Disappointment Hack: When You Want A Swimming Pool But Get A Dirt Road

disappointment hack

disappointment hack
The obligatory back to school photo… So maybe summer break could have been a little longer?

This was the first day of school. The boys are heading back to college soon, and now with David and the girls at school every day it’s just me and our Boston Terrier, Max.

So after getting the kids to school this morning Max and I headed out for a walk around the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, we barely made it out of the driveway because Max was having trouble walking on our new road.

So our neighborhood recently got a chip and seal road and it was hurting Max’s feet to walk. This little dog who normally lives for his walks had the most distressed expression on his face.

Sad, right!? Poor puppy. So we headed back inside.

Now some of you may be thinking Max should toughen up, or perhaps he’s too delicate, and maybe you’re right. (He is our baby after all.) But I’ve never seen him pass up a walk. He’s usually pulling me because he’s so excited.

We live in a sprawling neighborhood in the country, made complete with beautiful rolling hills and fields of wildflowers.

Every dog’s dream.

Until now.

How It All Happeneddisappointment hack

Let me preface this next part by saying we love our neighborhood and our neighbors. We simply have different opinions about how our money should be spent.

So here is what happened with the road situation: Over a year ago a few members of our neighborhood decided we needed to repair the road due to a few minor cracks. Overall the asphalt road was in good repair and was smooth to drive on.

So we all voted whether we agreed that the repairs were necessary. Needless to say, we along with others didn’t vote for it, but we were (apparently) outnumbered.

When you have two kids in college and two on the way let’s just say your financial priorities are a bit different from someone who is retired.

We were given an estimate of the repairs and everyone was to pay their part (even those who didn’t think it necessary).

Because that’s how a Homeowner’s Association works.

Which was a bummer because, to us and our kids, a neighborhood swimming pool would have been a much better use of the money.

The benefits of a neighborhood pool include

  • health and fitness
  • a great place to socialize and get to know the neighbors better
  • a fun place for the kids to spend time (and stay out of trouble)

But those in charge of the project decided they wanted a chip and seal road. (In other parts of the country you might say “tar and chip“). It’s basically a low-cost alternative to asphalt. It’s made by spreading a layer of toxic, messy tar then covering that with rough gravel.

I believe the hope was because it’s summer that we would have blazing hot weather that would bake the gravel into the tar, but that hasn’t happened, at least not yet. Since they did the road we haven’t had the hot August weather that’s typical for Missouri.

So it’s dusty and the gravel is loose, like a dirt road. When you drive on it the gravel goes flying. It’s a far cry from the smooth blacktop road we used to enjoy.

But, it would make for a good movie scene.

Like a no holds barred sort of Thelma and Louise we’re bustin’ outa’ this town sorta’ scene. The rebels (without a cause) roar down the dusty dirt road, car top down, hair flyin’ everywhere, tunes cranked up.

You get the picture.

Needless to say the asphalt road we had before had a few minor bumps and cracks but was much better than this, but you can’t win them all, right?!

Disappointment Hack 101

We teach our kids how to deal with disappointment and roll with the punches. But when things don’t turn out how we’d hoped do we take our own advice? (I’m asking myself here too.)

Here are some tips that can help you cope when things don’t go the way you’d hoped.

  1. Deal with emotions. Allow yourself to feel your feelings (like Maddie is doing in the back to school photo above) and don’t stuff them down. Once you’ve processed them it is easier to move forward.
  2. See the big picture. Consider that people are unique and have differing perspectives and opinions. Keep an open mind and allow them to have space. Don’t try to control others.
  3. Don’t expect perfection. People are not perfect so don’t expect them to be. When you are flexible with others and don’t get uptight about your schedule it takes the pressure off and encourages a more relaxed vibe and atmosphere.
  4. Move forward. Accept that disappointment and frustration are part of life. But they are also opportunities for growth. Learn to accept things you cannot change and address the aspects you can.
  5. Write a blog post about it. Do you see what I did there? 🙂

The Takeaway

Disappointment is a part of life. Whether you want a swimming pool and get a dirt road or you’re dealing with something bigger and more life-changing, learning to deal with life’s frustrations is essential. Practicing the tips I shared above will help build resilience and strength through life’s struggles.


