Thursday, July 7, 2016

3 Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas for Babies

If you would like to make a homemade gift for babies, there are many fun projects you can do besides sewing booties and blankets. Here are three great ideas that you can do for a homemade Christmas gift for babies.

Homemade Christmas Gifts for Babies:Counted Cross Stitch

A counted cross-stitch kit that you can make and frame would make a great homemade Christmas gift for babies. There are so many patterns that would look great on a baby’s bedroom wall where they can enjoy looking at the homemade Christmas gift of a cross-stitch that you made especially for them. A great place to find cross-stitch patterns for your homemade Christmas gifts for infants is at the Salt & Pepper web site. There are many different patterns that are so adorable for a baby boy or a baby girl. A Row of Love is a full kit cross-stitch that is sold on the Salt & Pepper web site for $32.00 plus applicable shipping charges. A Row of Love is a beautiful cross-stitch pattern that features fuzzy bears by Jean Monti. The pattern is used on 14 count white Aida and the finished size is 18″ x 9″. If you have never cross-stitched before, the metacafe web site to learn how to cross-stitch in 5 minutes. You can find many other counted cross-stitch patterns on the Salt & Pepper web site.

Homemade Christmas Gift for Babies: Baby Toy Christmas Basket

Making a baby toy basket as a homemade Christmas gift for babies can be a lot of fun collecting little baby items that a baby would love and put them together in a basket for baby. First, you will need a beautiful basket. There are many different types of baskets to choose from. The Lucky Clover Trading Company has some great baskets to choose from. Collect many little baby toys including teething rings, baby keys, rattles, and socks, or whatever you desire in your homemade Christmas gift for baby. Babies R Us has a great selection of baby teething and toys. After you have collected all your fun items. Add some shreds and fillers in the basket. You can find these on the Lucky Clover Trading company web site and fill your basket with your baby goodies. Add some cellophane, which you can also purchase on The Lucky Clover Trading Company website. Place the cellophane under the basket and wrap it up towards the top of the basket and secure it with some ribbon. This homemade Christmas gift for babies will put a smile on their faces every time they play with one of their toys.

Homemade Christmas Gift for Babies:Piggy Bank

This is a fun homemade Christmas gift for babies that they can have a place to put their money in as they receive it from Grandma and Grandpa. This isn’t something a baby would play with, but it is definitely a must for a baby so they can have a place for their gift money. First, you will want to purchase a plain large ceramic piggy bank. Toys R Us has a U-Paint-It Piggy Bank for $9.99. You can decorate the ceramic piggy bank with glass paint and stencils. You can find glass paint on the Michaels Craft store website along with some glass painting basics as well as stencils.

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3 Healthy, Fast and Cheap Groceries to Always Have on Hand

If you’re like me and an avid reader of everything health and budget, you’ve been told that eating healthy adds up. This is certainly true if you buy fresh produce, all-natural and organic foods, but for those of us who aren’t especially concerned about buying everything organic, there a a few simple purchases that can really knock down the price of your grocery bill. What’s more, you’ll eat healthy seven days a week (instead of the first three days, until the produce you bought Monday either runs out or withers and finds its way to the back of your fridge’s crisper drawer).

The key to all the items below, along with affordability, is shelf life. You can keep these groceries on hand for months, and most take ten minutes or less to prepare.

#1: Buy Frozen Vegetables.
They’re just as nutritious as fresh produce (and in some cases more so, since frozen foods are flash-frozen at the peak of freshness). Not only that, they’re cheap, pre-chopped, have an indefinite shelf life, and most are perfectly delicious to eat as-is or stirred into a recipe. I love them because they’re such a time-saver. Allit takes is a quick spin in the microwave or a couple minutes searing in a pan (in the case of brussel sprouts) and they’re good to go.

#2: Buy Canned or Dried Legumes.
they’re cheaper than meat, quicker to prepare than meat (if canned or prepared and frozen), are super filling, and offer tons of nutrients. If you aren’t a vegetarian (I’m not), still buy some. You’d be surprised how far you can stretch your chili or sloppy joe’s by switching out some of he animal protein for plant protein, and if you pick a bean with a mild favor (or use lentils), you won’t compromise the way your dish tastes.

