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Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

As you may have noticed from the sea of pink taking over cities everywhere, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is celebrated annually to increase awareness of this disease that touches so many of us. Today, 1 in 8 women (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Whether you’re a survivor yourself, or among the millions of friends and families that know someone who has won or lost their courageous battle, now is the time we all come together to raise our messages of strength, support, and hope for a cure.

Join In the Fight
If you’re wondering what you can do to show your support or help out, we’ve compiled a list

of ideas that anyone can do to make an impact throughout the month.

Take the PLEDGE!
Despite the campaigns each year, many people still don’t know how to properly prevent and monitor their chances of getting the disease. The pledge consists of six steps that can help.

Make a donation.
Every penny is a step closer to a cure, and no donation is too small. You can donate at events in your community or easily do so online as well.

Participate in an event in your community.
In just about every city in America, you can join a walk, run, race, or special event to help support the cause. Take your mom, sister, grandma, or best friend by the hand and head out to make your mark.

Be a light for someone.
If you know someone in your neighborhood who is living with cancer, step in and offer kindness. Provide a meal, watch the kids, deliver some magazines, weed her garden, etc. If you don’t know anyone personally, volunteer at a local hospital.

Learn more.
Even something simple as learning a bit more about breast cancer makes a difference. It’s all about awareness. To start, we think you might find this list very interesting of 6 Things You Don’t Know About Breast Cancer.

Help spread awareness.
No one deserves to go down the road of breast cancer. At Bluemountain.com, we have cards and postcards you can send and share with everyone you know, to remind and encourage them to take steps toward prevention, as well as to raise awareness all month long.

At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, and with your help, there will be millions more.

Breast Cancer Awareness

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Breast Cancer Awareness Breast Cancer Awareness Breast Cancer Awareness Breast Cancer Awareness Breast Cancer Awareness

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A Beautiful Fall Poem…

A Beautiful Fall Poem...

leaf piles beckon

every age–

nature knows

what the soul needs;

what we forgot

golden sun washes faces

as crisp winds

leave kisses

on cheeks

and apples

harvest light bathes

living room floorboards

like butter

while cinnamon

curls the air

candles dance

and firesides begin

conversations

of crackling coziness

days too quickly dim

as fall envelops us in her

vibrant sweater of warmth,

and home,

and

each other.

 

_Liza McNamara, Sr. Editor

A Beautiful Fall Poem...A Beautiful Fall Poem...A Beautiful Fall Poem...A Beautiful Fall Poem...A Beautiful Fall Poem...A Beautiful Fall Poem...

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Autumn Traditions

Glorious fall has arrived! This season is a favorite for many who can’t wave good-bye         to the hazy days of summer fast enough as they look forward to the cool crisp air, falling leaves, and smell of wood smoke. And with that anticipation is a myriad of traditions full of nature, fun, and food that touches everyone with a bit of warmth and nostalgia.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Autumn TraditionsDo you remember riding in the station wagon to a pumpkin patch in the country? There’s nothing that gets you right into the spirit of all things fall than being on a farm with pumpkins, animals, flowers, and homemade apple cider. Gather friends or family together for a sunny afternoon.

 

Get Lost in A Corn Maze

A trip to farm or pumpkin patch isn’t complete without an attempt at making it through the corn maze, and these days farmers set up some pretty newsworthy designsAutumn Traditions that bring together the old and young alike for quite a challenging try. Who will be the first one through this year? Find one in your area here.

 

 

 

Autumn TraditionsMake a Fall Recipe

When it comes to food, fall means pumpkin, pumpkin,    pumpkin! Pumpkin pies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin lattes, and just about anything else you can imagine.  But another fun staple not to be overlooked is the beloved caramel apple. This year when you visit the pumpkin farm or orchard, bring home a bushel of apples and try this fun twist on caramel apples which was featured on the The Dating Divas as a guest post from Michelle, of A Little Tipsy. This super fun dessert gives BOTH apple and pumpkin their tasty due!

