Monday, January 30, 2012
Breakfast Of Champions!
Build a jar...


 1/4 cup peanut flour

mixed with a little water and a little stevia 


 almond milk (and bubbles)

 strawberry and blueberry chia jam


Strawberry and Blueberry Chia Jam

1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup water
1 TBSP chia seeds

Combine the berries and water in a sauce pan. Heat and stir until the berries are softened. Take off the heat and add the chia seeds. Stir well to combine. Allow to cool and serve up. 

I eat out of jars a lot these days. They are perfect for taking eats on the go. This one was a definite winner. I am so addicted to chia jam.

Today is going to be a crazy one, so I had to get some good fuel in! My workout is done, eats are made and now it's time to get to some recipe development! Best part of my job!

Have a great Monday!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:00 AM   13 comments
Friday, January 27, 2012
Dress It Up!
Hello Friday! I am soooo glad you are here finally. I'm hoping for some sleep in time this weekend! Speaking of sleep, we got this pillow top thing for the bed...Tony's plan, not really mine and I'm having the hardest time sleeping with it. It's like sleeping on marshmallow for me. We have a heavy comforter on top and the marshmallow think on the bottom...I'm getting lost in all this fluff and can't turn over. The worst part, Tony is sleeping better with it. Ugh, finding the bedding balance after being married for almost 17 years...

Anyway, as for the title of this post, let's dress up some salad!  Truth be told, I normally go for mustard, hot sauce, over easy eggs or hummus when it comes to dressing. Well, I finally purchased a jar of Marmite a few weeks ago and I started playing with it. I love the stuff straight up, but I wanted to make something a little different to go with my salad and socca this time. 

Marmite is no joke when it comes to flavor and texture. 

Think thick molasses texture with a bite like worsteshire sauce. I think that's a good way to describe it. In other words...AMAZING! Oh and super loaded with B vitamins! Bonus! Heather, Lindsay, Kristina and Christin, you ladies know what I'm talking about!

I've been taking shots of apple cider vinegar thanks to the suggestions from my favorite twins, but I figured if I could make the stuff taste better by using it in my dressing, why not?!

Tomato Dressing
(1 serving)

1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp marmite
dash of garlic powder
dash of onion powder

Shake it all up!




Dressed up!

This dressing is really creamy and a little bit salty with a tang. YUM!

These days, I go for some socca on the side toasted up for my croutons. I love it! I changed this one up a bit by adding oatmeal and I loved the crunch and the slight whole grain sweetness. It definitely complemented the tangy dressing on my salad!

Socca Flatbread
(makes one)

1/2 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 cup quick oats or oat flour (make sure it's gluten free)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
1/4 tsp onion powder (optional
3/4 cup warm water
pepper and salt for the top

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a 9 inch cake pan coated with olive oil (I use the olive oil spray). Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. Bake for 15-55 minutes depending on how crispy you want it. Remove from pan.

Have a great Friday!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   18 comments
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tabata And Some Realizations...

I had never heard of this before until last Friday. If you talk workouts with me and I don't know what you're talking about, I will spend hours upon hours of researching it. I HAD to know what this was...

Basically it is a 3-5 minute warm up followed by 8 intervals of super high intensity for 20 seconds and then rest for ten seconds then a 3-5 minute cool down....

We did this 8 times last night. OH MY GOSH! My legs hate me, but I love it! I downloaded the Tabata timer on my iPhone last night and it worked like a charm and it was free!

Our workout was designed by my friend Marie (who is studying to be a Personal Trainer through the course I'm about to take with ISSA).

What we did (or as I would like to call it HELL, but in the kindest way possible)...

3 minute warm up of jumping jacks and squat thrusts
Kettlebell Swings
Air Squats (oh goodness these are evil)
Jumping Jacks (it's so silly, but I love jumping jacks)
Upright Rows with Kettlebells
Cool down and stretching (I was actually a good girl and stretched well!)

We rotated this with one move being done twice for 8 rounds. After each round, we took a 30 second break. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

This was not a pre-planned workout for me, so it was actually my second workout of the day. I did an interval workout at 6am and when I got the text to see if I wanted to try Tabata with Marie after work, I couldn't pass it up. I was worried all day though that she would kick my butt, I would throw up and she would run circles around me. Don't get me wrong, she totally kicked my butt, but I think I held my own. I felt so accomplished after this. I only did girl pushups for one round!

