Archives for April 2013

Maintaining the Butterflies in Your Relationship

In the beginning of a relationship, romance comes easily. Just the fact that she smiled makes your heart go all a flutter. The way he holds your hand in public excites the butterflies in your stomach, making you feel like you’re walking on air. You could stay up all night talking, just happy to be in each other’s company. When you’re exhausted at work the next day, you look back on the evening with no regrets.

What Happened?

Many of these exciting factors begin to fade as time progresses. Although her smile is brilliant, you’re starting to see that she frowns at you more than she smiles, and that’s irksome. You now hate it when he has to hold your hand everywhere you go, like you’re a prized possession that might escape. A full night’s rest means an early goodnight for the two of you. Even missing half an hour of missed sleep makes you grumpy.

So what happened to quell your heart and quiet the butterflies? Why did everything slow down? More importantly, how can you get them back? Many fear that the romance butterflied have fluttered onto a new person and the only way to get them back is to find that new person (meaning you both will soon be on the market again). Those that leave in pursuit of the romance find it, it’s true: but only for awhile. More often than not, they quickly find themselves in the same rut as they were before, searching for romance.

Romance Never Left, You Did

The truth is, romance never leaves a relationship (whether marriage, engagement, or dating). It doesn’t fly away. It’s a part of you. You attach it to the people you care about. It is nurtured by selfless interest in the other person. It’s simply hard to find when you change your focus from the other person in the relationship to yourself.

If you put things like prideful motives and work ahead of the person you care about, you begin to see how that person simply interferes with the way you live your life. You see yourself as nothing more than their “tool” to gain honor or possessions. Or you see your significant other as simply putting up with you. It’s easy to feel used, and then resentful from that perspective. Romance cannot thrive in these conditions because you end up worrying more about your own happiness than the happiness of the other. Self-centered thoughts cage the romance and hide it in the attic.

A Change of Focus

Romance increases as the importance of your significant other increases. When you can say that you honestly care about the other person more than yourself, you’ll do the things that will make his or her heart flutter again. You will go out of your way to make that person happy, making him or her love you even more than they did before. In return, you’ll notice an increased effort to make you happy. No good deed goes unpunished. The more you try to put them at the top of your priority list, the happier you will be together. Suddenly you’ll want to smile at him again. She’ll want to hold onto your hand again. You’ll be happy to spend all your time with each other again.

Romance is built on your sincere ability to think of the other’s welfare before your own. It works from both the man’s and woman’s perspectives. Start with the small and simple things first. Wash the dishes that aren’t your responsibility. Make breakfast when you don’t have to. Bring her flowers. Talk to her instead of watching a movie. Talk to him of your dreams and interests instead of your friends. Do little things for each other. Get interested in each other’s hobbies.

Make it a Habit

As time goes on, you’ll think of more you can do. You’ll find yourself wanting to do more. The more you want to help the other, the more interested you’ll be in him or her again. Romance returns as he or she makes it to the top of your priority list.

Familius is a publisher focused on helping couples be happy. They offer books for couples to find happiness in the things society would call “mundane.” These books for couples talk often of serving each other to find happiness. Sometimes your pride has to take a fall for it, but you’ll be happier for your choices.

Home Control Systems VA Simplify Life

Home Control Systems VA Simplify Life

One of the reasons people love new technology is because it makes our lives simpler and easier. With home control systems VA things are getting even better. New home control solutions are designed to keep you worry-free. Having the ability to control everything happening in your home from any room in the home or even by mobile phone does exactly that. Imagine bringing your date home for a cozy dinner and being able to set the scene from the car on your mobile device. You could instantly set things in motion with a touch on the screen and have a pre-set ambience already waiting when you enter the front door. Everything you want to be engaged is ready and awaiting further input from you. It’s like something from the cartoon ‘The Jetsons or a James Bond movie’. You can dim the lights, start a movie, open curtains, start the oven, have music pre-chosen to be playing on arrival, and much much more. When looking for home control solutions you need to look for these basic qualities – Reliability Simplicity Personalization Support/Service

Your home control system should blend naturally into what you want your lifestyle and home to reflect. Today ‘user-friendly’ is a term that fits into all areas of life. You want it from websites you surf, from gadgets you use in the home, and from your home control system. Home Security: Aside from controlling the heating, lighting, phone, computer, and various other home gadgets these systems can also assist you in the area of home security. When installing the security system for your home be sure to cover threats of all kinds like flood, burglary, smoke, and carbon monoxide. You can have it tailored to deal with the crime trends that occur in your neighborhood. Motion detectors and video monitoring are very popular for home control systems in the area of security.

