Category Archives: Relationships
For years parents have heard from researchers that it is important to sit together and eat dinner as a family. New research actually indicates that the positive impact of families dining together increases based on frequency. It is not enough to sit down once or twice each week; families should make every effort to eat their evening meal as a group every night.
This is easier said than done, of course. Between the demands of two-parent or single-parent working families and all of the activities that kids have scheduled, finding a common time to prepare and eat dinner at home is tough. There are ways to make it happen though, and to make the most of time together. Here are a few suggestions for having a great family dinnertime experience every night:
Be consistent. Schedules may vary, but try to sit down together to eat at approximately the same time. This makes it less of a “nice idea,” and more of a routine.
Ask questions. Come up with open-ended questions to ask your kids, and be willing to answer any that they ask of you. Think creatively here though. Not every kid or parent will really want to talk about their day, every day, especially if roughly the same things happen. Ask about specific events going on in your children’s lives or follow up questions from earlier discussions. There are even conversation starter games and decks of cards meant to spark interest around the dinner table.
Divvy up responsibility. Eating is just a small part of the family dinner experience. The preparation, conversation and cleanup are also part of the ritual. Have family members pitch in to help with everything from setting the table to sweeping under dining room furniture sets after the meal. Not only does this help teach teamwork but it extends the amount of time that family dinner lasts. If eating the meal itself is the dining room table, consider the surrounding work as pieces of accent furniture that complete the bigger picture.
Take requests. As long as the ideas aren’t too outlandish, allow each family member to pick out one dinner menu each week. That person should then be prepared to help get the meal ready and plan side dishes too. Get each person in the family excited about his or her contributions to the dinnertime fun.
No matter how busy your family is, sitting down to dinner each night is something simple that will bring you closer together. Visit furniture stores or secondhand shops to find the right dining room pieces for your family, and then let the conversations do the rest of the family bonding work.
Moms do what they do for their kids on a daily basis without much thanks or fanfare. It comes with the territory, and you won’t find most moms complaining. When Mother’s Day rolls around each year, it is important to show the special moms in your life just how much they are appreciated for all they do.
StatisticBrain.com reports that $14.6 billion is spent on Mother’s Day for cards, flowers, and gifts. There are certainly plenty of options for showing mom that you care, but how do you come up with a unique approach that shows you care on a personal level?
Before you go out and contribute your own cash to the holiday, consider these gift ideas to make your mom feel special:
- Spa products: If you have the money, pay for a day of luxury at a local spa. If you are on a tighter budget, buy her upscale versions of her favorite shampoos, bath salts, and shaving supplies. Whether you wrap up a spa gift card or a higher-ticket bottle of shaving cream, your mom is sure to have a way to escape to luxury.
- Perfume: One of the classic presents for dads is colognes that they love, yet many people do not go the same route for moms. Her favorite scent is likely a novelty purchase that she puts at the bottom of the household budget list. Surprise her with a beautifully wrapped bottle of perfume and show her that before she was a mom, she was an awesome woman who still deserves luxury items for herself.
- Wine: Not all moms drink wine, but the ones who do likely only indulge in a glass when they are out to dinner or buy whatever is on sale at the grocery store. Do a little research into her favorite flavor of wine and then pick up a mid-to-high priced version. Wrap it up with two elegant wine glasses for a beautiful presentation.
- Jewelry: What mom wouldn’t love a new necklace, earrings, or bracelet to add to her collection? Consider something mom-themed, like a piece of jewelry with the birthstones of all her children and grandchildren. You can also go with something basic and elegant that she can wear anywhere as a reminder of you.
The truth is that most moms are happy with whatever they receive this Mother’s Day, but they deserve more than the bare minimum. Take the extra steps to surprise the moms in your life with something special this year and the memories will stick with them for years to come.
Men have a reputation for playing their cards close to the chest. When you are in the beginning stages of a romantic relationship it can seem downright impossible to read their emotional cues. There is scientific evidence that suggests that men are just wired differently than women when it comes to emotions. Still, it can be frustrating to read his mind when it comes to matters of the heart.
If you know you are in love and are wondering if he is too, look for these non-verbal affirmations:
- Showing public affection. You will know when he starts to consider you “his” when he begins to wrap his arm around your waist at the movie theater or reaches for your hand in the grocery store. This is his instinctive way of showing you that he wants to be intimate.
- Leaving things behind. When he visits, he conveniently leaves belongings behind. This could be a toothbrush, shaving cream, or a pair of sunglasses. It is possible he is leaving the items on purpose, but more likely he is unconsciously forgetting them because he feels secure in the fact that he will be back again. A small thing like a forgotten bottle of men’s aftershave has big implications for a young relationship.