I guess all of this is to say that I felt accomplished. I realized that I can do more than I think I can. I may have been the one holding me back all along, but let's not put the blame all on me just yet. This time in my life is really the first time that I am just being me. I don't worry about what people think about me. I don't worry about what people say about me. I am not perfect. I know this, but I am trying really hard to just do my best and it feels so good. 

No one has everything easy, don't assume that they do. Everything is relative and we all have our own obstacles to overcome. My drive to do what I'm doing now with nutrition and personal training is to share that with others. It is so easy to give in and feel defeated. Trust me, I've been there. I wanted to give up on my body so many times, it's not good, it's not right, but it's what I have. Really though, in the end, giving up would only hurt me more. I'm worth more than that and I can do so much more than I thought I ever could, even with my limitations. 

In the end, you have to find you and realize what you want. You don't have to be the strongest person, the fastest person, the smartest person, the funniest person, the most artistic person or the skinniest person, you just have to find who you want to be and make it the best.

Never mind that I can't walk up the stairs today without looking like a 120 year old woman...those kettle swings and air squats are vicious little suckers!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   14 comments
Monday, January 23, 2012
Homemade Chinese Takeout!
Yesterday was such a great day for me. I got my CPR/AED certification even though I was terrified of the situation. I found a company to give me the course one on one and the boys had me scared out of my mind that I was going to get my certification out of a van. I found the company off the American Heart Associations website and when I called, they said they could give me the class on Monday morning. So, since I wanted to get my nutrition certification in my hand, I had to take it. The boys picked on me all weekend about how creepy the certification situation sounded. So, with the eery rain in the morning and the office in the back of the building, I walked in with my guard up. Luckily, it was all good and I loved getting the class one on one. If anyone in Atlanta needs the course, I highly recommend them! Just drop me a line and I will pass on the information. All I'm asking now, is that I don't have to use this information. I love knowing it, but ugh, I don't want to use it.

After my course was complete and I got my certification card, I made my way home for some lunch with my main squeeze. I made my soy free fried rice the night before so I was excited for these leftovers!

Even though our fried rice is loaded with protein from the eggs and bean sprouts, I wanted to make sure I got a little extra protein in there so I fried up 2 more egg whites, then added some fried rice to reheat it, served it over crisp iceberg lettuce and smothered it in coconut aminos (love this instead of soy sauce!)...

and rooster sauce (I like things hot)!

This totally hit the spot!

I'm really focusing on getting some extra protein these days. Ever since I started studying nutrition I've completely changed how I eat. I used to think I didn't need as much protein and I do believe that everyone's needs are different. However, I do workout regularly and I feel like my body had gotten pretty stagnant when it came to changing with my workouts. I also felt like there were things that I should be strong enough to do and it was just not happening. After focusing on my protein sources for the past 2 months (eggs, peanut flour, nuts, beans and nutritional yeast), I have seen and felt a complete change in my energy and physique. I think about food from a completely different stand point nowadays. I used to think about my veggies and fruits first (cause I'm a true lover of them), now I think about my protein source first and build my meals from there.

Speaking of protein...

I fried up some chicken for the boys to go with the fried rice we had on Sunday night. 

I got the idea from Jessica at How Sweet Eats when she made this and she got it from Rebecca off of Tasty Kitchen. Tony is a General Tso's expert. The man loves his General Tso's and he loved this dish! I don't fry food often, but it was Sunday and it was treat day. So, we had a fun family interactive meal by making fried rice and General Tso's lettuce wraps!

So, tell me, what are your favorite sources of protein? I'm always looking for more vegetarian ideas. Any protein powder recommendations would be really helpful too!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   13 comments

My weekend festivities started off with doing my first tour of a grocery store. It was actually The Natural Food Warehouse close to my house and the store is amazing! I met someone at the gym that wants help with finding natural foods and learning how to use them! Obviously, as you all know, that is so my thing! Nothing like using that education right away! Anyway, it was so much fun talking to someone face to face that really wanted to learn more about good natural food! I'm looking forward to our cooking session soon now!

This weekend went faster than normal since I had to work on Saturday. I did not have to cook since Tony had made a huge crockpot of ham and black eyed peas for him and the boys Thursday, so when I got home, it was all about rest and relaxation. I opted for some leftovers overs my own though. 

