Inspiration & Expert Advice on What Matters Most

Archive for the ‘Finances’ Category

SOS: Gael Isaac Aquino

In Family, Finances, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Health, News on June 22, 2016 at 12:22

One of my dreams is to become a mom.

That was also the dream of Evelyn Urbáez, 35, a Dominican mom who gave birth to twin boys Gael and Matthew, only four months ago.

Twins

Gael and Matthew

Little Gael is in need of an urgent cardiac surgery to correct a Double Outlet Right Ventricle with severe pulmonary stenosis. His little brother did not survive, however, Gael still has a chance for a healthy future and needs your help. As the surviving baby of twins, his parents are desperately trying to save his life. Unfortunately, they do not have the financial resources needed for his surgery, the cost is $35000.

Please help save Gael. You can be his miracle. Please donate here

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Gael Isaac Aquino

Donate Today for Gael Isaac Aquino

We firmly believe no donation is too small to help us save children’s lives. Every donation, regardless of the amount, takes us closer to our goal of raising and maintaining a multimillion-dollar fund for the critical care of children with no resources for medical treatment in their home countries.

If you wish to donate by check or money order, you can mail your donation to:

International Kids Fund
P.O. Box 2020
Miami, FL 33101

Please Specify on your check or money order to which child you would like to allocate your funds and make your checks or money orders payable to International Kids Fund.

In Gratitude,

Laura

 

 

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Let’s Work Together!

In Blogging, Career, Entrepreneurs, Finances, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Lifestyle, News, Relationships, Spirituality, wellness on June 8, 2016 at 13:40

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Thank You for Considering the Possibility of Working Together!

I Can Help You with:

COACHING

Would you like to become partners in a thought-provoking and creative process that will inspire you to maximize your personal and professional potential and produce fulfilling results?

I promise to listen deeply, to observe completely, and to customize my heart-centered approach to your individual needs, that way we can grow and harvest the seeds that God already put inside you.

I am currently training to be a Certified Professional Coach with the University of Miami, an Accredited Program by the International Coach Federation.

Please contact me to schedule a complimentary 30-minute call to meet and decide if we would be great partners!

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BRAND COLLABORATIONS, ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIPS

I’d Love to Talk with You About Brand Collaborations, Advertising & Sponsorships if I Deeply Know and Love your Brand.

Please contact me and we will decide together the most organic way to support each other!

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WRITING & SPEAKING

Do You Like My Voice?

I Can Lend it to You, Your Brand and/or Your Organization!

I am a freelance Bilingual Writer & Speaker about diverse topics such as:

Positive Lifestyle | Wellness & Beauty | Inspiration, Motivation & Empowerment  Relationships | Self-Love | Education | Women’s Interests | Spirituality | Blogging | Travel | Work-Life Balance 

Please contact me for samples and availability.

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COMMUNICATIONS 

Public Relations | TV & Events Production Management | Marketing

I am a Multi-Passionate & Creative Communications Professional and Consultant with diverse work experience and an excellent track record that spans several cities in the United States and Latin America.

I have had the privilege of working with large and heterogeneous groups in multicultural environments for more than a decade, that has helped me develop strong communications and project management skills, and most importantly, I have managed to gain the trust of countless clients and colleagues.

Please check my LinkedIn profile for more on my career and please don’t hesitate to contact me for your future projects.

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BLOGGING 

I learn and share blogging tips on The Blogger Union, please find below my latest posts:

What Should I Name My Blog

The Benefits of Joining a Mastermind

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Thanks in advance!

In Gratitude and Service,

Laura

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Enjoying the Ride

In Blogging, Career, Contributors, En Español, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on February 20, 2016 at 00:01

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By Geisel Checo

This part of my life, here and now, is what I call enjoyment. You may have that description attached to your 20s but for me, the 30s are a true joy.

Let’s get you started, I am about to hit 37, father of three boys and married to my best friend since I was 28 years old. So my thirties got me married and with a first-born little person.

