Find your roots and grow, wherever you go. Travel-Yoga-Lifestyle

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Guatemala is a Trip

Words can barely describe my recent trip to Guatemala, and I never expected it to be what it was. Through my travels and supported by it’s beauty and culture, amazing people and places, I was knocked down by sickness and brought to life again, met the most amazing people, hiked volcanoes and trudged through caves, saw sunrises and sunsets in places that I will never forget with new faces that have impacted my life for good. Here are some of the highlights and favorite photos of my journeys in this beautiful country, I hope they inspire you to go for yourself and experience your own Guatemalan adventure!


1. Exploring the streets of Antigua

I love colonial towns, and Antigua is one the nicest ones I have visited thus far. Old churches, cobblestone streets and heaps of shops and restaurants to check out in the day, as well as some good bars and live music to see at night. I was lucky enough to spend New Year’s here, where the street were packed and the celebration was on in full swing. As the clock hit midnight I watched from a rooftop as fireworks encircled the entire city. If you don’t get too trapped into going out there are some awesome day trips and hikes to do through tour companies that are decently priced and super fun!


2. The Good Life at Lago de Atitlan

This was a place many friends had told me to visit, and for good reason. The vibe at the lake is not to be missed, a hidden gem in the mountains only accessible by winding roads and well worth the journey. I spent the most time in San Pedro, which is full of awesome restaurants, a couple must-go bars, reputable Spanish schools and thanks to the super ‘naturalist’ crowd it draws, a life saving health food store. Sunbathing, swimming in the lake, hiking, beach partying and lots of good music surrounded by a little family was how I spent my days. Only word of warning, be cautious of taking good care of yourself and perhaps look into Grapefruit Seed Extract if you want to save yourself some trouble, I got quite sick here, and unfortunately it’s a common occurrence. I don’t often stay places for 3 weeks, but San Pedro felt like a temporary home. Want to learn Spanish? Highly recommend Maya B Spanish School. If you are looking for a more relaxed vibe and hella cacao ceremonies, check out San Marcos, easily accessible by boat from the San Pedro dock!DCIM105GOPROGOPR6035.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6120.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6192.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6208.DCIM100GOPROGOPR0346.DCIM100GOPROGOPR0334.

3. Indiana Jones’ing and Jungle Lovin’ in Semuc Champey

Hands down one of the coolest and most fun experiences ever. Pretty broad yeah but seriously, Semuc Champey is the shit. It was a bit of a deathride to get there, stuck in the back of a tiny bus for like 10 hours and fearing falling off a cliff, but once you get there you’ll forget about the bus and let yourself enjoy the beauty and good times awaiting. I stayed at the infamour Zephyr lodge, known for it’s party atmosphere and complete with a bunch of Aussies but worth staying at, even though it’s a tad more expensive than some other accommodations. The town of Lanquin where most people stay (also where Zephyr is located) is quite small but I actually checked out a dope market with some great tamales. Many of the people here didn’t actually speak Spanish but a dialect of Mayan, and being out here really felt as close as many beaten path travellers get to off the grid. Semuc Champey itself is about a 45 minute truck ride away. It’s crystal blue pools and the nearby caves will take your breath away. Talk about jungle love, this place blew my mind. Australia day was pretty fun here too, and gotta love an infinity pool. DCIM106GOPROGOPR6211.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6236.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6249.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6278.

4. The Serene Ruins at Tikal

Almost didn’t make it to Tikal, but if you’re going to see some ruins, I highly recommend visiting. Tikal is located near the city of Flores, so most people stay here and take a tour out in the day to the ruins, as we did, with a super informative and enthusiastic guide and a good sized group. We explored the ruins with our group and individually and what really struck me was how peaceful it was. No giant crowds like Angkor Wat, and with the guide providing in depth info about the ruins, flora and fauna, I felt I got the whole time travel experience. We watched the sunset from one of the highest formations, as is has done for years and years over the Mayan Empire. Magical.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6298.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6301.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6294.DCIM106GOPROGOPR6309.

So there you have some highlights of some crazy times down in Guate. So much left untold, so much still to discover. Muchas gracias!


What parts of Guatemala have you visited? What were your favorite parts or crazy things you experienced here?

