Saturday, February 28, 2015

Self Bullying: 7 Ways To Stay In The Game {Dream Chaser}

Courtesy Artwork & Artist:  Anonymous
  
Many times, we go through life facing all kinds of challenges.  Some good and some bad.  People challenge you, your job challenges you and even when you were a child, some kid would try to scare you and challenge you to a fight.  Remember those days?  I know about them well because someone would always want to challenge me to a fight in school and when I looked around, instead of it being one person that wanted to fight me, it would be 3 or 4 girls that were ready to jump me!!  I was like a magnet for bullying!  Every time I turned around, somebody wanted to start a fight with me!  That's a true story and although it happened many years ago, I can still remember those days, like they were yesterday.

Don't Bully Yourself...Stay In The Dream Chaser Game
So what's my point? Here it is...don't bully yourself! It's ugly when someone bullies someone else, but it's even uglier when you bully yourself!!  This is called self bullying.  When you challenge yourself to do something, keep going because in the end, when you succeed, it will be a time to "celebrate you"!  Don't get scared or be intimidated by others saying you can't do something and definitely don't tell yourself that.  Don't bully yourself, but instead challenge yourself, to keep going and to stay in the dream chaser game.  It will make a better person out of you and others will be amazed.  I know this, for sure. 

 Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful...
When you get to a point where you have to "beat yourself up" to learn something new, then its probably not for you.  That's bullying yourself.  You don't want to do that.  Just realize its not for you and move on to a new dream.  It may appear that it is "what you were made to do"  or "your gift" but "here it is"...if it does not come to you somewhat naturally and you are struggling at making it happen, then its probably "not your gift" and in the end, you lose gaining any enjoyment from it.  Remember this...when you challenge yourself versus someone else challenging you, you have the ball in your court, right from the start!  You can stop the duel whenever you want, so don't beat yourself up. Just stop, and start over again!

7 Ways To Stay In The Game
Stop - Don't waste anymore time on old dreams. 
Decompress - Take a mental dump.
Overcome Denial - Let go of the old stuff that did not work.
Re-Evaluate - Look at what went wrong, thoroughly.
Re-Build - Create a vision board aka dream board, for inspiration to start again. 
Start Over - Begin a new dream.
Celebrate - Staying in the game!
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Friday, February 27, 2015

To My Fashionistas & LoftTalk Ladies...This One Is Just For You! Launching LoftTalk@LOFT101.net in 2 Days


"Hello Ladies".....this one is just for you!!!  You like?  This is a "signature design" t-shirt specifically created for LOFT101.net!  It's not for retail or for sale but I am giving away one t-shirt a month starting in March 2015 through December 2015, in honor of my new initiative, LoftTalk, launching in 2 days! 

Check This Out....Get Excited!!!
I've been talking and posting about LoftTalk for the last few weeks and the time is finally near!  I am so excited to share one of my very first signature designs and ladies...it's all just for you!  Yes, remember my "More About Me" profile, when I mentioned I was a trailblazer for women? Well, here it is!  For all the ladies out there that are still believing in your dream, just like me, I'm spreading the love and the inspiration while I keep chasing my dreams!! Keep going, don't stop!!  I'm also working on another design idea that will be fitting for my LOFT101.net men viewers but for right now... it's all about my LoftTalk Ladies...lol!! 
Keep Reading...

It's HOT...More About The T-Shirt!
This t-shirt is tailored cut to fit your shape perfectly.  I made sure of that when I decided on what style I wanted to purchase from a t-shirt company that is rapidly growing, throughout the Baltimore, MD area!  This t-shirt rocks any size waistline, big or small bust line and curvy or not-so curvy hips, nicely...lol!  The sleeves are semi-capped and the crisp white cotton with the distressed gray screen print, is a classic look with some Levi 501 jeans and a nice pair of heels or boots!! You feeling me?  It's HOT & you will look good in it!