#3: Buy Whole Grain Pasta.
You’ll feel fuller and you’ll eat less. If you aren’t a huge fan of the texture, mix it half and half with plain pasta- you’ll get the extra protein without feeling like you’re giving up your comfort food, plus the different shades of beige will make your spaghetti look pretty!

Tags:3 Healthy, Fast and Cheap Groceries to Always Have on Hand

3 Important Reasons Why You Should Disclose an STD Diagnosis Before Marriage

Marriage is one of the most important steps you will ever take in your life. But before you decide to settle down, you will want to make sure you have spent time getting to know your partner and making sure that this is the person you actually plan to spend the rest of your life with. Honesty and good communication are an integral part of a marriage, but as you prepare to walk down the aisle, should you disclose a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) diagnosis to your future spouse?

Your Partner Has a Right to Know

As you prepare for the wedding, the last thing you will want to discuss with your partner is your STD diagnosis. Even though your partner was not part of the problem, they have a right to know, especially as they could be putting themselves at risk of also contracting the STD. If you do not disclose your STD diagnosis, you will knowingly be putting your future spouse at risk if you engage in unprotected sex, which is unfair on them. In addition, unprotected sex with your unsuspecting spouse could lead to fertility issues if you choose to start a family.

Keeping Quiet Leads to Mistrust

Keeping quiet might seem like the only available option, but how will you respond if your new spouse suddenly finds out about your STD diagnosis? This can lead to mistrust and trouble in your new marriage. Moreover, your spouse may even start to wonder what else you have kept secret from them. Rather than opening the way to honest, open communication, withholding information about an STD diagnosis will simply lead to further problems in your relationship.

Overcoming Embarrassment

Coming to terms with an STD diagnosis can be embarrassing without having to also deal with confronting your partner and inform them of what has happened. Some feel that their partner will adversely judge them for their past indiscretions or even call off the wedding. But if you do not disclose your STD, you may face even more severe repercussions later on if your spouse finds out that you have kept the STD secret. They may suspect you of unfaithfulness, even if you contracted the STD long before your marriage.

An STD diagnosis can be embarrassing and difficult to talk about, but the one person you should not hold back from is your partner, as you prepare to get married. They have a right to know of your sexual history if it will impact their own health. Keeping quiet about an STD, past or present, can lead to mistrust in a relationship. The best thing you can do is to overcome your embarrassment at your STD diagnosis, and let your partner know.

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3 Home Remedies for Soothing an Upset Stomach, Including Peppermint Oil, Ginger and Acupressure

The next time you have an upset stomach try a home remedy. Homemade remedies are harmless at worst, and many times work better than nausea medicine.

Most homemade remedies are simple natural ingredients. You probably already have the remedy you need in your pantry.

Determine the cause of nausea.

The first step in caring for an upset stomach is to determine its cause, if you can.

If nausea is accompanied by additional symptoms such as fever, cramps, vomiting, headache, or chest pain you may need to seek medical attention. Nausea can be a symptom of the onset of a serious illness, food poisoning or even a heart attack.

Nausea that results from motion sickness, nerves, menstruation, medication, or other triggers of a simple upset stomach can be treated with soothing home remedies.

Peppermint oil calms upset stomach.

Peppermint oil is a natural and easy way to calm an upset stomach. Herbal peppermint has been used for centuries to treat a variety of digestive disorders. Harvard Health Publications reports that peppermint has been effective in a number of clinical studies.

Peppermint contains a large amount of menthol which provides a soothing effect to cool nerve receptors.

Peppermint is available in oil, capsules and tea. Peppermint candy or gum can also be an effective treatment for upset stomach.

The benefits of peppermint oil don’t last very long, but peppermint should provide a quick fix and may tide you over a spell of nausea.

Ginger tea is a soothing treatment for nausea.

Ginger root is a highly recommended natural remedy for nausea. Real Women’s Fitness has reported on the long-term use and benefits of ginger in calming stomach ailments.

Like peppermint, you can purchase ginger tea, infused with other herbs or make your own, potent ginger tea.

Ginger tea is easy to make. Boil slivers of ginger in hot water for five to ten minutes. Longer boiling time makes stronger tea. Add a splash of lemon juice. Sweeten as desired with honey or sugar.

A quick alternative to ginger tea is ginger ale or ginger gum.

Acupressure can help ease an upset stomach.

Acupressure and acupuncture are beneficial for a number of pains and illnesses. Both share pressure points, and acupressure is easy to accomplish at home.

To sooth an upset stomach measure three finger widths from your wrist on the inside of your forearm. Press and feel for the pressure point P5. Acupressure points are easily identified because they are slightly tender to the touch. Run your finger approximately 1 1 ½ finger widths back toward your wrist to find pressure point P6.

Press into the pressure points holding for 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat two to three times. If acupressure is going to work you should begin feeling better.


Health Benefits of Ginger,
Health Benefits of Peppermint, Healthbeat, Harvard Health Publications
Stomachache,Acupressure Online
Ten Best Natural Remedies for Stomach Nausea, Associated Content

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3 Holiday Tips for Eating Fewer Calories

Along with the joys of being with loved ones, celebrating the holidays and welcoming winter come something not as welcoming: Those calorie-laden treats and meals! Although it seems like a losing battle, there are ways to eat fewer calories this holiday season and keep your waistline in check–here’s how.

Ruin Your Appetite
I know what you’re probably thinking during the holidays–there’s a big holiday meal coming up, so I’m going to skip breakfast so I’m extra hungry. Although it’s definitely fun to stuff yourself with holiday goodies, this strategy spells calorie disaster, so definitely rethink on the gorge fest.

My suggestion: To stave away holiday binges, eat a medium-sized meal before the holiday meal or party. Doing so takes the edge off your hunger, making you less likely to eat more calories.

Keep Eating at the Dinner Table
During my upbringing in Minnesota, holiday dinners were strict: Food was only allowed to be eaten at the dinner table, with treats only allowed as a small dessert. Years later when I got married, I discovered my husband’s family didn’t adhere to this rule–instead, everyone ate wherever they pleased, with holiday goodies scattered throughout the house. Not surprisingly, people were constantly snacking–and those calories added up.

To keep calorie consumption in check, use my family’s rule–only eat at the dinner table. Although those holiday goodies and snacks are tempting, it can lead to mindless eating, which encourages you to eat too many calories without really being conscious of it.

Really need to snack? Keep the calories low by snacking on fruits or vegetables, if available. If not, go for a handful of nuts, which contain enough fat to subdue your hunger until dinner time.

Love Your Beverages
Although I use this tip year round, here’s another way to eat fewer calories: Double up on your beverage consumption. Sometimes simply being thirsty can trigger our hunger and encourage us to eat more calories when in fact we just need a glass of water–keeping hydrated will keep this in check, though. Some beverages also have a temporary suppressant effect on hunger as well, such as caffeinated beverages, according to the Mayo Clinic. I often like to chug on Diet Coke between bites of food so I feel fuller faster.

While the holidays can be a calorie disaster, you have the power to keep it under control–good luck and happy eating!

Katherine Zeratsky, “Does caffeine help with weight loss?” (

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3 Healthy, To-Go Restaurants in Downtown Denver

Colorado is one of the healthiest (if not the healthiest) states in the nation. Even in Downtown Denver, with its fair share of city blocks, sky scrapers, and urban road blocks, one can find people jogging, biking, and walking their dogs. Denver definitely caters to the dining needs of its health-conscious citizens, and vegetarians, vegans, and low-carb dieters alike will find a haven in these three Downtown Denver restaurants that toss salads for customers who are on the run.

Salads in Denver: Green- Fine Salad Company

This, in my opinion, is the best of the three (though it’s the priciest). With two locations in Downtown Denver on different ends of 16th street mall, this salad place is popular with tourists and business professionals alike. The only downside is that it’s almost always crowded (line out the door), and they are only open for lunch. However, the salads from Denver’s Green-Fine Salad Company are just to-die for! Ask any Denver local. My favorite is the Santa-Fe with grilled chicken, romaine, black bean salsa, tortilla crisps, avocado, fresh corn, cheddar cheese, and roasted 5-pepper dressing. You can always use the flow-chart on the menu to create your own salad, and they offer tempeh and tofu to vegan and vegetarian guests.