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How I (try to) travel light

As I prepare to jet off on another leg of the great journey the excitement of packing the trusty ol’ travelling backpack fills me with joy. The constant narrowing down of everything you think you ‘need’ until it all fits comfortably into your turtle-shell carry all is a task I am well acquainted with and as annoying it can be, it is always good practice, of travel and of non-attachment.

I told myself this time I was taking nothing. I want to be able to hop on and off of buses without the fear of breaking my spine or dreading trekking up any sort of hill with my oversized pack. I will wear the same outfit for months. I imagine my backpack as a lovely floating green companion with a few shirts and a toothbrush, until I realize that unless I’m on naked and afraid, there will be a lot more than that. I’m going for balance here. So here is what I’ve narrowed it down to, quite painlessly actually, the guts of my pack which will hopefully be more ‘I can evade dogs and run fast with this!’ than ‘holy shit my knees are broken.’

One outfit would be light but ultimately impractical and boring. Sitting in an airport freezing in tiny shorts is at least better when you have a light sweater. Obviously it’s easier to pack light when you’ll be in warm climates, but terrain and environment can vary (32)With clothes it’s best to stick to basics and things that are multipurpose. That scarf? Now it’s a vest..or blanket..or skirt. Scarves are where it’s at.

So here I have:

5 tanktops (they’re small)

1 dress

2 pairs of yoga shorts

1 pair of leggings

1 scarf

1 sarong (like scarves, can have many uses)

2 hats and 1 wool buff

2 pairs jean shorts

1 cardigan

1 rainjacket/windbreaker

a clump of bathing suits and unds

Not so bad. I can honestly say scarves and my rainjacket have saved me numerous times, pack them! Also in this photo is my travel hoop (need) and hammock. Hammock’s a little heavy but can come in very handy and oh so comfy.

photo (35)

As for shoes, I typically end up with none or well worn flip flops, but there’s always a part of me that pictures myself hiking epic volcanoes and hoping for something a little more sturdy. The boots are a bit of an exception. These aren’t exactly something I would highly recommend bringing, but I love (33)

This part is where shit gets heavy. Previously I’ve travelled without a computer ( I didn’t actually own one at the time) but I just prefer to have it, especially if I plan to keep this ol’ thing pretty up to date. Then cameras, cords and chargers are added into the mix. As long as electronics are all kept compact and organized they’re really not bad to travel with. Also pictured here is the ESSENTIAL yoga mat and handy dandy journal. Not pictured here: Gopro and accessories.


photo (34)

Also bringing the ukulele!!!


This things been around the block.

At the end of it all, I feel like I did a pretty good job this time around. All comes down to weeding out what you really don’t need, which will become apparent when you hit the road. And don’t forget the little things, like passport copies and padlocks, just to be safe.

Hope this was a decent insight on the art of packing, happy travels and be safe!!!

Stay tuned for posts on my upcoming travels and to see where the wind is currently taking me!



The gifts of Travel

As the fall months turn into a time of slowing down, renewal, reflection and recharging, I feel it’s a perfect time to share some thoughts about how travel has changed my life and why I love it, why every memory and experience is so special and how I think it is undoubtedly beneficial for our hearts and souls.

1. The people you meet

Some of the closest friends I have made have been while travelling, near and far. Taking yourself out of the ‘usual’ and freeing yourself you are no longer limited to what already surrounds, more able to make connections that you may never have made had you not taken the actions you did. This also goes for just doing new things and reaching out to the world wherever you are! Often you meet people on a similar page as you, and a few travel days can feel like a lifetime. Sometimes the shortest interactions are the ones that affect you the most. I believe that everyone we come across in life comes into our lives for a reason, sharing their own unique thoughts and gifts, and these relationships are so beautiful. If it weren’t for the amazing people I have been so fortunate to meet along the way, my journeys would not be what they are. IMG_6963IMG_8235


