7/10/2009

Romance on a budget


One of the most common topics in arguments between couples is money. Worrying about having enough money to care for your family’s needs can put a huge burden on your shoulders, and that financial burden leads to enormous stress. Focusing on the stress of finances can oftentimes knock relationship priorities off the top of the list. We have to remember that our marriages are the cornerstone of our frugal families. If we fail to take care of our relationships, then all the frugalness in the world won’t matter anymore. It makes sense then that frugal couples need to be mindful of the state of their marriages and the quality of their time together. Always make sure that time for romance and your relationship are a top priority, no matter what is going on in your budget! You have the power to foster love and rekindle the romance in your marriage right now, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to make that happen. I believe that husband and wife date nights are a great way to stay connected. You can keep romance alive on a small budget, or even no budget, when you focus on the things that really make your spouse feel loved, valued, and appreciated. Plan fun things to do together such as an indoor picnic or an at-home romantic dinner for two. Or what about taking an evening stroll holding hands and talking about your day? If you have little ones and you can't seem to find the time to really talk but you also can't afford a babysitter, you might consider going on a romantic nighttime drive. This is a date even the kids will like (before they fall asleep, that is)! Have the kids get dressed in their jammies and bring their pillows and blankies into the car. Go for a nighttime drive (the kids will fall asleep) together to talk about non-kid topics. Load up your favorite romantic music or even “your song”, and drive to a scenic lookout point where you can see the city and stare out at the stars together. You don’t need to have a special occasion to make plans for a romantic date with your husband or wife. Keeping regular free and cheap dates on your weekly schedule serves to strengthen your relationship and keep your intimacy strong in a fun way. Spending time together doesn't have to cost a lot, just use your imagination and you can keep your romance alive on a budget!
--
Danelle Barbi Ice from Homemakerbarbi

7/07/2009

Romantic Getaway


Know what not to do on a romantic getaway : about some tips on what you should do to make have a memorable trip whether it’s the trip of a lifetime or simply a night of escape.

Make sure you relax and try new things!
1. Forget the diet- You don’t have to indulge in every "All You Can Eat" buffet but remember that you are on vacation.^^ This isn’t the time to skip the local delicacies or race around trying to squeeze in gym time. Odds are if you are touring around you are burning off plenty of calories walking and exploring. Make time for yourself but don’t miss out on doing something spectacular because you are in the hotel gym.

2. Be adventurous- Try new things, new foods, and new adventures. No one here knows who you are and you will not see these people again. This isn’t an excuse for bad behavior but it might be an excuse for bad karaoke. Having the time of your lives.

Go ahead and show expression... you're on vacation!

3. Be bold- Leave your inhibitions at home. This is a chance to explore your relationship and reconnect. In early stages of dating people always love to ask questions about each other and test limits. It’s never too late to play truth or dare or even strip poker.
Turn off the TV and talk. If you aren't sure what to say than buy one of those games that involve asking each other questions or conversation cards. They'll get you headed in the right direction.

4. Be expressive- Play games and unleash the child within. While on your romantic retreat challenge each other at go cart racing, rock climbing, putt putt golf or anything. Remember the simple pleasure of strolling along a lake and skipping rocks or checking out the local candy shop. If you are in the right mood a trip to Walmart with a digital camera can be a blast!

Love is everwhere if you know where to look.

5. Take the road not travelled- On vacation it’s always great to leave the beaten path behind and check out what else there is to see. When you do this with the one you love you are making an invaluable memory to share. My husband and I were wandering through Rome when we saw that a church was having a concert. We thought “Why not?” and went on in. The church was a cathedral and completely breathtaking. We sat in the back and listened to a choir that had been flown in from the states. It definitely made for one of our most vivid and amazing memories of the whole trip.

6. Stick with classics- Yes, it may seem cheesy at first to take that gondola ride and be serenaded or to share a plate of spaghetti in Rome. But these romantic standbys are classics for a reason. Sometimes stereotypes aren’t bad. Go ahead and head to New England for a cozy bed and breakfast to see the leaves in all their glory. Book a trip to lie along the Caribbean ocean. But also….

Make time to enjoy the sunsets.

7. Know your lover- My husband gets terribly sunburned in a short time and can’t stand the heat. So we rarely make plans for tropical vacations unless there is a lot of water activities for him and other options in case he gets overly toasty. Think about what your partner loves and plan the trip around them. If they love art, head to Paris to visit the Louvre. Are they adventurous, think about an African Safari. Romance is about filling a fantasy… not just a location.

8. Go the distance- Sure you are already in an intimate bed and breakfast but go ahead and serve your partner breakfast in bed. Little details make the trip even more memorable. Fill a bubble bath, cover the bed in rose petals, or plan a candlelit picnic. It truly is the thought that counts and the extra planning and scheming makes a world of difference!