You see, we had a visitor arrive last week from Stuft Mama...

it only seemed right to make a meal that would make Flat Kitty feel welcome! Keep Your Hands Off Mama's Spicy Spinach and Chicken (and Peppers) Enchiladas were on the menu. These are so good and easy to make! Seriously, you have to make them! I was so happy the boys LOVED them too! I grilled orange peppers and chicken for ours since mine were spinach and peppers. The changes I made were adding grilled peppers (to both the chicken and vegetarian varieties), cheese to the boys (not the yogurt dip - I did not have any) and I used a mix of tomato sauce and fresh salsa for the sauce (I did not have the soup that Mama calls for). I was so nervous the boys would not like them since I was bold and went with the spinach and peppers, but they devoured them! They've already asked them to be in the rotation of eats! Thanks Stuft Mama for sharing your super awesome kitty and your super awesome enchiladas!

I covered mine in jalapenos, nutritional yeast and an over easy egg. I had to get my Bs! Loved the egg over it. Since there was no cheese, this gave me that creamy topping that I was missing!

In all seriousness about the Flat Kitty, this cat is a so awesome...a semi hairless cat! Tony wants the real one so badly! Thank you Kristin for sharing him with us!

Today is a mad dash to class for me. I get to make out with a dummy and I'm not referring to Tony either. CPR and AED class for my certification to be complete! Have a great one Monday!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   12 comments
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Peanut Chocolate Fudge Topping!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for your comments yesterday. Seriously, you made my day and then I got the email...I PASSED! HELL YEAH, excuse my French, but that felt so good! After hours of calls and research, I finally found a place that does the CPR/AED certification for $50...sold to the lady that just passed her Fitness Nutrition Certification. Monday afternoon, I will be done!

I finally looked around the house to find what I have been ignoring for the past couple of months and well, I'm ashamed. Observations...

1. The boys have asked me for socks/shirts/jeans every day before going to school. This means that the pile of laundry sitting in the laundry room is not only scary in height, but desperately NEEDS to be washed and put away (the latter is the key or I will have to iron and really that's just a joke). Tony does wash clothes, but his folding skills are less that desirable and really, he works harder than I do, so this is not a dig at my husband...he is the best!

2. The boys bathroom smells and look like a war zone. UGH, I'm sure there is something growing in the trash can and we all know it's not a plant. I would like to just throw a bomb in it and call it a night. I may need to be in full biohazard gear to clean that sucker.

3. Oh speaking of the plant that's in said bathroom...yeah, not so much a plant anymore, but a stick in sand. Sorry Mr. put up a good fight.

4. Groceries...there are no eggs, bread or milk in the house. If it snowed tomorrow, we would starve, right? Luckily we live in Georgia and that's not gonna happen. Crisis averted, well, that is if I find my way to the store soon.

5. Most of you know that I'm an apple girl through and through...there are two bags of apples that have been sitting on the counter for 2 weeks that need to be cooked (not fit for my eating, yeah, I'm an apple snob). In my defense, they were given to me, but still...two weeks.

6. My email has been messed up for at least 3 days (the fact that I don't know why or how long this has been going on is proof that I have not been good about checking it...or responding to people).

7. My hair is too long! Remember when I told you I was going to donate it? It looked like this...

it is still on my head! I am getting it cut in the next two weeks. It goes to my butt and that is just too long for me.

8. I'm sure there is more, but that's all I've noticed so far...time to catch up!

I will go ahead and apologize for the quality of these pictures, but I've really been loving my night time treats lately and I wanted to share this with you! I've been baking my peanut butter oats and topping them with my version of a peanut butter chocolate fudge! This is low fat, high fiber and high protein! Oh and delicious!

Peanut Butter Baked Oats
(serves 2 or one hungry gal)

3/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup peanut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
a shake of salt
1 TBSP Stevia Blend for Baking or sugar
1/4 cup egg whites/egg substitute or 1 egg
1/4 cup almond milk 
1 cup water
3 droppers vanilla stevia

Mix it all together and pour into an oil coated bowl or dish (I use a pyrex 4 cup bowl).
Bake at 375 degrees 40-50 minutes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Topping
(serves 1)

3 TBSP peanut flour
1 TBSP cocoa powder
1-2 droppers vanilla or cocoa stevia
1-3 TBSP water or almond milk

Put the flour and cocoa powder in a bowl. Then add the stevia and 2 tablespoons of the water or milk (add more as needed). I don't like to mix it too much so I can get a good swirl in it. The more liquid you add, the more it turns into a frosting or a pudding!

As you can see, I'm loving some peanut protein these days. I love the texture of this peanut butter oat cake. It's not mushy at all and it's a really tasty treat after a long day!

Truth be told, this is a recycled picture, but I had these oats with apple cranberry chia jam (inspired by Stuft Mama) and peanut fudge for dinner again last night too. I need quick protein options some times and this totally hits the spot!

So, what have you neglected lately?

