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Update Bookmarks! September 18, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Uncategorized.
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We have finally moved to TexasBanter.com. All posts, reviews, and giveaways will be held there from now on. We will no longer be posting here so in order to visit the new site, please update any buttons, bookmarks, and blog rolls to http://texasbanter.com. We will still keep this old blog around just in case we missed something when moving everything or someone doesn’t get a chance to update yet.

Updates September 13, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Uncategorized.
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I know it’s “touch and go” while I get the new TexasBanter.com all situated. But there are a couple of updates I’d like you to know:

1. When you are signing up to subscribe to my blog, you are now signing up  for TexasBanter.com.

2. Adding the Texas Banter button will currently link to TexasBanter.com. I am in the works of trying to find a new theme/layout for the new site, then I will had new buttons but you won’t have to change your current ones if that happens. If you do have buttons on your site, I do ask that you change the link from http://texasheartland.wordpress.com to http://www.texasbanter.com.

3. I am in the process of changing all my information under Texas Banter to fit the new website. It will take a day or two to get everything figured out. Please be patient with me!

We’ve moved! September 10, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in blog, Blogging, blogs, Domains, Feelings, Internet, random, thoughts, Websites.
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movedYou know how about a month ago that I was saying Manders and I were gonna have our own .com? Well, because of a few things, we couldn’t. But thanks to Manders winning a Visa gift card, we finally were able to! What happened was that we had our hosting site, just not our own domains. What can I say, we’ve never done this before.

Now, I have one current giveaway here and will have another one here as well. I had originally signed up for that specific giveaway with THIS blog (the other one didn’t exist yet) and since most of my readers know where to go for reviews/giveaways, I thought that it would seem a lot easier for them to enter than to have to switch blogs. Speaking of which, if you have signed up via e-mail through THIS specific blog, you will have to subscribe to the other one and unsubscribe from this one. After these 2 giveaways, I will no longer be posting on this one. You don’t need to subscribe to the other one right now as I don’t have everything where it should be.

If you’re interested in seeing the new Texas Banter, head over to TexasBanter.com!

Dancing September 5, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Dancing, Feelings, learning, life, random, thoughts.
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Earlier as I was watching “Meet Me In St. Louis” and it was at the part of the Winter Ball and everyone dancing. It got me to thinking that I don’t know how to dance! All I pretty much know how to do is head bang (that’s a metal head for ya) and sway. That’s all. Pretty sad, once ya think about it. At 24, I should at least know how to slow dance but I’ve never had the opportunity so I don’t even know how to do that. Well, I do know how to do the Electric Side but doesn’t everyone?

I would love to learn how to dance. I don’t mean the kind of stuff you see in the clubs because I would die if I ever had to grind on someone just to get them to notice me. I got a personality for that. But I would love to learn how to slow dance, like you see in movies because I think it’s so graceful how they move like their on air. I really don’t want to learn the ChaCha or Tango because while I have rhythm, it’s mostly sitting down and there is little chance of my feet getting tied up and falling. Line dancing probably wouldn’t be a good idea either because even sober, I look crazy dancing. I know it’s not hard to learn how to slow dance, but I’ve never had someone ask me. I sometimes have dreams that I’m slow dancing with someone and I’m so good at it, but I realize that I stink at it.

Maybe one of these years I will eventually learn the simple task of even just learning to dance without looking like an idiot because I know that’s what I must look like while dancing. I can’t head bang the rest of my life!

Late Night Thoughts September 2, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in dating, Feelings, learning, life, love, relationships, thoughts.
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Once I get in a mindset that I’m gonna do something, unless nothing else major is going on, its usually the last thing I think of as I drift off to sleep.

As I was laying in bed to fall asleep last night, my thoughts once again turned to relationships. More specifically, where my past ones went wrong. I know its not good to dwell on the past, but this wasn’t reminiscing- it was taking notes. As I thought through every past relationship, I realized it wasn’t my fault they ended. It was their’s.

