Posts tagged tiffany davidson
We Bought Land! [An Exciting Update On Our Journey To Building An Off-Grid Homestead From Scratch, Slowly & With Cash]
 
off grid living, building off grid homestead, off grid homesteading blogs, how to build off grid cabin on a budget, our homestead journey, how to start a homestead with no money, living off the land, back to the land movement, modern homesteading in washington state, self sufficient living, how to start a homestead from scratch, wilderness living, sustainable living, build your own house, washingtons last frontier, tiffany davidson, eric smith

Time moves slowly, and yet so fast.

It seems like we’ve been redesigning careers, working, saving money, and browsing properties for sale for an eternity, yet at the same time it feels like it was just yesterday that we even seriously set goals and began this journey to building an off-grid homestead from scratch.

If you follow this blog, you’ve watched as we setup completely new career paths, finally made the big move to this wilderness we love so dearly, and you know we’ve just been plugging away - working a lot and saving as much money as possible.

Now, a big step has been made in this overall process - WE BOUGHT LAND!

This is a big accomplishment and we’re so happy to finally meet and begin to get acquainted with the land we’ll build out our dream homestead on over the course of many years. Now we have a canvas for all of our imaginings to play out on and it’s such an exciting new dynamic!

I wanted to make a post here to document this pivotal moment and introduce you to our land.
In time, many more pictures will be shared, videos too I’m sure, so be sure to follow us on Instagram if you’re interested in a more intimate look into the process.

In early Spring, we’ll begin building a small cabin to live in, so this winter will be spent brainstorming, designing, and gathering materials. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to do and we’ll share what we glean with you as we go.


Welcome to our beautiful piece of the earth…

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Where is it?

Situated about one hour northeast of where we currently live is an area we fell in love with earlier this year - the Okanogan Highlands.
This area is desolate and beautiful, so very peaceful and inspiring. Once you emerge into the Highlands, it feels like you’re in a dream and like you’ve gone back in time simultaneously. Some combination of golden light on rolling highlands, the vast spaciousness, old abandoned pioneer cabins tucked in the landscape like a memory, the crisp cool air, the snow-capped Cascades far in the distance… all combine to create a place that we both feel is altogether unique and distinct from anywhere else we’ve ever been.

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How much land?

We purchased 20 acres, mostly wooded, with open area at the bottom.
Aspen trees line their way down the property spilling out into a grove at the bottom, pointing to the strong possibility of water being not too far below the surface, while the majority of the property is coated in Larches, Pines, Douglas Firs, and even a few Maple varieties.
We have already found fresh scat of black bear, elk, moose, coyotes, and a single cougar (who might even live on the property in a cave we’ve yet to explore, we’ll know more once we get a trail cam set up in January).
We’re also really looking forward to exploring the geology around the property…

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What will you do for water?

This will certainly involve a lot of trial and error.
We have a few different ideas in mind:
First - we are going to try to catch rainwater, despite the minute amounts of rainfall this area gets. We’ll see how it goes.
Second - we will likely try to dig a well if water is determined to be close enough to the surface. As mentioned above, the Aspen trees seem to be a good indicator that we do have water close to the surface.
Third - over time we will purchase cisterns, which we’ll bury, fill with water, and gravity-feed to the home and other areas as needed.
I plan to utilize permaculture strategies for growing food that create the need for less water, such as hügelkultur and other solutions.

 

What about electricity?

We plan to be off-grid, and will likely start off with just the essentials - a wood stove, oil lamps, and lots of beeswax candles.
Over time, as we save more money, we’ll begin to incorporate more substantial off-grid power systems such as wind and solar. Fortunately, our climate gets over 300 days a year of sunshine!

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How will you work online?

One of the reasons we ended up deciding on this property is because it’s in view of a rare satellite. The way Internet works out here is usually: if you have visible line of sight to a satellite (which are usually placed on high peaks), you can probably get Internet. Otherwise, it’s doubtful.
We shouldn’t run into an issue accessing Internet once we’ve built the necessary infrastructure for a company to come out. Of course, we’ll be without power for a while as we save to afford off-grid power setups. So, there will certainly be a transition period where I may have to find other Internet solutions for a while. (Another reason I’m working hard now to establish passive income!).

