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Thankful Thursday

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Luke is here to say thanks to everyone who spread the word about and took part in yesterday’s Beer Paws fundraiser for Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.

10 bottle opener orders came through, from places near and far.

20 percent of the proceeds will go to the Alliance, to support efforts against puppy mills and other inhumane practices in Missouri.

You guys are awesome. Thanks so much!

And if you ordered Beer Paws, be sure to share a picture of your dog and bottle opener over at the Beer Paws Facebook page!

If you missed the flash sale, you can still give back through your purchase. As of today, ten percent of sales are back to supporting Midwest Adopt-a-Bull dog Tessa.

Click to shop!

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What a Lovely Blue Velvet Coat

Meet Tessa

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This pretty little pittie girl used to live in unsavory circumstances in a house full of dogs. Then, she ended up on death row.

Lucky for her, Midwest Adopt-a-Bull recently saved her.

However, her foster home didn’t work out, and now blue Tessa is back to living in a cage.

Until we can find her a new foster or forever home, Tessa is in boarding at A Dog’s Fun Playce, a rescue center and doggy daycare in my neighborhood.

Her accommodations aren’t bad, but she sure was happy to get out over the weekend when I stopped by.

Although we had never met before, Tessa greeted me with a kiss before dragging me out of the shelter.

She’s a pocket pittie at just about 45 pounds, but Tessa is pure muscle, and she’s not yet used to walking on a leash. For the first half an hour, she pulled like a sled dog, but as she got tired, she walked more politely.

tessa pro

I know with more practice, she will be a great walking or jogging companion.

My most important discovery about Tessa is that she’s not afraid of people. In fact, she likes them a lot and even gave kisses to two of my neighbors.

People like Tessa, too. Her silvery blue velvet coat garnered many compliments during my outing with her.

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I plan on seeing Tessa again this week.

In the meantime, I am hoping to do some things to improve her current situation, such as bringing her Kongs and bones.

You can help Tessa, too.

Please consider making a donation in her name to Midwest Adopt-a-Bull, whose tiny budget is being stretched to the limit by the cost of her boarding.

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If you would like to get something tangible in exchange for your giving, you can also buy a Beer Paws bottle opener from my Storenvy shop.

Beer Paws bottle opener

The front.

Beer Paws bottle opener

The back.

These button style bottle openers look great on your dog’s collar, at the end of a leash or on your own bag or keys. They’re even silver, like Tessa.

Until further notice, at least $1 from each Beer Paws sale will go directly toward Tessa’s care.

Order online today, and I will personally send you a Beer Paw!

Contact me with any questions.

Frankie Has a Question

Will you be my family?

adoptable red pit bull

Frankie is looking for a home of his own.

This is Frankie. If he lived with me, I would call him Frank the Tank.

I had the pleasure of making Frankie’s acquaintance during the recent Dogs on the Lawn event at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

He was hanging out with the puppies and mama dog who are also currently available for adoption through Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

Of course, it’s impossible to resist adorable, fat puppies, but I have to say Frankie was my favorite dog to spend time with that day.

He’s a big guy with a kind face, and as I jogged him across the museum lawn at the end of the day, it occurred to me that Frankie would make one heck of a jogging partner.

Currently, Frankie lives in a foster home with multiple dogs and a toddler. His foster mama says he loves children and that he would do best as an only dog or with a submissive female.

He originally came to Midwest Adopt-a-Bull from North Dakota with his sister. She has found her forever home, but Frankie is still looking.

Do you know someone who would like to make this big, sweet boy their own?

frankie 3

Please share Frankie’s story with your social networks!

Interested parties can learn more about him at MidwestAdoptaBull.com.

A Beautiful Day to Take Your Dog to the Museum

Don’t be fooled by that headline.

I did not take any of my dogs to the museum.

But on Saturday, a lot of Kansas City folks did – well, they went at least as far as the the museum lawn.

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Dogs on the Lawn was a first time event hosted by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Festivities included paws-on art projects, DIY dog apparel decoration and a few pet-friendly vendors including Kansas City’s brand new food truck for dogs.

People with dogs got to participate in paw painting – finger painting for dogs. The results were very colorful and abstract, but all the pet parents seemed proud.