How do you deal with frustration and disappointment?

Please share your thoughts and tips below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


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Stevia Health Benefits, Safety And Inside Information

stevia health benefits

When I was little girl I loved going to my beloved Nanny’s house to make and eat baked goods with her. People admired her for her kindness, for teaching home economics for over 30 years and baking the best desserts west of the Mississippi. Just ask her favorite (okay, only) granddaughter.

Baking is definitely an art and she was an artist.

She taught me how to bake cookies and cakes, pies and fudge, all so deliciously rich and delightfully sweet.

However, eating the sweet treats truly did not compare to the time we spent smiling, laughing and playing the occasional practical joke on my unsuspecting Papaw. She made me feel special and I treasured our times together.

What About Sugar?

In the 80’s people weren’t concerned with sugar.

Back then fat was (erroneously) considered the dietary evil. I’m glad the horrible myths about fat were cleared up, because (grass-fed) butter does make everything better. 😉

Processed sugar may end up being the worst culprit to the American diet despite earlier beliefs of its innocence.

But why?

Because sugar:

  • is full of empty calories
  • causes tooth decay
  • is highly addictive (1)
  • raises your cholesterol and risk for heart disease (2)
  • causes cancer (3)
  • causes insulin resistance (4)
  • can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (5)

Now that we know the dangers sugar presents to our health we can look to a healthy alternative for the sweetness we crave.

What Is Stevia?

Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute belonging to the Asteraceae family. This herb is an extract taken from a plant originally grown in South America. It is super sweet, 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. So, as you might have guessed, a little goes a long way.

Based on a 1 gram serving, it has zero calories and does not raise blood glucose levels, something that could be an issue for those with diabetes.

You can use it in baking. It is also stable in a freezer and heat. But because it is so sweet you’ll have to make some

stevia health benefits
Natural, minimally processed stevia is an excellent substitute for sugar, without all the dangerous side effects.

adjustments.

Here are some basic conversions to help you when baking: 

  • 1 teaspoon sugar = 1/2 packet, or 1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia or 5 drops liquid
  • one tablespoon sugar = 1 .5 packets, or 1/3 teaspoon powdered stevia or 15 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 cup sugar = 24 packets, or 2 tablespoons powdered stevia or 2 teaspoons liquid stevia

Two compounds in stevia make the leaves sweet:

  1. stevioside
  2. rebaudioside

You may have also heard of Truvia, which is a highly processed form of stevia.

Is Stevia Safe To Use?

Generally speaking, most people do fine consuming stevia, especially in its purest form. But, it is essential to understand the different forms of stevia because some are more processed than others. Also as we know, the more processed foods are, the less healthy, and more harmful our health they are.

  1. The green leaf stevia is the all-natural plant form you can grow. The leaves can be dried and ground to a powder. This is the healthiest form.
  2. Stevia extracts
  3. Highly processed stevia (such as Truvia) is not recommended. It runs through 42 different processes, including the addition of harmful chemical solvents and GMO corn products. Consequently, at the end of all this processing it barely resembles natural stevia at all. (You can read more about Truvia here.)

Stevia Health Benefits

  1. May lower blood sugar (6)
  2. Reduces the growth of breast cancer cells (7)
  3. Lowers blood pressure (8)
  4. Improves overall cholesterol (9)

Please check out this video I made about natural stevia:

The Takeaway

Stevia is an excellent all-natural alternative to sugar, as long as you use the more natural forms and avoid the highly processed ones, such as Truvia. Not only can stevia sweeten your morning coffee or tea, but it can also offer some pretty impressive health benefits.


Do you use stevia? What did you think?

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Oil Pulling For a Radiant Smile And Better Oral Health

oil pulling

Oil pulling is an excellent, natural practice to upgrade your oral health. I only wish I had known about it sooner!

After years of searching for the best teeth whitener, enduring tooth pain associated with typical whitestrips, whitening lamps, gels and abrasive toothpastes (not to mention the cost of buying all these products) I’m happy to find a simple cost-effective solution.

One of my favorite things about oil pulling is that it gets my teeth whiter than any of these products ever did! Not to mention the other amazing health benefits oil pulling provides.

