I Love You & I Want You…

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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

 

On My Way Down the Aisle: Aisle Style

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There isn’t anything more exciting and nerve racking than searching for that perfect white dress for your wedding. I couldn’t tell you how many “Say Yes to the Dress” reruns I have watched or the amount of wedding magazines I have read to find my perfect dress. No matter how many reruns I watch or how many magazines I read, it does not make my decision of finding a dress any easier. I’ve researched what dress looks best on my body, color, and budget; all major factors when choosing a dress. However, researching will only take you as far as a pretty dress that looks great on you. The most ESSENTIAL aspect of choosing a dress, it was feels right. Can you see yourself walking down the aisle in this dress?

As I’ve said before, I am not too traditional of a bride. I wanted a dress that was unique but fit my personal style and the style of the wedding. I was lucky enough to fly to Los Angeles and search for the perfect dress! (Thanks, Mom!) My sister, my mother and I flew to LA last October. What brought us to LA was the Trunk Show for Grace Loves Lace. I’m sure most of you are familiar with Grace Loves Lace, one of the most unique, wedding dress designers from Australia. I had my eye on a few of their dresses for a while, even before I was engaged! Anyway, we decided to plan a few visits to small boutiques in the LA area as well, one of them being Lovely Bride Wedding Boutique. Lovely Bride has several shops; even one in Washington D.C.!

My first appointment of the trip was at Lovely Bride and I couldn’t have been more ecstatic to start my journey on finding my dress with my mom and sister. When we first arrived, we all looked around the shop and picked out our favorites. I was really open to trying on any dress since it was my first appointment. As a bride, I didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself because I wanted this to be a fun experience for all of us. So, I tried on all types of dresses of different shapes, lengths, and styles. One after the other, I would walk out and we would talk about what we liked and what we didn’t like about each dress. After a few, I tried on this beautiful lace gown (I don’t want to give too much away because Matt reads this blog!) that made me feel like a bride for the first time. As I pulled back the curtain to show my mom and sister, we could all see that it was a top contender. I still had a few dresses to try on, but that dress was definitely in the back of my mind for the remainder of the appointment. After I had tried on all the dresses, I wanted to put that beautiful lace gown back on. I’m looking at myself in the mirror with only my wedding dress consultant in the room with me. I kept telling her, “this is it…THIS IS IT!” Again, I pull back the curtain to show my mom and sister and tears start streaming down my face. I felt so beautiful and knew that I wanted to walk down the Aisle and marry Matt in this dress. It couldn’t have been more perfect for me…except one thing. I did the one this you are NOT supposed to do when trying on a wedding dress. I tried on a dress that was WAY out of my budget. I was upset to say the least. I could never spend this amount of money on a dress that I was going to wear once in my life. I would never forgive myself.

We decided to hang up that gorgeous dress and leave. The way that dress made me feel was something I’d never felt before, and it was so, incredibly hard to let it go. We headed toward the Grace Loves Lace Trunk Show and were feeling optimistic about what we were going to find. Once we arrived, there was an extremely long line to try on dresses that weren’t even in your size. There was one dress of every style of dress that they had, which was maybe 20-25 dresses. Feeling discourage, we left. It just didn’t feel right.

We ended up flying back to Washington, D.C. without a dress in hand. I have tried on a couple dresses here and have found a very close second but that dress is ALWAYS on my mind. I have recently enter a contest on Instagram for Lovely Bride! They are giving away $5,000 toward any purchase of their dresses. Of course, there are thousands of beautiful brides entering…but there is always a chance, right? Wish me luck!

Xo,

Jessica Calkins

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Are Cell Phones Bad For You?

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This morning I woke up to my cell phone alarm going off right in my face. My cell phone was connected to my charger which was connected to my computer..which was also, very close to my face.

I thought to myself, it probably is really unhealthy that I am so close to things like my cell phone and computer throughout all hours of the night. Then I looked into it and found that the amount of radiation in our phones should be lowered because it is exposing us to way too much of it.

Maybe it is not that the radiation levels in our phones need to be lowered, but that we need to stop being on them at all hours of the day. Now, I understand working and having your phone on you. But having it right next to you while you are sleeping at night could cause health problems in the long run.

Not only that, but cell phones and media have caused many relationships to have issues. Is a cell phone truly the only way that we can maintain relationships now a days? So much that when you come face to face with a person and you do not know what to talk about.

If it weren’t for social media, cell phones, and technology, many people would not have the pleasure of ever meeting, so it does go to show that they are important in some ways. On the other hand, when cell phones take up any conversation you can possibly had, thats when you know there is something wrong.

Speaking from personal experience, I constantly find myself buried in my phone and the people around me get very angry. I have grown up in the age of technology and sometimes its the most casual thing that I can fall back on. I pull my phone out during awkward conversations, I pull it out to get through a class, and I pull it out to type in a question on google, because lord knows I cannot actually ask a real human being.