We were overseas in another Caribbean island working for a local Construction Company. I say another island because I was born in one, the Dominican Republic. Therefore, my first son was born in Trinidad & Tobago of two Dominican Parents. Three years after, now in my thirties, we decided to have a second child but in the middle of it I decided not to renew my contract with the company for two more years so we went back home.

Being an engineer, with two children, getting back to the labor market after five years being overseas it is only fair that the ride started to get bumpy. Got a job, which I lost in the matter of months due to rough economy times while my wife was unemployed due to the pregnancy. Thanks to my experience in the field, I got a job in a matter of days but it required being away from home every so often.

If two little boys were not enough, we got preggo again for a third time! And with it I was transferred to Haiti for a high profile project that required a Project Manager with my expertise, or so they said… But it was! Being a Dominican in Haiti is not an easy task due to some business that happened over 170 years ago but we cannot forget our past nor our history. Even though the project was very demanding and going out for drinks was not an option, I decided to write a book on my own. I have a blog in which I write about my real and imaginary life, but to write a book is something else.

So between chapters of my stay in Haiti I had the concept of what I wanted to write about but never set my foot down to finish it. Until one day that I read about a contest for Spanish speaking writers with an opportunity to have your digital book printed out in paperback with a well renowned publisher. By that time I was Operations Manager handling five projects simultaneously since I was promoted after the high profile project was handed over to the client.

I started writing the book on or around 3am due to heavy work load because there were two of the five projects with an end date approaching and extra hours were put into play to meet the dead line. I would reach home, take a bath and start singing “it’s 3am I must be lonely” (all rights lay with Matchbox 20) and then set to write my own piece.

It took me a month to finally have it presentable or so I like to think, or maybe it was because the end date to publish it was due and I only got an hour left to do so. I rushed into the laptop, in the middle of my working day, with my boss and the Minister of Education present on the job site and I minded my own business. It was like that or nothing.

At the end, I did not even make it into the top five of which a winner was going to be elected from, but I wrote a digital book, in a month, not sleeping and with lots of responsibilities on my shoulders delivering the two mentioned projects. I am aiming to print the book on my own and put it on sale in bookstores all over the Dominican Republic.

And that’s where I say that my thirties are about enjoyment, even being a bumpy ride, with ups and downs. If all these were to happen while in my twenties I would probably be divorced by now, pressure cracked in my professional life and would have never written a book from scratch and from inside my head with my own story.

So I’m not inspiring you to not turn 30 but to embrace it, wish it and dream it. It is the start of a ride to enjoy to the fullest!

I would like to thank Laura and her empowering blog for asking me to contribute to it and I’m looking forward to contribute again, probably on her upcoming blog ‘Now That I Am In My Forties’ (just trying to set the idea in your brain!).

P.S.: If you have the time and can read in Spanish, please visit my blog at www.entrelapizypapel.blogspot.com and/or purchase the digital version of my book ‘El Presidente de la Nación’ on Amazon.

Geisel in a glimpse:

morning person – sunset collector – lover of a good wine, golf and antiquities – habano’s savorer – full moon contemplator – husband of my best friend – father of three – brother of two – proud son – creator of stories, both real and imaginary.

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How I Feel About Being in My Thirties

In Beauty, Blogging, Contributors, Family, Finances, Health, Lifestyle, News, Quotes, Relationships on January 20, 2016 at 09:00

By Sonia Young Yim

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Here are some of the things that get better with age: wine, cheese, art piece, and designer handbags.

How about biological age? – I guess you can argue both ways.

Here are some benefits:

You have higher self-respect.

You are wiser in life.

You have a greater sense of well-being (*cough* money *cough*).

Or, perhaps, you are naturally better at things with more experience (sex anyone?).

 

But there are also some drawbacks:

You have more wrinkles.

You don’t lose weight as easily.

You keep on forgetting (what was I saying?…).