Benefits of Home Control Systems: These systems are far more than just high-tech luxuries. They can do things like help to control your thermostat while you are gone. This plus lighting control can add up to some very substantial electricity bill savings. You can lock your door from anywhere you happen to be. You can also have it setup that if anyone should ring your doorbell your smart phone would automatically receive an alert. You can sit in your car and view a live video streaming in front of your door from your security camera you had placed there. You will know who is at your door even though you are miles away. If you want you can even speak with that person with one touch of a button. If you know them and want to let them in then you can simply unlock the door and give them access to your home. Amazing. These marvelous systems for controlling home processes can do all this and more. It’s a new day and a new way. Enjoy the perks of this age.

Laundry Detergent Options: Traditional, Green, Homemade, and Soapnuts

Whether or not you enjoy it, cleaning your home, clothing, and yourself is an integral part of life. The United States has a huge market of cleaning products for anything and everything you can think of. The products range from traditional chemical cleaners, to green alternatives, and to all natural remedies. This same description is applicable to the laundry detergent market. While the market is filled with traditional and green remedies, there are other options that include homemade detergent and even soapnuts.

Traditional Detergent

There are many, many different traditional detergents on the market today. Although there are many different types, they are mostly made of the same ingredients. The major differences are the scents, the concentration of ingredients, and whether they are in powder or liquid form. A couple of the more popular brands of detergent are Tide and Gain. Many people choose to use traditional detergents because they do work, and you know that your clothes have been sanitized. However, some people have concerns about the chemicals in them which include napthas, phenols, and artificial fragrances among others. Some of these chemicals are also used as spermicides. Other toxins are thought to cause disorders, cancer, and liver toxicity. Because you will wear the clothing you wash, these toxins can be absorbed by your body. Additionally, many people with allergies and sensitive skin are unable to tolerate the products used in these detergents.

Green Detergent

Because of the recent concern about the chemicals in these laundry detergents. Many companies have begun producing green laundry detergents. These are usually great alternatives. However, some products are actually what is called “greenwashed” as they still contain some unsafe ingredients. Be sure to read the ingredient labels before purchasing one of these detergents. Most people find that in completely safe green products, they can read all of the ingredients on the label; if you have to slow down to sound out a word, its most likely a chemical you don’t want in your home.

Homemade Laundry Soap

Some people choose to forgo purchasing detergents and make their own at home. Making your own laundry soap is a great way to save money and be sure that everything you are using is safe for your family. There are many homemade detergent recipes available, but most use the same few ingredients. One of the most basic ones uses only vinegar, baking soda, and lavender oil. Other recipes include ingredients such as washing soda, borax, and homemade soap.

Soapnut Berries

The final option is an all-natural fruit called a soapnut. These “nuts” are actually berries that have been dried naturally in the sun. They are grown organically in the Himalayas and are a natural antimicrobial, low-sudsing soap. The soap they produce is called saponin and is able to penetrate fabric to lift stains and remove dirt. Additionally, soapnuts are gentle on skin, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and even biodegradable. They are a great option for those looking for a completely natural product that they don’t have to make themselves.

Remodeling on a Budget – Can it be Done?

It is possible to renovate your kitchen and bathroom without emptying your bank account. You can get quality fixtures and appliances at low costs from online stores. Many people rarely think about remodeling their kitchens and bathrooms because they feel it’s stressful and capital intensive. Things have changed and you can now do these things with the little you have.

You can save so much money by doing the work yourself. Labor costs can be quite high so instead of spending a lot on this, it’s better to do it yourself or even encourage members of the family to do the job. You can turn it into a demolition party.Friends and members of the family can help you remove theold itemsin a single day.

Now a full bathroom or kitchen remodel will take more than a day. You need to be prepared for that as well. Set up an alternate kitchen/cooking area and bathroom area. Remember,when factoring in your costs for remodeling to include your time as well. Most of the time remodeling these rooms is not a one or two day job. So plan ahead.

Some of the jobs you may need to outsource include plumbing, carpentry and of course, the electrical work. Some of the tasks may be too complex for anyone who doesn’t have the skills and training. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have done most of the necessary prep work so that when you do hire a skilled professional for these tasks, you will save on the labor time and costs involved., Another benefit to hiring out for these jobs is toavoid the possibility of having to have the same job redone after a few weeks or months.

One of the most time-consuming and oftentimes challenging aspects of kitchen and bathroom remodeling is choosing the fixtures, colors and tiles for the work. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to these items. For example do you want an old style farmhouse sink or a vessel sink in the bathroom. Perhaps red is your favorite color, but which shade is the right one for that wall in the kitchen? Is it better to go with a neutral color or design, or to be bold and loud in your scheme?

Of course there are advantages to each idea, so the first step should be deciding the necessary items that have to be replaced and then choosing the actual pieces based on both the color scheme and design ideas you have. Shopping or even just browsing online can give you literally thousands of ideas. One place you can find a variety of quality kitchen and bathroom items is at sinksgallery.com.

If you are thinking of how to add more value to your home, kitchen and bathroom remodeling are certainly some of the best things to do. However, make sure you count the costs thoroughly before you start demolishing the old structure. This will give you an idea of the things you can afford,what can or should be replaced right away and what may have to wait and a starting point for your project. Set up a time and money plan to give yourself an idea of what to expect and most of all remember to not over-estimate yours or your families skills. Remodels are notorious for taking a lot longer than originally planned. Howeverwith proper planning you could have that new kitchen or bathroom at a rate you can afford in a time frame you can live with.

Top 5 Stress Busting Foods

Top 5 Stress Busting Foods by Erin Dow, Expert Chef, Guiding Stars Licensing Company

 

stress-busting-foodsA stressed-out person’s relationship with food generally falls into one of two camps. Some eat to soothe themselves, gravitating toward starchy carbs because of their quick-acting effects on endorphin levels in the brain. Others tend to lose interest in eating, their appetites negatively impacted by overwhelming feelings or out of control schedules that don’t support regular meals and snacks.

 

Whether you’ve lost your appetite or you can’t control it, understanding the physiology of taste–and its effect on how satisfying the foods you eat are–can help. The human brain is wired to seek out a variety of nutrients from the foods we eat. Our tongues can differentiate between hot and cold, salty and sweet, bitter and sour, and even levels of savoriness. Our mouths are also very sensitive to consistencies, explaining dishes and meals that combine various textures seem most satisfying. So, it stands to reason that this natural tendency ensures that the human body will be exposed to a wide variety of nutritional opportunities.

 

A well-balanced diet provides our brains with the right fuel to operate at peak performance. But when stress puts a wrench in the works–either by eating too much of one thing or not enough of anything–the entire balance can be tipped. It’s a hard cycle to break after it’s started.

 

So when you’re stressed and your diet is suffering for it, my advice is to prioritize small portions of whole foods with varied visual and textural characteristics and flavor profiles.  You can combine them into a meal or just nibble on combinations of them as a snack. The goal is to keep things from getting boring or hyper-focusing on one type of food.

 

If you have a small appetite, you won’t have to eat much; but, the small amount you consume will boost your brain and body’s ability to cope with stress. If you’re a stress-eater, a variety of foods tricks your brain into feeling satiated quicker, so you’ll eat less overall. Plus, the foods you’ve eaten will have covered a wider range of nutrients, meaning you’re on your way to breaking the cycle that got you there in the first place.

 

These are my top five stress-busting foods. As someone who is apt to not eat when stressed, I’ve chosen easy items that can be grabbed on the run. But I’ve also chosen nutrient dense foods using the Guiding Stars Food Finder, a handy tool that rates nutrient density of foods with a three star system at GuidingStars.com, meaning I’ll get the most nutrition out of each calorie I’ve eaten.

 

·      Nuts: Omega-3s help the body maintain a lower blood pressure during stressful situations.

 

·      Kiwi: A high Vitamin C content helps reduce stress hormone levels in the bloodstream.

 

·      Oatmeal: A small serving of complex carbohydrates can boost serotonin levels, leaving you more relaxed.

 

·      Dark Chocolate: Studies show that regular consumption of a modest amount of dark chocolate can help reduce anxiety in those prone to it.

 

·       Strawberries: High in magnesium, strawberries can help reduce anxiety and irritability.

 

About Erin Dow

Erin Dow is the mother of three children, ages 11, 10, and 6 and is the Expert Chef for Guiding Stars, a nutritional navigation system that evaluates the healthfulness of foods based on nutrient density. She consults with school nutrition programs on healthy kid-approved recipe and menu development with a focus on scratch cooked foods. Her career as a chef spans fifteen years. Find recipes and more at http://guidingstars.com/.