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   26 comments
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Case Study Complete, Now We Wait...
Well, I finished the course...

It is the weirdest feeling to complete something that you work so hard for and then wait...

I shut down completely yesterday and focused completely on my case study. I think it kind of freaked Tony out since he kept checking on me. I was so quiet and focused. I had to give it everything I had and I really think I did.

Now I have to get my CPR/AED certification. I had no idea it was so expensive. Yes, I'm cheap and while I have no problem putting money towards my education, when it comes down to spending $100 for a one day study, that kind of overwhelms me. I have no choice though or I don't get my certification. So, I have to suck it up and pay the price!

All of this kind of led me to thinking about something today. When I finally finished my case study and pushed the send button, I realized that I have one of the most important parts of the reason I want to help others with nutrition and health...I have you guys, an incredible support system.

I'm bringing this up because I really do believe that having people around you to support you in your path is so important for success. Negativity will only hold us back and I am so guilty of letting people that don't support me make me believe that I am less than I am or that I don't deserve great things. I realize now that I am worth it and I while I may not be perfect and things may not come out as planned, at least I tried and learned along the way.

Over the past year, I have learned so much about people. I have met some amazing people (online and in person) and (luckily) I already knew some amazing people. Being another year older and hopefully wiser, I am going to focus on surrounding myself with these good people. I've had enough thinking about the bad people and wishing they were more or allowing them to control my thoughts. It's a waste of time and energy for me. Thank you to all of you that stand by me and support me. You really do make a difference!

Now it's time to work on a business plan...

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   15 comments
Monday, January 16, 2012
Weekend Treats! Cake, Icing and Pie Oh My...
Weekend of treats...

We started it off by going to our friends' house to have dinner on Friday night. That was such a great time. They had a baby 3 months ago and with all the holiday stuff and colds we had going on before the first of the year, this was our first opportunity to meet the new little guy. He is such an angel. I got me some sweet baby cuddle time in and now I'm set for a little while. It just happened to be mine and our friend Chris' birthday on Saturday so I baked my gluten free angel food cake and took some seven minute icing (and strawberries) for a little celebration.

I woke up to this card Saturday morning...

I love being married to my best friend! Tony LOVES that I am 1 month and 10 days older than him. He says I'm a cougar for that month. It cracks me up every time. Oh and what died...was my youth. Love that card. Makes me giggle every time I look at it. 

We rolled the dice and went out to linner (lunch and dinner at once). We went to P.F. Changs which the kids love and it was a treat. Tony and I have been sick since we walked out of the place. I will spare you the details, but food allergies and intolerances are no fun when risking going out. Oh well, at least I was showered with love and had tons of fun with my boys! The day ended with us watching one of my all time favorite movies, Stand By Me. What a great day!

Tony and I did wake up with that same nasty feeling so, instead my usual oats, I went with a savory egg white omelet with sauteed kale, peppers and onions topped with nutritional yeast and hot sauce. 

I think I need to have this more often. Wow, what a great combination!

We also each had a shot of apple cider vinegar. That actually did help. I highly recommend it to everyone. Tony was shocked that it seemed to help him pretty quickly too!

I did not end up having a birthday cake on my birthday, but I did start craving some birthday crustless pumpkin pie on Sunday afternoon...

with some seven minute icing of course! I didn't have any whipped cream so I lightened up my seven minute icing and it came out so light and fluffy! It was the perfect topping for my birthday treat!

Extra Light and Fluffy Seven Minute Icing
(makes about 3 cups)

3 large egg whites or 9 TBSP
2/3 cup sugar
1 dropper vanilla NuNatural stevia
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cream of tarter

In a large stainless-steel bowl, combine the egg whites with the sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of boiling water. Beat the egg whites at high speed until stiff and glossy, about 7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat, add the vanilla stevia and continue to beat at high speed until the frosting is cool to the touch, about 5 minutes longer. Use the frosting immediately.  It will store covered in the fridge for a couple of days, but it will stiffen up a bit.

It was dark when we finally ate the pie, so no picture of the final treat. Between the four of us, it's almost gone! Besides the funky feeling in the guts (that's the PG version) and the lack of getting anything worthwhile done, it was a pretty great birthday weekend with my guys. 

So, it's Monday and that means getting to business! Have a great one!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   17 comments
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Not Wordless Wednesday...