Salads in Denver: MAD Greens-Inspired Eats

Located directly off 16th street Mall in Downtown Denver, MAD Greens is a great refresher after a day of shopping. They name their salads after historical figures and pop culture icons, such as Edgar Allen Poe, Napoleon, and Don Quixote. The combination of their ingredients is clever, for example, the Nobu Seagaru contains Asian slaw, romaine lettuce, edamame beans, and ripened tomatoes in a ginger-soy dressing. Again, one has the option of using any of their ingredients to create their own salad. This Denver restaurant also has amazing Paninis.

Salads in Denver: Choppers Custom Salads

Priced similarly to MAD Greens, this salad place is also a good option for people in Lo-Do (lower Downtown Denver). Their salad offerings are hip and urban, with names such as The Ninja, The Chopper, and The Goodness. My favorite, The Gunnison, is similar to Green’s Santa Fe, and contains grilled chicken, romaine, corn, red onions, black beans, tortilla crisps, cheddar cheese, and either chipotle or organic roasted red pepper dressing. Again, this Denver restaurant lets you create your own salad, and you also have the option of getting any salad as a wrap. In interesting feature of Choppers is that they offer a nutrition calculator (the Nutritionator 3000) that will calculate the nutrition of your salad down to the fiber and cholesterol, which is a big bonus for dieters visiting Denver from out of town.

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3 Key Elements of Effective Exercise

Every exercise plan has 3 key elements which make it work well: effectiveness, safety, and more importantly: enjoyment. Here are some tips that will help you keep your exercise program effective, safe AND fun!

Anybody who says “No pain, no gain” is wrong. You should try not to do anything that causes unnecessary discomfort or pain. If you have pain in your chest, stop immediately, and if you feel you need to, seek the guidance of a medical professional. Beginners may experience general muscle soreness, and you should expect this, but it shouldn’t be too severe.

A personal trainer will design a program for you at your current level of fitness. As you get fitter, they will make the program harder, should you be working too hard too early, this will make matters worse rather than better.

When exercising, avoid high-impact, and try to keep a good form and technique to stay safe. If you have bad form, you could suffer from strain in your calves, ankles, shins, knees and lower back.

You should try and avoid jarring movements for general fitness. You should tell your trainer as soon as you feel a strain, because we can’t always tell, unless you tell us.

Never force stretching movements, or ‘spring back’ from them. These can cause muscle strain, and a great pain. If you gradually extend your muscles until you feel a strain, and repeat this, you will decrease the likelihood of soreness, strain and injury.

For effectiveness, you will require effort, and those who say ‘that must hurt’ are wrong. You can only reach a higher level of fitness if you raise your goals. During low or moderate aerobic exercise, the main fuel source for your body is fat. If you wish to burn excess fat, then simply partake in the recommended exercises, and levels of toughness and you will get maximum results. As you get fitter, the intensity of your program will increase: Adjusting weight, rest times, repetition cycles and intensity.

To get peak performance (and avoid injury) every time you exercise, you should warm up before, and cool down afterwards.

Enjoyment: Nobody should exercise JUST because it is good for you: You should add extra goals that mean something to you, and this will make it much more enjoyable.

You should always create a goal, and focus your effort on it, to keep you motivated. The more motivating the exercise, the more you will enjoy it. The more you enjoy it, the better the results!

But, how can exercise be fun? Well, stop considering it as exercise, and instead think of it as play. As a child you would play and have fun: make exercise the new play. Play usually involves variety and friends.

Play should always be positive, exciting, and mainly FUN!

Source: Instructor’s resource Manual and Test Bank for Total Fitness exercise, nutrition, and wellness by Powers

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3 Innovations that Vanish Wrinkles in Just a Few Hours Without Surgery

The recent technological advances and research in science, particularly in the health and skin care industry, have allowed the development of some innovative and non-invasive devices that treat and erase wrinkles in just a matter of hours. These remarkable devices are now available and easily accessible without the high cost of surgery and easily be found at a local dermatologist or specialized clinic in your city.

