Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Checking Our List #9: Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart and Play Food Sets from Gummy Lump {Review & Giveaway}

{This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Kiana!}

As much as I enjoy playing with my kids, I really love to sit back and watch them play as well. Just observing the things that they come up with and the way that their minds work when they are pretending not only makes me laugh but is teaching them so many valuable, lifelong skills.

What can dramatic play teach? Everything from cooperation and sharing to problem-solving, empathy (by pretending to be someone else and seeing their point of view), vocabulary and the power of language, cognitive and abstract thinking, as well as self-esteem and confidence.

That's quite a bit of importance to be placed on pretending, isn't it?

Therefore, when it comes to the toys that kids use when they are dreaming up their next adventure, it's worth it to invest in the very best. Which is exactly what you're going to get when you shop at Gummy Lump.

Whether you're shopping for wooden toys, puzzles, blocks, giant stuffed animals or more, Gummy Lump provides only the highest quality, award-winning products for all ages and abilities that the whole family can enjoy. And when it comes to pretend play, their wide selection has something for every personality.

As there is probably not a thing in the world of dramatic play that appeals to my daughters more than play food, they have been having the time of their lives with three of the incredible Melissa & Doug items that Gummy Lump has to offer.

First up, the Slice and Bake Cookies Play Food Set.

Complete with 12 frosted cookies on a baking pan and a knife, spatula, oven mitt and container, this wooden play food set is ready to entertain right out of the box. Big Sister E and Little Sister B watched as I showed them how to take the roll of dough out of the realistic tube, slice it and lay the cookies on the pan. Then, after pausing to represent the baking time (because they were too excited to stop long enough to put the cookies in the oven), we decorated them with the colorful icing.

I definitely didn't need to show them more than once before they dove right in and started to bake. I liked the way that although there were the set steps that Melissa & Doug intended for the Slice and Bake Cookies Play Food Set, that it really is open-ended and fun for kids to do as they please. They want to make double-thick cookies? Sure, go ahead. Want to sort the frostings into matching sets and put them directly on the pan? Not a problem.

The Velcro attaching the icing to the cookies and the cookies to the baking sheet is strong enough to hold but not too much so that small hands can't pull them apart easily... and makes a great slicing noise when cut. As the 12 vanilla and chocolate frosting pieces are colorfully painted with different sprinkles, candy pieces and icing patterns, Big Sister E had to point out and discuss each one and what it might taste like.

Then, after the decorating was complete, both girls served up half the cookies with the spatula and then returned everything back to its original position to start again. When they were done, the cookies all store right inside the dough container until next time... which wasn't long due to how much fun we had baking.

Big Sister E and Little Sister B were so entranced with the Slice and Bake Cookies Set that it was quite a few days later before I decided to raise the level of baking excitement in our house and show them the Bake & Decorate Cupcake Set Play Food that Gummy Lump had also sent.

Another Melissa & Doug high quality toy, I barely had this Cupcake Set out of the packaging before little hands were examining every piece. Just seeing how adorable this set is and how many fun steps are involved in making the cupcakes, I have to admit that I was pretty eager to start playing as well.

Starting with the empty baking pan, Big Sister E and Little Sister B each put two of the paper baking cups in the holes. Next came the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, followed by the four pastel frosting tops that tightly fit right on each one.

Pulling off the cap to one of the three icing tubes, both girls couldn't wait to start adding their own creative sprinkles and decorations to the top of the cupcakes. When that was complete, they added the four colorful candles easily into the Velco openings to complete the set. With a painted flame right on top, all that was left to do was sing a round of Happy Birthday and blow out the candles... together.

As with the Slice and Bake Cookies Set, one aspect that I especially liked about the Bake & Decorate Cupcake Set was that my daughters could do the entire process on their own. After they were done blowing out the candles on their cupcakes, they removed the candles and used a paper towel to literally just wipe away the icing marks they had made. Once that was done, they laid all of the pieces out individually and started again from the beginning.

