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    Why You Should Consider Premarital Counseling

    When you are in a relationship and moving towards marriage, you should consider premarital counseling. As you go from one relationship to another, you bring baggage with you. These past issues can find their way into your marriage and cause issues. Here is why premarital counseling can be a benefit to you and your relationship.

    When you have things that are personal issues whether it is a personal insecurity or baggage from a previous relationship, it usually does not get better because you get married. Marriage usually magnifies the issues you have. It is important to address these issues before you get married.

    hy premarital counseling can be a benefit to you and your relationship

    Arguing and Fighting

    How do you and your partner handle things when you have an argument? Are you able to talk through the issue or does it become a huge fight when it shouldn’t have been? Does it get dropped but it isn’t resolved? Does the problem come up again later because it wasn’t resolved? Premarital counseling can help you learn how to communicate effectively in order to keep these arguments from getting out of hand.

    Discovering problems after you are married can be more stressful and can cause you to reconsider the relationship. Before saying I Do, talk about these things and see where you both are on views and ideas. It is easier to address problems and complications before getting married than waiting for after the marriage.

    Benefits of Premarital Therapy

    Benefits of couple’s therapy, whether it is before or after you are married, can help with the health of your relationship. Addressing the issues can help you create an action plan of how to handle difficulties. Therapy like this can help you see situations from a different perspective.

    Premarital Therapy is a way to have early intervention in your relationship. It is a way to learn ways to communicate with each other effectively. Therapy is a way to have realistic expectations and how to handle conflicts that come up. It is also a way to talk about things that can affect your marriage like finances, children, and beliefs.

    Why You Should Try Premarital Counseling

    If you have experiences trauma when you were a child or in previous relationships, it will come back to affect your marriage. If you or your partner has trouble expressing anger or frustration, this will affect your marriage. It is important to discuss your views on infidelity. It is important to make sure you have the same views on cheating and what is considered cheating. What is the relationship with each other’s families? Family members or family issues can creep in and cause problems in a marriage. Having premarital counseling can be a benefit to not only discover the problems, but it is also great for finding solutions and tactics to solve the issues.

    Many people balk at having couple’s therapy. Premarital counseling can help with problems before the problem starts. When you spend the time working on a relationship, it helps you and your partner grow together. This kind of counseling can also help to discover any issues before you are married.

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    Photo Credit: unsplash-logoKelly Sikkema unsplash-logoAmy Humphries unsplash-logoHeather Mount

    Luxury Homes on a Budget: It’s Possible

    Luxury and budgets do not really seem like they go hand-in-hand. The former is, after all, about splurging and being able to enjoy your money – while the latter, of course, is all about keeping your hard-earned money away from the cashiers and those online shops.

    The cold months we’re in the middle of call for a bit more time inside, though, and it would certainly be nice to give it an extra flair of extravagance even if we can’t really afford the most expensive luxury out there. Plus, spring is right around the corner which makes it so much easier to stay positive about the future and the home you’re living in.

    Here is a handful of great ways to make it look like you’re living like a queen bee. That way, it’s going to be even easier to stay inside and protect yourself from the cold until the snow withdraws and the warm months are finally back.

    Adding luxury without breaking the bank

    Focus on your curtains

    If we were able to put money into making our rooms seem larger and airier, we would do it immediately – but, since this is about luxury on a budget, you should try to focus on upgrading your curtains or blinds instead. It’s going to do a lot in terms of upgrading the look of your room, after all, and you won’t have to spend nearly as much money on it.

    Undeniably more cost-effective than replacing an entire window and still important enough to change the atmosphere of your room, the type of curtains or blinds you choose can, in fact, do a lot to improve your space and might even make it look a bit more expensive. The great news in all of this is, of course, that you won’t have to spend nearly as much money on it as you would have if you were to change out those windows entirely.

    If you opt for curtains, try to place it slightly higher than the window in order to make the room seem taller. It should go almost all the way down to the floor as well – and preferably be light and of high-quality material.

    Blinds are also great and really modern, by the way, but the type of blinds you choose will also affect the look of your room. While aluminium blinds may be a bit cheaper and easier to clean, faux wood blinds are just going to look so much better. Have a look at this article, to begin with, and let them set the theme for your room before you do anything else.