Don't just go where everyone does, explore on your own.
9. Splurge a little- Don’t throw your budget away but upgrade to a nicer room if you can afford it. Try the fancy restaurant. Take the nighttime cruise along the waterway. You never know if you will get this opportunity again so take advantage of it fully. While you are splurging, don’t hold back with your words. Many couples stop telling each other what they love about each other because they think their partner knows. A vacation is the perfect time to remind your partner what they mean to you.

10. Stop and smell the roses- Almost all tourists rush around with a long to do list of places they must see and things they must buy. Give each other at least a day to simply relax. Wander the streets. Lay on the beach. Or don’t even leave the hotel room. Make sure you stop rushing around long enough to look at the person standing next to you and focus on them.
--written by Angelina Lee
Here are some place you must "check it out!!" ^^ :

2/23/2009

Obsessive Girlfriend

Avoid Being an Obsessive Girlfriend
One of the most amazing traits in women is our ability to submerge ourselves into the man of our desire.
Women become attached emotionally, some very quickly, and assume that the man shares these same feelings and desires. However, this can be a sure fire way to push the "man of your dreams" out of your life.

1. Accept him. Only by accepting him as he is, do you have such deep respect and gratitude for him that you would never want him to change in any way for you. He has so much to offer you if only you give him the space to be himself.


2. Give him space. If he wants to hang out with friends, encourage it. Let him know that you want him to have a good time and to spend as much time with them as he'd like.
(Then follow step 4.) If you have to, fake it. There are times when you would really rather spend that time with your man than have him out with his friends, however forcing him to spend time with you results in his pulling further away. If you're able to encourage and support his time away it will reinforce his belief that you want what is best for him, and in the long run it will strengthen your relationship. Patience is the key here. One's got to believe that in the long run he will surely appreciate it.


3. Take time for yourself. Visit friends, family, take a class, anything you find interesting or would like to learn. Do this even if you have to tear yourself away from your man. He should be supportive of you, and encourage your interests, too. Focusing only on the one you love isn't living; it's also about personal growth and experiencing new things. Taking time for yourself isn't selfish. If you aren't the best person you can be, then you can't expect to be the person you need to be for your significant other.


4. Keep your hobbies and friends. All of us tend to become obsessive at the beginning of a relationship. The key to a healthy relationship is balance. Couples need time apart to reestablish their individual identities. Remind yourself of who you are by reconnecting with friends/relatives, or picking up those old hobbies you've been setting aside. Suggest that he do the same. This is a simple way to show him that you are confident and interesting (even if you don't feel very confident or interesting). Suggest to him that he go out with his friends while you visit with yours. Or even suggest he work on his hobby or interest while you take time for yours.


5. Set up days or times to reconnect after spending time apart. This is simple and very effective. After asking for time apart, set up a time and day to reconnect. For instance, if one of you wants to hang out with friends for the day, suggest that you could meet him later for dinner. Or suggest a time the following day, and an activity, in which the both of you could get together. This gives both people in the relationship permission to enjoy their time apart, while also giving each of you a grounding point, or rather a reassurance in knowing you will see the other person and they wish to see you.


6. Reaffirm who you are and why you are special. Do those things that you do best. If you're not sure, try everything. If you're feeling less than confident, or insecure in your relationship, sometimes it helps to go back to something that created a sense of accomplishment. Don't look for confidence from your partner, find it within yourself. To do this, seek out those things at which you can succeed.


7. Suggest he take time for his hobbies and interests. The key is to allow him to choose by assuring him you want to spend time with him, but letting him know you understand the importance of his hobbies and interests, too. Let him know that you can and will find activities to occupy yourself while he enjoys his time. This frees him from feeling guilty for taking that time for himself. You create a bonding situation by suggesting that the both of you go to stores that are of interest to him. For example, if he enjoys video games, suggest a trip to the video game store. Help him look for games he wants, or maybe is interested in. Then give him space to use those games.


8. Know when to back off. Learn his body language. Ask questions. Listen to what he is saying. Men don't always come out and say how they feel, and may not tell you even if you ask. Listen to what your gut instinct is telling you. If you feel he is pulling away, don't force yourself on him more. A woman's tendency is to be clingier at this point. The problem is it drives men away. A possible solution involves letting him know you are available when he wants, while finding other things to do with your time, or discuss the situation with him.


