20 Songs I’m Streaming This Month

songs-i-am-streaming

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

I love listening to music. Whether I’m working, cleaning, or driving in the car, it just brightens my day. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite songs that I’ve been streaming this month and I’d love to hear what songs you’re loving right now, too!

I recently received two Google Chromecast Audio units from Best Buy and it’s made the experience of listening to music around my home so much better. They enable me to play music on speakers, new or old, wirelessly from my phone, laptop or tablet. Chromecast Audio streams over Wi-Fi which has many advantages over Bluetooth including higher sound quality.

Previously I just listened to music on my phone through the phone’s speaker but I ran into a couple issues. First, it was a pain to carry my phone with me from room to room as I was trying to clean and then half the time my battery would die before I was done listening to my music. Then, when I received a call or text, my music would be interrupted which was annoying. With Google Chromecast Audio I don’t have to worry about this because it lets me stream my music over speakers without having to worry about draining my battery or texts and calls interrupting what’s playing. I like that I can easily use my phone to play, pause, or change the volume from anywhere in the home.

Chromecast Audio makes it easy to stream music, podcasts and more through apps like Pandora, Spotify, YouTube Music, and Google Play Music. I also love that I can play music throughout my home by grouping my devices together so I can listen to the same song on multiple speakers. That means that whatever room I walk into as I clean or put away laundry has the same song playing as the room I just walked out of. Listening to music is just much more enjoyable now thanks to this new device!

Do you like to stream music? Let me know what songs or artists you are streaming so I can check them out!

Summer Festival Must-Haves {Giveaway}

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Festival season is in full gear and here in Chicago we are gearing up for one of the biggest music festivals of the summer season- Lollapalooza (more affectionately known as Lolla). I’m not going to be able to make it this year but I thought I’d put together a list of some festival must-haves so those of you that are going to Lolla (or any other festival) have the best experience possible.

Sun protection

There is nothing more unfashionable (and painful!) than a sunburn so make sure to pack some sunscreen, a floppy hat and your favorite sunglasses to protect you from the hot summer sun.

Oil blotting sheets

One of my favorite products for the summer months, oil blotting sheets will keep your face looking fresh.

Refillable water bottles

It’s essential to drink plenty of water while you are outside all day, especially with this heat wave we’ve been having here in Chicago!

Gum

Keep your breath minty fresh with some gum.

Portable phone charger

You’ll want to send snaps and share ‘grams of your favorite moments but won’t be able to do so when your phone dies.

Toilet paper or flushable wipes

Let’s face it… you are going to have to use the bathroom while you are at the festival and port-a-potties are not the cleanest places in the world. And am I the only one that always picks the one that’s out of toilet paper? If you bring your own flushable wipes, like Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths with CleanRipple® Texture, or toilet paper you don’t have to worry because you are all set. Cottonelle® with CleanRipple® Texture is a proprietary innovation on all Cottonelle® toilet paper and flushable cleansing cloths that is designed to clean better (than the leading national value brand) so you’re clean & confident enough to go commando if you want to!

Pain reliever

It’s always good to have a pain killer on hand in case you have a headache or are in pain from walking so much.

Hair tie

Whether it’s to tie your hair back to get some air on your neck or for another use, I always make sure to have a hair tie with me.

Light sweater

When the sun goes down it can get a little chilly, even during the summer months, so having a light sweater in your bag will come in handy during those times.

Makeup setting spray

To make sure you look just as good after hours in the heat as you did when you first started the day make sure to spray some makeup setting spray on your face. ‘Melted’ is not a good look for anyone ;)

Lip balm

Just like you want to keep your body hydrated you will want to keep your lips hydrated so they don’t crack as you are singing along to your favorite song.

Now that I’ve shared my must-have list I’m wondering, what items are on your list? Guiliana Rancic shares her top must haves (pictured below) and we are giving them away to a lucky winner!

Enter via the form (or link) below. Good luck! :)
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Giveaway Entry Details:

The Cottonelle® “Festival Must Haves” Reader Giveaway (“Sweepstakes”) starts at 12:01 a.m. EST on July 25, 2016 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on August 8, 2016 (the “Entry Period”)

Prizes:

Cottonelle® Festival Must Haves Kit ($50 ARV). Each kit will include a selection of fabulous festival “must haves” — Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths with CleanRipple® Texture (for your bum!), a floppy hat, makeup setting spray, tinted moisturizer and moleskin.