    Swap out your light fixtures

    Both the light in your room and the features you install over them will have a lot to say about how you feel when spending time there. Look for light bulbs that cast a warm and orange light, first of all, and avoid that cold hospital look by all means.

    A great tip is to keep the light in your bedroom a bit softer than the one you have in the kitchen – try to think about what you’re going to use the different rooms for, first of all, and it might be a bit easier to decide in the right light hue as well.

    Since we’d like to make our homes seem a bit more extravagant, you should look for an affordable chandelier for your living room – or even for your kitchen and bathroom. Undeniably luxurious, a faux crystal chandelier will definitely give your room that extra oomph you’ve been looking for or you can opt for a slightly more modern design by choosing an industrial-looking light fixture instead.

    Try to think about what the rest of your room looks like, though, and choose the type that goes well with this look. That way, you won’t be stuck with a dazzling chandelier in the middle of a room with exposed pipe works and brass details.

    Keep it neat and tidy

    When you’re looking for a bit more comfort at home but don’t really have the funds to spend on a major home upgrade, you can always opt for the cheapest, easiest, and by far the most satisfying option: just make it neat and tidy.

    We are, undeniably, in the middle of a rather tidy season now that spring is approaching and Marie Kondo is on everybody’s Netflix screen – but keeping a tidy home does, in fact, have a lot of benefits.

    It won’t just give you peace of mind and make your household a bit happier, in general, as rooms that have a bit less on display will also look fancier. The secret is to keep only the most worthy on display and either put away or let somebody else adopt what you’re not that big of a fan of.

    Try to create a sense of system in the chaos, as well, though as we can’t give away everything we’re not madly in love with either. Allow yourself to have a messy drawer or two but try to make it a bit neater with small dividers in each drawer. That way, you’ll have a simple system where your mess once used to be – and you won’t feel like you’re going crazy each time you need to find something random in the drawer.

    Do the same with your wardrobe, your kitchen cabinets, and everywhere else where you usually hide away clutter as well. Now you’ll be able to store away your stuff, feel sane, and still feel like a million bucks when you open that wardrobe to get dressed in the morning.

    A neat and tidy home can make you feel way more successful and put-together, in general, which also affects how you think about yourself, in the long run. Don’t underestimate a good clean up, in other words, and try not to get too attached to your stuff either. It’s just stuff, after all.

    Upgrade your furniture

    With each passing year, your furniture will take on the wear and tear of time. People have sat them through, made those pillows flat, and given the cover an unappealing look – but buying brand new furniture is not exactly an affordable journey either.

    Luckily, you’ll be able to enjoy a perfectly fluffy and fancy-looking couch or dining chair by simply giving it a quick upgrade. This really doesn’t have to cost too much, by the way, so don’t settle for the first estimate you get; if the price for upholstery turns out the be about the same as buying a new mid-range furniture, you should try to find another company instead.

    Have a look around the web and try to find a few different quotes before you settle for something. There are lots of foam types here, by the way, in case you’re planning on upgrading more than just one type of furniture. You might want to treat yourself to a new mattress, for example, in order to make those mornings a bit better – and, of course, to make your back feel absolutely fantastic compared to what it does on a cheaper mattress.

    This is the point that a lot of homeowners skip as furniture is simply too expensive to upgrade. They might fix everything else, tidy up their homes, and spruce up those curtains – but they continue to sit on flat pillows simply because they don’t know that there are better options than just buying a brand new one.

    Give those dining chairs a new cover as well, for example, and you’ll feel quite rich without having to spend much at all.

    Bring in some greenery

    Finally, the most tried-and-tested method of making your home look like more for less is to invite a few potted plants in. It’s just something about the splash of bright green colour and the sense of being around living, breathing things that makes a home look way more put-together – perhaps because you need to take care of them in order to actually keep them alive?

    If you’ve barely taken care of a cactus before in your life, it’s a good idea to go for low-maintenance plants such as a snake plant rather than a tender orchid, though, as your plant journey will quickly come to a halt when you have to witness the death of the first ones. Some plants are happier in the shade than others and won’t mind it if you forget to water them once in a while.

