11 Things No One Tells You About Moving in with Your Guy

The story begins…

You meet a wonderful guy. You date, you drink, you eat, you sleep (among other things). You do everything together! Suddenly it seems so much more convenient, if you well…just lived together. It’s an exciting time to create a new chapter in your relationship.  Continue reading

Top 3 Things You Need to Maximize While Being Single

I know you hear it all the time, “be happy with yourself” or “use this time to discover who you are”, but what does that even mean? How do I even begin to discover myself? I like men , chocolate, and Netflix. Case closed.  But is it? NO.

While you’re single, be careful not to waste the following:

fire

Your Happiness – Learn the difference between what is making you happy temporarily as well as continuously. It is easy to get caught up in activities like partying or going out that only offer a short-period of happiness, perhaps take on a new activity that brings you joy everyday.

Your Time – You’re single! This is the most “you” time you’re going to get in your life! You have the free time to be whoever you want to be, make a list of goals you want to accomplish and make it happen!

Your Money – You don’t have to spend money on anyone but yourself right now. You can get your ducks in a row and treat your self!

I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not defined by another person.

–Oscar Wilde

*Featured Image provided Le Love

Why Being Single on Valentine’s Day is a Good Thing

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that can really bring you down if you let it. But why should it? I dare you to give me one valid reason for why Valentine’s Day has the authority to make you feel bad about your independence. Don’t have a significant other? Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

galentine

I’m not one of those “down with Valentine’s Day!!!” people. I don’t think it’s a horrid holiday that is only around so the card and candy companies stay in business. I think Valentine’s Day has a great sentiment to it. It’s a really nice idea that on one day a year, everyone shows each other a little more love than they normally do. Whether you buy your mom flowers or your boyfriend a nice watch, it’s all about pleasing the ones that make your life worth living. But what if you’re single? Does that mean you should miss out on all the fun too?

I have never had a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. Not once. And when I was younger I used to let it bum me out. But I decided this year that I am going to celebrate ME. Now, I don’t mean this in a conceded “I’m awesome and beautiful and the best” kind of way. That’s obnoxious and definitely not the point. No, this year I decided to treat myself (Parks and Recreation reference?)

treat-yo-self2

My Single Valentine’s Day Plans:

Go to Corner Bakery (because food)

See 50 Shades of Grey (awkwardly with friends)

Go out and have a drink (because of 50 Shades of Grey)

Enjoy a beautiful brunch with mimosas the following morning

My point is this: If you’re single, tomorrow is not a day to feel upset about it. Really, you should be thanking your lucky stars that you aren’t in a crappy relationship or stuck with your ex boyfriend. Take the night to enjoy where you are in your life and make it a day that you are excited about!

Go dance to some empowering music, put on comfy clothes, and bake something delicious.
February 14th does not make or break you. I promise.

What They Don’t Tell You About Planning a Wedding

When I got engaged, it was one of the happiest days I can remember. I was so excited to marry this man and I couldn’t wait to start planning the wedding itself. How fun to have engagement parties, photo sessions, bridal showers, pick out decorations and taste cake together? It sounded fabulous! For people with an unlimited income and amount of family members to help plan and execute…maybe. For the every day girl, like me, planning a wedding is a whole lot more complicated than anyone is willing to share. So, I want to talk about the struggle…because it is real.

Its Not Easy
It may sound obvious, but nobody really knows how difficult it is until you actually start planning a wedding. Where do you start? What’s your budget? Where’s the venue? The date? The guests? Suddenly, you are overwhelmed with thoughts of dollar signs, dress choices, venues and you are already getting away from the point of the wedding itself…which is celebrating the love between two people! Do not let the planning of the wedding overshadow the person you’re marrying. Continue reading

The “C” Word

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to have a day off from my busy schedule, all by my lonesome. One of my favorite things to do on days like these, when the rare opportunity strikes, is enjoy a nice relaxing solo lunch out. I feel it’s not only peaceful, but kind of empowering to go to a restaurant alone and be totally comfortable in your own skin. It is also a great opportunity to people watch and let time slow as you observe all of the other lives moving in fast forward around you.