Those interested in more serious art inspired by their animals could order a custom portrait from Ashley Corbello, a local artist who specializes in pet paintings.

boston terrier painting

Boston Terrier painting by Ashley Corbello

I decided I would like Ashley to immortalize Scooby the elderpin in a painting sometime soon.

But in the meantime, I headed to the DIY screen print area, where local art students were helping folks customize cloth accessories for their pets.

With the yellow dog project in mind, I chose a fabric scrap that I thought might work as a t-shirt for Scooby.

For decoration, I chose the shuttlecock, which is a nod to the famous sculpture that lives on the Nelson-Atkins lawn.

shutlecock

The real reason I came to Dogs on the Lawn, however, was to play with the puppies help at the Midwest Adopt-a-Bull table.

The group currently has five adorable pit mix puppies available for adoption. Three of them attended this event, along with their mama and another adoptable adult male.

The puppies were such a big hit that by the time I got to the event, they were pretty much crashed out. (I picked them all up and snuggled them to my chest, anyway.)

pit bull puppies

Two of five pit bull mix puppies now available for adoption.

The coolest thing I discovered at Dogs on the Lawn was Kansas City’s first food truck for dogs.

Good Dog 2 Go serves homemade, grain-free treats (which the puppies loved) and Bowser Beer, a non-alcoholic beverage for dogs that is made on the West coast.

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I grabbed a bottle for the boys at home!

Come back tomorrow to see how they liked the brew!

Although we missed each other, Our Waldo Bungie’s Emily and adoptable Moby the Wonderdog also attended Dogs on the Lawn. Check out the post here.

10 Inspiring Faces of 2012

I blog because I’m a compulsive writer.

But I don’t put those words on the screen just so I can sit and stare at them.

Like anyone else, I put sentences together and send them out into cyberspace in the hopes that they’ll resonate with somebody else.

I write to express a point of view. I write to tell a story or share facts. I write to learn. I write to connect.

In 2012, writing on this blog, mostly about dogs, allowed me to connect with more awesome people than I can count. Here’s a look at a few of them:

New Friends

1. Katty De Lux, Pin Up from the Paris of the Plains

Pin Up from the Paris of the Plains Katty De Lux

Katty De Lux and Winston, her West Highland White Terrier.

Interacting offline with Kansas City’s blogging community introduced me to many amazing people, including Katty De Lux, a model, blogger and animal lover who adds smile, style and sass to every situation. She wowed me with her mad networking skills when we co-hosted a fundraiser for Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

2. Chris Sailors, Owner, Kennel Creek Pet Resort

Chris Sailors

Chris Sailors with Reilly, Abby, Chalmers and Willow.

The guy with the best-behaved dogs at the Great KC Pet Expo also runs the nicest pet resort in Kansas City. In 2012, Kennel Creek Pet Resort changed my opinion about what to expect from dog daycare and boarding. I’m proud to call owner Chris Sailors a professional collaborator and friend.

3. Amy Oleson, Owner, Fido Fetch Photography

Amy Oleson

Amy Oleson

Amy Oleson was one of the first people to join KC Pittie Pack. Her beautiful pictures helped generate attention for our dog walking group. Less than a year later, she’s now pursuing her dog-umentary photography dream full-time and expecting her first baby.

4. Mike Kitchens, Founder, Midwest Adopt-a-Bull

Midwest Adopt-a-Bull Founder Mike Kitchens

Mike Kitchens and his son Deegan

The story of how pit bull dogs stole Mike Kitchens’ heart generated massive views for this blog in February. Four months later, when his brand new rescue group was just getting started, my big, black foster dog returned from a second failed adoption. Mike could see that we needed support and made space for Charlie Machete.

5. George Lombardi, Director, Missouri Department of Corrections

George Lombardi, Director of Missouri Department of Corrections

George Lombardi

The man who oversees Missouri’s prison system cares about rehabilitation – of people and animals. Under George Lombardi’s leadership, Missouri correctional facilities have implemented Missouri Puppies for Parole, the nation’s most extensive prison-based dog training and adoption program.

