Category: Love & Relationships

Are Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres Calling it Quits?

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 by No Comments

One of the problems with celebrity life is that the media often jumps in with conjecture based on rumor. It’s enough to make me think I’d never want to be a celebrity.

Now rumors are floating about that Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are headed for divorce. What makes it worse is the fact that de Rossi may have been covertly taping the couple’s fights.

I don’t know about you, but I sure would hate to think some of my most private moments, including fights, could be plastered across the tabloids and social media. According to In Touch, de Rossi taped the violent fights with a plan to exploit Ellen if they should ever break up.

In her defense, who would believe Ellen capable of a violent fight? She always seems so understanding and easy to relate to!

“Portia secretly taped some of their fights. She was drunk. Then she threatened to expose Ellen as controlling and manipulating.” — In Touch

According to the same insider source, it seems the fighting is over Portia thinking Ellen had an affair with one of their mutual friends before Portia went into rehab last May.

This isn’t the first time divorce rumors have swirled around the couple, but in the past Ellen was always quick to dispel the speculation. This time, both Portia and Ellen are quiet, which further stirs the speculation pot. Years ago Ellen agreed to go to couples therapy, and has been willing to put work into making the relationship work.

I don’t know the whole story, but I do know that no marriage is happy all the time. However, sticking your head in the sand and pretending there aren’t problems, when there are, doesn’t work either. Strong relationships can survive these types of things, but it  takes work.

Only time will tell how all this sorts out.

Photo credits: Domi Carole

How to Separate Family & Business

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 by No Comments

Have you ever had a friend or relative put in a good word for you with a potential employer that they worked for? Have you ever been asked to perform a little nepotism on the job? Or worse still, have you ever made the ill-advised decision to go into business with a sibling or best friend?

Bad move unless you have a clear-cut plan in writing to separate business from family.

Business with family is nothing I would ever recommend, it never works out like you planned it. I found this out the hard way and will never do it again because, for me, my relationship with my family is more important than any business deal could ever be.

It ended badly with people feeling cheated and disrespected and there was lots of collateral damage done to feelings. If it’s too late and you are already neck deep in a business arrangement with a family member, here are some ways to separate business from pleasure.

The first thing you need to do is set ground rules. Before you ever go into business with a family member, you should write down a business plan. If you are close enough to be running into each other at family functions, you need to work out a plan to save the relationship, even if the business goes belly up. You don’t want to lose loved ones in a business deal.

There are a few details that need to be hammered out ahead of time before any business ever takes place.

Who is in charge?

I know it is a slippery slope and especially between siblings, but there has to be a clear boss in charge. A clear hierarchy needs to be in place before anything else happens. If not, you may have a lot of hurt feelings based on assumptions. Someone might assume they are in charge because they are the oldest or because they thought of the original business idea.

A boss needs to be named and everyone involved needs to sign off on it in the beginning.  No handshake deals among family; it must be in writing, very business like to keep the whole thing professional. People are promoted based on doing something worthy of advancement, not on who’s the oldest or thought of what.

What happens if the business fails?

Decide from the beginning how you will define failure and success of the business and agree on it. Success needs to be defined from the start and people need to know what the give up and go home point is. You don’t want one person willing to jump ship if the company isn’t in the black after 3 months and another who is willing to work to the bone for 3 years.

Decide how disagreements will be handled and decisions will be made. 

Sooner or later, there will be a disagreement on some decision about the company. The best way to handle this is to appoint an impartial mediator, who is not a relative, to hand down decisions to avoid resentment. This will help keep all decisions professional and not personal.

Have you ever worked with family? What were some problems that you faced in doing so?

Photo Source: Kamal Zharif

Link Round-up: Healthy Recipes, LUSH, Women’s Service Day, and More

Posted on Jul 22, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has healthy recipes, favorites from LUSH, information about women’s service day, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for copycat Dove chocolate vanilla ice cream bars.

Songbirds and Buttons shared favorite hair products from LUSH.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make DIY quotable t-shirts.

link ru open faced pulled chicken parmesan sandwiches

The Suburban Soapbox shared a recipe for an open-faced pulled chicken Parmesan sandwich.