Also, click here to learn how to enter the Cottonelle® sweepstakes for a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to Wanderlust 108 Festival in Miami (October 22)

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

The KIDZ BOP Concert Is Coming To Chicago {Giveaway}

kidz bop

Thanks to Live Nation Chicago for sponsoring this post and giveaway for my readers.

The boys are both huge fans of KIDZ BOP and are really excited that their ‘The Life Of The Party Tour’ concert is coming to the Chicago area this Summer. They have never been to a concert other than when they were younger and went to one for a preschool show. Now that my oldest is almost a tween (seriously, how did that happen!?) I think they are going to be wanting to go to concerts more often and I think this one would be the perfect one to start with because it’s aimed towards their demographic and I know they won’t be hearing any bad words.

KIDZ BOP, the number one music brand for kids, is bringing The Life Of The Party Tour to FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on August 7, 2016. The KIDZ BOP Kids – Ashlynn Chong, Sela Hack, Matt Martinez and Grant Knoche – are headlining the tour. The ALL-NEW live show features the biggest pop songs of the year, awesome choreography, and more fun surprises from The KIDZ BOP Kids. The Life Of The Party Tour is the ultimate pop star experience, and the perfect concert event for the entire family!

If your child loves Kidz Bop you are in luck because I’m giving away 20 tickets to the Chicago concert! FIVE winners will each win FOUR tickets. I thought four packs were a good idea because then you can go as a family or you can take your child and a couple of their friends. Enter below. Good luck!

(Please note: You do NOT have to do all of the entry options below to be elgible to win. You just need to do at least ONE of them. The more options you do, the better your chances of winning.) 
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Unique Gift Ideas For Music Lovers

unique gift ideas for music lovers

This blog post was written as part of my collaboration with eBay.

Some people seem to have everything which makes it hard to shop for them. One way to find them the perfect gift that they don’t have is to look for unique items that are either one of a kind or very rare. Check out my gift suggestions over on eBay! 

My New Favorite Love Song

Happy Valentine’s Day! I couldn’t let this day of love go by without sharing my new favorite love song. A friend posted a version of it earlier this week and since then I’ve had it on repeat! It’s John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ and it is especially touching since his wife is the woman featured in the video <3

This version with Lindsey Stirling is beautiful as well: http://youtu.be/xwsYvBYZcx4

See a list of my other favorite love songs here.

Spooktacular Disney Halloween Music Playlist

disney halloween soundtrack

I have the perfect Halloween soundtrack for you! This family-friendly mix on Rdio will be perfect to play during your Halloween festivities.

Songs included:

1.       This Is Halloween – The Citizens of Halloween – Nightmare Before Christmas Special Edition

2.       Grim, Grinning Ghosts – Ghosts – Mickey’s Monster Bash

3.       Swinging Wake – Xavier Atencio, Buddy Baker – The Haunted Mansion

4.       Oogie Boogie’s Song – Danny Elfman – Nightmare Before Christmas Special Edition

5.       Friends on the Other Side – Keith David – Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs

6.       Otherworldly Concerto – Gaylord Carter – The Haunted Mansion

7.       Poor Unfortunate Souls – Pat Carroll – Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs

8.       Heffalumps and Woozles – Disney Chorus – Halloween Songs & Sounds

9.       The Siamese Cat Song – Oliver Wallace, Peggy Lee – Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs

10.   Pink Elephants On Parade – Disney Chorus – Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs

11.   Ghostly Music Box – Music Box – Haunted Mansion – The Haunted Mansion

12.   They Don’t Scare Me – Mickey Mouse – Halloween Songs & Sounds

13.   Monster Mash – Goofy – Mickey’s Monster Bash

14.   I Wanna Scare Myself – Tigger – Halloween Songs & Sounds

15.   Which Witch Is Which? – Goofy, Mickey Mouse – Halloween Songs & Sounds

16.   Pool Monsters Attack – Danny Elfman – Frankenweenie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

17.   Night Creatures (Sound Effect) – Walt Disney Sound Effects Group – Halloween Songs & Sounds

18.   Haunted House (Sound Effect) – Walt Disney Sound Effects Group – Halloween Songs & Sounds

19.   The Witches (Sound Effect) – Walt Disney Sound Effects Group – Halloween Songs & Sounds

20.   A Dark & Stormy Night (Sound Effect) – Walt Disney Sound Effects Group – Mickey’s Monster Bash

Enjoy! :)

ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US Free Advance Screening Passes {Chicago}

‘One Direction: This Is Us’ Screening {Chicago}

(Please note: The flyer contains a code that will allow anyone who is interested to log on to www.gofobo.com/rsvp and enter the code listed on the flyer for the chance to redeem a free admit-two pass to the screening this Saturday at 10:30AM at AMC River East (322 E. Illinois St., Chicago, 60611). You have to scroll down on the document above to see the code. The passes are first-come, first-served and a pass does not guarantee a seat. Those with passes should arrive early.)