The only feature of this set that I might change is that as the cupcake wrappers are realistically made out of paper, they did start to flatten out after multiple times of being put in and out of the pan. Maybe a thin plastic coating would help them hold their shape better? However, even as paper, the wrappers and all of the pieces to this Set have held up extremely well considering the hours and hours that they have been played with. These calorie-free cupcakes have been a major hit!

At that point the only way that I could have made Big Sister E and Little Sister B bigger Gummy Lump fans was to add the finishing touch that would make their pretend play complete: the Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart.

Even though my kids have some pretend play items that are fairly realistic, this amazing Shopping Cart takes the prize at being as close as possible to the real thing in a miniature size. Everything from the sturdy metal construction to the folding doll seat made Big Sister E, Little Sister B and I stop and stare for a moment at just how cute this truly is.

Arriving in two main pieces, all that was required was to use the included wrench to tighten two screws on each side and pop the red plastic seat into place and this Shopping Cart was ready for use. In all, assembly probably took less than five minutes... and that was with two overly-excited shoppers hovering nearby.

Describing the Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart can best be summed up as incredible. The pivoting front wheels rotate 360°, making it a breeze to push on both our hardwood and carpeting. At times Little Sister B has had difficulties steering around the corners of our house with other push toys, but this Cart glides across the floor with hardly any effort - which we all loved.

Two additional features that make this Shopping Cart far exceed any others that I've seen are the folding doll seat and the three legs with stoppers along the bottom bar.

Both girls were so excited to be able to have a place for their baby dolls to sit while shopping and Big Sister E pointed out how much she liked that the seat folded up when it wasn't needed. "There's extra room for more food!" she told me, moving the seat out of the way and smiling.

And even though it took me a minute to realize what the legs were for, I love the thinking that went into including them. What happens is that when there is extra weight on the Cart, whether from a child leaning on it or climbing inside, the spring-loaded legs compress and cause the rubber stoppers to rest on the floor - meaning that the Cart will stay in place until the heavy item (or person) is removed. What a great safety measure!

As an addition to a play grocery store or kitchen or just for kids who like to transport their toys around, the Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart is the perfect gift for years of fun. Or, for kids who would love to help pick out the groceries at the store, the compact size and 12½ pound weight of this Cart make it easy to put it right in the trunk of the car and bring it along. Just be prepared for loads of comments on its cuteness!

The amount of fun that we have had with the Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Cookies Play Food Set, Bake & Decorate Cupcake Set Play Food and the Shopping Cart has really been immeasurable. A perfect example of the high quality, award-winning, educational toys that Gummy Lump is known for, I couldn't be happier with these pretend play items.

The amount of time that my girls have spent laughing and playing with them has only been enhanced by how much they are learning at the same time. "You sit up here in the seat, Baby. It's safer to sit up here," Big Sister E often says when she is taking her turn with the Cart and the hand-eye coordination and dexterity that Little Sister B uses with the Cookies and Cupcakes are great skills to practice.

If you're looking for holiday gifts that are guaranteed to bring a smile, I highly suggest checking out the Melissa & Doug section at Gummy Lump. This Cart is on sale for $39.99 and they have a huge selection of Play Food Sets that are only $15.99 - and if you buy three you get the fourth for free! You can't beat a great deal!

Thanks to the extreme generosity of Gummy Lump, one person will have three amazing gifts for the lucky child on their list, because...

One person will win a Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart and their
choice of any TWO Melissa & Doug Play Food Sets from Gummy Lump!
Total ARV $72!


To enter to win: Visit Gummy Lump and tell me which of their fun items (not mentioned above) is your favorite.

Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).

1 Extra Entry if you head over to A Mom's Balancing Act and enter to win your choice of a Melissa & Doug Wooden Workbench or Folding Princess Castle!
1 Extra Entry (per method) if you follow Gummy Lump on Twitter and/or Like them on Facebook. 1 more Extra Entry if you leave the following message on their wall: Gummy Lump has amazing high quality toys! I just entered to win a Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart and my choice of any 2 Play Food Sets at Thanks, Mail Carrier! http://bit.ly/9AUITT
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the Holiday Gift Guide giveaways (Checking Our List giveaways ONLY) running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!

