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~ Feliz Dia de Accion de Gracias ~ Happy Thanksgiving ~

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Posted by Jules, Please visit the Author’s blog to support the cause

TWR is supporting the efforts of Julli Sterling for helping people in need from Nicaragua, Guatemala and most Central America to be able to receive proper education, and basic needs. You can help too by visiting Julianna Sterling’s blog. Below is the article written by her:

As midnight struck in the US, and Thanksgiving Day fell upon us, I sat in front of my computer mulling over the, ‘to do’ list for Thanksgiving Dinner, and was overcome with gratitude for the many blessings that have filled my life. I have a lot to be thankful for this year; the truth is I feel I am incredibly blessed.

This year I had the amazing opportunity to spend several weeks in Guatemala with a new-old friend; Jewels. A friend who became a treasured gem in my world; together we were granted the fortune of volunteering building houses, picking coffee, and studying Spanish. We met countless wonderful people working for a number of organizations that do some pretty amazing things and we met some of the most beautiful people living in some of the most impoverished of conditions. I am blessed to have her in my life.

I think it was there where my journey of recognizing my blessings began.

Boarding the plane to return to my life in America, I realized I had become very complacent in my life and really hadn’t taken a good long hard look at all of the blessings I have. Somewhere on the drive back in the middle of a blizzard that night I stopped and said, “Thank you God.”

I couldn’t get the words out fast enough and the tears fell like rain from my eyes. I had been in a place where people had nothing and complained about even less. I had been in a place where choices were few, rights were fewer, and freedoms were even less than that. A place where jobs, education, nutrition, healthcare, home owning, vehicle owning, personal protection, clean water, the gamete are virtually nonexistent yet, every man, woman and child I met greeted each day with a renewed sense of joy, happiness and zest for life.

The day prior I had been on top of a volcano which had recently erupted and decimated an entire village its venomous lava had spread a now thick layer of black ash and soot from peak to valley. Blanketing a once vibrant green tropical mountain top with nothing but darkness, yet everyone living there was filled with the brightest smiles, peace, happiness and love. Though my body was racked with pain from the hike and the twenty hours of planes, trains and automobiles, I cried not because I hurt but, because everywhere I looked I had a blessing.

I had friends to pick me up at the airport, a warm coat and winter boots, a hot meal on the table when I got home that night. A roof over my head, running water (hot at that), electricity, my own home, my own car…my family that couldn’t wait to see me and a puppy that was so excited she peed all over the floor when I walked through the door. I have my health and my job –my goodness I have A LOT. In fact I realized I have so much to be thankful for that I spent the entire summer thinking of ways to give back and spread some of these blessings….a blessing is only a true blessing when it’s shared.

I worked all spring and all summer and not just at my job.

I proudly graduated my daughter and host daughter. I am very, very proud of the accomplishments of both Jami and Roja and am truly blessed to have such fine women as my family. My daughter Jami, is the first member of my family to graduate with a college degree and the very first to ever attend grad school…For all the naysayers that said a teen mother and high school dropout could never be more than a welfare whore…Here’s my little blessing!

When a brush with a dangerous man in our community resulted in my having been put in harms way my son was the first person I told. Not a word was spoken when a loaded twelve gage was placed at the head of my bed and no arguments were had over the fact he was sleeping in my room that night. We didn’t talk about when the bastard got out of prison, we talked about how “no one eff’s with my mom.” Every mom should know her son has her back like that. I am blessed to have a protective and devoted fine young man as a son.

My family has always been loving and supportive. My sister has always been more like a bestest friend; listening, sharing, commiserating, encouraging and just always being ‘there.’ We can talk about anything and everything and it is the judge free zone. She always gets where I am coming from even when I don’t. My brother in law is more like a brother and my niece and nephew have always made me feel like I was on a pedestal, what I don’t think they realize is, it is I, who put them on the pedestal. I am so proud of my sister and her returning to college, my brother in laws continued efforts as a small business owner to not give in to the corporate muscle flexing and my head to toe pride in everything that Alex and Dimitri do; school, dance, crew, and being beautiful proactive, productive, members of their community. I am blessed to have such a beautiful loving sister and family.

