Gardening Your Way to a Closer Relationship

One way a couple can work to increase the level of intimacy in their relationship is to take on new tasks or challenges together.  For those looking for an activity that can not only help bring you closer together, but can also help produce something of which you can be proud, starting a fruit and vegetable garden may be an ideal place to start.

Gardening can help reduce a households food costs, which can be a major point of stress in a relationship, while also appealing to multiple kinds of personalities.  Not only can it function as a source of exercise, it can also help a person connect with nature while supporting the healthy growth of the plants and providing nutritious food for the home.

Gardening Your Way to a Closer Relationship

Getting Started

The first thing you will need to do as a couple is designate a particular space for your garden.  It can be located in your yard, or in a series of containers, depending on what will work best for your home.  The important thing is to make sure the selected location gets a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight throughout the course of a day, and that it has proper drainage.

Once you have identified your space, you can decide what you would like to plant.  While you should make sure and choose fruits and vegetables that you enjoy eating, it is also important to make sure that any plants that are kept outdoors are designed to thrive in your climate or region.  Plants grown indoors, in a temperature controlled environment, do not necessarily have to be designed to bear the outdoor conditions if they will never be exposed to them.

Whether you are using a section of your yard or containers, it is important to have high quality soil for all of your plants.  A simple way to improve your soil quality is through fresh compost.  For those who are interested in composting at home, Yimby makes a great tumbling composter that is not just easy to use, but requires much less physical labor to get the job done.  Otherwise, you can choose a basic composting bin, build a homemade one, or purchase compost from your local home improvement store.

Planting Your Selections

Once your soil is ready, you can begin adding your plants or seeds, depending on which fruits and vegetables you choose and the time of year.  Some seeds will grow after being planted directly in the soil, while others may need to be started before planting outside.

Any purchased potted plants can be replanted in the space easily.  You will need to thoroughly water the roots before removing the plant from the pot, as this limits the chance of shock from being replanted.  Make sure the hole dug for the plant is as deep as the root ball, and twice as wide.  Once the plant is placed, backfill with the soil removed when digging the hole, and pat it down firmly to provide support.

Maintenance and Tending

Once your plants are in the garden, you and your partner now have a hobby that can be performed together for years to come.  Whether it is a simple watering and weeding, or picking a bounty from your available harvest, you will have an activity that will bring you together regularly throughout the year.

Seven Tips for Keeping Your Marriage Safe

When you say vows before God and all your friends, you have some semblance of a desire to maintain that marital status. You know that you have signed on for till death do us part. And, that is a serious commitment. But how do you keep your marriage safe amongst the dangers of this world?

Sure, we would love to tell you that it is easy, but anything worth keeping is going to take intense levels of devotion. Obviously your AR-15, and the best AR-15 scope, are great additions to the family safety vault, but they probably won’t do a lot of good when it comes to truly safeguarding your marriage. You are going to need some tips, not just weapons, for that endeavor.

Seven Tips for Keeping Your Marriage Safe

7 Marriage Sustaining Suggestions

Marriages based on the understanding that love is a verb rather than a fickle emotion will always do better. When we understand that work must be invested then we will be more prepared to enjoy the marriage adventure. Here are some tips for making your marriage last:

  1. Prayer- Real marriages understand that you need more than just two people. The inclusion of God and prayer in your marriage will help its foundation and longevity.
  2. Opposite Sex- Surely you have heard that men and women can’t be friends (credit that summation to When Harry Met Sally, learn more here). So, if that is even remotely true you will be best served by being very careful when it comes to time spent with members of the opposite sex. Limit it and make sure there are no “alone” times.
  3. Work Boundaries- Know your limits. Do your job but don’t engage in too much extracurricular conversation. Know when to avoid people and situations and set those accountability indicators early on. Make sure you are transparent with your spouse but guarded with other members of the opposite sex.
  4. Attire- This generally applies to women but modesty in clothing is a great way to protect your marriage. If you respect your spouse you won’t show everyone else what only he/she is supposed to see. And, you will also be respecting other people’s marriages by not being a temptation for them to stray either.
  5. Monkey- Remember the “hear no, see no, do no evil” monkeys? This is the stance you should take as well. Avoid seeing and hearing things that might tempt you to want to do things outside of the confines of marriage. You know what your personal triggers are so make sure you avoid them at all costs to keep your marriage pure and safe. Learn more.
  6. Internet- There is so much bad stuff to see on the Internet. Therefore, make sure you set safeguards for your time online. You don’t want to view images or videos that can demean the value of your spouse. And, you don’t want to spend so much time online you begin to wish you had something better. The grass is only greener when it’s AstroTurf.
  7. Time- Marriages cannot grow if time together is not key. You need to date your spouse to keep that fire burning and ensure that you are truly invested in one another on an intimate level. Lots of people find time to be the most loving gift; your spouse might be one of them.