Renewed Connections

6. Stacy Ideus, Owner, Stacy Ideus Photography

Stacy Ideus: photographer, blogger, hottie.

Photographer Stacy Ideus

I’m certain Stacy Ideus and I first communicated through the walls of our mothers’ abdomens. Our lives have moved in very different directions since we were born a few days apart in Beatrice, Nebraska. But family, dogs, photography and blogs are bringing my oldest friend and me close again in our third decade.

7. Shawn

Shawn Timm and her dog Dulcie.

Shawn Timm and her dog Dulcie.

When we were kids, Shawn Timm and I were the little girls in our 4-H club who each had very obedient but very big and scary-looking dogs. She still has a mastiff (and a therapy-certified springer spaniel), but my black-and-tan went from a Rottweiler to a miniature pinscher. But we are both still crazy about dogs. And our dogs send Trader Joe’s treats to each other.

8. Miranda

Miranda Loehle

Miranda Loehle

 In 2011, my long lost high school friend Miranda Loehle found me and my blog and – from halfway across the country – introduced me to a fellow dog blogger in my neighborhood. In 2012, Miranda continued supporting this blog, Our Waldo Bungie and countless others. Sadly, it was also the year her beloved dog Brutus crossed the rainbow bridge. He was lucky to be loved by her.

9. Megan

Megan Jackson

My cousin Megan Jackson and me.

My cousin Megan and I didn’t play together as kids. But if we lived in the same city, we would definitely “play” together as adults. In 2012, we realized we have a lot more than family in common. She’s a marketing manager for a farmers’ market in Lincoln, Nebraska, and she can make things like yogurt, kim chi and lard from scratch. She’s kinda my hero.

10. Holly

husky mix

Unlike the other people in this category, my friend Holly and I haven’t been acquainted for lots of years. We’ve known each other for a few, but in 2012, our casual friendship was cemented when she adopted my much-loved foster dog Minnie.

Who has blogging brought closer to you?

How We Helped Dogs in 2012

Way back when my little Wayward Dogs project began, I started this blog to chronicle the lost, stray and abandoned canines I encountered.

Lost dog

I’m quite happy to report that for a second year in a row, those experiences did not occur frequently enough to warrant daily posts. In fact, I hardly ran into any wayward dogs on the streets in the year 2012!

That, of course, meant I had to fill in the days with posts about other things, including other people’s awesome dog projects, including:

Then, there was the KC Pittie Pack…

KC Pittie Pack & Friends at Loose Park. Photo by Fido Fetch Photography.

KC Pittie Pack & Friends at Loose Park. Photo by Fido Fetch Photography.

Emily from Our Waldo Bungie and I came together in 2012 to create a co-project of our own.

We founded KC Pittie Pack & Friends, a walking group designed to help people socialize their pets in a structured environment. In its first year, KC Pittie Pack:

Fundraising

In 2012, I also used this blog as a platform to generate support for local animal welfare organizations.

My awesome blog readers helped me:

And the year was not totally devoid of “wayward dogs.”

Tara the elderbull

Of the handful of lost dogs I encountered, the three I was able to assist appeared when I was en route to work:

  • Malakai – A gorgeous and sweet husky dog who was stopping traffic on a very busy Kansas City street.
  • Tara – I knew my neighbor’s elderbull was never supposed to run around the ‘hood by herself.
  • Cotton – A hunting dog I totally failed to blog about. Rather than taking him with me, I turned back toward home. Cotton’s ID tag had a phone number, so I left a message on his owner’s voicemail that his dog was safe and how to reach me. Then, I went on to work. Within 20 minutes, Cotton’s uber-relieved-sounding dad called him, so I told him where to go pick up his pup.

Foster Dogs

The fact that very few stray doggies followed me home in 2012 was actually a really good thing, considering at the beginning of the year we still had two formerly wayward dogs under our roof – Minnie and Charlie Machete – in addition to our two forever dogs.

Machete loves our husky mix Minnie.

No kidding – four was too much for our little house and the humans inside it.

Fortunately, by May, both fosters were adopted. But the reprieve did not last long.

Less than a year after he originally arrived in our lives, Charlie Machete came back – by way of a shelter in Omaha.