Why do I say that? Because even with my first relationship at 21, I was more mature. He was a tall blond 30-something that played video games constantly. We never talked seriously. The next relationship came a year later and only lasted 5 months because he thought he was better than my family and I. Same thing with the next one. This past relationship ended because we were just too different. He was a thug that used to steal while I had my head on straight.

I’ve realized that I have to be picky about beaus. While I’d love to still consider “Cyber Guy” (the one I had the HUGE crush on), he just lives too far. I’d never see him and phone cards cost too much to talk on the phone every day. Not to mention we hardly talk. But I still think he’s sexy. Hehe

I’m usually not picky about looks because I would hate someone to judge me because of the way I look. As far as personalities, as long as they were nice to me and my family, I didn’t mind. Maybe that’s where I went wrong. Sure, they were good-looking (as far as I thought) and they had nice personalities, but a nice personality can get you so far. As I get older, I’m starting to realize that maybe I can start being a little pickier on who I choose. I want someone with an amazing personality and a smile that makes my heart skip a beat. And maybe a goatee.

Purrfect Play Cat Toy Giveaway- ENDED September 1, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, Blog Giveaways, cats, Giveaways, Pets, Product Reviews, Reviews, thoughts.
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As you know, my house has 2 kittens that are bundles of energy- constantly trying to run, scamper, playing with each other (sometimes having needed to be pulled apart because they play too rough), playing with us humans, and playing with Mommy cat. They are at that stage where they also want to play with other things like catalogs, books, and sometimes the TV remote.

Our friends at Purrfect Play sent our kitties some toys to play with. The kittens got the Dust Bunnies (which are wool wrapped into pompoms). Even Mommy cat got a couple of Wool Balls and a Brown Organic Fleece Mouse (crafted from naturally brown organic cotton fleece) for those “needing a break” times. All of Purrfect Play’s items are organic and dye-free to keep your pet healthy without all the icky chemicals that can sometimes be found in our pet toys. They not only offer toys for kitties, they also have doggie toys and gifts for people!

tbkit1So what was the verdict of the Dust Bunnies? The kittens weren’t too sure at first but when they realized they were tbkit2toys, they loved them. They even sat up with it in their mouths. Mommy cat loved the Brown Organic Fleece Mouse (maybe because it had catnip in it) and it gave her tons of energy that she was able to play with her kittens. She also loved the Wool Balls, pawing them to where they would roll off the bed. I hadn’t seen her had that much fun in a long time! I snapped pictures of kittens Brother and Sister playing but didn’t get a chance because once Mommy cat knows she’s getting her picture taken, she stops playing.

Visit their blog to lots of fun and don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter because it’s chock full of pet toys and info!

Because our fur babies loved them, we want you to try them out too! Purrfect Play is giving a Texas Banter reader the opportunity to win 6 Wooly Dust Bunnies.

Neither kitten was given any catnip.

WIN IT

One (1) reader of Texas Banter will win 6 Wooly Dust Bunnies.

To enter, visit Purrfect Play. Come back and tell me what other item you or your dog/cat would enjoy!

THIS IS MANDATORY! “Enter me” or “Nice giveaway” does not constitute as an entry and will be removed. YOU MUST LEAVE A VALID E-MAIL TO ENTER! OPEN TO U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY.

Extra Entries (8): Leave a separate comment for each entry and/or link.

*Follow me on Twitter (Username- texasheartland.)
*Subscribe to Texas Banter Mailing List (via E-Mail, Google Reader, etc.)
*Tweet about this giveaway (profile link or status link- Enter the Purrfect Play Cat Toy Giveaway on TB! http://tinyurl.com/kkt8kq @texasheartland)
*Follow Manders on Twitter (Username- confettidreams.)
*Add my Texas Banter Button
*Blog about this giveaway
*Leave a comment on their blog.
*Subscribe to their newsletter.

The giveaway starts on Tuesday, September 1st upon going “live” and will end on Tuesday, September 15th at 11:59PM CST. Entries submitted after that time are voided and are not counted.

