My Highlights of Niagara Vegfest 2017

Hi everyone,

It’s officially the month of June and with the start of the official summer this week, the weather has gone from cold to very humid and hot fast here in Toronto!! Thou I am not enjoying the humidity too much, but loving the warmer and sunnier weather now to enjoy esp the outdoors. Maybe less humid lol!!

With sunny and hot days upon us, this means one thing that festival season is officially here and what a great way to cool down and enjoy delicious foods outdoors. I am excited and love attending food festivals especially during the summer days sampling and discovering new foods to share with you all my readers. I already have a few food festivals planned that I would like to attend from June – September so I’m looking forward to it. If you have any suggestions for a food festival you think I should try out, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I always love attending new food festivals that I haven’t been to. I’m looking out for new food festivals for the Fall too. Feel free to comment below or you can reach me by e-mail at blooi24@hotmail.com

RECAP:

quick recap since my last blog entry, since leaving my previous work, been busy with a few projects and prepping for the summer months for my blog of course. Enjoyed my mini getaway to London, Ontario where enjoyed lots and lots of delicious foods including some vegan desserts and looking forward to sharing with you all in another blog post next month. If you were following me on Twitter and Instagram, then you would have seen my foodie London getaway..:)  I’m still learning how to use Instagram stories so please bare with me lol…😉

My 1st food festival for this pre-summer season that I attended was 2 weeks ago during the first weekend of June was to Niagara Vegfest. It was my 1st time attending the Niagara Vegfest as I always love visiting Niagara Falls so I thought it would be great to also attend this food festival to see, discover and sample the Niagara Region culinary vegan foods. I had the most amazing and fun foodie day as someone of you may already seen from my Instagram and Twitter posts. I’m happy that the weather ended up being sunny and warm as it was supposed to rain and I got lucky and it only rained in the morning. I arrived in St.Catherines by bus that day with a beautiful sunny day and enjoyed every minute of Niagara Vegfest.

If you haven’t been to Niagara Vegfest before, here are some quick information about it:

  • Niagara Vegfest is a 2 day multi-venue event – Day 1 (June 3, 2017) is the Niagara Vegfest in the Vineyard and Day 2 (June 4, 2017) is the Vegan Festival Main Event
  • 6th Annual Niagara Vegfest
  • Location: Market Square, downtown St. Catherines (91 King Street)
  • Admission: Free / donation of $2 or canned foods
  • It includes 80+ vendors and exhibitors, guest speakers, kids zone and TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage
  • “A celebration the many benefits of a healthy, compassionate, plant-based lifestyle, and showcases exhibitors, vendors, and speakers from the Niagara region and beyond” -Niagara Vegfest

Overall, I had an amazing and very foodie day at Niagara Vegfest. I loved the atmosphere at the Market Square in St.Catherines as this festival was some vendors indoors and some outdoors, which to me is good because I liked the flow of the traffic it gives for attendees when they attended this event. It also gives options for weather if it rained or if it was sunny to have the indoors and outdoors available. I loved that they had the TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage outside where I was able to enjoy the beautiful jazz music whether I was inside or outside. It brought a different element to the festival by adding music and creating a fun atmosphere to the Niagara Vegfest. Though I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed with so many vendors to check out, but at the same time it was great to have a variety of vendors and exhibitors to offer to people. I spent half the day at the Niagara Vegfest as there were so many delicious and yummy foods to sample along with checked out a few non-food vendors.

My Top 4 Fave Foods at Niagara Vegfest are:

1) Pizza Rolls by Rise Above Restaurant

  • Best pizza sausage roll I ever had, yum, it was crispy the pastry part and the most tastiest sausage inside, loved it!! As someone who is now dairy free, it’s hard to find places with vegan pizzas so happy to have stopped and had the most yummiest is that a word lol…pizza rolls by Rise Above Restaurant.
  • Quick information about Rise Above Restaurantis the Niagara’s 1st 100% vegan restaurant and bakery. They are located downtown in St. Catherines. They specialize in comfort foods, healthy choices, and fresh baked desserts. Only wish they would open another location in Toronto, I look forward to stopping by the actual restaurant one day.

2) Peach Fritter doughnut by Beechwood Doughnuts

  • I was so full from all the delicious vegan foods that I had to still get a doughnut from Beechwood Doughnuts as I heard they had the best vegan doughnuts. So I bought one to bring home to eat and chose the Peach Fritter (peaches are one of my fave fruits) and so glad I did lol…Beechwood Doughnuts hands down the best vegan doughnut I ever had!! Wow, I don’t usually eat doughnuts too often, but I would if it is for the sweetest and soft doughnuts that Beechwood Doughnuts make. The Peach Fritter the best lol!! If you haven’t tried, Beechwood Doughnuts, you are definitely missing out!! I would definitely travel for these doughnuts!!
  • Quick information about Beechwood DoughnutsNiagara’s first and only 100% vegan doughnut shop. Located in the heart of Downtown St. Catharines. They opened in January 2015 and become popular and have a reputation for quality in the Niagara Region and beyond. They also won 3 awards in 2015 at the Toronto Vegetarian Association Veg Awards – best vegan bakery, best vegan doughnut and best vegan dessert.

3) Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake by Dolled Up Desserts

  • One of my fave regulars is definitely Dolled Up Desserts who I always enjoy visiting at any vegan food festivals and always love seeing what Katarina (Dolled Up Dessert owner) new delicious desserts she has for that day. She comes up with the most delicious vegan and creative desserts, I love it!! She also has the most beautiful display for her booth I love how creative she is! This time I tried her delicious & sweet Strawberry Lemonade mini cupcake. Loved it!!
  • Quick information about Dolled Up Desserts – Her main shop is based in Hamilton, Ontario. Dolled Up Desserts creates and share high quality desserts that are gluten free and vegan, and are made with 25-50% less sugar, ingredients that are organic, locally sourced.

4) Banana Split Cupcake by Fairly Frosted Bakery

  • I love cupcakes so it was hard to resist when I saw the delicious vegan cupcakes display at Fairly Frosted Bakery. One of my friends also recommended them so was excited to try them and they had an assortment of different baked goods to choose from. It was hard to choose besides the cupcakes. I ended up choosing their Banana Split Cupcake and it was delicious minus the chocolate topping as some of you might know I don’t eat chocolate I know it’s a shock lol!! The frosting wasn’t too sweet either so it was perfect.
  • Quick information about Fairly Frosted Bakery  – A bakery from Guelph, Ontario founded in 2011. Fairly Frosted Bakery serves vegan, gluten free and nut free baked goods.

One of my fave vegan ice cream is food truckSweet Teeth, which is not mentioned above, but they always been my fave regulars at any vegan festivals. So it goes without saying that I always visit their food truck of ice cream and waffles, yum and this time is no difference. I got their OG waffle, which consists of fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and of course the ice cream. If you haven’t tried Sweet Teeth food truck, I highly recommend it!! This year they also added shakes to their menu and love their new flavours added to the menu. They always come up with new flavours, which is great to see.

One of my fave vegan jeweler is Jewels by SJB, I discovered Sue’s beautiful jewelry last year at one of the vegan food festivals and instantly loved her unique and beautiful handmade jewelry. Sue is from Toronto, ON and has a collection of hand forged, cruelty free jewels and creating beautiful detailed pieces. She uses genuine gemstones that includes .925 sterling silver and 14K gold fill metal. She is also a vegan who shares her message through her jewelry.

I was excited to visit Jewels by SJB booth and see what new pieces she had this time. I always love seeing what new pieces that she brings to each festival as she makes the most beautiful unique pieces. I ended up purchasing a beautiful purple amethyst gemstone to go with my Vegan necklace as well bought a new rose/light pink bracelet with the letter “v” on it. The new bracelet matches my other bracelet (purple amethyst one) I bought from her last year to make a stacking bracelet. I am happy with my new jewelry!! It is always great to see Sue again, she is always so kind and amazing to me especially if I needed any customizing to her jewelry. I love how she can custom to each customer needs. I look forward to seeing what new pieces she has in the next festival!!

My collection of bracelets and pendant necklace from Jewels by SJB

What an amazing 1st visit to Niagara Vegfest filled with delicious vegan foods, desserts, shopping local & unique items, and enjoying amazing jazz music!! If you didn’t have a chance to check out Niagara Vegfest, I highly recommend to see what delicious vegan foods & to experience this festival yourself at Niagara Vegfest next year. Look out for details on their website (information below)! I look forward to joining them again next year after this fun foodie day!! I can’t wait to see what next year they have planned out!

If you managed to read most of this blog post as I know it was a bit long, thank you!! I appreciate you taking your time to read my foodie adventure!! Summer is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to my next foodie summer festival as some of you might already know (from my Twitter and Instagram posts) I have attended my 2nd one just this past weekend! With the busy summer months ahead, I look forward to not just food summer festivals, but also to my mini getaway in July. Don’t worry I still be posting shortly after I’m back. But this summer along the way, I am still searching for my next sweet vegan dessert place!! Stay tuned!!

As always, for the latest updates or to keep up with me on my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, let’s get ready for summer filled with hot weather for foodie summer festivals, cool desserts, travelling and beaches & more!!

-Sweet B.

For more information on Niagara Vegfest and any of the vendors I mentioned, please see below:

Niagara Vegfest – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @NiagaraVegFest, Twitter @NiagaraVegFest and Instagram @NiagaraVegFest.

Rise Above Restaurant – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @RiseAboveRestaurant, Twitter @RiseAboveFoods and Instagram @RiseAboveRestaurant.

Beechwood Doughnuts – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @BeechwoodDoughnuts, Twitter @BeechwoodInfo and Instagram @BeechwoodDoughnuts.

Dolled Up Desserts – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @DolledUpDessertsBaking, Twitter @DolledUpBaking and Instagram @DolledUpDessertsBaking.

Fairly Frosted Bakery – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @FairlyFrosted, Twitter @FairlyFrosted and Instagram @FairlyFrosted.

Sweet Teeth Food Truck – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetTeethVegan, Twitter @SweetTeethVegan and Instagram @SweetTeethVegan.

Jewels by SJB – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @JewelsbySJB and Instagram @JewelsbySJB.

 

 

 

My Highlights of Veg Food Fest 2016

Hi everyone,

Can you believe that summer is already over? It’s been a busy summer with my full time job as an Admin, but it’s been filled with delicious foodie events, watching the Rogers Cup tennis and going to one baseball game at least! I hope that everyone enjoyed their summer and this very humid summer weather in T.O.

It is officially Fall now and I’m excited for the cooler weather, the beautiful colourful leaves and if you didn’t know, Fall is one of my fave season and with Fall comes sweet delicious apple desserts, warm yummy desserts and Thanksgiving of course!

Before we get into this blog post, a quick update is I am working on a special project that will be revealed soon, I’m excited about it, but it’s been taking a lot of my time so that is why there hasn’t been another sweet blog post until now and a lot of exciting events & trips such as the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference that I will be attending in October are happening the next few months so please be patient with me. So stay tuned this Fall for some exciting sweet warm posts & my special project!!

fruit_and_vegetables- 1Bfruit_and_vegetables-2bfruit_and_vegetables- 1B

To end the summer, what better way than attending an outdoor foodie event, the weekend of September 10-11, 2016, I attended my 2nd Vegan festival, but my 1st time attending this particular one – Veg Food Fest 2016, which was held at the Harbourfront Centre. I was so excited to go after my 1st vegan one despite the rainy day (you can read it my review on Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2016 -> here), I enjoyed it so much that I thought that I go to another one to see what this one has to offer. This festival was run over the weekend of 3 days from September 9-11, 2016.

I went on the Sunday on a beautiful warm sunny day and what a perfect day to be by the waterfront. I was very impressed with the Veg Food Fest 2016 run by Toronto Vegetarian Association – a non-profit from Toronto – in partnership with Harbourfront Centre. I really enjoyed this event with the beautiful waterfront views, variety of vendors, workshops, samples from vendors, demonstrations, live music, and the atmosphere itself. I also enjoyed interacting with vendors and learning more about the vegan lifestyle as I’m still new to it as some of you might know (on a diary-free diet with a mild tolerance for milk as I still do eat meat). I attended this event with of course my sis who also loves attending these events, my 2nd foodie partner besides my mom…:)

Beautiful view of the waterfront at Harbourfront for the event

As this is my 1st time attending the Veg Food Fest 2016, I didn’t get a chance to do everything at the event such as watching cooking demos or attending the workshops or speakers seminars as there were a lot to see and sample. So I’m hoping next year I will try to attend one of them as I was excited to find out MasterChef Canada: Mary Berg was there this year and missed it.

Here are some more detailed information about Veg Food Fest 2016:

  • When: September 9-11, 2016
  • Location: Harbourfront Centre
  • Host: Toronto Vegetarian Association
  • How long has this festival been running for: This is their 32nd Veg Food Fest
  • What’s New This Year: Expanded their location to East side of Harbourfront Centre, 1st ever Veg Out relaxing zone, World Café will feature King’s Café, Green Zebra, Boon Burter and more.
  • Activities: workshops, lectures, fitness classes, music, panel discussions, cooking demos
  • Mission: “Inspiring people to choose a healthier, greener, more compassionate lifestyle through plant-based eating.” –Veg Food Fest Official Website

My Top Fave Desserts at Veg Food Fest 2016:

  • Nanashake – their delicious Nanapops of course, tried their delicious healthy yet yummy Mango & Strawberry mixed flavour one and loved it!! Who wouldn’t? I love anything mango!! As for those who don’t know, I always visit Nanashake shop before so it is no doubt that I love their yummy frozen desserts and always love seeing what new products that they come up with. If you haven’t been to their shop before, I highly recommend it, it’s definitely worth a trip to enjoy a delicious and healthy treat with a warm friendly welcome from their amazing staff.
  • Sweet Teeth Vegan Food Truck – 1st time finally trying Sweet Teeth Vegan as I been waiting to try it from the other festival but didn’t have a chance. Unfortunately this time there was no vegan ice cream left, but I still tried it anyways and got the OG, which was their Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and instead of ice cream got whipped cream instead. Despite no ice cream, it was delicious the waffle, loved it was freshly made and soft and the strawberries was the best part to top it off!! Definitely coming back next time with the ice cream..:)
  • Sweets From the Earth – Tried their delicious vegan mini Strawberry Cupcake, which was absolutely delicious with the cake part of the cupcake was moist and soft and loved the frosting as it wasn’t too sweet! I also bought some Oatmeal Raisin cookies to bring home and enjoyed it while I was at home. Loved the cookies, you can’t even tell it was a vegan cookie, simply delicious. This is my 1st time discovering Sweets From the Earth and would love to try their other vegan products. They are a family-owned business and maintains two production facilities. Both are egg-free, dairy-free, and kosher. One is dedicated peanut- and nut-free and the other is dedicated wheat and gluten free. Products are available in stores across Canada, with new retailers being added all the time. (Info from their website). That’s a quick information about Sweets From the Earth if you are interested. You can check out their website link below after my blog entry.

I also got to visit Tori’s Bakeshop booth, but unfortunately they were out of my Vanilla cupcakes sadly I don’t eat chocolate (another fact if you didn’t know about me, shocker I know who doesn’t love chocolate and desserts go as a pair, that’s me a bit strange one here lol!). They had beautiful cupcakes display that I had to admit look delicious, check out my photo below. I’m hoping to stop by their bakeshop one day. Can’t wait to!

There were some booths that were giving out some free samples and who doesn’t love samples? I got a sample of Veggemo: 1st non-dairy beverage to originate from veggies. I got the original flavour as there were two other ones giving out as well as unsweetened and vanilla. I never tried Veggemo non-dairy beverage before so I thought it would be great to try it out and see if I like it so I can use it as part of my food dietary. Veggemo uses pea protein, tapioca, and potato to create this delicious non-dairy beverage. I’m looking forward to trying it!! You can find out where you can buy one yourself or more information on Veggemo at their website here -> Veggemo.

