Nature Walk in Girliste

 

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Girliste is a small village twenty minutes away from our new home in Resita Romania.  This village resides in an outdoor paradise; distant mountains surround the entrance way and the exit is a hiking trail which ventures through a forest and then into a clearing inside a valley nestled between more mountains. There is a river which flows alongside the entire hiking trail proving a sound of beauty to go along with the sights.

Our dog Zen enjoyed his freedom while leading the way as if he were our tour guide on this great outdoor adventure! He did a great job showing us around this magnificent display of nature.

 

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We saw a cluster of blue butterflies and quickly snapped a picture of them before they flew away! This was the first time I ever saw so many butterflies in one place. It was really pretty to see and it was a magical moment when we saw them flutter up around us. In comparison to online pictures, these butterflies are called Common Blue Butterflies.

 

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There were plenty of fruit-bearing trees and plants throughout the village and on our walk. We had the pleasure of eating a variety of fresh-picked fruits, including cherries and some berries, along the way.

IMG_6061We had some Fragutele, which are small-sized berry, that resembles a mix between strawberry and raspberry. They had a very sweet taste.    🙂

One tree appeared to have been struck by lightning, or perhaps it had been partially burnt by a fire, and it was still alive and bearing fruit called Mulberry. This Morus Alba tree was uniquely beautiful and its fruit was tasty. Most berries are helpful to our bodies, including Mulberries, they are filled with nutrients that are important for us. Iron, vitamins, dietary fiber and potassium are all packed into this tiny little fruit.

 

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This tree made me think of this scripture today…

 

Jeremiah 17 verses 7-8     KJV

7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope in the Lord is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. 

 

Faith is shown when we are able to bear fruit despite the obstacles we go through in life. I believe that we should live life to its fullest, even if we have illnesses like MS. No two storms are made equal, and I have had the pleasure of connecting with many wonderful Christians who bear fruit even though they have been struck by lightening force destruction in their lives. These people inspire me to keep smiling miraculously on the days that I might feel like wearing a frown instead.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to any comments that you may have. I also hope you had a great weekend!

 

Christy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yay! I was nominated for The Mystery Blogger Award!

For newbies like me… What is a Mystery Blogger Award?

Okoto Enigma created this award by being what she calls “creatively bored”, obliquely naming it after herself, which is both clever and cool! This award is for ” amazing and ingenious” bloggers alike, who find “fun and passion” in writing.

Here are the Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; With one weird or funny question (specify).
  • Share your link to your best post (s).

I want to thank Positively Alyssa @  http://fightmsdaily.com for nominating me for this award! It is a true honor to be chosen. I hope you find joy and humor in my responses! For those of you that haven’t been to her site, please check it out! It is “positively” uplifting!

3 things that you do not know about me… yet:

  1. I was in the military and sometimes I got into trouble for smiling while standing in formation. The drill sergeants used to come directly over to me and make me do 20 pushups everytime I smiled. This memory actually gives me a chuckle and a smile right now! How many pushups should I do? 🙂
  2. I was once a brave soul, but now I am afraid of everything! Although I pause before beginning things, I do not let fear stop me, I just do it afraid! The funniest story I have for this is the time when my husband, my daughter, and I all fell off of a jet ski in the deep Florida ocean! We quickly got back on and headed home… but boy was I scared! I didn’t even want to ride the thing so I was terrified from start to finish! I shiver even now thinking about this day!
  3. I can make a tiramisu which tastes just like the one from Olive Garden! I have tried a few different recipes and I have finally nailed it upon my arrival here in Romania. It is NOT their “secret recipe” because they get their tiramisu from an outside source, which means I did not get this recipe from them.