Winners have 48 hours to respond to the winning notification. If the winner(s) have not responded within the 48 hours, a new winner(s) will be chosen.

All winners chosen via Random.org.

Fall is coming! Fall is coming! August 31, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in fall, Feelings, fun, life, random, Seasons, summer, thoughts, winter.
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Sometime last week (I think it was Thursday), a “cool” front came through Central Texas. While it isn’t exactly “cool” by any means, except a night, it certainly has made it less hot! We have taken a break from those continuous triple digit highs and are now in the lower to mid 90’s. While most people tend to think that it is still hot while in the 90’s, it is like a sigh of relief for us Texans. After 60+ days with temperatures over 100*, 90’s are a pretty exciting thing!

Last night, around 7 pm, we took Zeus outside to play in his pool. As I stepped outside, it felt like Spring! It wasn’t humid or muggy. It wasn’t unbearably hot. It was so nice and had a little cool breeze blowing through! I didn’t want to go inside. But since Zeus got too excited and wanted to bite, we had to bring him inside. Another exciting factor is that somewhere in Indiana yesterday at like 1PM, they were at 64*! And leaves are starting to fall in other parts of the country. Yippie!

That means Fall is coming sooner (since we had such an early Summer) and that gets me excited! Goodbye flip flops, hello hoodies! While I could live in flip flops, I patiently wait for the day I can get rid of shorts and wear pants, sweaters, and my lovable hoodie. I love the feel of a chilly Fall as it sends a chill up and down my spine. I love the cool wind blowing my long black hair across my face, making my face cool. I love seeing all the trees change color. I love seeing all the little woodland (okay, city woodland) creatures come out and gather their food for the winter. And early Fall also means one thing- an early Winter! That would mean that by the time our birthday rolls around in December, it should be frigid- just like when I was younger!

I cannot tell you how excited I am that Fall is finally coming! Summer was too hot. We had little to no rain. We couldn’t take Zeus out very often (except in the evening) because of the heat so he had a lot of pent up energy in the house. All the cats did was sleep. Maybe now we can take Zeus out a couple of times a day and the cats will start running around like they used to. Yippie! Fall is coming! Fall is coming!

TB Articles: A Feline’s Body Language August 31, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, cats, family, learning, Pets.
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Its through nature that every living thing is able to communicate through body language. If a bear is angry, it will stand on it’s hind legs. If a human is happy, they will show it through their facial expression. Or if they’re anything like me, jumping up and down.

Cats aren’t that much different, though sometimes it is hard to decipher what is is your kitty is exactly saying sometimes.

If your kitty is standing in front of you, staring and meowing, they are demanding your attention. He/she most likely isn’t purring at the moment but will after a few moments of petting. But don’t feel bad if you’re in the middle of something and can’t give them your undivided attention. Cats don’t hold grudges for more than an hour. Once they realized that they aren’t gonna get petted at that exact moment, they will go find a nice quiet spot to go nap before they try it again. There are times you want to hold your kitty and they don’t want the attention. It’s only natural to have moods that don’t quite fit each other’s at that exact time.

Some breeds of cats, like the Siamese, tend to be very vocal. So if your furry companion is meowing and rubbing against your legs while you make dinner, it is common sense to know they’re hungry and want to eat. But if they’ve already eaten, then they want what you’re cooking for dinner. Rubbing against your leg when you’re not cooking is a sign that they are in a loving mood and want attention and your earliest convenience.

85% of cats don’t enjoy their stomachs being rubbed. Once they gain your trust, many should not have a problem. If they roll onto their back or even let you rub their tummy, they are saying, “I trust you. Love.”. Princess, Manders’ cat, generally doesn’t enjoy her stomach being rubbed. If she isn’t purring and you rub her tummy, she will kick and swat at your hand. If she’s in a really bad mood, she’ll even try to bite. But if she is purring, she has no problem with you petting her stomach.

