Monday, December 29, 2014

Year In Review - July to December

And because I failed again last week, you get another six months all squished together. YOU'RE WELCOME. Don't forget that it's the last week to link up and win some amazing prizes so make sure if you participated you link up below!

July

If I could I would relive this month forever. I went to Portland, Oregon and finally met my blog besties Brooke & Jessi. It was an amazing city and if I could I would live there. Jessi was so lovely letting me stay with her and Brooke & Brad made me feel so welcome in their home as well! I wrote about it here and here. Now Brooke is getting married so I have every intention of returning next summer to celebrate with her before the wedding!



August

It's hard for some people to understand this, but when Robin Williams passed it was really hard for me. Not necessarily because of him, even though he was such an important part of my childhood, but because it reminded me of my own struggle and it hit too close to home. It's really hard sometimes for people to understand what I go through, and when you can't talk about it to the people you're closest too, it hurts.



September

I started selling Arbonne and I kid you not, this company has changed my life. The philosophy, the products, the team, everything about it continually amazes me. This was also the month that I went on my very first work conference and I got to go to Ottawa. Our nation's capital is beautiful. Absolutely breathtaking. I also had the chance to finally meet Tracey! This girl is a gem I tell you.



October

I started my very first blogging challenge and I had so much fun with it! Everyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with Halloween. It's my favorite holiday and I would give up Christmas to have Halloween twice. No joke. But October was also a month full of family, because of Thanksgiving. Honestly, I'm so incredibly lucky to be so close to my cousins. They're some of my best friends and I can';t imagine not being able to turn to them. This month really taught me to appreciate our relationships, especially now in our adult lives where we see each other less.



November

This was a big month for me because I took a leap and quit my job. I had an offer that I just could not pass up and it has been the best decision I've ever made. I love my new job and I can't imagine that I ever considered not taking it because I was too scared to leave my comfort zone. This month was also full of weddings. At the beginning I was able to celebrate with some good friends and I learned Fireball hates me. At the end of the month, I stood and watched one of my oldest and dearest friends say I do. I cried. A lot. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever been to.



December

Volume three of |Relationship Week came back in December. It was so much fun and I especially loved the blogger Q&A at the end of the week. December was definitely a month full of family and friends. So much food I think I have gained 50 lbs. Not only was it Christmas dinners and parties, but my little Brooklyn turned 2! I cannot believe she's already getting so old. They weren't kidding when they said they grow up fast.



I hope you all had a great year and happy holidays! Here's to 2015 being even better than this year. I can't wait to read all of your reviews. 



2014 Review Extravaganza

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Year in Review - January to June


January 

The year started off big for me. It was my first taste of freedom! Family friends were going away for three months and asked if I'd come stay at their house while they were away. It was the first time I had to work out a grocery budget, cook for myself, take care of a house and all around be an adult. Which I realized was a lot harder than I had ever imagined. It was also the month I realized I needed more money and went back to working retail when I swore I never would again.

February

This was a month of cold and an abominable amount of snow. Winnipeg was in the midle of a deep freeze so the most that happened was I got behind on shoveling snow and got my car stuck in my driveway. Real bad. We can revisit that story here.


March 

This was when I decided to dabble in podcasting. It didn't go very far. But it was also the month that I went to the Junos! It's the biggest night in Canadian music and it was one of the best nights ever. Caitlin and I really solidified our friendship bond at that concert. Oh and it was also the month I thought I was going to get murdered and slept with a knife beside my bed. Too much Criminal Minds for sure...


April 

One of the better months of the year. Not only did I spend the whole month packing up 24 years of my life to move into my first apartment, but it was also the month my parents took my sister and I to Las Vegas for the first time. It was better than I'd imagined. I mean sure, I was excited to go, but I was going with my parents so it's not like there'd be a lot of partying. Turns out, there a whole other side to Vegas I never dreamed was so cool! I wrote all about it here. Oh and I guess I should mention this was the month I also met Jay. Just a few days after our birthdays, actually. Oh right, our birthdays are one day apart.


May 

I put on my big girl panties and I moved into my first apartment. It's been a hell of a ride but I love it. I love my little home and I never want to leave. Which is fine because I'm too poor to go anywhere anyway. May was also when Reggie came into my life. My fat, angry hedgehog. God I love him but hate him all the same. He's just so cute but such a dickhead.


June

This was a month full of friends and fun. I spent all my weekends with my favorite people. From Paws In Motion and our Harry Potter themed team to raise money for the Winnipeg Humane Society, to a weekend out at the lake celebrating Jon's birthday, it was one of my favorite months all year!




There you have the first half of my year! I can't wait to go around reading about yours. Make sure you link it up so I can see it :).



2014 Review Extravaganza

Monday, December 22, 2014

Year In Review - A Failure

Hey remember that time I co-hosted a linkup and then FORGOT TO POST? Right. That would be right now. As in the last two weeks. I'm maybe the worst. Ever. I'm so sorry Emmy please forgive me.

Come back all week to get it all at once. Sorry not sorry. And by all week I mean tomorrow and Wednesday and Friday. In the meantime, if you've participated and want to link up, please do so below! There are some wonderful prizes up for grabs and I know you'll want a shot to win them!