For additional marriage sustaining suggestions read this.

Design Your Home for Romance

When many people think of romantic design, they are automatically flooded with images of pink flower prints and lace accents.  While these thoughts may be appealing to some, it is not all there is to romantic design.  Before you cover every inch or your home in frilly throw pillows, consider the following forms of romantic inspiration.

Design Your Home for Romance

Romance is Generally Color Blind

A romantic look is not restricted to a specific portion of a full color palette.  Any color that strikes you (and your partner) as romantic may be appropriate for your space.  Some people find deep tones, like burgundy and navy, very romantic, while others prefer softer pastels.  Certain people may even find white to particularly romantic in that it feels clean and fresh.

Materials are Key

Your choice of fabrics should promote a feeling of luxury, similar to the style of Juan Pablo Molyneux.  Focus on options that are soft or silky, like velvets or satins.  Quality cotton can also be quite comfortable.

They key is to stay away from fabrics that are not pleasant against the skin.  For example, the idea of having a burlap covered pillow may work great in a country living inspired space, but it is not the most comfortable fabric to come in contact with.

That does not mean it cannot be used, just that it should be used with care and on the appropriate items.  For example, it may be great in an armchair, but may not be ideal for a loveseat that may host romantic interactions.

Encourage Conversation

In the principles of feng shui, your rooms should be designed with easy conversation in mind.  Keep some of the furniture away from the walls, and place at least the front legs of chairs and sofas on soft rugs.  Make sure your rugs are soft underfoot to help keep the spaces comfortable.

By keeping the seats fairly close together, it encourages interaction between partners even when they are not sharing the same loveseat or sofa.  If you happen to be able to focus the area on a fireplace, then that can add a lovely element.

Control the Lighting

Softer, warmer light is generally considered more romantic than power, cooler light.  For example, many people find fire and candlelight to be quite romantic, while the overhead lights in your local big box store are likely much less appealing.

Instead of flooding the area with overhead lighting, choose task lighting scattered throughout the space.  Use candles or a fireplace if possible, or use lights that can be dimmed to help create the ideal mood.  Look for lightbulbs that are considered soft white instead of daylight, as daylight bulbs lean towards the bluer end of the spectrum and may feel a bit cold in certain spaces.

Don’t Forget Scent

Scent can have a profound effect on our psychological state, especially when it comes to pheromones and scents that mimic those ideas.  If you want your home to encourage romance, consider how certain scents make you and your partner feel.

The scents often considered the most romantic combine musky tones with other natural scents like vanilla and other spices.  Women may find florals to be inviting, while men may prefer something spicier.

The most important factor is to avoid any scents that you find unpleasant, or that bring forward memories that are not particularly romantic in nature.

Go the Extra Mile for Your Mate

It is easy to get settled into your life.  At times, the obligations of work and kids take over our lives, leaving very little time to do that little something extra to catch your partner’s eye.  While you may have to take a back seat to keeping a household running, it can be fun to go the extra mile for each other from time to time.

The next time you schedule a date night, or plan a vacation alone, consider approaching it with the same care that you did when you went your first dating, and see if the sparks don’t fly.

Go the Extra Mile for Your Mate

Get Dressed Up

One of the easiest things to take it up a notch is to get dressed up.  This doesn’t mean you have to break out the formal wear, just make sure it is more than you normally do on a night out.