Gift 9: #WIN a Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart & 2 Play Food Sets from Gummy Lump (ARV $72)! #thxmailcarrier http://bit.ly/9AUITT #giveaway

2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email or become a fan on Facebook.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you have our Checking Our List {Holiday Gift Guide 2010} button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and Gummy Lump. Please leave an address where it can be found.
5 Extra Entries (per method) if you make a purchase from Gummy Lump during this giveaway (please leave your order number), become a GummyLump.com Affiliate or add a "Play Food" sidebar text link to your blog linking to either Gummy Lump's homepage or Play Food page.

Giveaway will end on December 3rd at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

A big thank you to Gummy Lump for providing a Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart and two Food Play Sets for me to review as well as a Shopping Cart and choice of two Food Play Sets for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

2163 comments:

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Chelyeah said...

Tweet.
http://twitter.com/Chelyea/status/10519432296144896

amy16323 said...

Pushing Car Wooden Toddler Toy
amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

amy16323 said...

gfc follower 1
amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

amy16323 said...

gfc follower 2
amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

Lois S said...

tweet http://twitter.com/ljshores/status/10538241522401280
ljsin2win-at-gmail-dot-com

fancygrlnancy said...

tweet http://twitter.com/fancygrlnancy/status/10541470863859713

Anonymous said...

Tweet 12/2
https://twitter.com/michellemx6/status/10550143858245634
Jessandshelly@gmail.com

paula michele said...

I like the Sandwich Shop Play Food by Melissa & Doug.

hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula michele said...

I follow gummylimp on Twitter- ksh123

hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula michele said...

I like Gummy Lump on Twitter- ksh123

hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula michele said...

I follow you on Twitter and Tweeted- http://twitter.com/ksh123/status/10563645100527616

hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula michele said...

GFC follower #1


hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula michele said...

GFC follower #2


hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula michele said...

Rss subscriber #1


hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula michele said...

Rss subscriber #2


hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula michele said...

email subscriber #1


hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

paula michele said...

email subscriber #2


hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

mframe said...

tweet- http://twitter.com/mframe00/status/10642069232029696
mframe00@gmail.com

BabeeLove said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/BabeeLove/status/10675260772851712
aechika at hotmail dot com

Lois S said...

tweet http://twitter.com/ljshores/status/10709014304264192
ljsin2win-at-gmail-dot-com

manthas24 said...

My kids would get a kick out of the Decorate Your Own Jigsaw Puzzle Wooden Craft Kit for Kids by Melissa and Doug

manthas24 said...

Follow TMC on Twitter @manthas24 /

manthas24 said...

1 Follow TMC with GFC

manthas24 said...

2 Follow TMC with GFC

manthas24 said...

1 Like TMC on FB

manthas24 said...

2 Like TMC on FB

manthas24 said...

1 Subscribe to TMC Feed via google reader

manthas24 said...

2 Subscribe to TMC Feed via google reader

manthas24 said...

3 Subscribe to TMC Feed via google reader

manthas24 said...

Tweet http://twitter.com/manthas24/status/10717962721820672

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Umi

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Blablas Basic Bunny

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Gourmet Gift Basket

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Crafty Kids

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Eat Smart

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Rody Horse

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Build a Bear

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Aeromax

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Hayneedle

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Brugo Mug

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Maxi Cosi

manthas24 said...

entered for the Gifted Imaginations

manthas24 said...

I entered for the CSN

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Wind & Weather

manthas24 said...

I entered for the ATG

manthas24 said...

I entered for the MilliLee

manthas24 said...

I entered for the My Pillow Pets

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Alphabet Photography

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Slim & Secure

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Epson

manthas24 said...

I entered for the Ergo

Joan said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/littlemizc/status/10719668734001152

Snowflake07 said...

tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/SnowflakeDay/statuses/10721013532721153

Anonymous said...

I completely love the slicing sushi set!

Anonymous said...

Fanned Gummy Lump on FB

Stacy said...