Or, perhaps, suddenly reading small print becomes a challenge.

 

So, what does it mean to be in your thirties?

Here’s what I really think — It doesn’t matter.

But this is what aging taught me:

In anything, there’s always a good side and a not-so-good side.

You can’t ever bring back your past no matter how much you delve on it.

You can’t reverse anything that already happened to you.

And, most importantly, if you can’t be happy today, you certainly won’t be happy in the future.

 

“The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.” – Hervey Allen

So, let’s celebrate our thirties to the maximum — Shall we?

 

About Sonia Young Yim:

A wanna-be writer who’s still finding her voice. A once disgruntled employee who’s all about non-conformity. And a minimalist gal who advocates a life of simplicity. Please visit her blog www.startsimplifying.com to know more about her. And it’s her birthday today! Show her some love!

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It Will All Work Out

In Career, Contributors, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on January 12, 2016 at 09:00

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By Marilu Cristina Flores

In my twenties, I accomplished numerous things; I was married, moved away from my home permanently (or so I thought) and was pursuing the career I had always dreamed of. I gained recognition professionally, traveled to many places I had longed to visit and had a lovely home in Southern California.

Five years into my first marriage, we called it quits and just a short time later I found myself engaged to someone else, we married a year into dating.

As I approached my thirties, I found I was no longer in love with the career I thought I always wanted and it felt like the few choices I did make for me, were not heavily appreciated or accepted by my partner. I chose to go back to school and pursue Marine Science and took a position in Marine Conservation which paid me a third of what I had ever made, even as a young professional in High School!

While I was happy professionally, working outdoors in the sea and teaching children about the importance of conservation, I quickly found myself stuck in an unhappy marriage with a spouse who was less than there and in-laws that could fill the pages of horror novels.

When my ex-husband left me, just two weeks after my thirtieth birthday, I wasn’t devastated, but relieved to be free of his wandering ways and exhausting family. 

The day after he uttered the words “divorce,” I hopped on a plane and spent a month away visiting friends in Vermont and New York. When I returned to Miami, I packed up my things and relocated to Vermont. Just like that. It was the freest I had ever felt up until that point in my life, I had no plan, and minimal savings, but somehow, I truly knew it would all just work out. I’m sure to many it seemed odd, unexpected and completely out of left field! But somehow, I knew this is what I had to do.

Now if you know me, you know I am #TropicalLife for life so this was a huge change for me, before my life in Vermont I was convinced anything under 75 degrees was freezing and ungodly.

While I didn’t know it yet in Vermont I would experience the worst winter there since 1859, and I would find myself moving to an area completely new to me: Digital Marketing.

It was during my time at Keurig, that I really began to realize what a broad diversity of work experience I had and how I truly was capable of anything I wanted to accomplish.

I met someone, a man, through a friend and for the first time in my life I took my time; took my time to decide.

Not just on who I wanted to spend my time with, but to truly decide what I wanted to make of my time, my energy and of the things I was so extremely passionate about. 

In May of 2015, in the winter that felt like an eternity, I had a rather odd crazy dream about putting on an #EcoFashionShow and that next morning, I reached out to the people who were in my dream. Who crazily enough, had recently started a nonprofit and had been discussing a Fashion Show for months! But had no clue where to start and so began this new chapter in my life. 

I started organizing the show, making phone calls from Vermont and emailing people I had met throughout the years.

Everyone I reached out to said “YES! We’ll help you!”. They donated goods, time, the venue, everything! It was CRAZY!

Everything was happening just like in my dream; I decided to re-locate back to Miami in August of 2015, my new love in tow! And work continued on the fashion show, I also became involved in other projects, such as helping Surfrider a nonprofit I had been involved with in California and for a few years in Miami before I left to Vermont. Shortly after my return I was asked to become a Board Member – one of my lifelong dreams!

Finally, the day of the Fashion Show arrived and within an hour we were completely SOLD OUT! Raising well over our expectations and gaining interest for another show and other events.

