Friday, July 3, 2015

Independence in Marriage

I was always what you would call an independent gal. Cue the Destiny's Child. With a single mom, I had no choice but to step up and learn to do things on my own. I was cooking dinners when I was 12, bought my first car from my hard earned cash and know that I can do things on my own if I need to. I brought all of that into our relationship and it led to struggles in the beginning of me trying to balance this new person in my life that I had to rely on and lean on andjuggle our free time with friends outside of our relationship. We worked through it, I communicated my need for alone time and he let me know he liked his time out with the guys but our weekly movie nights too.

We knew our marriage would carry on much the same way. He does his things, I do my things. And we have our things together. Being married means you have your best friend always there to support you and love you. But that doesn't mean you and your spouse have to constantly be together for you to achieve happiness in your marriage. Maintaining your independence in your marriage is key to keeping your marriage strong and there are easy ways to make sure you keep it.

//Cultivate friendships
In the first year of marriage, Brian and I did a lot together. With my work schedule, it was hard to schedule in time with him and friends. Then as we went through the second year I realized we had forgotten how to spend time away from each. I didn't do lunches or dinners with friends. I didn't spend overnights without him. It's important to still keep your identities outside your marriage. That means nights out with the girls to act silly, laugh and not have any talk of sports or bodily functions.

//Have alone time
I'm sure you have heard the phrase, "Be alone with your own thoughts." It means taking the time to find who you are when you are by yourself. When you aren't a wife, mom, sister, etc. It could be a few hours to wear your ugly face mask not in front of your husband or maybe it's taking a trip by yourself. It's figuring out how to do things by yourself, making decisions by yourself with no one else's thoughts or opinions. If you think you hate being alone, think about what you would do without your spouse there or kids. Do that. Perhaps it's time to pick up a new hobby.

//Keep Your Hobbies
Comparing the number of hobbies I have now to how many I had before I got married, the number has dropped a little. As it should because I was living alone and had much more free time. But that doesn't mean I haven't held on to a few I love. This blog, for one has maintained a slow life throughout. I have picked up a DSLR in the past few years to learn how to use. And I still enjoy running. These are the hobbies I like to do on my own, but I still have hobbies me and Brian like to do. It's important to have somewhere to let you be creative and what you can upkeep in that alone time even if it's as simple as baking.

The best part of having a husband is having someone do the hard stuff. Like kill bugs, if you need him to. It's also knowing that he is there if you need him but hanging all the shelves in the spare bedroom by yourself. Because you can. It's learning to do things yourself just in case you have to. Like putting air in your tires. Just throwing that one out there that it is important to know how to do that. Your husband does like to be needed but will also feel quite impressed if his wife can redo the whole living room while he was gone for the afternoon.

If you both schedule nights out and going here and there, it's important to check in every once in awhile. Is this schedule still working? Does one of you feel neglected or left out of the other one's life? Maybe one of you needs more time away. All of this is ok and normal, but you want to make sure to talk about these before they become huge issues in your marriage.

Independence in a marriage does not have to be a recipe for disaster or divorce. As long as it maintained properly, it is healthy for a relationship. It means knowing when your independence might put strains on your marriage, ie: scheduling girls/guy nights out with no where on the agenda for your own date night. Or blowing your savings on a week long girls trip to Las Vegas when you are trying to save for a house. With the right balance, independence in a marriage can make for a happy harmony.

How do you maintain independence in marriage?
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Time Fun

Now that summer has made its way, it's time to really figure out what I can do with the next few months of sweltering heat, thunderstorms and sunshine.

// Stick to a budget
The most boring summer wish list item there ever was. Due to our current situation, we have to learn how to budget. There is no more, oh, we should do that or yes, a budget, next month definitely. It's now or yesterday. That definitely means free summertime activities are a part of our fun. Good thing it's the time of year for carnivals and fireworks!