The process is simple.

And painless.

And economical.

So, if you’ve ever wondered if there’s a better option keep reading and I’ll share a tip I’ve learned that’s simplified and improved my oral health in many ways.

To start, here is a short video I made describing 8 Healthy Benefits of Oil Pulling:

(Please subscribe to my (new) channel on YouTube at LoriGeurin.  Thanks so much!)

 Health Benefits Of Oil Pulling

  • teeth whitening
  • detoxifies the body
  • improves skin conditions
  • heals bleeding gums
  • helps reverse gingivitis
  • freshens breath
  • kills bacteria
  • reduces plaque
  • prevents, and even reverses, tooth decay (amazing, right?!)

How To Do Oil Pulling

oil pulling
Coconut oil is an excellent choice for oil pulling.
  • Put 1 to 2 teaspoons (or up to 1 tablespoon) of oil in your mouth. If you’re using coconut oil you may need to chew it a little at first to help it dissolve because it is solid at room temperature.
  • Swish the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. Make sure your swishing is hard enough to pull the oil through your teeth, but not so hard to cause stress or jaw pain. A gentle swishing movement is perfect. 🙂 When you’re swishing make sure you do not gargle or swallow any of the oil! This would put the harmful toxins back into your body.
  • Spit the oil out in the trash. Do not spit in the sink. This could clog up your plumbing.
  • Rinse your mouth with water, swishing well. Repeat until all the oil is gone.
  • Brush your teeth as you normally would.
  • Check out your clean white smile!

Here is our favorite coconut oil.

The Takeaway

I hope you enjoyed the video and learning more about the health benefits of oil pulling! If you decide to try it, please share your experience below. Once you get in the habit of doing it, it becomes a habit, like anything else. I usually do it when I’m getting ready in the morning so it’s part of my routine.

I hope you’re able to try this natural practice that’s been around for ages. When you experience whiter teeth, fresher breath, reduced plaque and cavities (as well as the many other benefits) it truly does compel you to continue.


Have you tried oil pulling? What changes have you noticed?

Please share below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


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15 Simple Strategies To Detox Naturally

detox naturally

Before getting Lyme disease 5 years ago, then recently learning I have several MTHFR gene mutations (which essentially make it more difficult for my body to detox) I wasn’t intentional about detoxifying.

I made healthy choices, but detoxification was not part of my daily routine.

However, now that I know the cumulative effect of the environmental toxins, medications, pesticides and preservatives I’m making better choices in an effort to heal and strengthen my body.

Maybe you’ve had a similar experience?

What Is Detox?

Although detoxification (detox) might be thought of as trendy, the process of cleansing the body has been around for centuries, influencing many cultures. Both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine include methods for removing toxins from the body. (1)

According to Dr. B.J. Hardick,

“Toxins have been a known problem from the very beginning of medicine and healing.”

Whether you realize it or not, your body is exposed to all sorts of toxins every day. From pesticides on fruits and vegetables to breathing in environmental toxins.

So, how can you detox your body from these harmful substances?

And is detox something you can do once or twice a year and call it good? 

Actually, the best approach is making it a part of your normal routine, making a lifestyle change.

And although this might sound a bit daunting at first, here are fifteen simple strategies to help you detox naturally. Many of them are easier than you might expect.

Ways To Detox Naturally

1. Drink Lemon Waterdetox naturally

Drinking lemon water has many surprising benefits. Lemons are full of vitamin c, fiber and antioxidants. In addition to detox, these include healthy skin, an enhanced immune system, heart health, healthy weight and a reduced risk of many types of cancer.

2. Dry Skin Brushing

Dry brushing your skin before bathing encourages blood circulation, assists with lymph drainage and helps shed dead skin.  You can buy a dry skin brush on Amazon for very little money. This is the dry skin brush I have and it works great!

3. Sweat

Taking a hot bath with epsom salts, sitting in a sauna, or exercising hard enough to break a good sweat are all effective ways to get rid of harmful toxins.

After researching portable saunas for a couple of years, my sweet husband bought me this one for Christmas and I love it.