From this began an overnight business, as people wanted to hire me for my newfound Digital Marketing and Social Media experience.

I turned thirty-one on August 23rd, and upon reflection on my birthday I realized how much more I knew now (cliché, I know) and despite what many would consider some epic failures (two divorces and a 15-year long career I left), I learned that without those marriages I would have never been able to appreciate the man I am now with, who was willing to leave all he knew behind and relocate to Miami with me because he believed in me and my dream, who wanted to see me grow professionally and personally and without my previous career I would have never learned what I now know which has helped me immensely as a Social Media Specialist. 

At thirty-one, I am living the life many strive for over a lifetime. I love what I do! I have accomplished work/life balance and every day is a new, welcomed challenge.

I have gained financial freedoms I never thought were possible for me and have learned to nurture a healthy, mature relationship with an age appropriate man who appreciates me as much as for my flaws as well as my accomplishments.

I can’t wait to see what this decade has in store, there will be ups and there will be downs I am sure, but the wisdom gained from my experiences in my early twenties will surely see me through them.

 

About Marilu:

Marine Conservationist, Media Producer, Surfrider, Social Media Specialist. Please visit www.marilucflores.com to know more about her.

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Meet Ethel + Frank

In Career, Contributors, Entrepreneurs, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, News on September 3, 2015 at 09:00

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I met Kelly Díaz almost ten years ago, in our early twenties, when we were working at MTV Latin America in Miami Beach, FL. We were  Production Assistants to different departments. We had nothing to do with each other, except for one magnetic friend in common, Laura Barboza, who introduced us.

After a brief period of sharing fun lunch breaks and chatting side by side in at least one fundraising walk, Kelly left MTV and Miami to go to New York, then San Francisco, and she is now back in New York. I haven’t seen her in years, but thanks to our mutual friend and Facebook, I’ve always been up-to-date with her life and successful career as an Advertising copywriter. I always knew that her attitude, style and sense of humor would take her far.

On Facebook, she would share the most creative and honest ads that I had ever seen for feminine products. And then, earlier this month, she wrote this on her Facebook wall:

“A year and a half ago, I quit a job I really liked to do something I would love. And that was to launch a fun chick brand. After working with (and annoying) hundreds of amazingly talented friends, that thing is launching.”

The news made me so happy. I needed to get in touch with her. I emailed her and we scheduled a call for the following week.

After a few minutes of catching up, I was amazed to see how she managed to create something of her own with the same honesty and character that she portrays:  Ethel + Frank, an online vintage handbag shop that celebrates saucy old ladies, their closets and most of all, their spirit.

“I had been wanting to launch a chick brand with some personality and humor, after working on one too many stereotypical and “vanilla” female-targeting ad campaigns.” said Kelly, who took a major leap of faith. She left her steady job, worked on the project on and off, in between freelance jobs. First she dedicated 40% of her time and then upped it to 75% in the last six months prior to launch, all while branding the company, selecting the bags, models, and writing the advertising campaign.

One of the aspects that I love the most about Ethel + Frank, is the fact that it honors aging women, giving props to the ladies who first owned the shop’s curated pieces. As its website declares: “We think old is pretty rad. When it comes to fashion, old ladies ignore magazines and trends because more than anyone, they know style has little to do with the outfit you wear.” Now that Kelly is in her early thirties, I was curious to know if any of her decisions were motivated by her age. She doesn’t think so: “I am still waiting for the “turning-30 feelings”. It’s easy to be thirty in New York. Other than my “canas”, few wrinkles, and the need to spend more time with my family and good friends, I don’t feel any major difference. Business-wise, my experience made me feel comfortable enough to launch this; I was able to use my savings and lean on the expertise of friends in the business,” she said.

And for those who have a business idea and are afraid to start, this is Kelly’s advice to the entrepreneur in you: “Don’t think about your age. Make it happen, year by year. In your thirties You Do You.”

