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Uncategorized Archives - VIP Nannies & Household Staffing Agency

Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Nanny

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The Ellie Nap Dress in Blue Botanical. Courtesy: Hill House Home


Hill House Home – Nap Dress – The Nap Dress has taken pandemic style by storm. A more chic form of athleisure.  A dress that is made for lounging, holds its shape enough to be worn out, and is perfect for those who want to dress up without having to actually get dressed. (It also serves as a pregnancy staple for mama, and you don’t have to size up for your pregnancy!)

SKIMS – Cozy Knit Set – Everything from loungewear to shapewear to underwear. This brand by Kim Kardashian West has a wide array of sizes and shades; it goes up to 4X/5X and has 9 shades to match skin tones. The Cozy Collection has everything including robes, pullovers, tops, shorts, pants and slides to complete the set..

Lululemon – Gift card – No surprise, Lululemon is every nanny’s favorite workwear. Fashionable, functional and comfortable. Lulu has styles, fabrics and sizes for everyone, tons of pockets for all the nanny essentials and lasts a lifetime!

Apple iPhone 12 Pro. Courtesy: Apple


New Phone – Apple or Android, communication is one of the most important jobs a nanny has. Whether it’s sending you pictures of all the fun, texting updates or being prepared in case of an emergency, a new phone is one of those practical gifts that you know will be put to good use and highly appreciated.

Airpods – The Airpods Pro are another nanny essential because they allow for work to get done hands-free. No nanny has time to have a hand be taken up holding a phone! Perfect for safety when driving and an otherwise great listening experience.

Prime Membership for a year – Amazon has perfected contactless delivery, which means your nanny is safer, your kids are safer, and your household is safer. What better way to help your nanny and her household be able to make safe and healthy decisions! Not to mention all the perks that come with it, like grocery delivery from Whole Foods!

fōnuts gluten-free and some vegan options. Courtesy: fōnuts


Sweet Laurel – For those of you on the Westside, Sweet Laurel makes some of the best grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free baked goods in California, if not the county. Cake, cookies, brownies, muffins, bread. Everything is organic and paleo, and some options are vegan and raw.

House of Bread – For those of you who live in the Valley, Rebecca absolutely swears by House of Bread in Chatsworth. They make their breads and pastries by hand, fresh every day, using natural and often local ingredients. What’s more cozy in the winter than a basket of baked goods? Truly is the best thing since sliced bread!

fōnuts – All gluten-free, some vegan, low- to no-sugar added, always baked, never fried faux donuts! Located in the Fairfax District and in Studio City, these almond flour treats are beautiful and delicious! Perfect for a guilt-free breakfast with coffee or a sweet treat!

To Pod or Not to Pod, That is the Question?

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The constant dialogue amongst families with young children right now is ‘To Pod or Not to Pod?” We asked the owner of Kinder Ready and Elementary Wise, Elizabeth Fraley, M.Ed this exact question, her response was eye opening!

“Ripping children from their normal routines and school communities is tough right now. I highly recommend having children stay on track with their child’s regularly scheduled Zoom. School Districts/private schools structure the sessions in usually 30-45 minutes. Then students have free time to work through the assignments. Tutors are generally best for one on one individualized support. Pods are great for social and emotional development but don’t really address students one on one learning needs. To make the pandemic easier, parents should strategize their expenses with one on one support opposed to a group of children. Pods are great for social and emotional development. Play dates are great too.” Kinder Ready and Elementary Wise offers one on one in person academic support.

Elizabeth Fraley CEO/Founder

7 At-Home Gifts for Mother’s Day

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Day who knows of quarantine is here, filled with attempting to understand our second grader’s homework, trying all the stay-home activities we can think of, and long wish lists of things to do and people to see once it’s safe to do so. You’ve got a lot on your plate! 

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, we’re sharing our favorite gift ideas that can give moms a moment to relax, enjoy, and take a break from the day-to-day flurry. 