I wish I could say this was a wordless Wednesday, but it has been the complete opposite for me. Things are beyond crazy for me right this minute. I ran around taking care of have tos today (gotta love the DMV) and I am really getting behind on things (yeah, we had no food in the house...oops). I am almost done with my certification. I have to complete my essay and my case study...then I will be done. So, that is my focus for the rest of the week. I'm ready to be done! This monkey is getting off my back this week!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:07 PM   13 comments
Monday, January 9, 2012
Kale Chips and Wings
Oh Monday, we meet again. I miss my sleeping in already. I got my rear out of bed today at 5:45am  to workout which felt pretty wrong after sleeping in until 8am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday. What a treat it was to actually sleep that late! Today...not so much... 

Speaking of the weekend, it was full of cleaning, resting, documentaries (I'll share more on those later) and family time. I wish I had a little more time to do a little bit more, but really I'm always looking for more time. I really don't ever think there is enough. We did have our fun family dinner night on Friday...

Kale chips are to me what hot wings are to Tony...

I love the crunchy mess they are to eat. It gets everywhere! Max and I have been waiting all week for our snack night dinner so when Friday night came, it was time for kale chips!

I sprinkled these with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. 

Max and I ate the whole batch in one sitting! I have no shame...

I also roasted peppers and carrots and served all of this with socca crackers, fresh mozzarella (nutritional yeast for me) and roasted chicken for the guys. It's been too long since our hors d' oeurves dinner. So much fun and so delicious!

Tony got his wings on Saturday. We rarely go out for dinner, but we decided that after cleaning the house all day and doing other odds and ends that a treat out was just what we all needed. It was a blast with the boys. I also scored some great workout clothes at TJMaxx! Love that place for great prices on workout clothes (which also happen to be work clothes). 

I'm not especially looking forward to this week...I have to get my driver's license renewed and I have to get my car tags renewed. Yeah, be jealous now. I also threw a fit like a two year old because the online system told me that I can't renew my license online and that I have to go to the customer service facility. Now that sounds like fun, right! I will try to put my positive foot forward and hope to at least get some good people watching out of it. 

Are you looking forward to anything this week? Give me something good!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   17 comments
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Chia Jam!
New addiction...

can you see it?

 look closer...

Chia Seeds!

This was still warm and completely incredible! The amazing Stuft Mama posted a brilliant idea the other day for fruit chia jam. Since I've been making chia puddings like it's my job these days, I knew right away I had to try this too! 

I cooked 1/2 cup rolled oats with 1 1/2 cups water on 50% power for four minutes. I let it sit in the microwave while I made my jam...

Then I stirred my oats, topped it with 1/4 cup almond milk and then put my warm apple cranberry chia jam on top...

then I topped the whole thing with my peanut butter "fudge" (peanut flour, cocoa stevia, pinch of salt and a little water)!

This was the perfect mix of warm, gooey, sweet and tart!

Apple Cranberry Chia Jam
inspired by Stuft Mama and Kasey

1 large apple, diced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup water
1 TBSP chia seeds
1 dropper NuNaturals vanilla stevia

Cook the apples, cranberries and water on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally. The cranberries should pop and the apples should be soft, but not mush. When the fruits are cooked, remove from the heat and add the chia and stevia. Allow to rest for a few minutes or refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Here's some information on chia seeds for those that are interested. I've really been focused on getting my omega fats in and this is a really delicious way to do just that. Chia seeds are a great source of amino acids too, which are extraordinarily important for our health. Also, I think they are so cute and look like tiny dinosaur eggs. 

Have you tried chia or can you not get past the chia pets?

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   20 comments
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Black Beans, Millet and Variations On A Theme...
I will eventually get into some details of my studies and do a review of the course I'm taking but for now you get some quickie tips on eating well in a hurry since that seems to be all I do now.

Do you see a theme...
Black beans, millet, fresh yellow peppers, fresh tomatoes, cilantro and apple cider vinegar

tupperware everywhere...

Black beans, millet, slightly steamed broccoli, fresh tomato, nutritional yeast and apple cider vinegar

I'm constantly throwing odds and ends in a tupperware, shaking it up and throwing it in a cooler bag for later. After many bummer meals in the beginning of studying and work, I realized that the easiest thing for me to do for quick, healthy complete meals is to cook a few good protein choices along with a couple of complimenting grains (I am all over this subject these days - food combining has become a bit of an obsession for me, more on that later) and to have some fresh herbs and vegetables to throw in the mix for variety! My shot of apple cider vinegar is my acid of choice to brighten the flavors and dinner is served!

This saves so much time and frustration when there is nothing to eat around the house. Being able to pick and choose my added flavors is like going to a salad bar with all my favorite foods! Who doesn't love that?

What's your favorite salad mix? I need ideas!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM   11 comments

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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