2014 Review Extravaganza

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Welcome Back To Life Humpday Confessions

If you read Jessi or Kathy's blogs then the cat is already out of the bag; I am resurrecting the Humpday Confessions Linkup! I'm really excited about this because now I will have a legit reason to confess, even though I've still been doing it without the linkup. My soul will be cleansed on the weekly again. Hurray!



Side note, I googled where the phrase "cat's out of the bag" came from, because really, why do we say that? It's kind of weird when we think about it. Want to know what I found out? NOBODY ACTUALLY KNOWS! Stupid. Internet you have failed me. A few sites claim there are a few different origin stories, but there isn't one specific example of when it started. Lame. Day ruined.

Back to Humpday Confessions. I've decided to wait until after the holidays to bring this puppy back from the dead. We're all pretty busy and I don't want to start off forgetting to post the linkup, so the first official day will be January 7, 2015. (Also wtf how is it already 2015?)

I can't wait to see all your pretty faces in the new year! 
 
 

Until then, I leave you with one question: 
 
 Who should be the new, sexy face of Humpday? 
 
Leave your vote in the comments!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Top 5 Travel Essentials

The holidays are upon us in full force and for some, that means lots of traveling. I'm lucky that my family lives so close to me and I can hunker down in the snow and not worry about catching a flight, or finding a taxi, or losing my luggage. For some, holiday travel is something they have to deal with year in and year out. 

So today I thought it was the perfect time to share my travel tips. There's a few things I refuse to leave behind because they make all the difference. Whether it's in preparation for an emergency or just to pass the time better, these are my top 5 travel essentials!



1. Neck Pillow

I can sleep pretty much anywhere. I could lay on a rock and fall asleep. This tends to lead to neck and back pain though so when I'm traveling, be it by plane or car, I make sure I bring my leopard neck pillow with me for that extra support. Then I can sleep with no worries. I just feel bad for the poor suckers beside me who have to listen to me snore. 

2. Extra Phone Charger

There is nothing worse then getting to your destination, or off the airplane between flights, and realizing you forgot your charger. How are you supposed to keep your sanity around your family if you can't text your friends back home to complain? I always make sure I pack an extra charger in my suitcase the night before I leave just in case I forget to grab

3. Arbonne FC5 Travel Kit

This is a recent discovery of mine and I will never go on a trip without it again. It's the perfect size and has everything I need; it makes traveling so much easier. Plus you can't go wrong with kiwi and strawberry extract. My hair and body smelled so nice! And just think, if you get stuck in an airport for a few days, at least you have something to wash up with in the sink. Or if the airline is nice, your hotel room. 



4. Music

Are we even surprised? Music is half my life. Plus if you're stuck on a layover, at least you'll have something to do to pass the time. If you're looking for some good travel music this year, may I suggest Spotify's top artists to watch in 2015? I love them all., You probably will too so you're welcome. Thanks Brooke for sending me the list ;).

5. SNACKS

Some of my favorite include granola bars, muffins, trail mix, or dried fruit. If you're ever stuck in the car due to bad weather, or at the airport for a cancelled flight, you're gonna get hungry. I like to munch when I'm stressed and bored so might as well make it slightly healthy. 


And if you're ever stuck for a ride? Why not try Turo (Formerly RelayRides)? They even have airport car rentals available across the country!  I know what I'm doing next time I fly to Portland. When they approached me to share my travel essentials I had a look around their website and I can't wait to try it next time I go on vacation!


So now it's your turn. What are your travel essentials? How do you prepare for a travel emergency?

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PS don't forget that tomorrow is the last day to link up for the Review Extravaganza. I can't wait to read all of yours! I've had so much fun writing mine. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Confession Session

I miss Wednesday confession posts so I'm going to do one anyway. I would totally host the linkup if people wanted to get back into it because it's MY FAVORITE. 

Anyway, I wanted to bring you some confessions about the holiday season and a little bit about my life lately. 

I confess...

... with my new job I haven't quite figured out my blogging groove. I just can't seem to manage my time as well but I'm working on it because I love the feeling I get when I write.

...I have already watched Home Alone 2 four times. I foresee it being possibly four more.


...I also watch Love, Actually more times each Christmas than is healthy. 

...I'm already done my Christmas shopping and it feels so good.

...I bought Reggie a Christmas present. He's a dick so he won't appreciate it but I did it anyway because he's too cute. 



...I bought my very first Christmas tree and decorated it in Gryffindor colors and I love it so much. It's nice to know that it's all mine.

...my younger cousin wanted our family to give back this year, so on Sunday 12 of us volunteered at a local mission in the morning and it was the most rewarding experience.

...it also blows me away how kind my cousins are. They make me want to be a better person.

...my family had a Christmas dinner on Saturday and I will never be able to get the image of my grandmother playing butt darts out of my mind ever again.


...I've started watching Sherlock on Nertflix and I am obsessed. I actually cannot stop and it's amazing. I actually love Moriarty so much and the season two finale had me jumping off the couch. 

That's all I have for you today. Maybe come back next week for another round of confessions. I love doing them. Love them. A lot. 

Do you have anything you want to confess?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blogger Hates Me & A Giveaway

Hey remember that time Blogger hated me? I do. it's right now. It's been all day. And all day yesterday. But finally it's up and running. FINALLY. So I wanted to share a little giveaway with all of you. Me and some other pretty blogging ladies are feeling the holiday spirit and wanted to share! You have from now until January 3 to enter, so make sure you don't miss out. 