It was a fun foodie day filled with yummy & delicious sweet treats and desserts and who could have guess it was dairy-free, healthy and plant-based yet it tastes so delicious still. As I’m still learning my new dietary living dairy-free, part vegan that I’m enjoying and happy to see there are other options for people who can’t eat dairy or choose to be vegan, that I can still enjoy my love for desserts still without having dairy in it. I love attending these events who open my mind and see what products are out there that I didn’t know before. So if you didn’t attend, Veg Food Fest 2016 this year, I highly recommend coming to check out this event, come & sample some delicious foods and maybe you might discover some new products that you didn’t know before? Always a plus is the event is free.

I look forward to attending next year Veg Food Fest 2017!!!

Me & my sis, Cindy at the Veg Food Fest 2016

I hope that you enjoyed my yummy review on Veg Food Fest 2016!! If you have been following along on my Twitter and Instagram, I had an amazing foodie & relaxing Fall getaway to Kingston, Ontario last weekend. Don’t forget to come back later in October to check out about my trip and see what places you should eat & see. There are more exciting Fall blog posts coming up.

For the latest updates, please follow my foodie adventures on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and on Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

For now, I leave you with sweet & yummy vegan desserts to crave for while I’m in search of my next scrumptious foodie adventure!

Until next time…

Xoxo,

-Sweet B.

fruit_and_vegetables-2bfruit_and_vegetables- 1Bfruit_and_vegetables-2b

For more information on Veg Food Fest and the other vendors, please use the links below:

Veg Food FestOfficial Website

You can follow them on Facebook @VegFoodFest, Twitter @VegFoodFest and Instagram @VegFoodFest.

Toronto Vegetarian AssociationWebsite

Other Vendors/Bakery/Dessert Places

NanaShakeWebsite

Address: 4750 Yonge Street, Unit 134 (Yonge/Sheppard area)

You can follow them on Facebook @nanashake, Twitter @thenanashake and Instagram @thenanashake.

Sweet Teeth Food TruckWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetTeethVegan, Twitter @sweetteethvegan and Instagram @sweetteethvegan.

Sweets From the EarthWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetsFromTheEarth, Twitter @SFTEBakery and Instagram @SFTEBakery.

Tori’s BakeshopWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @TorisBakeshop, Twitter @torisbakeshop and Instagram @torisbakeshop.

Veggemo

You can follow them on Facebook @veggemo, Twitter @Go_Veggemo and Instagram @Go_Veggemo.

 

 

 

Searching for The Perfect Cupcake in Toronto…

Hi everyone,

I’m trying my best to keep updated on a regular basis now. I’m still trying to balance everything between my Admin full time job to blogging and my family & more. Lol! I hope that you haven’t missed my sweet cravings too much while I was away. If you did, then this blog entry will be filled with extra sweetness for my readers.

With so many choices of sweets & desserts, one of my fave go to desserts are cupcakes. I don’t know what it is about cupcakes that always satisfy my sweet cravings, but maybe it could be the balance of cake and sweetness of the frosting on top that does it. I always love simple cupcakes, but I always also enjoy trying new and creative cupcakes that bakers have to offer.

In Toronto, there are many cupcake shops and dessert shops that you could find a cupcake to choose from yet finding the perfect or right cupcake shop can be a challenge. With so many selection of cupcake shops to choose from, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish which shop will meet your expectations. I myself have tried several cupcake shops in order to find the right cupcake shop for me and after many attempts of finding a good cupcake, surprisingly I have discovered 2 places that I recommend: Pursuit of Frosting and cupcake food truck: Curbside Bliss. I have decided to feature both of these delicious specialty cupcake shop & food truck in this blog as it was too hard to choose between the two…:)

Let’s start with: Pursuit of Frosting, who originally started out with her cupcakery truck called: ‘Pretty Sweet’. The Pursuit of Frosting is known for their elaborate and beautiful wedding, birthday and other specialty cakes as well as her cupcakes and other pastries including creme brulee, cookies, brownies and cake slices. With her success from her cupcakery truck she found a permanent location on Eglinton west of Bathurst. I been searching and hearing about her delicious cupcakes from her cupcakery truck for awhile now and when I found out that she had a shop that it was time for me to try her cupcakes.