1. Get Cozy in Comfy PJs

While we’re in a world where we take off our daytime pajamas to put on our night time pajamas, we can’t think of anything better than an extra-fancy set that feels like pure luxury. We love this set from Lunya – and she will, too. 

2. Restaurant a la Home

Finally, a restaurant where you can always get the best seat in the house! Get the kids in on the fun and recreate Mom’s favorite restaurant right at home. Create a menu, set the table, impart a dress code, and have kids play roles of waiter, chef, and busser. Treat her to an unforgettable meal that the whole family will love playing a part in. 

3. Bring Out Her Inner Artist

If mom has been looking for a creative outlet, these adult paint-by-numbers are pretty enough to hang up in the home and show off when finished. 

4. The Perfect Perk-Me-Up

This may feel like a bit of a cliche, but nothing beats a gorgeous fragrance that offers a quick escape. These scents from Maison Margiela were created to invoke memories of favorite pastimes like walks on the beach, heading to the farmer’s market, and even sailing overseas. Dreamy, right? 

5. Endorphins Make Her Happy!

If Mom’s been missing her favorite workout class, almost all gyms are offering some type of online subscription. Places like Peloton, Tracy Anderson Method, CorePower Yoga, and obe Fitness are offering amazing online classes. Pair it with a workout set from her favorite store, and dedicate an hour or your day set aside to let her work out in peace! Best. Gift. Ever. 

6. Caffeine, Stat

Because Mommy needs her coffee, like, all day long (we know we do). This easy-to-use espresso machine makes the perfect cup, complete with a milk frother for that latte she’s been craving for the last couple of months. 

7. Flowers That Last… and Last… and Last

We know, we know… flowers. But hear us out – these incredible bouquet of roses last up to an entire year! We love that they can be an everyday reminder of the love and appreciation your family feels for her. 

Staying at Home: 7 Interactive Activities for Kids

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Life has shared more than a few curveballs over the last few weeks! Whether you’re a parent or a caretaker, the Safe at Home mandate is changing our children’s day-to-day schedules for the next month or so (not to mention yourself!).

Over the next couple of weeks, we wanted to give you some activities that your kids can enjoy to connect, calm, and break up the days—some are educational, some can help give everyone a little exercise, and some are just to have fun.

We’d love to see if you’ve tried one of these! Tag us at @vipnanniesla on Instagram and share your days with us!

Ultimate Clean Up!

Here’s a game that’s as fun as it is helpful keeping your home disinfected. For every child, hand them a damp washcloth you’ve added a kid-friendly disinfectant too. On the count of three, have them go around a room (kitchens are great!) and compete to see who can wash the most cabinet and door handles. Let the winner choose the afternoon snack!  

Become a Scientist for a Day

Check out these Safe Science Experiments by ThoughtCo. Create invisible ink, make a lava lamp, or even learn to make paper. These are great activities for school-aged kids – and who knows, maybe you’ve got a future scientist on your hands! 

Build a Fort

Anyone else remember blanket forts? We love them, too. Pick an area of your house and get to building! All hands will be on deck for this one, working to create a fort that will turn into the perfect spot to read, listen to music, and play make believe. 

30-Second Songs

Grab a timer or your phone and set it to 30 seconds. Every round has a star singer, and their audience gets to pick one word they have to sing about for that amount of time. For example, if the group chooses the word “strawberry,” then the star of the show gets to sing their own tune. It’s super silly, and the more rounds that go, the funnier the lyrics get! 

Funny Food Faces

Have a little fun with your next lunch. Whether it’s a sandwich, pizza, or fruit and veggie plate, turn them into works of art. Need inspiration? We love @weelicious’s creative examples. 

Photo credit: @weelicious

Indoor Obstacle Course

Turn the house (or a designated room) into an interactive obstacle course. In the dining room, in order to move onto the kitchen, each contestant must sit in every seat at the table. Once they’re in the kitchen, navigate through the pots and plans placed on the floor (use hand towels to protect them). You could then turn the living room challenge into stacking four couch pillows on top of each other without falling for five seconds. Make it as unique as possible based on the way your home is set up! Your kids will love coming up with ideas and setting it up with you. 