Come back tomorrow for a weekend confessions. I know, I know, the confession linkup is dead. Gone. Donezo. But it was one of my favorites so let me just do what I want okay!? 

And also, don't forget it's the first week of the Review Extravaganza! You have until Friday to get your post up for a chance to win some seriously amazing prizes. If you want to know more, just follow this link.

Now scroll down and enter our giveaway :) 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 5, 2014

Blogger Q&A


While you're reading this post, Jay and I will be in Fargo for a mini getaway. Yes. You read that right. We go to Fargo for vacation.... 

I have asked some of my favorite bloggers to round the week off by answering a few questions. They range from serious to snarky and it's what makes me love each and every one of them in different ways. Kailyn included gifs and pictures and Trace included links. So make sure you watch for those!

Without further ado I bring you the Relationship Week Q&A!

1. What do you do to keep your relationship fun? 

Jessi: Competition. Anything and everything that can be made into a game with multiple sub-rules should be your thing. It makes anything and everything an opportunity to create fun. 


Kailyn: We really just joke around with each other. He likes to torture me at night and not let me sleep, until he's tired. SUCH a jerk ;)


Kenzie: John and I are always bringing home little surprises for each even if it is something small like a chocolate bar.  We also love to go on adventures and explore new things/places – it is a great way for us to connect and get in some exercise!  We are also known for Nerf wars, being extremely obnoxious, and watching shows together.

Tracey:  It is important to keep a relationship fun because it can easily get stale if you never do anything. For me, after getting married my husband and I settled into a routine and got a little too comfortable. We now make an effort to go out on dates once a week or else we will just sit at home and watch Netflix in sweats all the time. Even if the date night is just grabbing a Starbucks and walking around Target, getting out of the house is key. Never forget to “date each other,” no matter what stage in a relationship you are at. This is an easy way to keep your relationship fun!

Alyssa: The fact that it's completely non-existent keeps me on my toes and really makes every day a thrill-ride! (melissa - lol this is gonna be good.)

2. What is your favorite date idea? 


J: Love the picnic in the park / picnic on the beach date, it takes a lot of pre-planning and thought to pull it off, and all you need is each other. Also a huge fan of going on a "date" to Costco for samples on the weekend. 


Ka: I'm pretty simple and I love a good dinner and a movie. We're big movie goers so it's really our go to. But I do like the occasional outing somewhere new.


Ke: I’m going with a classic because I absolutely love going to dinner and then the catching a movie (I am a huge sucker for movie theater popcorn)!

A: I love exploring different interests when I'm getting to know a person, but there's always something to be said for great, quiet conversation. For first dates I love trying a new restaurant for dinner, but I'd be thrilled to go hiking, for a run, grab a coffee, or see a game. I'm a perpetual early-stage dater (Taylor Swift and I have that in common) so the get-to-know-you dates are my bread and butter. 

3. What's your biggest relationship pet peeve?


JI am not a huge fan of the way I let my workouts slip when I'm dating. It would be solid if my guy wanted to be my swole-mate as well as my soul mate.


Ka: Someone who is constantly on their phone when it's just the 2 of you. I stare until he looks at me. OH and also WET TOWEL ON A DRY BED.


Ke: Eating the last of something and not replacing it – food rules the roost around here and I am known to get hangry.

A: It'd make me sound really picky and "oh that's why she's single" if I said I have too many to choose just one #1, right? Okay, so I guess I get the most annoyed by clingy people. I'm a really independent person and I value my alone time very much. I need the person I'm with to understand that I need a little bit of physical and virtual space, but that doesn't mean I'm not crazy about you. When you pout about me asking for the night off from our texting marathon, that's a big problem. Oh and also excessive PDA, please make it stop. There are people eating dinner 2 feet away from us.

4. What does your significant other do that still gives you butterflies?


J: When he tells me how smart I am or genuinely drops his jaw when he sees me. The fact that we are long distance also helps the first sight at the airport, but I'll be honest that even a text makes my heart skip a beat.


Ka: It will always be a kiss on the forehead. Simple yet showing pure adoration.




Ke: I absolutely melt when John kisses my neck or randomly grabs my hand to hold.  Some other things include surprising me with food, slamming on the breaks and jumping out of the car to pick me a bouquet of wild flowers, and when he tells me I am beautiful even when I am feeling frumpy.

T: He still buys me flowers and it is always a surprise. He will send them to my office or there will be some waiting for me when I get home from work. Knowing he is thinking of me and still trying to surprise me always gives me butterflies.

A: Never knowing when he's going to start existing in a physical space is so exhilarating! It gives me the flutters on the daily.

5. What's your weirdest single girl behaviour?


J: Has to be eating the same thing almost every day of the week. I know that if/when I live with my guy full time that won't fly and I'll need to get a little more creative with my culinary skills.


Ka: I mean, it's not weird but I still flirt in hopes of a free drink. HOLLA!


Ke:  I dance and sing all throughout the house when I am cleaning and will really bust a move when I get into it.

