The Big Day
Feb06

The Big Day

“Isn’t this the most romantic time of your life?” “Aren’t you having SO MUCH FUN?!” If you’re engaged, you’ve probably heard this stuff from friends and family. And if you’re like me, you feel as though your response should be an overwhelming “OMG YES,” even when your caterer won’t return your calls, half your family isn’t speaking to each other, the seating chart is a disaster, and your guest list thinks RSVPs are a suggestion. The...

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Ephemeral Flowers
Feb06

Ephemeral Flowers

Thinking about pops of color for your garden The word ephemeral defines anything that lives for just a short time. It’s often used to define flowering plants that are annuals, which grow from seed, mature, flower, and set new seed within just a single growing season. Those suited for dry gardens can be divided into three loosely defined categories: Annual wildflowers are by far the best example of ephemeral plants yet are among the...

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Pet-pourri!
Feb06

Pet-pourri!

Is an Unusual Pet a Good Match for Your Family? When selecting a family pet, don’t be afraid to look beyond cats and dogs. Lots of families have found love and affection elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Guinea Pigs Gentle, affectionate pets (not to mention ADORABLE) they can live in small quarters and are economical to feed. When well maintained, they have little odor, produce very little dander, and almost never bite. Unfortunately,...

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Tips for Family Safety
Jan25

Tips for Family Safety

How to keep your busy, adventurous family safe Families are seemingly always on the go. From soccer games and school trips to excursions with friends and vacations with the family, people are constantly on the move, exploring new places and experiencing new things. In fact, a study by Sfara shows that kids today are using public transportation, going on field trips and taking long-distance road trips at much younger ages compared to...

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Put More You into Your Wedding Day
Jan25

Put More You into Your Wedding Day

A wedding day is filled with symbolic tradition, from varied religious customs to the never-ending circle reflected in the rings and the types of flowers accentuating the celebration. Even with all the traditional rituals to consider, nearly every bride and groom can find ways to give their special day some unique touches that reflect their personality and love. Music sets the mood for every wedding, and it’s an easy place to...

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Love is in the Air – Every Day!
Jan25

Love is in the Air – Every Day!

Chocolates? Roses? Been there, done that. Everyone wants to make sure the special someone in their lives knows how much they care. Here are some easy and fun ways to prove that he or she is number one in your book. Make a Playlist of “Your Songs” Whether it was playing when you first met or is the soundtrack to your favorite movie, every couple has songs that mean something special to them. In the car, leave a CD or MP3...

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Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Trends to Watch
Jan25

Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Trends to Watch

Investing thousands of dollars in a kitchen or bathroom remodel can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out some of these trends from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) to consider when planning your next kitchen or bath remodel. Make Your Home Smarter It used to be that internet meant high-tech. Now, especially with the Internet of Things, it means easier access to entertainment and home...

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6 Ways to Fight the Flu
Jan25

6 Ways to Fight the Flu

As temperatures drop, the spread of cold and flu germs rises. Start the year off healthy and be sure to rid your home of lingering germs that may be hiding in places you don’t expect. “I always recommend the flu shot – especially when officials are predicting a harsh flu season like this year – good nutrition and plenty of sleep, but there are other healthy habits we can all develop to help keep ourselves and...

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Superb Bowl
Jan03

Superb Bowl

Host a memorable get together for that big football game Wow, there have been 52 of these games already? Doesn’t look a day over 40… If you’re having a crowd over to celebrate the game (and why shouldn’t you?) here are some ideas for making it a time you won’t soon forget. We all know the go-to football party foods: chicken wings, potato skins, nachos, mozzarella sticks, deviled eggs, sliders, chili and on and on. But don’t forget...

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Living with Authenticity
Jan03

Living with Authenticity

A new approach to living for the new year Around eight percent of us who make New Year’s resolutions keep them. If, like me, you’re ready to try something different for a change, consider living in authenticity. Sifting through articles on mindfulness, cultivating self-awareness, and living in the moment, I ran across information about living an authentic life. It spoke to me in a meaningful way because it’s foundational—it gets down...

