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Posts Tagged ‘love

Are you / your loved one an ESFJ? ~26 simple descriptions to understand them

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To know your personality type,
you can do an instant self-guided assessment here.

A friend A, who has showered me with sisterhood’s love (that I have never ever imagined), is an ESFJ, I may be wrong, but I am highly interested to understand her, so that I can be a good, supportive friend of her. I am really grateful to her and wish that she will discover her happiness in romance and work.

@~@ ~ 12% people are ESFJ
@~@ quite popular / good with people, good at manipulating them (to achieve their own ends) while they believe that they are following a solid moral code of conduct.
@~@ good at reading others, and often change their own manner to be more pleasing to whoever they are with at the moment.
@~@ need to feel appreciated and know they’ve helped someone. altruistic
@~@ dislike conflict and criticism
@~@ well-organized
@~@ strongly need to be liked
@~@ need to be in control
@~@ do not mind monotony, routine work
@~@ place a lot of importance on what is socially acceptable, and can be very cautious / critical of anything unconventional / outside the mainstream.
@~@ SF people base their moral compass on established traditions / laws, upholding authority and rules, rather than drawing their morality from philosophy /mysticism like NF people do.
@~@ have a strong moral code that is defined by the community that they live in, rather than by any strongly felt internal values.
@~@ enjoy hearing about their friends’ relationships and activities, remembering little details, ready to talk things out with warmth and sensitivity. can be kaypoh, indeed practical matters and gossip are their bread and butter.
@~@ ESFJ thrive on staying up to date with what their friends are doing
@~@ Use their SJ (sensing and Judging) characteristics to gather specific, detailed info about others, and turn this info into supportive judgments.
@~@ prefer plans / organized events to open-ended activities, than spontaneous activities.
@~@ good career: personal accountant (not corporate accountant), teacher, social work / medical care.
@~@ expect AUTHORITY to be respected and backed up by rules and standards
@~@ can be efficient, hard-working subordinate; but struggle with too much freedom and improvisation
@~@ often seek friends at work
@~@ almost always willing to lend a hand when / where it’s needed
@~@ excellent networkers (think of Bill Clinton), seem to "know the person" to bring a project together on time.
@~@ when ESFJ’s suggestions / help are turned down, they can take it personally.
@~@ vulnerable to stress
@~@ never challenge the authority of ESFJ as she can stress out, loses her temper, and just generally reacts badly.
@~@ ESFJ’s natural partner is ISFP or INFP. ESFJ prefers stable, harmonious relationships and like a partner who is able to be loving and committed, even when the ESFJ has strong emotional reactions. PS: I’ll be on hunt for such a desirable man for my friend.

What can we do to support a loved one who is an ESFJ?
@~@ must thank / appreciate her from time to time (whenever there is such an opportunity to do so)
@~@ never tell her you that are critical of her beliefs / habits / traditions (if any). Iit can hurt her greatly / cause her to be very defensive). ESFJ dislikes criticism.
@~@ if you must turn down her suggestions / help, do it very very diplomatically.
@~@ do not challenge her authority.
@~@ as a friend, I must respect / be supportive of her dreams or opinions
@~@ talk more about practical matters (e.g. cooking, how to solve work problems efficiently), she likes it.
@~@ do not talk too much about your private selves that you are not comfortable that others would know, but reveal some that you do not mind others to know… she enjoys knowing specific details about you. We are learning to love / understand kaypoh people.

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Written by blueroselady

May 24, 2015 at 6:37 am

Things to do at age 32-47 (1.5 precious decade)