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When will you be living on the property?

Our plan is to begin building in early Spring (2019). We plan to build a small cabin - just 14x14 to begin with - which will eventually become an Airbnb one day after we finish our larger cabin.
We’re deriving inspiration from older Nordic home designs, but with modern touches (wooden cabin, painted black, big windows, large platform deck, etc.). Over time, we plan to build a sauna, several studios and work spaces, more small cabins for family to stay in… so we should end up with a proper Scandinavian village in the forest sort of feeling :)
(And you’ll be able to come stay and enjoy it yourself if you wish, thanks to the Airbnb platform).


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I hope these pictures and questions answered have been enjoyable to read or inspiring in some way on your own journey.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!

And if you’re interested in this sort of thing, we hope you’ll subscribe to the blog and follow the journey as we build an off-grid homestead… from scratch… slowly… with cash!

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Until next time ~

x
Tiffany


OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

 

Welcome!


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My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany


Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)


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How To Begin Homesteading? Create Passive Income & Work Online! [3 Ideas That You Can Begin Now With No Money]
 
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Many of us in the homesteading community want to get out of the rat race, move to a rural area (or even the wilderness), grow our food, work on the homestead everyday, and enjoy a simpler way of life.

This is hard to do if you have to commute away from the homestead every day though. You never really get into that homestead state of mind when this is the case.

How to escape the rat race, then? How to wake up and be able to stay on the homestead, working on projects, enjoying our animals, nature, the land, the comfort of home, and our loved ones? That is the question so many of us feel daunted by.

We may get the acres, build the cabin, plant the garden… but, somehow it doesn’t feel complete when we have to leave every single day to go sell our time and get pulled back into that hectic state of mind that is the norm of modern Western industrial society.

We begin to believe it isn’t even possible and this is just the way it is nowadays.

I’m here to tell you that it is possible to earn a full-time income without having to leave your home(stead).

And no, you do not have to have some university-granted skill set to be able to do so. In fact, if you are truly motivated and driven to achieve this lifestyle, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to achieve it in one year.

Just think - your life could be completely different this time one year from now. You could be working from home everyday or - even better - not working every day from anywhere, but generating passive income online instead! Freeing you to work on your homestead, on creative projects that are truly fulfilling, spending more time with those you love, and just enjoying a higher quality of life all around.

I know because I did (and am doing) it myself. So I wanted to share some personal advice if this sounds like a path you might be interested in taking yourself.

I’m going to share information about transitioning to working online from home followed by two passive income strategies - all that you can begin working on now!


Teach Yourself A Valuable In-Demand Online Skill So That You Can Work Online From Home or Anywhere


One way to go about this is to transition your career into an online work from home (or anywhere) position.

It doesn’t matter what you do right now for an income - you can 100% teach yourself a valuable skill so that you can work online and make a legitimate income. I know this is possible because I did it.

I taught myself how to design websites. I knew nothing about web design, knew no code, none of that - but I saw that it was in demand on a freelancing platform I was reading through and figured I’d give it a go. Fast forward one year and I’m making a full-time lucrative income as a web designer. The best part? I got paid to learn, rather than paying to learn.

But - this strategy does require drive and self-motivation. I worked full-time while listening to podcasts about self-educating and came home in the evenings and put in several hours designing my first website (for myself). I would’ve much rather gone for a hike or a walk on the bay, but I sat in front of the computer until bedtime. I was setting the foundation for a future I knew I wanted.

Over the months, I kept dabbling and learning and working on projects, then finally it all paid off and started to come together.

I created a profile on a freelancing platform, got my first client, and have not been without work since!

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The best part is that with every new job I take on, I learn new things (while getting paid) and my portfolio and skill sets continue to grow and grow.

Now I am able to live in a wilderness area with only three people per square mile (as we build a homestead from scratch) and make a full-time income from home (thank goodness for satellites!).


Here’s what I recommend you do: go to a freelancing platform like Fiverr or Upwork and read through the job listings. This will give you an idea of the type of work that’s in the highest demand as well as pay rates. This is the strategy I used to hone in on what I felt I could learn and provide as a service.

JavaScript developers were in high demand and at a very good price point, but I had tried to learn JavaScript before and found it very difficult, so I knew that wasn’t a realistic path for me. I settled on web design using a content management system that I had experience with already.

This isn’t to say that you can’t teach yourself to do something that right now seems impossible to you - in fact, most programmers out there in the world right now are self-taught. Many of them work everyday for big companies like Intel, getting paid six figures, and still feel like imposters. One of my close friends who is a self-taught senior software engineer still laughs and jokes that he essentially gets paid everyday to Google (meaning - he doesn’t know how to do something, so he just Googles until he finds the solution).

Freelancing platforms offer a variety of ideas: web design, writing, graphic design, voiceovers, audio work, etc. etc. Let’s use graphic design as an example - download Adobe Illustrator, go to YouTube and look for “Adobe Illustrator Tutorials” or “adobe illustrator logo design” and start doing these tutorials. Not only do you get experience, but by jumping in and working on actual projects like this, you’re building a portfolio that you can show clients later. Then, market yourself as a logo designer- ta da!


Now let’s talk about passive income.

What is passive income?
”Passive income is income resulting from cash flow received on a regular basis, requiring minimal to no effort by the recipient to maintain it.”

In a nutshell: you aren’t selling your time anymore. You get that most wonderful resource back!

BUT… passive income does require a lot of upfront work. Atleast the methods I’m familiar with do.

Guess what, though? If you get started right now, in one year you could have a substantial passive income stream flowing. Imagine the ways this could change your life - freeing your time for other endeavors and removing any need to be location dependent (or live near a populous).


Passive Income Idea #1: Write & Publish E-books


I believe that every human being has a story to tell or something to teach.

Think about what you know well that you could teach - a process, a skill or craft, a cookbook, a travel guide to your area, a natural history of a place you love, how to have a passionate marriage… really the possibilities are endless. Just get creative. (If you suspect you would go the non-fiction route, I recommend reading the book On Writing Well: The Classic Guide To Writing Non-Fiction).

Or - write a story rather than a guide. Maybe something similar to this: Go North Young Man: Modern Homesteading in Alaska which is just a man’s account of his first four years as a homesteader on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula in the 1950’s.

Write what you know. Figure out what knowledge or experience you have that might be valuable or enjoyable to someone else.

Compile your E-book over time with a clear outline and strategy, design it how you wish (I recommend using Canva which is free and easy), turn it into a .pdf and put it on Amazon or on your own blog/website (which I’ll talk about in a second).

Here are some great resources for further brainstorming:


***I would also recommend browsing Amazon’s Bestselling Ebooks. Pay attention to the list of categories under Kindle Ebooks to get ideas for what you could write about.


Passive Income Idea #2: Start A Niche Website / Blog


This is one strategy of mine that I’ve already seen start to pay off, despite being in the very beginning stages.

What is a niche website?
A niche website is a site that focuses on a target audience with common specific interests.

For example:

Honestly - most websites are niche websites, meaning they have identified a target audience and strategize how to provide content to attract that target audience.

This website that you’re on right now, mine, is a niche website. Target audience: homesteaders (fortunately that includes a large array of topics that can be covered - good for me since I have a ton of topics I enjoy writing about!).


How To Monetize A Niche Website / Blog?


There are several different strategies you can use:

  • Affiliate links - these are just links you share on your site and when a visitor to your site clicks a link and ends up making a purchase from the site you’re an affiliate with (Amazon, RStyle, Carhartt, the list goes on and on and on, but most people begin with Amazon), you get a small commission. The commission is tiny - about 3 to 4 percent so the goal is to get a lot of click-throughs and purchases so that your affiliate income grows and grows. How do you get more click-throughs? More traffic to your site. How do you get more traffic to your site? By creating more and more quality content (blogging).

  • Digital Products - It could be Ebooks like we just talked about, online courses, etc.

  • Ads - I don’t use ads, so I can’t speak much on them, but many people rely on ads for a big chunk of their monthly passive income from their niche website.


So no matter what your current situation is, these are all ideas you can begin working on right now.

You might not see financial results until next year, but guess what? Next year will be here before you know it, so why not make steps in the direction of your goals?

I work a full-time job, but here I am, on a Sunday afternoon, creating a blog post which is a single little brick in the passive income house I’m working to build, if you will. I’d much rather be outside doing something away from the computer, but I know that this is work that must be done now so that eventually I do get my time back. (Plus, I really enjoy working on this website so that sure does help!).


I once heard success defined as being anytime you take an action that contributes to your goals. So, success isn’t just in achieving the goal, but in every single small step you take toward it.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions - I’m more than happy to help!

 

Welcome!


TIffany Davidson passive income, passive income ideas 2018, passive income strategies, how to create passive income with no money, how to start a homestead, how to begin homesteading

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany


INSTAGRAM:

Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)


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The Most Productive Way To Grow Vegetables In Any Climate (How To Start A Garden From Scratch)
 

While we're still in the first stages of our off-grid homestead -- tying up loose ends and getting our ducks in a row to move to the wilderness and start searching for property -- I've been reflecting on my years of experience homesteading and imagining how I will go about things in this totally new climate of northeastern Washington State. My previous homesteads were in Kentucky and North Carolina where there's an abundance of water and defined seasons. Now that we're moving out to the Inland Northwest, there are long snow-packed winters, hot dry summers with cool nights, completely different soil landscapes, and wildfires to contend with. It's going to be a whole other ballgame!

That said, I don't think my gardening plan is going to differ all that much from the extremely productive raised bed gardening I did in Kentucky. 

My approach blends several different methods of gardening, namely: hugelkultur, permaculture, raised bed gardening, and square foot gardening. It utilizes a hoophouse setup which can be removed or setup in a minute or two (in the case of unexpected weather changes) and is terrific for extending the growing season. Not only did I grow insane amounts of organic vegetables using this technique, but I experienced ZERO pest problems. It's also important to note that almost all of our vegetable intake came from the garden! I hardly had to purchase anything from the store and if I had planned better, I see no reason why we couldn't ONLY eat veg from the garden and not buy at all as long as the season lasts.

Here are the key components of my customized approach to organic gardening, hopefully you'll be able to glean something from all of this to implement into your own garden design to reap beauty and abundance!

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Step 1: Building Raised Beds

We used cinder blocks for our DIY raised beds. The reasoning for this was that we wanted them to last a long time. I've also used stones and wood to build raised beds in other locations, sourced from the land. While cinder blocks aren't very aesthetically pleasing, they are sturdy. Depending on your location, your goals (do you plan to sell your property in the future?), and the resources available to you, you can choose from a plethora of building materials for your raised beds. If you're a purist like me, be mindful of treated lumber which could leach into the soil and ultimately into your crops. 

Make sure your raised beds are deep since you will be filling them with all sorts of things and you want to be sure plants have plenty of room to root and prosper. Our raised beds ranged from 1.5 feet deep on one end, to 3 feet deep on the other (accounting for slope of the land). Generally speaking - the deeper, the better.

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Step 2: Fill the raised beds with a layer of logs

This is where hugelkultur concepts come in. Hugelkultur is essentially just buried wood. These buried logs (twigs, branches, etc.) help out in a lot of ways: 

This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc. As the years pass, the deep soil of your raised garden bed becomes incredibly rich and loaded with soil life. As the wood shrinks, it makes more tiny air pockets - so your hugelkultur becomes sort of self tilling. The first few years, the composting process will slightly warm your soil giving you a slightly longer growing season. The woody matter helps to keep nutrient excess from passing into the ground water - and then refeeding that to your garden plants later. Plus, by holding SO much water, hugelkultur could be part of a system for growing garden crops in the desert with no irrigation.
— https://richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

I learned about this method of growing food (and soil) from Sepp Holzer, my favorite permaculturist, who manages to grow citrus trees way high up in the cold mountains of Austria. Here's a link to his remarkable book, chock full of knowledge and inspiration.

Step 3: Mix soil and fill raised beds

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This soil mix formula comes from a book I read called Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. "Mel's Mix" is three parts: 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost. 

Making sure to keep the equation 1/3, we would mix the soil using buckets full of each ingredient dumped onto a large tarp. From there, we'd each grab two corners of the tarp and do a swooshy dance (real technical, I know) until everything looked good and mixed. Pro tip: Make sure to breathe through your nose, inhaling any of this can damage your lungs. 