A: It's taken me a really long time to come up with an answer, which is probably indicative that I have far too many, and I don't realize they're weird, hence why I'm single. But last night I took about 30 minutes of video of my yoga and handstand practice and then watched it over again, and that's not the first time that's happened. This week. So probably something like that.

6. What's the first thing you let go when you get comfortable with someone?


J: When I get comfortable the first thing to go is my filter. I am fully transparent and more often embarrass myself than anything. Thing #2? Wearing pants. 


Ka: Oh god, it's been so long since I've had to worry about that. I mean I didn't start farting in front of him until we moved in, now I just let it go, let it goooooooo.




Ke: I quit shaving my legs and putting on makeup as much (sorry John)!

T: I will let them see me “undone,” meaning without makeup and in my sweats. When I feel comfortable enough to let a guy in this state, I know he is a keeper.

A: I try to be pretty real right from the get-go, but I definitely burp and swear a little bit more after we hurdle over date number two or so. I'm like a 15-year-old boy.

7. Number one deal-breaker

J: Disrespectful men have no place in my life. 


KaSmoker. I can't STAND cigs.


Ke: 
Any form of abuse whether it be mental, emotional, or physical.


T: Laziness. I am a go-getter. I am not the kind of person that is happy not pushing myself to do more. I need a partner that will motivate me and support me to better myself and will want to do the same.

A: 
A person who is unkind is a person I can't be with. A person who speaks hatefully, shows intolerance, prejudice, racism, is rude to others, believes others or animals to be beneath him, or who is incapable of having compassion or sympathy is a complete and total deal-breaker.


8. Biggest lesson you ever learned from a relationship


J: Never settle. Take the uncomfortable leap of breaking up with someone even if it hurts. You're only making things worse (and wasting your own time) if you truly don't see forever.


KaDon't be afraid to give someone a second chance. I've only had 2 relationships that have made it past the 6 month mark. One was my high school boyfriend and the second is my current boyfriend, Joey, of 7 years. Joey and I dated for like 2 months, but the timing was off for him, heartbreaking for me cos I fell for him, hard. 7 months later, we gave it another shot and here we are!


Ke: That it is never okay for a guy to destroy your confidence and beat you down literally and figuratively. 

AIn the words of Maya Angelou: "When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time." It took me a very, very, very long time to learn this and it cost me many tears and a million cracks on my heart along the way. But I realized this year that I finally had REALLY learned it, and it felt so good to break my pattern.

9. Worst breakup 


J: Every breakup feels like the "Worst breakup" (EVER!) but the one that hurt the worst was knowing that I hurt someone else's feelings through my actions and rather than honesty, I crashed his world more than I could ever see myself capable of doing. I can't take back what happened and just wish I was wise enough at the time to follow my "biggest lesson learned" example and end it when I realized it wasn't what I needed. 


Ka: Let's see here...I had one boyfriend sophomore year tell me to kick rocks cos I didn't have enough time for him with sports and all. But the worst would have to be my junior/senior year boyfriend (mentioned above). He cheated on me at a party after, of course, lying to me about his parents not letting him out. One of my friends was at the party and asked me where I was the following Monday. Long story short, he cheated on me while one of my "good" friends and her boyfriend encouraged him to go into the room with the biggest slut of his school. Then to top it off, the lesson at softball was about stealing bases and "if you're not cheating, you're not trying."


KeI have had some pretty awful breakups ranging from mutual to scary to downright creepy, and I think the worst out of them is the creepy.  My sophomore year of high school I started dating a guy who I had known for a couple years through mutual friends.  All was fine and dandy until he became super obsessive and creepy, as in he stole a pair of my underwear to hang on the rearview mirror of his car and serenaded me at a NJROTC dance.  Needless to say I broke up with him right quick, but for the next month or so afterward when I would come home he would be waiting for me at my parent’s house just hanging out with my parents waiting for me.  If I didn’t come home right away he would leave notes with them to give to me.  My parents, being kind, let him until I had finally had enough.

T: My worst break up was with the guy I thought I was going to be with forever. We had been trying to keep a relationship going that had died a long time ago. I have to say it was one of the hardest experiences of my life and one I never thought I would get over. It turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. I learned so much about myself, became a stronger person and met my husband. I learned so much from that time that I decided to blog about it and to date, it is one of my most popular blog posts.

A: My first real, crazy-in-love, we're going to get married someday relationship ended after two and a half years... over the phone. (This was actually a much bigger deal in 2007 than it feels like now.) The day before I started college. After I'd spent a week helping him move into his college apartment, cleaning it top to bottom, and cooking for him and his roommate. Don't worry, two months later my life was amazing and I wrote him a letter on his birthday thanking him for ending our relationship. Because I'm just classy like that.

10. Most wtf moment in a relationship you've experienced


J: All of the little tinder dating and college dating had me beyond confused about dating. Mostly the thought that there weren't any normal guys out there and that I'd have to be happy living as a single cat lady who listened to Alanis Morrisette. That was almost reality once in my life. Maybe it still is, and really I wouldn't be too upset about it. 


Ka: We're about to get a little TMI right now. Sorry not sorry. But one time when Joe and I were doing he deed, he whispered barbecue sauce in my hear. WTF.




Ke: When someone I did not know came up to me at school and told me that my boyfriend at the time was cheating on me.  Yikes.

T: Honestly, just read any of my Adventures in Dating posts.