    Keep in mind, however, that one of the biggest mistakes that first-time gardeners make is to kill their plants with love. They water them too often, give them too much fertilizer, and continue to over-water as soon as they notice that they look a bit sad. Avoid this by having a read in this article, first of all, and you should be able to keep those few first plants around for long enough to watch them grow up.

    A luxurious-looking home doesn’t have to require too much, after all, as long as you’re keeping it clean, neat, and tidy while treating yourself to a few quality articles. That way, you’ll have a bit more money left to spend on other things instead.

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    Ways an Online Therapist Can Help Your Marriage

    Marriage is hard. There is no way around the fact that it takes work in order for a relationship to last. While all marriages go through ups and downs, it is important that you are willing to put in the effort in order to get through any hard times. When your relationship is going through a rough patch, online couples therapy can help.

    How online couples therapy can help your marriage

    Broken Trust

    Trust is a very important part of any relationship. When trust is broken it can be a difficult thing to get back. Whether the trust was broken because of lies and deception, or from one person having an affair, either an emotional affair or a physical one, the trust is broken. In order to start working towards trusting again, a psychologist can help a couple talk through the issues. An online therapist can help teach a couple ways to rebuild trust.

    Arguments

    When a couple is having frequent arguments, it can be a sign of underlying issues. Talking to a therapist can help the couple figure out why they are fighting often. Whether it is a lot of small arguments or one big argument, talking to a therapist can help a couple figure out “why” they are arguing. Addressing the issue can help prevent larger problems later on.

    Another problem about arguments is how the disagreements are handled.  Disagreements are natural. If the fight escalates, and you can no longer have a discussion, the argument cannot be productive. If someone shuts down, becomes passive-aggressive, or gets spiteful during the argument, it becomes a much bigger issue. A therapist can help a couple figure out how to communicate better and have an argument that can help solve an issue.

    Life Changes

    Sometimes, there are things that happen in life that can set you on an emotional roller coaster. These whammies not only affect you in the direct areas, like losing a job, the death of a loved one, or other major events, but it can also affect your relationships. While it is completely normal for these life events to affect you and your relationships, it can cause issues and you will want to get a handle on it before it can cause problems in your marriage. A therapist can help you work through these events.

    Physical Intimacy

    Sometimes the problems come from physical intimacy. Some couples without sex as a way to get even with the other. Some people have different sex drives than the other. No matter the reasons there are changes in the relationship, it can cause feelings of resentment and rejection. Finding a way to keep the intimate connection alive while making both people comfortable with the way the relationship is.

    Online counseling can help couples reconnect and handle issues that could cause problems in the relationship.

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    Photo Credit: unsplash-logoBrooke Cagle

    Top tips on decorating your dining room

    Dining rooms are stand-alone spaces, most often part of an open floor area. They are all-purpose places that accommodate all sorts of things from kid’s homework to friends and extended-family celebrations. Dining rooms should be welcoming and attractive places that correspond with your home architecture, design preferences and offer comfort and enough storage space.

    Since the dining room is such a sensitive area that accommodates visitors, friends, extended family members. Your dining room décor has to be taken into great consideration. From the colour of the room and accessories including rugs, artwork and lighting.

    Dining Room decor tips

    Colour scheme

    For dining room décor, you choose a color scheme that can complement the design style that you have already chosen. It’s important to consider adding some rustic woodwork that can help in defining eating areas.

    Available space

    Before getting down to dining room décor it’s highly important to take measurements of your dining room in order to determine the amount of space available and to help in choosing desirable furnishings. You also need to remember that the space between the dining chairs and nearby walls and chairs should be at least 3 feet. 

    Selecting dining room furniture

    Generally a table and chairs are the aesthetic centerpiece of any dining room. Therefore, for any dining room décor, you have to consider the number of people that will sit there on a daily basis, during dinner parties and when friends gather so as to know the kind of dining room table to choose. You also need to remember that there should be at least 2 feet of table top space for each person and the dining room table should be proportional to the size of the dining room.