4. Get A Massage

Deep tissue massage releases toxins. Just make sure to drink plenty of water to flush the toxins out of your system afterwards!

5. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is not only delicious and antioxidant-rich. The naturally occurring polyphenols in green tea fight free radicals in the body and promote liver detox.

6. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting promotes cellular repair through a cleansing process called autophagy. When our diets are poor this wears out our cells, particularly the mitochondria, which need to be replaced. Intermittent fasting gives the body time to focus on this essential cleansing process.

For more on this you may want to read The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting.

7. Exercisedetox naturally

When you work out it helps flush toxins out of your organs and muscles. Even if you don’t have time for a long, intense workout session, a gentle walk, yoga or even simple stretching of the large muscle groups can free up toxins.

8. Probiotics

Taking a daily probiotic supplement introduces good bacteria into the gut.

Eating yogurt and fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut and drinking kombucha (fermented green or black tea) are all probiotic-rich.

These products can promote good bacteria and kill off bad bacteria. By balancing the bacteria in the gut you can get rid of many toxins.

9. Manage Stress

When we mull stressful situations over in our mind they can create a toxic environment for our bodies. Chronic stress makes the body more susceptible to illness and disease, so it is essential to address and manage stress in your life.

Many people find that a long walk does wonders for their mental state and helps put things in perspective. Others prefer to talk to a friend of loved one. Another effective idea is to write what you’re feeling. A gratitude journal can help you keep a positive mindset, especially if you write things you’re grateful for.

10. Eat Superfoods

Superfoods including cabbage, beets, garlic, ginger, seaweed, cauliflower, flax seeds and pomegranate support the liver in eliminating toxins naturally.

11. Eat Whole Foodsdetox naturally

Whole foods are free from artificial additives and preservatives. Examples of whole foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. These are the healthiest, most naturally detoxifying foods we can eat….which leads me to #12….

12. Avoid White Sugar, White Flour and Preservatives

As much as we may love (or be addicted to) sugar it is just plain bad for you.

(Please don’t shoot the messenger.) I know how disappointing (yet not surprising) this news is to some of us. I have had a sweet tooth since before I could talk. Just ask my mom.

But sugar has not been a good friend to us.

In addition, white bread, white rice and white pasta are considered simple carbohydrates and can be harmful for your health.

Also, foods that come in boxes and packages tend to have lots of preservatives and additives that add to our toxic load. We are can stay at our healthiest when we focus on eating whole foods and foods closest to their natural form.

13. Prioritize Sleep

Setting aside plenty of time to sleep each night gives the body time to recover from the day’s events and recharge for what’s to come. Not making sleep a priority can have a negative impact on health over time.

14. Eat More Fiber

Include plenty of fiber in each of your meals to make sure your body is able to….ahem….keep things moving.

And that’s a good thing. The (constipating) alternative allows harmful toxins to build up in the digestive system which can negatively impact your entire body.

15. Avoid Environmental Toxins

These include smog, secondhand smoke, pollution, noxious fumes and others.

We can control our exposure to some of these factors. For example, if you work in an area with many pollutants, getting fresh air when you have a break can help reduce your exposure. And every bit can help.

But I realize some of us can’t help where we work or live so just do your best and don’t worry about the rest. (My kids love it when I say this. :))


So I recently started making videos and posting them to YouTube.

I would love it if you would follow me there at LoriGeurin

Please check out my short video below which shows 5 Easy Ways To Detox. If you find it helpful please give it a thumbs up. Thanks so much!

The Takeaway

I hope this list and video gave you some useful ideas for how to detox naturally. You may already be doing some of them. And, if you’re like me, you might want to concentrate on improving on a few that don’t occur organically in your daily routine.

Carving out a little extra time in your day to drink lemon water and green tea, exercising, eating fiber-rich whole foods, taking probiotics, prioritizing sleep and dealing with stress are all some effective strategies to help the body detox naturally.


How do you detox?

Please leave your suggestions below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


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Fun In Nashville: Cupcake ATM, The Parthenon & Girls Day Out

fun in Nashville

If you missed my earlier post I shared about a recent trip we took to Tennessee.