- Unplugging. When he is with you, you rarely see his phone or tablet. He becomes less interested in what is happening in the outside world and just wants to focus on you. If he starts putting his phone away, you can bet he is as into the relationship as you are.
- Making future plans. I don’t mean that he is picking out wedding photographers or baby names but that he is making tangible plans for events happening in the near future. Maybe he buys tickets for a concert you will love that is happening in three months. Perhaps he asks you where you want to vacation next summer. Look for ways that he is already adding you to his schedule and getting your input in the process.
While most women would rather their mates just come right out and state their true feelings, men express emotion through action. Leaving shaving accessories for men around the house is the equivalent of saying that they care. The best advice is to just go with the flow. Do not force the words. Look for subtle ways that he is already telling you how important you are in his life. His everyday actions speak louder than any coerced words and show that he is adjusting his routine to make you an integral part of his life.
Conflict is a stressful but unavoidable part of life. Normally, tense situations come and go without much effect on the rest of our lives. Occasionally, conflict is so intense that you must take serious steps to resolve it.
In the fiscal year ending September, 2012, the Judicial Business of the U.S. reported a total of 372,563 combined civil and criminal cases filed in district courts alone. While the judicial system exists to solve conflicts, the process of going to court is costly–to finances and emotions alike.
When you face with the possibility of taking a conflict to court, or finding an out-of-court alternative, there are a few routes to consider.
Talking it out, one-on-one.
Never assume that the person with whom you have issue knows how you feel. Confront the individual or entity that you feel has wronged you and lay out your grievances. On the flip side: if someone comes to you with a complaint, listen calmly. Try to determine if there is a simple way you can fix the problem before it goes any further.
If you and the other party cannot find common ground, seek out San Diego mediation professionals. A person assigned to a mediation does not act as a judge or make any decisions. That person is simply an objective voice who comes up with solutions that are fair to both sides. Mediation is a common part of divorce proceedings. Securities lawyers often set up mediation on behalf of their company clients. Neither side is required to take the advice of the mediator. Seeking legal counsel to review the suggested actions is the best way to know what options are best for you.
This is a step up from mediation. The third party in this case, known as the arbitrator, is given legal control to make a decision on behalf of both parties involved. If your conflict escalates to this point, you will want to look at San Diego lawyers to see who can best represent you. Financial cases most often wind up in arbitration, while complaints with no relation to money usually find resolution in mediation.
Taking someone to court is a gamble, especially considering the costs involved. Seeking out simpler solutions is a more logical and affordable way of approaching conflicts.
Thinking about popping the big question? Searching jewelry stores in San Diego, Tulsa, and New York for the right engagement ring for the one you love? Not so fast. In order to establish a strong marriage, the dating portion should not be rushed. A leading relationship researcher found that the most happily married couples dated for at least 25 months before walking down the aisle. In those months, the couples learned more about the person they wanted to spend forever with and went on some adventures together.
Before you get engaged, here are four things you and your significant other should do to reinforce your compatibility and solidify your relationship for the long term.
Be great friends.
Healthy relationships are based on the foundation of friendship. Treat your partner with the same kindness, courtesy, and appreciation you would give to your mother or a good friend. Laugh, listen to, and support one another. Talk about your hopes, goals, and dreams. Confide in one another the things that you would most like to accomplish during your lifetime, and discuss your views on having a family.
Most of the things you do with your partner are done in a passive manner. You may eat at a restaurant, see a movie, or relax at home and watch television. While these activities are pleasurable and relaxing, they are passive and do not create strong connections or make memories. On occasion, experience new activities that require involvement. Watch or play sports, see a play, or try a restaurant across town. This does not mean you have to do something extravagant. Do anything out of the ordinary and you are sure to build your connection.
Traveling forms a bond between people and can really cement a relationship. Go ahead and book that cruise. Make sure you and your partner can solve problems together and enjoy one another’s company when out of your comfort zone. That does not mean you have to want to do the exact same things all of the time. In fact, it is probably a good thing if you want to do different things. Compromise with one another and have an open mind when it comes to branching out and expanding your horizons.
Often times when you get an invitation to do something that is not your thing, you pass it up with the excuse of being too busy. Instead, go for it! The most fun and wonderful experiences in life may be surprises and often happen when we let spontaneity take over and go with the flow. Spontaneity brings fun and spice to our lives and our relationships, so do something out of the ordinary with your sweetheart and learn more about each other, and yourself, in the process. When on a weekend getaway, walk into a store and pick out the best piece of custom jewelry San Diego has to offer. Wow your girlfriend and show her how fun you really are!
