Summer Fest & Birthday Milestones...

# warning picture and color overload #

Zi'Joy is 5 monts old already.

My favorite time of the year of the four seasons has to be the fall the hot chocolate the Autumn Leaves and just warm sweaters and Boots. Summer in Chicago is just as vividly beautiful with its colors. One of the things that I've mentioned many times is that I love seeing things from my 5 month old Daughter's Eyes. Things that kind of have dimmed with time and age worry and life give a vivid new meaning to color and joy.

This weekend with the unofficial end to Summer here in Chicago. Kids starting school, Summerfest ending weather turning Crisp and cool. Saturday had Zi'Joy joy and I realizing that it was her birthday well her 5-month birthday and so we decided to celebrate. All weekend.

It's funny what babies can do she's at the point of scoot crawling rolling and just wanting to be more mobile. So. In honor of all of these milestones I decided to purchase her a walker and an ExerSaucer thst she can run around in a circle on.think hamster wheel. We also purchased two lovely costumes for Halloween from Once Upon a Child. Once Upon a Child Gently Loved items for babies, children and young teens. They have everything it's really amazing where at some stores you by all the stuff new they have it on sale at a fraction of the price. Now Zion is walking backwards I'm sure she'll get the hang of walking it's like she wants to walk before she even starts to crawl.

For that trip all got were selfies. I've gotta learn how to take better selfies or get my selfie stick.

On Sunday was just a church day and an art festival we really wanted to go to but sometimes days seem to go by so quickly. This is a three-day weekend so we had Monday that we could attend the festival and that's what we did.

This Festival is called the African Arts Festival and this is the 28th year for the festival. It is a 4 Day event held in Chicago. It is one of the most colorful experiences I have ever been to. This was my first time going so we got to experience this for the first time together. It is my first time but I think it will be a family tradition from now on. It's where my Vivid colors that I love to wear finally made sense. It was very hot this past weekend and so I tried to dress up accordingly cool temperatures too hot back to cool.

My friend gifted me with a long t-shirt that came to about mid-thigh I decided to try my own upcycling technique and cut the side of the shirt and tie them making fringes on each side and then on the shoulder arm part. I decided to just cut them and pull them so they could hang like a loose string hanging effect I think it came out well. I find that I don't have any shorts. So I had a pair of denim leggings that were very thick material and I rolled them up to just underneath my knees. I think it turned out well. My boots are by Toms and they were very very comfortable for walking the grounds because I think we covered about two miles of Art and artwork. And my hat was a custom made hat. I just love hats this one is a denim mesh mix and I got to pick out my afr and the Fro got to stand out. For Zi'Joy the day started off cool so I put her in a denim jacket with kind of artsy flare colorful mix on the trim of the pockets and the Cuffs. I put her in a dress onesie and the print was so pretty I thought it fit in well for the flavor of the Fest. Is he also have some cute little booty she was gifted a headband she was gifted and I always believed form follows fashion and or function and so she had a cute little son had we purchased $4 and then the headband we just put over the top later on I put her in a light terry cloth jacket that was perfect for the wind that was sweeping around.

The sites in the sounds of a colors at the Fest were just amazing they had different staging areas they had a drum circle stage they had a soul music stays they had a African dance stage the beautiful beautiful time to include all of the art and the artist and just everything from people saw that and they heard her name and our last name which is an African origin from the tribe of Nubia she was gifted a lot of things from aunties.

As usual I hope you enjoy the pictures the sites and hopefully we can show you some of the sounds later thank you for once again looking commenting or just viewing the pictures. As always be well on your fashion Journey

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Reclaiming My Time, Reclaiming my Time...

To borrow from U.S. Senator Maxine Waters.  From the weekend before last and this past weekend.

Hey Family how are you all this fine day?

Well I'm going post snaps from our weekend adventures from last weekend and this past weekend.

Little Zi'Joy was under the weather and I caught the same thing. My
sister was a great help and my wonderful village in helping me take care
of my little one. We still managed to get out of the house to
celebrate the annual Fleek Market. After that we were both worn out.
We went to church on that Sunday but for the most part stayed in the
house to recover and by the end of the week Zi'Joy and I were out having more adventures.