//Go to the beach at least once
Would you believe I didn't step foot in the sand last summer?! The travesty of such a thing, I know. This year I am making myself go at least once if not a few more times. It's such a relaxing thing to sit on the beach and listen to the waves. And I have a bikini body, as in, I put a bikini on my body.

//Visit the pool to relax
We have this nice, on property, pool that I can walk to. But I never do. Being able to come home for a good 40 minute lunch means I should be parking my butt at that pool quite frequently. I'm sure my boss wouldn't notice my bathing suit under my work attire.

//Make the most of my down time
There are nights where I am about to go to bed and all I can think about is, what did I just do for the last 4 hours? It usually involves aimless Internet activity or TV watching. Having just accepted a freelance job, I have to get this under control sooner rather later.

//Read a full book, just for fun
When we were in Walgreens the other night, I saw a new book out from a Nora Roberts series I love. Yes, I read romance novels. And then I thought about the last time I really sat down and read a book like that. A book that I really enjoyed and I could get lost in the words. This goes nicely with my trips to the beach, pool and making the most of my down time.

//Get a summer polish look
It's not secret my nail polish game has been lacking, Just look at every picture I've taken the past few months. With a recent subscription to Julep, I have plenty of colors to play around with.

What plans do you have for the summer?
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Friday, June 26, 2015

5 Ways to Stink at Blogging

Today, I have decided to give you a few pointers on something I have become quite good at in the past few weeks. Stinking at blogging. 

1. Post about once a week. Two might just be pushing it because then people might actually expect you to have posts worth showing up to your blog for.

2. Do not comment on your favorite blogs. Like ever. That might actually mean you are networking and want to make it in the blog world. You might also make blog friends, which can be awesome but you don't want to do that if you want to stink.

3. Don't touch social media, including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. You wouldn't want to chance marketing yourself, your blog or your brand. That might grow your readers. Posting pics of your cute kitty might not count.

4. Learn nothing about SEO. Don't even look up the definition and what it can do for your blog. You wouldn't want to show up in Google results anywhere. That would just lead people to your blog and make you not stink at blogging.

5. Do not, under any circumstance, take pretty pictures and Instgram them. Or make any type of nice graphic that can be downloaded or dress up your blog posts. That might make your posts desirable ot marketable. And keeping the same tired blog design for awhile will also do the trick.

And there you have. Surefire ways to make sure that you absolutely stink at blogging. Tried and true ;)

Any that you would add?

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Gift for Grad from Boiling Springs Savings Bank

Can you smell all those papers rolled up in ribbons disguising themselves as diplomas? That must mean it's graduation time. Time for 8th graders to become high schoolers that drive cars and college students to become a real world adult. It's also time to pick out the perfect graduation gift for your newest grad.

Lucky for you, Boiling Springs Savings Bank has the perfect and practical gift for you to give. They are running their "Gift for Garden State Grads" promotion. Just for opening up the Student Checking Account you automatically receive $20.15. 

It's a great checking account for anyone that is just starting out with a checking account or someone that is leaving college ready to start their life in the big world.  Coming from someone who still struggles with saving money and dealing with finances, it's important to learn early on how to balance your finances and how to save money for big purchases. And save money in general.

A Boiling Springs Saving Account gives so many benefits for a new grad that include:

  • No monthly fees
  • Interest earned on all balances
  • Free specialty checks or a discount on custom checks
  • Free online banking
  • Free online bill payment
  • Free 24-hour telephone banking
  • Minimum deposit to open account is $1.00
  • Free transactions at Boiling Springs ATMs with Boiling Springs ATM card or Debit MasterCard
  • Direct deposit
  • Overdraft protection transfer service available
Once your student reaches age 23 their Student Checking account will be converted to a regular NOW account. They will be able to have all the benefits of a regular checking account while having the tools they already need to understand their finances.

Saving money is important to learn early on. It can be tricky to manage paychecks, student loan payments and let's hope there isn't credit cards in there somewhere. This is a grad gift that someone really can benefit from and you can find your nearest branch here.

Find my other ways to save here:

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