Kenarry explained how to get involved in women’s service day.

Crystal & Co. taught us how to throw a kids’ birthday party on short notice.

Domestic Mommyhood shared easy craft projects using recycled up upcycled cans.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and The Suburban Soapbox

How Flextime Can Make Your Family Stronger

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 by No Comments

Does your job allow for flextime? Before working from home, I only worked in very hands on customer interactive types of positions so I had never heard of flextime. Today, so many jobs are high tech and done digitally and online that flextime is a very common alternative for many people.

Between the high cost of gasoline, the cost of overhead to keep offices running at maximum every day, and the fact that many working parents both work, flextime has become a very common and viable alternative to the typical 9-5 work day of the past.

If you have never experienced flextime, you may be asking yourself, what is flextime? Flextime is a scheduling arrangement that permits variations in an employee’s starting and departure times, but does not change the total number of hours worked in a week. Flextime may be applied to full-time and part-time positions.

It all depends on whether or not a job can be done remotely. For instance, you can’t build houses remotely. You can, however, do customer service from anywhere in the world.

Flextime may be conditional on department operational needs and may require that staff be present or accessible during a certain core period of hours each workday. Core time may also include a requirement for staff to be present during a particular day of the week. Core time may be necessary in any flextime arrangement.

We had never heard of flextime until a few years ago, my husband was working in another state due to a downsizing. We were doing the whole commuter marriage thing and it was definitely not working having a husband/daddy who we only saw on the weekends.  Two days a week is not long enough time for a 2 and 4-year-old to get their Daddy fill.

So one day, out of pure desperation, my husband inquired about being able to work one day a week from home. Human Resources said sure. I think they were confused as to why he hadn’t asked a year earlier.

That was 4 years and 2 jobs ago. Currently, he works in office 3 days a week and on any Mondays and Fridays that he needs to be in office, but for the most part he works from home on Mondays and Fridays, which is amazing compared to only seeing him at home 2 days a week.

The girls are grateful, I am grateful and I know he is thankful to not have to drive the 2 hours each way on those Mondays and Fridays.

Flextime saved our family; without it I am not sure that we could have survived the commuter marriage years. It was hard on me to parent the girls on my own 5 days a week, it was hard to watch him go every Sunday and pick up the pieces of our girls hearts every week as they fell apart, and it was hard for them to understand why he had to go.

It was the hardest on him having to miss so many things and hear about the moments second hand from me. Our family was in crisis and flextime saved it. Now, my girls know their Daddy will be home every night for dinner and every weekend, will be home to drop them at school on Mondays and Fridays, and will never miss another important moment of event in their lives. Flextime did that.

Photo Source: NKeppol

How to Save Your Relationship from Complacency

Posted on Jul 18, 2014 by No Comments

Can a marriage be saved if one partner wants to leave the marriage? What happens when you have been married for a few years, 10 or 20, and suddenly the relationship begins to feel more like one of roommates than lovers. It feels platonic and no longer passionate.

With busy careers, you barely spend any time together and you never have sex anymore – it is easy to loose that loving feeling. You’re comfortably situated in old married coupledom. What happens when you can take or leave your partner?

The problem occurs when one half of the couple is happy being complacent and the other person wants more. Maybe he is not comfortable at all in this new role as your roomie, who occasionally has sex with you and hardly talks to you at all anymore. It’s not fun and the attraction has given way to the day-to-day drudgery of real life.

Then what? He’s done. He doesn’t even feel like you are worth fighting for anymore. He is perfectly content to just cut his loses and move along. Only you are holding on for dear life. You signed up for ’til death to us part, not I’ll hold out until I get bored and then I am outta here.

But you’ve quit trying. One of you has decided that comfortable silences and occasional awkward sexual encounters are fine to satisfy your companionship needs but the other is kicking and screaming, wanting more.

