Introducing Mamas Got Heart

Introducing Mamas Got Heart! After over 2 years of writing, cooking and reflecting, reviewing many eco friendly items, I have decided to open my own online store where you will find, “Purposeful, Practical, Fun and Mindful Goods.” The store has a several collections curated by me with collections for eco friendly home goods (tea towels, dish cloths), wool goods (handmade wool dryer balls and ornaments), PLAY collection (include Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks), party favor plastic alternatives, eco decorations, books, pins and even a dairy free collection! Thank you for your inspiration and support over the years leading me to launch this store!

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Viviva Colors Colorsheets Review

A full review on Viviva Colorsheets— and its unique take on watercolor paints! No palette, tubes of paint or bulky paint sets needed to create vibrant and lively watercolors. Portable and easy to use. The engraving add-on is all you need to make someone feel special and inspire them to breathe, create and be!

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2 hour drive Kid-friendly Catskills Getaway close to NYC: Yogi Bear Jellystone LazyRiver Park Trip (Gardiner, NY); Lake Minnewaska State Preserve; Coxingkill Split Rock Swimmimg hole; Mohonk Mountain House(New Paltz, NY)

A Kid friendly Getaway in the Catskills Region in New York State: We stayed in Gardiner, NY at Yogi Bear Jellystone LazyRiver Par — it was only about a 2 hour drive from NYC. We visited Lake Minnewaska State Park, Mohonk Mountain House and Coxing Split Rock swimming hole. It was a great way to spend some time taking in the fresh air, spend some time taking in the beauty of nature, hiking, slowing down, playing and exploring.

View More 2 hour drive Kid-friendly Catskills Getaway close to NYC: Yogi Bear Jellystone LazyRiver Park Trip (Gardiner, NY); Lake Minnewaska State Preserve; Coxingkill Split Rock Swimmimg hole; Mohonk Mountain House(New Paltz, NY)

Children are 100% our Future

Children are 100% our future.
School age children that attend school often spend more time in their day with teachers, than their families. Families also play an essential role in shaping the minds of the children that they also spend time with.

As I reflected all day about what to share on social media, I thought about why I chose to become a teacher, and an early childhood teacher at that and how the education a child receives becomes embedded into their character from the moment a child is born.

How can we achieve equity, equality and embrace diversity when lower income neighborhoods get funded less than higher income neighborhoods? How is this fair? How is this just?

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Sweet Corn Arepas (Corn Cakes) with Cheese

Ridiculously quick and easy sweet corn arepas filled with mozzarella or whatever you please! Just add water and milk of your choice (I used oat milk). Looking forward to trying these arepas out with different toppings such as pulled pork and refried beans- imagine these with a fried egg on top or scrambled egg with and cheese – so many possibilities #hopscotch_mom, #sweetcornarepas, #hopscotchfood, #instafood

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A Tribute to Teachers Poem

A Tribute to Teachers Poem for Teacher Appreciation Week written by a fellow educator.

“Teachers are real life superheroes.

Teachers spend all their lives being teachers, not just on the days they teach.

Teachers always think about their students- what can they do to ignite their curiosity and their love of learning.

Teachers go grocery shopping b and come home with food for their families and a lesson on how to introduce a social studies unit on cultures and diversity.

Teachers go on a nature walk and think how they can bring nature indoors- and hot down ideas to share in the science unit they are doing.

Teachers stock their house even when they might not have space on clearance art materials, coffee filters, markers, paints, plastic containers, folders and more.

Teachers hoard toys and goodies to store in their treasure boxes

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Super Easy Filipino Shrimp Palabok Rice Noodles

Easy Filipino Palabok or Shrimp Gravy Rice Noodles. Essentially, it is rice noodles topped with shrimp gravy (often made by using the inside of shrimp heads, which helps yield its ridiculously flavorful sauce)), topped with crispy garlic, crushed chicharron, sliced boiled eggs, chopped up scallions and lemon to taste. The only thing you need to prep is the crispy garlic, chopped scallions and lemon wedges. The shrimp and noodles cook super fast!

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Homemade Dumpling Fun with Kids

Making dumpling with kids is pretty much the same as making edible play doh! We did homemade play doh earlier this month for a school assignment and little did I realize how both doughs use the same ingredients, salt, flour and water–except dumpling wrappers uses warm or hot water and play doh uses room temperature water. All you need is flour, salt, hot water, kid friendly knife, cutting boards , rolling pins with the filling of your choice! Cute aprons totally optional! A great way to bond as a family and kids get hands one, real life hands in learning! Plus, the mini cutting boards and rolling pins can work for so many other things and I plan Rn do them all with the kids–pizza, pupusas, samosas, tortillas and more!