To Infinity… and Beyond! (at Home) 

One of our favorite things to do with our opened packing boxes is turning them into something out of this world! Grab some markers, paper, and tape, and turn them into spaceships, cars, Batmobiles – the options are limitless! 

2019 Holiday Gift Ideas

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Happy holidays!  It’s that time again. Every year we are asked by many of our families what is an appropriate bonus and/or holiday gift ideas for your household help… So here we go!

A standard holiday bonus is one week’s salary for the first year and a slight increase for every year after that.

Here are some of our top gift ideas for the 2019 Holiday season:

  • A gift card to a spa and/or hair salon- every nanny could use some self care
  • New iPhone
  • AirPods or Beats by Dre
  • A new handbag in a neutral color
  • A locally made candle that smells amazing
  • A gym membership! We like YogaWorks and Orangetheory
  • A coffee subscription like Trade
  • Nice sunglasses

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

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            We meet nannies and household staffing candidates daily here at VIP,  and among all the important discussions, there is one thing we cannot stress enough: what you post on social media will make or break your career.

            Over the years, countless clients have turned away candidates based on their social media presence. As we all well know, every household position is a precious and sacred thing. Even more so, childcare is a precious and sacred thing. If your online presence is less than honorable and trustworthy, you have eliminated yourself from the professional game. Make your account private. Think twice before you post always. Even private posts are not private because any follower can screenshot and share your content.

            Another more localized issue here in Los Angeles, is a “Secret Facebook Group” which, *spoiler alert*, is not a secret.  You can easily incriminate yourself on these pages by what you post and even the tone in which you speak with others. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. The more members in a group, the more eyes are watching and reading what you post.  Please be careful.

            It’s a small world, and the nanny industry is even smaller. In this competitive market, everyone is under a microscope.  Be cautious and careful of what you say about others and to others online. Be extremely cautious of what you say to your coworkers and employers.

Top Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner and we want to help you get a jump start on gift ideas to get mom.

Here are just a few of my favorites unique gifts:

Tiny Tags


“The gift every (new) mom really wants”  said Oprah magazine.

Roots Blooms


An all natural skin care line inspired by cultures all over the world. 

Small San Francisco based company.    Can only be found in the Bay Area in Tiffany’s preferred client gift bags, Bay Area based Anthropolgie, and private events.

Rebecca’s personal favorite!

Spa Le La


Studio City based spa that offers childcare for the busy mom on the go.  It’s a few stores over from Aroma café, so a spa day plus lunch at Aroma Café sounds like a win-win.



Who doesn’t love French macaroons?  Mom will go absolutely crazy for these perfect little bites.

Celebrate Read Across America Day!

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Read Across America Day

This Saturday is Read Across America Day! The day was founded by the National Education Association in 1998 and is held on March 2nd every year, on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The day was founded in the hopes of encouraging children to read, which seems to be particularly important as the world continues to be more and more technologically driven. There are countless ways to encourage kids to read, but we’ve listed a few events and ideas below to celebrate Read Across America Day!



Get some Saturday shopping done while the kids listen to a reading of the Dr. Seuss classic What Pet Should I Get. Readings are at the top of every half hour from 10 – 11:30am and there will also be giveaways and activities! Check the link below for participating stores.



Barnes & Noble

Starting at 11:00am, children can listen to readings of Dr. Seuss books, play games, and participate in fun activities! Check the link below for participating stores. The in-store cafés will also be giving out coupons for a grilled cheese and milk or juice for $4! Check the link below for participating stores.



Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Continue the fun with even more readings at Menchie’s in South Pasadena (1040 Mission Street) from 12:00 – 2:00pm! The event includes storytelling, games, and $3 froyo cups for the kids. The event is free, but you can register at the link below.