Synopsis: ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US is a captivating and intimate all-access look at life on the road for the global music phenomenon. Weaved with stunning live concert footage, this inspiring feature film tells the remarkable story of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis’ meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the X-Factor, to conquering the world and performing at London’s famed O2 Arena. Hear it from the boys themselves and see through their own eyes what it’s really like to be One Direction.

Directed by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and produced by Simon Cowell, Adam Milano, Spurlock and Ben Winston.

My Valentine’s Day Playlist

beats audio

Some Of My Favorite Romantic Songs

Tank- Next Breath
Savage Garden- Truly Madly Deeply
NeYo- Let Me Love You
Sixpence None The Richer- Kiss Me
98 Degrees- I Do
Brian McKnight- Back at One
K-Ci and JoJo- All My Life
Rascal Flatts- Bless The Broken Road
Bryan Adams- Everything I Do, I Do It For You
Steven Curtis Chapman- I Will Be Here
Luther Vandross- Here and Now
Whitney Houston- I Will Always Love You
Edwin McCain- I’ll Be

What are your favorite romantic songs?

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I’ve been enjoying using my Windows Phone 8X by HTC to play music. It has Beats Audio. Here’s a little more about what makes it amazing according to HTC:

The 8X has a dedicated amp built right into the phone, so it pumps more power to your headphones than ever. Plus, Beats Audio is coming to Windows phones for the first time ever. Take that combination and transform your listening pleasure with deeper bass, crisper vocals and detailed high notes for music, games, movies and videos.

 (Disclosure: I am a member of HTC’s Troop 8X and received this phone to review. All thoughts are my own.)

How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration {Ticket Giveaway For Chicago Event}

how sweet the sound

Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound™ Gospel Celebration unites communities and cities across America in celebration and song.  The tour pays tribute to gospel music and provides local choirs a platform to showcase their talent with a broader community. Choirs rejoice in song and praise; sing in front of gospel greats and fans; and compete for a chance to win up to $50,000 in cash and prizes.

 This year, regional events will take place in the following cities:

·         Dallas – Sept. 6 at Verizon Theater at Grand Prairie

·         Atlanta – Sept. 10 at Philips Arena

·         Washington, DC – Sept. 12 at Verizon Center

·         Newark – Sept. 13 at Prudential Center

·         Detroit – Sept. 15 at Joe Louis Arena

·         Chicago – Sept. 17 at United Center

·         Los Angeles – Sept. 21 at Staples Center

·         Finale – New York – Nov. 4 at Barclays Center

GRAMMY® award-winning, songwriter, producer, arranger and music director Donald Lawrence will return as host and be joined by GRAMMY® award-winning entertainer, producer, author and syndicated radio host Yolanda Adams. In addition, Erica Campbell of Mary Mary, Fred Hammond, Bishop Hezekiah Walker and CeCe Winans will serve as resident judges for this year’s competition, which will feature each region’s top six choirs.

Tickets to the 2012 Verizon How Sweet the Sound™ tour are on sale now.  For more details about Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound™ including video content, judging criteria, ticket sales information, and official rules, please visit www.HowSweettheSound.com.

TICKET GIVEAWAY:

I have one pair of tickets to give away to the Chicago stop of this tour.
The event is September 17th at the United Center.

{Giveaway does not cover transportation to the event, parking or any other costs}

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me why you want to win!

For an extra entry, share this giveaway on a social network :)

Giveaway ends September 11, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. Winner will have 24 hours to respond due to the timely nature of this giveaway.

(Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Savvy Moms program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.)

“How Many Kings” by DOWNHERE {Music}

After hearing this song for the first time this week I really wanted to share it with you all. I looked it up on YouTube and discovered it’s 4 years old. And a Christmas song. Oh well. It’s amazing! Let me know what you think :)

Beamz Interactive Music System Review

He kept covering up the holes where the laser lights were coming from.

My family recently had a chance to review the Beamz Interactive Music System. According to the website, “The Beamz is an innovative recreational musical instrument and music entertainment product that enables people of all ages and skill levels to have fun creating and playing music. By breaking the path of each beam, this laser trigger-based instrument will unleash the musician in anyone.” I was excited to try it out.

