Romantic Ideas: Classic
Jun19

Romantic Ideas: Classic

  Romance. Most everyone would like more of it. If you are looking for a classic method of ramping up the romance hopefully some of the following tips will strike a cord and you and your partner will be feeling the love. Spread red Rose petals all over the bedroom.   What could be more classic than a fine gold locket with your photo inside? (Maybe a photo of the two of you.)   Bring home one small, unexpected gift each week. Hide them in lunches, luggage, purses or left on front seat of car, dinner plate, their favourite chair.   Write a classic, romantic, passionate, handwritten, heartfelt love letter. Most adults haven’t written a love letter since high school. (Why not? Have we lost our youthful idealism, or have we just gotten lazy?)   When travel;ing, give your partner a bouquet of Roses; one rose for each day that you’ll be away. Attach a note that says something like this: “These three Roses represent the three days I’ll be away from you. They also symbolise the love, joy, and laughter we share together.”   Say “I love you” at least three times a day.   Guys: Surprise her by performing one of her chores for her. (And not something easy like carrying the groceries in from the car, but something that requires some time and effort — like cooking all the meals over a weekend, or cleaning the entire house.)   Ladies: Send him a letter sealed with a kiss. (Use your reddest...

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Conflict Resolution in a Marriage
Jun10

Conflict Resolution in a Marriage

  Even the happiest of marriages will have sticking points of disagreement leading to conflicts. It is both normal and healthy for partners to have different opinions on everything from larger issues like child rearing and the management of finances, down to small things like who gets the remote or whether leaving the toilet seat up is not a big deal or a deal breaker. The conflicts are not the main issue in a relationship, it is the conflict resolution style that can make or break a marriage. Following is a look at how many couples attempt to solve conflicts, followed by the method recommended by the wise folks at Marriage Builders. How Most Couples Resolve Conflicts Most couples use one of three different strategies to resolve conflicts. The first and most common is the Dictator strategy. This strategy assumes that one member of the family (usually the husband) has the wisdom and compassion to make most family decisions correctly. While other members of the family can lobby to have him (or her) take their interests into account, when a decision is made, it is final.   Sometimes that strategy works. However, it usually doesn’t, especially here in America. For one thing, dictators have not been known to be all that wise or compassionate. They tend to make decisions in their own interest and at the expense of their citizens. The same thing happens in marriage. When one spouse is given the right to...

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Red Rose Day
Jun08

Red Rose Day

Red Rose Day is a holiday to celebrate the lovely flower that is synonymous with romance. It is this Friday, 12 June, and roses are also birthday flower of the month. Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. They were used in many early cultures as decorations in wedding ceremonies and wedding attire.  Because of this association with weddings, over the years the red rose has become intrinsically linked to endearing love and people still give red roses to symbolise love, whether it is for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries or other romantic occasions. Ready Flowers offers a wide selection of roses to order online for your convenience. Roses are also loved as decorative plants by gardeners worldwide, whether in gardens where the climate is suitable or where the environment can be adapted, such green houses, conservatories and in homes. Their essence is used in many perfumes and rose water has long been a beauty secret. Some are also used as landscape plants, for hedging and for other utilitarian purposes such as game cover and slope stabilisation. Roses make up a decent percentage of  the growing floraculture business sector, as they are always in demand for the reasons mentioned above. During the pre-Valentine’s Day period sales cut fresh red roses soars in both volume and price. Because of this huge leap in prices on that holiday, Ready Flowers actually recommends that you start your very own romantic...

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Romantic Ideas: Quick
Jun05

Romantic Ideas: Quick

Romance. Something almost anyone would like to have more of in their life. However, the fast pace of career, kids and life in general can mean that we sometimes (or all the time), let the romance side of our relationships slip. Here are some ideas for when you don’t have as much time as you would like for romance. Write “I love you” on the bathroom mirror with a piece of soap.   Place a little love note or poem under the driver’s-side windshield wiper of his or her car.   Every once in a while, kiss her hand with a flourish. Note: The proper etiquette for kissing a woman’s hand is to lower your lips to her hand. You don’t raise her hand to your lips.   Have “your song” playing on the stereo when your partner returns home from work.   When out together in public, wink at your partner from across the room.   On your partner’s birthday, send a thank-you card to his/her mother.   Unplug the TV. Put a note on the screen saying, “Turn me on instead.”   Make a toast to one another every time you hold a wine glass. Make eye contact. Take turns making the toast. Whisper it.   Get the whole “family of products” in the fragrance of her favourite perfume (bath powder, soaps, creams, candles, etc.)   Call your partner from work for no other reason than to say, “I love you.”   ….via 40 Creative Romantic Ideas | ReadersDigest This is the third of five posts with ideas...

