Rachel Teodoro
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40 Things I am Loving in My 40's

I turned 40 in September and I was more than ready for it. I think having a kid in college ages you. I think I'm really going to love this decade though. I've been thinking about all the things I'm loving right now and thought I'd put them together in a post because being 40 kind of allows you to decide what you love and it gives you the permission to leave behind the stuff you don't. That said, here are 40 things that I'm loving right now. I put a LOT of effort into this post, so I'd love it if you checked it out because coming up with 40 awesome things is a lot! I even leave you with a little challenge at the end if you care to accept it! 

Easy DIY Velvet Acorn for your Fall or Thanksgiving Tablescape

A few weeks ago when my husband and I took a quick trip through NYC, one of the must see's on our list was to stroll through Central Park. While we were exploring...ok fine, while I was waiting for my husband in the bathroom, I found a whole pile of acorn tops. I started picking them up and putting them into my purse. I'm not much of a souvenir person. Sure, I like collecting things from where I've been, but I don't want to just collect things for the sake of collecting them. It was then that I realized that I could make a pretty cool souvenir with the acorn tops.  I could display them in the fall and they would remind me of our trip to NYC. You don't have to travel to Central Park to make these DIY velvet acorns, but you will probably need to take a stroll to your local park or in your backyard to get started.

5 Tricks to Decorating on a Budget

I do not claim to be an interior decorator. Heck, I could probably use someone to help me, but I do know how to stick to a budget and replicate high-end looks at a fraction of the price. I have decades of budget decorating under my belt and want to share my secrets so you can decorate on a budget too! Here are 5 of my best tricks for decorating on a budget. 

mango wood and metal coffee table

5 Tips to Make the Most of a Quick Trip to NYC

I was recently invited to a conference called Social Media on the Sand at Beaches Resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands {more on that later}. Getting to the Caribbean isn't the easiest thing to do from the west coast, so my first thought was, let's look into flying into New York for a few days before heading to the conference. If I do say so myself, it was a genius idea. 

Not only did it break up the long, multi-leg flight, but it also allowed us a quick visit to New York City and an opportunity to quickly get onto the east coast time zone we'd be in for the next week. The last time I was in NYC was a quick stop in after a visit to New Jersey to visit my grandmother. It was 1984 and there was a complete restoration project of the Statue of Liberty happening. My most vivid memory isn't of the visit to the city, it was of being marched from room to room in my small town Indiana elementary school with polaroid pictures of the lady liberty in hand sharing my visit with every single classroom after that Christmas break trip. People in Indiana in the 80's did not get out much apparently.

With about 36 hours and six zillion recommendations from friends and family and of course the interwebs, we checked off many of the to-dos on our NYC bucket list. I've got 5 tips so you can make the most of a quick trip to New York City.
foggy new york city from top of the empire state building

Beaches Resort: More Than Just a Vacation

It started with a backpack.

In 2014 I visited my World Vision sponsored child in Uganda. Moses was 9 so I packed a backpack full of school supplies and of course, a soccer ball. We started sponsoring Moses when he was a toddler. We don't speak the same language {though he's learning English in school}, but we communicate through drawings. Every letter we've received from Moses has some beautiful hand-drawn picture on it and I reciprocate with some stick figure of my own on my letters. 

It's our thing. 

world vision sponsored child in Uganda, Africa

School supplies can be hard to come by. 

In rural places like the town Moses lives in Uganda, it's nearly impossible. Many school kids I met were using brown paper bags folded together to create a rough notebook of sorts that they would use the whole school year. 

I've since traveled with backpacks filled with school supplies and special items in my luggage to Zambia, Bangladesh and now the Turks and Caicos Islands. I've started looking at it as a gift of gratitude to the countries that are hosting me. I learn something every time I step foot on foreign soil, it's the least I can do to give back. It's why I was so excited to see that the Sandals Foundation was taking part in Pack for a Purpose when I went to visit Beaches Resort for the conference Social Media on the Sand.

Sandals foundation packing for a purpose

Packing a backpack full of supplies in my suitcase wasn't the only way Beaches Resorts was giving back to the community. When you travel to Beaches all-inclusive resort, it's more than just a vacation, it's an opportunity to engage and empower the community you are visiting.
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