When we got the box I was surprised at how large the system was. Excited to try it, we took it out of the box and went to work setting it up. I soon discovered that it was not going to be as easy as I had originally figured it would be. The software and the disc of music needed to be put in a cd-rom drive. The problem was that my computer did not have anywhere for me to put a disc in. I tried to think of other ways to go about getting things setup. I went online and found a download of the Beamz software. I quickly downloaded it and installed it on my computer. The music was not going to be so easy. I wasn’t able to get the 50 songs from the CD as a download. I did discover though, that if I joined the Beamz community, I received some free downloads. I found a link to the community at the top of the website next to the social media icons.

I joined the community, got my free songs, and called the kids downstairs to play our new music system. At first, I was completely confused at how in the world we were supposed to use the system. We spent about 30 minutes sticking our hands in and out of the player in front of the laser and listening to random sounds being made. I thought it was all a little boring and wondered how it got such great reviews all over the web. I found a YouTube video and watched someone actually playing the system and I realized that I had spent a whole lot of time playing the Beamz the wrong way. Once I figured out the correct way to play it, I thought it was fun and the music coming from it sounded a whole lot better. I was still no expert at playing it but at least it wasn’t just sounds, it actually could have been considered {bad} music!

This is what is on the computer screen while the Beamz player is being used.

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Finding and switching to a new song is easy.

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Sinisa immediately figured out how to use the Beamz player.

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He played a few songs by himself to get the hang of it.

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It was then time to teach Jake.

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Jacob enjoyed playing the Beamz system.

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Jake was mesmerized by the lasers.

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He kept covering up the holes where the laser lights were coming from.

Sinisa got the hang of the system right away and enjoyed pretending like he was playing the guitar. Jacob was mesmerized by the laser lights and enjoyed knowing that he could move his hands to make fun sounds. I think that the Beamz system would be great at family parties and gatherings with friends but don’t think it will get much consistent use at our home.

(Disclosure: This product has been provided as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions are my own.)

Missing Pieces {A Song For Autism Awareness Month}

Came across this song today. I am normally not a fan of country music but this song, sang by a father of a child with Autism, is very touching.

‘A Strange Way To Save The World’ by 4Him

Christmas is in a couple days! This is the last Christmas music video I will be posting. It’s by 4Him. Enjoy! :)

‘Joseph’s Lullaby’ By Mercy Me

‘Hope Is Born This Night’ By Sidewalk Prophets

Sidewalk Prophets had another song I really liked recently but I hadn’t heard this song until this week {even though it came out in 2010}.

‘Christmas Day’ By Mandisa & Michael W. Smith

I hadn’t realized {until today} that Mandisa is the woman singing this song. She has a beautiful voice!

‘The Night Before Christmas’ By Brandon Heath

I’ve had readers telling me they love discovering these new Christmas songs that I’ve been posting so I decided to post one a day this week. I heard this song on the radio and knew I had to share it. I’ve now listened to it three times in a row. It’s a great song!

‘Breath Of Heaven’ By Amy Grant

With Christmas one week from today I wanted to share my all time favorite Christmas song. This one is called Breath of Heaven {Mary’s Song} and is performed by Amy Grant. Enjoy :)

“The Heart Of Christmas”- A Must Watch Video

This Is Christmas by Kutless {Christmas Music}

Check out this song, This Is Christmas, by Kutless. It’s now one of my favorite Christmas songs:

Tony Bennett’s New CD {Giveaway}

tony bennett cd

Thought I’d share this with you all since the Holidays are coming up and this would make a great gift {for yourself or someone special}! One of you will also have a chance to win a copy of the CD and a bobble head…check the end of the post to find out how.

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Tony Bennett’s highly anticipated new release, “Duets II” (RPM Records/Columbia Records) debuts at the #1 position on Billboard’s top albums chart, with 179,000 units sold in the first week. The album has remained in the top 5 on iTunes’ album chart in the US and other countries since its release.

Danny BennettTony’s son and manager stated, “It’s an unprecedented and historical event that an artist at the age of 85 has topped the charts. He’s remained at the top of his game without having ever compromised his integrity and standard of excellence.”

“The number one success of “Duets II” pays tribute to the enduring genius of Tony Bennett,” said Steve Barnett, Chairman, Columbia Records. “It is a true testament to Tony’s artistry that he continues to top the charts while at the same time reaching a broader fan base and breaking new ground.