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Excellence in Education
Jan03

Excellence in Education

Helping your kids put their best feet forward in school Most kids spend nearly 1,500 hours in school each year. As parents, there are a lot of things we can do to assure that time is well spent. Get Them Talking If your kids are like most, it can be hard to get them to talk about their school day. Some kids are more reluctant than others. But most can be coaxed to open up, with parenting tips like these. 1. Follow Their Lead Some kids...

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Spoon Up Tradition
Dec18

Spoon Up Tradition

When cooler temperatures call for something to warm you up, good, old-fashioned soups and stews may be just what you need. You can create delicious, steaming pots that taste like they’re straight out of mom’s kitchen with flavorful, convenient ingredients such as Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets and READ Salads to help streamline preparation. With these contemporary recipes, you’re in and out of the kitchen in under...

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3 Ways Pups Can Improve Seniors’ Health
Dec18

3 Ways Pups Can Improve Seniors’ Health

Furry friends can play a significant role in pet owners’ lives. The old saying goes, “dogs are man’s best friend,” and research shows they may be more than that. In fact, they just might be the key to keeping seniors active. According to a study conducted by the University of Lincoln and Glasgow Caledonian University in collaboration with Mars Petcare Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, dog owners 65 and older...

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Simple Ways to Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Dec18

Simple Ways to Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

When it comes to creating a healthy lifestyle, some recommendations are fairly simple, such as exercising regularly and eating right. Many people, however, don’t know how much exercise they should get or which foods are the best choices. They also may not realize there are other ways to take care of your body and mind to promote better overall health. Start on the path to healthier living with these tips from the wellness...

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Find Your Influence Style this Year
Dec18

Find Your Influence Style this Year

The ability to influence those around you is a key leadership skill. To influence effectively, you must be adept at getting your opinions and ideas heard, recognized and considered by others. Use the new year as an opportunity to try a new approach to achieve different results when trying to influence those in either the dining room or the boardroom. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Steven Stein, CEO of Multi-Health Systems,...

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Keep Cool-Weather Clothes Looking Fresh
Dec18

Keep Cool-Weather Clothes Looking Fresh

Cooler weather often brings busier schedules – balancing family activities, daily chores and holiday festivities – but it is also a time when you want to look your best. Lower temperatures also open closets to a variety of fashionable seasonal items such as knit tops, delicate formal wear, corduroy pants and more. While caring for the varying fabric types of those cooler-weather clothes can take additional steps, it’s always a good...

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Empowering Teens through Smart Spending
Dec04

Empowering Teens through Smart Spending

Helping teens learn to handle money can be a tricky proposition. Mistakes can quite literally be costly, but there’s really no substitute for hands-on practice when it comes to managing finances. Children are the ultimate investment, so teach your teen to be a smart spender with these savvy tips: Start with saving. As a first step, open a savings account for your teen and involve them in the process. Use this opportunity to...

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How to Prep Your Pup for Winter
Dec04

How to Prep Your Pup for Winter

The colder months are approaching, and it’s not uncommon to lessen focus on diet and exercise, and the same goes for furry friends during the cooler seasons. To keep your pup healthy this winter, it’s important to establish proper nutrition habits – which start by feeding your pet the right type of food. “Whether it’s the increase in holiday parties or the decrease in temperature, healthy eating routines...

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7 Ways to Plan for Cold and Flu Season
Dec04

7 Ways to Plan for Cold and Flu Season

Declining temperatures can bring fun, cool-weather activities, but they also mean cold and flu season is lurking. While everyone hopes to stay healthy, it can be difficult to completely avoid viruses and bugs. Dr. Deborah Gilboa, a board-certified family physician and Braun spokesperson, offers some simple suggestions to help your family plan for cold and flu season. Dispose of Expired Medicine Spend some time checking the medications...

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Holiday Giving for the Whole Family
Dec04

Holiday Giving for the Whole Family

Part of the magic of the holiday season is making wishes come true, not only for your loved ones but for others in the community, too. Show children how rewarding it is to embrace the true spirit of generosity and compassion this holiday season with these activities that make giving back fun. Set the stage With the aid of modern technology, you can introduce kids to the goodness of giving with a century-old story about the impact of...