A: That whole time I dated a(n alcoholic) magician, probably. Or maybe it was the time when a guy I had been dating for a few weeks told me he was going to "train" me to be his perfect woman. Or the guy who told his mom, sister, and best girlfriend all about me before our third date. I've had a lot of WTF-ery in my dating years — that's only the PG-rated stuff.


Like what you read? Visit them:


There you have it. They answered your questions and some of mine. Thanks for everyone who kept up with me this week I loved Volume 3 and I can definitely see a Volume 4 in the future. Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Seeking Arrangement


I watch a lot of Dr. Phil. Jay is shocked almost every time he comes over and he sees that it's on, but really, there shouldn't be any more shock involved, it is ALWAYS on. 

A few weeks ago there was an episode on Sugar Babies. Anna and I watched it and laughed and made jokes. Surely not that many people actually go on a website looking for a Sugar Daddy. A few days later, we were at Andrea's and told her about it and of course she immediately wants to watch the episode. Again, we're laughing and not taking it seriously. Then we decide to just take a little look at the website: Seeking Arrangements. We let our curiosity take the lead. 



Which led to the 3 of us thinking it was a great idea to craft a fake account just so we could see the type of people on it. Because surely our city doesn't have that many men on it. 

Andrea went to town creating a fake profile with my picture on it. I was a young 20-something nursing student looking to be taught the ways of the world. And other gross things she wrote that she thought were hilarious (they were). 

Within a day, we had received at least 5 to 6 messages. They ranged from average to downright creepy. What started out as a fun experiment turned in to me feeling really horribly. Half of these men were married with children. They wanted a thing on the side to spoil and pay rent for and buy cars for. What about their children? It just made me sad and depressed. 

I tried to delete the account that day, but it said I had to wait ten days from creation of the account. Ten more days of these messages coming to my inbox. Ten more days of feeling shitty about myself for even signing up. I made Andrea go look at some of the profiles and she agreed she felt icky. Anna on the other hand trolled a few of them and I'm not going to lie it was pretty funny. Two kinds of people. 

Honestly, I'm not judging any of the women on here. They just want some extra cash and maybe a little help to pay for grad school. What I am judging is the sheer volume of married men willing to throw their money away on them. 

Thankfully, I never recognized any of the "daddies", because I truly don't know what I would do if someone I knew came across my screen.

I'm all for online dating. But primping myself and exchanging favors for 45+ year old men who want me to call them daddy is just not my cup of tea. Ick.

I've learned my lesson: no more fake online dating profiles. 


Don't forget to check back tomorrow. It's a dating and relationship Q&A with some of my favorite bloggers!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

7 Ways To Fight Fair With Your Significant Other

I posted this a couple weeks ago, but I meant for it to be part of this week. WHOOPS. Don't hate. 

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about fighting. There's no way you can spend large amounts of time with someone and not get annoyed or frustrated with them. It's natural, it happens, we're human. But the key is to not let that get out of hand. There are ways to make sure that if you fight it's not malicious and it actually solves a problem without creating another one. 


1. Take A Deep Breath

Bite your tongue and count to 10 while breathing in deeply. Refocus before you say something you regret or the other person doesn't deserve.

2. Walk Away

Sometimes if it gets too heated, there is nothing wrong with simply walking out the room. Take five minutes to compose yourself. Yelling won't get you anywhere and neither will being petty, like name calling. 

3. Use phrases like "I feel.." "I'm concerned because..."

By not placing all the onus of the argument on the other person, they don't feel the need to get as defensive. By simply explaining that "I feel this way" you're not saying "YOU make me feel this way" and it might be easier to resolve the issue. It lets the other person know that you're not just throwing all the blame on them and maybe it's a combination of things affecting you. 

4. Listen 

There are always two sides to every story.  Take a second to listen to what they have to say and you may be able to come to a compromise. For example, he just can never put his laundry away. If he hates folding the laundry that much, why not ask him to do something else in return for you putting away his laundry? 

5. Hit Pause

This tip comes from my friend Andrew. He says when him and his significant other fight, if they feel it getting too heated one of them says "Pause". They take a break to say something nice to one another or change the subject briefly before going back to the topic at hand. Sometimes you just need to step away from the heat of the moment before you say something you don't mean. 

6. Don't Go To Bed Angry

The cliché to end all clichés but Andrew swears by it. By making it a rule they both follow, Andrew says, "No matter how bad the fight is, you know in the back of your mind that you are still both following the rules, which means you both care about resolving it. If Cam went to bed mad it would mean he was over the rules and I would know it was really bad.

So why not make a rule with your partner? It doesn't have to be the same, but something that you can both respect when the intensity starts to run too high. 

7. Forgive & Forget

If you have fought about something in the past, or they have hurt you and you decided to forgive them, it's not fair to keep throwing it in their face every time you fight. If you make the conscious decision to forgive the person, that means you're willing to let it go. No one likes to drag up the past and it's not fair to hold it over their heads forever. 


What are your ways of fighting fair? How do you keep your relationship healthy?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dating Story: The Vagician



Today we're dipping into dating stories. One of my favorite bloggers, Alyssa, has kindly provided us with a magical story of a summer fling. Almost all of us can say we've experienced a whirlwind summer romance at some point in our lives. Alyssa sheds some light on her experience and why it didn't work out. Also, just to add, Alyssa has never referred to him as a vagician but I saw the opportunity and couldn't pass it up. 

Alyssa vs. the Vagician Magician 

We all have that one relationship story — a spectacularly bad date, a clingy ex maybe — that makes people go, "Wait, what!?" when we talk about it. For me, though I have many head-scratchers and WTF-ers in my dating backlog, there's one dating story that clearly beats out all the rest: The magician.

My story begins back in the late winter of 2008, just before my 19th birthday, at a St. Paddy's Day party in the dorm apartment of my upper-class friend. This was back in the age where I was (sorry to admit it) a smoker, and our action begins when I pulled on my jacket and grabbed a cigarette to step outside with a few friends. This sandy, curly-haired, devastatingly blue-eyed guy came up to me and asked for an extra. It was always my policy to share, so I said sure thing and passed him a butt. He promised he would earn it — for those who don't smoke, it's common to have strangers offer a dollar in exchange for a spare cigarette. I said it was no sweat, but he was intent on singing for his supper: "If you give me a cigarette, I'll show you a magic trick."

Now, to be clear, I was already going to give it to him. I think he was really just looking for a way to tell me he was a magician, and I'm absolutely certain he used this line on plenty of girl before and since me, but whatever. I was 18, and he was heartbreakingly handsome. Woof. So downstairs to the front doors of Williams Hall we went.

Cut to me, entranced as he delivered on his promise, pulling all sorts of sleight of hand jazz with a lit cigarette — honestly, it was impressive. I'd never seen any of that David Blaine-level business in real life, and definitely not from a guy who had just put his hand on the small of my back.

I can't remember the details of the rest of that night — who asked for whose number, who initiated the next contact — but the whole thing set off a storybook summer fling. We hung out in his dorm and watched Lars and the Real Girl, and he showed me card tricks. We hung out in the city and (SWEAR TO GOD) he sketched (yes, he was a magician and an artist...) while I read from a copy of Twelfth Night we'd just grabbed from a little used bookstore, perched on a boulder in Central Park. He took me home to meet his friends. He came to a party my older brother and I threw and astounded my brother's 20-something friends with card tricks and sleight of hand. He rolled me a rose from a napkin in the Freeman Hall cafeteria. He and the Magic Club (of which he was the president and 50% of the membership) put on a charity event (to a surprisingly impressive audience) in which I had to/got to be The Lovely Assistant and had to participate in a magic trick I had never seen before, let alone rehearsed with him, and I nearly cried on stage in front of a whole bunch of people. (The trick involved nails.) It was really a splendid time for all.

It was one of those relationships comprised entirely of song lyrics and movie scenes. The band he loved became a soundtrack to our trysts and adventures. We spoke to each other in the words of favorite musicians because, in truth, we didn't have all that much else to say to each other. We had experiences with each other that, until then, I'd only seen on screens. He was adventurous and daring and passionate and lived on the edge of reason. At first I was taken with all of it, until one afternoon when I finally went to introduce him to my best friend.

It was an interesting thing that they'd yet to meet, seeing as they actually lived across the hall from each other. But one afternoon between classes, B and I walked across the hall and tapped on the Magician's door. He didn't have anywhere to be for a few hours, and he let us in and started showing my girl some of my favorite card tricks. Except he was absolutely hammered at 2 in the afternoon on that Tuesday, so he was spilling cards all over the floor as he did it. Mind, he still nailed the tricks.

But after that day I started to take a little bit more notice to how (and why) he never sat still, why it always felt like we were going on an adventure, and then I realized one of the Magician's secrets.

At the same time that I was sobering to the realization that I'd never been with him in a situation where he wasn't drinking, it was becoming exceptionally clear that we had next to nothing in common. The place we connected most was in near silence behind closed doors, and I never really felt like I could talk to him. (In case you don't know me, here's a fun fact: I'm a biiiig talker. SHOCKING, I'm sure.) Sure, I spent hours talking about him... but that's not really the same thing.  Our interest in each other, and my ability to tolerate a drunk and flakey, albeit beautiful, boo was fading as fast as the summer sun.

Just before the rest of the school returned for fall term and my sophomore year commenced, I did the only thing there was to do. In the words of my friend Steve, who was beyond captivated by the fact that I was being courted by a magician, as The Lovely Assistant, I pulled my best trick yet and I made him disappear.

We never talked again after that. Shortly after, I defriended him on Facebook and took the long way around some places on campus I knew he'd hang out. There wasn't much more to it than that. We never crossed paths before that party, and maybe just once or twice after we called it quits. I heard through the grape vine that he'd went on to grad school. I went on to greener pastures, too, and so it goes. It ended up being one of the most effortless relationships I'd ever had, in hindsight. But the best part is the part where I came out of it with a showstopper whenever the topic of WTF relationships come up: "Did I ever tell you about the time I dated a magician?"


Liked what you read? Go give Alyssa some love. Girl has some of the best posts on the interwebs. You can find her at the following:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Review Extravaganza

Remember how I said the holidays were for giving? Well, I'm happy to announce I'm co-hosting the 2014 Review Extravaganza! Seriously, just scroll through and take a look at all these amazing prizes. You won't want to miss out on this. 