The design was inspired from a craft project I created & you can only get this t-shirt from LOFT101.net by entering for a chance to win it.   It's always about the love with me, so the xoxo that you see on the bottom corner of the t-shirt, was a must-have when working with the screen print/graphic designer, Damon Stubblefield,  Owner of Flash Teez T-Shirt Company, Baltimore Maryland area.  He and his team are professional and do awesome work.  Check him out at flashteez.com...Thanks Damon!
Keep Reading...

The Giveaway......Be In It, To Win It!
I'm ready to give10 of these t-shirts away! I have quantities of 5 each, in sizes large and x-large.  If you win, you will be asked what size you want and if that size is still available, it's yours!  It's as simple as that.  From March 2015 to December 2015, plan to participate in LoftTalk when the request for submission opens for that month.  Get your submission in before the last day to submit and your name will be automatically entered, for a "chance to win" this LOFT101.net signature designer t-shirt!  *One entry, one chance, only one time, during that month...that's the rules. The winner will be notified via email and announced on the LOFT101.net site at the end of each month.
Keep Reading... 
"Go For It" Ladies and for the Gentlemen out there, please participate for a chance to win a t-shirt for your lovely lady...;-)!! 
 
*Read more about LoftTalk & details by searching "LoftTalk" on my HOME Page
 
 
  
  
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Going Green" Has Gone Viral: 8 Tips for Natural & Organic Eco-Friendly Cooking!

It's obvious that "going green" has "gone viral"! Magazine companies are "going green" and are choosing to use recycled paper instead of other paper grades.  Soy candles are increasing in popularity and "going green" as makers are now using soy base waxes instead of paraffin waxes to decrease the amount of soot that comes from burning candles.  Homeowners are also required to "go green", separating our trash from our recyclables on a daily basis!

Green is all around us!!

Going green is now a way of life and cooking green in the kitchen has its benefits.  It's healthy for you and your family.  Even organic foods are taking on their own section in the grocery stores, these days.  I'm beginning to purchase organic foods more now than I ever have.  One of my favorite organic foods to buy is chicken wings.  I cannot eat chicken with hair on it!  I have never seen any hair on organic chicken wings.  Well, that's to say where I purchase my organic wings from, I've never witnessed feathers...lol!  That alone, sold me on the idea that buying organic products may cost a little more but from a health perspective, it is so well worth it.
 
Did you know that organic cooking keeps chemicals away from your body?  Also eating eco-friendly can save money on your grocery bill too.  As you begin to read more about going green, just as I have, you will learn that "green cookware" is more efficient to use because you use less oils, less butter and its safer.  You can find a variety of choices on the market today for eco-friendly cookware that allows you to actually save on your energy bill, every month.  
We received this eco-friendly pan in the photo as a Christmas gift from a family member and I was excited about it because I have an interest in eco-friendly products, natural foods, organic products and the whole "going green", universal initiative.   I've decided to invest in additional "green" eco-friendly cookware and after checking out my list on more ways that you can "go green", you may want to invest in some "green" cookware too...;-).

Courtesy Credit For Online Resource:  I forgot to mention the resource that I used to help with writing this post and that's important!  So, I am correcting my oversight from the original post that was dated for 26 Feb 2015, to now include the resource that I used to assist with this post:
science.howstuffworks.com ...its a very good site, with great ideas on eco-friendly cooking...I've listed some of their tips and have also added some additional comments and verbiage, from my own personal experiences! 

More Ways To "Go Green" 

1.  Purchase Fresh Fruits & Vegetables.  You will get the freshest fruits and vegetables on the market when you buy from a vegetable stand. 
2.  Buy Organic Foods.  This is just a healthier way of eating.  Good health, less visits to the doctor's office!
3.  Use Leftovers.  If you have leftover chicken, use it to make a chicken soup for the next few days.  Add your fresh veggies and you have created a new meal for the next few days. 
4.  Use & Re-Use Aluminum Foil.  I line everything with aluminum foil to save on cleaning more pots and pans.  This in turn, saves money on your water bill.  If you can re-use a piece of aluminum foil, do so but be sure to not cross-contaminate certain foods, especially chicken.
5.  Invest in Eco-Friendly Cookware.  Using this type of cookware will help reduce energy usage in your kitchen and keep chemicals away from your body. You will also use less oils and butter, that contributes to healthier cooking also.
6.  Cook with Natural Gas.  It's been proven that gas cooking is a great green choice.  Using natural gas is energy efficient and eco-friendly.
7.  Choose Fruit over Chips.  It's eco-friendly and healthier eating.  Choosing fruit over chips is nutritionally better for you and conserves energy used in packaging, processing and then having to recycle that potato chip bag, once you are done.
8.  Grow a Garden.  Gardens have always been a resourceful pastime and many households have actually taken on growing gardens as a necessity rather than a hobby.  It doesn't get any better than the dirt from the earth, so start planting and growing your own fruits and vegetables for a healthier way of eating.  Save money on your grocery bill too!!
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tips & Suggestions For Setting Up A Hot Beverage Bar {Coffee, Espresso & Tea}

Company's coming and the coffee is brewing!   It's always nice to have a separate area for your guests to fix a cup of coffee, tea, espresso or any other hot beverages you are serving when they visit. With the Keurig coffee machine, you can brew just about anything from coffee to cider! 

We have a Keurig and a Starbucks Espresso Machine.  When we want to make a hot cup of tea, we use our electric Capresso Hot Water Pot.  It's wonderful! The espresso machine is easy to use and makes the best cup of cafe espresso with foam!

When deciding on a space to set up your hot beverage bar, here's some tips and suggestions for making your beverage bar the best!

1.  Make sure it's out of the way of small children.  Especially since it's a hot beverage bar, you want to keep it up high, if children will be around.

2.  Hot beverage bars are great when complimented with extras that go well with hot drinks:

cinnamon sticks
marshmallows
whip cream
flavored non-alcoholic liqueurs
flavored creams
espresso packs (for extra caffeine shots!)
biscotti bars (for dipping!)
mini chocolate chips

3.  Here's an idea:  take an Irish coffee mug and using sugar and lemon juice, rim the mug for a pop of flavor!  This is great when serving espresso.

4.  Use an insulated container to serve your creams and to keep them cold.  Use an old fashioned soda shop sugar pourer!  Set your bar up with all of the essentials that make your hot drinks perfect and throw some color in there by adding a coffee theme table cloth or solid colors like orange, white and brown work well, to establish a café beverage corner!




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Saturday, February 21, 2015

My Thought For Today: Over and Over and Over Again...A Keepsake

Have you ever received a greeting card and as you began to read it, the words touched you so much that you had to start reading it all over again, a second and third time, to really "feel" what the card was saying to you?  I received a letter from my husband on Valentine's Day that said things that I already knew but him handing it to me, reading it and seeing it written down in his own words, just made it feel more real for me!  Sometimes as humans, we need to be reassured of things that we already know to be true but just appreciate hearing over and over and over again.

My daughter gave me the card in this photo for my birthday and the words within the card caused me to read it over and over and over again.  As I began to read it, so many things went through my head and with every word I read, I began to think about the years when she was a child and how she has now, become the beautiful young woman that she is.  I remember her writing me a letter when she was 12 years old, that literally made me cry!  At that time, I was working on a job that required me to travel for an extended period of time.  This was the longest I would ever be away from her.  I would be gone for over a month and my daughter, being only 12 years old, was very upset, feeling as though my going away for a month, was simply too long.  While I was away, I received a letter from her in the mail and I still have that letter displayed beautifully in a keepsake box.
I will never forget that moment and how I felt. 

You may not be able to keep every greeting card, letter or note that is given or exchanged but you can keep some of them.  Start a keepsake box today and build on it.  Add photos too.  Pottery Barn has wonderful choices for keepsake boxes.  Home Goods also has a variety of glass keepsake boxes, in different sizes that you can choose from.  As the celebration of "heart health month" winds down this month, let's continue to celebrate the "words" from those special people in our lives that do love us, "for  real" and because you know that, "for sure", always pray for them, over and over and over again.  Hang your keepsake box on the wall so you can always reflect back on the wonderful moments, memories and people in your life!  Make it a great day and blessings to you...always.
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Recipe: 24/12 Low Fat Ricotta Meatballs with Vodka Sauce & Whole Wheat Pasta..Modified & Done My Way!


Happy Saturday!

OMG, no lie, this recipe is too awesome!  There are a few good recipes out there for "Ricotta Meatballs" but since I'm always trying to watch my weight,...haha, I modified this recipe, courtesy of BHG (Better Homes and Garden Magazine) just enough, to call it low fat...lol!  Do you want to experience the flavor of a moist meatball?  Well, you have to try my "modified recipe".  It's a winner and be sure to send me a comment to let me know how much you loved it because I know you will...smile ;-). 

Why 24/12?...because you can serve this meal to 12 people for under $24.00.  That's amazing!! 



24/12 Low Fat Ricotta Meatballs with Vodka Sauce & Whole Wheat Pasta

Ingredients
One 2 3/4 pack of  93% Lean Ground Beef (makes 24 large meatballs) 
1 32oz container of part-skim Ricotta Cheese  (less fat than whole)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Lawry's Seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs
1 cup of plain breadcrumbs 
1 yellow onion (chopped)
1/4 cup of minced garlic or 2 cloves chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 jars of Classico Vodka Sauce (24 oz.) (90 calories-lowest calorie & fat sauce)
1 box of 100% Thin Whole Grain Spaghetti (fiber)
2 medium tin roaster pans


1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Sautee the onions & minced garlic together in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, for 8-10 minutes.

2.  In a large bowl, mix ground beef, ricotta cheese, dried parsley, Italian seasoning, Lawry's seasoning, black pepper, 2 eggs, breadcrumbs and sautéed onions & garlic mixture.  Mix well.

3.  With remaining olive oil, put 1 tablespoon in each tin pan.

4.  Start making your meatballs in large rounds and place them in both pans.  Three rows down and four across, for each pan (twelve meatballs in all, for each pan).   

5.  Sprinkle each meatball with dried parsley and pop both pans in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

6.  Pour both jars of vodka sauce into a sauce pan and heat for 12 minutes, on low heat.  Don't overheat because sauce will stick.

7.  Boil water for spaghetti and prepare pasta, as per directions on the box.  Cook the entire box (trust me, it will not go to waste...lol!).

8.  After time is up, remove meatballs from oven and "yummy", you are ready to serve this meal.

9. Time to plate your food...spaghetti, 2 meatballs and vodka sauce on top!  Sprinkle with dried parsley, add a few slice of fresh tomatoes to garnish and dig in ;-)!!  Makes 12 servings.

10.  Enjoy!






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Friday, February 20, 2015

LoftTalk @ LOFT101.net: What Is it?.....Tell Me More! {Details}

What is LoftTalk and its purpose?
LoftTalk was created by the creator of the LOFT101.net blog site and is a component of the LOFT101.net blog site that will post LoftTalk submissions from contributors, monthly, from March 2015 to December 2015LoftTalk will allow contributors an opportunity to network, share and exchange information pertaining to home ideas, hyperlinks, decorating tips, organizing & entertaining shortcuts, cleaning basics, recipes, DIY projects, real life stories and inspirational thoughts via social media sharing, on the LOFT101.net blog site, only.

What is the objective of LoftTalk? 
To exchange, share, communicate and build interaction with others in the social media community.  To expand on our current network of viewers, followers and subscribers, in an effort to increase online viewer traffic and establish recurring visits to the LOFT101.net  blog site.

 How do I make a request to post my idea or story each month to LoftTalk on LOFT101.net?
Simple.  Send the content you are sharing to Debsloft101@gmail.com  Your information will not be shared with anyone and by submitting your information, you give LOFT101.net permission to post your information on its site for others to view, when they visit the LOFT101.net blog site.

What happens to the information I submit for the LoftTalk participation?
Your submission will be posted on the LOFT101.net rolling blog with the other contributor's submissions for LoftTalk and later it will be transferred to the Corner Loft101 page of the LOFT101.net site.  Please be aware that LOFT101.net viewers, followers and subscribers do share posts that are published daily, with Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and Instagram viewers, however, no one is allowed to copy or use any content from the LOFT101.net blog site, without permission.

How much does it cost to participate in LoftTalk on LOFT101.net?
Absolutely nothing.  You are participating and submitting information "at your own free will".  You will never be paid any money from LOFT101.net for contributing and LOFT101.net will not ask for any money from you, ever.  This is merely social media sharing on a blog site.  It is to be understood as the same process as others that post "comments" on the LOFT101.net site, which they do so, at their own free will
 
How does LoftTalk work in conjunction with Corner Loft101?
LoftTalk and Corner Loft101 work together, within the LOFT101.net blog site.  LoftTalk collects and displays the information on the LOFT101.net blog roll and Corner Loft101 will display and store the information on the LOFT101.net site, for future viewing.  It will first appear on the LOFT101.net blog roll for viewing 
and within 30 days after the blog roll posting, the information is transferred over to the Corner Loft101 page, which is a component page within the LOFT101.net blog site, to display and store the information for recurring visitors, to view at anytime.  This process will then start over, for the following months, ending in December 2015. 

"Ok, now that the details are out of the way"...let's get ready to share on LoftTalk found only @ LOFT101.net....starting in March 2015!  Looking forward to hearing from "you"...soon!
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tips & Ideas For Carving Out Room For You...Creating Space For A Home Office {Big or Small}


Lighting
Courtesy of:  HomeGoods.com
Well, as you know, I just completed my LOFT101.net Office Project and I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying my space and although this room is primarily designated as my office, it serves as my prayer room, craft room and my quiet place, when I need to "take a mental dump".  Remember, that post?  Taking a mental dump is needed sometimes...lol! 

What am I trying to say?  Well, just because I set out to create a room where I can work on my computer, do bills and blog, doesn't necessarily mean that's the only thing that room is good for! I guess a better name for it would have been,"multipurpose room" because it really is! I carved out a space for myself that I love and I want to show you how you can do the same thing too. 

Maybe you don't have an extra room in your home like I did, to create space for an office.  That's ok because you can work with what you have by being innovative and creative!  You have to think big, even though you may only have a small space to work with. 

I've shared some tips and photos from two of my favorite home décor sites, Home Goods and Wayfair. "You can find just what you need", as Wayfair says...lol and you really can save a ton of money shopping at their site as well as shopping at Home Goods.  Don't forget TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Target also, for grabbing some great buys.   It can be done, you can do it and once "your space" has been created, you will  absolutely love it!  This is a DIY weekend project for sure. So have fun, bargain shop and mix & match as much as you want...this is all about "carving out room for you"! ;-)



Candles
Courtesy of:  HomeGoods.com

3 Tips For Creating Space For A Home Office
 
1.  Rearrange furniture in your living room, preferably in a corner, away from high traffic.  Create enough space for your desk and chair, first, keeping it simple, so that it does not clash or take up too much space. The key is to make your office space functional and because you will include it within your living room area, make sure your the décor aesthetic of your "office corner", aligns with your overall living room décor.  Add accessories to your desk, that make your "corner space" pop!! 
2.  If you live in an apartment, check this out...wherever you have a window, if you have window, that's the area you want to work with creating your space.  If you do not have a window, that's fine too.  I say this because, having a window near your office space, immediately opens up that space and provides natural lighting.  Secondly, how lovely is it to have a window you can stare out of, while you are working!  Also, having a window will allow you to define that area more as your "office space" by adding window treatments that match the décor of the overall room.  It doesn't matter if the window is in your living room or bedroom, this will work well as long as you blend the color pallet in with the colors that are in the existing room.
3.  Here's an idea I did in the past and I loved it!  Using the largest closet space you have in your house or apartment, remove the doors and start creating!  Paint, wallpaper or decal the primary wall of the closet since this the wall you will more likely have your desk facing towards.  You want something nice to look at...lol!  Depending on the space you have to work with, you could possibly create additional storage by adding cabinets open face, with doors an/or cubby holes, for storage.  Also, if you did not want to paint or add cabinets, a mirror would be great, since mirrors give the illusion that a small space is larger than what it is.  Using a closet for an office is no secret and if you are creative in your thinking, you can really make this transformation look great!
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Furniture
Courtesy of:  HomeGoods.com