I love the Ice Cream Parlour.

the imagine tree at aol dot com

Joyful Noise said...

I like the fridge set and the pantry set....thanks for the chance to win...

dan_jody at live.com

Anonymous said...

I also love theGrocery Store Food Play & Lemonade Stand by Melissa and Doug

One with many names said...

The Amsterdam wooden building blocks are awesome!

Joanna @ FeedingThePrices (joanna.price(at)live(dot)com) said...

DT- https://twitter.com/JoannaGiveaway/status/10801159933534208

Andrea said...

Tweet:
http://twitter.com/#!/angelicasmommy/status/10810634425864192

sunshine131 at gmail dot com

Erika said...

http://twitter.com/Erika105/status/10816027189317632

orangefukurou said...

entered Cafepress giveaway
tomokofive at gmail dot com

Kristie said...

My son would love the Automoblox Set of 3 MINIS: S9 T9 C9 Wooden Cars!

khmorgan_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Darcey said...

Today's tweet: http://twitter.com/dlynn83/status/10867436622450688

Lentil said...

entered hayneedle

Kim said...

I like the Wooden Floor Easel.
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I like Gummy Lump on facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I left your comment on their wall.
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I entered your Epson giveaway.
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I entered your Pillow Pets giveaway.
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I entered your Summer Infant Monitor giveaway.
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I follow you via GFC.#1
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I follow you via GFC.#2
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I like you on facebook.#1
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I like you on facebook.#2
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I subscribe to your blog by e-mail.#1
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I subscribe to your blog by e-mail.#2
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I subscribe to your RSS Feed.#1
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I subscribe to your RSS Feed.#2
Molino7atmsndotcom

Kim said...

I FOLLOW YOU ON TWITTER AND TWEETED http://twitter.com/#!/memamemepapa/status/10883835361234944
Molino7atmsndotcom

Anonymous said...

My Favorite is Melissa and Dougs Ice Cream Parlor

Karen12878@msn.com

jdeemarie said...

I tweeted:
http://twitter.com/#!/jdeemarie/status/10898920779550720


jdeemarie @ gmail.com

Abi said...

They carry Trunki. Enough said. We want one.
havenera at gmail dot com

Chelyeah said...

Tweet.
http://twitter.com/Chelyea/status/10909853178404864

Michelle said...

http://twitter.com/MrsMChappell/statuses/10911333037903874
Today's tweet
mrsmchappell at gmail dot com

dvice said...

I like Farm Chunky Puzzle by Melissa and Doug

kathy pease said...

i like the
Melissa and Doug Piano: Learn to Play Toddler Piano by Melissa & Doug

fancygrlnancy said...

tweet http://twitter.com/fancygrlnancy/status/10919593337946113

kathy pease said...

follow gummy on twitter klp1965
kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

kathy pease said...

http://www.facebook.com/GummyLump#!/GummyLump/posts/10150334967465198

kathy pease said...

entered Summer Infant Slim&Secure Handheld Color Video Monitor Giveaway

kathy pease said...

entered Epson Giveaway

kathy pease said...

1 google friend klp1965
kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

kathy pease said...

2 google friend klp1965
kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

candy said...

I like the melissa and doug pretend wedding cake. wilcarvic
[at]gmail[dot]com]]

kathy pease said...

1 rss google feed subscriber
kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

candy said...

email subscriber wilcarvic
[at]gmail[dot]com]]1

mail4rosey said...

I like the 100 pc Under the Sea Floor Puzzle. And I also like the Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box set.

msurosey@yahoo.com

candy said...

email subscriber 2

kathy pease said...

2 rss google feed subscriber
kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

candy said...

entered pillow pet contest wilcarvic
[at]gmail[dot]com]]

kathy pease said...

1 like you on facebook kathy l pease
kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

kathy pease said...

2 like you on facebook kathy l pease
kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

candy said...

entered ergo baby doll carrier contest wilcarvic
[at]gmail[dot]com]]

Ardy22 said...

