I Dare Anyone Who's Overwhelmed To Literally Stop And Smell The Flowers

I Dare Anyone Who's Overwhelmed To Literally Stop And Smell The Flowers

"I started comparing my amazement to the astonishment I had as a little girl and boy has it elevated. "
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Hello everyone! It is good to be sitting here in front of my computer screen today because I am feeling extra inspired this week. A couple of days ago, I went to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden with my mom. I am going to share my experience with you guys because it was definitely one to remember!

When I was younger, I remember coming to this place not really caring much about what it has to offer. The first time I attended was in elementary school for a field trip. I got to see the gardens and run around with all of my friends. I had such a fun time with them but I think I was missing the point of the garden.

Whenever I stepped foot into the Dallas Arboretum, my breath was taken away. A gasp left my body and I stood there in shock as I gazed around at the thousands of colorful, beautiful flowers. There were all kinds! Every flower I could think of was within 400 feet of my viewing and it was honestly exciting. I sound like some flower nerd but I promise you I am not. Well, I guess I am and you know what? I am proud to be!

I started comparing my amazement to the astonishment I had as a little girl, and boy has it elevated. Every flower was beautiful in its own little special way and my eyes wandered forever on every single one of them. My mom was just as shaken up as I was and I asked her if it was normal.

She said as you grow older, the more beautiful nature becomes. We grow with it.

That inspired me into writing this article because it is true! Nature DOES become more and more beautiful as you grow older. I know and have learned this myself because I hardly paid any attention to those flowers as a little one in comparison to the other day.

Something about seeing and smelling the freshness that was in the atmosphere was refreshing. With being constantly busy and studying my tail off in college, this was a perfect little getaway from reality. It is hard for me to describe the exact feeling I got from seeing the sun shine down on God's creations. It was a moment to remember, that is for sure!

Sometimes, I feel like God is guiding me to his exact creation, reminding me to be grateful for what I have and those around me. The flowers at the Dallas Arboretum assured me that God in fact was there with us at that exact moment, which was such a cool feeling.

Then my mom reminded me of my grandmother. If you know my grandmother, you know she is obsessed with all kinds of plants. She has them scattered all throughout her front and backyard for she has so much love for them. They are important to her and I am sure she considers them as a part of her. She appreciates nature more than anyone else I know and to me that is remarkable.

Maybe she sees God through her plants and maybe that is why they are so special to her. Who knows? It could be just the beauty of them too, heck it could be lots of things! If there is one thing I am sure of though, it is that in her 92 years of age, she does not take dry, unwatered plants lightly!

I wouldn't say that I am as obsessed with flowers as much as my grandmother is but I can say I know a little bit about the feeling she gets when seeing those flowers bloom and thrive. Going to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden during spring break was the perfect decision. Literally stopping and smelling the flowerers was definitely worth it too!

Cover Image Credit: Belinda Moreno

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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'Bird Box': Movie Vs. Book

The differences are more vast than you think.

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I read "Bird Box" about three years ago when my English teacher recommend it to me. Ever since then, it has been my favorite book. When I saw that Netflix was making it into a movie, I was overwhelmed with excitement. I watched "Bird Box" and was only slightly disappointed. There were two scenes that I absolutely needed to see but they never appeared, Malorie and Victor in the bar and actual birds raining down on Malorie and the children in the boat. Since movies and the books they are based on are always different, I decided to write about the biggest differences that I noticed. Some of which, include a lot of gore.

1. Microphones

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Tom had the idea to use microphones with an amp before he thought of the birds in a box. He actually found the birds in a box when he went on a supply run around the block they were living on. Malorie thought of his idea after the children were born and took Cheryl's car to get them. Ever since that day in the book, she had them set up so everything outside was amplified. This, of course, was when the birds were no longer there.

2. Tom

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Tom had a wife and a little girl named Robin. Robin was in eighth grade and was really smart for her age but she looked outside and Tom had found her in the bathtub with her wrists slit. He buried her in the backyard and later found George's house, which he, Don, and George resided and thought of solutions to this problem which was originally called the "Russia Report". George had the idea of looking at them indirectly which he later found out was not a solution at all. In the movie, Tom had survived with Malorie and the children but in the book, he died when all of the other housemates died. Leaving Malorie to fend for herself and the children.

3. Tom and Malorie

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The movie shows Tom and Malorie in a relationship. But the book suggests that Malorie is the only one who has feelings for Tom. She longs for him, his voice, and his presence. But Tom is more concerned with being the leader of the house, although he has a kind tone towards Malorie.

4. Gore

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The book has way more gore than the movie, which is completely understandable why it didn't make the cut. There are scenes of the housemates blindly stepping on and running over dead bodies, finding dead bodies of families, and even found someone, dead, who had scooped their eyes out into a bowl on the table. The book also tells about news reports like a pair of old-lady twins who where biting people's faces off at a hospital that were shot by the police. Plus, the death scenes in the book were different from the movie, most likely because they are impossible and needed to been more real than what they were.

5. Deaths

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Shannon: She did not flip a car with a very pregnant Malorie in the passenger seat. Her and Malorie had been living in a house with blankets over the windows and while Malorie was downstairs watching the news, she called for Shannon who did not give a response. She walked upstairs to find Shannon had stabbed herself in the chest with a pair of scissors.

George: Although George did die watching the recording of the creatures, he did not bang his head on the floor. Instead, he tore his body through the rope that tied him to the chair and the book describes it as flesh ribbons.

The Housemates: All except Malorie died when Don removed the blankets from the windows and opened the doors.

Olympia: Although she did jump out of the attic window after giving birth, in the book, she hangs herself by her umbilical cord that she chewed off.

6. Gary

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The pictures that can be seen spread across the table are actually just notes in the book. Malorie steals Gary's briefcase that he brought with him and finds it. It had his ideas written in it stating that he believed people's reactions to the creatures were psychosomatic meaning that the insanity that follows from looking at them aren't the creatures but the result of dramatic people looking at them. He doesn't believe that the creatures make people go insane, they choose to go insane. The housemates cast him out after Malorie tells them about the journal but Don sneaked him to the cellar where he lived for about seven weeks, in solitude, feeding Don his philosophies. It was Don who originally pulled the blankets down and opened the doors, not Gary. However, Gary did enable this behavior.

7. Victor

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If you've read the book, this is probably the saddest part of it all. Victor is Jules' border collie who was locked in the cellar when the blankets were torn down. He survived with Malorie and went to the bar with her to fetch the microphones as her seeing eye dog. Except he saw a creature and it was then that Malorie knew animals were not immune. She listened as he snapped at the air and chewed off his leg. She had to leave him, she didn't have a choice.

8. Jane Tucker School For the Blind

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The safe haven Malorie and the children go to in the end, is a school for the blind. However, a lot of the residents had gouged their eyes out because it was the ultimate protection. Because they do not resort to this method, Malorie stays.

9. Supply Runs

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There were two supply runs that only consisted of Tom and Jules, not everyone. They found two huskies as seeing eye dogs and the bird box on the first run and the second run is when they went to the grocery store.

10. The Man on The River

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I think the purpose of this man is simply to make Malorie uneasy. He originally had a motorized boat and tried to convince Malorie to remove her blind fold and even got really close to the boat, but Malorie rowed away then got attacked by a pack of wolves.

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