For guys, make sure your hair has been recently trimmed and your facial hair is neat.  Take the time to clean under your fingernails and brush your teeth before heading out the door.  Women may choose to put their hair in a nice up-do, or take the time to straighten it.  Give your makeup a touchup, and moisturize your skin.

The point isn’t in the vanity, it is about putting forth the effort to show your partner that they are worth the time and energy it takes to really pull everything together.

Choose a Special Restaurant

If you are going out to dinner, consider going someplace besides your usual haunts.  Maybe you want to revisit a restaurant that holds a special memory about your relationship, or try somewhere new that is a bit more upscale than your normal trips out.

A restaurant does not have to be expensive to be special.  Just make sure it carries some extra meaning.  Sometimes, just trying a new restaurant can make an evening feel special.  Even lingering over coffee and dessert instead of heading home after the entrée can feel like a treat if it isn’t part of your normal routine.

Bring Home a “Just Because” Gift

Everyone likes to know that someone is thinking about them throughout the day.  One easy way to show that fact is to bring home a gift for your partner “just because.”

The fun in a “just because” gift is that it is completely unexpected.  In that regard, there is no pressure on the gift-giver, as the gift is not tied to a particular day or event.  It also doesn’t have to be big.  In fact, coming home with her favorite flowers in tow, or bringing him a box of his favorite candy that you picked up at the store, can be enough to show that they cross your mind even when you are not together.

Spending a Long Time Apart, Consider Going Further

Sometimes, work can take a couple in different directions for a period of time.  In cases where that can’t be avoided, consider giving your partner the gift of a fit, new you.  Whether you want to focus on how to get skinny, or would like to add additional muscle tone and definition, using the time to get your health in order is sure to delight them.  You can even make it a challenge you take on together, working towards a final reveal on the day you are both home once more.…

Keep Love Alive by Trying New Things Together

As a relationship progresses, it can be difficult to find ways to keep things interesting.  We all fall into patterns in our lives; the same restaurants, the same vacations, and the same dates.  After a while, we begin to associate the feelings of being in a rut with the person we are with, even if they are not the reason things got stale.

If you want to help your relationship stay fresh, consider bringing in some excitement.  It doesn’t have to be anything extreme (no skydiving required), but it does need to be new.  The simple act of exploring something new together can help translate those feelings of excitement and wonder to each other.  Over time, these small actions can help keep a relationship strong.

Keep Love Alive by Trying New Things Together

Consider these tips for finding new activities to try and see if your relationship doesn’t feel more inspiring in the end.

Try a New Place

A simple way to bring something new into your relationship is to find a place to which neither of you have been.  This way, you can go for the first time together.  It can be as simple as trying a new restaurant instead of going to your normal haunts, or planning a vacation to a country you both have wanted to visit.

Allow your trip to be part planned, and part spontaneous.  While you may have to arrange your schedules to make the trip possible, allow a level of spontaneity should something interesting catch your eye along the way.

Being exposed to new places, the associated sights, smells, and sounds, can be exciting in and of itself.  By experiencing it together, you are creating a common experience based on mutual exploration.  Plus, you will have someone to reminisce with that may be just as excited to revisit the memories as you are.

Try a New Thing

One way to bring a sense of adventure into your relationship is to try a new activity.  This can be as simple as taking a cooking class together to explore the nuisances of Cuban cuisine to trying your hand at flying the best drone you can get your hands on.

You don’t have to become a master at any of these new activities.  In fact, you don’t even have to be particularly good.  The point is just to experience these new things together, for better or worse, and for fun.

In order to keep things fair, it’s best to find activities with which neither of you have any previous experience, or where your starting level of experience is comparable.  This helps limit the likelihood of frustration with one member of the couple already being proficient while the other is trying it for the first time.

Make Time Together a Priority

The only way that trying new things together can help your relationship is to make these adventures a priority.  This may mean scheduling some aspects, such as a babysitter for your kids or saving for a vacation, in advance.