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Tulip History
Jun02

Tulip History

Tulips are bulbous plants in the lily family. Originally cultivated in the Ottoman Empire (present-dayTurkey), tulips were imported into Holland at the end of the sixteenth century by Carolus Clusius. He initially planted tulips at the Vienna Imperial Botanical Gardens in 1573. After he was appointed director of the Leiden University’s newly established Hortus Botanicus, he planted some of his tulip bulbs here in late 1593. Thus, 1594 is considered the date of the tulip’s first flowering in the Netherlands, despite reports of the cultivation of tulips in private gardens in Antwerp and Amsterdam two or three decades earlier. As the Dutch Golden Age grew, so did this curvaceous and colourful flower and the tulips at Leiden would eventually lead to the tulip industry in the Netherlands. Carolus Clusius wrote the first major book on tulips in 1592, and is largely responsible for the spread of tulip bulbs in the final years of the sixteenth century. While a faculty member in the school of medicine at the University of Leiden, Clusius planted both a teaching garden and his private garden with tulips. They became so popular that his garden was raided and bulbs stolen on a regular basis. Between 1634 and 1637, the enthusiasm for the new flowers triggered a speculative frenzy now known as the”Tulip Mania” (tulipomania). Tulip bulbs became so expensive that they were treated as a form of currency, or...

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June Bride
Jun01

June Bride

The year is moving fast and June is already here. Historically, June has always been the most popular month for weddings. That is where the term “June bride” comes from, plus the month of June derives its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. In times of old it was thought that couples who married in June would be blessed with prosperity and happiness.  June as the Traditional Wedding Month Historically, June has always been the most popular month for weddings. That is where the term “June bride” comes from. The month of June derives its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. It was anciently thought that couples who married in June would be blessed with prosperity and happiness. Ancient Reasons for June Weddings There were also many logistical reasons for brides to consider June weddings. Brides married in June were likely to give birth to a first child in spring (also thought to bring good luck) and recover in time for the fall harvest. During medieval times a person’s annual bath usually fell in May or June, meaning that June brides still smelled relatively fresh. Contemporary Reasons for Getting Married in June However, these reasons aren’t very relevant to couples today. Couples today may plan a June wedding because of the nice weather, in-season flowers, and the higher number of outdoor venues available. In June, there is also less likelihood of spring rain or a mid-summer heat wave. June...

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Romantic Ideas: Affordable
May29

Romantic Ideas: Affordable

  Romance. Nearly everyone wants more of it, but some time you might have more love than money. This is the second of five post with ideas keeping the romance alive. The first one extolled the virtues of creativity, using ‘out of the box’ ideas to spice things up. So scream “thank gawd its Friday!”,  and let the (affordable) weekend roll-on with these romance tips: Spend the entire day watching romantic movies at home.   Go to a place were you can really enjoy the sunset, such as a local beach or vantage point above your city. BYOB optional, but a nice touch.   Call a local radio station and request a special love song to be dedicated to your partner. Make sure he or she is listening!   If you’d like to spend a romantic summer night making wishes on falling stars, mark the second week in August on your calendar. The earth passes through the Perseid meteor belt around August 12 every year, which usually results in spectacular meteor showers for two to three nights.   Buy a lottery ticket. Give it to your partner with a little note attached: “I hit the jackpot when I met/married you!”   Pick wild flowers for your partner from your garden, the side of the road or another public area. Better yet, do it will out on a free walk in nature.   Write a short note to your lover that’s spread out over several postcards, then mail the cards one at a time. You’ll build...

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50 Tips on Keeping a Marriage Happy
May27

50 Tips on Keeping a Marriage Happy

This is the fifth instalment in our series of posts focused on marriage. We started with a look at six benefits of marriage, followed by an analysis of the Honeymoon period and beyond, the art of compromise and last week was the two traits that are scientifically proven to ensure a long, happy marriage. How to not only stay together, but to make sure that ‘happily ever after’ is actually how the story goes? This week we have 50 specific tips on areas to work on, from successfully married people. 1. Trusting each other 2. Same sense of humour 3. Always being honest with each other 4. Remember birthdays and anniversaries 5. Accepting each other’s faults 6. Compromising 7. Saying ‘I love you’ regularly 8. Knowing when to say sorry 9. Being able to laugh at each other 10. Having a similar outlook on life 11. Regular hugs/cuddles 12. Always kiss each other goodnight 13. The occasional romantic gesture 14. Considering your partner to be your best friend 15. Sharing the parenting duties and chores 16. Always kiss each other goodbye in the mornings 17. Having some shared hobbies and interests 18. Always talk about a problem rather than bottling it up 19. Ask each other about their day, then really listen 20. Regular sex 21. Having some different hobbies and interests 22. Knowing when to give each other some space 23. Never going to sleep on an argument 24. Regular holidays/mini breaks 25....