Santa Monica Public Library

The Santa Monica Public Library (601 Santa Monica Blvd.) is hosting a “Super Suess-a-bration” from 10am – 12:30pm, including crafts, two shows by juggler/magician Abbit the Average, and an appearance by Mayor Gleam Davis for March’s edition of “Let’s Read with Gleam.” This event is free and more information can be found at the link below.



Little Free Library

If you can’t make it to the above events but still want to do something special for Read Across America Day, head to a local Little Free Library! Encourage your little ones to give an old book that they no longer read or have outgrown for a new, gently-used one. You can find your local Little Free Library at the link below.


Valentine’s Card Totes!

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Valentine's Tote Bags

It’s officially the month of love, and what better way to kick it off than helping the kiddos create a tote bag to hold all of their Valentine’s cards and candy! Get the template and tutorial for these super cute bags on the Crate Paper blog, and get crafting!

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Activities

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Anyone else feel like Thanksgiving snuck up on you this year? If you’re scrambling for fun activities for the little ones this year, you aren’t alone. We rounded up a few last-minute yummy and fun activities to do with them to celebrate the holiday!


Nutter Butter Turkey Cookies

These turkey cookies are super easy to make and look so cute! Kids are sure to love placing the eyes, beak, and feathers of the turkey.


Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

If you need a quick, yummy treat, these muffins are the perfect easy fix. They only require a can of pumpkin and a boxed spice cake mix! Have the kids help you mix the two and scoop the batter into a muffin tin.


Bubble Wrap Maize

This activity is great for keeping little hands busy. The texture of the bubble wrap engages their senses and they’ll love getting their hands dirty in the paint. Don’t forget to hang up their creations for Thanksgiving decorations!


“Thankful for” Printable

Gratitude is what Thanksgiving is really all about. Help your children express what they are thankful for on this free downloadable.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We hope the day is full of family, friends, and food.


10 Fall Festivities to Attend in LA

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In Los Angeles, you never have to worry about having enough fall activities for the family to attend. This year is no exception to the rule, so we compiled a list of traditional, spooky, and educational fun for the kids!

1. Spider Pavilion, Natural History Museum of LA – Exposition Park

Time: Now – November 25, 2018

Price: Ages 2 and under: free, Ages 3-12: $11, Ages 13-17: $16, Adults 18+: $19

*Members of the National History Museum enter for free

Kids and adults intrigued by bugs and insects are sure to love this educational walk-through of a safe, open-air pavilion to learn about various spiders and the engineering of their webs. (According to the NHM website, it’s the only Spider Pavilion in the United States!)


2. The Pizza Experience, Pasadena

Time: Now – February

Price: $30 General Admission

*All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Pizza enthusiasts will find their heaven at this brand new museum with 10 pizza-themed rooms, including a ‘Pizza Fitness Center’ and a ‘Pizza Dough Room’ with scratch and sniff art. General admission includes a slice of pizza and pizza flavored snacks throughout the museum.


3. Bob Baker’s Halloween Spooktacular, Bob Baker Marionette Theater – Downtown LA

Time: Now – November 5, 2018

Price: Ages 2 and under: free, Ages 3 and up: $20

For an entertaining, out-of-the-ordinary event, take the family to Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater! The holiday-themed show is an hour long and features spooky and jazzy music, followed by refreshments with the Puppeteers in their Party Room.


4. Spooky Science, Discovery Cube – Sylmar

Time: Now – October 31, 2018

Price: Online, All ages: $12.95; In person Ages 3-14: $14.95, In person Ages 15 and up: $19.95

Little ‘monsters’ will have a blast learning about chemistry, reflections and the human skeleton as they make potions, create electric sculptures, and experiment with infinity mirrors. Entrance to this DIY event is included in General Admission.



5. San Fernando Valley Halloween Drive-In Nights, Lake Balboa

Time: October 12, 6:30 – 11:30pm; October 13, 6:30 – 11:30pm; Doors at 5pm

Price: Individual tickets start at $16.95, Double Feature tickets start at $26.95

*Ages 3 and under are free!