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Obalon – An Easy Pill to Swallow
Dec04

Obalon – An Easy Pill to Swallow

Innovative new Obalon balloon procedure helps deflate weight without drugs, diets, or surgery Nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, even though we spend billions of dollars each year on weight loss products and diet foods. Weight loss surgery may be an option if you meet the criteria and are willing to go under the knife, but what if you aren’t ready to have surgery? Or what if you are under the 35 or greater BMI...

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Tech the Halls
Dec04

Tech the Halls

For the Gamer: Nintendo Switch, $299 The two most highly reviewed video games of the year—The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey–are only available on Nintendo’s newest game system, which can be played both on a TV at home or removed from its dock for portable use. Image: chrisjohnsson/Shutterstock.com For the Socialite: HP Sprocket 2-in-1, $159 Once upon a time people were mainly focused on converting...

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Seasonal Stress
Dec04

Seasonal Stress

Avoiding what can dampen the holiday spirit Regardless of your current stage of life, holidays bring stress—if you allow it.  You can avoid it, though, if the right methods are utilized.  Single people (especially women) often stress out about buying the right clothing for holiday parties in an effort to impress their date or hoped-to-be date, often straining their budget to do so. A simple black dress with alternating accessories for...

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Recovering & Rebounding
Dec04

Recovering & Rebounding

Get in front of this year’s setbacks It’s been a tough year for many of us. If you were affected by the historic flooding, our hearts go out to you. If this year brought other heartaches such as depression, divorce, debt, job loss, loss of loved ones, or other setbacks that have left you thinking, “this is not how my life was supposed to go,” know that you are not alone. Let’s take a collective moment to try to get our losses into...

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Break for the Better
Dec04

Break for the Better

Find and do something just for you An end-of-year respite could be your chance to take on a new or neglected project. You may want to explore a hobby that’s always intrigued you, try playing a sport you’ve enjoyed as a spectator, join a volunteer effort that’s close to your heart, or take on one of your bucket-list items. Whatever you’re thinking, there are some sure-fire ways to find what you love, get started with gusto, and stay...

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Throw a Christmas Cookie Party
Nov28

Throw a Christmas Cookie Party

The next best thing to baking cookies for many home chefs is baking cookies with friends. Dust off your favorite recipes, create a festive playlist and fill your home with the tantalizing aroma of baked goodies for the ultimate Christmas cookie party. Turn things up a notch and swap classic sugar cookies for these festive Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies, Peppermint Truffle Cookies and Almond Gingerbread Cookies. Along with those tasty...

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Will to Live
Nov01

Will to Live

Prevent family confusion in the case of emergency by preparing a living will A living will, despite the name, is not at all like the will you leave saying how your property is to be divided when you pass on. Instead, this document lets you state your wishes for end-of-life medical care in case you are no longer able to communicate your decisions. Very importantly, a living will provides invaluable assistance to family members and...

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The Family Squeeze
Nov01

The Family Squeeze

Surviving the sandwich years Jayne is spread so thin these days you can practically see through her. A small business owner, she’s the face her clients expect to see. That face represents the vision and energy that have grown and sustained her hair salon for two decades, as she’s raised three kids, paid for three college educations, and pulled off three weddings. Now comes her reward in the form of grandchildren. Every second she’s...

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Tidbits & Traditions
Nov01

Tidbits & Traditions

The Old Tablecloth Trick Instead of buying tablecloths for each holiday, start a new tradition. Purchase one and have guests sign it before holiday dinners. When the holiday is over, embroider over each guest’s signature, creating a holiday heirloom. Giving Back It’s better to give than to receive, but you have to know when to give. If you feel like giving back this holiday season, why not volunteer at a soup kitchen? Consider showing...

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Fun for the Whole Family
Oct30

Fun for the Whole Family

Flatter the fam with a few affordable gifts to enjoy together If your family is more of the outdoor type, give Spikeball a fair shake. Think volleyball meets miniature trampoline—bounce the ball up to three times between players on your own team, and instead of volleying it back over a net to the other team, just bounce the ball off the trampoline. The game was recently popularized after an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank. $60,...