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Romantic Ideas: Creative
May21

Romantic Ideas: Creative

Romance. Nearly everyone wants more of it, whether you’re in a new or a long term relationship. We are going to be posting ideas for spicing things up and keeping the romance alive. Posts in the coming weeks will focus on affordable, quick, outrageous and classic ideas. These will be on Fridays, just in time to turn up the heat on the weekends! This post is on creativity and we have brought you a wide variety of clever ideas that are a bit ‘out of the box’. Surprise them by learning to play their favourite song on a unique instrument. A heartfelt rendition of Countdown on the ukelele could be just the thing to spark endearment.   Give your lover a dozen roses—with a creative twist. Give eleven red roses and one white rose. Attach a note that reads: “In every bunch there’s one who stands out—and you are that one.”   Get your partner a wristwatch. Inscribe it with: “I always have time for you.”   Attach a $100 bill or gift card to a Victoria’s Secret catalog, along with a note to him saying, “You choose.”   Identify that one pivotal event that brought the two of you together. Celebrate that event every year.   Practice even-day/odd-day romance: On even days it’s your turn to be romantic, and on odd days it’s your partner’s turn.   Following a bubble bath you’ve prepared for her, wrap her in a towel that you’ve warmed up in the dryer.   Write your partner a love...

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The Art of Compromise
May13

The Art of Compromise

  This is the third instalment in our series of post focused on marriage. We started with a look at six benefits of marriage, followed by an analysis of the Honeymoon period and beyond. Ask any successfully married couple the key to longevity in love and they will inevitably give compromise as one of the main reasons for their staying power. But how does that really play out within a relationships is a complicated thing, especially given different priorities that each partner may have. It goes way beyond whether the toilet seat is up or down (best to have two bathrooms!), especially when child rearing becomes part of the equation. Following is an excerpt from an Art of Manliness post on the subject. Understand that neither the husband nor wife sets the baseline of normalcy. I received this advice about 2 years before I was married, from a friend of my father’s who specialised in marriage counselling. He described how one of the biggest problems he sees in a marriage is whenever a husband insists that if only his wife would see things his way, then their marriage would become harmonious (or vice versa). The problem is that one spouse is setting up his or her behaviour as the baseline of normalcy. If the other spouse’s actions or reactions deviate from this false baseline, then he or she is deemed the abnormal one. See the problem? The marriage counselor described how just like men and women’s physical bodies...

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Celebrating Mother’s Day: Activites
May08

Celebrating Mother’s Day: Activites

  This is the second of two blog posts on celebrating Mother’s Day. While this one is focused on activities, the is post on Wednesday covered suggested Mother’s Day gifts. Mother’s Day is this weekend and many people are already settled on how they are going to make it special for their mother, partner, grandmothers, aunts or other women who have supported and nurtured them. Maybe you and Mum or your favourite aunt have a tradition of choosing plants for her yard and spending the day gardening? More sporting families may like to indulge in a bit of hiking or water sports together. Of course a get together with lots of delicious food on the BBQ is also a favourite in Australia. Following are some other ideas on how to make this a day she’ll remember: Home-Made Dinner As I get older, time with family seems to become limited to holidays and birthdays, meaning less time with my mom. This year could just be about bonding and having a nice meal with Mom. I’m sure she wants to hear what’s been going on in your life in person, not just over the phone. Go to her house or have her over while you prepare her favourite meal. Summer Kick-Off For active families in the Norther Hemisphere, let Mother’s Day be the first family activity of the summer, while for those below the equator it may be your first occasion to plan something to take advantage of the cooler autumn weather. Each week plan a family event....

