5 Things I learned about Natural Hair

Thoughts

I had completely resolved myself about not posting anything about hair, but oh well. My hair is part of me and part of my lifestyle after all so bear with me. Even if you don’t relate, maybe you have a friend/acquaintance/family member who does so make sure to share!

One of the most common remarks I get when it comes to taking care of my hair is :” woah! it must be hard to take care of!” or I hear my natural haired friends say that ” natural hair is hard to manage/hard to take care of” etc. Well surprisingly (or not), I can’t relate! I always thought my hair was very easy to do and manage! By always I mean when I was the one to take care of my own hair. I don’t know about how my mom and aunt felt about doing my hair lol. It takes me 3 minutes at most to do my hair at night or in the morning ( I know I have timed it). Sure it takes me about half an hour to wash if I am just washing and about an hour at least if I am deep conditioning or doing any kind of treatment , but I guess it’s on how you see things. I see doing my hair as something as natural as brushing my teeth and taking a shower rather than a nuisance or a pain in the butt. So amongst all the opinions about how natural hair is hard to do, well I beg to differ.

August 2016 will make 2 years after my second big chop. While I don’t know my hair type, I hope this helps some curly heads out there. Here are 5 things I learned about natural hair:

  1. Moisturize

Okay I know this is a no brainer, but in the past I had made the mistake of thinking that styling products like curl enhancers moisturize hair. I see some of my friends make the same mistake. Water is the best moisturizer of course, so to moisturize I have realized that leave in conditioners and moisturizers that are water based are best to keep hair moisturized. I also use the LOC method and that keeps my curls moisturized. I saw the LOC method posted on a Facebook hair page and tried it and found that it works wonders for me. I did not come up with it. I’d put the link on here if I remembered the source, but I don’t. If you do, please feel free to comment it below and I’ll update the post. Basically, I put my leave in conditioner followed by an oil ( coconut oil because… life.) and I follow by some type of hair creme and voila! I do make sure I re-moisturize when my curls start to get dry, but they don’t get dry for days when I use this method. Although nowadays, I am using as little product in my hair as possible, (I mostly use water and leave in conditioner now), I still recommend this method. Here’s an unfiltered picture of my hair with no product in it. Maybe you can tell what my hair type is!

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My hair with no product in it

2.  Trim 

I have seen so many of my friends holding on to dead ends just to preserve the length of their hair. What I found out about this is when I need to trim my hair, my ends start getting tangled and I end up losing more hair than necessary when styling or washing. Ends that need to be trimmed create tangles and knots that cause hair to break. I always make sure I mind my ends especially with moisturizing and trimming. Holding on to bad ends won’t make your hair grow longer and stronger. So don’t worry, let go of these bad ends and once they grow back you’ll have healthier hair!

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Another close up unfiltered shot of my hair with no product

3. Massage Your Scalp

If you know me, you know I have a scalp massager and everything lol. I LOVE scalp massages! Even more once I found out that it helps blood flow in your scalp and promotes hair growth. I massage my scalp every night before bed for at least 10 minutes. It feels so good! so what do you have to lose? Give it a try!

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texture shot

4. Find the Right Products

I have struggled with this one. When I did my first big chop, I was a total product junkie! I would buy anything and everything with no harsh chemicals that was for hair. This would all have been wasted money if my brother didn’t help in using all these unnecessary hair products ( Shout out to my homie yo! ). It was bad I tell you! My bathroom was full of things I wasn’t even using because I’d use them a couple of times and not like them so I’d just stop and buy something else. As a result, I never used anything long enough to be able to tell what worked and what didn’t. Plus I was combining brands so I wasn’t able to say whether or not the product genuinely didn’t work for me or if it didn’t work because I used it with some other product. Anyway, long story short, I decided one day to only use the trader joe’s shampoo and conditioner and to stick with one leave in conditioner for at least a month. At the time, I think it was Organix coconut oil leave in. And that worked! I was able to realize that I love trader joe’s conditioner ( I still use it today) and I did like the Organix leave in paired with coconut oil even though I don’t use it anymore. I stopped being a product junkie altogether mostly because my hair LOVES coconut oil and well because I figured out the error of my ways and found the right products for me. Anyway I hope you are not being a product junkie like I was. Your wallet and hair won’t appreciate it.