Bring your picnic basket and take the kids to an old-fashioned drive-in to see Hocus Pocus or Beetlejuice! They offer a discounted group rate for 4 or more people and proceeds benefit the Valley Relics Museum.


6. Things That Go Bump in the Night, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden – Claremont

Time: October 12 – October 13, 5:30 – 9:30pm

Price: Ages 3-12: $7, Ages 13 and up: $11; see website for RSABG member pricing

*Ages 3 and under are free!

Visit and learn about nocturnal critters including wolves, owls, insects, reptiles, and carnivorous plants! This event also includes a family comedy show about parasites, and how to avoid them. They recommend purchasing tickets in advance, as both nights are expected to sell out.


7. The Original Farmers Market Fall Festival, The Grove & Farmers Market – La Brea

Time: October 13 – 14, all day

Price: Free!

For traditional fall fun including a pie-eating contest and a petting zoo, visit the Original Farmers Market Fall Festival. The line-up also features live entertainment and plenty of pumpkin-themed activities for the family.


8. BeatBASH Carnival, The Palladium – Hollywood

Time: October 14, 10am – 2pm

Price: Ages 1 and under: free, General admission: $40, VIP: $99

The children’s music duo BeatBuds is having a pop-up carnival with games, crafts, bouncy houses, food trucks, gift bags for those under 18, and a live show! The carnival will also have donation opportunities for Baby2Baby, a non-profit organization that provides diapers, clothing, and basic necessities to children living in poverty.


9. Preschool Explorers Story Time, Ocean Park Branch Library – Santa Monica

Time: October 15, 3:30 – 4:30pm

Price: Free!

Preschool-age children are invited to attend a one-hour story time at the Ocean Park Branch Library to learn about the science of pumpkins with hands-on activities. As noted by the name, this event is geared towards children in preschool and younger.


10. Calabasas Pumpkin Festival, Juan Bautista de Anza Park – Calabasas

Time: October 20 – 21, 10am – 5pm

Price: Ages 2 and under: free, tickets purchased before 10/15: $5; after 10/15: $10

Celebrate everything pumpkin at this full-fledged festival! Attractions include a pumpkin patch, professional pumpkin carving, an assortment of pumpkin foods, pumpkin painting, various vendors selling jewelry, Halloween, and home and garden items, and live music.

What’s your favorite fall activity in LA?

National Nanny Recognition Week: Show Your Nanny You Care

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September 23rd is the start of National Nanny Recognition Week 2018! NNRW is the 4th week of September each year and, as of this year, has been around for 20 years. It was started by industry leaders and nannies to acknowledge, support, and bring awareness to the importance and value that a nanny contributes to his or her community.

This week is all about giving back to your nanny, so show them you appreciate them! There are endless ways to show your support and appreciation, but we’ve given you a head start with a list of gifts or gestures any nanny would love!


1) Give them a memento

Frame a photo of your nanny with your children and have your children sign the year on the back of the frame. Nannies are a huge part of a child’s life, and vice versa, so why not give your nanny something to remember your children by!


2) Let the children tell them

Kids really do say the darnedest things! Have your children write a memorable note for them or draw a picture of them with their nanny.


3) Pamper them
Your nanny works really hard! Give them a little relaxation on their day off with a massage or manicure gift card.


4) Caffeinate them
We all have those crazy days when we could use a caffeinated afternoon pick-me-up. Give your nanny a gift card for their favorite coffeeshop so she can pick one up while running errands.


5) Promote their healthy lifestyle
Chances are your nanny wants to stay fit to keep up with the energy of little ones. If your nanny already has a gym, pay for a month of their membership or a yoga class. Or if they want a membership but don’t have one – sign them up!



6) Be sure they’re well-connected
In 2018, it’s no secret that it’s important to stay connected electronically. Help your nanny stay connected and find the best, newest places to take your little ones by giving them a new smart device.