 

Venture Out to See the Foliage

Autumn Traditions

When Mother Nature dons her most beautiful wardrobe of the year, we can’t help but want to catch of glimpse of her in all her finery. Perhaps you’ve taken a trip up to New England, where the mountains are ablaze with color, farms ooze fresh maple syrup, and quaint covered bridges beckon travelers to cross over. At any given moment in the country, friends and families are taking road trips, day trips, and walks through parks to drink   in the most spectacular display of the year.

Get In the Spirit with Fall Décor                       

Who can resist adding a bit of fall happiness throughout Autumn Traditionsthe home with berry branches, pumpkins, and potted mums on the porch to greet guests? Even the simplest touches can bring a warm and happy feel to any room.   So, when you’re out on those walks or visiting the pumpkin farms, gather a bunch of colorful leaves and small pumpkins and gourds and invite fall indoors.
From your fall adventures outdoors to your cozy fall touches inside, we here at Bluemountain.com hope you enjoy every single minute of welcoming autumn with your favorite traditions as you savor the beauty of this awe-inspiring season!

Autumn TraditionsAutumn TraditionsAutumn TraditionsAutumn TraditionsAutumn TraditionsAutumn Traditions

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What to Write in an Anniversary Card

What to Write in an Anniversary Card

By definition, an anniversary marks a date that’s remembered because of a significant event. In this case, we’re highlighting a wedding anniversary, either your own or that of someone you care about.

To help celebrate this extra special occasion, you probably would want to send an anniversary card. But you really want it to speak straight from the heart—and every word needs to be both meaningful and sincere.

After you’ve finally settled on the perfect card, you then most probably will want to add your own personal note. And this is where the challenge lies. Where to begin? How to phrase your thoughts and wishes?  What exactly to include?

Blue Mountain is here to help!

First of all, it’s best to keep anything you write short and sweet.  (Think of one warm thought or feeling, one compliment about the other person, or one statement of gratitude.) It’s also important to express your feelings in your own genuine style (e.g., cute, simple, direct, romantic, corny, funny, etc.). Finally, be sure to keep the recipient clearly in mind, whether it’s a spouse, a friend, or a relative— and speak directly to them as you normally would in person.

For some great examples of what to write in an anniversary card, we’d like to share several ways to address that very special someone in your life:

For Your Own Spouse

  • To my one and only.
  • You are my endless love!
  • My heart is yours forever.
  • Thank you for another wonderful year.
  • I offer my heart to you again. And again. And again.
  • After all this time, you’re still absolutely, undeniably incredible to me.
  • My love is real because of you.
  • You make my life complete.
  • I love you not only for who you are, but for who I am when I’m with you.
  • To another year full of joy, love, and bliss.
  • Our union tells me God has blessed me with a tremendous gift.
  • I’m honored to grow old with you and to share memories of the blessed life we have together.
  • Happy anniversary to my best friend, the love of my life, and all the other titles you deserve.
  • Every year with you is sweeter than the last.
  • The longer we’re married, the more I realize I got the better end of the deal.
  • When I look into your eyes, I see a reflection of the love we’ve share and the many more happy years to come.
  • How sweet it is to be loved by you.
  • Every year that passes, I fall more and more in love with you.
  • One year down. Many, many more wonderful ones to go!
  • To the one person in this world who makes me the happiest!

For Someone Else

  • Congratulations on so many wonderful years together!
  • A wish that all your days together continue to be touched with lasting love.
  • May the cherished memories of the years you’ve shared make this anniversary a wonderful celebration indeed.
  • Wishing you a wonderful anniversary and a beautiful future with your one true love.
  • Congratulations on your anniversary and best wishes for many more wonderful years to come.
  • May you continue to be as blessed by your life together as those around you are blessed by your example of unconditional love.
  • True love stories never end.
  • To the couple who best exemplifies happily ever after.
  • May every year you share find you still more and more in love with each other.
  • Wishing you a very joyful anniversary and many more to come.
  • Happy anniversary to one of the coolest couples around!
  • Wishing you the special moments this golden day can bring, and through the years ahead of you, the best of everything!
  • May God bless you on this momentous occasion.
  • With love and best wishes for your anniversary.
  • Together may you share the things a perfect anniversary brings!
  • Wishing you all the happiness any couple could have.
  • May this be a day of tender moments, warm memories, and wonderful wishes for the future.
  • Celebrate the love that promises to bring so many more years of pure joy.
  • May your love continue to inspire others by shining brightly for years to come. Congratulations.
  • Wishing you much happiness as you continue to celebrate all the joys your marriage has brought.
What to Write in an Anniversary CardWhat to Write in an Anniversary CardWhat to Write in an Anniversary CardWhat to Write in an Anniversary CardWhat to Write in an Anniversary CardWhat to Write in an Anniversary Card

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Brighten Someone’s Day Challenge

Brighten Someones Day Challenge

Several months ago, we wrote about making people smile and random acts of kindness. The idea was to get people thinking about looking beyond themselves and reaching out to others who could use some cheering up.

Since it’s been a while, we wanted to reconnect and see how it’s going with your new mission to brighten someone’s day­—everyday.

  • Are you making a conscious effort to share and spread kindness as often as possible?
  • Are you surprising and delighting people with anonymous gestures, both big and small?
  • Are you sharing generosity and thoughtfulness with friends and strangers alike?

If so, we’d love to hear about it – or better yet we’d like to see your badge of honor. We invite you to post your good deeds on our Facebook page along with the above image. Simply right click on the image, save it to your desktop, and then post it in your status on Facebook, while including what you did recently to brighten someone’s day.

Brighten Someones Day ChallengeBrighten Someones Day ChallengeBrighten Someones Day ChallengeBrighten Someones Day ChallengeBrighten Someones Day ChallengeBrighten Someones Day Challenge

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How to be a Supportive Friend

How to be a Supportive Friend

Good times and good friends just naturally go together, but what do you do when hard times befall your friends? It’s easy to be a good friend during the fun times, but your friends need you most when life gets difficult, and they often could use your support and some words of encouragement. Here are some helpful ways to be the friend she needs through big changes, hard times, and everything in between.

Actively listen
Don’t just hear what your friend is saying, actively listen and validate her feelings with phrases like, “That must have made you feel so anxious” or “I understand you’re really hurting.” Your friend wants you to empathize with her situation and show that she’s understood. Don’t dismiss or minimize the importance of the problem by saying things like, “That’s nothing to be upset over.” You are not her, and she’s the one going through the ordeal, not you.

Don’t compare
Don’t compare your friend’s situation to one of your own, as this may appear to her that you’re changing the focus to you. If you feel she might relate to your past situation, mention it and quickly bring the focus back to her, such as, “I felt the exact same way when “x” happened, but it got easier as I talked it through and maybe you’ll find that happening for you as well.” This shows you sympathize with her situation, and relate to it, while keeping the attention on her.

Don’t be “Miss Fix It”
Your friend mainly wants to be heard and supported. She’s not necessarily looking for you to solve or fix the problem. Rushing in with ways to “fix” things may give her the feeling that she’s not capable of handling it on her own. She really just needs you to be her empathetic confidant.

Don’t ask—take action
When friends are going through tough times, it’s our natural reaction to say, “Let me know if I can do anything.” The trouble with this is that now we’ve given our troubled friend a task to do in addition to dealing with her situation. Plus, if she’s not one to easily ask for help, then this becomes a daunting task for her and chances are she’ll never reach out. Instead, take charge yourself and make a few meals for your friend and drop them off. A homemade dish is always a sign of comfort, no matter what.  Or, simply stop by with her favorite coffee drink or smoothie to brighten her day. Small acts of kindness can go a long way in showing support.