5. Embrace the Shrinkage

Tough one eh? What I hear most when it comes to how much shrinkage I have is :” woah your hair is quite long! why don’t you stretch them?” Well I don’t because I embrace the shrinkage. Some days I’d have a big fro and other days when the weather decides it, I’d have a small one. I have learned to embrace it. I mean of course yes there are some hairstyles I might want to do that requires less shrinkage than another, but there are also some I wouldn’t be able to do if it wasn’t for shrinkage. Once I let go of the idea that shrinkage was an annoyance, surprisingly enough my hair didn’t shrink as much and combined with my finding the right products and methods, I have had more good hair days than bad ones!

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Welp.

 

I hope this was of some help.Please comment below if you have tips of your own to share, to say hi, or if this helped in any way. I’ll post about what I currently use and hair regimen if you are interested. If not, thank you for reading always.

 

Love

 

Lori

Message me here: contact@lorisr.com

3 Reasons Why You should keep a Prayer Journal

Thoughts

I have had a prayer journal for as long as I could remember. I was always very fond of writing and I find that writing down my thoughts usually help me keep them on the positive side of the spectrum. I don’t usually journal about events that happened during the day, more like how I felt that day and why. I also write ideas, projects, plans, bible study notes etc. But to be honest, nothing is more satisfying to me than to write my prayers down. I usually write them as letters to my beloved Father and I just love being able to read them over and over. Here are 3 reasons why you should keep a prayer journal.

 

  1. You can keep track of your answered prayers

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One of the best feelings of keeping a prayer journal is being able to look back and read over the prayers and requests that you wrote down before, and realizing today that they have been answered. You see I have realized that it is very easy to forget about our present blessings until we realized that a day before or a year before, the blessings that we are enjoying today were things that we were desperately praying for. On June 21, 2016 I wrote in my prayer journal for God to intervene for me so that I may have an interview with a specific company that I’d rather not name. On Monday June 27th, I was headed to my interview and opened my journal to pray before going. I started reading old prayers and couldn’t help but smile when I came across the one about the interview. On July 5th 2016 at 11:00PM, I wrote in my journal about going to orientation with my brother and having a place to stay and everything planned. On July 7th, 2016, there I was at orientation with my mother and brother with everything planned and taken care of. I could go on and on about this, but I wanted to give recent examples.

 

2.  You can use it to rekindle your hope in God

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Okay I know that sometimes we all lose hope or start doubting God or our relationship with him. Although yes, you should read your Bible and pray about it, but sometimes I don’t even feel like I have the strength to pray. I then open my prayer journal and start reading past prayers and I am reminded of who the god I serve is. I am reminded of my relationship with Him and of how I wouldn’t want to give that away for anything. It is funny that as I am inspired to write this today, I am living this part and reading my prayers over along with the Bible has sure brought the Joy of the Lord back to me.

 

 

3. You are more aware of the relationship you have with God

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I am not saying that I write every single prayer in my prayer journal because I pray multiple times a day. Before I eat, before I drive, before I make a decision etc. And these prayers are usually short ones in the quietness of my heart; But I do reserve one hour in the morning and one hour at night to sit down calmly with my Bible, my highlighters, my prayer journal, and worship songs. I write down my prayers, I bring my thoughts to my Father, my concerns etc. One thing I have realized from doing that is that I am more aware of what goes on between me and God when I keep my journal. I am able to have on concrete paper what I need to work on, what God is doing in me and in my life and in others’ life. Not only am I able to witness them in my life and in others’ life, I am able to look at it happen from another angle by keeping a prayer journal. I find that to be a plus if you are working on bettering your relationship with God.