If you are one of the millions of men and women who crave for that youthful look, then check out these 3 innovations and see if you can find one in your local derma clinic.

Innovation#1: Intense Pulse Light Photorejuvenation Treatment (IPL)
This treatment is more commonly known in the market as skin laser treatment and has been the preferred treatment to erase fine wrinkles, remove brown spots or sun spots, brighten skin, and eliminate freckles, capillaries and birth marks.

This device works by producing light pulses that penetrates the skin in different wavelengths. The amount of wavelength that is applied to the skin will depend on which particular skin problem is being treated, thereby allowing the blemishes to be treated precisely without causing damage to the surrounding skin tissue. This particular action also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin (2 naturally occurring proteins in the skin cells that make skin elastic and firm) that make the skin appear tighter, youthful, bright and plump.

A typical session would last about 30 minutes or less, depending on how severe the skin problem is and the cost per session normally would be about $300-$800. Usually, a series of follow-up treatment is required to achieve a very satisfactory result. Also, no recovery time is required for this particular treatment.

Innovation#2: Radio Frequency Treatment.
The recent substantial improvement in radio frequency treatment devices over the previous models that were introduced a few years ago, has made these devices more effective, cheaper and safer to use to remove large wrinkles and creases on the skin.

The radio frequency machine works by introducing infrared heat into the skin tissue beneath the skin surface. This causes the underlying collagen to tighten and contract making the loose skin appear firmer and this is especially effective in flattening deep wrinkles and creases in the skin. And since the treatment does not take off layers of skin, there is no recovery time required after the treatment.

Currently, the radio frequency treatment id approved by the FDA for the treatment of wrinkles on the forehead and on the eye area and the approval for the treatment on the neck and cheek areas is currently being passed.

The typical cost for each treatment is around $300 up to $2,500 depending on how large is the coverage area to be treated and since there in recovery time required for this particular treatment, patients can usually go about their normal schedule after the treatment. You can checkout your local derma clinic if they offer this treatment in their office.

Innovation#3: Hyaluronic Filler Treatment
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring lubricating substance found in the skin (and joints) that helps retain moisture and hydrate the skin. Recent developments have allowed specialists to use hyaluronic acid as a filler material that can be injected into the creases in the skin, thereby flattening the wrinkle and making the skin appear wrinkle free. This hyaluronic acid injection treatment now replaces the more commonly known collagen injections and majority of dermatologist and aesthetic surgeons offer this treatment since it lasts longer than collagen injections and is allergy free. A typical treatment would cost about $500 to $2000 depending on the amount of coverage area that needs to be treated. Also, you can enjoy your new skin as soon as the treatment is done since no recovery time is required after the treatment and the filler normally lasts about 12 months so a follow-up treatment may only be needed one year after.

Each of the treatment mentioned may require some maintenance by using certain at-home-care products that your dermatologist or plastic surgeon may prescribe. This home care regimen will help a lot in maintaining your youthful appearance after the treatment.

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3 Meats You Can Eat on a Low-Carbohydrate Diet

Summer is just around the corner, and a low-carbohydrate diet is one that many gravitate toward for quick weight loss. If you find yourself on a low-carbohydrate diet and suffering from lack of taste, well try these 3 meat ideas for some spruced up taste in your food:

Marinated Italian Chicken Breast. Wash several pieces of boneless chicken breasts and cut slits (approximately 3) in each piece. Place the chicken breasts in a dish and pour some clear, Italian Vinaigrette Dressing over the meat, making sure to well saturate the slits in the meat. Make sure that you cover all the meat and then cover the dish with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator overnight. (You can also prepare these in the morning so that the meat will be ready to cook by the time you arrive home from work in the evening.) After the meat has marinated in the dressing, take the chicken breast out of the dish and place in a buttered pan. (Butter adds flavor to the meat and keeps it from sticking.) Cook the meat as directed on the package. Throw the left over dressing away and do not worry about the carbohydrates that the dressing adds to the meat. You will find these to be next to nothing.