In cases where it will be quite some time before you will be able to take on your new experience, consider making the planning phase part of the fun.  Take time to plan your trips and experiences together, actively discuss what you are excited to do, and listen to your partner about the things that have them most interested.  Before you know it, the planning will be over and you will be on your way to trying something new with the person you love.…

Romantic Anniversary Getaways

Whether you’ve been married five years or fifty, it’s important to celebrate your wedding anniversary with commemorative moments. Obviously we can’t all afford to fly away to Paris each year, but there are a number of other great romantic anniversary getaways. Besides, you might just need to start planning them in advance each year so that you can afford that much needed rekindling time.

Planning ahead can prevent you from needing last minute air tickets but sometimes those spur of the moment jaunts can be just as exciting. And, if you play your cards right, last minute air tickets are often discounted for the sake of filling up seats on the plane. However, if you’re not a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal or guy, you might want to peruse these amazing places to take your honey (and you can plan for them).

Romantic Anniversary Getaways

Top 5 Romantic Retreats

When we think romance we think quiet, quaint and maybe even a little secluded. So, our suggestions might be a little off the beaten path but we think you’ll love them if your goal is stoking that fiery passion that ignited your marriage vows in the first place. Consider these 5 romantic retreats:

  1. Morocco- Located in Southern Morocco, we submit to you, Fez (and not the guy from that 70’s show). Imagine staying in a 17th century palace, Riad Laaroussa, with mosaic floors and vintage Fassi furniture. Or Dar Roumana located on a hillside. This century old mansion offers Moroccan cooking lessons! You know your wife would love it if you’d cook for her.
  2. France- Not Paris, but Chassignolles. Sometimes called the secret village, it’s located at an elevation of 3000 feet deep in the Livradois-Forez, the largest national park in France. This is leisure, serenity, and privacy at its best. There’s only one place to stay here but it offers views of a 12th century church or a meadow of wildflowers. Both are absolutely ravishing. Auberge de Chassignolles is the location you’re looking for. Click this to see what we’re talking about!
  3. Italy- Vico Equence is quintessential paradise. This hideaway is located on the Sorrento Coast and boasts a pebbled beach, a pink whitewashed clifftop church, and a crenelated castle. You can stay in a lodge just outside the city, Hotel Capo La Gala. The Hotel is studded with stones and rests on the cliff side offering rooms that overlook the Bay of Naples.
  4. Bora-Bora- We’d be remiss if we failed to present this heavenly haven. Cobalt lagoons embrace barrier reefs and rain forests are overshadowed by volcanic peaks. Where else can you get all the elements of God’s great creation? We’d recommend the bungalows at Sofitel Bora-Bora Marara Beach Resort over the Four Seasons simply for cost effectiveness. This may be a trip that you have to save for but the views are so worth it! Just look at this place here.
  5. Tasmania- Believe it or not, Hobart is considered wine country. You’ll need to visit Frogmore Creek Vineyard while you’re there as they have a fine selection of organic wine and artisanal foods. There’s also Moorilla a 50+ year old vineyard that welcomes overnight guests and is home to an incredible world-class collection of art. Read more about Tasmania and Hobart.

These are the places you’ve got to go on our romantic honeymoon retreats and if you can find last minute tickets, do not hesitate to load up and head out!…

Romantic gestures and love quotes

Whispering sweet nothings in your loved one’s ear is an age old tradition. When running out of words you might want to search for awesome and hopelessly romantic quotes online. The internet has become a hub of information, from endless facts to historical information. It is possible to find just about anything online. The best part is that you can find the most beautiful pictures and quotes for the love of your life online. It is a special gesture to send an unexpected quote to that special someone every day. Love quotes have become the new flower delivery and will not cost you a thing. Imagine a wedding proposal using social media, it actually happened, read more.

Romantic gestures and love quotes

Instead of going out for an expensive dinner start cooking again. There is nothing more romantic than setting up a delicious meal for your other half. Take time, search for recipes online and cook something from a different culture every week. Take a look for some inspiration. Do this when your partner isn’t expecting it to make it a surprise every time. Don’t neglect the traditional breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning. Pick flowers instead of buying them. It is all about the act of love and not how much you spend. If you are skilled in any crafts make something special and surprise your partner with it. If you feel like splurging a bit create a romantic sanctuary in your bedroom. It is not a sin that your mattress might not be as comfy as it used to be, check out a couple of hybrid mattress reviews. Invest in a new bed and surprise your partner with romantic candles and strewn rose petals.