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Assisting Family with Assisted Living
Oct30

Assisting Family with Assisted Living

Knowing when it’s the right time, together—and hearing everyone out At first, the warning signs might go unnoticed: your elderly mother’s yard is no longer tidy, or her once flourishing garden is now neglected. Maybe her mail goes unopened, or food is left out to sour. As time moves on, more obvious—and sometimes, more frightening—signs of decline appear: loss of memory, injuries from falls or unexplained events, or even small home...

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Kindness in the Wake of Destruction
Oct04

Kindness in the Wake of Destruction

The country bands together to help flood victims in Texas after Hurricane Harvey drenches coast While Hurricane Harvey flooded roads and destroyed homes on the Texas coast, there has been no shortage of support and generosity from citizens and companies all over the country offering to help flood victims. Houston Texans star J.J. Watt raises money for relief J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans began crowdfunding donations for victims of...

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Post-Hurricane Check List
Sep27

Post-Hurricane Check List

Now that the winds have died down and the water has subsided, let’s all take a deep breath and remember… people are what matters. The rest can be replaced. Now, gather up your resolve for what will be a long recovery. Here are some ideas for making a start. To begin with, take lots of pictures of water marks on the walls inside and out of your home, to prove how high the water went.  LOTS of pictures. File insurance claims and claims...

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Disasters and Mental Health
Sep27

Disasters and Mental Health

How to care for yourself and for others After a disaster like Hurricane Harvey, thoughts turn toward rebuilding homes, infrastructure, offices, and parks. But what can easily get overlooked is caring for the mental health of those affected. Disasters invoke deep emotional distress even after the dust has settled. Mental health concerns may not manifest immediately after the incident, but can take up to months to fully develop. It’s...

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The State Fair Saga
Aug28

The State Fair Saga

Texans and otherwise come from near and far to converge on Dallas at the 277-acre Fair Park each year for the wonders of the State Fair of Texas. Since its origin in 1886, millions of people from thousands of backgrounds have passed through its gates to be awed and entertained. According to Fair information available at BigTex.com, the State Fair of Texas brought in 2.5 million visitors over a 24-day period of live music, exhibitions,...

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It’s More Than Just Football
Aug28

It’s More Than Just Football

Forever is a long time. But in the fall, across the more than 268 square miles of the state of Texas, between the lines of a white chalked field that stretches 120 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide, forever occurs over 48 minutes for thousands of high school students. The love affair between the state of Texas and high school football is an indescribable bond between teammates and coaches, fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and...

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Hand-Stitched History in Texas
Aug25

Hand-Stitched History in Texas

A hill country leather company keeps traditions alive There’s a place in historic downtown New Braunfels that’s been keeping Texas traditions alive by creating hand-made leather products for seventy-nine years. To walk into Ludwig and Marglin and smell the leather musk is to step back to a time when American-made products were easy to come by. Old photos from the first few years of the shop, including photos of the original tannery...

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Texas’ own underdog is back with Vaquero: a personal, independent follow-up
Mar14

Texas’ own underdog is back with Vaquero: a personal, independent follow-up

Texas singer-songwriter Aaron Watson’s newest album, Vaquero, is a fitting title for the hard-working cowboy. Living caught up with him just prior to the album’s release last month to ask about Vaquero, the follow-up to his indie success story, 2015’s The Underdog.   Living Magazine: Aaron, you’ve cut your own path in the country music industry. While being an independent artist and making your own records, you have also garnered huge...

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The Truth About Botox and Migraines
Feb28

The Truth About Botox and Migraines

Unless you know someone who suffers from chronic migraines, it’s difficult to understand how deeply painful and severe this form of headache can be. Sometimes called “sick headaches,” migraines are often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound, along with other debilitating symptoms. Around 91 percent of chronic migraine sufferers miss work or can’t function normally during a migraine attack, and can end up in the...

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Bidet Today!
Feb28

Bidet Today!