Machete bat ears-crop

We still don’t know exactly why he ended up behind bars, but we are grateful Charlie Machete’s adopters never changed the contact information on his microchip. Because they didn’t, the shelter called me, and Zach was able to make the three-hour drive to bail out our big black foster dog, who was otherwise on the list to be euthanized.

For now, he remains with us – when he’s not playing with his friends at Kennel Creek Pet Resort – and is available for adoption through Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

Influencing Others

Although I haven’t proven to be a very successful dog foster mom, I’m proud to say that, through networking, I was able to help some other dogs find forever homes in 2012.

Sometimes I feel funny about the fact that I am the girl who almost daily posts sad pictures of dogs desperate to be adopted. I know this habit annoys some of my friends, but I keep doing it for a good reason: Sometimes the sharing pays off.

beagle husky mix

Because I helped my friend and fellow Kansas City pet advocate Nicole get the word out, these two dogs landed in forever homes in 2012:

  • Mia, a beagle/husky mix was adopted by my coworker
  • A black lab puppy was taken into a foster home that adopted him

My constant fretting about wayward dogs also seems to have had an effect on Zach’s and my mothers.

In 2012, both of them made successful efforts to apprehend and return home lost dogs in their own neighborhoods.

I have also noticed that generally in life I am becoming the person others turn to when they have questions about dogs. That sure feels good, and I always try to help if I can.

Here’s hoping for more successful efforts on behalf of dogs in 2013!

What was your biggest accomplishment for dogs last year?

How to Be Charitable for Pets on #GivingTuesday

Buck here has a question: “Do you know what tomorrow is?”

Adoptable bully breed dog in Kansas City

Answer:

Following on the heels of the retail-oriented Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday observances, Giving Tuesday is a new day that’s all about taking an action.

Giving Tuesday celebrates giving back to your community – through volunteering or donations to the charitable causes that speak to you.

In honor of this theme, I’m dedicating this post to one of my favorite non-profit organizations and urging you all to support its mission.

Adoptable Buck is making an appearance on the blog today because, just like my foster mutt Charlie Machete, he’s part of the charity group I’m thinking of – Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

As I’ve shared in earlier posts, Midwest Adopt-a-Bull is a very small, volunteer-based dog rescue group that provides foster care to homeless and neglected animals in the Kansas City area.

MIdwest Adopt-a-Bull

In less than a year of existence, this group has already helped more than 20 animals receive medical treatment and get into foster or forever homes.

Founder Mike Kitchens and his small team of volunteers would love to help more dogs. Getting more people involved in the effort will make that possible.

How You Can Help

Check out the Midwest Adopt-a-Bull website and do one or all of the following:

  • Look at the pictures of and read the stories of the adoptable animals. Then, share the links with your social networks.
  • Ask yourself if you are ready to foster or offer your time and skills to the group in other ways. Then, express your desire to help by filling out an application.
  • Make a monetary donation.
  • Mark your calendar for December 14, the date of an upcoming fundraiser at Stuey McBrew’s in  Lee’s Summit.

You can also help animals in Kansas City by volunteering with another animal welfare organization or shelter.

For a great list of animal rescue organizations and shelters in Kansas City, check out Friends of KC Animals’ resources page.

If you don’t live in Kansas City, find an animal welfare organization in your area that needs help.

Wherever you are, find an organization that you believe in, and give what you can.

Maybe that’s a bag of dog food. Maybe it’s a much-needed 30-minute walk for a shelter dog. Maybe it’s opening your home to a homeless animal for a while – or forever.

There are many ways to help.

Do you volunteer with an animal welfare or other charitable organization? Share a few words about your favorite cause in the comments.

This post is part of a charity blog hop. Scroll down to see what other organizations Kansas City bloggers are showing support for today.

Make it a Season of Giving in Kansas City

To learn about other Kansas City charities and how you can make the season brighter for others, visit these great blogs:

Everyday Truth — Bear Hugs

it’s me, debcb! — Safehome

Back to Allen — The Children’s Place

Whatcha Makin Now — Wayside Waifs

Soleful Suitcases — KC Rescue Mission

Sarah Scoop — Toys for Tots

Laughing Cat Creations — Turning Point

Blogchickabowow — Jewish Family Services

Healthnut Foodie — Veronica’s Voice

Raising the Barrs — Hillcrest Transitional Housing

KC Edventures — Salvation Army

The Happy Family Movement — Rose Brooks Women’s Center

adoptable pit bull in kansas city

Happy #GivingTuesday!