 

My answers to Alyssa’s questions: 

  1. If you had one magical power, what would it be and why? I would enjoy being able to learn anything instantly! Right now I am trying to juggle learning Romanian, my new crocheting hobby, cooking new recipes, my ongoing fitness journey, and blogging. Being able to learn things faster would be beneficial to me and others so it would be a nice power to have!
  2. Would you prefer to live on an exotic island with beautiful beaches or in the snow-covered mountains? I am blessed to have lived on both since I moved from Florida to Romania. Although they are both nice in their own way, I pick the mountains because of the beauty year round and change of seasons! 
  3. What is your absolute favorite exotic animal? Dolphins are and have always been my favorite animal! I think that their free-spirit and friendliness to others make them more than exotic.
  4. What is your dream car? As tall as I am (5’11”) I shouldn’t say it, but I will, the mini cooper! I love the size and the power that it has!
  5. Where is the best place you have ever traveled to? Romania! It is so fabulous in fact, that we moved here!

 

My Nominees: 

  1. http://dinosaursdonkeysandms.com
  2. http://fearlessinjesuschrist.wordpress.com
  3. http://everythingsmary.com
  4. http://invisiblyme.com
  5. http://irelandms.com
  6. http://lunarchar.com
  7. http://happinessbetweentails.com
  8. http://altarsforfaith.wordpress.com
  9. http:/conciousness607.wordpress.com
  10. http://girltsdepression777.wordpress.com

 

My Questions for these great writers:

  1. What is your favorite hobby?
  2. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
  3. What do you like and/or dislike about your job?
  4. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  5. If you could time travel… would you? Why?

 

I look forward to your answers and I hope that you have as much fun with this as I did!

Please check out my most recent post… Tranfagarasan… one of the most amazing road trips in the world!

Christy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transfagarasan

Breath-taking views surround these 71 miles (114 kilometers) of pure bliss called Transfagarasan. Being the second highest paved road in Romania, this road’s elevation sits at 6,600 feet (2,000 meters), which places you near the clouds in some places. The highest point of this roadway is at Lake Balea, which is a majestic world wander all on its own.

 

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Created in the 1970s, during the Ceausescu era, some say that it followed the fear of an invasion by the Soviet Union. It is also known for being built by the military, in subpar working conditions, which led to many deaths during its creation. With great gratitude for those who helped build this road, regardless of the reasons of it being built, I declare that this roadway has been a majestic beauty for the past 44 years.

Tranfagarasan has gained some great accolades in being named “the best road in the world” on Top Gear in 2009.  It has also been mentioned on many travel sites and news channels, including CNN, for its ability to be one of the best road trips of all time.

Visitors from all over the world have enjoyed this road. During our 4 visits, we have met people from many other European countries, who have traveled there in a variety of ways. Visitors come to visit by car, travel bus, motorcycle, bicycle, foot, and even by herding sheep.

There are many hotels to choose from, but our favorite is Cabana Capra.  It is nestled in between the mountains and it is right on one of the curves of the Transfagarasan. So, as you can imagine, it has beautiful views from the balconies, terrace, and walkways all around its exterior.

 

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We have been blessed enough to visit during different seasons, and we have found this roadway and the mountains both beautiful when covered in either sun or snow. This road is said to be closed once the snow gets too thick, usually from October till June, but this does vary due to weather since we were able to visit in the month of June for two consecutive years, and once in January. I recommend calling and checking online for roadblocks and/or hotel availability prior to getting there.

 

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In the future, I will return to this magical place. I hope to include Romania’s Ice hotel on one of my future visits. If and when we do go to the Ice Hotel, I will be sure to post pictures and the like when I return.

I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always, I would enjoy hearing your thoughts. Thank-you for taking the time to read this!

 

Christy 😊

Ochiul Beiului

In Romania, I have had the pleasure of seeing some really gorgeous places, but this one is one of my favorites! This place is actually less than a 2-hour drive from where we live, so that is a BIG plus! We have visited Ochiul Beiului three times and we have enjoyed each trip thoroughly!

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Upon arrival, you have the choice of parking at the entrance, or driving a few kilometers more for a shorter walk. Driving after the entrance is exquisite on the eye, but rough terrain on the car tires, so extra precaution is necessary! We chose to walk less and drive a little more, which made our light hike 2.5 hours round trip.

The drive and the hike were both enchanting! You could hear water flowing and the breeze blowing through the trees the entire way.  I felt free in this enchanted land of trees, grass, hills, water flows, waterfalls, and all of the other sites in this artistic display of nature.