Aside from building the beds, this is where the real work comes in. We sourced vermiculite and peat moss from a local garden shop and composted manure from a farm about 30 miles away, so there was a lot of shoveling and hauling. This is a situation where you put in the work upfront, and enjoy the payoff over years. Building these beds and the soil to go in them is a really fun winter project. Then when Spring arrives - you're ready to go with your new garden!

 

 Step 4: Build square foot grids (Optional)

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To grow as much as possible, you might find it very helpful to build a wooden grid. I used simple 1x1 untreated lumber, screwed together in a grid that fit the measurements of my raised beds. You'll have to measure your beds and do the math, of course, but the goal is to lay the grid over each of your raised beds so that you have square foot planting areas from one end of the bed to the other.

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The purpose behind this is to optimize growing space. Without this grid, you might space seeds further apart and not grow as much as is possible. For example, in a single square foot you can grow 16 radishes, 16 carrots, 9 cilantro, or 16 onions!  Here's a comprehensive list of what you can grow in one square foot, per vegetable.

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Step 5: Install hoops

For hoops, we used simple PVC pipes in a length that worked well for our raised beds. The wonderful thing about cinder blocks is that it was very easy to stick the PVC pipes into one wall through the holes in the blocks, then bend the pipe over to the other wall, creating a hoop without having to dig into the ground. 

As a general rule, a hoop every three feet is a sturdy setup.

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We purchased plastic sheeting for each bed. You can secure this plastic sheeting over the hoops and hold it down with stones or stakes (depending on your setup) to extend the growing season in either direction and to protect from unexpected environmental concerns (i.e. wildfire smoke, severe winds, unexpected frosts, etc.). In the middle of summer, we would fold the plastic up and store away in an anccessible area in case it was suddenly needed. 

I ended up making use of the hoops for netting as the season progressed and birds and cabbage moths began frequenting the garden. You can purchase a roll of netting for each bed and put it over the hoops in the same way you would to construct your plastic hoophouse. Amazon has a great deal on netting with this 65-foot roll, which should be plenty to cover several raised beds. Rain and pollinators can still get in, but pests are kept out - no toxic chemicals needed. Consider it a natural organic pest control remedy ;)

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Step 6: Sow seeds!

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Now for the fun part: it's time to sow seeds. What you plant is entirely up to you, just make sure you refer to the square foot planting list so you optimize your space and grow lots of healthy food!

This isn't a requirement, but I recorded my layout in a notebook, keeping record of what was planted in each grid, for each raised bed. When those sprouts start to come up, you can grab your notebook, point to it, and level up your botany and horticulture knowledge! My favorite part of gardening (other than eating the delicious organic vegetables freshly plucked from the earth) is watching the daily progress and noting subtle changes. One of the best ways to spend a morning is to go out with a hot cup of coffee and walk through the garden while the dew is still fresh on the leaves, noting the smallest of changes. What beauty! What reward!
 

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Step 7: Composting

This is an ongoing step, but a vital one for true self-sufficiency. 

You've put in all the hard work of getting your food growing system up and running, now to be sustainable and to build soil you'll need to start composting. 

This can be as simple as designating an area in your garden and tossing all organic matter there. Everything from leaves to straw to animal manure and of course - your vegetable waste. What works best for me is to keep a small container in the kitchen for all vegetable scraps. Anytime you're chopping vegetables and have remnants, or instead of throwing away veggies past their prime, just add them to the compost bucket. Then, once a day, empty the bucket onto the compost pile. The more often you can turn your pile and add water, the faster it will transform into rich usable soil. To prevent any funky smells wafting through the house, I'd recommend a compost bucket with a charcoal filter like this stainless steel one.

These are great ways to get exercise (turning a compost pile is a decent workout!) and to make sure you're eating plenty of veggies (if there isn't something to add to the compost pile every day, you might need to consume more plant food!). 

After the growing season ends, add this compost to your beds and let sit all winter. This is how you sustain your food growing systems and continue building soil so that you don't have to buy anymore.

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And that's a wrap! Hopefully I didn't leave out anything. Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to help in any way I can! Happy bountiful gardening!

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Welcome!

Tiffany Davidson.JPG

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany


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