Happy Halloween from the Wayward Pack and Friends

pit bull pumpkin

Not my jack o’lantern, but an awesome one!

Everybody loves to see a dog in a costume.

But we went simple with the Halloween outfits this year.

Scooby put on his “monster” coat.

scooby in a monster jacket

Let sleeping monsters lie.

There’s a skull and crossbones. It’s festive.

scooby in a monster coat

With the right Instagram filter, an old dog’s face can look less gray.

Foster boy Charlie Machete pretended to be A Guy Who Likes 90s Music.

charlie machete in a shirt

“I’ll just be over here listening to 96.5 The Buzz.”

charlie machete in a band shirt

“A flea plays bass? That’s gotta be a really small guitar!”

Surprisingly, he didn’t mind that old Red Hot Chili Peppers shirt at all. I put it on him last night for the photo shoot, and then he slept in it until morning.

Could it be that Charlie Machete the macho man is secretly a fashion-a-bull fellow who enjoys dressing up? He sure looked good in his Preppy Guy Outfit last Sunday…

Some other Midwest Adopt-a-Bull dogs are getting into the Halloween spirit, too.

Check out some of the adora-bull pics I found in my inbox last night:

Starbuck (aka Buck) is handsome as ever in his festive bandana:

Buck in a Haloween bandana

Where’s my treat?

Remember Angel? She survived scary life on the streets, but now she’s looking good in a candy corn bandana.

Angel the rotty mix in a bandana

Life is much sweeter now.

Check out Angel (aka Ariel)’s adoptable profile.

Mugsy has two costumes.

Mugsy the witch

Mugsy the witch.

Maybe I just have 90s music on the brain, but this one makes me think of a Blind Melon song:

Mugsy the bumblebe

Mugsy as a bumblebee.

Happy holiday, everyone! I hope it’s a safe one that involves many treats for you and your pets!

What are your Halloween plans? If they involve dressing up your dog, feel free to share a pic on the Wayward Dogs fanpage on Facebook!

We Made Out Well at Madewell

After the bully breed-centric whirlwind of last weekend, I needed a break.

I knew I would, and that’s why I not only took yesterday off from blogging but also from work.

It was glorious. I jogged the dogs. I walked the dogs. And I spent a good deal of time talking dogs.

And all day, I wore the awesome new necklace I bought at Madewell.

Boston terrier necklace

It’s a Boston Terrier!

My mom gets the credit for spotting the totally relevant piece of jewelry (and the matching earrings!) that was randomly available during Fashion-a-Bull Fall at Madewell, the Midwest Adopt-a-Bull fundraiser Katty Delux and I hosted at the Leawood, Kansas, store last Sunday.

Although we didn’t quite hit the lofty $500 goal I set, by the end of the day, we tallied over $300 in cash and checks.

I’d say that’s not too shabby.

The money will help replenish funds spent over the past few days to help Tracy, a dog who is suffering complications from her recent leg amputation.

Although no Midwest Adopt-a-Bull dogs attended the event, a little pack of poodle mixes and Romeo, an adoptable shepherd mix, posted up outside the store with representatives from Kennel Creek Pet Resort.

poodle mixes in Chiefs t-shirts

The very obedient Chalmer, Willow and Reilly. Photo by Kemberley Elliott.

We were lucky that the weather was great. And as I expected, having the dogs at the entrance drew a lot of attention and resulted in more raffle ticket sales.

I have to credit where it’s due, though. My colleagues at Staples Promotional Products really ponied up for this cause. Between those who bought raffle tickets in advance and those who came to the actual event, my coworkers contributed over $100 to Midwest Adopt-a-Bull. As a result, I’m taking three of the prize packages we drew for to some lucky Staples friends tomorrow.