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  1. Be grateful. Gratitude can soothe your desire and competitiveness. More importantly, gratitude is the root of happiness.
  2. Love yourself. Stand up for yourself for things that matter. Get out of a bad relationship.
  3. Believe that you are beautiful.
  4. Believe in miracles. “永远相信,美好的事情即将发生”
  5. Travel and continuously learn and learn how to learn (meta learning). “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” ~ God via Robin S. Sharma | Learn new languages by immersion.
  6. Love your work. If you cannot do what you love, at least love what you do. According to Frankl, “We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering”
  7. Take (at least a big) risk(s) to realize your dreams, step by step strategically. Be courageous to explicitly/implicitly express “I love you”. When you’re old, you won’t care if your love wasn’t returned — only that you made it known how you felt.
  8. Be thick face enough not to care too much about what other people think.
  9. Plant kindness. Do your best to ensure that those who are less fortunate than you, believe that there are sunshine and beauty in this world.
  10. Build connection capital. Connection here refers to genuine and authentic relationships, true friendships.
  11. Cherish people, use things (not the other way round).
  12. Appreciate now and here, the moment, the nature and beauty in the forms of visuals, arts, music, delicious cuisine.
  13. Master the art of endurance.
  14. View a painful experience as an avenue to increase your wisdom.
  15. Move / exercise / dance / walk / hike

Ideas are inspired from:

Written by blueroselady

May 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Gratitude exercise: Food that makes you happy

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Since food is one of our essential needs, I ask myself why not enjoy them more and let them make me happy.

On the last Thursday of August 2013, l squeeze a South African orange that tasted so sweet. A previous orange from the same batch tasted sour. In an analogy, l hope that sour relationships in our life turn sweet, when we are patient. Being patient is an art.

On the 2nd Monday of September 2013, I had a lunch with Thai friends. A guy who is returning to his home country praised my hard work, he often saw me also working in the weekends. During the lunch, I also tried stir fried fresh bamboo shoot, they taste crunchy, I like it!

In October 2013, I meet up with a mentor Keith Ferrazi, an Italian American. His surname sounds like Ferrari, the fast driving luxurious car to me. Keith’s main message of never eat alone is like a wake-up call for me. Up until 2011, I signed myself up for a challenging project with a deadline of 2011. I was struggling and stressing, I put extra efforts, energy, sweat, time, and even tears into my project. Since my time was limited, I often chose to eat during off-peak hours (I saved time on queuing and finding a seat), but that also means that I could not find someone to eat with (at weird hours). Gradually, I have learned to be comfortable with eating alone and be happy with myself. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because we have to be independent. However, I sacrificed opportunities to develop my inter-dependent skills by eating alone. Now, it is time to form new relationships, to revitalize old relationships, and to sustain harmonious ongoing relationships.

Free food served in association with conferences / talks. Actually, there is no free lunch, someone else is paying for our food, so I can only be grateful. It often makes me think how to increase the production of healthy food to sufficiently and sustainably feed the fast-growing world population.

Simple, relatively bland homemade / home-cooked food after a day of eating strongly-flavored, mass-produced food, to detox and re-balance our body. I am not totally anti-junk food. It is ok to have the indulgence of e.g. desserts, ice cream, curry, etc, but not for every meal!

Some nights, I cook soup overnight using the slow cooker. Having a (sometimes 2!) bowl(s) of hot soup in the morning really makes me more grateful than ever, especially to Mom & Dad who bought the ingredients for us. Thank you for loving us!

In December 2013, I packed snack to work. My snack includes different kinds of fruit (including Thailand longan, Korean Jeju Mandarin, nectarines from Australia), bread, and KitKat Hazelnut! Sometimes, I got free snacks. Life is awesome.

Written by blueroselady

February 17, 2014 at 9:08 am

30 revealing ideas from social psychology that can help us to appreciate people and our lives

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Below are interesting points (sometimes with some of personal thoughts & reflections) that I have learned from a course on social psychology taught by Professor Scott Plous of Wesleyan College.

@~@ Know yourself. Seach inside yourself.
LaoZi : "He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is enlightened."
Benjamin Franklin : "There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self"
Daniel Gilbert : "We seem to know less about the worlds inside our heads that about the world our heads are inside."