Cats are genuinely happy animals. You can tell a cat is happy if they are wagging their tail, purring, or even sleeping with their stomach exposed. But if they get upset or angry, look for a puffed-up body/tail (they thing it makes them look intimidating), and they generally have their ears back. That means, “Step away and quickly!”. Never try to calm a cat that might look like it will attack. Within the hour, it will calm down. If it doesn’t calm down within a few hours, check with your vet for any signs of illness or injury.

Once you get to know your cat (or your cats breed if you have a particular one), it’s not so hard to figure out what they want!

I think I’m Ready August 29, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in dating, Feelings, learning, life, love, random, relationships, thoughts.
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You know what is so weird? That after everything my family has been through this year, I think I am ready to fall in love once again. I have matured ever since my last relationship considerably and have set my priorities straight.

My last relationship started off great- had a lot in common, enjoyed each others company, and just fell head over hills in love. I thought he was the one but as our relationship went on, I started to realize that maybe he wasn’t the one. I should have known that when we broke up, I didn’t cry much. I maybe cried one day and one night, but it wasn’t like many relationships before where I was an emotional wreck.

So why would I want a relationship after everything my family has been through? I’m much stronger than I’ve ever been, and can hold my own side of the relationship instead of doing what they want to do. Sure there will be times when I wouldn’t mind going bowling (as long as no one is behind me) or the movies. But if I just wanna hang around the house with the family, he can come, but he has to realize that most of it will be spent WITH the family and not in another room. Plus the living room has a bigger TV. With football season in season (well atleast pre-season), that’s the spot to watch the games!

I know my time will come when I find a boyfriend but as most of you have probably come to realize, I’m not a very patient person. But I don’t want to rush love- bad idea. Been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. Maybe if I stop looking or expecting something to happen, I’ll let it happen naturally. Kinda like waiting for Fall- you wait, they will come. Or something like that.

TB Articles: Early Christmas Gifts August 26, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Blog Giveaways, Christmas, life, thoughts.
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In about 4 months, Christmas will be upon us. We think about getting our shopping done early, but end up waiting until the last minute. It’s pretty normal and there are ways to get it done super early without worrying whether you’ll get exactly what you want.

In fact, there is a way to get your Christmas presents early without having to spend ANY money. Impossible, you say? Nonsense! Thanks to sweepstakes and blog giveaways, you are able to at least cross one or two gifts off of your list. Online-Sweepstakes.com is a sweepstakes community where new giveaways and sweeps (sweepstakes) are posted daily. If you enter a few every day, your son will eventually get that new guitar for Christmas without you having to spend the money to buy it! Pretty neat, huh?

QVC is offering “Christmas When You Want It”, which is one of the coolest things they’ve ever come up with. Essentially what it is, you can look at the products that are part of the offer. If you have no place to store it until Christmas, you can reserve it to be delivered on November 2nd or now. If you opt for the November delivery, you don’t pay anything until it is shipped. For more information, check out their website.

It is NEVER too soon to purchase (or in some cases, win) those Christmas presents. Procrastination is a big problem when it comes to early Christmas shopping. Now you don’t have to with giveaways and “Christmas When You Want It”!

TB Articles: Living on A Budget August 26, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Ecnomony, life, money, shopping.
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I may be young, but I’ve understood what it is like to live on a tight budget. Now that unemployment has risen the the economy is recovering too slowly for many people, living on a tight budget has become “the norm”.

When it comes to groceries, coupons have become wildly popular. But most of them are for name brands and those tend to run on the expensive side. Don’t be afraid of store brands. In some cases, they can taste the exact same as the name brand version but at a cheaper price. And sometimes, generic store brands have larger casings or packaging, making them last longer. Cap’n Crunch may taste great, but Malt-O-Meal has a bigger back with the same great taste. It may cost more, but you’ll save money when you aren’t buying the name brand box every 2 weeks. If you only get paid every 2 weeks and need to stretch the food out, stock up. Instead of buying 1 gallon of milk, buy 2. Instead of buying one box of Pop Tarts, buy 2. You might not be saving a lot of money, but you’re saving yourself a trip to the grocery store and whatever money you have left, that can used towards other things.