So for the Fleek Market (Flea) we wanted casual comfortable. I had this jumper it is bright bright sun yellow.It just makes me happy. I went print with the head wrap and a men's
t-shirt that I cut in half and tied the ends. Haha I've sang about my
feet going to a size 12 after my pregnancy to Zi'Joy. I was able to
find these cute brand new size 12 crocs in the Salvation Army. Can you
imagine my sheer joy when they fit. I did the dance of joy in finding
them. I found this Denim bag at the thrift many years ago. I use it to
go thrifting with. Zi'Joy wore a denim jumper with polka dots a
African print headband and a pink top. The budget is limited but we
were able to find some nice things. All for a total of $20 oh the joy,  Zi'joy is modeling all that we found.

On this past Saturday we went to our first Vegan Festival at one of the
Local Colleges. Chicago State the Taste of Vegan. There were yoga
& Drum classes vendors and international music and it was free entry
and parking. So So much fun. On this day we choose to wear a dress
for me that says Black girls rock a high/low sweater Custom made hat and some red tennis shoes. For Zi'Joy an custom made onesie with African print fabric and cute pink joggers and socks. By the time the day was over Zi'Joy was gifted this beautiful head wrap material from one of the vendors and we left happy and full.

Sunday for us is church and visiting day for us. Chuch had Zi'Joy in striped overalls and another custom onsie and the head wrap we were gifted the day before. I wore a set of denim harem pants a olive green sheer top and an animal print camo head wrap. How did we do with the pictures? I took our selfie stick and tried a photo shoot on my own with these.

A quick change and we were off to a Flea Market in a hip trendy area know as Hyde park. Music and all of Zi'Joys honorary Aunties were there so we mainly go to fest to enjoy the day. We were supposed to wear matching overalls but Zi'Joy needed a change so she wore a striped onesie and I had on my thrifted upcycled overalls. We did not purchase anything but again Zi'Joy was gifted beautiful flower crowns and belated baby shower gifts. I love being part of a creative community as well as the technology sector for work. Maybe one day my love for both will be combined.

I hope all is well in whatever space you find yourselves in. We especially want to say a prayer and send good vibes to those who are caught in the path or Hurricane Harvey.

I know I'm long winded but I included pictures if you just want to look and or comment all are welcome. Until next time be well on your Fashion
journey.

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A parade, a park, and prayer...

Good morning everyone as always I hope this post finds you all well.

This weekend as most were filled with rest relaxation excitement and for us Church. We started off on a very high note on Saturday was our annual Bud Billiken Day Parade. This is the 88th year of the parade and we celebrated watching the entire parade that stretches for 3 miles.

Essentially it is a back-to-school parade and this year's Grand Marshal was Chance the Rapper a well-known local and International rap artist who has become famous for being a wonderful generous entrepreneurial person and helping the Chicago public school system with donations of funds and finances. Well we didn't get any pictures of us we did get many pictures of the parade so I'll include those in here. Chance the Rapper also handed out 33,000 backpacks filled with school supplies. He also handed out free tickets to his concert to teachers and fathers for their children and did a free concert that evening.

Sunday as usual we went to our local church and had a phenomenal time as we always do the dance filled with singing Praise. Zi'Joy is not smiling in any of these pictures. My poor little one was not really feeling well she started her vegetables this past week along with school she had a bit of a tummy ache by the end of Sunday all was well and she was back to smiles and laughter. I thought her serious face reminded me of me so much. I think she looks more like her father but these images capture who I am so well not that I'm always serious but the looks I can give.

The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic is an annual parade held since 1929 in the Bronzeville/Washington Park neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois, United States; it is the largest African-American parade in the nation.

On this day we both decided to wear leopard print. I in my drop waist leopard print peplum top and Zi'Joy in her leopard print pants. Because baby girl was not feeling so well I decided to try and keep her outfit simple without being constricting so everything was very flexible it was kind of cool so she wore a beautiful sweater top which was pink and had a heart on it and her new pink booties her first and she is actually decided to keep these on. I was in a pinstripe pants denim jacket and beautiful purple head wrap. The day was just beautiful so we decided to go to the park after church. Our park is so ginormous you never see the same thing twice very beautiful and very lovely to walk in so we just enjoyed the day.