It’s easy to have fun in Nashville! We’ve been a few times over the years. There’s so much to see and do. I wanted to share a little more of our trip with you if you’re able to visit the area sometime.

Many people enjoy the slower pace of the South and even the Southern accents when visiting there, especially if you’re from another part of the country.

(You may want to learn how to speak with a Southern drawl in How To Speak With A Southern Drawl, The Heimlich Maneuver And A Mini-Vacation To Nashville.)

The Parthenon At Centennial Park

fun in Nashville
The girls at The Parthenon in Centennial Park.

Centennial Park is located 2 miles west of downtown Nashville. It features a walking trail, sunken garden, dog park, pond and a variety of aquatic life.

A section of the park contains historic wartime memorabilia, including cannons from the Civil War, an Air Force fighter jet from the Korean War and a locomotive.

The Parthenon is the only full-scale replica of the original Greek temple. The building is quite impressive in size and the detail is impeccable.

The girls and I enjoyed a girls day out touring downtown Nashville on foot, then capping off our adventures at The Parthenon. It’s a wonderful place for capturing memorable photos!

There is an art gallery inside The Parthenon you can pay a bit extra to view, but we had to get back to the hotel to pick up D for dinner so we didn’t do this.

Here’s some more information on Centennial Park and The Parthenon.

fun in Nashville
The girls walking down Broadway in Nashville.

Fun In Nashville: Live Music

We walked down to the Cumberland riverfront and the girls took a few pictures.

We went to Ryman Auditorium, which was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 until 1974.

There, I took the girls picture with a life-size bronze statue of Little Jimmy Dickens. He was 4 foot, 11 inches tall. Apparently the statue is fairly new and was recently introduced, along with a Bill Monroe statue, by country music greats Brad Paisley and Ricky Skaggs on June 7, 2017.

We strolled the Broadway strip, otherwise known as country music row. Saw lots of boot and cowboy hat shops, and tons of restaurants.

Live music is playing all the time. And not just country music, but also jazz, rock, and bluegrass.

Fortunately I did a little research ahead of time and found some inexpensive parking in the downtown Nashville Public Library parking garage. It was $4.50, I think. The library is pretty impressive on its own.

Pizza And A Cupcake ATM With Cousins

fun in Nashville
The girls and their cousins in Nashville pre-cupcake ATM (AKA, sugar rush).

After our trip to the city, the girls and I returned to the hotel, picked up David (who had attended educational conferences all day) and drove to meet my sweet sister-in-law and her kids for pizza and dessert.

Because my sister-in-law lives in Nashville she knows some of the best places to eat and fun things to do. She had some great suggestions and I appreciate her sharing them with me!

We went to a fun cupcake place called Sprinkles for dessert. They have a cupcake ATM, you can order cupcakes 24/7 and they come out in a cute little box. I tried a dark chocolate one and it was amazing!

The kids had fun and we enjoyed getting together!

The Takeaway

fun in Nashville
The girls and I with Johnny Cash at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Some of us were trying to figure out if he was real or not, thus the wide-eyed expressions. #helookssoreal (The bag behind my back reveals we had just returned from the Opry Mills shopping mall.)

As you can probably tell, we had fun in Nashville last week. It was nice to see some new scenery for a few days.

I hope you are able to get away or do something fun and out of the ordinary this summer.

We all need times of refreshing in our lives, whether it’s spending time with family or friends, listening to great music, taking a mini-vacation, going on a walk in nature or even using a cupcake ATM.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can bring us the greatest joy.


What do you enjoy doing when you need a break from the everyday routine?

Please share below in the comment section! I love connecting with you!


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How To Speak With A Southern Drawl, The Heimlich Maneuver And A Mini-Vacation To Nashville

Southern drawl

Hey y’all!

How’s that for a Southern accent? Hope y’all don’t mind me tryin’ it out on ya. 😉

So, part of our family (David, the girls and I because the boys had work) just returned from a fun mini-trip to Nashville, Tennessee. And I’m pretty sure if I stayed much longer I’d pick up their Southern drawl fairly quickly.

Why?

  1. Because I like the relaxed vibe of the South.
  2. Because when I was in college my friends from the “Northern” U.S. commented on my Southern accent and I was asked several times if I was from Texas. True story. This, despite the fact that I was born and raised in good ‘ole Southwest Missouri.

    Southern drawl
    Cowboy boots never go out of style.
  3. I like cowboy boots.
  4. And cowboy hats.

I guess this goes to show that everyone has an accent of one kind or another.

And our perception of another person’s “accent” is influenced by where we’re from and the dialect we’re used to hearing and speaking.

Interesting, right?

Drawn To His Southern Drawl

So, we had a discussion about accents on the 7-hour trip down (or east from Southwest Missouri). Like how David lost his Southern accent and how long you have to live somewhere (such as Nashville) before you start to talk like the locals.

D is originally from Kentucky and when I met him in college I was drawn to his Southern drawl.

He sat behind me in a class and after several days of hearing his smooth Kentucky accent, always the curious one that I am, I just had to turn around and put a face to that voice.

And boy was I glad that I did. 😉

(He’ll love me for saying that.)

The rest they say is history…

Well there was a bit more than that.

Southern drawl
Carrots are nutritious and high in beta carotene.

Like the time he gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in our college cafeteria (shout out to Meller’s Cafeteria! where our son, Cooper now works) when I choked on a very large carrot.

For real.

My airway was completely obstructed and he saved my life!

Maybe that sealed the deal?

But I’m pretty sure I knew he was the one way before that.

Based on the Southern drawl and all.

Y’all.

Why Learn To Speak With A Different Accent?

Southern drawl
We saw lots of cowboy boots and guitars in Nashville. Boot, scootin’ boogie.

There are different reasons for wanting to learn to speak with a Southern drawl:

  • if you’re an actor, you can expand your repertoire
  • it’s fun!
  • to impress your friends and family
  • to impersonate someone from the South

Okay, so maybe not the last one.

If you enjoy learning new things like I do, you may like this next part.

Tips For Speaking With A Southern Accent

  • Speak slowly–People from the South tend to draw out their words, especially the vowel sounds. There’s a lilt to their speech and a single syllable vowel can become two syllables. For example, “fill” becomes “fee-hill.”
  • Drop the “g”s. So words that end in “ing” will lose the “g”. For example, “eating” becomes “eatin'” and “running” becomes “runnin’.” Some of us tend to do this in the Ozarks too.
  • Use “y’all” instead of “you all” every chance you get. Even better, and a slight variation, try using “all y’all.” This is my personal favorite.
  • Remember your manners. Generally speaking, Southerners are polite. So try, “‘Scuse me”, “Thank ya”, “Yes M’am”, and “Sir” on for size.
  • Learn and practice some local phrases. Over the years I’ve been entertained by D’s long list of “Kentuckyism’s. These are phrases, or sayings, he grew up hearing in his home state of Kentucky. Many of them he learned from his Granny Mildred, I think. Examples of such colloquialisms could include: “As scarce as deviled eggs after a church picnic” or “I love them roastin’ ears (corn on the cob)” and “If the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”
  • It’s important to keep in mind when we’re talking like someone from the South (or any other region or country) that we show sensitivity to their culture so we don’t cause hurt feelings or offense.

Here’s a video that can help you understand Southerners and some of the things they say. (I realize the still video picture below goes against my comment above about showing cultural sensitivity, but thought it was one of the more informative videos so chose to share it anyway. Hopefully it doesn’t offend anyone out there…this is definitely not my intention.)

The Takeaway

It can be fun to visit new places and observe and interact with different people.

Nashville is an especially fun place to travel to. It’s rich in Southern pride and tradition.

Every person has a unique accent. There are different reasons you might want to learn to speak with a Southern accent. Learning new things can be fun! Or maybe you’re thinking of moving to Nashville to work at becoming a country music star. More power to ya.

Either way, I hope you continue learning new things, and exploring new horizons. Most of all, I hope you had fun reading this post!


Do you like learning new things? Do you enjoy traveling, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures? 

Please share below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


For more on our trip to the South, you may enjoy: Fun In Nashville: Cupcake ATM, The Parthenon & Girls Day Out

If you enjoyed this, you might want to check out:

Learn how to do the Heimlich Maneuver here.

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