Speaking of trips, setting aside gas money for a week or two is a great way to save. It cuts out the desire to spend the money for something else (unless it was needed) and you know exactly where it’s going. If you spend $20 every week for gas, take out $40 for two weeks. Label an envelope “Weekly Gas- 2 Weeks”, and place the $40 in there. That way if you get the impulse to buy that DVD, you will know that it is to be used for gas or emergencies.

If you feel you can’t pay a bill or have problems buying food, don’t underestimate the power of help. There are thousands upon thousands of people who go through the exact same thing every single day. There are problems that are available to help pay a bill or even help with food. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce if you want to know what programs are available.

Living on a budget doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Reinventing the way you make pasta or even buy groceries can bring new ideas, making a tight budget seem less suffocating I promise.

TB Articles: The Summer Heat August 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in fun, Ideas, learning, life, Seasons, summer, thoughts.
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NOTE: I have decided that I am going to start writing “articles” so that my readers don’t get bored with the same posts over and over again. Not only that, it will help me develop better writing skills for when I go to college. If you need more information about the articles, refer to “TB Articles“. If you are interested in becoming a guest writer for Texas Banter, refer to this page.

The temperature is rising over 100*, the sun is burning down from the clouds, and you’re hot- very hot. You’re so hot, you DREAM of the day that cooler weather arrives. Having lived in Texas my whole life, I have become somewhat of an expert on trying to stay cool. While they might not work for everyone, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try, right?

If you’re inside and it seems like your house isn’t cooling as it should, think water. Gather up several plastic water bottles, fill them with water, and put them in the freezer. After 4 hours in the icebox, move them to the fridge and grab one for yourself. You now have cold water available for “on-the-go” and it’s a lot easier than trying to lug a gallon of cold water out of the fridge just to fill up a glass. It becomes so helpful, especially if you’re doing chores and you find yourself getting sweaty. You don’t want to become dehydrated even if you don’t feel hot because the symptoms can be fatigue, and many think that they are tired because of the chores. In most cases, it’s that they are dehydrated. Aside from keeping you hydrated, the cold water will cool your core temperature down a few degrees, and it help you from feeling physically hot.

Since our house doesn’t have insulation, it tends to get burning hot in the Summer and near-dead freezing in the Winter. In the Summer, when the temperature in the room is 83*, I like to use the shower. I don’t mean taking a shower. I mean getting my hair wet by bending over the edge of the tub with my head under the shower. I don’t panic if my clothes get wet because I know that eventually I will end up sitting in front of a fan or air conditioner, making me feel a lot cooler. I suggest that you don’t do it every hour or too frequently because you can end up with a heat rash. While they can be treated by topical baby rash cream, they are kinda painful. Also with that, you can actually get too chilled if your core temperature drops drastically low in such a short amount of time.

I’m sure that I don’t need to remind you what to do if you’re outside- it’s on the news all the time! You know the drill: drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks, if you get too hot, move to an air conditioned building, etc. It’s been ingrained in us since we were little. But another thing they don’t tell you is not to soak your whole body, including your clothes. This will bring on one mean heat rash that is extremely painful. Those are worse than the ones you received from “wetting your hair” too much. Also, the reflection of the sun can intensify the sun’s burning rays, making you sunburn a lot quicker and a lot worse than without the soaked clothes and skin.

Let’s face it- Summer is here for a few more weeks. If none of the suggestions haven’t worked, then maybe we should look to Summer’s best friend- ice cream! Now there’s an activity I can enjoy!

We Say Goodbye to Patches August 20, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, cats, family, Feelings, life, thoughts.
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4 comments

I regret to inform all of you that Patches, Mom’s 4-year-old and Smokie’s cat, passed away unexpectedly this evening. She didn’t show any signs, and we’re all shocked beyond belief.

