Life & Culture

life • cul·ture

/līf/   /ˈkəlCHər/

Every experience we walk through that affects our very existence; the external influences of the world we live in that shape us and impact our thoughts, actions, and daily routines.

These 5 Simple Fall Recipes Are Easy and Sure to Please

These 5 Hearty Fall Recipes Are Easy and Sure to Please

In the South, there are three things we take very seriously: sweet tea, our Southern drawl, and food. Southerners have a special way of bringing new meaning to comfort food, but there are some recipes that simply speak for themselves. As we head into the months that bring us bonfires and painted trees, I always find myself craving rich and hearty meals that fully satisfy. Here are 5 fall recipes that will not only meet the needs of your busy schedule but will leave you and your family with a satisfied tummy and a smile: 1. Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup Any recipe that begins with slow cooker and ends with soup is sure to be a hit. This potato soup […]

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Make the Most of That Third Wheel Life

Make the Most of That Third Wheel Life

It is awkward being the odd girl out. My friends are dating, engaged, married, and some are starting to have kids. Then there is me. Single like a Pringle and feeling left out. I feel more like a pain and burden than someone my friends look forward to seeing. All because I am single. The reality is that my friends have done nothing wrong. Their man should be the priority. Those relationships are more important than our friendship, and that is hard to swallow sometimes. So, what am I supposed to do? 1. Invite him along. Solo girl time will always be needed, and something to be fought for in the craziness of life. But, find opportunities to include your friend’s man.

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How to Make Your Own Faux Print Art for Under $5

How to Make Your Own Faux Print Art for Under $5

Home decor doesn’t have to break the bank. When decorating your home, The Dollar Tree can quickly become a place to remedy sky-high name brand prices. Creating knock-off name brand decor has never been easier! With an entire craft and garden section, the possibilities are endless. Boho chic wall art is on trend. With the average price of framed wall art ranging from $5-$50, you’ll be happy to discover that you can create your own for only $2! To create your own Dollar Store Faux Print Art, follow the tutorial below. Dollar Store Faux Print Art When most people think of DIY projects, they may be misled to believe that inexpensive materials means it looks cheap. But that myth is quickly busted

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5 Ways You Need to Protect Yourself on Social Media

5 Things You Need to Know to Stay Safe on Social Media

Social media is the new street. It’s the “mall” for Generation Z, the “park” for Millennials. It’s the new place where people go to connect, consume content, and build community. Connecting online gives us a sense of security. We can experience the world while never leaving the safety of our homes. But do you realize that while you might be snuggled up safely in your bed, your online presence can actually be putting you in danger? That’s not to say social media is bad, but we fail to realize the effect some of our actions may have. We still feel safe, so it doesn’t seem like anything could be wrong. You may remember when you were younger, all the rules you had

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Relationship Truths Found in the Bachelorette

5 Bachelorette Truths That Will Make You Glad You Watch

Millions of us will tune in to watch as one man’s heart is broken and another wins the prize. The season finale of The Bachelorette is almost here. We find ourselves in emotionally charged conversations, pitting the merits of Californian outdoorsman, Garrett, against the athlete from Colorado, Blake, over our second cup of coffee. Bets placed in office pools and online forums lay odds on who will be the recipient of the final rose. When I think about it, I do get somewhat uncomfortable. Do I want to see a grown man crumble on prime time TV? Maybe not, but tune in I will. As I have watched this season, I have realized that there are real-life lessons to be learned from

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7 Tips for Saving on Back-to-School Shopping

Summer vacations are coming to an end and the school year is almost here. Now that we’ve all got that summer glow, it’s time to start the back-to-school preparations. We know that simply the thought of it can be overwhelming—especially the financial side—and we understand why. It’s expensive! In fact, an article from nbcnews.com states that parents are spending on average about $1,000 on back-to-school supplies, “nearly the same as the average U.S. monthly mortgage payment.” Yikes! Parents, we feel for you. So, we’ve compiled 7 tips to help you keep some of your cash inside your wallet. 1. Take inventory and recycle. Go through the backpacks that have been sitting stagnant in your kids’ closets all summer. Check closets, bedrooms, and office spaces

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Why Succulents Make a Great Member of the Family

Why Succulents Make a Great Member of the Family

The first car ride home with Bruce was nothing short of magical. I cradled him tenderly in my arms as we traveled, gazing affectionately at the wee baby who practically glowed with promise. With the tip of my finger, I oh-so-gently grazed his furry green arm. Let me explain. Bruce is a succulent plant that I bought from our local Home Depot. He’s a Bear’s Paw succulent (or a Cotyledon tomentosa, for all you dedicated botanists). Each leaf is roughly the size of a nickel, rounded on the sides with about five or six tiny points jutting out from the top—an uncanny resemblance to the massive paw and threatening claws of a bear, hence the name.   It wasn’t just the bear’s

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How to Make a DIY Nautical Mason Jar In 10 Minutes

How to Make a DIY Nautical Mason Jar In 10 Minutes

Summer is here, which means everyone is heading to the beach! But, if you can’t get to the beach, you can certainly bring the beach to you. Nautical home decor is fun for summertime and can be a decor theme for any location. Making nautical decor can be simple and doesn’t have to break the bank. This DIY only requires a few materials and adds character to any room. To create your own nautical mason jar follow the tutorial below! First, assemble your materials on a clean and clear workspace. You will need: Nautical rope Mason jar with metal handle Hot glue gun Plug in your glue gun and allow it to heat up. After a few minutes, it should be ready

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What It's Really like Living with Type 1 Diabetes

What It’s Really like Living with Type 1 Diabetes

Most of the memories feel distant. My stay at the hospital, my symptoms leading up to my stay, and even the years of learning to live a new lifestyle following my diagnosis require me to stop and think about the details. But there are phrases that my doctors said that will never fade. One quote was, “Oh, she’s not going home today. She’ll be staying overnight for the next couple days.” Another one was, “If your blood sugars continue like this for the next 30 years, you’ll end up losing limbs and going blind.” I especially remember the moment they said, “She has type 1 diabetes.” I was 15 years old, just getting ready to graduate eighth grade. I was at a friend’s

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5 Summer Accessories That Will Make You Feel Beautiful

5 Summer Accessories That Will Make You Feel Beautiful

Like a seasonal dish at your favorite restaurant, summer is back and better than ever. With an itinerary of spontaneous beach excursions and warm nights topped off with an icy glass of fruity bliss comes time to usher new life into your summer wardrobe. These pieces are designed to ease your transition into the simmering months ahead, whether it be by deflecting the sun’s intensity or simply making you the star of your own summer runway. Let each statement piece below reflect you—bold, beautiful, and totally ready to rock the summer. Floppy Hat Floppy hats are a game-changer during the summer months. They’re wide enough that they virtually block the sun from any angle, while still being effortlessly chic. Bonus: they pair

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How to Enjoy Your Staycation on a Budget

How to Plan a Budget Friendly Staycation to Remember

Motivated by a love for family and a lifestyle of living within their means, my parents planned a stay-at-home vacation before “staycations” were a thing, and it ranks as one of the most memorable vacations I have ever had. I’ve often wondered how they did it. How were they able to create a successful and affordable staycation and convince three children, ages 9, 12, and 13, that it was the best vacation ever? After looking back, I believe I have figured out their secret sauce for planning an enjoyable and budget-friendly staycation. Get Your Head in the Game Before we go any further, ignore that subtle, little voice lingering in the back of your mind. You know the one, it’s a little

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Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Summer Vacation

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ summer vacation? Maybe a road trip, trek to the beach or the mountains, or jaunt to visit grandma and grandpa. Maybe somewhere you’ve never been before or somewhere you go every year when the weather gets warm. As a kid, there is something magical about the day that school lets out and the possibilities for the coming months are endless. As an adult, things usually look a little different and summer vacations come with a bit more planning, scheduling, and budgeting. But, just because you’re breaking away from the routine, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank! Just in time for your summer getaway, here are 3 tips to save you money on your vacation:

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A Reminder on the Power of Your Words for Grit and Grace

Words, I just love writing them with beautiful ink on exquisite paper. I like to experiment with different fonts on the iPad, or when writing them out on paper, see if I can give them extra character with a little flourish here or added post there. Words can contain such beauty when spoken and written with kindness and love. Words can mend broken relationships, heal broken hearts, and express our undying love. If used carelessly, however, they have the power to damage something priceless, the very center of the heart, of who we are, the soul. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me, we have no doubt sung this at one time or another, usually followed

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How to Declutter the Chaos in Your Home and Get Organized

I am one of those crazy-productive, ultra-organized people you love to hate. Yep, I was born that way. But I was also born with an analytical mind and a heart to teach and lead others. As I approached my 40th birthday in January 2012, my life was the most UN-organized, UN-productive, and UN-planned it had ever been. I couldn’t find a thing in my house, and my family finances and family members’ health were all spiraling out of control. I did what any sane person would do… I quit my job. OK, maybe not so sane. Everything was falling apart anyway. And I couldn’t control anything around me. Except my space. And it was a hot mess! In the middle of January

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Some of the Most Popular Ways to Exercise Right Now

Some of the Most Popular Ways to Exercise Right Now

When an exercise is difficult and unenjoyable, you’ll find any excuse not to do it. You’ll moan and groan and decide to skip out on your workout tonight…and tomorrow…and then the next day. When it is fun, you’re not only happier, but you’re more likely to stick with a routine. Take some time to explore what works best for you. Here are some of the most popular ways people are exercising right now: Aerial Yoga Aerial yoga, also known as anti-gravity yoga, combines traditional yoga poses, Pilates, and dance with the use of a silk fabric called a “hammock” or “swing” to support the weight of your body. It also helps achieve various postures with more depth, ease, and excitement. Suspension in

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3 Morning Health Rituals to Try Right Now

3 Morning Health Rituals to Try Right Now

One of your liver’s jobs is to break down fat and produce energy. It also takes substances, such as estrogen and BPA, and processes them so that they can be removed from your body when you use the bathroom. When you have excess toxins and hormones in your body, which is very common in this day and age, your liver can’t keep up. This can cause your body to hold onto excess weight. So, to keep my liver clean and working properly, I have 3 steps that I follow every morning: 1. Oil Pulling. This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that aids in detoxing your mouth and body and also keeps your gums and teeth extremely healthy. Take about 1 tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil and swish

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Keto, Paleo, Vegan or Whole30? How to Pick the Best Diet For You

Keto, Paleo, Vegan or Whole30? How to Pick the Best Diet For You

Oh, the diets. Anyone else out there as confused as I am? Although I’m always on the quest to learn more about health, I have to admit, my mind is swimming with all of this information! There are a lot of trends going on right now. Ketogenic, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Blood Type, Alkaline, Whole30, Gluten-Free…holy hemp seeds! I feel like ordering a pizza just looking at that list. Unfortunately, I think that’s what many of us resort to because the alternative seems too overwhelming. One diet tells us to focus on protein. Another claims that animal protein causes inflammation and tells us to stick to produce and whole grains. And yet another swears grains are the culprit for our inflammation. In college, when

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