Congratulations Kelly! I am proud and inspired by you!

For more information about Ethel + Frank please visit them online and follow them on Instagram.

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Bye-bye 30s!

In Career, Contributors, Finances, Lifestyle, Relationships on August 7, 2015 at 10:10

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By AK Cespedes

My 30s started with a breakup. He and I weren’t as compatible as I thought we were when we were in our 20s. I had chosen to stay with him too many times, talking myself out of walking out. Afraid to be alone until I finally chose to let him go.

By 31, I was living in my new apartment. I was still reckless with my money and my heart, feeling vulnerable and overly confident at the same time. I was desperately looking for my prince charming, the man of my dreams, the man who would make his wife, his queen, the mother of his children. I hadn’t realized that I needed to become the woman of my dreams first, the queen of my home, the b**** in charge.

And so I became involved with the wrong man…again. And for 6 years I woke up each day knowing that I was not where I wanted to be and he wasn’t the man for me. I hadn’t recognized that I had a voice and I needed to listen to it, but the fear of the unknown was too strong. During those 6 years, I sought signs everywhere and waited for something to find me, guide me…rescue me.

Turning 40 was not something I was looking forward to at that time. I was afraid that I was never going to meet that man or that I was never going to have children. I tormented myself with thoughts like “my grandmothers are old and they’ll never meet my children” and I thought of the women in my family who had never gotten married or had children. They were alone and sad. I was terrified of becoming like them.

When I finally let go of that relationship of 6 years, I felt like I had reached the surface of the ocean. Like the world had just rolled off my shoulders. I had been carrying all this emotional weight to the point that it had turned physical. I was 30 lbs overweight. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I was destroyed. I needed to recharge with urgency.

So I took off to Paris because why not? And I had sex with a French man on my 37th birthday.

And I enjoyed

every

second

of it.

Suddenly, I felt like a kid in a candy store, like I could do anything! So I quit my job of 8 years and took off for 43 days to travel. I went to Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary. I turned 38 in a club in Bologna getting free vanilla vodka shots from the bar owner. I danced with the owner of the Firenze train station and was hung-over the next morning. And I was happy.

At that time too, I decided it was time to forgive myself for everything and allow for a clean slate.

By 38, I was doing a lot. I launched myself as a photographer and I couldn’t believe how smooth things started flowing from there. I had 4 gallery showings within a year. I read a poem in front of an audience. I chose to change my body. I chose to become the best version of myself before I turned 40. I needed a massive makeover: physical, emotional, spiritual, mentaland then some.

Now I’m a few months away from the big 4-0. I haven’t found the man of my dreams, but I am the woman of mine. I don’t have the children that I had been longing for, but I’ve allowed myself to be a child again and stand under the sun and breath the ocean air and drive with the windows down. Every day became the best day. I didn’t recognize myself anymore and not because I became a redhead and lost those 30 lbs. I had found that person that was always there. I had come full circle. I had rescued myself. I had found peace.

So 40, bring it! I am not afraid of you, I love you and I embrace you. I embrace you like I embrace the lines on my face, the grays in my hair, and the scars on my heart. There’s no going back to where I’ve been, my 40s will be the best decade yet!

And to you my 30s, thank you. You showed me what true love really was. You shook me up and redefined “rolling with the punches.” I learned to listen to myself and to those who were there to offer their experiences and life lessons. I learned to stop beating myself up for my mistakes, but rather celebrate each of my accomplishments. I learned to let go and to trust that my life was going to be everything that I wanted to it to be.

About AK Cespedes:

Peruvian-born, Miami-resident, daughter, sister, friend, traveler, photographer, food-lover, drinker, spectacular. Check out her previous post in our blog: “Me at 38” and her amazing photographs at: flickr.com/bluedress7

P. S.: It’s A. K.’s birthday today! Let’s show her our love! Happy birthday, my dear Karina! Thanks for opening up and sharing the best of you with us!

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International Life Day

In Career, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Quotes on March 8, 2015 at 00:01

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Since I was a little girl, I have always been a fan of calendars and all the special days marked on them. I love birthdays and anniversaries and I observe most holidays with respect.

I say “most” because for some reason that I attribute to how aging is benefiting my judgment, now I don’t feel the automatic urge to stand up and celebrate all holidays without at least reviewing their history and asking myself what I think about that topic in the present day.

March 8th is International Women’s Day. I will be forever grateful for the courage and sacrifices that women leaders have made to guarantee that I could have the choice to study, vote, and work among other fair rights. I know these are privileges that most women did not have until not long ago and that millions of not only women, but also men don’t have yet today due to social, political and economical reasons.

I thank those that demanded better conditions for my gender and it is inspiring to celebrate their achievements. However, I can’t forget that some women have been discriminated and oppressed, at some point those same women, even myself included, might have been oppressors and might have also discriminated against someone else for being less educated, poorer, darker, younger, foreign or another irrelevant fact such as being shorter or slower.

In this current world of quotas, consumerism and TV specials we celebrate at least three New Year’s days, human rights, historic moments of victories and losses, the birth and death of heroes, martyrs, saints or simply loved ones. Ironically enough, this year we even have Tax Day in the middle of Holy Week. The Earth has its own day, what about all its inhabitants?

It looks to me like we have plenty of days marked to celebrate our differences but none to celebrate what unites all of us without exception: LIFE. Being alive here and now along with all the other existing creatures.

I am not a Star Wars fan either; but, Life Day as a holiday was not a bad idea at all. Let’s celebrate life today and every single day remembering Socrates when he said: “It is not living that matters, but living rightly”.

What do you think?

Do you celebrate International Women’s Day?

What holidays do you celebrate?

Do you have mixed feelings about any holidays in particular?

I would love to read your comments!

Cheers from your Life Enthusiast*,

Laura

 *Borrowed from the most authentic Life Enthusiast, my friend Matt Hehn.

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2015: Año de la Fertilidad

In Career, En Español, Family, Finances, Health, Lifestyle, News, Relationships, Spirituality on January 14, 2015 at 16:01

Declaración

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Fertilidad Física:

En el tiempo de Dios, nuestros cuerpos dan frutos sanos, gracias a su misericordia y para nuestra bendición.

Abonamos y nos cuidamos.

Fertilidad Creativa: 

Ideas manan de nuestras cabezas y de nuestros corazones. Las desarrollamos y las llevamos a cabo hasta materializarlas.

Traen bendición a nuestras vidas en forma de grandes satisfacciones personales y profesionales.

Fertilidad Espiritual: 

Nuestros corazones y nuestras mentes son tierras fértiles, donde crecen frondosamente el amor y la sed de conocimiento espiritual y damos sombra para guarecer a otros.

Nuestros espíritus y nuestra paz son imperturbables.

Fertilidad Emocional: 

Emociones brotan de nuestros corazones sin cesar: Agradecimiento, pasión, resiliencia, fuerza de voluntad, dedicación y entrega.

Las vivimos todas a plenitud y las compartimos de manera contagiosa.

Fertilidad Económica: 

Nuestras cuentas florecen.

Agradecemos lo que recibimos a cambio de nuestro esfuerzo y trabajo honrado.

Administramos con sabiduría.

Todo lo podemos en Cristo que nos fortalece.

El Señor es nuestro pastor.

Nuestra mayor felicidad y tranquilidad viene de ahí.

¡Que así sea si Dios quiere!

Amén.

P.D.: Tú puedes ayudarnos a lograr nuestros objetivos del año, compartiendo nuestras publicaciones e invitando a tus contactos a visitar y seguir nuestro blog! ¡Gracias adelantadas!

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The 10 most important life lessons to master in your 30s

In Family, Finances, Great Articles Found Doing Research, Health, Lifestyle, Relationships on January 6, 2015 at 09:52
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