@~@ People often MISWANT.
Blueroselady :
How to overcome the challenge that we are remarkably bad at predicting of what will make us happy?
This question is very important because many of life’s big decisions involve predicting our future feelings.
Examples of life’s big decisions : marriage, career / profession, migration, vacation.
Funny real-life example : a friend J told me that her husband fluctuates between praising-in-the-form of question and complaining:
(1) "why a such a smart woman like you wanted to marry a jerk and stayed on?"
(2) "It’s a nightmare to be with you for the rest of your life, I was enticed by your physical attractions"

@~@ Most people are too preoccupied with themselves to notice our shortcomings (e.g. your pimple, your spiky hair because of having no time to comb your hair because of waking up late).

@~@ "Research has found that audiences can’t pick up on your anxiety as well as you might expect …
Other people are noticing less than you might suppose."
Blueroselady: The next time you have to deliver a public talk / give a company presentation / make a sales pitch, do not worry. Just do it!

@~@ Susan Andersen & Serena Chen, 2002: In our varied relationships, we have varying selves.

@~@ Much of our behavior is not consciously controlled but automatic and unself-conscious.
Blueroselady: Be mindful. We can choose to practice mindfulness.
Mindful breathing… Mindful eating… Mindful doing…

@~@ self-schema vs possible selves
self-schema = beliefs about self that organize & guide the procession of self-relevant information.
possible selves = images of what we dream of or dread becoming in the future.
self-schema strongly affect how we see / perceive, remember, evaluate other people & ourselves.

@~@ major negative events vs minor irritations
major negative events activate our psychological defense.
minor irritations do not activate our psychological immunity.

@~@ Role playing becomes reality.
As we enact a new role, e.g. college student, parent. salesperson, we initially feel self-conscious.
Progressively, the role playing becomes reality.
This reminds me on the message that Amy Cuddy wants us to remember in her TED talk on body language.
Fake it till you make it.
Fake it till you become it.

@~@ How do we decide if we are rich, smart, or tall?
The answer is social comparison (Festinger, 1954) in affluence, status, achievement.
Blueroselady: Many things in life (that I know of) are relative, particularly those that are measurable.
A reader’s question: "I have made a living comparing data in my job / career. Comparing has become my second nature. How can I stop comparing in life?"
Blueroselady suggestions:
# Gratitude exercises.
# Detachment exercises : Detach your emotions from the outcome of your comparisons. I hear you, it is easy to say, but challenging to do, that is why detachment is an art; for the sake of our happiness, we must practice the art of detachment.
# Mindfulness exercises : Remember that (1) social comparisons can decrease our life satisfaction. (2) 人比人气死人 (3) "There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self."
# Kindness exercises : Be kind & compassionate to yourself, leave behind comparisons with others.
# Affirmations e.g. It is better to be a first rate version of yourself than a second rate version of someone else.

@~@ Children whom other people label as as gifted, hardworking or helpful tend to incorporate such ideas into their self-concepts & behavior.

@~@ Self-reliance
Self-reliant individual is celebrated in Western literature, e.g. The Iliad, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

@~@ Classifying / pigeonholing / labeling cultures as solely individualist or collectivist oversimplifies.
The oversimplification is because within any culture, individualism varies from person to person (Oyserman et al, 2002).
Blueroselady: Remember not to do hasty generalization.

@~@ Interdependent self
# has a greater sense of belonging.
# is defined by social connections with family, colleagues, loyal friends.
# has many selves: self-with-parents, self-at-work, self-with-friends.
# disapproves egotism, whereas independent self disapproves conformity.
# e.g. collectivistic Asian & Third World cultures.
# persists more on tasks when they are failing because wants to meet others’ expectations (e.g Japanese)
# prioritizes WE over ME

@~@ "So far, most of psychology has been produced by psychologists in middle-class White American settings studying middle-class White American respondents."
However, there are ways of life beyond the one that each of us knows best.
Blueroselady: In other space & time context (e.g. sociocultural context), there can be different ideas & practices about how to live a meaningful life.