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Easy Mini Corn Dogs

Not sure if I know any kid or any one that doesn’t like mini foods or food on a stick! I may be making a separate list on a at home Carnival Day one of these days. But for now, I’m proud to present the most perfect corn dogs with the perfect light and crispy exterior, soft and somewhat fluffy interior and juicy hot dog in the middle- the perfect ball me of rich, yet light and just a little salty and sweet. These Mini corn dogs are so easy to make and so tasty. A great pick me upper and it makes a day at home seem like a carnival day. All you need is hot dogs, flour, masa harina (or cornmeal ), milk, salt,‘pepper, baking powder egg and sugar. Use the leftover batter to fry cheese sticks!

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McDonald’s Copycat Cheeseburger from Scratch

Super easy McDonalds Copycat Cheeseburger. Stuck at home, but don’t want to order take out or delivery? Brighten up every kids day with this “happy” meal. It’s pretty much just ground beef, shaped into patties, with salt and pepper to taste. Read on to find out the method used to get the McDonald’s flavor!

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DaTerra Cucina Made in Italy 13 inch Wok and 8 Quart Dutch Oven Review and Giveaway

DaTerra Cucina Review of their non stick, lead and cadium free, PTAE and PFOE free, Made in Italy, anodized aluminum based Volcanic Ceramic 13 inch Wok and 8 Quart Dutch Oven! Also oven safe to 450F and dishwasher safe with silicone grip and glass lid and silicone seal.

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SB Japanese style Garlic, Olive Oil and Chili Pepper Spaghetti with Chinese Broccoli

Japanese Style spaghetti using the SB Seasoning Packet— a twist on the garlicky broccoli rabe spaghetti you all probably know and love— the Chinese broccoli gives it a crunch and adds a little sweetness- the natto is optional, but gives it a little cheese like Unami flavor

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1-2-3 My Feelings and Me by Goldie Millar and Lisa A. Berger

1-2-3 Feelings for Me by Goldie Miller and Lisa A. Berger is a comprehensive and well thought out book on feelings. It can help a child navigate and be more aware of how they are feeling and provide ways in which they can categorize their feelings, share them, manage them and empower themselves through self-talk. A great book for school directors, principals, guidance counselors and teachers doing detailed unit on feelings in school or for those who work and interact with children as their profession, such as Child Life Specialists, pediatric nurses, pediatricians and hospital educators. This book can also be an asset to parents who want to better understand the details on feelings and how a child sees and experience, process, internalize and express their feelings.

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Low Sodium White Sauce Adobo Chicken

I’ve never met anyone who had tried Filipino Adobo Chicken and didn’t love it: chicken or pork simmered in soy sauce, vinegar, black peppercorns, bay leaf and sugar. I always try to reduce my salt intake (since my borderline hypertension scare about a year ago) and try to find ways to do it, without compromising the flavor of the food. Here’s my take on flavorful, low sodium white adobo chicken!

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Temper Tamers Jar

These Temper Tamers Set Of cards by Free Spirit Publishing are a great for children to practice dealing with anger. The more often someone repeatedly practices listening, sharing and reflecting, the more a person makes it part of their lifestyle; and they carry on with these healthy habits of coping until they are adults. I also really like the order of the cards where the children get to first connect the card to self by sharing, then include tips on what to do when you come across angry feelings, a what would you do section to ask openly what you would do in a situation involving anger and act it out section to reiterate and practice what has been learned!


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Worries are Not Forever by Elizabeth Verdick

Have you ever felt worried? What does it mean? How does my body felt differently when it is worried? Do adults worry too? How can I overcome this feeling? The breathing technique the author highlight in this book is brilliant, fun and relatable to many kids , “Breathe in slowly through your nose like you’re smelling cookies. Breathe out slowly through your mouth, like you’re blowing bubbles.” It honestly taught me a more visual and improved way to breathe in and out. Try it too! Smell those cookies and blow those bubbles!

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“End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy” by Michele Borba, Ed.D.