Big thanks also goes to my non-work friends, family members and businesses who showed support through their attendance, benjamins and prizes. Of course, Madewell gets mad props for hosting.

I couldn’t be more grateful to Katty for helping me coordinate the event and rounding up tons of lovely prize donation.

Umba Box, Waggiweal leash, Kennel Creek gift certificate

Goodies from Waggiwear, Umba Box, Kennel Creek Pet Resort, Simply Grooming by Gia, artist Kathleen Henn, Tumbleweeds and YourBrandPartner.com. Photo by Kemberley Elliott.

As it turns out, the pin-up and the crazy dog lady make a darn good team (even though we totally failed to get a photo of ourselves together).

My appreciation extends as well to my wonderful blog readers who have commented, shared and put up with my relentless promotion of this event over the past couple of weeks. I do hope you enjoyed the posts, but I do promise to cover some different topics and stop begging you for money – at least for a little while.

We’ll start tomorrow, with something Halloweenie.

However, it might not be as cute as this:

It's a Fairy Bull

Polly Pocket the Fairy Bull. Photo courtesy Our Waldo Bungie.

The Most Fashion-a-Bull award of the day went to Polly Pocket.

Our Waldo Bungie‘s foster dog made a special appearance. There is breed specific legislation against pit bulls in Leawood, and while we can’t know for sure what Polly is without a DNA test,  the boxer-and-maybe-pittie mix played it safe and festive by wearing a disguise her Halloween costume.

If Polly the adora-bull fairy dog looks like someone you want to add to your family, check out her Petfinder profile!

What’s your dog going to be for Halloween?

Fashion-a-Bull Fall Fun

Are you feeling Fashion-a-Bull?

Pit bull supporter with sign

“I am a writer. I am a pit bull supporter. I am the majority.” Photo by Emily Hawkins.

Charlie Machete felt very fashion-a-bull yesterday when he donned a Thundershirt + bandana for the Coast to Coast Bully Walk with KC Pittie Pack. We’ll call it his Preppy Guy Halloween Costume.

KC Pittie Pack had a bigger turnout – and more bully breed dogs – than usual for our special Pit Bull Awareness Day Walk.

Emily from Our Waldo Bungie and her husband Daniel wisely left their dogs at home so that they could document the event and get photos of everyone holding up the signs inspired by Animal Farm Foundation’s “I Am the Majority” campaign.

You can check out more photos at the KC Pittie Pack pages on Facebook and Meetup.

If you’ve been following my posts all week, you also know that today is another big day for me in the way of bully breed awareness efforts and fashion.

Fashion-a-Bull Fall flyer

I am so excited about everything Katty Delux, the Madewell gals and I have in store (pun intended) for this fabulous autumn event!

Fashion-a-Bull shoppers will be greeted at the door by some friendly doggies, including one wearing a Tiennot Knits Sweater, and some four-legged Chiefs fans who are coming over from Kennel Creek Pet Resort.

The first 20 shoppers will receive a free treat bag full of gifts and notes from our event sponsors.

The raffle prize list includes gift certificates from Tiennot Knits, Kennel Creek and many other awesome donors. And the list of goodies you can win just keeps getting better!

Katty scored a donation from Umba Box, and I picked up these gorgeous, handmade magnets from the Magnet Lady Kathleen Henn last night.

pit bull magnets by Kathleen Henn

Wouldn’t these look great on your fridge?

So far, we are about $150 toward our goal of raising $500 for the care of the dogs of Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

If you are in the Kansas City area, please consider stopping by the Madewell shop at Town Center Plaza in Leawood. Our party is happening from 4-6 p.m.

Raffle tickets are $5, and winners need not be present to claim their prize.

Those who don’t take home a raffle prize can win as shoppers. Madewell has several sales going on right now, plus a special discount for our party. Everyone who attends will be entered in a drawing for a Madewell gift card and get to enjoy complimentary refreshments.

For more information, check out the Facebook event  page

For more prize pictures check out the Fashion-a-Bull Fall at Madewell photo album on Wayward Dogs’ Facebook page.

If you entered the Retro Vixen giveaway and are wondering if you won, check out this post at Katty’s blog Chronicles of a Sweet Tooth.

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