If you’re like most Americans, you probably have a nebulous concept of what a bidet is, perhaps from tales passed down like legends via friends or family, a scene in a movie or TV show, or maybe a bizarre anecdote shared around on social media. For whatever reason, be it our stigma against discussing personal hygiene or merely a fanatical love of toilet paper, the bidet in America is more often regarded as a weird device from distant...

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Sleep Creep
Feb28

Sleep Creep

Is using tech devices before bed bad for you? You crawl into bed and settle in for the night. But wait! You forgot to email so-and-so. And OH! What was that recipe you wanted to try tomorrow? You find it via Google only to get sucked into a juicy food blog about mouth-watering confections. Then suddenly, you remember you forgot to set a reminder for Wednesday’s meeting. Meanwhile, your spouse is engaging in similar frenetic behavior...

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Protecting Yourself from Medical Identity Theft
Feb28

Protecting Yourself from Medical Identity Theft

We’ve all heard the horror stories. Criminals strike from the shadows, stealing personal information and gaining access to our accounts, our contact information, and our medical records. We’re talking about identity theft—specifically medical identity theft. According to the Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data by the Ponemon Institute, the major cause of sensitive data compromise for the past few...

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Succulent Spaces
Feb08

Succulent Spaces

Find fabulous design ideas to inspire your own succulent garden. Tiny Patio Because her house near the Southern California coast is set in a hillside, Leslie Mannes was short on outdoor space for get-togethers. The only possibility: a tiny, crumbling patio out back. Enter landscape designer Ryan Prange, who revamped it into a stylish, surprisingly roomy refuge. Prange repaved and planted the patio floor, tucked a seating area into the...

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Petpalooza!
Feb08

Petpalooza!

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, and with love in the air, there’s no better time than now to remember to appreciate and care for your furry family member. Sometimes they’re so much like a part of the family that we forget our pets have special needs to look out for—but a healthy pet is a happy one, and will be for years to come. My pet looks fine. Do I really need to take them to the vet? According to Dr. Barry Kipperman,...

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3 Key Inspiration Checkpoints
Jan31

3 Key Inspiration Checkpoints

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Snowed-In Cinema
Dec30

Snowed-In Cinema

Whether you’re actually snowed in or not, there’s nothing quite like curling up inside on a cold day with a cozy blanket and the heater blasting. What better time to enjoy some winter flicks? To that end, we’ve compiled an eclectic list of some well-regarded frosty-weather films all in one place, some of which you might not have known about. Hey, your couch deserves to be warm too. Film posters are the property of their respective...

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It’s What You Know!
Dec30

It’s What You Know!

Making decisions about your child’s education Fast Facts on Why Your Child’s Education Matters You have options when it comes to your child’s education, and making the best choice for each child doesn’t come easy. Public school? A private institution? A Christian school, or home schooling? What about tutoring centers and test prep? With choices like these, it’s best to know the benefits of each. Changes in Texas legislature may make...

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HOU51ON
Dec30

HOU51ON

It is the gigantic, unavoidable sports match which humorously is left frequently unnamed in advertising, referred to only with cryptic monikers, lest one claims an association with said event: “game day,” the “big one,” and “the professional football championship” all find themselves top of mind as we move through January. Though at press time we cannot confirm the precise reasons that Texas residents will be particularly interested...

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John Tesar
Dec29

John Tesar

The famously hotheaded Dallas chef stays relevant, but what goes into making one of Dallas’ most influential figures in food? John Tesar—the outspoken chef who is also a three-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” semifinalist and has been a repeat guest on Top Chef—is as complex as one of his multilayered dishes. Indeed, what are the ingredients that make up the recipe that is John Tesar? Once regarded as the most hated chef in...

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Golden Years
Dec02

Golden Years

All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a beach bum. Then reality set in! Things like responsibility, paying bills and car loans, marriage, parenthood, a mortgage, and covering college educations. But I’m still a dreamer. Now I’m just waiting for retirement to do what I enjoy most. I crave the ocean, romantic time with my husband, traveling the world, dedicating volunteer time to help children in need, staying fit, perfecting my...

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