Also, I'm aware I already posted today but whateva whateva I do what I want. But seriously, if you didn't catch the beginning of Relationship Week this morning you might want to get on that right meow. Here you go, this link right here

2014 Review Extravaganza

What is the Review Extravaganza

  -It is your way to look back over the year and each week recap three months at a time of what happened in your life, your favorite blog posts, favorite pictures- whatever you would like to share. (Here is an example of one of EmmyMom's recaps from last year)

We would like to introduce you to this year's 8 amazing hosts!

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From Left to Right:(Click on the names below to get to their blogs)




How to Play

- Each Monday** in December link with your recap of 3 months at a time
    December 8th: Recap January, Feb, and March
    December 15th: Recap April, May and June
    December 22nd: Recap July, August and September
    December 29th: Recap October, November and December and 5 goals for upcoming year
** Posts do not have to be posted on Monday but MUST be posted by Friday to count for points.  So, the first week you can post Dec 8th through Dec 12th, etc.

The Rules

- Must link up a recap, not just a general blog post- please link to your actual post, not just your blog
- Must include the Review Extravaganza button in your post for your entry to count towards the prizes
- Must link up at least one week to be eligible to enter
- You will receive LOTS of bonus points for linking up all four weeks
- Anyone can recap with us-but you must live in the Continental US to be eligible to win the prizes
- We will be using Rafflecopter to keep track of entries and must use that form to get your bonus points
-There will be two winners this year, with a Grand Prize and a Runner Up Prize
The list of sponsors this year is amazing!  Such wonderful prizes that you have a chance to win. 
 
The Prizes

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Our sponsors are so amazing and we love all the amazing things they are offering for the Review Extravaganza.  This year we will again have two winners, one Grand Prize Winner and a Runner-up.  
Here are our wonderful sponsors (in no particular order)- please visit their sites and see what amazing things they have to offer.  
Power of Mom's- MOM Organizational System 
$75 Value
Grand Prize
1POM

Mind Organization for Moms (M.O.M.) is a mom-specific adaptation of David Allen’s best-seller, Getting Things Done®, designed to help you accomplish your most important tasks so you can fully enjoy your family.
In our simple online program, we’ll show you how to clear your counter of “the pile,” organize projects without the stress, set up an effective Weekly Review system, and keep up with the never-ending stream of emails, phone calls, and papers (yes, it’s possible!).
Find the Power of Moms Here: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Pinterest //Instagram

Little Blessings by Brenda Gift Coupon 
$75 Value
Grand Prize
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Little Blessings in Brenda specializes in hand-made children's clothes.  The winner will receive $75 in credit to Brenda's store.  She has some super adorable Frozen clothes that any little girl would love!
Special: Customers of Brenda's - spend $100.00 in a 6 months time period you can pick out a free embroidered T-shirt of any child size (newborn to size 12) of their choice. Or when they spend $150.00 in a 6 months time period they will receive $20.00 off their next order.

Find Little Blessings by Brenda at: Facebook//Etsy//Pinterest//


Printcess: 4 Hand-made Cruelty Free Eye Shadows
$24 Value
Grand Prize

Printcess offers handmade, cruelty-free mineral eye shadow that's inspired by novels.  The winner will receive 4 handmade, cruelty-free mineral eye shadows of the winner's choice, from Printcess.

Can find Printcess at the following: Website//Facebook//Etsy//Twitter// Pinterest

Centime $50 Gift Voucher 
$50 Value
Grand Prize

Centime Gift- Old-school values are our motto. We create timeless and universally appealing design, yet each gift is handmade and personal. We refuse to believe that a budget should limit your imagination. The winner will receive a $50 gift voucher for an item of their choice.

Find Centime here: Website//Facebook//Pinterest//Twitter//


Retro-Style Hand-made Apron by Kaleidoscope of Colors

$15 Value
Runner-Up Prize
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Amanda of Kaleidoscope of colors creates beautiful hand-made goods for you and your family.
This gorgeous retro style apron in a cream, burgundy, avocado print looks stunning in the kitchen while baking or cooking that special dish.  Winner will receive this hand-made apron.

Find Kaleidoscope of Colors at: Blog//Etsy//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest//

Tiny Wish Creations-Multiple Prizes

Custom Birthstone Necklace and Custom Birthstone Bracelet
$27 Value
Grand Prize

Custom Painted Wine Glass
$10 Value
Runner Up Prize
tiny wishes creations review giveaway
Tiny Wish Creations features hand painted, heat cured glassware and jewelry. Each piece of painted glassware is created for the buyer, and is custom made.  The Grand-prize winner will revive a custom birth stone necklace and bracelet.  The Runner-up winner will receive a custom painted wine-glass. 

Find Tiny Wish Creations at: Facebook//Etsy//Twitter//Instagram


Jamberry Nail Wrap and Application Kit
$27 Value
Grand Prize
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Gone are the days of nails that chip and flake after a few days!  Jamberry nail wraps arm you with style and confidence while demanding very little of your time or money.  The winner will receive a nail wrap and application kit.  Mary a blogger and Jamberry consultant is donating this gift.
Can find Mary and Jamberry at: Website//Mary's Blog// 

Matte Black Tassel Bracelet from Early August
$20 Value
Runner-Up Prize
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Matte Black Tassel Bracelet from Early August. Chic and just a little edgy, this matte black bracelet can literally be paired with anything! The perfect bracelet that can easily be transitioned from day to night.  

Find Early August at Website//Facebook//Twitter/Etsy

Hand-made Clutch from Oyeta
$30 Value
Grand Prize
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Linen and Lace zippered clutch with hidden wrist strap. A lovely lace in floral embroidery covering a natural color linen. Perfect for a clutch or a wristlet to keep your small essential things like mobile phones, make up, etc

  You can find Oyeta at: Website//Etsy//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest

Variety of Best Selling Books- from Midlife Guru
$50+ Value
Grand Prize 
Caryn, blogger at the Mid-Life Guru, is an authentic and trusted mid-life voice sharing her wisdom gained over the years. She is an avid reader and school board member and is sharing some of her favorite kid and young adult books.
The prize is three Children's and one Young Adult book all best sellers that are sure to be treasured by the children and young adults in your life. Perfect for holiday gift giving or sharing memorable moments.

Shaggy Loops Bracelet from Shadow Rogue Original 
$15 Value
Runner-Up Prize
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Heather of Shadow Rogue makes hand-made jewelry with enchanting chain-mail designs with a modern twist.  This 7-inch designer bracelet would add an awesome pop of color to your outfit. 
Find Shadow Rogue at: Facebook//Etsy

$25 Visa Gift Card from Emily Kathryn Photography
$25 Value
Grand Prize
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Emily (our very own Emmy Mom) is a natural light photographer who specializes in newborns and families.  She loves capturing those little moments and creating art you will cherish forever.  She is donating a $25 Visa Gift Card.

Find Emily Kathryn Photography at: Website//Facebook//Instagram


Arbonne Sample Kit and $10 Starbucks e-gift Card
$20 Value Total
Grand Prize
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Arbonne RE9 Advanced Sample Kit | The RE9 Advanced set synergizes 9 age-defying elements and botanicals that are clinically proven to start working within 24 hours (value $10).  The winner will also receive a $10 Starbucks e-gift card.  These are being donated by Kenzie of Chasing my Extraordinary.

Find Kenzie at: Blog//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest//Google+


Gold Necklace with Elephant Pendant from Made in Neverland
$20 Value
Runner-Up Prize
Kenzie of Hello Neverland is donating a Gold necklace with a sweet mini elephant pendent on an 18-inch chain.  Would make a perfect gift!

Find Kenzie and Made in Neverland at: Website//Etsy//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest//Google Plus


Cleansing Face Oil from Stella Kenton
$17 Value
Grand Prize
An Organic Cleansing Face Oil with Rose Hip and Tea Tree. 
Stella Kenton's Rose Hip and Tea Tree Face Cleansing Oils contain a non-clogging moisturizing oil infused with Rose Hip Seed, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Orange Essential Oils. This is a cleansing oil; it helps remove makeup.

Find Stella Kenton at: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Etsy


Personalized Photo Charm Braclet from WiReD Boutique
$32 Value
Grand Prize 
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This personalized customized photo tile charm bracelet would make a wonderful gift!  This bracelet requires four photos from the winner that become part of the scrabble tiles under a polished coating.  It also includes four theme charms along with four birthstone beads of the winner's choice.

Find WiRed Boutique at: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Etsy//Pinterest//Google+

Party in a Box 
$20 Value
Runner- Up Prize
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Take the work out of planning your kid's next party. Party in a Box is a party rental service that comes with everything you need top decorate for your party.  The winner will receive a free party rental. 

Find Party in a Box: Facebook//Website


Spiked Layering Necklace
$20 Value
?? Prize
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Kelly of Your Charmed Life is donating a petite and simple Spiked Layering Necklace.  This necklace is made of pure brass and the chain is a small gold-filled chain.  The spike measures approximately 23mm x 5 mm and you get to pick your own chain size.  

Find Kelly at: Blog//Etsy//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest//
   

Handmade Apron by Grandma "Sew" Fun
$30 Value
Grand Prize
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These cute winter aprons are just a sample of the cute aprons that "Grandma" makes as part of her hand-made shop.  Perfect to keep your clothes clean of spills and stains and look great in the process.

Find Handmade by Grandma on: Facebook

Jamberry Nail Set
$15 Value
Runner-Up Prize
Jamberry

 Gone are the days of nails that chip and flake after only a few days!  Gone are the days of the single colored manicure.  Gone are the mani/pedis that take all afternoon and most of your cash too!  Jamberry nail wraps arm you with style and confidence while demanding very little of your time or money.   Layuah of Rose Gold and Ringlets is donating a nail set.

Find Layuah at: Blog//Website//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest


Wow!  That is quite the list of prizes, in fact more than $600 in prizes!!! 

Please visit all of our great sponsors by clicking on their links, these are all shops we love and support. 
Get ready, as next Monday, December 8th this amazing extravaganza will begin! 

Remember, the more you participate (hint recap all four weeks) the more chances you will receive to be one of the lucky winners.  Even if you don't win it is so much fun looking back and remembering the year, meeting new bloggers and reading other bloggers recaps.   Please remember you need to add the button to your recap posts to help spread the word; just copy and paste the code below the button to add it to your post.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment and ask.