End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy by Michele Borba empowers everyone that comes in contact with a child being bullied. She covers anything and everything that is bully related from signs that a child might be bullied, to where it often occurs, how to create a safe zone for students, how to make reporting more available and effective, how to get the parent and community involved in  the school’s anti -bullying policy (she even provides an example of a real school’s anti-bullying policy for reference) and signs to look that can make a child more prone to being bullied or being a bully; as well as the effects bullying (as both victim and/or bystander) can have on children and how it can potentially lead the child into more problems in adulthood. Lots of free print outs to use for professional development in schools and sample bullying reports for students, schools or parents to fill out.

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A Simple and Versatile Sauce to make 5 Different Salads: Garlicky Kelp Seaweed, Cucumber, Celery, Beansprout and Jellyfish

A Simple and Versatile Sauce to make 5 Different Salads: Garlicky Kelp Seaweed, Cucumber, Celery, Beansprout and Jellyfish Salad! Since I prefer it when recipes are easy to remember, I tried to come up with a ratio of measurements that is easy to remember. Well, it doesn’t get easier than this: 1 tsp of each component of the sauce! Great for summer time hot weather when you don’t really want hot food.

View More A Simple and Versatile Sauce to make 5 Different Salads: Garlicky Kelp Seaweed, Cucumber, Celery, Beansprout and Jellyfish

Amazing Dairyfree Blueberry Pie Chia Pudding with Stonewall Maine Blueberry Jam and Graham Cracker Topping

Easy Dairyfree Blueberry Pie Chia Pudding with Graham Cracker And Blueberry Jam Topping. Easy and delicious! You’ll want to make this over again and again. Add teddy grahams for the kids!

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Easy Dairyfree Overnight Coconut Chia Pudding with Dried Mango

A really tasty and easy dairy Free Overnight Coconut Chia Pudding with Dried Mango. Great to grab for a quick breakfast or snack; a refreshing pick me up. Also, see recommendations for 8oz mason jars and cool flip top lids for easy open and close; and storage in the fridge. You simply flip the top and eat right out if it.

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2 Step Easy Chinese Braised Pork Belly and 2 Ways to Eat it

Two step way to make pork belly and 2 ways to serve it! You literally just combine all the ingredients and cook on low for 2-3 hours. This version is almost the same as my soy sauce chicken. I opted to use rock sugar and it gives it a stickier and almost honey like flavor- and somehow, I feel it tenderizes the meat as it cooks too. I served it with congee for the kids and my husband and I had it Korean style in a lettuce wrap and Ssamjang , a Korean soybean paste condiment. Sooo tasty!

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From A to Z with Energy by Connie Bernstein Dow

Book Review: From A to Z with Energy by Connie Bernstein Dow uses each letter of the alphabet to suggest different ways to be active. The pacing of the book is constant throughout the story (I counted 13 syllables per page), giving readers the opportunity to clap or tap the beat; and to move along in the story ! Eating a healthy lunch (nutrition), exhaling (breathing/emotional regulation) and playing (playground, hiking, stretching) are just a few of the many ways that Dow chooses to show how energy can be dispersed.

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Salmon Yakizuke (Japanese Grilled Salmon marinated with sake, soy sauce, mirin and lemon) with Buckwheat Soba Cold Dipping Noodles

A delightful Salmon Yakizuke (Salmon that is first grilled, then marinated with sake, soy sauce, mirin and lemon) recipe served with Cold Soba Buckwheat Dipping Noodles— a perfectly refreshing summer meal- and an eating experience in itself.

View More Salmon Yakizuke (Japanese Grilled Salmon marinated with sake, soy sauce, mirin and lemon) with Buckwheat Soba Cold Dipping Noodles

Esme’s 3rd Birthday with a Pikachu Themed Party

Esme Turns 3 in this Pikachu Inspired Themed Children’s Birthday Party!

Activities and games include:

Pikachu Bean Bag Toss
–> Because Pikachu love red foods
Pin the Electric Shocks on Pikachu’s Cheeks
–> Because Pikachu gets charged when he sleeps
Pikachu Maze
–> Did you know Pikachu is a mouse?
Pikachu Animal Hopsital
–> Because Pikachu is different from Other Pokémons and doesn’t like to be in the pokeball– he likes to be out with his pal, Ash. He also likes to help others. And so, we made a Animal Hospital where Pikachu gets to show kindness by taking care of pets that have been “hurt”
Pikachu Red light, green light 1,2,3
–> Don’t wake Pikachu! He needs sleep to recharge.

Read on for photos, link to the video clip and full supply list for Pikachu Inspired Birthday Party!