We have become so used to technology that we have forgotten what real life communication is. I believe that, yes, cell phones and media, have really come a long way and it shows lots of promise for the future. But, in the future will we just be a bunch of robots who are charged every night?

If you think you sound like a broken record…

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Okay darlings… If you think you sound like a broken record just change your song.

I can not tell you how many times I have heard this statement from women and myself,  I think it is just our instinct to try to show the crazy male that they are wrong, insensitive or just a tool.  If you find that you are continually  trying to sell the same old thing, then maybe it is time for you to change your thinking.

First of all, you should never be with anyone that drives you that crazy or maybe you should? It is your call, your life.  Maybe that is what keeps you together. The strong pull of indifference. If you choose to stay with someone who you feel does not understand where you are coming from, then change your thinking, play a different song. SHOCK them by being different, someone new. Sometimes, we all need a checkup of our usual patterns and sometimes that is what keeps us where we are in life. I think a little crazy is good. Take a chance, step outside of that nice box you have made for yourself…

For me, I want to be a person that is understanding of others needs but sometimes I can not get past myself and what I want to change. I have made a pack with my inner most sacred being to try to not be so predictable. I want to play a new song and dance.

The great laws of physics and chemistry dictate who you are attracted to, who you love and what you do to sustain the friendship, relationship or just a sheer acquaintance. I find that if you have the same old, same old in life it is just mundane and everyday. Something void in you that keeps you searching. We all have that instinct to fight for what we believe in, love, the needy or just righting a wrong. I happen to be the person that will go to the ends of the earth for what I believe in, a lioness mother protecting her cubs or just standing up for what I think it right. I actually get into a lot of trouble because usually,  I do not think before I speak. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and say whatever I feel when I feel it. I am salty at times and I do not apologize for that, it is me. Be true to yourself and follow your instincts, most of the time they lead you where you need to be. That inner voice is your conscious and loves you. Be true to it and yourself but just try to change it up. Look for the good in the ugly, the silver lining or just stare at the stars one night to let you see how big your universe really is.

Dream big and follow your endless possibilities but try not to stay in your usual comfort zone… Be kind and loving always, be crazy but not to crazy, need but not needy, love endlessly. That is truly the only thing that really counts. Just change your song and stop being a broken record.

What Does Beauty Mean To You…

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You don’t have to try so hard…

I myself, have a perfection problem that I deal with on a daily basis. It is not so much that I want to be beautiful, young again or even the most liked. I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin and be happy with that.

We live in a cynical world made up of outward appearance, the clothes you wear or even plastic surgery pressures. I just turned 47 this past June and I really noticed all of the fine lines on my face. At first, it was a rush to the store to find the creams that would take it all away, make my skin that of a 22-year-old girl. I have even tried Botox, twice. Which, I admit, I like and trust me it works. A little embarrassing to admit this to all of you, but the truth is the truth.

But, will I go to far I ponder?

Am I setting a bad example for my two girls that are so beautiful just being themselves?

We all struggle, even men have bad hair days we all feel fat in everything we put on at times. Is this because we feel the need to impress our friends, friends of friends or worse than that a boy or girl, man or women?

Last night, I could not sleep and a video of Colbie Collait’s “try” came on.  As I watched this sincere, reality of what women go through on a daily basis including me, the flood of emotion was overwhelming. I thought to myself, why do I try so hard? Why do all women and men try so hard? Physical beauty will fade but the beauty of your soul will always be the legacy that you leave, not how you looked or how skinny you are or even the clothes you wear.

So, for the month of September we will be featuring women, men and children’s opinions of “what beauty means to them”. I think it will be fun and also interesting to see the different perspectives of different generations, gender and variations of beauty.

PLEASE join us. We want your opinions. 

What we need.

Please send us a photo of you.

2-3 paragraphs of what beauty means to you.

That’s it. Simple.

LOVE SUCKS!

Ladies, sometimes relationships aren’t meant to work out.

Sometimes, you deserve more.

Sometimes, you overanalyze too much.

And sometimes, its just not meant to be.

Do not force something that isn’t supposed to happen.

What so many women (me included) fail to understand is that we should not be with someone who does not want to be with us. It really really sucks to know that someone isn’t as into you as you are into them, but why would you want to fake love? Yeah, it sucks.

Having said that. Stop wallowing in your heartbreak, Stop sleeping all day, and please please please…. STOP CRYING. Don’t waste those tears. The more you think about how hurt you are, the longer you remain damaged.

What to do instead? Have fun!

Go out with the friends that make you the happiest. Think about all the other things in your life that make you feel lucky. Put things into perspective, because there are a lot worse things than another boy who got away. Like the song lyrics from Taylor Swift’s “Just Another Picture to Burn”, you did not get your perfect fantasy, and this guy probably loves himself more than he could ever love you. So burn that picture, and get on with your life.

Always remember, the best revenge is happiness. You really are going to be okay!