Getting Personal #71: June Goals

June Goals

Image Credit: jenny collier blog

Welcome to June! We’re basically halfway through 2017 – Already! Time is flying by.


Here are my goals for the month of June:

  1. Celebrate our 100th blood drive!
  2. Refresh/update my summer wardrobe.
  3. See Wonder Woman!
  4. Celebrate Nick and Savy’s engagement/upcoming wedding!
  5. Attend the 10-year high school reunion with my IB classmates.
  6. Celebrate Mom’s retirement!
  7. Buy bikes!
  8. Visit the library at least once.
  9. Work to write between three-four Book Reviews.

Here’s the breakdown:

Celebrate our 100th blood drive!

  • It’s TOMORROW. Wow!
  • This should be relatively easy: Successfully donate, and then party!

Refresh/update my summer wardrobe.

  • I need to go through all my clothes this month – Put away all the fall/winter items still in my closet, sort out the ones that need to be donated, and make sure the rest isn’t hiding in suitcases!
  • I definitely need a few more pairs of shorts that actually fit!

See Wonder Woman!

  • I’m so excited to see this!

Celebrate Nick and Savy’s engagement/upcoming wedding!

  • Their fun and creative “Stock The Bar” party is this weekend!
  • They always put on a great party – Tons of food, loads of friends, and usually shenanigans and live music!

Attend the 10-year high school reunion with my IB classmates.

  • Scheduled for later this month, I’m excited to get together with several of my IB classmates and their spouses/significant others.
  • Lots of us have kept up through Facebook over the years, but it’s really cool that we’re all gathering together in-person!
  • Fun fact: The restaurant we’re going to was the same place where Al and I had our first date!

Celebrate Mom’s retirement!

  • Mom’s cleaning out her classroom, for good.
  • We’re excited to celebrate her long career as an ESL teacher!

Buy bikes!

  • This has been on our list every since we bought our house.
  • Luckily, there’s a bike shop just a few miles from us.
  • We took a trip there a month or so ago, so we want to go back and actually buy!
  • We’re excited to live in a neighborhood where we see families walk, run, skate, and ride their bikes and scooters.

Visit the library at least once.

  • My ultimate goal is to do this at least once a month going forward, but I need to remind myself!
  • Since the library near my house has limited hours, the best time for me to go is on Saturdays.

Work to write between three-four Book Reviews.

  • I have one review in the pipeline, and I’m almost done with another book!
  • I have a good feeling that I can power through at least one more book, maybe even two!

Do you have any goals for the month of June?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #70: May Goals Recap

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Image Credit: My Be AH Vida

It’s hard to believe that today closes out month #5 of 2017. The month of May was very exciting – One of the busiest months yet!

Here’s the link to my May Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Celebrate Melissa’s graduation from William & Mary! – Accomplished!
  2. Attend Tidewater Comicon. – Did not accomplish.
  3. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation! – Did not accomplish.
  4. Attend PEO Virginia State Convention. – Accomplished!
  5. Research more uses for essential oils. – Semi-Achieved.
  6. Celebrate Mother’s Day! – Accomplished!
  7. Make at least three new recipes. – Accomplished!
  8. Help prepare for our 100th blood drive! – Accomplished!
  9. Figure out a new, effective workout plan. – Accomplished!
  10. Read at least three new books. – Semi-Achieved.

Here’s the breakdown:

Celebrate Melissa’s graduation from William & Mary! – Accomplished!

  • We took a road trip up to Richmond on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
  • We had so much fun at Marisa and David’s house! Their house is gorgeous, and the renovations/expansions turned out beautifully.
  • There was so much food! Melissa’s mom sent us home with tons of leftovers.
  • We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with Melissa, and meeting many of her friends and colleagues. We stayed a bit longer because we were engrossed in conversations about Star Trek, and Harry Potter!

Attend Tidewater Comicon. – Did not accomplish.

  • Since Melissa’s graduation party fell on the same weekend, it wasn’t worth the money to go this year.

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation! – Did not accomplish.

  • I blame my mess for this! I could not find the transcripts that I purchased a while back, even though I searched many places!
  • I just need to buy two more transcripts, and make another appointment.

Attend PEO Virginia State Convention. – Accomplished!

  • This was one of the best weekends I’d had in a while.
  • Cindy was a great carpool buddy!
  • There was so much good food!
  • The business was conducted and the entire weekend went smoothly.
  • We celebrated over 20 “Golden Girls” – Apparently 1967 was a great year for PEO!
  • I was thoroughly exhausted after driving six hours round trip on Sunday, so I came home, got into my comfy clothes, and watched Undercover Boss on Netflix until bedtime.

Research more uses for essential oils. – Semi-Achieved.

  • I want to do more research every month, but I’m happy with what I’ve learned so far.
  • The fabulous woman who got me turned on to oils in the first place – April – sends out emails every week!
  • Thanks to a tip from a friend on Facebook, we put “Purification” on our new air filter, and the whole house started to smell amazing!

Celebrate Mother’s Day! – Accomplished!

  • We had a wonderful Chinese take-out dinner with my parents. The weather was gorgeous, so we ate on the porch! We also brought leftover cupcakes from Melissa’s graduation party from the night before.

Make at least three new recipes. – Accomplished!

  • Baked Crispy Honey Lime Shrimp – Yummy!! This is one of our new favorite recipes.
  • One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta – Really good. We had leftovers for a week! I won’t make it super often, since it’s loaded with calories (think 6 cups of milk, three types of cheese, etc.). But, it tasted awesome!
  • Pork chops with Smoky Applewood marinade – Amazing!

Help prepare for our 100th blood drive! – Accomplished!

  • This was fairly simple – Lots of moral support, and a few editing suggestions.
  • We’re raffling off a $100 VISA gift card courtesy of the Red Cross!
  • If you’re in the area, come out on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.!

Figure out a new, effective workout plan. – Accomplished!

  • Thanks to bodybuilding.com, I have a new 30-day workout plan in place!
  • After just two days at it (yesterday and today), I’m super sore and I struggle to climb the stairs, but I’m sweating more at the gym, and I’m even starting to sleep better!\
  • I’m excited to learn some new moves, and re-build some strength!

Read at least three new books. – Semi-Achieved.

  • Book #1: Book Review #31: “The Da Vinci Code”
  • I finished Book #2 recently, so I’m planning to publish Book Review #32 by the end of this week.
  • I’m just a few chapters away from finishing Book #3, so I expect to publish Book Review #33 some time next week!

Final Thoughts:

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to six out of 10 goals. Yay!! I feel super productive, and proud of myself!
  • The two goals that were Semi-Achieved: I’m pleased with my progress with these goals. Looking forward to doing more in June!
  • The two goals that I didn’t accomplish: There were multiple circumstances that prevented me/us from achieving these goals.

Did you have any goals for May?

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for June!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #69: May Goals

Success Magazine

Image Credit: Success Magazine

Hello, everyone!

This post is several days later than normal – I’m sorry if I disappointed some of you when this post didn’t show up on May 1st.

The last couple of weeks have been challenging, in a word. My work department lost a great team member to a bigger and better opportunity, and his very sudden departure has been upsetting and tumultuous. We’re picking up the pieces now, but I haven’t had a lot of energy to write recently, especially after long days at work. I hope all of you understand. Thank you for continuing to read, like, and comment. I really appreciate it!


Here are my goals for May:

  1. Celebrate Melissa’s graduation from William & Mary!
  2. Attend Tidewater Comicon.
  3. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!
  4. Attend PEO Virginia State Convention.
  5. Research more uses for essential oils.
  6. Celebrate Mother’s Day!
  7. Make at least three new recipes.
  8. Help prepare for our 100th blood drive!
  9. Figure out a new, effective workout plan.
  10. Read at least three new books.

Here’s the breakdown:

Celebrate Melissa’s graduation from William & Mary!

  • My best friend is earning her PhD! In physics!
  • I’m beyond proud of her!
  • We can’t wait to celebrate with her mom, friends, and family at her mom’s gorgeous house!

Attend Tidewater Comicon.

  • We’re excited to attend this year!
  • We missed 2016 entirely, so we’re looking forward to seeing what’s happening.

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!

  • I’ve made an official appointment for May 18th!

Attend PEO Virginia State Convention.

  • This is not my first Convention, but the first for me in several years.
  • I’m excited to be carpooling with Cindy, a new transfer from Florida!
  • Between my chapter and Mom’s chapter, we are celebrating multiple “Golden Girls” – Sisters who have been in PEO for 50 years!

Research more uses for essential oils.

  • I want to explore more uses for the oils that I have.
  • I’m currently diffusing “Peace and Calming!”
  • I want to especially look at more cooking options with them.

Celebrate Mother’s Day!

  • We’re planning to take my mom out to dinner!

Make at least three new recipes.

  • I want to dive back into Megan’s cookbook!
  • There are so many recipes on Facebook – I know I can attempt at least a few of them!

Help prepare for our 100th blood drive!

  • We are just weeks away from our 100th blood drive. Wow!
  • I want to work with my parents, and other members of the blood drive team, to make this one the best!

Figure out a new, effective workout plan.

  • I got stuck in a cardio rut for a while.
  • I enjoyed the structure that bodybuilding.com offered for a while, so I want to find something like that again.

Read at least three books.

  • I’m currently deep into this new book I bought when we were visiting Al’s parents.
  • I want to continue the Robert Langdon saga.
  • There’s a few books in my Lady Lounge begging for attention!

Do you have any goals for the month of May?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #68: April Goals Recap

Pinterest

Image Credit: Pinterest

The end of April snuck up on me – I barely had time to pull this post together. But, I did it! I feel accomplished.

Here’s the link to my April Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class. – Accomplished!
  2. Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards). – Accomplished!
  3. Buy my desk! – Did not accomplish.
  4. Tackle the garage, once and for all. – Accomplished!
  5. Finalize plans for our second wedding anniversary getaway! – Semi-Achieved.
  6. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation! – Did not accomplish.
  7. Celebrate birthdays! – Semi-Achieved.
  8. Start designing my custom shelving system for my American Girl dolls. – Did not accomplish.
  9. Read at least three new books. – Did not accomplish.

Here’s the breakdown:

Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class. – Accomplished!

  • I successfully completed my class at the beginning of the month.
  • I was nervous going into the exam, but I had a lot of people rooting for me.

Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards). – Accomplished!

  • I took the exam on Saturday, April 8th. It was nearly six hours long, but I felt decent about my performance when I left.
  • Via email, I learned the following week that I PASSED with a 76 percent score!
  • It feels amazing to be finished, and certified!
  • Thank you so much to Al, Shana, my family, and several others who were pulling for me!

Buy my desk! – Did not accomplish.

  • We don’t have space for it at the moment!
  • My Lady Lounge has several items in holding from our garage clean-up, and I need to find permanent places for those things first.

Tackle the garage, once and for all. – Accomplished!

  • We blocked off a Saturday morning and went to town.
  • It only took us four hours, and we had fun!
  • It feels great to have more space in there!

Finalize plans for our second wedding anniversary getaway! – Semi-Achieved.

  • We are in agreement about where we want to go, and roughly the time when we want to go.
  • We plan to go to our travel agent who helped us with our honeymoon on a Saturday in June to make the arrangements!

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation! – Did not accomplish.

  • This didn’t happen – I plan to do this on a Thursday in May!

Celebrate birthdays! – Semi-Achieved.

  • We thoroughly enjoyed Chinese food at Szechuan Inn with my parents, as well as Kathy and Perry for Dad’s birthday.
  • We had a good time with my parents, Debbie, Michaela, and Chris at the Commodore to see Beauty and the Beast. We look forward to seeing again soon! Chris is a great guy.

Start designing my custom shelving system for my American Girl dolls. – Did not accomplish.

  • Since the Lady Lounge is still thoroughly full of stuff, this design process didn’t get off the ground.
  • However, there’s plenty of time!

Read at least three new books. – Did not accomplish.

  • I finally finished the one book I was working through just last night.
  • I look forward to reading more next month!

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to three out of nine goals. Score!
  • The two goals that were Semi-Achieved: I’m happy with this. I need to make more phone calls, and make things happen that way!
  • The four goals that I didn’t accomplish: That’s okay! This month caught me by surprise. May is gonna be absolutely nuts! I look forward to working on these soon.

Did you have any goals for April?

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for May!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #66: April Goals

Welcome to April! It’s hard to believe we’re already in month #4 of 2017!

Here are my goals for April:

  1. Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class.
  2. Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards).
  3. Buy my desk!
  4. Tackle the garage, once and for all.
  5. Finalize plans for our second wedding anniversary getaway!
  6. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!
  7. Celebrate birthdays!
  8. Start designing my custom shelving system for my American Girl dolls.
  9. Read at least three new books.

Here’s the breakdown:

Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class.

  • I only have two classes left!

Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards).

  • I take the exam one week from today!

Buy my desk!

  • Thanks to Wayfair.com, I’ve finally figured out what I want. Once I pay my credit card bills this month, this is one of the first things I’m buying!

Tackle the garage, once and for all.

  • We want to empty the garage, finally. We want to find places for everything!

Finalize plans for our second wedding anniversary getaway!

  • We have a good idea of where we want to go and what we want to do, but we want to call Jody at AAA. She helped us plan our honeymoon, so we want her input!

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!

  • I’m going to call the academic advising department next week to make an appointment!

Celebrate birthdays!

  • My dad’s birthday is on Monday!
  • Our friend Michaela Leigh’s birthday is also on Monday, so we’re seeing Beauty and the Beast tonight with my parents, her mom, and we get to meet Michaela’s boyfriend, Chris, for the first time!
  • My Uncle Richard’s birthday is next week, so I definitely want to call him and catch up.

Start designing my custom shelving system for my American Girl dolls.

  • My dad’s offered to help me!
  • He found some nice quality birch wood at Lowe’s recently.
  • I want to make the measurements soon, and then go pick it out.
  • I’m so excited!

Read at least three new books.

  • I’m six chapters into my latest book!
  • But, I also want to visit the library at least once this month to pick out a totally new book.
  • Look for these Book Reviews soon!

Do you have any goals for the month of April?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #65: March Goals Recap

what-can-be

Image Credit: Live, Love, Simple.

March flew by so fast, it almost made my head spin!

Here’s the link to my March Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class. – Semi-Achieved.
  2. Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards). – Did not accomplish.
  3. Be a volunteer for the 2017 District Orchestra Assessment at my alma mater. – Accomplished!
  4. Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. – Semi-Achieved.
  5. See Kong: Skull Island. – Accomplished!
  6. Positively geek out over Beauty and the Beast. – Accomplished!
  7. See Power Rangers. – Accomplished!
  8. Finally implement my receipt organization system. – Semi-Achieved.
  9. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation! – Semi-Achieved.
  10. Celebrate birthdays! – Accomplished!
  11. Move at least my American Girl dolls from Mom and Dad’s to our house. – Did not accomplish.
  12. Make progress with emptying / organizing the garage. – Did not accomplish.

Here’s the breakdown:

Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class. – Semi-Achieved.

  • I’ve learned a lot in this class! It’s been a really good experience.
  • Due to some class members not signing up for their required membership in a timely manner, the test had to be rescheduled from March 25th to April 8th (Argh!).
  • The good news – The class was extended for two more weeks, so I have class sessions through the first week in April.

Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards). – Did not accomplish.

  • I only put this because the test hasn’t happened yet!
  • Say a prayer, send good vibes, wish luck for me on April 8th!

Be a volunteer for the 2017 District Orchestra Assessment at my alma mater. – Accomplished!

  • I had so much fun on this Saturday – I want to volunteer again next year!
  • I absolutely crushed my FitBit goal that day – I logged 11,000 steps!
  • It was great seeing some familiar faces – Students, teachers, and some parents, too.

Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. – Semi-Achieved.

  • I wrote approximately 100 new words!
  • I feel great with those 100 words. I’m planning to set similar goals from here on out. It’s a good motivator!

See Kong: Skull Island. – Accomplished!

  • We went out with our friends Mike, Shana, and Austin. Austin was home from college on spring break, so it was great to see him.
  • It was a really good movie – It’s a true adventure / survivalist film!
  • There were a few moments where I had to close my eyes, but mainly because I’m a visual person and didn’t want to have nightmares!

Positively geek out over Beauty and the Beast. – Accomplished!

  • I proudly wore my “Beauty is found within” shirt!
  • We went to see it with Kathryn, Christine, and John at Paragon in Newport News.
  • I thought it was going to be a shot-for-shot remake of the 1991 animated film, but I was pleasantly surprised with what they did.
  • Emma Watson was an awesome Belle, but the cast as a whole was great!
  • We’re seeing it again this weekend at the Commodore Theatre to celebrate Michaela Leigh’s birthday!

See Power Rangers. – Accomplished!

  • Al and I saw this last weekend, just the two of us.
  • It’s a nostalgia trip, updated for 2017!
  • If you have memories of the TV show, I recommend seeing it. It’s a fun ride!

Finally implement my receipt organization system. – Semi-Achieved.

  • I labeled all my envelopes. I need to get a bulletin board now.
  • Stack of receipts – Vanish!

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation! – Semi-Achieved.

  • I took a Friday off of work to go out to the Virginia Beach campus. I knew it was spring break, but the college was scheduled to be open.
  • I got to the Student Center right after 9:00 a.m., and there was only one person working on the Academic Advising floor. That wasn’t a good sign.
  • I asked, and she said that all the Academic Advisers were in training! Noooooo. Major bummer!
  • Small consolation – I discovered, after I left, that I didn’t have my transcripts folder. So, I’m getting better organized now and planning a return trip for a Thursday or Friday in April! And, I’m definitely calling ahead to make an appointment!
  • The day was not lost – I went shopping at the local Goodwill, met Al and two of his coworkers for a delicious Mongolian BBQ lunch, and enjoyed return trips to Barnes & Noble and LUSH at MacArthur Mall!

Celebrate birthdays! – Accomplished!

  • Al’s mom had a good birthday – She’s almost fully recovered from her knee surgery. We’re hoping to go see them in either April or May.
  • The birthday shindig at my parents’ house on the first Friday was fun, although I didn’t feel well through most of it. We were there until 10:30 p.m.!

Move at least my American Girl dolls from Mom and Dad’s to our house. – Did not accomplish.

  • Every weekend was basically booked solid!
  • I’m going to take a few days off work in April, so I’m hoping this will happen on a weekday soon.

Make progress with emptying / organizing the garage. – Did not accomplish.

  • We did everything else with the house this month – Moved some furniture, cleaned out some clutter, did a deep clean, and a few more odds and ends.
  • The garage is on our list for April – Starting this weekend. Al’s tired of it, too.

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to five out of 12 goals. Woohoo!
  • The four goals that were Semi-Achieved: I’m happy with them. A few were completely out of my control, but I’m happy that I made progress!
  • The three goals that I didn’t accomplish: This was far better than a month ago! Wow. I’m very pleased with myself!