    Small dining rooms require round tables because they work well in small spaces while rectangular, oval and pedestal tables require very large, long and narrow spaces, and they comfortably carry more diners than in round tables. Consider buying tables with removable leaves.

    For a small dining area, choose a compact flip-top or tilt-top table. For this décor, surround your table with mix and match kind of chair styles making sure that the chair seats are at least 12 inches below the edge of the table top so that the guests have enough leg room.

    Finishing touches

    When applying finishing touches to your dining room décor, you should round out your dining room design using vibrant area rugs, good-looking fabrics, artistically arranged collections and fashionable fixtures. You should also introduce fabric lampshades, slipcovers, framed mirrors and eye-catching artworks.

    Rugs

    Ensure that you set your dining with a colourful area rug that harmonizes with your decorating style and colour scheme. The area rugs should be at least 2 feet away from a dining table’s sides to give room to occupied chairs. An 8 by 10-feet area rug fits well with most dining sets.

    Lighting

    Choose chandeliers that fits the dining room style and design. Consider pendant lights that are 6 inches narrower than the smallest width of the table and which will cast bright light across the table top.

    Suspended lights should be 30 inches above the table top in rooms with 8-foot ceiling. You can choose to also install wall sconces, picture lights and down lights just to create a suitable ambiance for everything from breakfasts to late night dinners.

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    Win a Lexus Rug or Carter Rug from Land of Rugs

    To help you update your dining room, Land of Rugs has kindly offered either a Lexus Rug or Carter Rug to one lucky reader.

    Prize: Lexus Rug or Carter Rug from Land Rugs (120 x 170cm) – winner to select style and colour subject to availability

    To enter simply complete the Gleam widget below, all entries are optional and each one completed will gain you more entries into the random draw.

    Lexus Rug or Carter Rug from Land Rugs (AFFT)

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    Ways to Improve Your Marriage

    Being married is hard. It doesn’t matter how much you love the other person, it is hard. Things that were cute when you started dating can become bothersome. Dealing with the daily stresses of your job, family, and kids and money issues can make marriage even harder. The key to a good marriage is to try. When things get hard or you hit a rough patch, you need to try and make things better. It takes effort but doing so will almost always make marriage easier.

    Marriage takes work, here’s how you make things better

    Go to Bed Together

    When a relationship starts off, it is natural to go to bed together. You are excited for those after dark moments together. As marriage goes on, different schedules and routines can get in the way of going to bed together. It isn’t about those extra activities, it is about being connected together. Even without sex being involved, you can spend a few minutes talking about things before closing your eyes. Something so simple as going to bed together can make you feel more connected and increase your intimacy.

    Show Your Partner You Love Him/Her

    Saying I love you is great, but there are other ways to show someone you love them. After a while, saying I love you can become just words. Show your partner that you love them. It is the little things. Send him or her a sweet text. Do the things you know that they love. Does your wife love flower? Pick her some wildflowers you see growing in a field. Does your husband love a certain recipe? Make for him for no reason.  Does your wife cook dinner every night? Cook dinner for her instead. Does your husband miss having a night out with the guys? Have his friends surprise him with a night out. This works great for ladies too. Have her friends surprise her with a girls night. Doing little things can make a person feel more loved than saying I love you.

    Don’t Keep Score

    It doesn’t matter who has done what around the house. It doesn’t matter who has given up something more than another. Don’t compare who is more tired. When you start to keep score on these things, it is going to cause problems in a marriage. Don’t keep score. Just let it go. Focus on being a team and then the scorecard doesn’t matter anymore.

    Therapy

    Don’t wait until there is a huge fight to tell each other about things that are bothering you. For some people couple’s therapy is the best way to do this. Having someone to help keep things from getting too heated can be helpful. A therapist can also help you figure out the best way to deal with issues that may come up. Couples therapy is often helpful when couples cannot come to an agreement over certain behaviours or issues.

    Marriage is work. There will be ups and there will be downs. Riding these waves of good and bad is what makes it a good marriage. Being with someone you love is worth the work it takes to make it a great marriage.