@~@ Tips: eat before shopping.
Gilbert & Wilson (2000) showed that hungry shoppers do more impulse buying

@~@ Why is your friend’s success can be more threatening that that of strangers?
According to Zuckerman & Jost (2001), you feel that your self-esteem is threatened.
How do people react to self-esteem threat?
High self-esteem people blame others or try harder next time.
Low self-esteem people blame themselves or give up.
According to Roy Baumeister, folks with high self-esteem are more likely to be obnoxious, to interrupt, & to talk at people rather than to talk with people.
Bonus: It is useful for parents to know that
# among sibling relationships, the threat to self-esteem is greates for an older chld with a highly capable younger brother / sister.
# many people could not escape their tough childhoods, which is a cause of low self-esteem.

@~@ Secure self-esteem
# is rooted more in feeling good about who one is than in grades, looks, affluence / money, others’ approval.
# is essential for long-term well-being.
# Blueroselady views secure self-esteem neither as high nor low self-esteem, but self-esteem in equilibrium / in balance.

@~@ self-esteem vs self-efficacy
self-esteem = if you like yourself overall
Self-efficacy = if you believe you can do something

@~@ How to be less intimated (by others) & less gullible?
# remember that personal testimonies are powerfully persuasive but they may also be wrong.

@~@ Self-serving bias?
# attribute positive outcomes to oneself (e.g. own managerial skill)
# attribute negative outcomes to other factors (e.g. a down economy)

@~@ Examples of self-serving bias
# Group members’ estimates of how much they contribute to a join task typically sum to more than 100%. For instance, husband & wife are members of a group.
# most business people see themselves as more ethical than the average business people.
# Pronin & Ross (2006) reported that we see ourselves as objective & everyone else as biased. No wonder we fight!

@~@ Feedback is best when it is TRUE & SPECIFIC.
Specific feedback e.g. You are good at maths.
General feedback e.g. You are great.
To encourage someone (e.g. children, mentees, students, subordinates), remember that specific feedback is more effective than general feedback.

@~@ To improve performance, give self-efficacy feedback instead of self-esteem feedback.
e.g. of self-efficacy feedback : You tried really hard.
e.g. of self-esteem feedback : You are really smart.

@~@ When to listen to criticism & not to listen?
David Dunning’s gentle rule: "if two people independently give you the same piece of negative feedback, you should at least consider the possibility that it might be true"

@~@ Terror management theory by Jeff Greenberg: the reality of our own death motivates us to gain recognition from our work & values, but not everyone can achieve such recognition.

@~@ Competence + perseverance = success

@~@ Success requires enough optimism to sustain hope and enough pessimism to motivate concern.

@~@ According to Jule Norem (2000), defensive pessimism can sometimes save us from the perils of unrealistic optimism.
Blueroselady: Negative emotions such as anger and pessimism are not entirely bad, we just need healthy ways to deal with them.
Tips: Whenever you feel angry, remember that the person you are hurting is yourself.

@~@ Tyranny of freedom? too many choices can lead to paralysis.
According to Barry Schwartz, individualistic modern cultures have an excess of freedom which leads to the tyranny of freedom.
# Choice may enhance regret.
# People have expressed greater satisfaction with irrevocable choices than with reversible choices. This is because when people can undo their decisions they tend to consider both the positive & negative features of the decisions they had made. When they could not undo their decisions, people tend to concentrate on the positive features & ignore the negative features. For example, people expressed more satisfaction with their marriages several decades ago when marriage was more irrevocable.

@~@ Love causes marriage, but marriage would also causes love.
Blueroselady: This hypothesis may explain why arranged marriages (in some cultures) have successfully worked and survived.

@~@ The 5:1 ratio of positive:negative activities
To sustain important relationships such as marriage and parental relationships, ensure that you strive to increase the ratio of positive to negative activities by at least 5 fold.
e.g. of positive activities : holding hands, giving a hug, lending a listening ear.
e.g. of negative activities : arguing, complaining.

More
# Book: Social Psychology. Chapter 2. DG Myers. 2012.
# Notes at the end of email

Written by blueroselady

December 26, 2013 at 3:55 am

Movie: Dear Enemy (2011)

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Thanks to a good friend, I recently watched a movie about investment bankers, who are involved in a M&A of Lithium mining companies. The movie was played by Xu Jinglei and Stanley Huang. I have also watched the movie Go Lala Go! (2010), played by both of them. I love both movies, perhaps simply because they are romantic comedy film, a genre of movie that I favor.