Love may be the most powerful emotion, and the need to be in a relationship is one of the most burning needs we have. A loving relationship makes us feel content and fulfilled and turns us into kinder and gentler people. Miami, Boston, or San Diego engagement rings will bring a smile to the face of your significant other, but before picking out the ring and popping the question, enjoy time with one another and create a long-lasting bond with your future life partner.
Valentine’s Day is about more than the ladies. Sure, bouquets of roses and lavish proposals usually dominate the holiday, but men are just as deserving of gifts of affection too. They are also generally more difficult when it comes to finding the “perfect” gift.
- Sports tickets. What guy wouldn’t love to see his favorite team live? If you live near a major city, you should be able to find tickets easily and make a day trip out of it. If you are further away, consider an entire weekend devoted to sports endeavors. Even if all your budget can accommodate is tickets to a minor league game, throw in a new baseball cap and treat him to a ballpark hot dog while you are there.
- Cologne. This is a gift that is just as much for you as it is for him. Men’s cologne comes in such a wide variety that there is sure to be a scent that you both love. You can also consider scented shower and bath products marketed to men.
- Upscale shaving kits. Most men love the way they feel after a close, clean shave. Consider wrapping up some shaving accessories for men that your guy is unlikely to buy on his own. From safety razors to higher-ticket aftershave, there are many shaving options to make your man feel luxurious.
- Scrapbook. Take all of the ticket stubs out of the shoe box and print off the photos from your phone and put it all together in a sleek scrapbook. Not a scrapbooking fan? You can make digital versions at several online sites and have them mailed to you.
- Workout gear. The clothing and gear that goes along with a fitness routine can get pricey, but a man who is athletic will quickly wear out these items. Find out his favorite brand of shoes, t-shirts, or running shorts and wrap up a new one. This is also a great way to motivate him in his healthy pursuits.
- A night out. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to plan a romantic evening that he will love. Consider making his favorite meal at home, or picnicking at a local park or beach. Make a themed dessert, like heart-shaped cookies, and let him know how much he means to you every day of the year.
The idea of a unique proposal means that you catch the one you love by total surprise. It means shocking her on a level she’d never expect by coming up with an idea that combines creativity and cleverness. Read on for some exceptional ways to propose so that special person in your life will have an engagement story all her own. After all, you spent so much time searching jewelry stores in San Diego and beyond that you want the way you propose to be one for the books.
While a regular old calendar may seem like a less-than-impressive gift, you can transform it from blah to something really special. Before giving her the calendar, mark some special days the two of you share. Get on one knee to propose, and you can mark the calendar with the words, “She said yes”, on the current date.
Use a digital picture frame
Set up a digital picture frame with special photographs of the two of you from your time together. As you two laugh and recall special memories, she’ll never expect what she sees next. As the picture of you holding a sign with the words “Will You Marry Me?” flashes on the screen, pull the ring out of your pocket and get on one knee. She will stare in awe at the custom jewelry San Diego inspired that was created just for her left hand.
Spell it out in a board game
Suggest a game night, and have Boggle or Scrabble on hand. Rearrange your letters, even if it means a little cheating, to ask her to marry you. She will forgive you for cheating once she sees you are popping the question.
Propose with a puppy
Whether you choose New York, Las Vegas, or San Diego engagement rings, your significant other will love it–especially when the beautiful ring is attached to the collar of the puppy you both fell in love with. Tell her you are ready for the commitment of caring for a dog, and want to make an even bigger commitment—to her.
Ask at the Airport
The next time she travels, she will be happier than ever to see you when she realizes you are asking her to marry you. Instead of agreeing to pick her up, tell her that you have arranged a driver to get her. Dress up as a driver and arrive at the airport to greet her. Hold a sign with her name, and the words, “Will you marry me?” and get ready to see her smile.
From the time they are born, children become the entire world to their parents. Babies depend on their parents and caregivers for everything from movement to nutrition. As children grow, they begin to develop independence, and they need the adults in their lives less and less. While this is a valuable part of growing up, exercising independence can have a negative effect without the right guidance.
Here are some tips for helping kids distance themselves from parents responsibly.
It is often easier to do things yourself, but find opportunities to give your children age-appropriate tasks of their own. A toddler can help clean up toys or sort laundry. A teenager could be responsible for making dinner one or two nights each week. If you find that your children enjoy certain tasks more than others, give them extra responsibility in those areas.
Have an open-door policy
Make it easy for your kids to come to you with problems without fear of upsetting you. Yes, sometimes discipline is necessary, but listen to what is really happening in your kids’ lives before passing any judgment. Do not assume that they know to come to you. Be proactive by asking them questions about their lives and having a base knowledge of what goes on in their everyday routines outside of the home.