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There are multiple “ooh-ahh” moments along the way, which make you want to keep going so that you can see what comes next. Each point of interest is equally majestic in its own unique way; there are multiple spots to see different waterfalls, an open field with mountains in the background, the wilderness, and a turquoise blue lake which looks like a page torn from a storybook.

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Ochiul Beiului’s beauty is definitely worth the visit and re-visits. In the end, should you be hungry (which we were), you can either have a picnic, a cook-out on a portable grill or eat at their “fresh-fish fry” and crepe station. We have tried all three of these options on different visits and we have enjoyed them all.

If you happen to be planning a trip, or you are interested in more details of this beautiful place, please reach out to me and I would be delighted to help. I do enjoy your comments so please let me know what you think of Ochiul Beiului.

 

Christy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochet Newbie

 

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After my transition of working full-time, to being a stay-at-home mom, I was blessed with some additional time to spend learning new things like crocheting.

 

A few months ago I decided to learn how to crochet for fun and I am enjoying this new-found hobby. Creating something new gives me a miraculous smile.

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I remember watching my grandma crochet when I was young, she made large blankets for nearly everyone that she knew! I was never interested in learning this craft at that point in my life so I am glad that she offered to teach me without forcing me to learn. Now that I am older I find pleasure in this hobby. I am self-teaching myself through Youtube mostly, and some of my new Romanian friends help me when they can.

 

I find crocheting to be good for me due to the following reasons; it is calming, it provides me with handmade treasures (for my daughter or for gifting purposes), and I get the chance to be proud of my work. Maybe one day I will be able to move this hobby forward, but for now, I am just enjoying it.

 

I have found that crochet is a convenient hobby to carry along wherever you go; I took a project on a recent road trip and found it easy to do while traveling. In the future, when I travel by plane, I will be sure to take a plastic crochet hook for security purposes.      😉

 

Nearly a year ago I did not have the time to learn new things and develop my own self-interests. I was a mom,  wife and career woman spending time off with family, friends, shopping, swimming, jogging, and other things that were already known to me. I believe that in life we are given chances to learn new things when the time is right. When we are given chances we should take them, make the best of them, and see where they lead us. Luke 1:37 (KJV) says “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” This is how someone like me had the chance to learn an amazing new craft. I hope you take the chance when are feeling that it is time to experience something new and amazing in your life.

 

I am sure that others out there are more developed in crochet than I am, so please share any suggestions, pictures, or any feedback that you may have on my projects. I look forward to hearing from you!

Christy  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Healthy for Better Days with Multiple Sclerosis

Our diet plays a big role in how our bodies function so we should eat as healthy as possible. Since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I have found more and more ways to eat healthily!

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 Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day!

My mornings usually consist of a glass of lemon water first thing after I wake up. Then, within an hour of waking up, I eat a healthy breakfast which usually consists of two boiled eggs and a grapefruit with chai and flax seeds. At times, I absolutely need some variety so I pick from the following for my breakfast meals:

  • 2 boiled eggs and a grapefruit with chai and flax seeds (mentioned above).
  • Half of a banana and oatmeal cooked in hot water (not milk) & sweetened with 1 teaspoon of organic honey.
  • Greek yogurt, half a banana, and one piece of bread with peanut butter.

Most importantly, I have learned to make my breakfast a filling one so that I avoid snacking prior to lunchtime.

COFFEE – My cappuccinos, and /or coffee with cream or milk, is now a black coffee with ground cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg, ground turmeric, and organic honey.

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Lunch must be eaten!

Lunches are usually in a bit of a hurry for me so I try to keep them as simple as possible, a protein with a green side. Keeping in mind that I often switch the sides and proteins listed for variety, below are the meals I chose from:

  • Grilled chicken breast with a side salad.
  • Baked chicken breast with a baked sweet potato.
  • Baked fish with a side salad.
  • A bowl of soup.

As of late, I have finally distinguished between eating a healthy lunch and skipping lunch. Lunches are the last meal prior dinner so skipping lunch will only make dinner heavier which is worse than eating a balanced meal for both lunch and dinner.