What’s your favorite way to show your nanny you care?

The Best Sunscreens for Your Summer Activities

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Summer is upon us here in California, and day camps, family vacations, sports tournaments, swimming lessons, and trips to the beach are in full swing. While summer weather is great for heading outdoors, please make sure you and your children, or the children you care for, are using the best non-toxic sunscreen.

With so many sunscreen brands available, and even more information about certain sunscreen ingredients being harmful to the environment or humans, it can be overwhelming to know which sunscreen is best to protect you, your child, or the child you are caring for. Luckily, Environmental Working Group, or EWG, has an entire guide to sunscreen including a list of the best-rated sunscreens for your little ones, explanations of sunscreen ingredients, and a super helpful sunscreen search function to compare various brands.

Kid Friendly Earth Day

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As you may already know, Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22. While Los Angeles has countless outdoor activities year-round (gotta love that sunshine!), we’ve compiled a list of kid friendly activities to celebrate our Mother Earth this weekend.


Saturday, 4/21, 10am – 2pm:Earth Day LA 2018, Highland Park

Age: All ages

Price: Free

Activities: Food, giveaways, various exhibits, and entertainment. Kids can explore LA Sanitation trucks on-site

Special tip: If driving, plan where to park ahead of time, as the goal is to have participants consider taking public transportation in the spirit of environmental awareness.

For more information: https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/events/earth-day-la-2018


Saturday, 4/21, 11am – 4pm:Kids’ Earth Day Celebration, Playa del Rey

Age: All ages

Price: Free

Activities: Teaching children about environmental awareness through hip hop, bounce houses, games, and giveaways

Special tip: Must ‘buy’ an Eventbrite ticket for the event, showing acceptance of the liability waiver.

For more information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kids-earth-day-celebration-tickets-43369202452?aff=Facebook


Saturday, 4/21:Free Entrance Day in National Parks, various locations

Age: All ages

Price: Free

Activities: Attend one of California’s national parks for free! Find the park nearest to you at the link below.

Special tip: April 21 is the kickoff of National Parks Week. This year’s theme for park week is “Park Stars”, with a focus on starry skies.

For more information: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm


Saturday, 4/21 – Sunday 4/22, 10am – 6pm:California Poppy Festival, Lancaster

Age: All ages

Price: Adults (13-61): $10, Seniors & Children (6-12): $5, 5 and under: Free

Activities: Food, musical acts, vocalists, and educational animal and conservational talks for kids

Special tip: Bring sunscreen and drink lots of water!

For more information: http://www.poppyfestival.com


Saturday, 4/21 – Sunday 5/13, 10am – 4pm:Wild for the Planet, Los Angeles Zoo

Age: Ages 3 and up

Price: All activities included in zoo admission price

Activities: Aerialist shows, interactive puppet show, conservation expo, nature journaling, and zoo-keeper talks and demonstrations

Special tip: The LA Zoo celebrates Earth Day over 4 weekends, and this year the zoo is highlighting their bird conservation achievements with 5 bird gardens throughout the grounds.

For more information: http://www.lazoo.org/wildfortheplanet/


Sunday 4/22, 10am – 4pm:Children’s Earth Day at the STAR Eco Station, Culver City

Age: All ages

Price: Free

Activities: Exhibits featuring exotic wildlife, eco-friendly games, face painting, and food

Special tip: Tours of the STAR Eco Station Exotic Wildlife Rescue Museum are offered at a discounted rate.

For more information: https://www.childrensearthday.org

Happy 11th Year Anniversary to VIP Nannies!

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Eleven years ago today, Rebecca spoke to a loan officer (pictured) about her dream to open a nanny agency. She was given a small business loan, which launched VIP Nannies Inc.
VIP’s success has far surpassed anything Rebecca could have ever imagined.
She would like to say a big “Thank You!” to Clay Appleton for believing in her dream!

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