Please pray for everything that is happening in the United States and around the world so many things that are affecting so many people so many tragedies. That's why I include the prayer as this is a fashion site I try not to get too involved in Daily homegoings but I just needed to say that we are praying for all those who are involved in these tragic times.

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Milestones, Family & Frogs...

Good morning family!

As the beginning of another week starts I'm always in awe of how the time flies. I always look back and say wow that's quick and no matter how many pictures I take it still just seems to pass by quicker and quicker. When I was younger I had this friend and he was in the sixties. I used to say I'm So Young blah blah blah la la la la life goes on. And he would say just wait, just wait the older you get the more time will fly. And I never really understood that until I became now middle-aged. I now view life im moments anyway enough of me rambling.

Zi'Joy and I had a fulfilling weekend. Friday was a visit and orientation to her new daycare and learning facility. Saturday was a family get-together and celebration I would say a mini family reunion and a visit to the park to enjoy the natural Wildlife which consisted this day of dragonflies butterflies and frogs. Sunday we had great intentions to celebrate a wonderfully gifted artist and folk singer named Ella Jenkins but time ran away with us and so we stayed at home and relaxed. Ella Jenkins was a folk singer who was inducted into the national History Museum and the Library of Congress for her beautiful works and songs for children. We were celebrating her 95th birthday here in Chicago at our local Navy Pier but it wasn't until 4 in the afternoon out on the lawn. And if you have to work the next day and life goes on it's hard to make those kind of things sometimes.

So on to what we wore on Friday I had the pleasure of repeating an outfit because I had jury duty. It was so nice I just had to repeat it. I only wore it for a little bit. The fit was a great way to meet and go on a tour and orientation for baby nuggets new Learning Center. This was as close to yoga pants as I get. Soft blue material stretchy material with polka dots a nice denim vest with a Peplum look blue top and a African print necktie.

Saturday in the Park it was very difficult choosing something to wear as we had a family gathering also to celebrate birthdays and just get together. I find myself struggling with what to wear. Most of my clothes pre-pregnancy worked brfore with my flat stomach which to me was one of my assets. Now I have a tummy and to be honest with you. I think without a tummy tuck it's not really going anywhere and it makes it harder to accommodate my older clothes so I wound up trying to do some camouflaging and trying to figure things out. The weather was wonky. It was a cool hot Cool Rain kind of day. Zi'Joy had a beautiful onesie that was dark blue and a beautiful pair of socks. We decided to just enjoy the park which is just beautiful I love that our Suburb has beautiful parks and wr can just get out and enjoy outside. Zi'Joy srems to love talking to the trees and just nature.

Sunday was a very relaxing day we decided to do pattern mixing color mixing headwraps we are a maximal family. Well at least until Zi'Joy is able to give her opinion at two or three to decide what she's going to wear. I just love dressing baby she is really a no-fuss baby and a happy baby even though she's teething at this point. I wore a lot of layers I'm wondering if I'm hiding my body. I'm not sure but I really liked how it came out everything else I've worn before here on the site the long layer of the top is a green mesh. I wore a camouflage tank top underneath I had a dark green wide leg linen pants oh my God these are so beautiful I love them so much. My head wrap was green and off-white and I just love this look shoes are a repeat because I refuse to acknowledge that I'm a size 12 now instead of a US size 11. I'm sorry I didn't capture Zi'Joy's full outfit because she was so pretty she reminded me of Cruella Deville from 101 Dalmatians just a color scheme going on and she rocked the heck out of everything so here's a selfie that we took in church after church was over. She's just so cute.

The last picture is from school today baby girl it's growing she's 4 months old and this is a quick drop off of my sister and me dropping her off. I didn't get emotional and I didn't cry cuz I realize that you know this is a necessary part of what we have to do and I'm so thankful that we found a wonderful day care facility daycare center. Facility sounds so bad.

So I know there are many pictures and commentary but thank you for reading looking commenting all are welcome as usual. Or just stop by to say hi now I'm off to read your post and look at pictures because I just love looking at them. I may not be able to comment on everything as usual but I really thank you for reading and I hope this week and this post finds you well until next time be well on your fashion Journey.