What I love about the movie is that the plots bring the audience from HongKong to London, South Africa, Chengdu, and Australia. Yes, I love travelling (the beautiful sceneries and people)!

It seems to me that modern Chinese people regard careers such as investment banking highly.

When I was a student in UK, I sometimes attend career talks, some of them are hosted by investment banks. They only want the brightest of the brightest, and while it is prestigious to work as an investment bank, it comes with long hours and high level of stress, according to some insiders.

While a friend of mine is so passionate in becoming a quant (quantitative analyst), and keeps on asking me to practice together, I find myself value peace / tranquility and creativity much more than competitiveness and results (unlike the teens me).

Written by blueroselady

November 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Happiness exercise: Describe yourself in positive ways

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Happiness means differently to different people.
To some people,
happiness means a combination of the followings:# Finding love & happily married
# Having children, grandchildren, great grandchildren
# Good health
# Be financially well-off
# Enjoying a successful career
# Ability to maintain work-life harmony
# Happy relationships with extended family (ie. parents, grandparents, siblings, nephews, etc)
# Fulfilling friendships
# Making a difference to the world. You laugh … yes, many people, including me, set their dreams so high (and hence raising the standards of attaining their happiness).

To sum up, happiness is fundamentally related to health, wealth, and children.

Since happiness is related to so wide and diverse areas of our lives, how can we work on each area of importance to us? How to prioritize?
I believe in exercises / practice. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to give birth to a real talent.
Sincerely, I want you to master the art and science of happiness,
so that you can choose to be happy
even in the face of difficult circumstances and being overwhelmed by negative emotions.

In my designed series of happiness exercises, I would share numerous effective and tested exercise to enjoy happiness in your life.

Today exercise is to describe yourself in positive ways. Write to yourself. List your favorite attributes, your achievements, your roles, your love, and anything elseo about you.

Herein, I do the exercise on myself (in the autumn of 2013)

I am …
# a mother
# a daughter
# a wife
# a student of Coursera, edX
# a researcher
# a storyteller
# an author
# an ex-artist

I love …
# people who love me & whom I love.
You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details.” Before Sunset (2004)
# food (especially healthy affordable food and desserts)
# simplicity
# diversity
# reading (and writing) and hence books
# gardens & parks in spring & summer, in early mornings & late afternoons
# philosophy of life
# giving smiles, talks in front of groups
# learning diverse things. I believe in the “See one, Do one, Teach one” model.
# dreams
# personal development, making a syllabus for life / bucket list / life planning
# entrepreneurship + unconventional work
# (and honestly sometimes fear) change / dynamics.
The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” Isaac Asimov

I used to love …
# travel
# photography
# fireworks
# movies
But now they are not on top of my priorities.

People who have inspired me (non-exhaustively) include:
# Anthony Robbins
# Cayden Chang
# Chris Guillebeau
# Danah Zohar
# Dale Carnegie
# Dong Mingzhu 董明珠
# Goldie Hawn
# Jean Maalouf
# Jessie Louise Yancey-Siegel, affectionately known as Weezie
# Josh Kaufmann
# Joseph Murphy
# Leo Babauta
# Leong Kaiwen
# Louise Hay
# Luciano Passuello
# Michael Ellsberg
# Napoleon Hill
# Robert Cialdini
# Tahir
# Thich Nhat Hanh
# Tim Ferriss
These people are my brothers / sisters, my mentors, my dearest friends.

Things that I want to have / have more / give more to others:
@~@ Happiness
@~@ Health
@~@ Optimism & Hope
@~@ Gratitude
@~@ Kindness e.g. smile
@~@ Empathy e.g. a listening ear
@~@ Wealth
@~@ Wisdom
@~@ Courage e.g. to make new friends

Things that I want to remove / reduce :
@~@ Fear
@~@ Sadness
@~@ Anger
@~@ Envy / Jealousy
@~@ Clutters
@~@ Disappointment

Written by blueroselady

October 2, 2013 at 11:20 am

DO what you LOVE, LOVE what you DO

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Do what you love and love what you do sound simple, but appear complex in practice.