 

I was inspired to write this today out of nowhere so I hope it inspires and helps someone. How has keeping a prayer journal helped you? If you would like a post about my process for keeping my prayer journal ( how it looks, what I start with, how I pray etc.)  feel free to comment and let me know! Feel free to comment even if you just want to say hi also! 🙂

 

Love,

 

Lori

Not Having it Together Yet in Your Early 20s is Totally Okay

Thoughts, Uncategorized

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was desperately looking for something to do to show out for herself. Everyone around her seemed to have talent and to be up to something except for her she said; so she was trying to learn as many things as possible or trying to come up with things like creating a blog, or writing or anything she thought she could get her hands on. I thought of encouraging her  if she was doing this for the right reasons until I found myself in her.

Today’s world puts so much pressure on young people nowadays! It’d have you feel that in your early 20’s you need to have graduated, be a home owner, have traveled the world, be successful, be married or in a relationship, own your own business, and be popular on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube and whatever else there is.

When I think about it, social media and comparison seem to have a lot to with it. Let’s go back to my friend. She felt that everyone around her was up to something. When I asked who was everyone, she told me social media friends or people she knew in real life posting about their new job, travels, graduation, blogs, YouTube channels etc.

Hmm.. I thought. Haven’t we all been there! Social media are not what they are cut up to be. People are more likely to post about successes than failures. You will not see how many rejection letters they received or how they struggled for anything they post about. While I do not necessarily blame it, I do not condone comparing your life to others’. What you only see or hear others talk about is what they choose to share with you, so comparing your full life story to bits and pieces of another’s life is just not fair to you.

I am here to tell you that in your early 20’s, not having it together yet is totally okay. You are probably a student, working towards certain goals that you would like to accomplish, or maybe you are not a student but you have dreams and you look at other people’s successes and think to yourself that you should have been doing more or doing better. Well, I am totally here for having other people inspire you, but if being inspired by what someone is doing is borderline making you feel bad about yourself, you need to rethink this.

Each person is on their own timeline according to God’s plan for their life. Comparing your journey to someone else’s is trying to fit someone else’s timeline to your own. That won’t quite work now will it? I recently read the book of John and one thing I remember writing is how Jesus would mention that his “time had not yet come”. It reminded me that there are specific times for certain things. The fact that someone graduated today and you are working towards graduating but you are not there yet does not mean that you have failed. It maybe   means that you are moving according to God’s timing for your life! and if there is one thing I learned, it is that it’s the best timing there is!

My friend also wanted to find things to do that she’d seen others’ been successful at. Hmm.. while this can be a good thing, it has its flaws.  I am all here for finding yourself, finding your purpose, your path, and God’s plan for your life, but if the reason you choose to go into something is because you see others do it, I think you should rethink this yet again. God gave us gifts and talents according to His will for us. Maybe someone else’s ministry is singing, maybe another’s is creativity, or leading, writing, or whatever else, but that does not mean that it is your own. Appropriating another’s path won’t make you as happy as they are if it’s not your gift.

Find your purpose, find what you are good at and do that. The rest will follow according to God’s will. Move at your own pace and try to enjoy the ride along the way. And the next time you find yourself being discouraged by comparing your life to others’, remember God created you unique in His image, with gifts that maybe you have no idea you have and that He is going through this journey with you. Pray and ask Him for guidance with your life. Trust in Him and in His timing.

Love,

Lori

Wynwood through my Eyes (Lens)

Through My Lens, Travel

I live for colorful walls/places, beautiful artsy cities, and living art so as soon as I found out about the Miami art district, I have wanted to go there. I recently visited  and I was not disappointed.

The streets were filled with more people than I thought, the warm air smelled of food, occasional cigarette smoke, and something new. You know like when you just bought new clothes or new shoes. It was pretty hot, 92 degrees Fahrenheit; But it’s Florida, I am used to it, and who cares!   Colors! Colors everywhere! art galleries, fashion boutiques, food, beautiful stores, and so on. I walked around for a while, rested, then walked some more. I took a lot of pictures of course and was completely amazed by the art and even the people there. There is something about walking on the streets and just “vibing” to the beauty around.

I mean look at these colorful walls!

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yes to colors!

 

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And to beautiful patterned walls!

I don’t know who the artists are, but in my head we are best friends or even family because so much talent! I hope they are all getting the recognition they deserve somewhere as beautiful as their art. I usually see God everywhere, especially in the gifts He gave humans and I can say I saw as much in Wynwood.

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There also were quotes everywhere along with little sayings here and there where you’d least expect it… on the floors and walls. Here are some of my favorite.

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Always

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I also spotted some lovers’ locks by a store and my mother mentioned that bridge that used to be full of locks somewhere in France.

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Locks

 

Here are a couple more pictures. I hope they’ll make you smile!

 

I will certainly go back for one of these tours that they usually have at night or before real life kicks in to remind me that I am not as care free as I thought. Feel free to join me!! We can be exploring buddies!

Until then,

Love

Lori

8 Books I Think Everyone Should Read

Thoughts

I have always loved reading for as far as I can remember. Nothing compares to a good book to me and I always find myself liking the books better than the movies. I read fiction just like I read non-fiction. My favorites are romance, Christian/spiritual, and mystery books . As a child, I LOVED the “Comtesse de Ségur” books. If you grew up in a French/Creole- speaking country you might know it. It’s the author of “Les Malheurs de Sophie”. I still have the books today! I think they are AMAZING children books with lots of lessons in them. You can find them on Amazon, but they are written in French. Anyway, if  you are a reader like I am, here are 8 fiction books I have read and re-read that made a difference in my life or that I just over-loved.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Where to start with this one! I have read it more than five times and I am not exaggerating! This book is pure gold. It talks about purpose, the accomplishment of dreams, faith, love, letting go, and so on. When I finished reading this book, I found myself questioning so many things in my life. How I love, who I love and if I loved in a way that let the other person feel free etc. I also thought about God and faith and the answers to prayers and believing in the accomplishments of dreams. I can say that this book really influenced the way I view these things. Writing this make me want to go find it and read it one more time. I probably made a lot of my friends read it ( lol I am not sorry. They loved it!).  The book is about a young man traveling the world looking for its Personal Legend and meeting people along the way. Wondering what Personal Legend is? Get yourself this book and read it. I don’t want to ruin it for you.

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

Seeing a trend here? yes, I know! I LOVE Paulo Coelho! I had just as much fun reading this one! I read it a couple of times and I don’t think I’ll ever be tired of it. It is a book full of magic, the universe, and the unity that exists between the two. It’s also about being true to oneself and finding the courage to go through with one’s path. Athena was fascinating to me! It is a book of fiction and although I can’t say that I share the views of the main characters on some things, I still found it to be a beautiful story. I mean that’s the whole point of fiction right? This book took me into a whole magical place of spiritual beings and love. I still think that everyone should read this one whether or not they are into stories about magic and things related. I am pretty sure you’ll learn something.

The Magic by Rhonda Byrne

This one fell into my lap just when I needed it I like to say. I don’t usually go for “self-help” books as they call them, but this one really taught me a thing or two about gratitude. Now I am debating if this book should have been at the top of the list… Anyway, I read it once, just once and it was more than enough. I still practiced some of the things I read  daily and it is truly a beautiful experience. This book talks about the importance and joy that comes with simply being grateful daily. I also really liked the fact that the author gave real life steps and experiences to help the reader with the process. I took it seriously when I read it and it changed my whole perspective on things. Maybe if you do too, you’ll have a similar experience or even a better one! Who knows!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chboski

I LOVE this book! It literally spoke to my soul as I could totally recognize parts of myself in some of the characters. I also love psychology books and I think this one has a psychological component to it. I borrowed it from the library and loved it so much that I had to buy it and have it for myself. I loved both the movie AND the book and that rarely happens! Maybe I loved the movie because Emma Watson is in it and I LOVE her ( Okay Fangirl moment here), but yeah. It’s about  three teenagers who meet in high school. The story talks about family struggles, psychological struggles and of course, love/relationship struggles. This book is a masterpiece to me! I won’t ruin it for you, but if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book yet do so! ( this totally wasn’t an order I promise).

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Okay, I know… You probably saw the movie or heard of it, but I must say the movie is nothing compared to the book! ( At least in my opinion). This book made me cry, smile and laugh. It’s about two cancer survivors who meet during support group and fall in love. I loved how sweet and real it was. I also watched the movie, but I didn’t like it ( yes I said it). The movie was okay , but not as raw and deep as the book was to me (sorry if you’re a fan). If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book yet, read the book first so you don’t ruin the story. Plus, everyone knows that once we’ve seen the movie first we lose interest in wanting to read the book.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Powell

Since we’ve been talking about love and romance, I thought I’d add this one in here too. I love this book. At first, I thought it was just going to be another high school mushy love story, but it wasn’t. Although it was about high school sweethearts, this was one of the most realistic love stories I’ve read. I think Eleanor and Park can teach us a thing or two about young love, romance, and being in high school.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

When I first read this book, I was really young and did not love it as much as I do today. Maybe it’s because the meaning I find in it now, I did not find then. It made me cry more than once. This book paints the aspects of the futility of the adult existence along with solitude, friendship, imagination, purpose, and sadness. It’s about an aviator who meets a little boy in the desert who travels from one planet to another. If you’ve read it when you were younger, I suggest you read it again. You might discover some new things in there just like I did! Or maybe you can read it to reminisce about that 7-year-old boy/girl that you once were!

Every Day by David Levithan

At first this book was kind of weird to me, but in a good way. It’s about a soul who travels from one body to another ( it can’t help it) until he meets a girl and falls in love. Actually, I can’t accurately say that it’s a boy or a girl because technically “it” has been both. ( I told you it was weird! but good nonetheless). It was a sweet story and while reading it I couldn’t wait to finish it. Check it out if you’re into unusual love stories!

 

Currently reading: Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White and The Bible

 

I hope you liked this list and if you do end up reading one of these let me know how you liked it! I probably will update this list as I remember more titles. Also, if you have any book suggestions, feel free to comment the titles and I’ll check them out! Click on the titles for where to find them ( I usually get them from Amazon). The library is also a good option!

Love,

Lori

 

Disclaimer: I just posted the links to these books just in case you were wondering where to find them or where I got them from. I am not associated with any of the authors or sellers or anything. xoxo 

 

 

 

 

5 Things I did in Puerto Rico and Loved

Travel

For Spring break a couple of weeks ago, I visited San Juan Puerto Rico and it was amazing! I loved the colors, the people, the culture there, and the welcoming atmosphere. If you haven’t visited yet, I recommend it. Just in case you are planning to visit and are looking for things to do, here are five things I did while I was there and think everyone should do too.

1) Visit Old San Juan

If you are into photography like I am, there are tons of amazing photo or photo shoot opportunities!! Old San Juan is just beautiful. The magical and colorful streets, the people, the smell of food being cooked, the colors of the different art pieces give it that small town vibe. We took the time to walk around more than once and every time there was something new to discover. From good restaurants to bars and shopping places, Old San Juan is a very touristic   place. The food there is a little pricey, but you are on vacation right? Plus, the food is really good so for a one-time thing, it might be worth it.

 

2) Visit Castillo San Felipe Del Morro 

Located in The Old San Juan area, this castle was constructed in the 16th century and was designed to protect the entrance of the San Juan Bay from enemies coming from the sea. There is a lot of history into this monument. It was amazing to me to see how grandiose this place is! The entrance is just gorgeous with miles and miles of green area. Coming there, I remember saying:” It’s like I have died. And woke up in heaven just now.” That’s how beautiful the scenery was. Inside the castle, you can see where they stored  gunpowder, secret passages and so on. There is also an amazing view of the sea up there. Even if you are not into history or historical backgrounds you should visit! Even if it’s for the breathtaking views. Not far from this castle, there is also the Castillo de San Cristobal which is a bit smaller than the previously mentioned above. ( More pictures soon)

 

This is part of the area surrounding the castle

3) Visit El Yunque Rainforest

This Rainforest is not far from San Juan.  The drive may be a bit dangerous as you are driving into the mountains at about 2000 ft of altitude and over. It was also fun driving up there amongst the beautiful trees. Besides from just the forest, this place has hiking trails and viewing towers with breathtaking views. I talked about the view from the castle earlier, but that one is nothing compared to the view from the towers at El Yunque. Also, there are waterfalls there and a lake in which you can swim. They even have a picnic area! So even if you are not into hiking, you can always relax by the waterfalls or at the picnic area. We hiked for hours, but the soreness was worth it because the views were out of this earth! I will upload pictures later on.

 

4) Visit Cueva del Indio

The Indian Caves are located in Arecibo which is about an hour and a half from San Juan.  You might have to rent a car, but it’s totally worth it. Not a lot of people know about it so it won’t be as crowded with tourists as the other places ( you’re welcome). You are charged about 3-4 dollars for parking  and 2-3 dollars per person to walk in. Our host told us about this place and we were amazed by the beauty of it. If you are not into hiking and physical activities this might not be for you. We hiked to the top of the rocky hill and the view… The view!!! Okay! I’ll stop lol. We climbed down the caves which were pretty scary as we had to hold on to rocks and such. Like I said, this might not be for people who are afraid of heights. You also have to walk across exposed limestone to get to the caves and they are sharp so you need to be careful not to fall. The caves were pretty nice. There were bats inside; sleeping of course since it was daytime. The sea was raging on one side of the caves but inside was pretty calm although there was water there too. There are drawings on the walls of the cave. The mountains there are shaped like a bird which is pretty cool. In the first picture below you can see the head of the bird. More pictures will be posted later on.

 

Can you see the head of the bird?

  

 5) Visit a Puerto Rican dancing bar/restaurant

I must say, I am usually the stay at home reading a book person who wouldn’t necessary have the idea to go dancing, but I am glad I did! I love to dance but I am not as good as I would want to when it comes to latin dances. I have Hispanic and latina friends who have taught me before and I am so grateful for them, but I still can’t say that I am an expert. When our host suggested that we go out, I was a little reluctant, but my friend and I wanted to go dancing for the longest so we obliged. We went to the “Boricua” which is a dancing bar in San Juan. I must say Puerto Ricans are such beautiful and warm people! I mean just wonderful! I love them! We played pool ( my first time ever and I did pretty bad of course! But people were cheering me on so that made up for it lol) and danced until we were tired. There also was a beautiful singer that  night with an amazing voice. We had such a great time that we were reluctant to leave. If I wasn’t starving I would have protested when we left at 2 AM.

I also went to the beach but that’s another story. 😉

Until next time!

Love,

Lori

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You can tell who was winning right? lol, I am on the right side.( Photo courtesy of Andreas)

 

 

 

2016 is a Leap Year and I am Diving Into It

Thoughts

This year has been all about letting go of fear and stepping out in faith to me. I must say that it is going well so far. From traveling solo- ish ( more about that soon) to just approaching strangers, I have truly surprised myself and it feels good. Much better, it feels amazing! Sometimes we don’t know what we are missing out on by holding on to unnecessary fear until we let go.

I was always so afraid of going out there and do what I wanted. I remember back in 5th grade, I did not submit my drawing to a contest I could have won because I was too scared. Just like I waited until high school to take a dance class because I was too afraid and too shy and it goes on and on. I have decided to never let fear hold me back again and I am taking action towards that goal day by day. I mean no it isn’t an easy thing to do, but it is so worth it. I started by taking small actions like speaking to a stranger first ( anyone who knows me knows I never do this lol) or just by being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Before I knew it, I was boarding a plane to a new destination, renting cars, and booking rooms! These are things I’ve always wanted to do but was always putting off because of my irrational fears of the unknown.

I am all here for personal growth and truly living life and that’s exactly what happened. I have done things in the past couple of months that scared me, but made me oh so happy! I am talking about the “Oh my gosh I might die” fear and you know what? I would do it all over again! I am claiming 2016 the right way and I am so ready to love, laugh, and live bigger, bolder, and better. Maybe you should too!

Love,

Lori