Tips


* Hang up the phone. If you're calling him 24 hours a day, stop. In worst case scenarios, turn your phone off. It's okay to call and see how his day is, but if you're calling every couple of hours, this could reinforce his belief that you have nothing else going on in your life. People are attracted to interesting people. If your only interest is him, then he's going to lose interest in you. Some ideas to refrain from grabbing the phone are: Call a friend, take a nap, go for a walk and pick flowers for him, learn something new that you can discuss with him later, learn more about his hobbies/interests through research.


* Start a journal. Write your feelings, not what you did during the day. Try to discover why you feel a certain way. Insecurity often leads people to act in ways that men would describe as crazy. If you're worried about losing him, dig deep into why you feel that way. Not how is he acting, but why YOU are concerned about losing him. Fear of being alone? Fear of rejection? A journal is a place where you can explore your thoughts and feelings without having to set them in stone. It should be an area where you can express every possible emotion without fearing recrimination. Once on paper, re-examine it, does it still sound true to you? What can you do so that you won't fear rejection or loneliness, and can become more confident in who you are? Oh, and make sure he doesn't find it. It could turn into a sticky situation.


* Stop following him when you aren't together. Don't follow him when he says he's going to a friend's house so that you can check up on him. This is an instant message to him that you don't trust him. Men aren't stupid; they see your car parked down the street.


* Create situations that have an ending point. For instance, you want to hang out with him during the afternoon, ask him if he's interested and then suggest that after the outing he can drop you off at your house. This gives him the freedom to decide if he would like to spend the rest of the evening with you, instead of feeling as if he's trapped into spending it with you.


* Communication. Ask questions and then listen. Clarify anything you may not understand by asking questions.


* Quality time, not quantity time. Use the time you do have together wisely. Ask yourself if you'd rather have 8 hours of mediocre time with him, or 2 hours of fantastic time together.


* Trust. Obsessive behavior usually stems from a feeling of mistrust. Unfortunately trust can only be built over time, but you must have a basis to build from. If you don't feel you can trust him while he is away, discuss this with him. Also, ask yourself why you feel this way. What is he doing to cause this mistrust in you? Is it his actions, or are you drawing from past experiences? What can you do to help yourself face this fear?


* Approach all arguments or discussions with an open mind. Be willing to listen and understand his side.


* Remember that each relationship is different, and no two people are alike.


* In general, without realizing it, we tend to be attracted to people who show the better qualities that are within human beings. Love, beauty, courage, kindness, confidence, trust, honesty and friendliness are some of these qualities and there are many more. When we live out our best qualities, we tend to be attracted to and we attract others who do the same. We tend to want to avoid people who live out some of the worse qualities. When was the last time you were attracted to bitterness, meanness and cruelty in a person?


* Dont instantly say yes to every one of his ideas. You will seem desperate, but instead say no, and casually suggest something or wait for another one of his. Doing this will seem as if you want to spend time with him, but are still enjoying your own life as well.


* Seek help if you are in an abusive situation, or if you find that your infatuation with this person is consuming your life.


* Letting him have his space to do things like be with his friends doesn’t give him permission to pursue other women.


* Setting a "curfew" of when a man is supposed to be home or is supposed to check in is extremely controlling behavior. As you probably know, when you're out with your friends, time flies and the last thing on your mind is the time. You are not his mother, and asking him to keep checking his watch all night while he's trying to have fun just makes you something to resent. He should, instead, have his fun so that he can recharge his batteries and look forward to seeing you.


* Men don't "get a life" by dating. You shouldn't, either. Your life should be interesting and full on its own. If you're not genuinely going out and having fun with your friends without obsessing about him, your insecurities are controlling your life.


* Don't be his go-to girl, just because he cannot find anything else to do. Be smart. Be real.


* If staying out late with his friends is about more than just getting in some guy time—remember: you can’t force love. If what you have isn’t meant to be, no amount of angry outbursts over his guy-time will make your relationship work.


* All of these suggestions should not be tried from the point of view that these will fix a relationship that isn't working by "making" someone have more feelings. Relationships are built on feelings for the other person, and love comes only from loving.
If you find yourself following these suggestions in order to elicit a specific response, then it could be because you're wanting to make the other person feel and in turn, show you feelings they might not have. If you're wondering what you can do to make someone have more feelings for you, the answer is confidently being yourself without needing him. Ask yourself, 'What is it really that attracts you to this person? - the person, themselves, or one or two qualities they have.


* Never just assume that your boyfriend is cheating on you and start checking up on him. That is very annoying, and you will be very embarrassed if he isn't after all. Not only that, but if you are insistent, don't be surprised if he then begins to cheat - both because you don't trust him and because he wants to get away from you.


* Don't be clingy. Men who are starting to feel serious about a girl may start to pull away and make sure. If you're too clingy during this important time, you might chase him away just as he's about to commit.
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