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Ayla’s 5th Sunny Day Salon Themed Birthday Party

Ayla’s Sunny Day Hair Salon Themed 5th Birthday Party: Nail Polish Station, Highlights Station, Styling Station, Decorate a Mirror, decorate a headband, decorate a cap; and a Sunny Day Music Video/ Dance to end the birthday party

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I’m Happy-Sad Today by Lory Britain, PhD

Excellent book, with superb illustrations on mixed up feelings. Happy to see mom, but sad because you have to stop playing? Scared to be in a classroom for a first time, but brave because you are going to school? Painting, pretend play and dancing are all healthy ways to express yourself. Last few pages can be used to make several lesson plans.

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Earth Day Compost Art

Compost Art Reflection:
I watched as layers and layers of egg shells, coffee grinds, vegetable peels and apple cores get tossed into the compost bin.
The more we add in, the more beautiful it gets, layer by layer, piece by piece.
Individual pieces of everything all getting thrown away all break down, until one day, it turns into something beautiful and useful together.
Everything that was meant to be useless, broken, and tossed into a waste basket eventually turns into something fruitful for all the earth.
It reminds me of the world we live in…no one is perfect, yet when everyone works collaboratively, earth becomes a richer place. 
All this inspired me to create this page of compost art…and remind me of how beautiful nature is!

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Earth Day Skoy Eco-friendly Cloth, Scrubber and Towels Review and Giveaway

Skoy Cloths are made from natural cotton and wood-based cellulose pulp. Yes, this is a cloth derived from wood! This sponge alternative is dishwasher, machine washashable/dryer safe and biodegradable/compostable! Read more on my review on the cloths, scrubbers and towels!

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Happy One Year Hopscotch Mom and Giveaways!

Hopscotch Mom Turns One! Come on and join in on the giveaway! We are giving away an end grain walnut Cutting Board from Brooklyn Butcher Blocks, a set of adorable Eco-friendly Friendsheep Wool Balls and one lucky winner from around the world will win a signed art print by Edie Art!

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Friendsheep Wool Eco friendly Dryer Balls

Friendsheep Eco Friendly Wool Dryer Balls and Other Goods. These dryer balls are made with fair wage by Nepali Artisans in underprivileged communities and all their packaging is 100 percent recyclable and/or biodegradable and compostable. These adorable dryer balls work great to soften the load. I am more than happy having them found in random places in my home, as they unexpectedly bring a smile to my face whenever I see them. Add a few drops of essential oil to the dryer balls to gently scent the clothing. The fun designs and shapes of the dryer balls and air freshener make them a welcome addition anywhere in our home drawers, washing machine, children’s playhouse and more. Tuck in Spring or Easter Egg hunts, in goody bags, gift to adults and kids alike!

View More Friendsheep Wool Eco friendly Dryer Balls

Beef Chili with Whatever Canned Goods You’ve Got

Chilli to me is a full sensational experience in a bowl: the spices of cumin, garlic and Chilli seasoning warm you; the aromatics from beginning to end stages slowly build up your craving for it. The raw onions, garlic and peppers wake you up the minute you start cutting them up. Then when you hear it sizzling, and bubbling, you await the moment it is done cooking and ready for tasting. Then when you taste it, you feel comforted and happy, yet excited from the kick from the jalapeños!

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Cool Down and Work Through Anger by Cheri J. Meiners

Excellent, clear and easy to understand book with examples of when children might get angry and how to work through them in a positive way. Great images. Bonus guidelines in the back of the story for adults on how to engage in discussion with children and a page by page(s) on how to break down the content.

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LEGO Play!

How often do you stop and truly PLAY with your child(ten)? I encourage you to stop what you are doing at least once this month to just play! You will see your kids’ face light up, like never before. You, their parent who is usually working or cooking, cleaning or folding; it’s the most intriguing and endearing thing to them to see you laugh, be creative and play like a kid ! You are their role model. You are the person your child looks up to; their first teacher; their inspiration. What are you telling/ showing your child when you stop what you’re doing to play with them ? How does that make them feel? How does that make you feel?

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Art tells us it’s Okay to be You

Why kids do so much art? Why is art important in early childhood and beyond?

The more you art, the more you start to realize art is embedded in our lives and shares bits and pieces of who we are as unique, one of a kind individuals.
Art is about developing yourself. It’s taking baby steps to try new things and trying to understand things other people create and respecting their point of view.

Art is you and you are one of a kind. You are special because there is no one like you.

Life is about sharing who you are to the world, and finding not IF we connect, but HOW, WHERE and WHY we connect.

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Olivia’s 6th Birthday- Thunderstorm Party

Thunderstorm Themed Party inspired by senses. Hail-Ci-cles, tornado tops, pop rocks, raindrop jellybeans , lifesaver wintergreen spark, dried flowers, mod podge drizzle, marble painting, sensory calm tube, calm after the storm, comfort food.

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Replacing Paper Towels with the Multipurpose Harringdons Tea Towels

Replacing Paper Towels with the Multipurpose Harringdons Tea Towels- wrap a gift, keep bread fresh, apron, drying dishes and cutlery-they are amazing, 100% cotton and so soft in your hands- they don’t snag, wash well and work for everything you could imagine in your kitchen.

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Hick’s Nurseries- Christmas Wonderland

Have you picked out your Christmas tree yet this year? Do you love unique plants and Winter Wonderland? Maybe all the holiday shopping online has been draining you of the Christmas spirit? Living in New York all my life, I really can’t believe I’ve ever been here. My husband found this place and we have been meaning to go for years now, but we never had a chance to, until now. It will now be a yearly trek to Long Island to visit Hick’s Nurseries. You come here and you feel as if you’ve traveled in time, back into childhood if days that beautiful trees and ornaments filled your eyes with awe, minds with magic and heart with joy. Come and reminisce on those nostalgic memories of childhood days, where you learn to live in the moment and appreciate the little things that spark great joy.

View More Hick’s Nurseries- Christmas Wonderland

Plastic to Wooden Cutting Board featuring Virginia Boys Kitchen Walnut Wood Cutting Boards

Why I switched to a wood cutting board. A review of Virginia Boys Kitchen Walnut Wood Cutting Boards. Responsibly made in the USA, using all natural materials and sustainably sourced local wood. They stand behind their cutting boards and offer a LIFETIME GUARANTEE.

View More Plastic to Wooden Cutting Board featuring Virginia Boys Kitchen Walnut Wood Cutting Boards

Easy and Even Easier Halal Chicken Over Rice

After numerous attempts at grinding fresh herbs and making every ingredient from scratch, I discovered this easy halal chicken that tastes as real as it gets when compared to the NYC Halal Carts. It also happens to be the simplest recipe. Try out this easy Halal Chicken over Rice! Updated now with improved white sauce!

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Filipino Style Bitter melon (Ampalaya) Egg Scramble with Tomatoes

Filipino style scrambled bitter melon with egg and tomatoes. After sprinkling the bittermelon with salt, the bitterness is barely noticeable and you are left with a slightly smoky flavored pepper. The garlic, scrambled egg and tomatoes make this dish humbly delicious.

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Korean Beansprouts Two Ways

Beansprout soup, like Miso Soup, I love to make for the girls for either breakfast or dinner during school days. It’s nutritious and loaded with beansprout, garlic, scallions and dried sardines.
After a long day at school, often eating salty and dried foods, having this for dinner I feel helps balance whatever they had at school all day. I love how versatile the soup is and how if you are watching your salt intake, it’s easy to control or go sans salt altogether and add extra Korean red pepper powder.

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Easy Chinese Take-out Fried Chicken Wings

You can’t really go wrong with fried chicken wings. Seriously , you can probably just add salt to the chicken wing and flour them, deep fry them and they will be tasty. It’s something about the crispy, yet chewy Unami flavor of the first juicy bite. Not matter how you fry it, it’s just tasty in its own way. This recipe for Chinese take-out chicken wings is super simple and satisfying.

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The Easiest & Most Versatile Wontons

The easiest and most versatile wonton recipe. The only ingredients are wonton wrappers, scallion and fish sauce. Add chicken broth to turn it to a soup and add veggies to make it a meal. Add chili oil or sesame oil with a sprinkle of soy sauce to add extra Unami flavor and to give it a little Szechuan flair. Or simply just have it hot, fresh and plain with black vinegar on the side to use as a dipping sauce.

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Art Things I always have in Bulk

Kids climbing under the tables while dining out? Saying they’re bored at restaurants while they wait for food? Unexpected traffic on the way home? See some of my favorite items (that are light, convenient and not too messy) to pack on the go and other items I have in bulk at home. Anyone that knows me, knows I always have a few of these things in my bag at all time! Great boredom busters.

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