ROSES ARE RED – AND OVERRATED

Boys- are you thinking about buying your girlfriend, fiancé, or wife some roses and chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Don’t. Roses are over played and just seem like you are falling into the category of people that crack under pressure by this commercial holiday. Instead, get creative in your present to your woman! Here are my favorite options…

Flowers. If you are going to go the flower route take advantage of the “farm-to-table” concept. I don’t mean go to a farm and pick your own flowers. I mean when purchasing flowers, take into consideration where the come from and the ones that are in season, because they will look the best. If you wanted the most beautiful roses that weren’t shipped from across the country, then Valentine’s Day should be rescheduled from February 14th to mid-spring through fall. Also, take into consideration the fragrance of the flowers. After all, this is a sensual holiday.

7d9839dfab5014f028d2a706b8ec4b76

Candy, Chocolates, and Food. Just like smell, taste is another strong sense that you want to trigger on Valentine’s Day. Instead of buying a heart shaped boxes from Whitman’s, try making something that will impress your significant other. If you really want to impress your significant other, come up with a menu that is comprised of foods that are known for their aphrodisiac qualities! Foods like honey, chocolate, and oysters are associated with sparking reactions of energy, love and passion.

c772b5b9bee34ea7c5e8896e4d7a7614

Jewelry. Staying in theme with the “farm-to-table” (farm fresh flowers) and DIY (making a romantic dinner yourself, instead of going out to dinner) purchasing jewels that are handmade are perfect for this kind of holiday. I can’t tell you how much time, heart and soul my mother, Laurie (owner of Bare & Me) puts into each piece that she handcrafts. From her Keepsake Pendants to her Heart and Arrow necklace, your significant other would be lucky to have one of these in her jewelry armoire! (Also, girls! Don’t forget about you mothers, sisters, and friends this year!) They deserve one too! Click the link “SHOP” at the top to view my mom’s collections. You won’t regret it! 😉

il_570xN.708170884_7das

I have a challenge for you. Don’t let people tell you that Valentine’s Day is the only day to treat you significant other, mothers, dads, sisters, brothers, and friends to something special. Telling someone constantly that you love them and appreciate them is what makes the feel special. Surprising them with small gifts here and there will have a bigger impact than a diamond on Valentine’s Day. Spread the love! Remind each person in your life that you hold close to your heart, and tell them that you love them…everyday up until Valentine’s Day…through your actions and through your words. Then, once you see how easy that was, continue to do so throughout the entirety of the year! We love you guys!

XOXO,

Jessica Calkins

I Love You & I Want You…

unnamed

Lately, Matt and I have been very busy and have had a hard time making time for each other. We both have been promoted at our jobs, we have recently moved into a house of our own, (with a house comes larger bills and responsibilities), we are planning a wedding, we have our growing nine and a half month old puppy and ten and a half month old kitty, and friends and family that deserve our attention and our time! Our relationship has gone through many ups and downs, just like any relationship…However, we are consciously making vast efforts to make time for what is most important, each other. Here are some of our tips that we’ve been trying to implement throughout our weekly schedules.

#1 Remind each other that you are their number one priority. When Matt and I decided that we liked each other and we wanted to spend more and more time together, life was easy. We didn’t have a house, bills, a wedding to plan, animals to care for…It was literally Matt and I. All we did was focus on each other and make each other a priority in our lives. Then we added an apartment to the equation. This came along with bills and stress. Then we brought home Rosie and Moe…and the list goes on. When our relationship grew, so did our responsibilities and stress levels. We recognized that we were putting all the things in front of our relationship and that we had lost sight of why we were even here in the first place, each other. When you are going throughout your week, make sure to remind each other that you are their number one priority and everything else isn’t as important.

#2 Leave work at work. This is a big one! What a lot of people don’t understand is work is not what defines you. It took Matt and me a while to figure this one out. Both Matt and I work in stressful situations. For Matt – he is a teacher for the county and works with special needs students. This job requires an incredible amount of patience and compassion and can leave you feeling stressed by the end of the day. For me – I work in an environment where there are very high standards expected out of me, which I love. Every day is a challenge and learning to balance certain aspects can be stressful. However, when Matt and I come home from work, we leave our issues and stress at the door. Maybe if one of us had a bad day, we will talk about it with each other and help each other de-stress. For example, if Matt knows that I had a bad day at work, he will clean the house for me because he knows I hate coming home to a dirty house. He loves me…

#3 Organize your bills and responsibilities around the house and write them down. Money and bills are a huge factor in a marriage or any relationship that will eventually cause you stress. People will tell you that money doesn’t matter and love is the only thing that matters. That’s not true. In our world, money is what provides you with food, shelter, and peace of mind. It is important to keep in mind that money is only an object and it can’t make you happy, but it will stress you out. What Matt and I are currently doing to organize our bills and responsibilities is importing them into this App on our iPhones and iPad. Once everything is organized, then the fun begins. In order for us to accomplish our goals financially, we have been finding fun and entertaining ways of saving and spending our money.

#4 Learning how to fight. This is another important one. For me, when I get angry, I need space. If Matt keeps arguing with me, I won’t back down. He is the same way. We are VERY stubborn. What we have done to eliminate that aspect of arguing is give each other time and space away. Sometimes, it will only take Matt and I five minutes to smile at each other and then it’s over. Fighting in a relationship is normal, in fact, if you’re not fighting, there is something wrong. What the tricky part about relationships is learning how each other fight and learning what you need to not continue to fight. Learning how to fight has been one of Matt and I’s goals since the beginning of our relationship and we are perfecting it every single day.

#5 Giving each other time and space for yourself and friends. Anyone who lives with their significant other understands what I mean. Spending 100% of your time with your significant other while you are not at work can get on your nerves. It is really important that you make time not only for your friends, but for yourself. In my first point, I said that making each other your number one priority is really important. But there is one exception: yourself. You are always your number one priority, you have been in a relationship with yourself for a very long time. Maybe you just want to relax and get your nails done. Maybe he just wants to go throw a couple baskets in the court for a while. Spending time away from each other only makes you miss that person even more. When Matt and I spend time away from each other, I feel accomplished because I did what I wanted for myself and I can’t wait to get home to see Matt. It makes our time together more special.

#5 Show that you love and want each other constantly. When you are alone with each other, make sure to not only tell each other that you love them, but that you want them. Feeling wanted and needed is something that every human being craves. Reminding each other, whether it is through words or a kiss, do it passionately. Even holding that kiss for an extra couple of seconds can do a lot.

There are a lot of ways of making time or creatively using your time with your significant other. You can even make doing dishes together fun. Or maybe instead of eating dinner in front of the TV on the sofa, you set the dinner table and enjoy each other’s company. Everything that you do with each other doesn’t have to be romantic, however, making that extra effort and emphasizing that time with each other is important to you, is key!

Xo,

Jessica Calkins