2.  The Uncertainty of Diving into the Unknown

A friend and I discussed this once and dubbed it ‘the newness’. It is this concept, this excitement of jumping into the uncertain, leaving comforts behind and allowing yourself to be free as you truly exist, that is a huge reason I love to travel. Although each day is a new adventure, yes, waking up in new cities, speaking different languages and reaching destinations you can barely dream of are the perfect breeding grounds for creating the experiences that open our minds and make the seemingly undoable possible. Even crappy plane rides and dreadful bus rides are awesome. Every time you leave, you know that things will never be the same. In doing this we are letting go, tuning into the place that is always there where limitations are only an illusion. IMG_6743


3. Cultural Diversity

We are all citizens of the world. The privilege to go out and broaden the cultures we are familiar with, se different ways of life and live amongst our fellow earthlings, near and far, is such a blessing. The hospitality and kindness I have experienced by people I’ve known for a mere few hours fills my heart with light, and whether it is these blissful moments or the witnessing of tragedies one would never hope to experience, all parts of seeing new places go toward expanding our views, inside and out. IMG_6913IMG_6903IMG_8152


4. The lifestyle

Depending on where you are, lifestyles in other places my differ dramatically from your home town, city or country. I love the aspect of Nicaraguan culture that takes a siesta, or mid afternoon rest. I love how when Thai street vendors need to stop for a snack, they do it. The lifestyle of travel, however taxing at times, including ups and downs as all ways of life, to me represents freedom, a feeling of living outside the box. From being able to buy vegetables from a smiling market vendor to going for morning swims in the warm Pacific, the variety of a different lifestyle is enticing. IMG_7424IMG_8021IMG_8188

5. The experiences

This includes every single moment, down to the 2 hour conversation with a ‘stranger’ that made your day, to the wonder of marvelling at Angkor Wat. There are just too many possibilities for amazing and beautiful experiences that only await us to find them. The world is our playground, to be respected, but enjoyed. Things that propel us to savour each breath and each captivating moment, times that later we thing about and say “wow, I never though I would be hiking in the remote mountains in Panama, or diving with whale sharks 20 feet away”.IMG_7119IMG_696110484408_10152382797348801_1205815922308248771_n

6. The Food

Yes we have some amazing choices at our fingertips here in Canada, but holy, who is not down with a delicious steaming curry made from scratch that turns out to be addictive, or fish tacos with the freshest ingredients you’ve ever experienced? You can taste the difference in high vibrational foods, you can feel it. You can feel life through pungent herbs and the aromas of carefully blended spice mixes, there are just so many unique and one of a kind foods to try. The only issue is deciding what’s next! Not to mention living in places where you can pick fresh fruits daily and where sometimes fast ‘food’ is not even an option.IMG_4643IMG_4684IMG_6647

Our world is a magical place! What do you love about travel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Fast times in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

After completing my Spanish studies for the moment in Granada, I was more than ready to move on. I made the decision to head to San Juan Del Sur for some much needed beach and fun time, and what a great decision it was. I would attend the infamous Sunday Funday, surf and eat burritos to my hearts content. Boarding the school bus marked ‘Rivas’ with many locals and a handful of alert-looking travellers I sat next to a smiling jewelry maker from Guatemala. He showed me his creations and we chatted in Spanish. I could smell the Flor de Cana on his breath, which as a polite fellow he offered me, but I wasn’t ready to start just yet. I met an awesome few new friends on the bus that would make my trip to San Juan all the more (2)

The view of the ocean so close and glimmering as we got out of the sticky taxi made my heart explode, I loved this place already. After realizing we weren’t the only people rolling into SJDS after trying at both popular Pachamama hostels we strolled down and found accommodation at an Irish bar/hostel right on the beach called Casa del Mar. If you find yourself in a similar situation, never fear, there are tons of accomodations in close proximity to eachother, but if showing up for Sunday Funday it’s wise to book ahead. The world cup was on as we walked in, the bar surrounded by enthusiastic locals getting in on the contagious football excitement and 20 cordoba beers. If I may add, these were the cheapest beers I could find at any (5)photo (6)photo (7)

Being a small town, the beach is pretty much close to everything, either a walk or a bike ride away, and if you’re up in the hills a little bit you’re still pretty close by truck or cab. The main beach right out front is perfect for swimming and is even a little surfable.