The tedium of the day-to-day marriage routine can become too much and overwhelming for some couples. The early days of excitement and all consuming passion and sexual attraction are slowly replaced by comfort, which is great. Being comfortable being yourself, being comfortable enough to bare your soul, comfortable silences and comfort in knowing you are unconditionally loved are all comforts everyone should experience.

But there has to be a happy medium in which you are completely comfortable with one another but not yet to the point where you completely quit trying.

Add the stress of children, mortgages and the regular growing pains of marriage and you just might find the stress of daily life causing you to wonder if you are committed to one another or even attracted to one another anymore. Then you begin to question whether any of it is worth it anymore.

The gap widens and pretty soon you are not intimate with one another anymore and neither of you cares; you’re both avoiding conflict all together and taking separate vacations or worse considering an affair. These are warning signs that the relationship is in real trouble.

The problem is that once you hit this point, it could be too late for many couples. Some people prefer to just cut their losses completely.

Here are a few ways to rekindle the romance in a complacent marriage.

Date night or couples weekend getaway.

Go out as a couple and be a couple – not mommy, daddy or two people who cohabitate. Get dressed up for one another. Try and just clear your mind of all the daily bullshit.

Spend some time alone talking and really listening to one another.

Let the kids spend the night at Grandma’s and go get a hotel and just spend the night focused on one another. Talk, like you used to when you first met, listen like every word matters. Because it does. It will open up the lines of communication and you will gain insight into how your partner is feeling and bonus, they will feel special and heard.

Praise specifically.

Tell your partner what you love about him specifically; his quirky sense of humor, her contagious laugh. We forget to tell people how we feel after we’ve been with them for so long. Make a point to tell them.

Let go on inhibitions.

Once the romantic flame goes out, it’s hard to get a fire burning if you’ve lost the spark, so try thinking outside the box. Maybe start with holding hands. Give long passionate kisses and see where they lead. Your partner wants to know you find them sexually attractive not feel like you look at them like a piece of furniture. Just go with it.

How do you keep the spark alive in a long term relationship?

Photo Source: FotoStalker

Link Roundup: Mason Jar Drinking Glasses, Brownies, Friendship, and More

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has sweets, friendship tips, summer projects, and more.

Crafts by Amanda taught us how to make pretty painted mason jar drinking glasses.

A Virtuous Woman shared tips for building and maintaining friendships with other women.

Simply Kelly Designs shared 10 creative ways to display your Instagram or square photos.

link_ru_chocolate_coconut_brownies

It Bakes Me Happy shared a recipe for chocolate coconut brownies.

Carolyn’s Homework had a guest blogger who shared some of her favorite summer projects.

It’s Always Ruetten showed us how to make a beautiful masculine birthday card.

Army Wife to Suburban Life shared tips on how to enjoy the beach with kids.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and It Bakes Me Happy

How Real Sex After Children Differs from Sex on the Big Screen

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 by No Comments

Ever notice how sex in the movies is nothing like sex in real life? The other day I was listening to the radio and the DJs wee talking about whether or not all women fake orgasms, from time to time. The men DJs really thought that the louder and more vocal a woman was in bed, the more she was enjoying the experience.

They believed this, like most men, because in the movies that is the gold standard by which pleasure is measured; moaning and groaning. But honestly, I think most women know that if you are experiencing anything in an extreme, pain or pleasure, you can barely speak, never mind scream obscenities at the top of your lungs.

This is why I couldn’t muster more than a whisper when giving birth but that is not the only difference between real sex and sex in the movies.

Sex in the movies is beautiful and graceful. Bodies are tan and taut. In real life, people are not at their peak but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be loved any less. If I could count the times we’ve both gone right and conked heads, slammed teeth, pulled too hard or fell off the bed; it would be a lot.

It’s more like a comedy of errors than a romantic interlude. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great but it’s not sexy to anyone who’s not directly involved.

In the movies, sex lasts for hours and then you get a sip of water and go again in the shower. In reality, especially if you are married with children, sex lasts about 15 minutes. Foreplay is a luxury that usually gets interrupted and if we are being honest, hours long sex just leaves you sore and chafed.