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Ice cream socials and lunch in the park...

Our weekend adventure on Saturday led us to our local library for an ice cream social! As a working single mom it's challenging to find events to do especially working on a limited budget. So I try to plan our adventures in advance. Have car will travel, have bus pass will travel, have legs that work will travel.

I believe this life is all about what you make it and today we made the fun outing at the library reading getting to know other people other parents and children and just enjoying a beautiful day all around. There's so many exciting things to do around the city and in the suburbs but on this day we chose to go to the library.

Our looks for this day were very simply casual and fun. I thrifted my overalls at least five years ago and they were up cycled by beautiful friend. Zi'Joy's Was thrifted before she was born last year. So yes we went looking alike for now I like dressing us the same or similar to each other not every day but a lot. Our thrifted and gifted and upcycled looks or purchase for less than $20 together.

So on Sunday the wind down of the weekend we did not do our usual church service. We choose to go to the 11 am service. While it was enjoyable. I was reminded once again why i go to the 7:30 a.m. service. Our day seemed shortened but i decided to take us to one of our local parks. I just love this one and Zi'Joy and I ate a late lunch there. Our looks today were again matching. This time our headwrap material was the same. Not to worry i found a safe tutorial for her head wrap it was very easy and safe. Yes I did carry the parasol in to Church because we have to walk from the parking lot to the church and she didn't have a sun hat on we decided to carry the parasol. I just keep it in my trunk. God mommy bought me two necklaces that are teething necklaces. I'm not sure about them yet but I got a chance to wear them in Zion'Joy did enjoy them.

A sweater that was high low a mesh belt denim slipper shoes and some harem pants that I love and have sported them before completed my look.    Zion'Joy had a onesie with polka dots and a simple white onesie underneath completed her look. She did have some Red Soxs on in church cuz it was a little cold.

From our family to yours We hope you have a beautiful weekend and remember all are welcome commenters, stop by to say hello or lurkers.

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The greatest little big chapeau...

Well hello family!

Angie's blog today I spoke to my my love of hats. Sometimes like Angie get out of my head. Let me introduce you to one of my favorites. I bought her a long long long time ago from a vintage shop in Paris. She is a light blue looking like denim silk hat. When I put her on it was beautiful love at first sight or Love at First wear. I recently wore her again to church this past Sunday so it's fitting that I write about her.

I was going to title this post all you ever give me is the Blues a. It's from a group called Tony Toni Tone. Well because of Heather's have for many years I treat her very carefully she is in perfect condition and I mean perfect condition I'll have her steam cleaned once in awhile. As I said on Andy's blog it's very hard to find a good hat to fit a large head as well as a small head there is no one-size-fit-all standard. Although as in fashion they tried to be. Our looks from head to toe Our Vintage and thrifted and upcycled.

I love the pattern play that was going on and both Zi'Joy & my own fit. The play on polka dots me and my polka dotted palazzo pants Ensign and her polka dotted top. The tie-in of the flowers a great friend of ours gave us flower headbands. Talk about something not fitting Zi'Joy beautiful and hers. I on the other hand not so much. I decided to make it into a wrist corsage.

I love the Tomboy is girly look for my daughter I put her in all types of clothes. So the camouflage flower print pants or Too Cute. With so much pattern is so many brights going on I felt like I needed a solid which was my dark blue top which is a play on the high low trend.

I've included some of my favorite hats and pictures of my favorite hats from different times.

As usual all are welcome, lurkers, comments are always welcome or just stop by to say hi. I hope this finds you all well until next time.

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Ge'Le Day 2017...

Greetings family!

Oh what a fabulous day this was today on Mama Donna & Zi'Joy's Adventures we celebrated by the Chicago Lakefront. The wrap your beauty movement known as Ge'Le Day. So you may ask what is this day what is Ge'Le? Well it is a head wrap that is worn by women on the Continent African and/or African American descent. Although head wraps can really be found around the world and in Africa it is called the Ge'Le.

I have posted before about a special day this to me. Without going too deep I've been attending for 4 years. The Creator Pilar has been having this beautiful ceremony of movement for the past 6 years this is my fifth year attending. This is Zi'Joy's first but not her last. It was such a joy and a beautiful day out. At first we had heavy rains in Chicago the sky was overcast and was hot and humid. But then as if the universe heard us it cleared the ground was dry and it was a beautiful day sitting under the trees.

This time going out I certainly did look like the Luvs commercial but I took my little Zi'Joy with me. I took so much stuff because we were literally outside from 9:30 in the morning until about 5:30 in afternoon evening. I must say Zi'Joy was just that, an excellent Joy. She slept she rested she drink plenty of milk and Pedialyte and she was just fab. What I'll do is I'll add more pictures when they become available because of course I can't take pictures for everything but it was some beautiful moments that I would like to share with you all so check back and I'll add more pictures as soon as they become available.

I've included a link to explain fully what Ge'Le day is. For me it's a very personal Journey one of a tradition history and one I want to my daughter to know.
Essentially it is a celebration of life and it's a celebration of family it is a celebration of women it is just a celebration bringing all of us together and to wrap our Beauty which is our crowning Glory which is our hair. I love pictures so hopefully I won't go too overboard and bore you all. My whole outfit was thrifted my daughter's outfit was purchased for a very nominal price. But it makes a great impact I did have her head wrapped but it was very hot it was 87 degrees out but it felt hotter but the breeze was turning off the lake and made a beautiful day so she wore her sun hat. I hope you enjoy our looks/

My Fit was was pants and a bikini top but Mama Donna is not wearing a bikini top so I put a swimsuit underneath it a swimsuit top and a swimsuit skirted bottom underneath the pants and that gave me the look that I was going after conservative yet sexy mama. I'm still me after baby. I think sometimes moms lose a sense of themselves when they have their baby. My Z'joy as to the fullness of my life.

Anyway I hope you enjoy the pictures the reading or both. As always all are welcome. Lurker(s) commenters or just stop by to say hi.

The WRAP your beYOUty Movement & The African LIFE present Gele Day 2017: Mu Kawo Tare! (We Bring Together!) on July 22, 2017! we begin with libation/prayer and headwrap tutorials by Sisters from Nigeria, Ghana, The West Indies and America.

What is Gele Day.
https://youtu.be/LrPwE92SqzM

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My Love of the Wrap passed on...

An interesting discussion took place recently about cultural appropriation. It was a great dialogue what is considered cultural appropriation vs. Cultural appreciation. This dialogue led me to a very emotional place. I think since having my daughter I've begun to think more and more of the history of my people.

As African American woman where does our Beauty and strength lay. If Africans were not taken from Africa where would our trajectory be by now. History has often been a brutal Taskmaster who robbed the African American of our identity and history. When you know where you come from and who you came from it gives you a sense of self. It gives you a sense of power it gives you a sense of owning your own Beauty. At least in my eyes.

Because of this discussion it led me to thinking of a tradition that was passed down too many African American women of unashamedly loving our natural hair. Of wrapping our Beauty which is often referred to as crowns or our crowning Glory. Not only is this fashion this is who I am. As an African American woman who's story and Journey did not just begin with slavery that is not where I choose to start from. But as we cannot Trace our history back to Africa we have to establish our own traditions and our own norms. Based upon that truth which is my truth I choose to pass my truth and my tradition on to my daughter.

This is Who We Are this is how I choose to raise her this is our Beauty this is our fashion this is our tradition. This Is Us!

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A funeral, a Fleek Market & a Fair

Greetings family!

Time flies when you have baby. I keep wondering to myself where does all the time go. If I didn't take pictures I probably wouldn't remember half the things that I did. I mean I do sit and rest but it's nice to get out of the house. In the Chi we take full advantage of the summer. In other words we gets it in for real.

So I had to attend a funeral this past weekend I must say that I really hate funerals. Maybe hate is a strong word I really dislike them. This one was 3 hours and some change. I didn't get a picture of my outfit but it was summer appropriate I think I'll recreate it for church on Sunday. I did do a quick change so this is what I wore.