In town, there are a plethora of restaurants and cafes that are sure to catch your eye. Though some are more expensive than your typical Central American establishments, they are cool places and worth checking out. I’d recommend Gato Negro Café for a great cup of coffee and breakfast, as well as a huge selection of books for sale, a big table with stacks of tarot cards, baked goods and an assortment of handicrafts. For a gourmet burger or inventive appies, check out Nacho Libre, a little burger place with crafty and original burgers with prime ingredients and a cool atmosphere. They have veggie options too! If the Canadian in you is craving some poutine or a stacked Caesar, hit The Loose Moose, a patriotic pub/eatery that also has a good sushi roll. There are also a few taco/burrito mainly-to-go places that top the list like Taco (14)

Fuelled and ready to go it’s time to hit the beach and SURF! A $5 each truck ride (with a couple other people) will take out out to Playa Maderas, one of my favorite beaches for surfing ever. That’s a bold statement, yes. There are more amazing beaches in the area, but this was the only one I was so fortunate to surf at. You can rent a board there but they’re not abundant so it’s easier to rent one in town from a surf shop that will most likely have a truck to take you out as well. These top class waves cater to more advanced as well as beginner surfers and the vibe is just amazing. There are a couple restaurants/cafes on the beach, a popular camping area and a SLACKLINE. That’s my jam. Get yo’ surf on, get yo’ tan on, get yo’ balance on. Maderas is beautiful. There are a few hotels scattered along the road toward the beach and a hostel right at the beach, but this place is generally booked due to it’s location so call ahead. Seriously a must-go (11)photo (10)

photo (3) photo (12)photo (16)So it’s time to talk about the once a week gathering of debaucherous young people getting crazy in pools, the infamous Sunday Funday. Waking up pretty hungover and waiting in line to buy a ticket with a bunch of soon to be homies, I can honestly say I was not feeling it. Thanks to my crew for keeping me on track though and not missing out. If you’re going to attend any party in Nicaragua this is a great one to hit. After buying a wristband/claiming your rightful Sunday Funday singlet, the day is yours to mentally and physically prepare (whatever that means) until the trucks start coming and hauling away party-goers to a resort overlooking the bay, the first stop of the madness. The infinity pool beckons as you enter, and the place is packed. One word of warning here though, the bathroom to attendee ratio is way off, so just try not to go or you’ll be spending a lot of time in a line up.  Easier said than done, I know. The pool crawl eventually takes you to the Naked Tiger hostel for even more ‘wholesome’ fun and then at the end of it all down to Pachamama Hostel in town. It’s a great ride, and if you roll with it, prepare for an amazing time.

If your body is still going and your head still wants to party, there are a couple fun bars in town as well, like The Black Whale and Iguana. The Black Whale has pool tables and also does fire shows. One word of warning, as San Juan del Sur is a more touristed place, petty crimes can be more common, but just keep your wits about you as usual and don’t venture onto the beach at (13)

If you’re looking to get some new artwork needled into your wonderfully tan skin, I highly recommend Guy Mark Tattoo. This amazing artist has been tattooing around the globe for quite a while, with a highly unique and sought after watercolor style. If you dig his style, go in ahead of time to chat as he’s usually pretty booked up, and make sure you get all your surfing done first.

It’s definitely understandable how people get ‘stuck’ in SJDS, beautiful beaches, surf, great food and great times all around.

Have you been to San Juan? What were your experiences of this little beach town?