If however you find yourself unable to find the right words to say look up love quotes and discover again what the meaning of love is and how to portray your feelings in a romantic fashion. I always say my guy doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body. I was surprised when he started sending me beautiful and romantic quotes every day. I started waiting for them every day and when he forgot to send them I ended up being disappointed. With E-cards and every form of communication involving technology there is no shame in sending a sweet message to someone with social media. My girlfriends got jealous every time they saw the cute pictures and thoughtful quotes my boyfriend posted on my social wall. In the old days we used to exchange little notes in school confessing our undying love, today we have the internet and our smart phones to make our confessions of love a bit more visual and personal. The most important thing to do to set that flame alight again is to let your other half know you are thinking of them at an unusual time of the day. Take the time when you are having your morning coffee or while you are travelling to work and find that special message for that special person.…

Saving Your Marriage

Anything that has value to it ought to be protected – the same goes for your marriage. Even if things are going smooth, it would be a good idea to keep the spark alive in your marriage. Just as important it is to protect and save your marriage, it is equally important to keep your home safe where you live with your partner. Look into residential as well as commercial Melbourne locksmith to get your locks installed and upgraded. Meanwhile, here are some tips to keep your marriage from falling apart:

Saving Your Marriage

  1. No secrets. There’s never a justifiable reason to keep a secret from your life partner. We’re not discussing what your genuine hair color is, women. We’re discussing where the cash goes, where you’ve been, and what’s truly going ahead in your relationship and family. Honesty is fundamental.
  2. No opposite sex friendships. You can be friends with different couples together, yet it’s a ghastly thought for you to have a cozy association with anybody of the opposite sex outside of that.
  3. No porn. It might be discreetly worthy in some groups of friends, however the it is destroying the sexual experiences of incalculable wedded couples. Real life can never measure up to the hyper-sexualized universe of explicit entertainment, and introduction to it can deny you of the chance for a characteristic, satisfying relationship. This goes for both accomplices, and incorporates sexual fiction.
  4. Concur upon work boundaries. Understanding that expert men and women work together in today’s world, and that numerous ‘affairs’ start in this environment, it’s vital for you and your life partner to concur on some standard procedures to shield both of you from falling into this trap. You could also discuss about business trips.
  5. Know your life partner’s colleagues. Try not to skip that office Christmas party, and if conceivable, have some familiarity with any secretaries or co-workers who work on a daily basis with your spouse. Pop into take him to lunch once in a while—not as observation, but rather just to be acquainted with his work friends and to spot inconvenience on the off chance that it arrives.
  6. Arrange the family spending plan and after that stick to it. You two ought to choose together how your salary will be utilized and what your money related objectives are. Once those rules are set, neglecting to live inside them is deceptive and uncalled for. In the event that something uncommon comes up—discuss it. Be that as it may, be straightforward about who’s spending what.
  7. Choose together on limits for the children. Differing on child raising can be dangerous to your marriage and tragic for your children. Discuss what the principles and desires for the youngsters ought to be, and after that support each other by adhering to your joint choice.
  8. Be careful with compelling time-eating interests. It’s fine to have singular interests, yet in the event that your leisure activity or enthusiasm causes you to invest energy with others more than your life partner, you may soon feel like you have more in the same way as those outsiders. Limit the hours spent on partitioned tries every week, or discover something you appreciate doing together.
  9. Share your confidence together. Couples who share a comparable confidence and impart consistently about that have a stay to help them decide, and an arrangement of basic convictions to keep their reasoning in agreement on generally issues.

Staying Stress-Free on Debt

In the dynamic environment of today’s world, sometimes it may become difficult to stay on top of your expenses and finances. In such cases, sometimes it becomes necessary to take out a loan. There are many different types of institutions that specialize in lending money, and you can even get payday loans online. However, it is for us to borrow money responsibly, as being in debt can prove to be one of the greatest sources of stress in life. Keep reading to find out how you can reduce your stress if you are in debt.

