you join this event, you’ll see updates I post about the challenge as I share them.

Get Faster Updates

I tend to post more meal photos on Instagram, but I share them on Facebook and twitter. So if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can check out my Facebook page to see the photos there, too. I also will be sharing content on twitter. Look for the #eatinmonth hashtag to see what others are posting, too!

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Who’s ready to get started?!

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