Two nights in San Jose

After saying goodbye to hostel life and amazing homies I found myself leaving Uvita, vomiting the previous night’s party into a bag and darting glances from the old man across the isle. My next stop was Nicaragua, where I planned to finally do some Spanish courses and stop embarrassing myself with my artful butchering of the wonderful language. I spent two cool days in San Jose, one at a hostel that seemed like someone’s house, full of university students, and one at one of the most popular hostels in San Jose, Hostel Pangea. The first was quite cozy and intimate, with nice people, but out of town and very quite. I preferred the latter. They have a rooftop bar and a pool, enough (1) Once the security guard pokes his eyes through the peephole and you enter the iron gates, trancey beats and trippy wall art welcome you into the backpacker-esque atmosphere of Pangea. The sky was gray and slightly spitting when I arrived, laying a sleepy layer over the hostel and the city. As I had discovered the night before, San Jose was cold. Cold of course compared to the sweltering jungle heat of Uvita, not cold enough to keep me out of the pool though. A friendly lad by the pool offered to share his sushi, but being in a new city I was too excited to take a solo walk to the grocery store. There is just something about strolling the isles of foreign grocery stores that is like being in an art gallery, shelves full of colors and new-ness. Perhaps it was the gray sky, the iron bars everywhere or bustling pace of the city people, or a combination, but the vibe I was feeing made me walk swiftly. I practiced my poor Spanish on the cashier as I paid for my gallo pinto and fruit. My next plan of action was purchasing a ticket to Granada, Nicaragua, where I planned to get schooled in Espanol. The friendly Tico fellow at the front desk finished work and we walked to the ticket office through the busy streets of San Jose. New shops, new faces, all different yet all sharing the bond of existing in the world together. San Jose is actually one of the only places I feel was similar to how I expected it. He told me about his university and thoughts and home outside the city and I felt my heart filled again with an ever-living pool of wonder and gratitude. As the clouds forecasted, the rain began, and we waited under the shelter of the ticket office for it to calm down, watching people come and go in the rain, my friend waved to a guy on rollerskates busting through a deep puddle. Bus ticket purchased, I returned to the Pangea ready to relax, wandered to the scenic rooftop bar and made some friends.  Other than the unenthused bartender who I found particularly entertaining, the rootop bar was a fun atmosphere with a great view and served really good food! This turned into a long evening of enthusiastic chatter and stories and plans, excitement of memories and what adventures have yet to come. Later on a friend from Uvita showed up, as those things happen so often while travelling. Some other features of the hostel include computers available for use, a movie room and luggage storage in the day, a great place to stay if you go through San Jose for a night or two.

The next morning, cruising through silent San Jose streets I got to see the city as a skeleton, when it’s heart beat is slow and rythm still sleeping, the surrounding mountains watching cooly. My cab driver asked me where I was going and advised me to watch my belongings carefully, and I was comforted by his concern and friendliness. Long bus ride to Granada. here I come. Like most, I’m not a huge fan of crossing borders as it is, and this time in particular, realizing I had overtayed my visa in Costa by a month and not having proof of leaving Nicaragua, it was quite difficult to keep my mind from conujuring up numerous unpleasant situations in the purgatory of the bus. My heart raced as I approached the immigration desk with an auto-smile, hoping that I, would buffer whatever was coming. Next thing I knew I was back on the bus, a successful border crossing and in fact one of the easiest. Two obvious lessons here, don’t worry too much, but please first make sure you know when your shit expires, ya rookie. Next stop, Granada!

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy my stories! If you enjoyed this post please consider ‘liking’ or sign up via email to be notified of new ones!

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Foods to Fall in Love With in Central America

One of the most amazing parts of being in such a lush and fertile environment is the crazy abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, new and interesting plants foods to try, and learning the secrets of nourishing the body locally and harnessing mother nature’s gifts. These are some edibles that provide the body with a plethora of nutrients and antioxidants, and local and inexpensive!

1. Pejibaye or Peach Palmpifa

These round yellow, orange or red gems are the fruit of a species of palm tree, belonging to the drupe family like peaches and stone fruits, but with a texture and flavour similar to that of a squash. Delicious when boiled with a little bit of salt and then peeled and eaten, the rich orange meat of the Pejibaye is rich in vitamin C, calcium and phosphorous. At about 2 dollars a pound they are an amazing food to keep as healthy snacks, and sold at many farmers markets and larger grocery stores.

2. CoconutsimagesCAPT84EX

Yes ok, kind of a given, but you can’t go wrong with a fresh coconut, especially in the heat or when losing a lot of fluids. Find them on the beach or pick one up on the side of the road for instant happiness. The coconut water is high in potassium and other minerals such as zinc and selenium. Super hydrating! The meat can be scooped out of the young ones, or bust open an older, smaller coconut to get to the sweet and dense pulp. Although high in fat, the meat is full of nutrients and contains lauric acid found in the oil, which is said to be antifungal and antimicrobial, among other amazing benefits. Balance out all that healthy goodness with a shot of rum in a fresh coconut and you’ve got yourself one of the best cocktails of life.