Send them away
The best way for kids to experience independence is to leave the roost every now and then. Consider educational summer camps or groups that take short excursions. You may want to even look into international academic programs to give your children a better world view. Find trusted options for time away from home and let your kids put the lessons you have taught at home to use.
You are probably already aware of the talents your children have, so look for ways to bolster those talents. Creative minds can benefit from music or art lessons. Children with a natural sense of leadership can hone their skills at leadership camps. Recognize that you may not be able to teach them everything that they need to learn to maximize their natural abilities and that it is okay to seek out other options for their success.
Teaching responsible independence to children takes years of hard work, but determined parents will succeed. Take advantage of the opportunities to teach valuable lessons at home and outside it. The evidence of your success will shine through in the behavior of your children, even years after they leave home.
Weddings are festive and fun events, celebrating a beautiful union between two people in love. It is thoughtful to consider the guests by having wedding favors for them as a thank you for their support. That little extra something special goes a long way and will mean a lot.
For the person planning the event there are many options to choose from. Often they are related to the theme and color scheme of the wedding. Popular favorites are consumable items; they are nice treats and won’t take up space once they get home. Here are some guest favorites favors:
A popular choice for personalized candies is colored M&Ms. They are available in virtually any color and are great for coordinating with the wedding. The candies are also available with imprinting that includes letters and images. They are not only great for individual guest favors, but can create beautiful, colorful displays for candy stations. These and other personalized candies are available through wholesale candy suppliers, which will also help keep your costs low when buying in large quantities.
Mint and Candy Tins
Another guest favorite is a small personalized tin with mints or candies. The personalization can be based on a theme, colors or even include the names of the bride and groom. These are nice for the fresh treats inside as well as giving your guests a charming reusable tin. They are a sweet reminder of your wonderful event.
You may want to purchase the mints or other candy from a bulk candy store, separate from the tins, as an affordable do-it-yourself option. Decorate and personalize the tins yourself or with pre-made stickers and fill with a variety of candies.
A fun and whimsical approach to the traditional edible wedding favor is a fortune cookie complete with a special message. Discovering your fortune tucked away inside will be fun for your guests. You can opt for a saying that is meaningful to your union, or choose from various fortunes.
Personalized Tea Bags
Trying to satisfy something more than a sweet tooth? A nice alternative to candy is personalized bags of tea. The paper packaging can be printed with the bride and groom’s names or other images and wording that fits the wedding theme. Keep some additional bags on the guest tables for them to enjoy when that fabulous wedding cake is served.
Whichever wedding favors you select will certainly be meaningful to your guests. They are a nice way of saying ‘thank you’ to the people there to celebrate this very special day.
Just as you start to recover from the holiday season,Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. This day of love shouldn’t just be reserved for love birds and romance; don’t forget about your kids, parents, and even best friends. Who doesn’t love celebrating with those that they love? It is nice to have a day set aside to help us remember and honor the people we enjoy most in our lives.
The retail market is bursting at the seams with Valentine’s Day fare, from bulk chocolate candy to those adorable candy hearts. With so much to choose from it may seem hard to find the perfect gift. You can never go wrong if you stick to these classic gifts:
Chocolate, of course!
Nothing says love (especially for the special lady in your life) like a classic box of chocolates. Dark and milk chocolate with nougat, caramel and scrumptious fruit cream fillings are a rich treat. If you prefer to shop from the comfort of your own home be sure and check out an online candy store. There are also options for purchasing chocolate and other candy in bulk. If you have a lot of people to shop for put a spin on the classic and make up your own goody bags filled with various Valentine’s Day treats.
It is hard to go wrong with flowers. They are so delicate and lovely, bringing in the beauty of nature, and are often fragrant. Red roses are a wonderful classic choice for romance. Also topping the list of favorites are lilies, wild flowers, and arrangements displaying these beauties in a variety of colors.
Flowers may seem more appropriate for a woman, but even a fun arrangement or plant can work for the men and boys in your life. Florists have options with novelty containers, or get creative and add masculine touches with color and sports memorabilia.
While they may seem less personal, a gift certificate or gift card can make a really wonderful gift. There are several options such as stores, restaurants or spas, and you can find something for everyone. The great thing is that you are able to give someone a thoughtful and generous gift, while allowing them to pick out exactly what they love.
When it comes to gifts for any occasion it really is the thought that counts. Put on your crafty hat and make a fun coupon book or bake some festive cookies. Get the kids involved too and make it a fun family project. If you are looking to invest a little more money, jewelry is always a great option. Watches or cufflinks are nice choices for men, and of course diamonds are a girl’s best friend! Whatever you decide, enjoy this holiday with everyone you hold near and dear to your heart.