Green Tea– I enjoy a cup of this daily! I boil it with fresh ginger and 2 or 3 lemon wedges. Occasionally, I add 1 teaspoon of organic honey when my sweet tooth kicks in.

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Dinner should be light and early!

Given that I cook during the day for a nightly “family meal”, I try to at least taste the items I cook. I succeed at this by eating a small portion of whatever I cook, along with a salad.

In my last post, I enclosed two new recipes that I have learned here in Romania. Today’s NEW recipe is Momaliga, which is a Romanian favorite! It is also healthy so I do try to have this as a dinner side at least twice a week!

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 Mamaliga (Polenta)

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot with salt, then simmer and pour with a steady stream the cornmeal.
  2. Stir constantly for about 20 minutes with a wooden spoon, until you notice that the mamaliga breaks away easily from the sides of the pot.
  3. The cooked mamaliga should be thick enough to stay in place on a plate.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you have any questions please let me know and I will gladfully help!

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“If Only” I had always eaten healthy while I was young!

During my childhood, my diet wasn’t a concern to me at all.  I drank “southern sweet tea” without any limitations. It was common to have a pitcher of this sugar killer sitting in the frig. I also drank soda, with unlimited refills, from fountain machines. I often enjoyed a wide variety of candy; ring pops, bubble yum gum, blow pops, snickers, M&Ms, and so much more! For cookies, I had to have the double stuffed Oreos! I would even make them quadruple-creamed by taking off the back from two of the cookies, sandwiching them together, to give myself enough “extra” cream! Loaded hotdogs were also my thing! Just like today, there were mixed messages about what was healthy. Honey-nut-roasted peanuts were quoted as the “healthy snack” of my childhood, so we ate plenty of them! Our saving grace to this diet massacre was the watermelon we ate on hot summer days.

After years and years of sugar-filled drinks and foods, I began to care more about what I drank and ate when I joined the military. Drinking plenty of water (without sugar) is the most important lesson during my time in the service.  It is so important to drink water first thing in the morning, and enough throughout the day, to help our bodies to stay strong and function properly. Salad, vegetables, and fruits should make up more of our diets than meats and other items that we consume. Although I tried to ignore the following, I was also reminded that desserts, sugary drinks, and snack items should be limited and avoided as much as possible. I was, of course, taught this prior to this time in my life BUT this is when I began to care.

I had a true diet wake-up call when I was diagnosed with MS! I was told that if I didn’t eat healthily I could lose my ability to walk. This scared me! I listened, researched and connected with those who already had MS at the time. I learned some more helpful ways to keep myself on track.

After being diagnosed with MS I adapted the following items into my diet:

  • Lemon Water & Tons of Water
  • Salad with Apple Cider Vinegar instead of dressing
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes
  • Kale Shakes
  • Apples and Grapefruit
  • Occasional dark chocolate for my sweet tooth
  • Green tea with lemon, ginger, and organic honey… (most days I drink without the honey)
  • Baked or Grilled Chicken and fish (without sauce)
  • Salmon with lemon, salt, and pepper only! (no sauce)

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In an effort to give this subject a funny ending, here is a corny joke; I ate an MS during my younger years, so now I have MS. It may sound a little funny this way, but it is true, I put bad food into my body and it caused me to have a lifelong disease. How I manage it best is by eating as healthy as possible so that I can continue to keep up a miraculous smile!

I would love to hear any diet secrets you have… so please share! Thank-you and I hope to hear from you soon… Christy 😊

 

Finding Comfort in Cooking

Staying within your comfort zone can be seen as “good for you” or “bad for you” depending on how you look at it. When moving to a new country, there is room for serenity, so it is “good for you” to stay within your comfort zone while adapting and overcoming new challenges.

In the USA I worked in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years, most of which was at the Olive Garden, so I am all too familiar with “following a recipe”.  Since our move, I have learned to make some new things. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Guluste Soup

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Boil a carrot, a parsnip, a celery stalk and some meat of your choice with salt, pepper, and seasoned salt. Then, remove EVERYTHING and leave only the broth in the pot. Last, add the dumplings to this soup.

