All I Needed Was A Little Patience: Gone, But Never Idle For Long

So, it’s been a quiet year for the “On The Upcycle” blog logging in this evening for the first time in a very long time.   I have genuinely missed my form of “art therapy” It helped focus my mind in a positive way during some truly challenging times.  I also miss all of you in the Word Press community who are so wonderful and supportive of all kinds of unique creative endeavors.

As is always the case in life, matters shifted, priorities changed and you find yourself one year older and looking back thinking where did all that time go?  If you know me personally you also know that I dip my proverbial toe into many different projects at once without having much real time for any of them!  Somehow insomnia my curse as well as my gift, is mostly all the time that I have, so when I am sleeping well sometimes projects suffer.  It seems a bit ironic.  Not to mention my constant battle with writers block and finding myself with nothing to say, to make an interesting read.

So what have I been doing while I have been gone? I have worked on some of my other interests including genealogy,  music and nostalgia (I have been digitizing my VHS catalog from the 80’s, 90’s and uploading to You Tube), and I have a continued focus on my health and wellness like never before.   Finally my biggest priority and most important, sweetest project of all, my little crafting apprentice who just turned six and is showing autism who is boss.  Nothing can stop this little girl!

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2016 was also a great year for me as a music fan.   A few days before my birthday last year, my favorite band of all time Guns N Roses reunited with three original members including Slash (If you know the band’s history,  you understand what a big deal an Axl and Slash reunion is) After over 20 years they decided to bury the hatchet and get back together and tour again.   I took advantage and saw them twice during the summer last year, and plan on seeing them again this year.  The band has matured and sound great. The show clocks in at almost 3 hours,  It’s an amazing performance by all involved and I highly recommend it!

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So to roll up my sleeves and pick a project to get me back into the upcycle world again if not just part time, I decided to create a decoupage TV tray with the famous GNR bullet logo.  A gift for a friend and fellow fan.

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Last year, before the show I also created a tray table with the classic Guns N Roses logo to commemorate the reunion.  This one I kept for myself and is pictured below:

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Have a different favorite?  That’s OK! check out my tutorials below and you can make any custom TV Tray you like:

Custom TV Trays Made With Mod Podge

Other Ideas For Custom Trays

It will also be the 30th anniversary this year of Guns N Roses iconic debut album “Appetite For Destruction”  I had a copy of the LP, that had been unfortunately damaged by a bad record needle.  You can make cute side tables using old LP’s and a small round metal plant stand.  The link is below:

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For The Record Upcycling Vinyl

Thought I wouldn’t be back in this Lifetime?   Think again.  : )

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I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends: The Love/Hate Challenge

My friend Mark (Oh what will he write about next?) tagged me in a writing exercise called the Love/Hate challenge.  Be sure and check out Mark’s Love Hate List! I am instantly attracted to the word “challenge” so despite my tardy response, I was determined to defeat my persistent writer’s block and accept. It was also a welcome break. My goal is to open a shop on Etsy selling small decoupage trinket boxes. (More details to come!)  It has been fun, but time-consuming and taking longer than I expected!

I initially struggled with my choices for this list.  Love and Hate are strong words, but instead of over thinking it too much as I tend to do,  I decided to keep it simple and go with what quickly came to my mind.

The Rules:

10 things I love, 10 things I hate, and my 10 nominees for their own Love/Hate list.

Love

My daughter’s smile

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The work day is often long, but when I walk through that door and see my daughter’s smile, it makes all of the hard work worth it!  Having a child is truly a life changing event in many ways….

Nature

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When I think of how amazing the world is, and all the beauty within it, it is hard not to believe in a higher power.  For me closeness to nature keeps all of the little things in perspective.  We are all a part of a much bigger picture..

Eggplant Parmesan

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MMMM… Eggplant Parmesan! The one food that I could eat for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!  Not everyone’s taste, but that is fine. (more for me!)

Family

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For me, family past and present is important.  As someone who loves family history, nostalgia and genealogy, There is no way family could be left off this list.  I am after all the “Official Family Historian” for both sides of my family, and readily put my internet stalking skills to good use.

Game Of Thrones

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It is rare for me to LOVE a TV show, but I have to admit I LOVE Game of Thrones.  A series that could manage to keep my interest after 5 seasons and remain as good as it was the first season is unusual.  It is one of the most beautifully shot shows on television, and the buzz created around this show is GENIUS.  The dialog is also done well and the actors are amazing (What is their not to love about Peter Dinklage?)  A breath of fresh air and superb writing, in a sea of reality shows, and reruns.  I tip my hat, I mean sword at you HBO (and don’t despair, Jon Snow will be back in one form or another, trust me on this one!)

Music

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Music has been an important escape for me through the years.  I still have my collection of mixed tapes, from a time long ago when it was still cool to record music off the radio.  Am I the only one that remembers what High Speed Dubbing is?  Rock N Roll is my favorite, but if you saw my collection you may be surprised.  I have a rather eclectic taste!

This Man

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Of course the husband has to make this list!  He has put up with me for 14 years now and I couldn’t ask for a better partner to go through life with.  He is also an AMAZING Dad, which means the world to me.

Mod Podge

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How could any love list on this blog NOT have MOD PODGE on it!  Without it, this site would be for the most part BLANK.  My hats off to Jan Wetstone who created Mod Podge back in the 1960’s.  It truly is remarkable all the uses for such a simple substance.

Animals

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Animals are always there when you need them.  For years, I worked in the animal healthcare field and loved every minute helping man’s best friend.  I still do all that I can to help abused, unwanted and injured animals whenever I can.

The Word Press Community

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Their is no better community in the world of blogs better than WordPress.  I had to show the love because without all of you, this wouldn’t be possible!

Things I hate:

Intolerance Of Others

Nothing angers me more than others who think they know best at how to run your life. We should all learn to respect one another and instead of focusing on our differences, focus on what makes us the same.  It is all about the person inside this shell and to me the soul has no color.

Cruelty To People and Animals

To take advantage of those who are weaker than you is a reflection of someone’s true character.  I wish people would choose kindness over cruelty.  The world would be such a better place!

Aggressive Driving

An irritated young man driving a vehicle is expressing his road rage.

In the state that I live in, aggressive driving is the norm.  Have you ever had that moment when you thought to yourself “I so wish a cop could have been there to pull that person over?”  In my state, you have this thought at least once a day.

Lazy People

Those who would rather work at doing nothing instead of doing something constructive.

Lima Beans

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Ew.  When I eat Lima beans I feel like a bug flew in my mouth and I am forced to chew it.  I can’t get over this mental block.  Yea…I know they are good for you!

My Morning Commute

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I can’t count how many times I almost had an express ticket to the afterlife.  My drive to work every day is treacherous!

Injustice

The word pretty much speaks for itself.  More of this in the world than we would like to believe.

An Empty Coffee Pot

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If you knew me you would understand.  I am not a morning person.

Mean Girls

Yup, we all know one or two.  I am all about building up the self-esteem of other women. As ladies,  we should empower each other instead of tearing each other down.  The world is a hard enough landscape to navigate.  Don’t you think?

Elitism

I hate others who think that they are better than everyone else.  Money, social status, fame, and career do not make a person better or worse than you. Humans are so much more than meets the eye.  We all have something unique to contribute to the world.

So there it is, a quick exploration of what pops into ones head, and by no means a complete list one way or the other!

Here are some bloggy friends I would love to see take the challenge if they so choose. No pressure here!  I mostly want to share links to unique voices   and blogs that I would love for you to visit!

http://findingcoopersvoice.com/

https://whatimuptotoday.wordpress.com/

http://talesalongtheway.com/

https://jacquelincangro.wordpress.com/

https://youwhoineverknew.wordpress.com/

https://wandermood.wordpress.com/

https://brookebrunson.wordpress.com/

http://susielindau.com/

https://rainbowcakesandrockyroad.wordpress.com/

http://opinionatedmommy.com/

Hot Summer Nights: Paradise By The Back Porch Light

This past memorial day weekend, my husband and I were determined to get the yard ready for summer.  My daughter received an Easy Set Intex Pool from her Uncle and Aunt for Christmas and we could not wait to get the pool setup and operational.  My daughter’s 4th birthday this year will have a pool party theme, and the date for the party is quickly approaching.  My husband and I leveled out the ground in the area the pool would be placed.  We laid down a tarp and spread the pool out.  These inflatable Easy Set’s are great starter pools, and in our case the simpler the better since this is our first attempt at putting up a pool.

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We inflated the ring with a pump, and from the inside smoothed out the lining.  It took all day to fill.  The next day, we hooked up the filter, placed chlorine tabs in the floater, and assembled the ladder.  The water was very cold, so I hopped in to the pool for a test run.  For the most part everything went great and the set up was easy.  I was disappointed to find some parts in the lining that were not as smooth as we had wanted.  I can’t stress enough the importance of making sure the ground is clear of any debris and level.  Even after all our careful work, what seemed smooth at the surface was not always the case.  Once the weight of the water pressed the ground flat, some rocks and roots underground seemed to appear out of nowhere through the lining.  That being said the only way to remedy this would be to drain the pool and remove the debris from the area to smooth it out.  Until it is necessary to do so, we are going to take our chances.  I would feel guilty wasting all that water!  Luckily the pool came with plenty of patches if needed.

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We purchased a few fun summer signs from Dollar Tree and lined the fence with them for added decoration.

I  also accomplished a few smaller projects.  I had a decorative metal star that I picked up at Christmas Tree Shop.  It was on clearance and I was never happy with the tan color.  I surmised that this was most likely the reason why it was on clearance.

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Since it was Memorial day and the house was decorated in Americana….

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I had some extra Rust-Oleum red spray paint, and I sprayed on a quick coat.  I like the star better now that it is red and I purchased it for half the price!

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The other area I wanted to address was the corner of the yard by the pool. There is a rather large tree stump in this area.  Some time ago, I blogged about ideas here.

I struggled with what to do with this stump for some time.  This weekend that changed.  I decided to make it a fun project for my daughter and I to do together.  I had an old broken wooden TV tray.  I removed the table top from the legs and screwed it on to the tree stump surface.  My neighbor had given me some decorative, shells, glass pebbles and decorative rock. I thought it would be fun for us to create a mosaic table top for it.  I used some old tile grout and glue in one and spread it onto the table surface evenly.  The toddler apprentice and I then applied the rocks and glass pebbles.  We wiped off any excess grout and allowed it to dry overnight.  I used the unused legs of the TV tray as a garden trellis, another great re-purpose!  My goal was to use as much of the table as possible. Mission accomplished!

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I placed the shells around for decoration.   Now Mommy has a place to put “her” sippy cup and relax by the pool, while my daughter has fun exploring and playing with the various sea shells.

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Since this spring has been a bit sparse in the rain department, our grass took a hit and much of it died.  Once all the yard work was done, we raked the yard and spread out grass seed in the hopes of bringing our lawn back to life!  Once the grass grows under our feet, our little backyard oasis will be complete!

What do you have planned for your backyard oasis?  Do you have any summer projects you are eager to complete?  How do you like to kick off summer?

Sultans of Swap: Flea Market Fun In The Sun

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to participate in my first ever Flea Market.  The sale of spaces benefited my daughter’s school, so of course I jumped at the chance to get involved.  I was a bit nervous.  It was the first time I have attempted to sell my projects.  I also had some additional spring cleaning items to sell as well and anything I can do to create additional space in my overloaded craft room is a definite plus.

Let me start off by saying, I have been to a lot of swap meets, yard sales and flea markets as a buyer, but never as a seller.  It is hard work preparing, pricing and hauling your goods to the sale location.  I have a new respect for those who can make a living at it and participate in sales on a regular basis.

I am in no way an expert at this, but I thought I would share with you all what I learned from this experience.

So, How did the modern flea market get its name?

The first flea markets were in Paris and they were called marché aux puces which translates to ‘market with fleas’. Flea market first appeared in English in 1922 as a translation of the French market’s name.

When Preparing, Take Care of as much as you can the night before

Since most flea markets start bright and early, and I am a night owl by nature,  I loaded the car and any other items needed for my sale the previous night.  This allowed me to get a good night sleep and wake up and leave the next day without scrambling at the last-minute.

Show up on time or early for set up

This was the fun part.  Setting it all up so it is pleasing to the eye.  Leave yourself enough time so as to not feel rushed.

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Mark all prices clearly and have a backup plan

I devised a color coding system.  Also when marking your prices, keep a mental note of how low you are willing to go with price.  I marked my prices a little higher so that I had some “wiggle” room.

Plan for a long day in the hot sun

If you have a canopy or beach umbrella, it is a good idea to bring it.  Make sure to bring plenty of sun block, dress accordingly (avoid dark colors that attract the sun) Wear a hat and sunglasses and bring plenty of fluids and a snack.

Bring tables or other items to properly display your merchandise

I found that items more visible, and that didn’t require a lot of effort to look through sold better.  A clothes rack, table or even a sheet or mat placed on the ground is essential when displaying your items.  If people have too put a lot of effort in they will move on quickly to a competitor’s table.

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Don’t Just Sit There… Get up and Sell!!

I found I gained more interest in my items when I talked to people and said “Hi”  Sitting their idle watching people come and go doesn’t sell stuff, but being a social butterfly DOES even when the turn out is low.

Talk about what you do and PROMOTE

I created plenty of business cards, and even sign explaining what Upcycling is.  People’s curiosity would get the better of them and they would stop to read the sign.  It was a great conversation starter!

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Bring Singles and 5 dollar bills to make change and wear a fanny pack!

I brought about $40 dollars in cash.  I used 25 singles and four 5 dollar bills and found this to be enough to make change.  It is better to wear a fanny pack or apron to keep change, pens and tape in.  Leaving money unsupervised in a box even for a minute, creates a potential for theft.

Make Friends and Connections!

Even though the turn out was less than spectacular, I still managed to socialize with other vendors and make personal connections.  I met a really nice woman who runs a local consignment shop, and my flea market neighbor and I helped each other when the other had to take a bathroom break.  The nice lady next to me even helped complete a sale while I walked away for a moment!

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Oh and Don’t Forget to take a Flea Market Selfie!

What are you doing to prepare for this Flea Market Season? Do you have any tips for sellers not mentioned here?  Do you have willpower when it comes to buying things at a flea market when you are there to sell?

Two Years, One Sale- On The Upcycle

This April 27th 2015 marks the two-year anniversary of this blog and my creative mission to reuse, re-purpose and restyle.

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For me, Upcycling is all about having fun and being creative with items that would otherwise be discarded.  The biggest challenge for me has been the writing. I love to craft, but I struggle with writer’s block from time to time.  The ideas for projects often come but the words to adequately describe them do not. Although I am not blogging with quite the same frequency as I once was, I am still happy that I was able to continue and complete a few larger and more challenging projects this past year, like my Lane Cedar Hope Chest. After two years of creating I am inevitably left with too many items and not enough room to keep them all. I was excited to hear that my daughter’s school is sponsoring a flea market in early May.  This seemed like a great oppurtunity to have my first “flea market experience.” I have never tried to sell my projects before, so this is a huge first step for me.  What better way to re-energize and make room for new projects?

It’s spring cleaning time for On The Upcycle. That being said, it’s also a fun time to squeeze in a few smaller projects in the days leading up to the sale.

I love wooden boxes and picked this one up for 99 cents at Goodwill.  I didn’t care for the boxes original design, but the box itself was in great shape.

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I used a spray on white primer to properly cover the previous design on the box.

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I had a nice celestial print.  I have been in a colorful mood lately and wanted to utilize a design with a lot of color

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I applied Mod Podge with a brush, and placed the print on the box top and front.

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I painted the box blue and pink to match colors contained within the print

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This whimsical celestial themed box is one of the items crafted specifically for the sale.

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Here are a few photo’s of previous projects I have agreed to part with for the upcoming sale:

Peacock Table
peacock table before and after

Star Wars Kid Chair:

Star Wars Themed Fabric Decoupage Chair

Strawberry Shortcake Kids Chair:

Upcycled Strawberry Shortcake Kids Record Chair

Kids School Desk:
Upcycled Kids School Desk

Happy Earth day to all of my friends!! How are you celebrating today? Do any of you have experience with Flea Market sales? I would love to hear from you! Any tricks of the trade or friendly advice?

A Pre-Christmas Miracle: Altered Upcycling’s Holiday Giveaway!

I couldn’t wait to share the news with all of you! The very talented Mahe Zehra Husain (MZ) from Altered Upcycling fame is at it again!  This year she is organizing the biggest holiday giveaway EVER! From the 15th of November to the 25th of December.  Altered Upcycling is giving away different e-books and products weekly.  All you have to do is visit: http://www.alteredupcycling.com/christmas-giveaway join Altered Upcycling’s Facebook Page and sign up on the right to have the links sent to your inbox.  It’s that simple!

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The Green Craft Lifestyle Christmas Addition available November 15th through the 21st of November features an “On The Upcycle” Project Pickled Lamp: “On The Upcycle” Christmas Craft

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Other Freebies include:

ALICE IN WONDERLAND DIGITAL DIORAMA KIT
THE MIXED MEDIA COOKBOOK
PAPER DOLL BONANZA
PLANNERS

Be sure and check it out!  I can’t think of a better way to treat yourself for the holidays!

Watching The Paint Dry: 50 Questions With “On The Upcycle”

It has been hectic to say the least behind the scenes.  I have several projects to share, but this week, I have been working on a family table re-finish.  It has been extremely humid in my area, and it is taking forever and a day for the oil based paint to dry.  Not to mention, I added a little too much stain, which made the table a nice dark color, but only added to the length of time it took for the piece to dry!  In the meantime, I have been catching up in between projects,  and an increasingly busy schedule on my WordPress reading.   

Last year, I was invited by Elise at  Cheeky Geeks  to take part in her blog’s annual Geek month.

In the spirit of Throw Back Thursday, and for those who missed the original post you may want to check it out (especially if you are an “1980’s geek” like I am.)  I upcycled an old kid’s chair using an old Strawberry Shortcake record.

Upcycled Strawberry Shortcake Kids Record Chair

Be sure and stop by Elise’s blog for this year’s geek month.  If you are anything like me and have a “Geeky” side you will enjoy following Elise on her Geek Month journey.

Cheeky Geeks : Geek Month Celebration

Elise also had a challenge for me if I was willing to accept:  Answer 50 questions about myself.   It would seem that she is interested to know a bit more about the women behind the Upcycle.  Seemed like a great time to accept this challenge, while I quite literally wait for the paint to dry….

  1. What are you wearing?-Yoga pants and a rock tee. I am all about comfort!
  2. Ever been in love? Yes, and I love, love!
  3. Ever had a terrible breakup? I went through a divorce, what do you think?
  4. How tall are you? 5 feet 4 inches
  5. How much do you weigh? It’s never polite to ask a lady her weight!
  6. Any tattoos? Two black animal paw prints on the top of my foot
  7. Any piercings? 3 piercings in one ear, two on the other
  8. OTP (one true pair, favorite fictional couple)? Kristoff and Anna from Frozen.  My daughter is into Disney at the moment!
  9. Favorite show? Game of Thrones
  10. Favorite bands? Too many to list, but Rock N Roll is my first love
  11. Something you miss?- My Grandfather Vincent
  12. Favorite song? Right now? “I Got A Name” Jim Croce
  13. How old are you? 39 and holding on for dear life!
  14. Zodiac sign? Aries
  15. Quality you look for in a partner? No question sense of humor!
  16. Favorite Quote? “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” John Lennon
  17. Favorite actor? Peter Dinklage I love, love him!
  18. Favorite color? Purple
  19. Loud music or soft? Loud
  20. Where do you go when you’re sad? Unfortunately, inside my head.
  21. How long does it take you to shower? 10 minutes I have to be quick I have a toddler!
  22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 30 minutes
  23. Ever been in a physical fight? yes, but I was forced
  24. Turn on? Kindness
  25. Turn off? Elitism
  26. The reason I started blogging? I wanted to share my thriftiness with others, and I love to write!
  27. Fears? Not being able to see my daughter grow up
  28. Last thing that made you cry? My daughter
  29. Last time you said you loved someone? Today
  30. Meaning behind the name of your blog?It popped in my head one day. I kept thinking of the song “Little Suzi’s on the Up” by the band PhD.
  31. Last book you read? OMG embarrassing, All my reading is on the computer!
  32. The book you’re currently reading? Ummm refer to # 31
  33. Last show you watched? Big Bang Theory
  34. Last person you talked to?-My husband
  35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted? My sister
  36. Favorite food? Eggplant parm and Spaghetti
  37. Place you want to visit? Ireland
  38. Last place you were? At Work
  39. Do you have a crush? Do girl crushes count? Check out this awesome blog: AussaLorens.com
  40. Last time you kissed someone? Today
  41. Last time you were insulted? LOL probably every day, but most likely I don’t know about it!
  42. Favorite flavor of sweet? Sour Patch Kids
  43. What instruments do you play? I tried guitar, but could never catch on, I played the clarinet in elementary school
  44. Favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring
  45. Last song you sang? Heart “Magic Man”
  46. Favorite chat up line? I don’t have one! It’s whatever pops into my head at any given time.
  47. Have you ever used it? N/A
  48. Last time you hung out with anyone? Last weekend.
  49. Who should answer these questions next? I wanna know more about Daniela Joe If she’s willing to give it a go!
  50. LOL 50 Questions?  I think I am missing something here…