A few weeks ago, I was finally able to check out her permanent store location and it was a cute little shop close to the intersection of Eglinton and Bathurst. Despite the shop being small, it had a few tables to eat and there were many beautiful display of samples of cakes on one side and the main display consisted of more cakes and cupcakes. At the back there was an area where they made the actual cakes and cupcakes. It was a friendly atmosphere inside the shop where I was greeted by one of the staff who worked there. Check out below a few photos of the cupcake shop!

May 2, 2015 - Storefront Logo

I ended up picking up two cupcakes: Coconut and Red Velvet to share one with my friend. I was hoping for more flavours available at the store as it was only a limited amount of flavours. Thou they do take orders if you would like other flavours and it would have to requested in advance. I had the Coconut cupcake and it was simply delicious! I was so happy to finally have tried her cupcakes! It was definitely worth the wait!

I love the fact that the cake part of the cupcake was light and fluffy! I don’t have eat too many flavours with Coconut, but I really enjoyed it and even loved the frosting top of the cupcake, which wasn’t too sweet. It was just perfect amount of sweetness as usually some cupcakes the frosting is too sweet and heavy. Overall, definitely would be coming back to try more cupcakes! I also hope to finally try some of the cupcakes from the Pretty Sweet mobile cupcake truck as well in the summer time!

May 2, 2015 - Cupcakes

My next recommendation is a mobile gourmet bakery truck called, Curbside Bliss, where they bring you delectable, baked-from-scratch goodness from their mobile dessert kitchen. Normally, you wouldn’t think a food truck would be able to provide a delicious sweet pastry, but with food trucks being so popular now and all types of food trucks are producing amazing foods just as good as restaurants nowadays. It is probably not a surprise that I have chosen a food truck as a recommendation for the perfect cupcake.

Curbside Bliss owner and baker is Cynthia Pacheco where she was Canada’s first Mobile Cupcake Kitchen. Her elegant food truck cruises around the GTA for those wanting a sweet fix. She has over 30 flavours to offer and it changes on a daily basis. Cynthia does all her baking in her truck. So I thought that was quite impressive coming from a truck. She also does private events/functions. Be sure to keep an eye out for her sweet truck in your neighbourhood or book with Cynthia for a private event for her curbside bliss truck to be there!

The first time I tried Curbside Bliss was at a summer concert event last year that I was attending and I just happen to find this cute blue truck for cupcakes. I was quite excited as it is rare to find sweets for a food truck. Curbside Bliss cupcakes did not disappoint at all, I loved it! I had the Strawberry Cupcake. It was a perfect cupcake especially with the heat that day. I was quite impressed with the fluffy cake and the sweet frosting was just not overly sweet. The presentation of the cupcake was very neat and professionally done. I definitely look forward this summer to finding Curbside Bliss to fill my sweet cravings again!!

Curbside Bliss - Cupcake Truck

Curbside Bliss - Cupcake

So if you are searching for the perfect cupcake, don’t look any further but my 2 recommendations – cupcake bakery shop: the Pursuit of Frosting & cupcakery truck: Curbside Bliss. I promise you that they will not disappoint you with their sweet fluffy & sweet toppings of goodness to satisfy your sweet cravings!

I’m actually heading for my tropical vacation later on this week to Cuba and maybe I will bring back to share some of my delicious & sweet desserts in Cuba.

For now, I leave you with thoughts of a light & fluffy sweetness feeling in a cupcake size. Until my next sweet adventure, searching in Cuba and Toronto….

-Sweet B.

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For more information on the Pursuit of Frosting, please check out their website:

www.thepursuitoffrosting.com

You can also follow them on Twitter, and Instagram for their latest updates:

Twitter – @EatSmileRepeat_ and on Instagram – @thepursuitoffrosting

For her cupcake truck, Pretty Sweet:

Website: Pretty Sweet and Twitter – @prettysweet_to

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For more information on the Curbside Bliss, please check out their website:

www.curbsideblisscupcakes.com

You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for their latest updates:

Facebook – Curbside Bliss, follow her on Twitter – @CurbsideBliss and on Instagram – @curbsidebliss

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