How many of us do what we love for most time of our lives?
How many of us love what we do for most of our doings?
For many people across different ages and roles of life, here are possibilities:
Dreams change.
Goals change.
Plans Change.

Do you love a doing because you are good at the doing?
Would you still love the doing if you are not (yet) good at the doing)?
Would you still love the doing if you are not (yet) good at the doing (even after 10,000 hours of practice)?

A quote by Steve Jobs shared by Jeff Moore:
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.
Don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart,
you’ll know when you find it."

When I was in high school,
I love (or perhaps prefer) science subjects because my linguistic skills are limited (reason #1).
Apparently and consequently, I did better in maths, chemistry, biology, physics than in language subjects. People love doing things whereby we have a sense of mastery, do you feel so as well?

My native Chinese-speaking classmates who have learned writing and reading since early age, are at ease in the Chinese class.
My Eurasian classmates who have a native speaking father / mother, or those who have English-educated parents, seem to write English so fluently.
They had read thick novels / non-fiction books and easily won the essay writing and elocution competitions.
For me,
to write an essay in English or Chinese,
I had to start from simple structures.
When I have an exam topic of essay to write,
I would quickly jot down some ideas in point form and elaborated on them later as my writing progressed.
Normally, I would write explanatory or argumentative essays, and very rarely narrative essays, simply because of my limited vocabularies.

Reason #2
There are high certainty in science subject exams.
1+1=2. If the answers are right now, they will be right tomorrow.
We love things that we do well.

But in real life (including the real scientific fields as my scientist acquaintances point out),
the rules of game are uncertain.
The rules are not constant; change is the rule of the rules.
That’s why life is the only known example of infinite game is life, according to James P. Carse.
On contrary, examples of finite games are debates, sports, schools, receiving a degree from an educational institution, belonging to a society, or engaging in war.

The surprise in infinite game is the triumph of the future over the past.
So, when you are uncertain about what to do next, an easy step is to
always choose infinite games.

Winning should not be the final goal because after winning, the game stops.
Life is a game that is meant to be continuously played.
Aunt Florence shared some profound advice on how to play the game of life, you may want (and I need) to revise and remember them,
as resilient shortcuts in the moments of negative feelings and events.

Although I honestly feel that my writing is still not up to standard (set through social comparisons with people of similar professional credentials to mine and authors whom I admire),
I will continue writing.
I think this is an example of "DO what you LOVE".

Sometimes we may have to do things that we are not interested, so it is hard to love what we do.
However, the good news are interests are malleable,
they are formed through our past experiences (including education),
so we can change them through learning and unlearning.
Revealingly, you can re-program your minds and interests through conscious efforts,
this attempt will also beneficial to discard some preferences that we would not want to have if we think carefully about them but others manage to incept on us — think of the 2010 science fiction film entitled Inception.

For example, I know a number of people who have focused greatly on their careers,
hate doing house chores or parenting tasks,
but I believe that if they want to,
with right conscious efforts to shift their interests,
they can love what they do.

How to continue love what you do (even if you feel tired / bored / disappointed / frustrated) ?
My friend Tracy suggests using positive feedback loop.
You can establish positive feedback loop when the rewards / pleasure of your doing outweigh the sacrifices / pain.

To DO what you LOVE, you need willpower and courage.
To LOVE what you DO, you need positive feedback and inner security.

Inner security that I means here is not worrying so much about achieving certain levels of success.

More real-world examples:
# Joanna: becoming a mother at age 48
# My friend Leo highlights that people rule out the possibility of great change, because it appears unrealistic.

Finally,
"Do what you love, love what you do & deliver more than you promise!" ~ Harvey Mackay

Written by blueroselady

September 25, 2013 at 4:56 am