Accessories
Courtesy of:  HomeGoods.com




Lighting
Courtesy of:  HomeGoods.com


Mid-Back Task Chair
Courtesy of:  Wayfair.com

Hull Crisp White Two Drawer Writing Desk
Courtesy of:  Wayfair.com

Naples Writing Desk with File Drawers
Courtesy of:  Wayfair.com

Randol Desk
Courtesy of:  Wayfair.com

Network Office Chair
Courtesy of:  Wayfair.com

Shaker One Drawer Cottage Writing Desk
Courtesy of:  Wayfair.com



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Launching LoftTalk in March 2015: Social Media Sharing @ LOFT101.net

Welcome to LoftTalk on LOFT101.net, coming your way in March 2015!  It's butter baby, all the way!  It's as simple as believing and it's building at it's very best...via social media sharing!  Don't be shy :-)...we are not here to judge each other but to love one another...

Hi There!
I'm introducing a new initiative and I'm stepping out on faith with this new idea!  I mentioned on a prior post that I wanted to open a blog page and platform for my viewers, followers and subscribers, to share a link to their site, an inspiring short story, a good recipe, a decorating tip or idea, an encouraging word, an accomplishment, something funny, a project that you are proud of, something you crafted and the "how to" instructions or anything else that can benefit and introduce others to something new, they can try or do!  Here's another option:  Remember the cliche, "a picture is worth a thousand words".  I share photos all of the time because it creates a more "real life" moment. Maybe you lost a lot of weight and you want to share your "before, meantime and after" moment and how you got there. That is inspiring news to share, on the LoftTalk platform!

Beginning March and every month thereafter for the next 10 months, I'll post a "LoftTalk Request" page and at the end of the month, I'll post a page with the information I have received. The page with the information will be titled:  "LoftTalk for (current month) 2015:  Social Media Sharing on LOFT101.net".  I am excited to see the good that will come out of this effort.  It may start off slow and I may have no input at first but that's ok because I always have something to say...lol!!  So, you will always have a monthly word from me on LoftTalk.  It starts with me and I believe, so I will always share, each month, regardless.

I'm not concerned with the quantity of information I receive more than the quality of what you contribute.  One person sharing something good, can affect a mass amount of people.  It's all about what you have to say, not how much you have to say.  Remember that.  It can be a little or a lot, doesn't matter.  Just make it purposeful.  I love to talk to you and I hope you will talk back to me, on LoftTalk!  

Do not share any personal information or names of others when you contribute to LoftTalk, but instead, share your content in a way that it will be meaningful to someone that would want to consider entertaining your idea or enjoy reading your story.  You tracking?  Keep real life ideas, real.  I want this effort to be amazing and as I post the page each month on my rolling blog, the information for that month will then be transferred over to my Corner LOFT101 page, to store and stay.  This way, you can always go back and view what you wrote.  Contribute each month, if you like.  Keep it clean and remember to always uplift and not tear down, when contributing your ideas, for others to read. 
I'm sharing with you, so that you will share with me and the viewers of LOFT101.net

I love new recipes, new decorating tips, inspiring stories and ideas for "real life & real living".   Dare to be different and start today by thinking about what you will share next month or the months to follow!  It's still FREE to SUBSCRIBE.  Subscribe to LOFT101.net today, so you never miss a post!
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DIY Home Project Completed {Photo Tour of LOFT101.net Office Headquarters}

      
Hi!  Hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day!  Guess what?  Remember the first LOFT101.net project I started  months ago.  Yes, I'm talking about the project to convert a princess bedroom into an office for LOFT101!  Well, I'm  finished and the LOFT101.net Office Headquarters is up and running.  I committed to a finish date of 15 Feb 2015 and I finished right on time!  Here's my photo tour and stay encouraged to finish your projects also.  Keep going, you can do it too!  Keep following for the YOU TUBE LOFT101.net virtual office tour, coming soon.  Time to start the next project...
 
 


 















 
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