While sitting at the bar of one of my favorite lunch places, (we’ll call it schmita jungle for inconspicous’ sake) I had an unnerving experience that chizzled away at my empathetic soul.
As I sat at the bar, ordered my favorite salad and a glass of Prosecco, I noticed there is something quite different about the bartender before me. She seems… tired. When she turns her back to enter her orders, I see her shirt slip off her shoulder as if it has become a bit baggy on her. She has a bright smile, but her head has a cotton wrap and she appears to be wearing a slightly pale complexion on her young beautiful face. It didn’t take me long to put together that this young vibrant woman had been given a very unfortunate card and was sick. Battling something much bigger than I could ever imagine. Continue reading

From Victim Shaming to Uplifting Survivors

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I find this ironic following the media explosion surrounding the domestic violence against Janay Palmer (Ray Rice’s wife), just last month. Following the media explosion, facebook exploded likewise. Suddenly, everyone had an opinion on Janay or domestic violence, or worse yet, they were suddenly experts and life coaches. Talking about how weak or money hungry she must be to have now married him.

Even now, when the issue is discussed, it’s “Ray Rice’s wife”. Janay has no name, yet when the blame lands, it often lands on her shoulders. Here is one of the main issues our society perpetrates surrounding domestic violence, victim shaming. Victim shaming makes it hard for someone to speak out. Even if a woman in domestic violence wants or needs help, why would someone emotionally shattered and terrified of her abuser ask help of a society that will twist it back on her? Just as the abuser likely does. Next, how do we expect to educate the next generation on this issue if survivors hear those same lines of shaming and are therefore themselves ashamed to speak out?

So, in honor of my last blog; in honor of speaking out, pushing standards, and breaking norms as I suggested we all do I will follow my own advice. I will speak out on my own experiences, and try to shed a small ray of light for anyone that may be willing to listen.

I am a survivor of domestic violence. There, I said it, for all the public. Something I thought I would never do. My friends and family closest to me know, some without ever having been directly told, but announcing it to the world has always been a terrifying prospect. Part of my lack of desire to do so comes from the very victim shaming referenced above. I’ve opened up to people to hear responses of, “what did you do to make him hit you?” “Well, you should have left.” “I would never stand for such a thing.” Such callous responses took away my voice for a long time, causing me to turn inward and sabotage many potential relationships. I chose to be alone, rather than open up myself to anymore pain.

I have survived years of emotional warfare, verbal storms, choking, hitting, and many other unspeakable terrors. I am not a “victim” of domestic violence, I am a survivor. I got away, but could not have done so without the amazing support system that is my family. I can say, with sincere certainty that had it not been for the financial and emotional support of my family, I may have never left and I would likely be dead. But, then what of those women who do not have the resources I am so blessed to have had?

So, here is my little ray of educational light. Before we judge women involved in domestic violence, present or past, let me explain some of the dynamics that cause women to stay. Why I stayed, why many others stay, and, hopefully, by doing so, it will cultivate compassion in others. So that next time the topic arises, we can lift survivors and victims in hope and love, rather than further their pain through misunderstandings. Continue reading

10 Steps to a Healthy Relationship

I want to address the giant elephant in the room that everyone is scared to talk about, relationship problems. That’s right, I said it. And be ready for what I say next…relationships are HARD. I don’t care if you’ve been together one year, or ten. Every day is a constant work in progress.
Most people that enter a relationship are under the impression that because they are in love, everything will flow and come easily, and it just isn’t true. Two people can be head over heels unbelievably, The Notebook status, in LOVE, but if they don’t put work into the relationship it doesn’t have a fighting chance of survival. Now, I am no relationship expert, but I have had some experience, both negative and positive, in this subject and I feel I have learned a thing or two. Here are 10 ways to keep it un Hunet (one hundred for those that don’t speak slang) in your relationship. Continue reading