Staying Stress-Free on Debt

Address Your Spending Habits

This is far more important that it sounds. It’s important to create the right mindset regarding money, and examining your relationship with it. Ask yourself – What are you spending on? When do you tend to spend the most? Writing down the answers to these questions may help. Keep track of your emotional responses to shopping/spending. One very effective way of doing this is keeping a record of your daily expenses. In this way, you are effectively exercising your self-control muscle, and as a consequence, strengthening yourself.

A False Sense of Freedom

You’ve probably heard it before—credit cards tend to make you feel richer and more able to spend freely than you really are. This is true for all types of loans. Therefore, it’s important to assess the necessity of your credit purchase before making it. Additionally, using credit again and again to fund your purchases can even end up in a vicious cycle, wherein spending more actually becomes a way to alleviate the feelings associated with owing money.

Savings, Not Loans

This requires you to set spending goals. When you get the month’s paycheck, don’t let your mind wander to all the ways you can spend it. Instead, set a predetermined list of expenses for every month—with allowances for shopping, too, don’t worry!—and do your best to stick to them. Perhaps when the time comes for a large expense, you can dip into your own savings, instead of having to take a loan. It’s also important to monitor your own responses when you make a purchase that is inconsistent with your financial goals – which brings us to the next point.

Your Debt is an Issue

If your debt is substantially large, it’s time to really acknowledge that you have a problem. It may seem simple enough, but often, our responses to problems tend to create a flight, as opposed to a fight response. Debt is characterized by its ability to catch you off guard. Keeping track of its manageability, therefore, is key. And the sooner that you address the problem, the sooner you can take action.

Take Care of Yourself

Debt has been known to cause stress, anxiety and depression, which in turn can in themselves become reasons to make more and more purchases, as discussed before. Therefore, don’t take your mental and physical health lightly. It’s also important to remind yourself that your debt is a problem that can be overcome. Remember to follow a healthy, balanced diet. Physical exercise is also paramount to your health, and you don’t even have to spend money to do it; it can be as easy as going on a run. Finally, make sure you are getting enough sleep. But most importantly, stay positive!

For more information on addressing and dealing with stress while in debt, click here.…

Can A Passion For Politics Strengthen Couples Love?

As a couple you and your beloved one were probably attracted to one another for sharing the same passions.  You probably like the same activities, movies and music and you are enthusiastic about the same things.  Being passionate about the same interests is terrific for keeping you as a couple together and for strengthening your relationship.  Politics is surprisingly one of these things that can actually strengthen your passion for one another and for your life as a family.

Can A Passion For Politics Strengthen Couples Love?

How political passion is good for family relationships

The more you and your loved one have in common the stronger the bond between the two of you will be.  Politics is good for couple love for the following reasons;

Be passionate together – You can be passionate about the same things, argue the same arguments and support the same organizations and political figures.

Vote together – When you vote together you feel a much stronger bond with one another and you are inspiring others to make the right changes.

Be a team – One of the biggest benefits of politics is the team feeling you get when you support the same group or the same political views.

Strand stronger together – By supporting politics and being active in politics you do more together and you are a much stronger team.

Be fierce – Knowing about politics makes you stronger and more fierce which is terrific for learning to fight for your family and your relationship.

Have something to talk about – Any relationship can start to be a bit dull when you have been together for long years. When you discuss politics with your lover you have something more to talk about and be passionate about.

How couples can get passionate about politics

Learn about politics – The easiest way to learn how to talk politics and how to be supportive towards politics is to actually find out what is happening around you and in the world of politics.  You and your spouse should start watching the news and reading up about political firms, figures and organizations.  One of the top political figures that the two of you can start supporting right now is Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the FDD.  Mark Dubowitz is constantly in argument with the president regarding negotiations with Iran about the threatening nuclear war.  When you follow news on Mark Dubowitz you are instantly clued up on all of the major changes that are occurring in the political world.

Get started in politics – Have you always wanted to make a change in the world?  Then it is time to get started in politics by either joining some of the major organizations or trying to improve the interest in these organizations with friends and family.  Anyone can actually become involved in politics if they are willing to conduct the right research and gain the right qualifications.  Who knows, perhaps you and your spouse as a team could be the next hot political figure of your time!  It certainly is something terrific that the both of you can share for a stronger bond.…