She was from Smokie’s 2nd litter and for some reason when we decided that Smokie’s kittens needed good homes, nobody wanted Patches. I couldn’t figure out why- hell, she entertained herself. But, we decided to keep her. Patches and Mom grew close and because best friends. Patches was quirky and really weird sometimes. She wasn’t always healthy and often had skin irritations, but she always bounced back. Her and Smokie, during the Fall and Winter months, would always race back and forth from room to room early in the morning while we were all asleep. How do I know that?  They didn’t give it a second thought to jump on the bed. Like Smokie when she was little, she too would scale curtains. Patches was a jumpy cat, but that’s what made it so funny- she would be sleeping, someone would pet her, and she would jump a mile high. One time, she jumped from the shelf to on top of the television and skated right off. It was like the videos you would see on America’s Funniest Videos.

After everything we’re going through, this put me, Manders, and especially Mom over the edge. We don’t know if we can truly handle everything. Patches was only about a month away from turning 5 years old. We will forever miss her for she was a special kitty.

Smokie Talking to Patches

Smokie Talking to Patches

Guest Spots August 20, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Blogging, blogs, Ideas, thoughts.
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blogging

I have started thinking outside the box- Texas Banter can only go so far with just 1 person. So I have decided that I will be accepting only 2 guest spots for Texas Banter posts. The criteria is as follows:

*You must have a WordPress.com membership or sign up. You don’t have to use your blog, just sign up.

*You MUST own a blog or have a blog writing experience.

*If you are a “Mommy Blogger”, I ask that you don’t post your children’s information on Texas Banter. While this isn’t a “kid-free” zone, it may  confuse some readers as I don’t have children.

* Send your information -name, blog URL, recent posts, e-mail, and WordPress username- to texasbanter@ymail.com with the subject “TB Guest Blogger”.

With that being said, if you are also interested in having Texas Banter as guest blogger, feel free to e-mail me at the aforementioned e-mail with the subject “Guest Blogger” with your blog name, theme, link, and what you expect from me. I do have a Blogger/Blogspot username.

Back To School: Extraordinary Teens August 19, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Book Reviews, Books, Feelings, learning, life, School, School Supplies, thoughts.
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1 comment so far

With everyone going back to school, it’s so much easier to remember the clothes, school supplies, and even money set out for lunch. But one thing that parents tend to forget: motivation. Since teens are often boggled down with school and extra-curricular activities, it’s quite normal to think “What am I doing this for?”. Believe me- I’ve been there.

But thanks to Chicken Soup for the Soul, your teens can have the motivation they need to go out into the world and do something- if even not everyone agrees with it. If your teen wants to start a business helping people decorate for the Holidays, then this book is for this. Chicken Soup for the Extraordinary Teen is chock full of stories from teens that had no idea what they were doing but succeeded in doing it anyways. There are even stories from some of the most famous teen celebs- Ryan Cabrera, Julie Marie Carrier, and even Mythbuster Kari Byron. All of the stories are heartfelt (which Chicken Soup for the Soul is known for) and so inspirational that no teen will close the book untouched by the stories from these amazing teenagers.

chicken-soup-for-the-soulWhat I loved is that I could remember what it was like at that stage- awkward, uninspired, and just tired of school and nothing to go along with that. I wish I was as creative as the teens in this book. Each story is unique and each story has several sentences bold- true words of wisdom. This guarantees that each and every person that reads it will leave with a little something in their heart that says “I may not be a teen. But I still have plenty of time to do what I want- even if that means starting a business to help people decorate for the Holidays!”. I will warn you about something though. These kids achievements by themselves are staggering so if there are any teens or Moms who are sensitive about their academics, this may not be the book for you. While it it amazing some of the achievements mentioned, sometimes it can get a little overbearing.  But also with that, you can just skip over that box if you wish to read it.

Did I learn anything from it? I may be turning 25 this Winter, but I still learned a lot. I’m not too old to do this or accomplish that. If I can dream it, it can happen. Same goes for everyone who reads this- You’re not too old to do this or accomplish that. If you can dream it, it can happen.

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