Be her cheerleader
When she’s ready, let her look to you for cheering up. One of the best ways to help a friend in need is to offer a strong dose of positivity by validating her feelings and also showing a brighter side. She’ll not only reap the benefits of your good mood, but it will make even the most challenging situations easier for her to cope with.

Hugs are healing
Never underestimate the power of a hug. Sometimes, there are no words and simply pulling her in for a warm hug can make her feel nurtured, calm, and safe. Research has even shown that hugging boosts brain chemicals like oxytocin and serotonin, elevating one’s mood and creating a sense of well-being—everything your friend needs.

 

How to be a Supportive FriendHow to be a Supportive FriendHow to be a Supportive FriendHow to be a Supportive FriendHow to be a Supportive FriendHow to be a Supportive Friend

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How to Nurture all of your Friendships

How to Nurture all of your Friendships

Not all friendships are created equal, but all friendships are indeed important and meaningful in their own unique, special ways.

Truth be told, there are varying levels of friendship. Some are extremely close. Some not as much, but still significant nonetheless. Although your various friendships may be different from one another, it’s still important to stay connected with each of them and to show your appreciation. After all, they have inspired, supported, encouraged, and motivated you—and perhaps even stood by your side—and probably continue to do so even today.

Blue Mountain has compiled a list of five different groups of friends you might have. We’ve also added fun ways to keep in touch with those friends in each group. Maybe you have suggestions of your own. We’d love to hear them!

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #1: BEST FRIENDS
Friends in this group are very few, but they’re the ones who know you best and accept you unconditionally. They’re also the ones you first turn to through the different phases of your life. To stay connected with this select group, the more personal, the better: one-on-one get-togethers, phone calls, and cards (yes, through the mail) are the nicest and most meaningful gestures.

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #2: SOCIAL FRIENDS
These friends are formed from social circles that enjoy each other’s company outside the home and workplace. They enjoy getting together and having a great time, whether at each other’s homes, at outside venues, or at functions. To stay connected with this group, eCards are a good choice.

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #3: WORK FRIENDS
Obviously, these friends are your professional colleagues and co-workers. You’re brought together through a mutual employer, but then you just happen to click on a more personal level. You might even socialize outside of work. These friends could also accumulate if you leave one company for another. To stay connected with this group, the social network LinkedIn is a great place to gather. Coffee and lunch dates are also nicely practical.

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #4: SCHOOL FRIENDS
This group of friends could have been culled from your grade school, high school, or college…or your child’s grade school, high school, or college. These individuals might include classmates, teachers, professors, coaches, mentors, other parents, etc. To stay connected with this group (through messages and photographs), blogging and social media work extremely well. You might want to consider Facebook or Twitter. Also, alumni groups and reunions are great ways to keep in touch.

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #5: CASUAL FRIENDS
These are friends you see just every once in a while. They could be meet-up groups, neighbors, members of your religious affiliation, etc. You don’t see each other regularly, but you do enjoy each other’s company and you get along well. To stay connected with this group, you may want to make more of an effort to do a planned activity together (movie, dinner, concert, art show, bowling) or share a lovely treat (bakery, flowers, vegetables from your garden, a small gift). You can also reach out and send an eCard that shows how much you value their friendship.

 

How to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your Friendships

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Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)

Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)

Your closest and dearest friend(s) will always have a special place in your heart. And you in hers. You know each other inside and out. You’ve gone through good times and bad. You’ve been there for each other through thick and thin. And there’s no one else you’d rather call your best friend.

But times change—and life happens. You don’t get to see each other as often as you once did. You don’t keep in touch as often as you’d like. And you suddenly somehow feel that an occasional phone call just isn’t enough.

You’d like to change that now. You’d like to reach out to her in some very special way and surprise her with an act of appreciation for your deep friendship. Any ideas of how you’re going to do that?

Don’t give it another thought. Blue Mountain has done all the work for you and compiled a list of 10 fun and exciting ways to reconnect with your BFF. Pick one (or more!) and delight her today!

MAKE A SCRAPBOOK OR VIDEO
Compile a scrapbook or PowerPoint slideshow of the many pictures you have of you and your best friend together. If doing a video, add songs in the background that have a special meaning to you both. Don’t forget to add a personal message that will touch her heart. This will truly become a keepsake.

RECREATE PAST MEMORIES
What did you use to like to do together? Ride bikes? Go bowling? Shop at the mall? Visit an amusement park? Have sleepovers? Recreate that exact kind of day with little notes that will remind her of your past shared memories and inside jokes.

HAVE DINNER TOGETHER
Visit a restaurant in a city that neither of you have ever been to before. Make reservations under your nicknames. Order for each other. Giggle the night away.

WATCH AN OLD SHOW
Rent an old movie that was a favorite of both of yours and laugh/cry through it together. Choose either a popular TV series (like “Leave it to Beaver,” “Father Knows Best,” or “I Love Lucy”) or a classic film (like “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” or “Titanic”). If a good chick flick about female friendship is more to your liking, choose “Thelma and Louise,” “Beaches,” or “Steel Magnolias.” And don’t forget the popcorn!

MAKE A RETRO DINNER
Cook dinner for your best friend that would be something you both loved as kids. Think retro. Your menu could include such all-time favorites as macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, salisbury steak or meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas, chicken à la king, tuna casserole, TV dinners, deviled eggs, spinach dip in a hollowed-out bread bowl, cheese spread in a can with a nozzle plus crackers, baked Alaska, a gelatin mold, or S’mores.

SEND FLOWERS
It doesn’t matter if it’s a magnificent bouquet or a simple arrangement. The important thing is that your friend’s day is made that much brighter when she receives those beautiful flowers from you. You might also want to accompany them with an eCard that expresses your sentiments. For a helpful guide, here is what some flowers signify:

  • Amaryllis – splendid beauty
  • Birds of Paradise – joyfulness
  • Black-Eyed Susan – encouragement
  • Blue Violet – faithfulness
  • Carnation – pride and beauty
  • Chrysanthemum – cheerfulness in old age; fidelity
  • Gladiolus – strength of character
  • Heather – admiration
  • Lily – majesty
  • Pink carnation – gratitude
  • Yellow rose – friendship
  • Zinnia – thoughts of friends

SHARE A SPA DAY
Book an afternoon (or even a full day!) of pampering at the spa for the two of you. Choose from the variety of services offered—from manicures and pedicures, to facials, massages, and body treatments. Throw in a shampoo/style, makeup application, or lunch, too, if available. Then get ready to enjoy a truly restful and relaxing time together.

ENJOY AN OUTDOOR ACTIVITY
Think outside the box on this one. Maybe plant a garden together. Or go hiking (and enjoy a picnic lunch afterwards). Or play in a playground. Or fly kites. Or rollerblade. Or go kayaking. Or run a race. Or…frankly, the world is your oyster.

ATTEND A COOKING CLASS
There’s nothing that brings good friends together quite like food. Choose a class that will introduce a cuisine or technique that’s new to both of you. Then maybe schedule another evening to recreate at home what you learned in class. Don’t forget the wine! Bon appétit!

GET AWAY
Schedule a getaway weekend just for the two of you. It can be as exotic (a trip to Paris!) or as modest (tenting in a national park) as you’d like or can afford. The important thing is that you enjoy your time together and get a chance to catch up on old times!

And now we’d like to surprise and delight YOU, our dear reader, with a free desktop background featuring one of our most popular friendship quotes. To set as your desktop background, simply click the image, and when the new window appears, right click and choose “set as background.”

Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)

 

Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)

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Letter From the Editor – Celebrating Friendship!

Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!

Hello, Blue Mountain Friends,

Is it really August already?!  The long lazy days of summer we enjoyed as children seem to go by so quickly now.  But there are still lots of delightful things to appreciate in August—the days are warm and sunny, the robins are still singing and the calla lilies are in bloom.  August also dawns with two great days to celebrate—National Girlfriends Day on the first, and Friendship Day on the third.

What would we do without our friends?  We go to them with the questions that can’t be Googled.  They drop everything if we’re in trouble.  They laugh with us, cry with us, encourage us and remind us of who we are, when we forget.  They are kindred spirits who get us when it seems like no one else understands. Just the thought of them can make us smile.

It’s said that a friend is one of the greatest things we can have and one of the best things we can be.   Here at Blue Mountain we’ve been pondering how we can all be better friends and nurture these important relationships.  So we’ve created new Friendship eCards to thank our friends for the many ways they enhance our lives, let them know how special they are to us and remind them that we’re here for them, too. Since every friendship is unique, we have a range of cards featuring beautiful photography, whimsical artwork and beautiful hand-lettered designs.  The messaging ranges from light and funny to warm and heartfelt.  Later this month we’ll be introducing fun new birthday cards and talking cards for friends, and all of our blogs this month have a beautiful friendship theme.  Why not Brighten Someone’s Day today and celebrate your friends with a Friendship eCard?

Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!
Caroline Leech, Senior Editor

Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!

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What to Write…to Brighten Someone’s Day

What to Write...to Brighten Someones Day

It’s easier than you think to brighten someone’s day. In fact, we probably don’t realize just how easy it can be. So, why don’t we do more of these random acts of kindness? Oftentimes, people feel that they have to show or exude some grand gesture that’s over-the-top, but the truth is it’s often the “out of the blue” kindness that makes the biggest impact. Something like finding a happy envelope with a real stamp in your mailbox or a fun eCard in your email are the perfect delights to make someone’s day brighter.

But what should you say inside of these surprise notes or letters?  It doesn’t have to be a lot, just genuine. Use some stationery to pen a simple hello, a “thought of you today” message, or even jot down a favorite phrase, quote, or piece of poetry that you think they might find uplifting. We’ve compiled some of our favorite things to write to brighten someone’s day that we thought you might enjoy sharing with someone you care about.

Inspirational Quotes

  • I can go days without talking to you,
    months without seeing you,
    but not a second goes by that I don’t think about you.
  • You are so much sunshine to the square inch!
    _
    Walt Whitman
  • The happiest thing in the world to do
    Is to think of someone dear to you.
  • You are a work of heart.
  • There is joy in sharing the written word.
    (So I thought I’d send you a note!)
  • Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible”!
    _ Audrey Hepburn

Lighthearted Wishes

  • Occasionally along life’s way, you meet someone
    you’ll always remember…someone like you!
  •  Hope your day is easier and brighter…knowing someone is thinking of you.
  • Something’s on my mind…YOU!
  •  Just stopping by with a friendly, “Hi!”
  • Thinking of you? Why, yes…
    With lots of warmth
    And happiness!
  • Thinking of you…and hoping everything’s going just the way it should                   for someone as special as you.

 For Fun

  • You’re a good friend…Not as good as me, since I’m sending you a note just for the hell of it, but a good friend nonetheless.
  • Me: For the first time in life, things seem to be getting better.                                     Life: LOL, give me a second!
  • I’m in desperate need of a 6 month vacation…twice a year.
  • The most fun things in life are either immoral, illegal or they make you fat.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along,                     listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.
    _ Winnie the Pooh
  • It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.
    _
    Seneca

 

What to Write...to Brighten Someones DayWhat to Write...to Brighten Someones DayWhat to Write...to Brighten Someones DayWhat to Write...to Brighten Someones DayWhat to Write...to Brighten Someones DayWhat to Write...to Brighten Someones Day