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    Photo Credit: unsplash-logoToa Heftiba unsplash-logojuan pablo rodriguez unsplash-logoPhotos by Lanty

    Dremel’s step-by-step guide to creating a floating shelf

    Nothing compares to the feeling of accomplishment when you’ve built something with your own hands, so why not have a go at creating your very own floating shelf? From routing the edges to treating the wood, follow this simple step-by-step guide and you’ll have your floating ledge ready in no time.

    What you’ll need:

    • A piece of wood
    • Pencil
    • Ruler
    • Beeswax or lacquer
    • Screws
    • Plugs
    • Drill
    • Spirit level
    • Safety gloves
    • Dust mask
    • Ear protection

    Step 1: Choose a piece of wood for your shelf

    If you’re keeping your floating shelf natural, choose a piece of wood with a nice grain. However, if you’re planning to paint the ledge, opt for a sturdy piece of MDF instead. For this tutorial, we’ve chosen oak. The beautifully patterned grain gives a luxurious finish, but make sure you take your time when you rout and don’t press too hard as this type of wood may burn. Another option is fir; a readily available and reasonably priced European wood. It is softer, which means it’s easier to work with, but more prone to chipping.

    Step 2: Draw a guide for your shelf’s groove

    The placement of the groove depends on how big the shelf is, but also what you plan to put on it. If you want to display photo frames, measure the width of your largest frame so the groove will be wide enough. We’ve chosen a width of about 4cm. When you’ve decided where you want the groove to be, it’s time to get drawing. Hold a ruler a few centimetres away from the edge. Next, take your pencil and move it simultaneously with your ruler to get a straight line along the length of the wood. You can slide your hand along as a guide for the ruler. Repeat 4cm away from the original line, and then connect the two lines for a clear outline. Now you’re ready to pick up your router tool.

    Step 3: Rout the edges of the groove

    Clamp the shelf to the workbench. Insert the Router Bit 652 into your Dremel Multi-Tool and attach the Plunge Router. To guarantee the neatest result, use the edge guide that comes with the Plunge Router. Set the edge guide at the right distance, and then set the depth of the Plunge Router to 3mm. For example, if you want a depth of 1cm, you’ll have to rout the surface three times. For this project, the groove has a total depth of 0.5cm. When you first start with the router, hold the tool at a slight angle. Move slowly and wear the correct safety gear.

    Step 4: Remove the rest of the wood from the groove

    Now the outside edges are routed to the desired depth (let’s call them the ‘border’), it’s time to remove the remaining wood. Remove the edge guide from the Plunge Router, and move freely, using the routed border as your guide. Move your tool in the same direction that it’s rotating in. This way, you’ll remove more wood than if you were to go in the other direction. TIP: moving in this direction also means the sawdust will end up behind (not in front of) where you want to rout.

    Step 5: Sand the routed edges

    Once you’ve finished routing the groove, it’s time to sand the edges. Remove the router bit and insert the EZ SpeedClic Mandrel (SC402) and an EZ SpeedClic Sanding Disc (SC413) into your Dremel Multi-Tool. The Sanding Disc lets you reach the bottom surface of the groove, and ensures you achieve a smooth finish. Next, switch to the EZ SpeedClic: Finishing Abrasive Buff 320 grit (512S) to sand the sides of the groove. Now, you’ve got a splinter-free surface to lean your picture frames against.

    Step 6: Mark up the keyhole grooves

    Now let’s turn our attention to fixing the shelf to the wall. It’s called a floating shelf, or a floating ledge, because, unlike traditional shelves, there are no brackets holding it to the wall. In place of brackets, you’re going to use your handheld router to create keyhole-shaped grooves in the back of the shelf. These grooves then hook neatly over screws in the wall. If your shelf is a metre in length, four keyholes are best. Mark a hole 3cm from each end of the shelf. Then mark a hole 28cm from each end of the shelf. Use a ruler and draw lines where you’ll soon be cutting the holes.

    Step 7: Make the keyholes

    You now need to insert Router Bit 655 and attach the Plunge Router. Set the depth to mirror the length of the whole working part of the bit. In order to slot the keyhole over the wall screws, the shape of the keyhole should face downwards. Start by routing a small circle – this will be the top of your keyhole. Because of the limited space, you won’t be able to angle your router tool like in step 3. Instead, make very small circular movements, and slowly rout through the wood. Once you’ve routed the entire depth of the circle, start routing the straight line towards the outer edge of the shelf (and away from yourself). This straight line will create the keyhole shape.

    Step 8: Finish your floating shelf with a suitable coating

    Now it’s time to finish your handywork with a topcoat of beeswax or lacquer. Beeswax is a natural product and sinks deeper into the wood to really bring out the wood’s grain. Lacquer results in a hard topcoat, protecting the wood against UV light. This is a great choice if your floating ledge is in a sunny spot. With beeswax, you can use a paper towel or a piece of scrap fabric, while lacquer should be applied with a brush. The beeswax finish will be matte, while lacquer gives a shine to your product; so the treatment method really depends on the look you’re after.

    Step 9: Fix your floating shelf to the wall

    Before you fix your floating ledge to the wall, mark its position with a piece of masking tape. That way, you can stand back at a distance and see if the height works for you. Once you’ve decided on a height, hold the picture ledge against the wall and use a spirit level to make sure it’s straight. Draw lines where the screws should go, drill the holes, put in the plugs, then the screws. Attach your floating shelf to the wall by pushing the keyholes down over the screws, so the shelf fastens firmly against the wall.

    Step 10: Admire your work

    Congratulations! You’ve followed all the steps for this DIY project and your handmade floating shelf is up on the wall. You can put some nice frames or books on it – and you’re all finished! All that’s needed now, is to stand back and admire your beautiful work.

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    3 Good Reasons To Book A Winter Beach Holiday

    What is a winter beach holiday? It’s simple. It’s about booking a holiday by a beach location in winter. For most holidaymakers, beach vacations mean bikini, cocktails in an empty coconut shell and suntan. In reality, you don’t need to fly to tropical destinations to make the most of your outdoor break. Indeed, contrary to common belief, winter is the best time of the year to walk along the beautiful beaches of the United Kingdom.

    For a start, the presence of water is naturally soothing to the human mind. It’s no wonder that meditation centres choose indoor fountains as their primary decor; the sound of water is relaxing. Being surrounded by water can dramatically affect your sensitivity to stress, helping you to leave the pressure of work and urban life pace behind you for the time of your holiday. You don’t need to swim into the sea to benefit from its positive features.

    Why Book A Winter Beach Holiday?

    Beaches are only good for summer? WRONG

    First of all, it’s essential to tackle a common cliché; namely that you can’t go to the beach during the cold seasons. In reality, while there are plenty of tantalising sunny beach vacations all around the world, it would be foolish to assume that you can’t get anything from going to a UK-based beach in January or February. Indeed, their open position provides beaches with plenty of fresh air. For anybody who lives in town, it’s enough to clear both your mind and your lungs! As we, as a civilisation, tend to stay at home during the colder months, we can feel cranky and weakened by the reduced quality of our indoor air. There’s nothing like standing on a sandy beach and inhaling the fresh breeze to empty your head!

    Change your horizon, away from the grey urban sky

    Everything is so grey in winter. The town turns into a grey labyrinth of streets and cars. There’s a sense of urban monotony that can drag your mood down. While it’s fair to say that the sea might not be bright blue in the middle of winter, a ride along the coast in a sports utility vehicle or a 4×4 – check these used Mercedes Benz gle if you are looking for a beach-friendly family car – offers a palette of colours and sensations. White waves form on top of the surface. The clouds can reflect in the water. Every now and then, weeds appear in between the sand and the rocks. Each rock that stands out of the water is covered in moss and shines under the sun where the salt water has polished it. Sure, it might not be a tropical island, but it’s enough to fight the urban monotony.

    Perfect family time at a fraction of the cost

    Cottage rentals can be expensive, especially if you want to sleep directly by the beach. However, in winter, you’ll find that most holiday homes offer competitive prices to bring the family together for a short break. Use your beach holiday as a pause button in your hectic life and rediscover the joys of togetherness.

    Pack your wellies and your warm socks, now’s the best time to take the kids for a weekend getaway by the beach. Fresh air. New colours. And plenty of new memories to make together. What’s not to like?

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