I would like to have their
Automoblox X9X Wooden Sport Utility Green Vehicle Full Size

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

mail4rosey said...

I follow Gummy Lump on Twitter (mail4rosey).

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I like Gummy Lump on Facebook (Sarah Smile).

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I wrote the message on their FB wall (Sarah Smile).

http://www.facebook.com/GummyLump#!/GummyLump/posts/166501976720717

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I entered the Epson giveaway.

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I entered for the Child Safe video monitor.

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

Twitter follow (mail4rosey)/Tweet

http://twitter.com/mail4rosey/status/10929786557829120

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I am an e-mail subscriber.

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I am an e-mail subscriber.

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I subscribe to your RSS Feed.

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I subscribe to your RSS Feed.

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I am a Facebook fan (Sarah Smile).

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I am a Facebook fan (Sarah Smile).

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I entered the My Pillow Pets Snuggly Puppy giveaway.

msurosey@yahoo.com

Jinxy and Me said...

I like the Construction Building Set in a Box by Melissa & Doug

nesta 67 {at} live dot com

Jinxy and Me said...

I'm following your blog in Google Friend Connect.

Jinxy and Me said...

I'm following your blog in Google Friend Connect. 2

Jinxy and Me said...

I'm subscribed to your RSS feed in my Google Reader.

Ardy22 said...

follow them twitter

ardy22
ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Jinxy and Me said...

I'm subscribed to your RSS feed in my Google Reader. 2

Ardy22 said...

liked them fb

rich hicks
ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Jinxy and Me said...

I like you on Facebook.

Jinxy and Me said...

I like you on Facebook. 2

Ardy22 said...

left comment on their wall

http://www.facebook.com/GummyLump#!/GummyLump/posts/146672932051696

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

entered the epson giveaway

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

entered the video monitor giveaway

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Atreau said...

My favorite is the Melissa & Doug Easel.

Ardy22 said...

followyou twitter and tweeted

http://twitter.com/Ardy22/status/10931861354192897

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Princessliak said...

The trunkis are on my kids Christmas list!

Ardy22 said...

follow you gfc no.1

ardy22
ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

follow you gfc no.2

ardy22
ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

subscribe rss via google reader no.1

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

subscribe rss via google reader no.2

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

subscribe to you via email no.1

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

subscribe to you via email no.2

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

liked you fb no.1

rich hicks
ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

liked you fb no.2

rich hicks
ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

have main button no.1

http://ardy22.blogspot.com/
ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

have main button no.2

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ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

have main button no.3
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ardy22 at earthlink dot net

ReggieMann said...

I like the Kitchen Pots and Pans Wooden Toy Set by Melissa & Doug

ReggieM1961 [at] gmail [dot] com

Ardy22 said...

have holiday button no.1

http://ardy22.blogspot.com/
ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

have holiday button no.2

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ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Ardy22 said...

have holiday button no.3

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ardy22 at earthlink dot net

ReggieMann said...

I "Like" (Fan of) GummyLump on Facebook
(Facebook name: Reggie Mann)

ReggieM1961 [at] gmail [dot] com

ReggieMann said...

I follow your blog publicly with Google Friend Connect as ReggieMann #1

ReggieM1961 [at] gmail [dot] com

ReggieMann said...

I follow your blog publicly with Google Friend Connect as ReggieMann #2

ReggieM1961 [at] gmail [dot] com

ReggieMann said...

I entered your My Pillow Pets Giveaway

ReggieM1961 [at] gmail [dot] com

Nancye said...

I like the Pizza Party Play Food Set
by Melissa and Doug


nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

email subscriber

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

RSS Subscriber

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Gianna said...

Automoblox Set of 3 MINIS: S9 T9 C9 Wooden Cars.

Gianna said...

I'm an email subscriber.

Nancye said...

Facebook Fan

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Mel G said...

tweet thank you RE http://bit.ly/fFpNR8

Gina said...

My daughter loves M&D. I know she would love the Melissa & Doug Easel.
ginaes07 at gmail dot com

fancygrlnancy said...

tweet http://twitter.com/fancygrlnancy/status/11282743082098688

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