Ingredients & Preparation for Guluste Dumplings:

  1. Beat 2 Eggs.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil.
  3. Add a little salt and pepper.
  4. Add 8 tablespoons of grits, one by one, mixing after each spoon full.

Mix the ingredients above. Insert a metal tablespoon spoon into the boiling soup broth. Use the hot wet spoon to scoop from the mixture and then add one spoon at a time to the boiling soup broth. After dropping all of the dumplings, let the water boil on low for an additional 10 minutes and then turn it off. Add one cup of cold water as soon as you turn it off so that the dumplings grow. Then add some freshly chopped parsley on top for garnish and taste. This mix makes 10-12 dumplings.

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 Silvia Cake

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Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (or 300g) of flour
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup (or 100 g) of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate with lemon juice

Cake Preparation:

  1. Mix all of these ingredients well and divided it into 3 equal parts. Bake on low for 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check if it is done. If not, return to the oven for a few minutes, and then be sure that the toothpick comes from the cake without batter.

Cream ingredients:

  • 1/2 a cup of milk
  • 6 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup (or 200 g) of sugar

Cream Preparation:

  1. Stir the starch with sugar. Slowly bring the milk to a boil, adding the dry mix slowly, until it thickens.
  2. After it thickens, remove it from the fire and allow it to cool.
  3. Mix butter with a hand mixer in a separate bowl.
  4. When the cream has cooled, mix it with the blended butter.
  5. Arrangement: cake-cream-cake-cream-cake; visually, it will be black, white, black, white and black.

Top Glaze Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons of milk and a small slice of butter

Top Glaze Preparation:

  1. Mix & boil these ingredients till they are a liquid. Pour this on top of the “cake-cream-cake” set up.

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Moving to Romania has been a rewarding experience for us. My husband and I have toyed with this idea since we first met, and now after all these years, it is our reality. I do have to admit, moving here wasn’t easy! It was sad saying goodbye to all of our family, friends, co-workers and even the people at our daughter’s school. We prayed diligently for the courage and patience necessary to make this big change in our lives possible. There were times during our transit when we felt discouraged, but it is such a blessing that we pushed through it all and followed the path that we felt was right.

Now that the big move is complete, I am grateful that we came because being here feels right for us. I am more rested than I have ever been and I am seeing that what I once learned is true; MS is better managed with less stress, ongoing exercise, healthier eating habits, and the right amount of sleep.

I do hope you enjoy these recipes. Should you have any questions about any of them, please reach out to me, I would be more than happy to help.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Christy

3-Day Quote Challenge

Here is my last “Quote Post”… for now! I have to say, this has been fun! I have always enjoyed quotes and seeing so many of them these past few days has been a true treat for me! Thank-you to all who took the time to share and make others feel inspired!

Once again, thank-you Heather & Dizzy from Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS for inviting me to share some of my favorite quotes!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  4. Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

 

I was given this bag on a flight from the USA to Germany a few years ago.

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“Is there any adventure more exciting than meeting new people and finding out what lives within them?”

Sonja Henie

 

Meeting new people is an exciting adventure! You get to experience the unknown while learning something that you never would have learned if you didn’t come into contact with that person. I am enjoying meeting all of you thru this blog and I look forward to upcoming adventures such as these!

The 3-day Quote Challenge

Again I thank-you Heather & Dizzy from Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS for inviting me to share some of my favorite quotes!

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  4. Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

 

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”

—Bob Marley

Life is best when it is enjoyed! I choose to be happy with what I have or make the changes necessary to live a great life. After all, we only live once, why not make the best of it?!

The 3 day Quote Challenge

Thank-you to Heather & Dizzy from Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS for inviting me to share some of my favorite quotes!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  4. Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

 

pearl

I have always been fascinated with the formation of pearls! Something so beautiful, derived from suffering, is simply majestic!

I believe we are all on a journey to becoming a pearl; It takes time, ability to deal with nuisances, and finally a reckoning that we are indeed special. Obstacles can way us down, or make us stronger, depending on how we choose to handle them.

My Nominees are:
1) Jo Ann Maxwell @ Fearlessinjesuschrist
2) Alyssa @ Fightmsdaily
3) Heather @ Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS