Category Archives: Romance & Relationships

Boy “Meets” Girl: Dating in a Virtual World [Infographic]

The internet has changed the way we do pretty much everything; how we catch up with our friends, how we run our businesses, it made many of us realize we didn’t need to rely on the traditional workforce because we could in fact run our own businesses and we could do it from our living rooms, or in my case, from a kitchen table. It has changed how and what we share with each other, taking the act of sharing a picture or a story with a friend and transformed that into the ability to share something with the world. It has changed how we gather information and inspiration, how we motivate ourselves, and how we meet a potential significant other.

Instead of meeting someone at school, at work, or seeking out mixers and speed dating events, we now have the ability to find the person of our dreams (fingers crossed) online. In fact, about 10% of the 54 million single people in the United States use a dating service to find a significant other, or at the very least, a date for Saturday night.

Check out the following infographic for fascinating statistics and information on what people are really looking for in a partner, about how long people who meet online spend in a courtship before getting married vs people who met traditionally and face-to-face first, and also some bits of information both serious and hilarious on relationships, love, sex, and the internet.

Infographic: Dating in a Virtual World
Dating in a Virtual World by Free Dating.co.uk

Click image to enlarge in new window

The Little Things Keep Romance Alive — Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza Review and Prize Pack Giveaway [Closed]

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza

Just a little over a month ago, stories, advice, tips, and ideas from how to sweep our lovers off their feet to the specifics of planning romantic gestures both grand and simple were coming at us left and right. Every blog, magazine, and talk show host had something to say about how to spend Valentine’s Day. Yet the very next morning, our workloads, routines, multi-tasking, cleaning the house in our sweats, and everything else that makes up our every day lives was back in effect and the topic of romance was no longer on everyone’s collective minds. Love isn’t in the air solely during the month of February. Romance is something every relationship needs frequent doses of all year long.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stresses and tasks that we all have to get accomplished, and it’s easy to think that there isn’t enough time in the day or the finances in the budget to put together a truly romantic experience for you and your partner. However, there are ways to inject romance into your relationship every single day, because honestly, it’s the little things that make a relationship mutually fulfilling and long-lasting.

So, here are some things that my partner and I do and have done to keep romance alive and well, and our love strong in the six and a half years we have been together:

  • We take care of each other. No one responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of just one of us; instead, we tackle daily life from the perspective of a mutual partnership. Finances, (most) housework, grocery shopping, and errands are a joint effort, with two exceptions: I do the laundry because I am incredibly particular about the way it is done, and my partner does the majority of the cooking because he is better at it.
  • We say ‘thank you’ and express appreciation for each other.
  • We laugh–a lot. Goofy faces, absurd voices (I have several), suddenly turning a walk into a little dance, and giving our cats personalities and voices that we make up on the spot are just a few of the things we do to get silly.
  • We rough house like we’re kids. Now, this doesn’t happen often, particularly because if we spent that much time landing way too hard on our bed we would probably break it, but when we get into those silly moods and start tickling each other and wrestling, I think about it for days and it always brings a huge grin to my face.
  • Never underestimate the power of a sweet note. The first time my partner put the toilet paper roll on the holder the right way (the right way being with the paper coming out over the roll and not under), he wrote on the paper (an accomplishment in itself) that he made sure to put it on the holder that way because he knew that is the way I like it. The man made toilet paper romantic!
  • We hold hands; while watching television, while out shopping, or taking a walk together.

Above all, I think we really value and make the most of our time together. We both work full-time from home, which tends to give people the idea that we’re attached at the hip 24/7, which isn’t the case. We have separate work spaces. My partner, a professional musician and guitar instructor, works out of the basement apartment of our home that you have to go outside and down the steps of our back porch to get to, while I work predominantly at our kitchen table. We’re both admitted workaholics, so it’s fairly typical for us to spend most of our days apart. The time that we really dedicate solely to one another is dinnertime. As soon as the dinner process begins, technology is put away and we can talk and focus on each other while, most of the time, my partner cooks and I help with preparation and just enough so I can say that I contributed.

Of course, just like anyone else, sometimes we’re really lazy and want the perks of being able to hang out and share a meal without doing a whole lot of work or having to drive to the next city or two over to go out to a restaurant. For times like these, we have been known to reach for a frozen solution.

Recently, we were able to try Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizzas, a line of frozen pizzas that are so unlike the average frozen pizzas I’ve grown accustomed to.

Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza Mozzarella package

Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza Mozzarella

We were sent two different flavors of Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizzas–Mozzarella and Spinaci. I really loved the Mozzarella flavor; it was cheesy, there was a generous portion of delicious, sweet tomatoes and herbs, and the crust was thin and crispy. What was really surprising, especially since we’re talking about frozen food here, was that the herbs and tomatoes tasted like they were really quality ingredients. They weren’t just good, but really really good. My partner and I were in awe, repeatedly commenting on how much better these pizzas are than what we were expecting. I immediately knew why Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante is Italy’s #1 frozen pizza brand.

Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza Spinaci package

Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza Spinaci

The Spinaci flavor was, of course, topped with spinach. I haven’t eaten a lot of spinach in my life and when I have, it was usually mixed into a pasta sauce of some sort and I barely noticed it was there. On this pizza, the spinach takes center stage. It is the star of the pizza, and I found out that I am not a fan of spinach. I kept commenting on the “oils” I tasted, which my partner kept assuring me was the taste of spinach. After eating half of my piece, I was really wishing I had another Mozzarella pizza. My partner really liked the spinach, though, so at least it didn’t go to waste.

Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza Allen

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizzas are really easy to make, perfect for lunch or dinner when you really don’t feel like making an effort but still want a tasty meal. Just take the pizza out of the cardboard box, unwrap it, place it directly on the middle rack of your oven, and wait 10-12 minutes.

The only complaint I have about these pizzas is that they are very small. I would love to see a larger version come out that could feed more than two people. My partner and I split the pizzas we made and after we finished the first one, my partner was ready for more pizza, so I would say that one of these pizzas could feed two people, or just one very hungry man.

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza is available now in the following states for $4.99-$5.99: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, Baltimore, Maryland and New Hampshire.

Giveaway

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza Prize Pack

One lucky Woman Tribune reader will have the chance to try out Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza and receive a prize pack, which includes a coupon for 1 free Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza, branded pizza cutter, branded freezer bag, and a Crate & Barrel Pizza Slice & Serve Board.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza for review as part of a blog campaign with One2One Network. Additional incentives were provided to me, and opinions are my own.

How to Carve Out Some Heart Time with Your Spouse

couple holding hands Raising a family is a very busy and often stressful time. With work, school, sports, family obligations, and social activities, often the best activity you do with your spouse is sleep! Taking time out to re-energize the bonds between the both of you is essential for your long-term happiness. Finding new and exciting adventures together will strengthen your bond and create lasting memories that you both will always cherish.

So, it’s time to get a sitter, friends or a family member to take the kids for the night or weekend, and set up a date for just the two of you. Even if this is only done once a year, there’s a variety of activities you and your spouse can do that are relaxing, stress-free, and all for you.

Breakfast in Bed or Bed and Breakfast?

I realize it’s a cliché but breakfast in bed is a wonderful way to start the day out right–it’s also one of the easiest things to squeeze into a busy schedule. Wake up half an hour before your significant other and quietly cook their favorite breakfast food and trimmings. Wake them up with a kiss on the cheek and breakfast at their bedside.

If you have a weekend, travel outside town and spend a night at a bed and breakfast. Before you think you’ll be merely sleeping at a stranger’s house, note that many of these businesses are grand and unforgettable affairs. Gorgeous log chateaus, converted farmsteads, or even castles, many of these will feature private hot tubs, fireplaces, and private patios. Some will even have amenities such as a spa, kayaking, canoeing, or private beaches. For a B&B near you, search at BedandBreakfast.com.

Make a Lunch or Dinner Date

A lunch date can be a simple way to steal a few moments of time with your spouse. You can make this a special surprise if that intrigues you and you know that’s okay with your spouse’s company.

Or, go on a “date”–plan a romantic dinner out or even a special dinner in your kitchen, taking the time to enjoy the company of your spouse over candlelight and soft music. Share memories that you two had together that meant something. Don’t talk about the kids or work (trust me, this will be difficult), but try to share only romantic feelings and past memories that made you fall in love in the first place.

Adrenaline Pumping Fun

If you and your spouse have ever wanted to do something different that will pump up your adrenaline, here are some great ideas to help you bond and experience something new and thrilling:

Cliff Jumping: I know this sounds extreme but this would be a rush for you both if you live in an area that has 1. water and 2. cliffs. Search online for some local spots you can drive to.

White Water Rafting: White water rafting is an adrenaline rushing experience like no other. If you live near mountains on either coast, this adventure is well worth the trip.

Balloon Riding: This can be an exhilarating and romantic experience to share with you and your spouse. Most cities will have a hot air balloon service.

Skydiving: Something everybody should try once in their lives! If you’ve never tried it before, the best and safest option is tandem skydiving, where a certified instructor will be with you the entire trip.

Bungee Jumping: If you and your spouse want a real rush, try bungee jumping. Most locations are in California, but a few other states have a bungee jumping business. You can find a list of locations at FunFix.com.

Local Attractions

There is a load of community events happening locally that can be found on your news or newspaper websites. Especially taking a walk in parks or walking through a museum together can be a fun experience. Make sure to hold hands as this can create closeness and the touch can establish intimacy. No, seriously, hold hands!

Another idea is to visit local parks or go downtown and take pictures of fascinating buildings, historical landscapes, museums, or landscapes that intrigue you. Switch taking pictures of each other in different areas of town or ask someone to take a picture of the two of you together. Make it a tradition of taking a picture of yourselves at the same spot once a year.

Photo by Il Ragioniere con due T/Flickr

7 Steps to a Happy Marriage, a Guest Post by Jenna McCarthy

If It Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon I am all about books that talk about people and relationships realistically. I think most everyone who is in a long-term relationship appreciates the refreshing, true-to-life, and therefore often hilarious outlook that these books bring, where you’re reading and suddenly you’re nodding your head or find yourself laughing hysterically because you can relate to the perspectives on life and love and on frustration and housework so much. So much. In fact, when this happens, I take the opportunity to read some choice segments to my partner, followed closely by “See? That’s what you do! You do that!”

Well, Jenna McCarthy’s soon-to-be-released book, If it Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married, seems to be THAT. BOOK. I haven’t read it yet (although I will be soon and I’ll be posting a review, so be sure to check back for that!) but the book trailer alone was so, incredibly relateable. Here, take a look:

That whole part where her husband is standing in front of the refrigerator while asking her if they have lettuce and milk and such? Happens to me all. the. time. In fact, I think my partner thinks that I rearrange the contents of the refrigerator at night just so he won’t be able to find anything.

Also, don’t forget to google Zestra after you watch it… or better yet, check out the link on Jenna’s homepage, http://www.jennamccarthy.com/.

I am super excited to read Jenna McCarthy’s book, but in the meantime, here is a guest post she wrote about the seven things you can do to ensure you’re living in marital ecstasy.

7 Steps to a Happy Marriage

by Jenna McCarthy

I have a remarkably happy marriage, and people ask me all the time how I got so lucky. (Not as often as they ask me about autism, vaccines and Jim Carrey, so let’s get something straight before we go any further: Not. Her.) I used to wonder if it had something to do with pheromones or having relatively low expectations, but after eleven years of wedded bliss I am pretty sure the key is some combination of kindness, respect and my ability to read a road map upside down divided by my husband’s skill at tuning out my nagging.

Okay, fine. We got lucky.

Busloads of studies have attempted to figure out why roughly every other marriage fails miserably. Turns out, the success stories share a few similarities beyond the obvious stuff like “they don’t have sex with other people”. Here, then, are seven scientifically proven* steps to marital ecstasy.

    1. Be thinner and better looking than your husband. I have no idea why this works to create nuptial delight but I’m guessing it’s because if you’re fat and ugly you probably never want to have sex, which makes him grumpy and mean because sex was the one and only reason he got married in the first place. (Well, that and pie. Think about it: Most guys will never bake a pie in their lifetimes and from what I’ve seen, they really like pie.) Of course, I don’t know many women who are dying to have sex with fat, ugly men, so this one remains a bit of a mystery.
    2. Make sure he does more chores than you do (well, duh) and try to talk less than he does. I have to admit, if you asked my husband the top three things I could do to make him happier, “shut the hell up for five lousy minutes” would probably be on the list. (But not at the tippy-top. Ahem.)
    3. Don’t watch a lot of chick flicks. Seems that after sitting through Gnomio and Juliet (or any other rom-com) relationship dissatisfaction tends to skyrocket. Apparently this is because maybe it could happen to you but you realize that it hasn’t and it probably won’t and that fat bastard never sprinkled rose petals on your bed, dammit. At least you’re thinner and better looking than he is.
    4. Don’t win a best-actress Oscar. I included this one because unlike getting hotter or having your jaw wired shut, it’s actually pretty painless and doable. Personally, I am going to make this a priority in my marriage.
    5. Limit your booze consumption (both of you). No comment.
    6. Become or urge your partner to become a farmer, nuclear engineer or optometrist. Evidently every career choice has its own unique divorce-risk profile, with these three being on the lowest end. Dancers and choreographers are pretty much screwed. You can’t make this stuff up.
    7. Prefer having the car windows down. I haven’t technically seen a study on this, but do you not fight about this every single time you ride in a vehicle together? And doesn’t he get all pissed when you want them up and accuse you of being more concerned about your hair than his precious need for non-recirculated air? If anyone bothered to study this, I’m confident the results would back me up.

So there you have it. I do not suggest trying to master all seven steps at once. For instance, if you stop doing housework altogether (to try to tilt his portion of the ratio toward more), you’ll have a lot of extra time on your hands which you may want to spend drinking alcohol. Remember, there’s no rush here. Till death do us part is a really long time**.

*I may have bastardized the language a bit in some cases but the facts are mostly accurate.

**I stole that line from If It Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married, which I wrote (and please note that it says the blah-blah-blah man you married, not the one I married. My husband likes it when I point that out). You can find out more about me, my books and how I survived tanorexia on my website.

44 Free Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day date Do you see Valentine’s Day as just another manufactured holiday designed to separate you from your money? Do you consider yourself a romantic but refuse to lay out a pile of cash just to show you care?

Mr. Free Stuff doesn’t believe Valentine’s Day has to mean a fancy date, big dinner or an impressive gift. So we’ve compiled 44 free dates to help you and your loved one spend special time together without giving into the commercial hype.

1. Local art shows
Many cities have local art shows on a regular basis that are free to visit and some even offer free wine and cheese. Look in your local newspaper or city website for an art show near you.

2. Amateur night at a bar
These amateur nights tend to showcase some local talent in either music or comedy depending on the bar. Before going, check out what is going on at the bar and make sure it’s something you would be interested in.

3. Attend and outdoor free concert
This is an ideal summer date. There are hundreds of free outdoor concerts that you can potentially go to and you can even make it into a fun dinner by bringing a picnic with you.

4. Have a game night
Everyone has a favorite childhood game, whether it’s Monopoly, Clue or Risk settle in for a night and play a classic. This is a great way to bond and share memories with your special someone.

5. Amateur night at a comedy club
If you’re looking for a good laugh this is the location for you. Most nights, comedy clubs are expensive, but if you time it right you can check out some new local talent for free.

6. Go stargazing
If you live in the city, take a drive out into the country. Bring a blanket and layout and watch the stars. If you wanted to make an entire night of it, start out by bringing a picnic dinner with you to enjoy as the sun is setting.

7. Have a movie night at home
Instead of spending tons of money to go see a movie at the movie theater you are not even sure you will enjoy, stay home and watch one of your favorites together. Take turns picking the movie. You never what you will learn about someone from watching their favorite movie with them.

8. Go to the beach or lake
Many beaches and lakes are free, which makes them an ideal swimming hole. Go swimming, barbecue, hike, or anything else for fun while you’re there.

9. Play poker
Instead of playing for cash, play for things like M&Ms, peanuts, raisins or anything else you have laying around the house. The best part is at the end of the game you get to eat your winnings.

10. Go to a playground
Have a contest to see who can swing the highest, quickest or who can do the monkey bars the most times in a row. There are endless opportunities to have fun at the playground.

11. Go on a hike
Make sure to pack lots of water and granola bars (or your preferred snacks) and dress with layers so you’re prepared for all the different weather types. This is a great way to enjoy nature and each other’s company.

12. Go to the park and play a sport you enjoy together
Whether it’s playing catch with a frisbee or a full on game of tackle football, you’re sure to have fun. If you have a whole day, you can play a lot of different sports and take breaks for snacks.

13. Volunteer together
If you share a passion for animals, volunteer at a local pet shelter. This is especially great if you can’t have a pet right now but want some time to spend with animals. If your interests are more on building, look into Habitat for Humanity. There are volunteer opportunities for all passions, so just find the one that best suits you and have fun!

14. Go sledding
It’s always fun to enjoy the new snow, so why not go to the local sledding hill? If you don’t have a traditional sled you can try sledding down the hill with household items like garbage bags or cardboard boxes. You can even turn it into a contest to see who comes up with the most successful household item sled.

15. Tour a local brewery or winery
Most tours are free and additionally include free samples at the end.

16. Visit a gallery
Many galleries are free all the time but many of the pay galleries offer free days every once in a while so you will just have to check into it. Check out some new types of art or people watch while you’re at the gallery.

17. Plan a TV night
Watch your favorite shows together, whether it’s on DVD or live on TV, it’s always fun to share the experience. Plus you’ll have something to talk about until next week if it’s a show you watch weekly.

18. Free Zoo Days
Most zoos have a few free days throughout the year. This is a great time to take advantage of the zoo without having to pay for entrance.

19. Make Smores
Who says you have to be on a camping trip to enjoy Smores? Use a grill to roast up marshmallows and eat them with chocolate and graham crackers. It’s a great snack and tons of fun to make together.

20. Attend a farmers market
Most cities have farmers markets on either Saturday or Sunday, so you’ll have to look into which it is. Have fun looking at all the new homemade things that are around. Feel free to try new things.

21. Karaoke Nights
Many bars have Karaoke Nights during the week. These are a great time to show off your singing abilities and have a blast learning more about each other in a social environment.

22. Test drive cars
At some dealerships you may have to pretend you’re looking to buy today, so feel free to make up an entire cover story. Have fun test driving your dream car or any car that looks like fun!

23. Rearrange your house/apartment/room
Change is fun for everyone, even if it’s just something small. Ever been curious to see what your apartment woul dlook like if it was fend shui’d? Or wanted to see what a crazy arrangement would do to shift up the space? This is a great way to enjoy each other and have fun with your creativity.

24. Build a snow man
A classic children’s pastime has tons of opportunities for adults as well. Try to make crazy shapes or perfect the classic snowman. Either way it’s bound to be fun.

25. Have a photo shoot
Everyone loves having pictures of their special someone, whether or not it’s in your wallet, on your desk at work or just for your home. Stage a photo shoot by going to a flower field and take pictures, or go to the lake. It’ll be fun!

26. Play in the mud
What better activity is there than to enjoy the new mud after a fresh rain? Get into your messiest clothes and head out to the local mud puddle (or just some mud you find in your back yard) and have a mud fight.

27. Build a fort
Who didn’t love building forts as a kid? Why not build one now with your significant other for a date? You can camp out in the fort for as long as you like, pretend it’s a secret hiding place, go on an adventure or just have a great camping trip inside.

28. Have a sand castle competition
This works out best if you either live by a sandy beach/ocean or if you have a kid’s sandbox around. Gather up some items that can be used to build castles (bowls, cups, etc.) and see who can build the best sandcastle.

29. Make piles of leaves and jump in them
A great fall activity for anyone. If you don’t have a yard of your own, borrow the park’s leaves and go make piles there. If this is your idea remember to take into account that your significant other might have allergies to check beforehand.

30. Be in a TV audience
Most TV audiences are free to be in, but you may need to call ahead and make a reservation. Who knows, you might even win some money to go out to dinner after!

31. Watch fireworks
Check to see when local sporting teams are going to be having a fireworks show. Take a blanket with you to fins a comfy stop to cuddle up and watch a free fireworks show.

32. Watch clouds
Lay out in the grass and watch the clouds go by. Have fun naming the different shapes because you never know what you will see!

33. Fly a kit
Fly that kite that has been gathering dust in your garage or make a kite out of paper, string it and take it to the park on a windy day.

34. Have an at home dance party
This is a great way to have fun. Turn your home into a club with a particular theme; you could even do this once a week and have a rotating theme night.

35. Visit a farm
Many farms offer free tours or visiting hours. Take some time to visit the animals or learn about the process the farm uses such as how the milk reaches the shelves.

36. Amateur night at a coffee house
Many local coffee houses have amateur nights where people can come in and perform. You never know what kind of performances will be going on, so expect the unexpected. If you get there early, you can just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere too.

37. Tour a brewery or winery
Most of these tours are completely free and even offer free samples. It’s a great way to learn about the local beers and wines of your area and spend time together.

38. Dream house adventure
Drive around and find what would be you and your special someone’s dream house. Take a self-initiated adventure around the outside of the house to see what it’s like.

39. Have a yard sale
This can be a fun way to bond over old things you have laying around along with bringing in some “free” money to spend. Make a goal like, “If we make $50 dollars we will go out to eat at a favorite restaurant tonight,” or make it a competition between both of you to see who can sell the most.

40. Rock skipping
Find a lake or river that you can go to skip rocks. If you want to make a day of it, bring a picnic and enjoy the water.

41. Go on a bike ride
This is a great way for you to get in some exercise while having fun. Look for some cool new paths around your area and explore new areas.

42. Dress up
Each of you get as dressed up in a certain theme from things you have laying around the house. See who can make the best costume.

43. Have a water balloon fight
Hopefully you have some old balloons lying around from a birthday party. Use these to create water balloons by filling them up outside with the hose and have fun with a giant water balloon battle.

44. Have a picnic
Instead of having sandwiches at home for lunch, pack up some food and head out on an adventure to a local park or lake and eat there.

This is a guest post by Mr. Free Stuff, a website that brings you the very best free samples and freebies for products and services and just about anything else that is free.

Is the Recession or Our Hectic Lives the Reason Why Fewer People Are Saying “I Do”

wedding day The recession has long been said to be the reason why fewer couples are getting married these days, even though there is a significant increase in couples living together before or rather than getting married. BBC News is now adding their own spin on why there is such a drop in people saying “I Do” and according to them, it’s because we’re too busy.

According to the BBC, the weddings people have in mind for themselves have become these elaborate, dream weddings some have thought of since they were young children and these weddings involve a lot of planning. From the lengthy list of deposits, booking the perfect venue sometimes years in advance, getting a photographer, a band, a florist, an officiator, making everyone in your family happy whether they want a hand in planning your day, putting them in a place where they will be happy in your wedding, or even trying to make everyone happy with who they’re sitting with at the reception. It’s a lot of footwork and yes, it can definitely get a little overwhelming. I think that last bit of my list there is where the problem for a lot of couples who are soon to be married starts. Rather than a wedding being what the bride and the groom plan for it be together, the our mindset when it comes to weddings has really turned into a game of how to make everyone happy when perhaps who you should be worrying about more are the people who are actually getting married.

While there are a lot of people who have these extravagant weddings in mind, we should also remember that these people do not make up the entire population. There are quite a lot of people who have dreamed of very small, intimate gatherings and it isn’t because of a lack of money or the headaches that could stem from planning a bigger affair, it’s because that is what they truly want. So then we have to ask ourselves, what’s the real reason why so many people are either holding off on getting married or do not wish to get married in the first place? Is it money, our hectic lives and schedules, or are there just more people now than ever before who simply don’t want to get married?

Apple-Obsessed Couple Tie the Knot on V-Day at Apple Store

Apple store wedding Happy newlyweds Josh and Ting Li had a Valentine’s Day wedding, and while V-Day is a very, very cliche day for engagements, weddings and vow renewals, the Li’s wedding was anything but run of the mill.

The two said “iDo” in an Apple store at New York’s Fifth Avenue Apple store. The ceremony referenced Steve Jobs, the ring bearer was a first generation iPod and the priest who officiated the ceremony was dressed as Steve Jobs.

While this may just seem like two geeks who fell in love and because of their epic fandom, chose to have their wedding at an Apple store, but the location actually bears a great deal of meaning to the couple, since it was where they met. Ting was looking to buy an iPod and Josh struck up a conversation with her and the rest was history. Josh also accounts that he used to joke that the Apple store was his church because he is not religious and obviously, loves everything Apple, so it was only natural for the couple to tie the knot at a location that was very much important to them both.

Check out video of the couple’s wedding:

I absolutely love that this couple was able to have their wedding in a setting that they felt passionate for, but check out all of those people taking obsessive amounts of pictures! I know I would personally opt for a more intimate setting where I didn’t feel like I had a flock of paparazzi after me trying to get as many pictures of me as possible. While there are definitely some people out there who do crave that celebrity treatment, when it comes to your wedding, I would personally keep it a bit more private.

Have you or would you ever want to have a fan-based wedding?

Not So Common(ly Talked About) Relationships

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Split-Self. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s no surprise that I am a huge fan of the young adult and chick lit genres. They are often very satisfying, light and decadent treats that make their frequent appearances in our book reviews section. While I read an array of different genres of books, it’s the chick lit books that let you wind down and curl up with at the end of a busy and stressful day and bring you into a world of humor and just often enough, lightheartedness.

There’s a book that just emerged on the scene that is self-defined as changing the course of chick lit and after reading a little bit about it, I am inclined to agree. Split-Self is a new book from F.S. Publishing that is your typical romance novel that will undoubtedly be intriguing to a great deal of people who have especially hopped on the Twilight and True Blood bandwagons. The main character of the story is a vampire who draws energy out of other people in order to supplement her own and she does this by feeding on them in seductive and totally hot encounters that leave them begging for more. But what this books has that redefines the typical chick lit genre we are all familiar with is that Split-Self revolves around a romance between a woman and a man… and another man. In F.S. Publishing’s own words: “Boy likes girl, boy also likes boy … girl thinks that’s hot.”

Split Self

The romance itself in this novel will surely put a lot of people off from wanting to read it, but what I would really like to explore is the fact that why I automatically know in my gut that a great deal of people will not want to read it because the couple in the book is not a couple, but a polyamorous relationship containing one woman and two men. When people hear about most polyamorous relationships, especially with the induction of the HBO show Big Love and traditional polygamy being centered around one man with multiple wives. I actually really love the idea of a polyamorous relationship that includes one woman and two men; it’s a great spin and is actually a great deal more realistic than many may think.

Polyamory is not “new” by any means; it is not merely an open relationship, where people within a foundation relationship have permission to seek whatever they choose and have already agreed on beforehand outside of that relationship. What polyamory is, in fact, is more than two people in one, committed relationship. There are many sex educators and family therapists that counsel, have written books and have taught at lectures and workshops who educate people and couples of all kinds on how to live life with limitless sexual possibilities and while open and poly relationships are not merely based on sexual gratification, sexuality is one of the factors that could potentially cause rifts in your relationships due to jealousy and other conflicting emotions. One of the most intriguing non-fiction books I have found on the subject that I actually ordered the day after I discovered it is The Ethical Slut from educators and practicing “ethical sluts” Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt.

When you look at this topic from a wide angle and disregard the many, many immediate responses you will hear when a debate like this pops up such as the “sanctity of marriage,” poly relationships actually make a lot of sense. Very few animals are monogamous and as it turns out, very few married people, both male and female alike, are monogamous. According to the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy approximately 50% of married women and 60% of married men will have extramarital affairs at some point while in their marriage. With statistics like these, it means that in nearly 80% of marriages as a whole, someone in that marriage is cheating on their spouse.

Given all of these little tidbits of information I have gathered, as well as my personal feelings on the topic, which is that in a relationship of any kind, what works for those people in that relationship is fine by me and I am not one to pass judgment on anyone or anyone’s relationship, I now want some of your input! What do you think of polyamorous relationships? Do they work? Can they work? Are you in one? Care to share any details? Leave whatever’s on your mind on the topic in the comments!

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Planning Your Big Day: Wedding Registries

wedding registry kitchen items There are a lot of things to consider when planning your wedding and let’s face it, who can ignore the fact that there are presents involved?

Women have a tendency to over think pretty much everything regarding their wedding day; the term “bridezilla” didn’t come out of the sky, you know, and setting up your wedding registry is no different. There are some simple things you can do, however, to make the process of setting up your wedding registry.

First of all, start with the room you get the most excited about when you think about getting shiny, new things for it. If it’s your bedroom, go to the bedroom and take a look around. Take note of what you already have (and like) and think about what you’ve been wanting to add to the room that you haven’t already. If you have some items, like myself, that maybe your parents or your soon-to-be spouse’s parent’s handed down to you, would you like to update them? If so, in what colors or styles? Make a list of items you need as well as what you would like–It’s okay to be a little frivolous; in fact, it’s expected.

After you’ve finished with the room that you get the most excited about, move through the house in the order of what rooms give you that warm and fuzzy feeling and rooms that you would love some new gadgets for. However, it is also expected that you will forget some items that you’ll be kicking yourself later for not adding to your registry, so to help out with setting up your wedding registry, I Do Sugar, part of the Sugar blog network, has made a very convenient wedding registry [PDF] containing items that one can most often easily forget about to make sure that doesn’t happen to you!

You can download the file here; I can’t even imagine the number of sanities this file is going to save when it comes to wedding registry planning!