As I started planning my trip to Nicaragua, people, complete strangers and lifelong friends would come up to me and ask what they could do to help make my dream come true. They wanted to help, make a contribution or tell me what a good person they thought I was. I am truly blessed to have such wonderfully supportive loving friends, both old and new. No such friends stood out anymore than my two biggest and best; MOM & DAD. It seems no matter what I do; good or bad, success or failure they are always by my side with their love and support. They have always been there and will always be there. Fact is the learning to give back and count my blessing was instilled in me by them. I am forever blessed to have them as parents.

I have a beautiful and amazing host family filled with brilliant young men and women from every corner of the world and their friendships over the years has meant more to me than words can say. I always believed and told them that I involved myself in the host family program as a way to give back…my belief is that if my son and daughter were to visit them in their country they would treat them the same way they have been treated by me, and that someday all of my children will find a way to give back. They have always gone out of their way to make me feel like I am the most special person ever, cooking for me, taking me to dinner, including me in their college lives, sharing some of their most inner thoughts, laughter and tears, appreciating and respecting our political, religious and cultural differences. This fall was one of those times; I was invited to a bbq and unsuspecting me attended. There I discovered my host children had gathered together along with many of our mutual friends to celebrate my birthday. It came at a time when my own daughter had just left to live on other side of the US and the same day my parents were to depart for Florida. I felt so blessed to have such thoughtful loving friends surround me, actually they are more than just friends, they are my FAMILY.

I took an inventory of my excess living and put the brakes on. I stopped buying because I felt like it and started buying because I needed to. I am blessed to live in a community that is full of talented people, which I can purchase locally grown and locally produced items. I continued to empty my closet of selfish living and pass it on to women in the US who need clothing and donate the proceeds to women abroad in need. I have had an overly blessed closet…

I became thankful for the forty one years I have had on this earth and the healthy life I have been granted to live and decided it was time to be a little nicer to my body and begin taking better care of it by eating, healthier and treating with a little more love. Yes I went veggie on you; I am blessed to be in good health and want to stay that way.

I planted a garden and shared it with my neighbors grandchildren it is always better to share an experience with a child they are after all the seedlings of tomorrows future…I am very blessed to have these vivacious giggling little girls as my neighbors, they are little blessings in my life and a constant reminder of my blessed childhood days on Central Ave. I started thinking in a more earth conscious way, being thankful for the environment and the planet we live on. I have made a conscious effort to leave less of a carbon foot print…I am blessed to have clean air, clean water, green grass, blue skies (well that’s up for debate) and beautiful trees and flowers all around me.

As it came time to go to Nicaragua and bring my donations with me a renewed sense of gratitude and feeling of being the one blessed enough to do this filled my soul, I had spent a large part of the summer feeling this trip was never going to happen and it did! Every hurdle I climbed every road block I stumbled over, washed away and returned to me with strength and courage. I have been blessed to have visited some of the poorest corners of the western hemisphere; visiting some of the most beautiful sites and meeting some of the most beautiful people… dining at their tables, walking their streets, working in their schools, being embraced into their way of life, culture, and language..my home away from home… I went with the intentions of bringing gifts little blessings and instead came home having been blessed. The whole trip was one giant blessing.

Two nights ago my computer chimed with an incoming message from my first host student, who is now married and in grad school, excitedly I replied back, we chatted for hours, we have always been that way…As the conversation closed she told me she often thinks back over her four years in my city and how I and my family fill her fond memories. She said we made her, a young girl from Senegal Africa, feel like a member of the family and knows no matter where she goes in the world she will always have a ‘home’ in Waterville, Maine. What she may never realize is that all of this started with her. I am blessed to have had her come into my life, she impacted my world, without her friendship a lot of the things I have gone on to do, may never have been done.

Thanksgiving may be different in its numbers around the table this year as my parents are in Florida, my sister and her family in Massachusetts, my daughter in California, my oldest two host daughters now in New York and New Hampshire and, my younger three host children are traveling about America…As Martin, TJ, Lucy and I sit down to partake in the traditional feast it doesn’t change the countless number of blessings felt in my heart.

With a full belly and even more full heart I am very grateful and blessed for my beautiful, loving, amazing, family, friends, both old and new friends, here and abroad, friends I have shared a lot with and friends I have yet to make, I am blessed to have you all…

Jules is a passionate writer and a social activist who is involved in various social activities in Guatemala and Nicaragua. You can visit her blog and contribute here As told by JulesPlease visit the Author’s blog to support the cause.
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Top 10 Simple Health Changes To Boost Your Well-Being

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It does not matter how old you are, where you live, or what your occupation is, your health should always be a top priority. However, most of us are a little bit guilty of letting our well-being slide from time to time. With that being said, read on to discover some of the simple ways you can give your health a boost today.

  1. Get rid of at least one item in your life that contains toxic chemicals – You may be shocked by just how many items in your life contain toxic chemicals. This includes everything from air fresheners to bed sheets. Get rid of one of these items and replace it with something natural instead. This is something you should make a habit to do every few months or so. You will be surprised by just how much of a difference this can make. 
  2. Deep breathe for at least five minutes – Throughout the day, you should make sure you take the opportunity to deep breathe for at least five minutes. Why? Well, there have been numerous studies that have shown that deep breathing can help to lower stress hormone levels. This means that you will feel better, get an improved night’s sleep, and you will have less anxiety too.
  3. Drink more water – You probably expected this to be on the list, but the importance of drinking more water should never be ignored. Your body needs water for almost every function. If you are dehydrated, this could be the cause of headaches, pains, aches, and a number of other symptoms.
  4. Have one veggie night per week – A lot of people eat far too much meat, red meat especially. So, why not have a veggie night once a week? Not only is this good for your health, but it will be good for your bank balance too. There are so many great recipes online that can give you ideas regarding tasty and creative dishes that do not incorporate any sort of meat or fish. Once you start off with one night per week, you may then decide that you want to up it to two nights, and so on. However, it always helps to start off small so that it is easier and more manageable, and you can then get used to it.
  5. Sign up for an online pharmacy – Nowadays, you can easily order your prescriptions and medications over the Internet via an online pharmacy. This can help you to boost your health because it ensures you never experience delays with your medication. If you are someone who often doesn’t take their recommended course of tablets because you cannot get to the doctors in time for a repeat prescription, then this is definitely a good suggestion for you. Your medication will be delivered to your door with a click of a button.
  6. Make a dedicated effort to lower your stress levels – There is no denying that we live in a very stress-filled world at the moment! The world we live in is one that has heaps of pressure, and it can be difficult to stay on top of everything and keep those stress levels low. However, it is vital that you find a way to do so. After all, if you don’t adrenal fatigue and health can start to take a tumble, which is the last thing you want. For those who are unaware, adrenal fatigue relates to a group of different symptoms that impact people who are under a lot of physical, emotional, or mental stress. From being a single parent to having a stressful job, there are a lot of different reasons why you may be struggling. Therefore, we recommend that you look for different ways to reduce those stress levels so that you can enjoy a more calming and peaceful life. Whether it is doing some breathing techniques or taking more regular breaks so you can have moments for yourself, there are a lot of different ways that you can make sure you are keeping your stress levels to a minimum. The importance of this should not be overlooked, as stress can impact our mental and physical health in so many different ways. 
  7. Do something nice for someone every day – You will be surprised by how good this makes you feel, and by how much this has a positive impact on your health. It’s all about mental well being. When you do something nice for another person, you are benefitting their health, as well as your own. First and foremost, there is no denying that it feels good to hear some nice words for someone or to get a helping hand when you need it. You feel recognised and appreciated, and this is something we all need. At the same time, doing something nice for someone else and seeing their reaction can make you feel amazing too. After all, doing something good for someone is a gift for yourself at the same time. You will find that the deed continues throughout the day, making you feel great and happy within yourself. 
  8. Incorporate some movement into your commute – If you do not have an active job, this is particularly important. Sitting at a computer all day can be bad for your health. One way to combat this is by incorporating some movement into your commute. If you can walk or bike to work, you should give this a go. If not, start parking your car further away from your place of work so that you have to walk there and back. You should also start using the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can.
  9. Start meal planning – You will find it much easier to eat healthily if you plan your meals. At the start of every week, make a menu of what you are going to cook for dinner every evening, as well as what you are going to make for your lunches every day. Not only will this help you to eat better, but you will save money too. Make sure you incorporate some healthy snacks into your food prep for work. This will stop you from going to the vending machine whenever you are bored or your energy is zapped. The great thing about the times we live in at the moment is that you can easily get recipes and meal prep inspiration online. So, if you are struggling, simply do a little bit of digging online and we are sure that you will find a lot of different options when it comes to meal ideas and clever food prep suggestions for the week ahead. Not only is this going to help you to be more organized, but you will find that it actually saves you quite a bit of money in the process. After all, when we do not have a food plan for the week ahead, we tend to spend a lot of money on items we do not need. Food can end up going in the bin because we do not use it. This ends up in an awful lot of waste, and we should all be looking to reduce this, so meal prep is great in many ways.
  10. Keep a journal – Last but not least, keeping a journal is good for a person’s mental health. You should write down your thoughts. It doesn’t need to be a long entry; you can simply jot down a few bullet points every evening. This will help you to articulate your thoughts so that they do not wear you down. After all, it can be very difficult to sleep if you have lots on your mind. A lot of experts advise this approach for people who suffer from insomnia. One of the main reasons why a lot of people struggle to get the hours of sleep they need is because they cannot shut off when they go to sleep; their minds are still going at a million miles per hour. They are thinking about what they need to do the following day and any worries or concerns that they may have. Because of this, it very much makes sense to keep a journal so you can offload some of these thoughts and worries and you can have a much more restful night of sleep. Once you get into the habit of doing this, you will see that it actually does make a significant difference when it comes to drifting off and enjoying a good night of rest. 

So there you have it: some of the best ways to give your health a boost. The suggestions that have been provided are really simple and easy, so there is no excuse not to give yourself a bit of TLC. we are sure that you will start to notice a difference as time goes on. However, as is the case with anything, it requires patience and persistence. You cannot expect to turn your health around in one night.

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Acquiring your dream house in the south of Spain

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Andalusia south spain

We all dream about moving to a different country, temporarily or permanently, and the amazing new experiences that would come with it. Over the last years, a destination that has become very popular among people looking to acquire a second residence or a holiday house is the southern part of Spain, especially the coastal area of the province of Malaga. This area is known as Costa del Sol because of the incredible amount of sunny days it has per year, making it an idyllic destination if you are looking to enjoy beautiful beaches and good weather. Down below, you will find all the information you would need about this amazing area, as well as information about the best real estate brokers in case you decide to go ahead and get your own house there.

Rely only on professional real estate agencies

We grow up dreaming about owning a breathtaking home in an idyllic place, right next to a stunning beach. However, in order to ensure that our dreams do not turn into dust, we need to plan carefully every small decision along the way. Acquiring a home in a foreign country is never easy, especially in a tourist area like Costa del Sol. Not only we will have to face different laws and legislations, but we will also have to interact in the foreign market and avoid that our lack of familiarity with the market results in us being scammed. Because of this, it is strongly recommended that we rely on the help of professional real estate agencies with a renowned reputation in the area, like Homerun Brokers.

Homerun Brokers is a Real Estate Broker Marbella, right in the heart of Costa del Sol. The Homerun Brokers agency has over 65 years of experience behind their backs finding the perfect houses that will fit every client needs like a glove. Homerun Brokers has an extensive knowledge about the local real estate market and its trends, making them the perfect option to assist you to find your new holiday home, residency or investment property. Homerun Brokers only works with the higher quality buildings, and will sit and listen to your needs to make sure you find the one that adapts to your personal needs perfectly. One of the perks of choosing this real estate agency is that their dedicated team is fluent in Spanish, Polish, Swedish, English, German, Italian and Dutch, which will help you avoid the language barrier that can result in so many problems while being in a foreign country. On top of that, Homerun Brokers has very good personal advisors and coordinators that will help you start your new life in Spain, from recommending you local tax advisors to simply letting you know about the best restaurants in the area. 

Overall, the purchase of a new house or property is a decision we should carefully plan for, but if we trust experts like the Homerun Brokers Real Estate Agency, we will not have to worry about anything. 

Where to buy your new house

The south of Spain is an area that has for decades attracted visitors from all over the world. This area is famous for its welcoming people, good weather, delicious food and breathtaking beaches. No place in the country embroiders this ideal like the province of Malaga, which is by far the perfect place to experience Spanish and Mediterranean cultures. There are many charming spots where you can acquire a new house in this province with the help of Homerun Brokers, but the ones we especially recommend include:

Malaga

Malaga is the capital of the province, and the 5th largest city in the country. The city is the perfect mix of modernity and tradition, with a modern business center in a traditional, relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere. Malaga is considered by many as Spanish’s cultural center thanks to the many alternatives the city offers, from beautiful performances at the Cervantes Theater to exhibitions in many museums like the Carmen Thyssen museum. After all, what else could you expect from the birthplace of Picasso? 

Malaga has a lot of restaurants, shops and monuments, making it the perfect place to live. And the cherry on top is that the city has its own international airport, making it really easy for foreigners to arrive. Most of the properties in Malaga tend to be flats of all ranges, but if you go slightly to the outskirts you will be able to see luxury villas for sale in Málaga. These properties are equipped with everything you could wish for and very well-connected with the rest of the city, so you will not have to worry about anything. And since they are located on the outskirts, you will be able to avoid the noise that comes with the busier areas. 

Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol is the name given to the coastal zone in the province of Malaga, an area that gets its name from the incredible amount of sunny days it has per year. This area is full of charming coastal towns with traditional Mediterranean architecture, like the towns of Benalmadena or Torremolinos. Checking out luxury apartments Costa del Sol would be a perfect alternative if you are looking to relax next to the beach, away from more mainstream crowds. The towns of Coast of the Sun are very well communicated, just a few minutes by car away from Malaga’s airport and many interesting places like Malaga itself. 

Marbella

Marbella is Malaga’s jewel of the crown. This coastal town has specialized in luxury tourism, with lots of interesting alternatives for wealthy people, making it a very exclusive destination. Marbella is the hometown of the Homerun Brokers Agency, making them the perfect assistants to help you buy luxury villas in Marbella. These properties are located in the best areas of Marbella, with everything you could wish for right at your doorstep. It does not matter if you are looking to live close to exclusive shops, monuments or want to live closer to nature, there is the perfect luxury villa in Marbella awaiting you. 

The province of Malaga is full of charming places where it would be a delight to live in, and with the assistance of the Homerun Brokers real estate agency, you will be able to buy the luxury property of your dreams. 

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Where can you buy Argentinian products in the United States?

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For immigrants, the aromas and flavors of their countries of origin are something sacred, and they will always want to enjoy them in any situation. For Argentinnians in the United States, the best way to get closer to their roots is through Latinafy, a platform that has a wide variety of South American products that can be ordered from the comfort of your own home.

The United States is among the countries in the world with the largest number of immigrants (of many different nationalities), most of them coming from Latin American countries. According to the Census Bureau, in 2020 there were 31.7 million Hispanic Americans, representing 11.7% of the total population.

The fact that many Latinos live in the U.S. has generated an enormous growth of markets and sectors oriented to satisfy their needs. The idea behind them is to ensure that migrants can have the closest possible connection with their home countries.

When a person leaves their country of origin, they will always miss many things that they have had throughout their lives: their traditions, their usual environment, their acquaintances, but without a doubt one of the things that they will miss the most and that they will look for in the place they go to are the aromas and flavors of their homeland.

The immigration to the United States has been increasing in recent years,especially among Argentinians, in fact in the year 2020 it was known that it exceeded 292 thousand people. This has increased the demand of these immigrants to have access to their favorite products, and thus feel closer to their homeland at all times.

Products from Latin American countries, such as Argentina, are highly sought after around the world, however, they are not easy to find in any physical store, although they are available on digital platforms that are increasingly available for users in various countries, including the United States.

Latinafy, the ideal site

Among the ecommerce sites where you can find a wide variety of items from Argentina and other South American countries, the best and most complete is undoubtedly Latinafy, a place that brings together all those aromas and flavors that make Latin American culture unique.

The team that works on this platform do so with the great pride of showing authentic South American culture to the whole planet. 

It has a variety of product categories to choose from: Best Sellers, Combos, New!, Christmas and holidays, alfajores, books, cheeses, fresh cuts and sweets, traditional desserts, salamis, dulce de leche, candies, infusions, cookies, healthy snacks, alcoholic beverages, authentic leather shoes and jackets, board games, wholesale, pharmacy, mates and thermoses, coffee and tea, cell phone cases and much, much more.

The prestige that Latinafy has achieved is such that they are trusted by the main international manufacturers to represent their products. This is due to their integrity, honesty, reputation and reliability as suppliers, as well as the excellent service and attention they offer to both wholesalers and retailers.

Likewise, their team strives to provide the best products from abroad, constantly expanding, which results in a steady growth. They even offer the opportunity to bring foreign products that are not in their catalogs to your doorstep, just ask for them.

There is no minimum purchase with Latinafy and  the shipping is free on purchases over $45. Undoubtedly, there is no easier way to receive all these products that are so loved and longed for, now you can get them from anywhere and without leaving home.

Products that identify Argentinians

There are several foods and beverages that Argentinians identify with, products that they want to keep tasting even if they are living far away from their homeland, and that thanks to online stores like Latinafy, they can still enjoy without having to leave their homes.

One of the most popular products are the delicious alfajores, which, although not originally from Argentina but from the Arab culture, are widely consumed in the South American country, perhaps it is consumed there more than anywhere else in the world. In fact, according to the Asociación de Distribuidores de Golosinas, Galletitas y Afines, 6 million alfajores are sold every day.

The alfajores are two sweet dough tops with a filling in the middle. There is a wide variety available, being the most popular one the “chocolate con dulce de leche”. The most sought after are the white Guaymallén, Cachafaz, the triple chocolate Fantoche and the chocolate Jorgito.

Chocolates and chocolate bars are also in great demand by Argentinians spread around the world, being the traditional Biznikke cookie with snowy coating one of their favorite chocolates,  a candy that has been in the market for more than 60 years. Milka or Cadbury chocolates are also included.

As for chocolates, Argentinians will surely evoke their happy childhood years when tasting Georgalos or Arcor chocolates, as well as the traditional Jack de Felfort, which popularized chocolates with a surprise toy inside.

A product that Argentinians also love is dulce de leche, which is available in several brands such as Vauquita, La Serenísima, Chimbote, Havanna (which also produces alfajores), San Ignacio, Vacalín and more.

A drink that also identifies the gauchos is Yerba maté, a herb that is placed in hot water and consumed in a container known as a bombilla or mate. There is not a set time of the day to drink it, they drink it at any time, since more than considering it as just another random drink, it is a ritual for Argentinians, something to share with family, friends, or to enjoy alone.

Another very popular drink in Argentina is fernet, of Italian origin. It is a bitter liqueur of the amaro type, made from different herbs that are macerated with wine alcohol. It is then filtered and rests in oak barrels for between six and twelve months.

Overall, if you are looking to taste all the flavours Argentina has to offer from the USA, then we can not stop recommending you check out Latinafy, their big catalog will not disappoint you

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