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Celebrating Mother’s Day: Gifts
May06

Celebrating Mother’s Day: Gifts

  This is the first of two blog posts on celebrating Mother’s Day, this post is on gifts and the one on Friday will cover suggested Mother’s Day activities. This year, Mother’s Day will fall on May 10th. It is a special occasion  that people often celebrate by taking their mother out for a special dinner. Traditionally, people in the United States wear Carnation corsages at this time, while Chrysanthemums are favoured by people in Australia and New Zealand. A brightly coloured corsage indicates a living mother in the family; a creamy white one honours the memory of a beloved deceased mother. Mother’s Day recognises the vital role mums play in the lives of their children. A Beautiful National Custom A custom of gift giving arose in Australia, too, in part as a result of the kindness of Mrs. Janet Heyden, a resident of Sydney during the 1920s. In 1924, she discovered that many of the female patients living at the Newinton State Home for Women were separated from their children during this important time of year. She responded by encouraging the local community to bring them Mother’s Day gifts so they would not feel excluded. In many locations around Australia, Mother’s Day today represents a time for communities to recognize mothers and to support charitable causes at a local level through fairs, organized walks and other public fund raising activities. Gift Exchanges In many...

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Appreciation for Mothers
May04

Appreciation for Mothers

  Mother’s Day remains a wonderful opportunity to express sentiments of appreciation and love for mothers. Today, people celebrate the contributions of motherhood to society in many ways. Often, they take steps to get in closer touch with a parent who may reside thousands of miles away. More telephone calls reportedly occur during the 24 hour period of Mother’s Day than on any other day of the year.The wide variety of presents available to relay appreciation to a mother can offer extra fun for family members on these occasions. Many people enjoy shopping for just the right combination of gifts to enliven Mother’s Day festivities. They spend time searching for flowers, cards and gift baskets that express their love for their mother in a kind, individually meaningful way. The popular holiday only obtained official recognition in the United States in 1914, yet the enduring power of appreciation for mothers lends the celebration ongoing vitality around the world. In large numbers, children send gifts of flowers to their mums on this special day, too. Delicate, sweet-smelling blossoms convey gratitude and affectionate sentiments so well. With many lovely annuals and perennials going into bloom, a rich array of choices await anyone ordering May bouquets for Mother’s Dayon line. Many mothers receive corsages from children, too. From colourful arrangements utilising Lilies, Daisies or Violets,...

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Mother’s Day Trivia
May01

Mother’s Day Trivia

  Time is moving fast and Mother’s Day is almost upon us. While motherhood has been celebrated and honoured in various way throughout history, this is modern holiday was first celebrated in the United States in 1908. It became a legal public holiday there in 1912. In Australia it was started in 1924 by Mrs Janet Heyden of Sydney, when she found there were many lonely and forgotten mothers at the Newington State Home for Women. She brought them gifts from local school children and businesses, with this becoming an annual tradition. To honour the amazing contribution and sacrifice of mothers everywhere we found other interesting Mother’s Day trivia. Mother’s Day is the third most popular holiday, after Christmas and then Easter. The carnation is the special flower for Mother’s Day in the United States. Tradition calls for wearing a red one if one’s mother is alive, and white if she has died. However, in Australia it is the chrysanthemum, as the name ends in “Mum”. People will give there mothers chrysanthemums and men wear one in their lapel to honour mothers. Mother’s Day is the third biggest day of the year for sending cards. Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time. There are more phone calls made on Mother’s Day than on any other day of the year. A 2010 AT&T survey estimated that in the United States an 122.5...

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The Honeymoon Period and Beyond
Apr29

The Honeymoon Period and Beyond

  This is the second instalment of our ongoing bi-monthly posts on marriage. We started with a look at six benefits of marriage. This post will look at the phases of a relationship that lead to marriage, and more specifically the honeymoon period and what follows. The natural progression of most relationships is through the initial lust phase, the honeymoon period and finally the long-term relationship. In the initial phase we are attracted to our potential partner enough to want to pursue a relationship. This phase is fraught with doubt, intrigue and invariably people being on their best, though maybe not genuine, behaviour. This polished you will carry on into the the next phase of the relationship, the honeymoon period. The honeymoon period is where bonding begins. You have passed from a mostly physical to an emotional relationship. There is a cocktail of hormones racing around your mind and body, such as Dopamine, Seratonin and Norepinephrine, that ensure this is an extremely heady and exhilarating time. Dr. Joy Davidson has the following to say about this period and what is coming after it: This is when we’re still infatuated, still a little starry-eyed over one another. During the honeymoon phase, the qualities we’ve sought in a partner gleam like perfect crystal, and the traits we detest fade away like fog. Psychologists call this the “idealisation” phase, a time when we can still project the...

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