I have mentioned the Fleek Market before. Basic explanation is that it's a flea market on steroids. It's one of the most happening events to me in our thrifting group I belong to. Just so happened to be right down the street from the funeral. After I paid my respects it was time to enjoy the day. So me and baby nugget and my sister and my niece got out into creation and enjoyed the fresh air. It was so beautiful not too hot not too cold but a nice little breeze blowing great friends great music and course great Thrifty deals.

As always baby seems to be center of attention which I did not mind at all. I was really casual the denim leggings I actually wore to the funeral but I kept them on changed into some tennis shoes and wore this pretty pink and white flowy top dress tunic thingy. Now for my head wrap it was actually the dress I wore last week I just took it a wrapped around my head. I just love great head wraps especially for summer I love brights as you all can see I love patterns and this was perfect for the day.

Baby nugget on the other hand is just a beautiful bundle of happy happy joy joy. She went all casual and cool and of course without Sox or shoes because let's face it she does not like them. On this day she didn't do an outfit change but baby girl wore this pretty Aqua dress onesie thing and of course her pretty little onesie her sun hat had hearts and hot pink. Dresses seem to be the running theme in her wardrobe I don't mind it cuz they're so cute. We have all types of onesies but, baby is growing so fast. She's three months now but she's wearing like 6 to 9 month clothing my little chunky baby.

Picture 6 through 11 are from a book fair Festival on Sunday so many artists and authors and music. We're going to call this selfie Sunday because well it's hard asking people to take pictures of your outfit anyway it was a nice outfit and I'll get pictures one day. But of course a head wrap was in the order. I'm getting a little bit tired of my Afro but I don't want to cut it so we do head wraps. Baby girl just had an absolutely happy time this is bet happy face. I'm enjoying her so much she just puts a smile on my face. The apples were from a garden that was dedicated to Michelle Obama and they were selling them for $0.25 a piece and I love this artist mural of Kanye West not a big fan but the mural was really awesome. And last but not least a picture in selfie Sunday of us in front of our new church home. we finally found ourselves a church home. I've been with the same church for 15 years but it was time to move on this is our sister Church and just took a quick selfie to snap our joy and to remember the moment.

As usual all are welcome commenters lurkers or just say hi. I hope you have a great week and I'll check in when I can.

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Saturday in the Park...

Hello Family!

So another beautiful week is passed us by. The summer is in full swing here in the Chi. Saturday here was so perfect the weather Cool Breeze sunny just a beautiful day. It reminded me of that song "Saturday in the Park I think it was the Fourth of July." Only it was the 8th of July. Of course the song is by one of my favorite groups Chicago.

Anywho Zion'Joy and I were able to get out and experience what summer is like in the Chi. So this was our first day really out being out all day about 6 Plus hours from afternoon to early evening. Baby girl did just fine of course like a new mom I was worried. There really wasn't any need to worry. I over-packed, like that commercial that says first baby you have everything and goes off and  leaves the baby in the house. Then when she gets to her second baby she's Old Pro. New moms huh?

So Facebook has this wonderful group called over 40 and Pregnant and raising babies. It's one of the best groups out there all I said I needed some help and some of the more experienced moms gave me help of a list of things to pack which was great and I don't have to worry about anything. I packed it all in one big bag and off we went. Zion Joy was as her name reflects Joy she slept she rested she enjoyed the music it was just all around a good day. Music food family friends and good times.

So these are outfits very simple but it's always impactful. My Fit consisted of a beautiful dashiki print dress a green head wrap tennis shoes because I have yet to buy sandals for the new sizing of my feet. As always my sunnies and my long leather earrings which I will have to put up until baby is old enough. Of course she tried to pull them and pull them but we worked it out and they look good so I had to go for it. Zi"joy had on this beautiful onesie the arms were a flutter sleeve it was like a short thing so very cute with polka dots green polka dots and of course we had other onesies for her but just very very lovely. Again this kid's wardrobe is amazing thrifted.

As usual, all are welcome and I hope this post finds you all well.

Humming to myself the song by Chicago

Saturday in the park,
I think it was the Fourth of July
Saturday in the park,
I think it was the Fourth of July

People dancing, people laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs
Everybody is another
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For Saturday...

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