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OFFICIAL TRACKLISTING
1.
 The Lady Is A Tramp with Lady Gaga
2. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) with John Mayer
3. 
Body And Soul with Amy Winehouse
4. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore with Michael Bublé
5. 
Blue Velvet with k.d. lang
6. 
How Do You Keep The Music Playing with Aretha Franklin
7. 
The Girl I Love with Sheryl Crow
8. 
On The Sunny Side of the Street with Willie Nelson
9. 
Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) with Queen Latifah
10. 
Speak Low with Norah Jones
11. 
This Is All I Ask with Josh Groban
12. 
Watch What Happens with with Natalie Cole
13. 
Stranger In Paradise with Andrea Bocelli
14. 
The Way You Look Tonight with Faith Hill
15. 
Yesterday I Heard The Rain with Alejandro Sanz
16. 
It Had To Be You with Carrie Underwood
17. 
When Do The Bells Ring For Me with with Mariah Carey

CONNECT WITH TONY BENNETT
http://www.tonybennett.net/
http://www.facebook.com/tonybennett
http://twitter.com/itstonybennett

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BUY IT

Download your own copy of “Tony Bennett: Duets II” from iTuneshttp://itunes.apple.com/us/album/duets-ii/id462337212

WIN IT

One reader will win a copy of Tony Bennett’s new CD (DUETS II) and a Tony Bennett Bobble Head.

HOW TO ENTER

(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each)

1. Subscribe to this blog via RSS or email

2. Tell me who you want to win the CD for -you can say yourself ;)

3. Follow me on Twitter

4. Follow Tony Bennett on Twitter

5. Write a blog post about this giveaway and include a link to this post

6. Share this giveaway on a social network

7. Enter another one of my giveaways and let me know which you entered

8. Tweet “Enter to win a Duets II CD from @itstonybennett and @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com

9. Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post

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Giveaway ends November 30, 2011 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post and I have not reviewed the CD. I am just sharing the information.)

Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs

toptentuesday

1. Amy Grant- Breath of Heaven

2. Mary Did You Know

3. Michael W. Smith- Welcome To Our World

4. Mariah Carey-All I Want For Christmas Is You

5.  O Holy Night

6. Silent Night

7. Strange Way To Save The World

8. Away In A Manger

9. O Come O Come Emmanuel

10. Joy To The World

Free (Legal!) Music Downloads

saragroves

I recently came upon the site NoiseTrade. According to their website: “NoiseTrade provides an alternative for music fans who want to download good music and still support the artists they love.  And it’s perfect for music fans who don’t have a lot of money but want to help great artists and fans just discovering new music.  You can choose to help in a few ways.  You can tip the artist, share the music on Facebook or Twitter, and email your friends from the NoiseTrade widget.”

One of my favorite finds on this site so far has been a free download of the “O Holy Night Tour Live: The Prison Show” by Sara Groves. Click the image below to be taken to the website to download this music along with music by many other artists.

(Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post just something I wanted to share with you all :) Enjoy!)

The Rattles Review And Giveaway

The Rattles debut CD came out on Tuesday and I wanted to share it with you all. The Rattles are a family friendly band that both children and parents can enjoy together. According to their press release, their music is “working in the classic traditions of The Beatles, Moxy Fruvous, The Monkees, and They Might Be Giants“. Check out the YouTube video below:

Jacob (my 2 year old) enjoyed dancing around our living room while he listened to the music. He also seemed to like the characters as he spent a lot of time looking at the CD insert.

The Rattles website has more information about the band. It also includes resources for children (like coloring pages) and for parents (like a list of skills the music helps develop).

Giveaway:

One Making Time For Mommy reader will win a copy of the Rattles debut CD.

How to enter:

Leave a comment below telling me who you think would enjoy this CD.

Giveaway ends September 20, 2010 at 11:59pm Central time.

(Disclosure: I was provided a free CD in exchange for my honest review.)

“Meant To Be” by Ryan Scott

A beautiful song by Ryan Scott to his biological mom who was raped but chose life for her son. I normally don’t post a single video as a blog post but this song really touched me and I love the message.

Top 10 Songs I’m Loving Right Now

thingsilove

I love listening to KLove Radio online while I am at work during the day. I wanted to share some of the songs I’m loving right now.

1) “Let the Waters Rise” by mikeschair

2) “The Words I Would Say” by Sidewalk Prophets

3) “City On Our Knees” by tobyMac

4) “Forgiven” by Sanctus Real

5) “Beautiful, Beautiful” by Francesca Battistelli

6) “Can Anybody Hear Me” by Meredith Andrews

7) “Something Beautiful” by NEEDTOBREATHE

8) “Save A Place For Me” by Matthew West

9) “On and On” by Chasen

and not a current song but one that I love to hear come on:

10) “Praise You in The Storm” by Casting Crowns

What are your favorite songs at the moment?

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