Bacon-wrapped hamburger patty. Mix some black pepper into some hamburger meat and form a large, thick patty for broiling. (Refrain from adding salt to the meat until after it is cooked. Salt only dries out and toughens the meat.) Wrap a thick-cut slice of raw bacon around the meat patty, stretching the end of the bacon over the beginning. Close the ends and secure the bacon onto the hamburger meat with a toothpick. Cover the pan with foil to prevent grease from popping everywhere and smoking up your oven, and ultimately your house. Broil in your oven using an oven temperature of between 350 degrees and 400 degrees, depending on your oven. Broil until the meat turns the color of your liking (rare, medium rare, et cetera). When your meat is almost done, you can take the pan out of the oven, remove the foil, and pour off the excess fat. Then place the pan back in the oven without the foil covering and cook for a bit. This will cause the bacon to become crispy. Remove and cool for a few minutes. Serve this yummy meat treat with whatever you like.

Smoked turkey glazed with mustard. Smoked turkey tastes a lot like ham, but turkey is better for you. Purchase an already-smoked turkey and thaw. Once you thaw the turkey, cut off a big slice (or two) of your favorite section. Smear on some good old-fashion yellow mustard. Place the turkey in a pan (with no covering) and bake the turkey until the mustard dries well on the meat. Take the turkey out of the oven and eat after cooling. The mustard adds spice and a taste of sweetness to the turkey. You will be yearning for more once you get a taste of this delicacy.

So, you now have three meats to spice up your low-carbohydrate diet. Do not make yourself settle for bland-tasting food just because you do not know what else to eat. Take a few minutes out of your day and treat yourself to one of the delicious meats you now know how to make.

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3 Major Mistakes to Avoid on Your Trip to Palau

As Palau heats up as a travel destination, more and more articles about where to go and what to do are popping up. But what sorts of things should you avoid? If you want to make the most of your trip to Palau, don’t make these mistakes.

Don’t book your activities when you get there
This was actually a piece of advice given to me by a friend, a native Palauan. He warned me that arranging tours, snorkeling trips, and other activities would be much more expensive if I did it in Palau, and recommended that I book everything in advance. One of my friends learned this the hard way when she went to Palau on vacation with her family of four. Every time they wanted to go somewhere, they either had to wait for the boat to fill up with people, or pay to charter the entire boat themselves, which was very expensive. If you don’t want to spend your vacation sitting around hoping people will join your boat so you can head out, then definitely book a tour before hand.

Don’t eat all your meals with your tour group (if you can)
Of course there are downsides to being part of a tour group. Most of them seem to have some sort of deal with local restaurants, so they’ll try to take you to the same place for most of your meals. Many of these restaurants aren’t owned by locals and so the food is only pseudo-Palauan, and only interesting the first time around. Fortunately my Palauan friend was able to pick us up for meals and take us to places that locals actually eat. I understand not everyone has the advantage of having a native Palauan friend, but if you’re interested in trying a variety of foods while in Palau, you can hire a taxi to take you any place you want to try.

Don’t skimp on the sunscreen
I cannot stress this enough. My Palauan friend is so dark he is often mistaken for African American, but he says even he burns under the Palauan sun. Both he and our tour guide told us that sunscreen should be applied every time you get out of the water, somewhere between 4-6 times a day. I applied mine religiously and still came back with a tan. My English boyfriend, on the other hand, only applied sunscreen about two times a day. After the second day of snorkeling, the backs of his knees were burned to a shiny, angry red. The pain was so bad he could barely walk, sit, stand, take the stairs, or do any of the other things legs are designed to do. If you don’t want to spend the rest of your vacation laying in bed rubbing salve all over your burns, make sure you stock up on sunscreen and don’t forget to keep reapplying!

If you make sure to avoid these mistakes, you’ll easily make the most of your trip to this beautiful island nation!

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3 Little Words

3 Little Words

I love you.

I say it out loud and it drifts into the unknown

because I have no one to call my own.

This loneliness won’t let me go.

People tell me to use this time to grow.

He’s out there, and be patient.

When you’re ready he’ll show.

How can you say that?

What the future holds no one knows.

I’ll just keep waiting. Keep looking. Keep praying.

I’ll just keep on saying I love you out loud.

Hoping that one day someone will say it back.

Tags:3 Little Words

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