When a woman orgasms, she screams out for God and moans in beautiful operatic style. Yeah, that never happens because when you orgasm your toes curl, you look like you just had a stroke and you are pretty much silent because you can’t breathe.

If your woman is orgasming like in the movies, chances are she’s not orgasming at all.

Orgasms always happen. No, they do not. Sometimes people fall asleep, sometimes you’re really just too tired and other times, your husband just used his dad’s favorite catch phrase and you just shriveled up and died inside and no amount of lube can bring you back to where you were a minute ago; the same thing happens when a half-asleep 5 year-old finds her way into the bedroom and asks if one of you can wipe her butt.

In the movies, it’s sexy; in real life, not so much. You haven’t been waxed since late summer. You both had chili for dinner. The baby just puked on you and he hasn’t brushed his teeth since breakfast. Tomorrow’s laundry day so you are wearing a stained nursing bra and grannie panties.

This is not a super sexy fantasy. This is functional.

Photo Source: Kainr

Jessica Simpson Married to Eric Johnson

Posted on Jul 8, 2014 by No Comments

Jessica Simpson has been in the news for years for all kinds of reasons. She’s been known as the girl in the Daisy Dukes, and the woman who gained weight. In fact, most recently she’s been in the spotlight for her amazing weight loss following the birth of her two children.

Faithful fans have also been following where and when she’d be getting married to fiancé and former NFL star, Eric Johnson.

There had been talk of a wedding in Italy, but a few months back that idea was nixed. Now the guessing is over, because Jessica Simpson tied the knot over the 4th of July weekend at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California.

The 33-year-old bride walked the aisle wearing a custom Carolina Herrera gown in front of more than 250 guests that included friends and family. Simpson’s parents, Joe and Tina Simpson, her sister Ashlee and her fiancé Evan Ross were there along with celebrities including Jessica Alba and Cash Warren.

The couple’s year-old son, Ace, was the ring bearer and their daughter, Maxwell, who is now 2, was the flower girl. The toddler was accompanied by Simpson’s 5-year old nephew, Bronx.

All I can say is I hope they remembered to tie the rings to the ring-bearing pillow, because I have memories of attending a wedding where whispers of “he dropped the rings” spread through the church faster than gossip spreads across the Internet.

Simpson and Johnson had been introduced by mutual friends four years ago and instantly fell in love. In May, Simpson posted “I can’t wait to marry you!!! Best 4yrs of my life!!!” on Instagram.

Jessica has been successful as the Weight Watcher’s spokesperson, as a singer/actress, and as an entrepreneur. I wish her all the best in her new marriage and hope she can bring that same spark of success for an enduring relationship, because we all know that happy relationships take work…even fairytale romances.

Photo credits: India Vs Pakistan

Professional Cuddler Fills a Need – and It’s Not What You Think

Posted on Jul 4, 2014 by No Comments

The world is a lonely place, much lonelier than in past generations. So many of us live virtual lives and, if we happen to be single, don’t get the opportunity for real skin to skin interaction on even the most innocent level.

Proving that thinking outside the box pays off, Samantha Hess of Portland, Oregon, is making a living at filling the cuddling needs of lonely people.

Just cuddling, no “funny business”.

She has a website, CuddleUpToMe.com, where she introduces herself and invites people to hold hands, cuddle on the couch, or listen to soft music while curled up in bed.

Hess has a FAQ section where she spells out the rules. Everyone must be dressed, although boxers and a tee shirt are fine for men. She stresses that you should be comfortable but that nudity or sexual touch are not acceptable. She goes on to say that if a man has a “natural reaction” they will simply change positions and not focus on it.

There is also a short blurb about hygiene requirements — and you totally can’t blame her for that.

The sessions run $30 for each thirty minute period but she does say that she will stay overnight for an agreed upon price. She stays busy. New customers can expect a two week wait before she has time to do the first session.

I’d be concerned about safety, if nothing else, but she doesn’t seem to be. She tells someone else where she will be going, and what time and then calls them with a unique safe word when the appointment is over. I still think that is too risky for my tastes, thank you.

What do you think? Is it brilliant or crazy?

photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc