Why I am a Shy Blogger... ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Why I am a Shy Blogger...


I promise that every Thursday from now on, I will have a useful tip for my Blogging 101 series.  Before we get into it, I have a confession to make.  So please excuse the interruption before we start off, because I have something that I have been meaning to explain to you all for a long time.


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Some of you have been loyal readers of mine since the beginning, others are newer friends, and some of you might be reading this post as the very first time on my blog.  Here are a few numbers that may (or may not) interest you:

I have been blogging for 491 days, published 561 blog posts on Vintage Zest & The Episodic Eater, and shared a whole slew of photos and more on my Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook accounts.

And how many of those posts and social media shares have included a picture of my face?


A big, fat ZERO.


Why?  Because I am a shy blogger.


Why I am a Shy Blogger... on Diane's Vintage Zest!



I get asked a lot why I don't have a picture up on my website, and I figured that I should explain it with a bit of thought behind my answer.  If you are wondering why I am addressing it now, here is the reason.  As both Vintage Zest and The Episodic Eater grow, I have been attending more events.  As I meet more bloggers, shop owners, and PR peeps, I have to explain that I would rather not be photographed.  Sometimes I feel bad about it because to fully explain why,  I would have to give the whole explanation below.  Not time efficient when someone wants to snap a quick Instagram pic!

  • It's not because I have a social phobia.  I think you know from lots of my previous posts that I share a lot.  Sometimes even too much?


  • I'm not trying to be gimmicky as the "anonymous blogger" to get more exposure.  In fact, I have been told that people are more likely to engage with you if they see a face on the blog, so it's definitely not for the traffic!

Why I am a Shy Blogger... on Diane's Vintage Zest!
Thanks to Coco & Lily, because they model everything I sew!



So then why am I a shy blogger?


Here are a few reasons which may or may not surprise you...

  • When I first started blogging, it was just to share a couple of sewing projects and the occasional meal out with a couple of friends.  I didn't know (or really care) about the blogging "norm" that it is a good idea to have a picture of yourself on the sidebar to welcome people.  Since this was meant just for my two friends, I didn't even think once of uploading my face for all to see!

  • Sad as it is, I blogged in secret when I first started.  I thought most of my friends (except the two above), family, and definitely my co-workers would think having a blog was frivolous and silly.  I only had to "confess" to my family when they noticed that I was taking more pictures of recipes and our meals out.

  • Along with the point above, I have alluded to my work in the medical field.  Because my blogs are a creative outlet, they are completely different than my work life.  I honestly thought people would take me less seriously if they found out.  This was probably the most important reason for my anonymity.  As you might notice, I don't post my last name either, just so someone doesn't find this while Google-ing my full name and therefore connect me to it...

Why I am a Shy Blogger... on Diane's Vintage Zest!
Mean  :(

  • Also, in real life, I'm the opposite of an over-sharer on social media.  I used to share the occasional personal photo on Facebook, but nowadays I will just get a random tag here or there from my friends.  My personal Twitter account has only 1 tweet (without a photo), and my Instagram account only has 2 photos, neither of which I'm in.  I'm not a selfie kinda girl!

  • Lastly, I can kinda be a bit paranoid.  Thanks, mom!  No, but really I share so much about my life that sometimes I wonder how much is too much.  I share when I am on vacation, the events I attend, restaurants where we eat, and more...  So, I err on the side of caution.  And once your face and life is on the web for display, there's no taking it back.  Anyways, I'm not getting too Carrie from Homeland, am I?


Why I am a Shy Blogger... on Diane's Vintage Zest!



So, will I continue to be a shy blogger?

Honestly, I'm not sure!

A few months ago, one of the advisors on my latest work project found out about the website after I mentioned being familiar with HTML.  I was ridiculously nervous that my professional reputation was down the drain!  Instead, he wanted to know all about it.  He asked tons of questions like what I write about, how people find me, and if I do all the technical stuff on the site.  By the end, he was impressed that my Big Game Chili recipe was featured in the Smart & Final mailer.  He even asked if I considered making it Paleo-friendly and thought I could get more readers interested if I had a specific niche.  Apparently, I was worried about nothing.  The man couldn't wait to help me with my blogging!


Why I am a Shy Blogger... on Diane's Vintage Zest!
An advisor-approved recipe!


So now that my major concern has been addressed, what do I have standing in my way?

Well, I do know that if I ever decide to post my picture, I will most likely have a professional headshot.  Everyone in my family, plus my guy, is photographically challenged, and I'm not about to make any of my friends take photo after photo of me!  (P.S. - If you know of a good photographer in the L.A. or O.C. area, let me know!)


So until then, I hope you don't mind me being a shy, faceless blogger to you all.  I hope to break the ice with just a tiny sidebar picture one day.  Eventually, I might even share a happy selfie here or there.  Could you even imagine?  :)


Are you a shy blogger, share everything, or are you somewhere in between?



*Update*  Check out the latest Blogging 101 posts here:









63 comments:

  1. I, too, am a shy blogger. I go by Orange Blossom and I use Marie Antoinette as my portrait picture because I'm Queen of My own house. I don't write my blog in hopes of becoming famous, I do it for fun. My blog isn't nearly as popular as yours so I'm not to the point (and maybe never will be) that people are asking who I am! I also work in the medical field and don't want people (the patients) to be able to google everything about me. My work is my work which happens to be completely different than my outside interests! I mean, heck, many celebrities and famous writers don't go by their real name, so why should I! So Orange Blossom it is (maybe I should come up with a better name? Maybe I'll think of a new pseudo-name). I'm glad I'm not the only one in this boat!

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  2. That is just uncanny! A couple of California girls with medical careers that are shy bloggers. Maybe there are even more of us out there? Oh, and I peeked at your blog and if you're in LA or Orange County, I'm going to want some of those pretty macarons. ;) Anyways, sometimes I wish I had used a pseudonym to really keep things separate, but I'm okay with it now. I love that you call yourself Orange Blossom, and I know a few people that have similar pseudonyms as well. Thanks for commenting because I wasn't sure if this would resonate with anyone at all. Just made my day! :)

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  3. I don't post many pictures of myself on my blog but i do have a sidebar pic and an about me pic. I really am torn between being a very private person and seeing my face pop up more and more in search engines. I think about this everyday but so far I haven't seen any negative reactions. I like to play dumb and think that employers can't find me. I really do hate the fact that my face is all over google if you know what to search for even though I am very selective with images of myself I post publicly. So I still struggle with this even though my content isn't scandalous.

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  4. Hi Diane - I really enjoyed your posts and thoroughly understand your point of view. While I do have a sidebar pic, too, as Brittany mentioned, I've been in the middle, I think. I try to be very selective about about what I share from my personal life - I, too, feel that my blog is my creative outlet and I want to keep my family/professional life separate as much as possible. Each individual needs to take the approach that they are comfortable with and what works for them! I applaud you as shy blogger! :)

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  5. I am a shy blogger too - I don't post everything that happens in my life, and really try to minimise my face appearing on it too. But as you attend events, people do recognise you, ,even if you do put just ONE picture!

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  6. Awesome! I'm not as shy as you- but I seriously hate putting my picture on the blog! I don't mind the headshot- but modeling me-made clothes is excruciating. I guess mine are body image- all I can think of is "I have cankles, I should've sucked in, why am I making that dumb face?!" I'm working hard on sewing a wardrobe for me, so I gotta bite the bullet.
    Anyways, thanks for this post. It's okay to be shy.

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  7. Nice to know that I'm not the only one!

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  8. Thank you! I wasn't sure if any of this would make any sense, but I'm glad to know that I have support out there. thanks so much Cindy! :)

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  9. Oh no, that's so silly! Every time I see you, I think, gosh she has amazing hair and her clothes are impeccable! :)

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  10. I was a shy blogger at first. It took a while to include my picture on my blog but now I don't think much of it. I also hid my blog at first and, while most of my family and friends know about it, I've told very few colleagues. I guess we all have different comfort levels and have to do what works for us.

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  11. I used to be very shy about sharing my picture etc but I figured that if I share pictures that I approve of, I would have more control over what is posted about me in the future. I haven't shared my surname so maybe that is my way of maintaining some kind of control of my identity as well.


    If you do decide to share a picture then great and if not, then great for that too! Your blog, your rules!


    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

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  12. Oh I am so glad to hear that I am not the only shy blogger. It seems like EVERYONE has a pic of them up, staring at you lol. I am human, and pretty cute, but I just don't like my pic being up there for everyone to see. HEHE and to think I am a makeup and beauty blogger that doesn't want her pic up there. I am silly. Thank you for making me feel not so alone... Maybe one day I will bite it and get one up there..... probably not though :)

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  13. Ooo, Diane, I never even noticed that we never see your face! I'm in between, I cut my head of photos for the first few months then my son took a half decent picture of me and I thought I'd let the world see it. I have 2 photos so far with my older kids as they are modelling the projects, I am cautious though - once you publish a photo it is out there for literally anyone to see after all.
    When I started I used the google account I already had so my name is out there, I have since set up a blog name email (which I use for bloggy things) but the technicalities of changing everything is a little beyond me, so I kind of feel like it's done now.
    You make some really interesting points about the whole work/blog/family parts of our lives. Sometimes I feel like a superhero with a secret identity (without the "super" or "hero" bits though and no secret underground hideout!) A few colleagues know about my blog but then when they mention something they've seen I feel weirdly embarrassed. Go figure!

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  14. Thanks for sharing your confession!
    I'm not afraid to put my photo on the blog, but I'm guarded about my son. Since I write about being a mommy, people might expect me to share all the details, but I refuse to share my child's or husband's name on the blog because it's not their blog, it's mine. And if I do show a picture of Kiddo, it does not show his face. I guess I'm a little paranoid too. :)

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  15. I loved this post and totally relate. I do have photos of myself on my blog, but I am very guarded. When I started my blog, my workplace actually had a social media policy where they could terminate our employment for almost anything that they did not agree with. I guess that is what made me so paranoid. I really started this as a creative outlet and because I was so excited about the things I was learning and doing. Most of my coworkers do not know I have a blog. I am so happy you shared this. I thought I was the only one. Everyone else seems like they have great friendships and share their whole lives.

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  16. I would have to say I am on the shy side, however, my pic is out there. I don't like many pics of me, but I'm not sure it's a shy issue or a self-conscious issue.
    As far as you....go with your gut. Do it only if you want to. If you want to stay anonymous, more power to you. I won't like you less ;)

    Thanks for sharing!!

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  17. Diane, I have been a blogger for about 4 years, and just a few months ago I finally put a picture on my Google+ site. I am also very private, and I seldom tell anyone about my blog. My husband is the extrovert however, and he tells anyone that will listen! I wish I could be more like that. I think putting your picture on and revealing personal things is a choice only that person can make. Everything I have read about blogging says to let people get to know things about you because that makes readers comfortable with you, but it is very hard, I know. I am looking forward to your next blogging tip, and congrats for the feature in the Smart and Final mailer! Woohoo!

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  18. I think having some concern for internet safety and not getting stalked is a good thing! I kind of go the opposite way as you--I will post a bazillion photos of myself, but I won't say where or when I'm gone on vacation till I get back, I will only say the general region where I live, or my last name (Which has been very successful, actually--I can google my full name, and lots of results and pictures come up, but none of them are of me!)

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  19. I am super self conscious about my photo so I have one whole head shot that I had my best friend take. I often chicken out on telling people because they will think I am silly, but I am trying to be better about promoting in person. Thank you for writing this honest and open post.

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  20. I am a shy blogger as well. I have posted a few pics of myself on my site, but it is pretty uncomfortable for me. I worry that it will affect my "other life" as well, but I love blogging and want to continue. I guess it is finding a balance. This was a great post!! Thanks!

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  21. It is nice to meet other shy bloggers like me as well. I was not even on any type of social media before blogging. Only one picture of me exists on the internet and maybe only a handful have been taken in the last decade. It is also funny that we are both creative types in the medical field. I am a lab technician in medical research.

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  22. I'm actually an anonymous blogger due to a lot of the reasons you mentioned. It gets hard to stay that way. I do have a pic of myself, but I also have an avatar. The funny thing is, that even though I am anonymous, I put my blog URL on my resume. Being a stay-at-home mom, I don't want a "gap" on my resume. I use it as an online portfolio of my writing & web work.

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  23. I am a shy blogger too, for some of the same reasons you mentioned! Thanks for sharing.

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  24. True! Thanks for sharing your story. :)

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  25. Aw, thanks Natasha! I'm so glad to hear how you handle your privacy concerns and that it has worked for you. Thanks!

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  26. Ha! We're definitely not alone! Maybe we should start a support group. :)

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  27. Ha! I TOTALLY feel you on the superhero thing. I think it's supposed to be secret, so when people somehow know something on my blog, it embarrasses me too!

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  28. That's definitely true. I notice that some people have the cute nicknames and don't share pictures of others on their blog. I definitely don't do either. Also, one time I was a bit weirded out to see a picture of someone's children in the bathtub on my Instagram feed. I'm pretty sure that one day, their kids may not appreciate that...

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  29. Oh my! That's definitely a reason to keep it secret! I'm glad to know someone else understands the strict professional/personal boundaries too, because sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  30. Aw, thanks Bobbie! I'm still hesitant because I know that once it's out there, I can't take it back. As for being self-conscious, it's an understandable reason, but I'm sure you have nothing to be worried about! I won't like YOU any less either! ;)

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  31. Oh gosh, my guy is like that. All of his coworkers know, and I cringe every time he tells me that he mentioned it to another person. Eek! And thanks about the Smart & Final feature. I was TOTALLY shocked! :)

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  32. Oh nice! That's a good way to do things, but I'm afraid that I spill the beans on my travel plans because I'm too excited not to share. :) I haven't put my full name out there as well. I only mention that I'm from Southern California, but there are lots of hints about where I live from my day-to-day activities.

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  33. I totally know what you mean. Sometimes I am a chicken about it, but it honestly depends on who I am talking to. If it is someone in my professional life, I cringe a bit if they know. If it is someone who I know would appreciate it, I probably could talk about it for hours with them. :)

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  34. Awesome! The nice thing about your space in the virtual world is that you can control what you want up there. As long as you are comfortable with it, I think people will accept the blog and you even if there are NO pictures. I mean, check out all the other comments! :)

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  35. Another kindred spirit! This is amazing to me that I thought I was the only one, and so many of you are in the same boat. Thanks for sharing!

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  36. How odd! The medical field is definitely strait-laced, so I can understand why we have that separation. Okay, so I just googled my name and I have no pictures of me either. Whew!

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  37. Ah, well the good thing is that your resume isn't public record so it wouldn't be public knowledge. Still, I do know that it is tough to stay anonymous. It's almost like keeping a secret sometimes, which I never do in my personal life! :)

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  38. Wow. These are great reasons for not posting your picture. I finally put a picture at the bottom of my posts of myself and my sister. I keep saying I need to have a picture taken but it never feels like the right time... or my hair isn't right.. and on and on. Plus, as an "older blogger" I don't want people to pass me over because I'm "over the hill" so to speak. Thanks so much for bringing this up. Maybe some other "older" bloggers feel the same way? Your friend, Linda

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  39. I'm shy! I just don't care if I have a ton of followers and I don't want to buy them - simply my style! I get it. :)

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  40. I can understand that, but personally I never pass over a blogger because what they look like and definitely not for age reasons. If I like what they post about it, that's good enough for me!

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  41. Yeah! I love hearing that there are other shy bloggers out there. :) Thanks!

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  42. Count me in as well. It is just that I know that everything ever put on the web will always be there. It is only within the last two weeks that I finally put a pic of myself on my blog, but you'll have to go looking for it, it isn't on the home page. I am also in the medical field, and my blog and the activities I share on it are my down time, my way of recharging. Visiting you from Best of the Weekend. Will look around a bit.

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  43. How funny that yet another of us in the medical field choose to be shy! Well, I definitely know what you feel, and I'm with you! :)

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  44. I am with you on the reasons for not oversharing. When I started blogging, I wanted to be extra careful to protect my family. I had no idea what to expect, and the thought that someone could get offended by something I wrote and start harassing me and my family was very real. I have a photo on my site, but I still write using my pen name. Maybe one day I'll become more comfortable with sharing more.

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  45. I'm a shy blogger too. I'm so happy to hear that I'm not the only one. I'm shy for many of the same reasons as you too...paranoia and started out not sure I wanted to really be "out there". I'm not a very big/popular blogger but my blog is slowly growing. I also don't share too much personal stuff, that's just my personality I don't like to talk about my self very much but I'm trying to open up more. I'm happy to hear that relatively anonymous bloggers can succeed.

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  46. Thanks for sharing your story on Merry Monday. I'm sure a lot of bloggers feel the same way. There is something safe about being anonymous.

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  47. This is such a great post. :)


    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

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  48. This was so encouraging to me! I never know how much to share, and how much to listen to all the "experts" so it's nice to see you doing your own thing and enjoying it. I would say I'm learning to be outgoing, but am naturally shy. A friend snapped my headshot pic at a party, and that made all the difference, because I was not about to go and have a photo session! :) (Found you on the Merry Monday Linky Party.)

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  49. Thank you for putting into words some things I have never been able to express. Let's just say we are a lot alike :)

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  50. I totally understand! Sometimes I wish that I had chosen a cute pen name like I know some bloggers have. :)

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  51. Thanks so much! I don't really know if I'm succeeding, but I'd like to. ;)

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  52. Thanks! I really am enjoying doing my own thing, which is what I do in real life anyways. :)

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  53. Hi Diane,

    I never thought about why there was not picture. You share about your life and I barely share anything personal. I never share about where I am or what I am doing until after I am done. For the same reasons you don't share pictures or your name. I would have been able to share more with no name or picture or what city I live in. I don't blame you for not sharing some things.

    Thanks so much for Wednesday's Adorned From Above Link Party.

    Have a great week.

    Debi and Charly

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  54. I'm not a shy blogger, although I do not have a picture on my side bar!!! Sometimes I post pictures of myself, but not all the time. I find it strange that people want to post pictures of themselves actually!! I'm fine with whatever people want to do! :^) patsy

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  55. True! The only time I find it difficult to not post a picture is when I want to mention an outfit or sewing project that I wore. Now my dress form takes care of that!

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  56. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm a shy blogger as well and I can completely relate to everything you expressed in this post!

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  57. Hi Diane! I'm back to let you know this post is being featured at this week's party.

    Thanks for sharing it at The Pin Junkie party!

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  58. This is the first post I have had the pleasure of reading on your blog - and I love it! I use my photo but have a pen name for very similar reasons. So I understand!
    As far as photographers go - mallorydphotography.com - I HIGHLY recommend her. Great prices, beautiful photos, and a fabulous young woman who is growing her own business. If you want headshots at a reasonable price and you want to feel comfortable while taking your photos - Mallory is your girl.

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  59. Aw, thanks so much! I'm glad to know that it resonated with so many people. :)

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  60. Thanks so much for both the kind words and the photographer suggestion! I'll definitely check her out!

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I love to hear your comments! And putting in your two cents is always free. :)

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