3. MangoimagesCA1Y0LWB

It’s mango season right now and if you check the ground after a rainfall or get a long stick to fish up the tree, juicy mangoes a plenty will be yours. High in Vitamin C with that same rich orange colour, the sweet flesh of the fruit is like hitting a goldmine. If you get a green one the more firm flesh can be cut up and dipped in salt for a savory and tart snack.

4. Plantainsplantains

Also available in most grocery stores in North America, these resemble bananas but are actually part of the potato family. Addictive as patacones, where the green plantain is chopped into chunks, fried on the outsides, taken out and smashed into discs, then put back into the pan to crisp up. A great addition to vegetable dishes when you’re feeling like something a little bit more heavy. Also great when ripe and fries, these come on most ‘casados’, a traditional food plate of rice and beans, salad and some kind of meat.

5. Noninoni

These strange fruits produce one of those elixirs people like to call ‘superfoods’. To make your own elixir at home you can put a noni in a glass jar and sit it in the sun to ferment for a couple of weeks. Ensure that the jar is really clean to prevent contamination, and then wait as the vinegary and slightly sweet juice oozed from the noni. Yes, it smells like it shouldn’t be drank, but is considered miraculous stuff and has been used for a very long time. You can also buy it bottled at most grocery stores.

6. BeansIMG_6770

Amazing everywhere as a source of fibre and protein, beans are readily available almost anywhere and a vegetarians saving grace in terms of protein. Buy dried ones for cheap and soak them yourself, or get in on refried beans in a bag. At sodas and roadside restaurants, beans and rice is one of the cheapest dishes you can order, and also quite filling. Combine beans with corn tortillas, fresh veg and avocado and you’ve got yourself a locally sourced and delicious lunch or dinner!

Though there is tons more that could be added to this list, these are just some I have found to be staples or just particularly amazing and needed to be mentioned! Enjoy!

What other amazing foods do you enjoy in Central America? Any recipes you use these in?





The Yoga of Travel

Travel, how beautiful and interesting a subject you are. Going from place to place, meeting people from all walks of life, seeing new and different things all the time, daily extremes ranging from stimuli overloads left and right to days spent in a hammock or on a bus. Through these fluctuations we grasp onto the mid-line of our internal scales, striving for balance as we do everyday, and realizing how beneficial these changes can be to help our focus and awareness grow. Familiar subject? Like yoga! Change and flowing with it, becoming stronger in each action and aware of the crazy and amazing goings on, yoga and life go well together. It can be difficult to keep up with your practice on the road and through the waves of stuff that the world brings our way, but through dedicated effort and positivity, anything is possible. These are some tips I find helpful for keeping up with your practice when a solid routine can be harder to establish, with first knowing that sometimes solid routine isn’t what we need. Conditions change from day to day, emotions, weather, needs. We adapt to grow and learn, evolve and flourish. Enjoy!

“…To be flexible enough to respond to the needs of the moment-to be able and willing to assist others through deeds of loving kindness. This is the ideal culmination of yoga in action, and is more important that doing your yoga practices at the exact stroke of the clock.”-Mukunda Stiles

1. Set a time.

Even if it’s a few minutes (or half an hour off), set a starting time for your practice that you think you can make work, and then stick with it. Give yourself realistic duration goals and chances are you will end up exceeding them.

2. Make down time productive.

Meditation can be practiced almost anywhere. A couple minutes or hours, any time that we dedicate to looking inward is time well spent.IMG_7194

3. Sunrise and sunset.

Avoiding distraction during the peak hours of the day can be near to impossible when so many great things are happening! Waterfall adventure? Si! Sunrise and sunset hours are good times to get to the mat as they are generally cooler, more mellow and seem to just come naturally with yoga practices.IMG_7162

4. Harness Simpler Poses

The beauty of more simple and less extravagant yoga poses is that they can be done almost anywhere, and due to their nature can be exactly what is called for when we need to come back to centre.2

5. Embrace it.

Do what you can, where you can, and make it count. Often a shorter more focused practice can provide us with so much more than a drawn-on unfocused one will. Through dedication, love and pure intention your practice can thrive no matter where you go.IMG_6801

Blossom everyday knowing you have the inner and outer strength to make every day magical!


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