Did you have any goals for March?

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for April!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Hot Topic #19: The Water Crisis in Flint, and Others

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Image Credit: Michigan Radio

This particular issue has been running through my veins for a good while now – No pun intended.

The purpose of this post is to review the events of what’s happened with the water in Flint, Michigan. In addition, I want to highlight other cities that have or have had their own water crises.


In my humble opinion, this is simply unacceptable. Everyone needs water to survive!

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a person can live about a month without food. However, one can only survive about a week without water.

Lack of clean, safe water leads to further illness and disease, and ultimately, death.


Flint, Michigan

One of the most recently updated articles about the crisis in Flint comes from CNN:

In a nutshell, the city officially switched water sources in 2014. At that time, Flint’s water supply fund was $9 million in the hole. Flint has gotten its water from Lake Huron since 1967. But, nearly three years ago, the source was switched to the Flint River while a new pipeline was under construction.

The Flint River was not being treated with an anti-corrosive agent, which violates federal law. Because this agent was not added, when the supply was switched over, lead from old pipes started to contaminate the water.

Lead exposure is known to cause adverse health effects, particularly in children and pregnant women. There are medicines that reduce the amount of lead in the blood, but further treatments have not been developed.

Since then, it’s been disaster after disaster. Finger-pointing back and forth, multiple lawsuits, and tons of bureaucratic red tape. All the while, the residents have been holding the bag – All they want is to be able to use their tap water again.

Among other things, tests have come back positive for horrifying things over the last few years, such as Legionnaire’s disease, total coliform bacteria, disinfectant byproducts, and bacteria buildup. Even Flint’s General Motors plant stopped using the city water because high levels of chlorine were corroding engine parts.

Flint has been in the spotlight for another reason – About 40 percent of its residents are African-American. There have been multiple claims / allegations that race has been a factor in the crisis, as well.

Here’s some more information. The timelines were immensely eye-opening.


Other Cities in the U.S.

After the Flint crisis broke loose, other cities in the U.S. started reporting elevated levels of lead in their water supplies.

A simple Google search of “water crisis in America” immediately hits upon an article, dated March 2016, from CNBC, titled, “America’s water crisis goes beyond Flint, Michigan.”

Another startling article, titled, “America Is Suffering From A Very Real Water Crisis That Few Are Acknowledging,” is more recent. This was published just a few months ago, in January. It cites several sources, but most striking is one report from Reuters that states shocking statistics. There are 3,000 localities in the U.S. alone that have lead levels at least double the amount in Flint.

That’s just insane.

Like Flint, many of these communities have what’s referred to as “legacy lead,” meaning that most are former industrial hubs that have crumbling paint, old plumbing, and industrial waste.

However, many of these localities have not been in the national spotlight. Most of these areas have had to fight the poison on their own.

With that said, there are multiple problems here. There is data showing contamination, but funding has not been increased or allocated to fix the plumbing, pipes, or water supplies. While recent focus has been on lead, there are water supplies all over this country that are tainted with numerous hazardous metals and elements (mercury, arsenic, chlorine, etc.), bacteria, and other things that are far from safe.


Around the World

It’s no secret that other cities and countries on our planet don’t have regular access to clean, safe drinking water.

A quick Google search lists numbers of at least 1.1 billion people on our planet that have scarce water.

Here’s several links that illustrate the worldwide water shortage:


What Can We Do?

At this point, you may be feeling helpless, or confused, or sad. So, what can we do?

  • There are multiple charities that are dedicated to providing safe, clean water to water-scarce areas.
  • Educating others about these issues.
  • Spreading awareness.
  • Harvesting rainwater.
  • Researching and advocating new technologies.
  • Decreasing the effects of climate change.
  • Pursuing cleaner means of energy.
  • Consuming products that use less water.

Source: Conserve Energy Future

We may not be able to change the world right now, but educating others goes a long way!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