Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Etiquette Rules You're Probably Forgetting, But Should Pay Attention To

10 Etiquette Rules You're Probably Forgetting, But Should Pay Attention To

Manners are something we hopefully learn as we get older, but not everyone gets the memo about certain behaviors. In fact, it's not uncommon for all of us to make a faux pas here and there, as there are number of etiquette rules you're probably forgetting. To avoid embarrassment, or even worse, offending someone, it can be helpful to brush up on a few standards about what is considered polite.

"Etiquette is a lifestyle, and it requires an interest in social graces and a discipline," says relationship and etiquette expert April Masini over email. "The more you have of the former, the less you need of the latter! When people forget their manners, it’s because it’s not part of their lifestyle. For those who live with good manners, it’s second nature to bring a hostess gift to a dinner party...and to give up a seat on public transportation for someone who’s old."

If you feel like some of your manners may be slipping through the cracks, don't worry, we've got you covered. I've with some two etiquette experts to help remind you of some of the etiquette rules you're probably forgetting, but likely want to know.

1. Covering Your Mouth When You Cough

No one wants your germs sprayed all over them. "Coughing, yawning, and sneezing should be done into a Kleenex or your sleeve," says etiquette expert Konrad Philipover email. One test by ABC news found that a sneeze can land as far as 11 feet away, so avoid upsetting a stranger by covering up when you feel a tickle coming on.

2. Properly Using A Place Setting


Whether you're setting the table for guests or attending a business dinner, it's essential to know the basics of how a table is arranged for eating. "There is nothing more uncomfortable than realizing you've used someone else's glass at the dinner table," says Philip. Luckily, there are plenty of online resources for learning about place settings.

3. Introducing People To Each Other


We all know how awkward it can be to run into someone, wondering who their companion is standing idly by. "Make a good introduction," says Philip. "When introducing two people, say the name of the person you would like to honor first, and introduce the second person to them."

4. Bringing A Gift As A Guest


If you're invited somewhere, don’t show up empty handed. This doesn't mean you need to buy something expensive. "It can be a bottle of wine, a jar of jam, flowers or a book — but it’s good manners to show your appreciation for the invitation with a token gift," says Masini.

5. Giving Up Your Seat For Someone Who Needs It More


"It’s always surprising to me how people riding public transportation are so slow to give up their seats to someone who is older or pregnant," says Masini. "This is a basic rule of etiquette that is free, easy and allows you to do something nice for someone with very little effort."

6. RSVPing To An Event


"RSVP isn’t optional," says Masini. "It’s good manners to respond to invitations that ask you to RSVP. Your host needs a headcount for chairs, food and beverages. Not responding is rude and selfish. Showing up with a crew when you didn’t respond, or just responded for one, is also really bad manners."

7. Arriving On Time


We've all been late to something, and with the ability to quickly text or call someone when you're on the go, it seems much more excusable to show up late. But keeping someone waiting isn't polite. "It’s insensitive to their day and their time," says Masini. "If you agree to meet at a particular time, prepare and be there. If you can’t, text and apologize — but don’t make it a habit."

8. Watching Your Language In Certain Situations


It doesn't bother some people, but you want to be careful what you say in certain situations, as you never know who could be around. "Cursing is expressive — and offensive to many," says Masini. "If you’re not sure, don’t curse. This may take discipline, but you’ll have a lot more friends and invitations if you can curb what you say and match your language with your 'audience.'"

9. Telling Your Friend About The Salad In Her/His Teeth


Don't let your BFF walk around all day with spinach in her teeth. "If you notice someone with an issue that can be fixed (food stuck in teeth, zipper undone), it is impolite not to tell them about it," says Philip. "Do not call attention to something that cannot be corrected on the spot, like damaged or stained clothes."

10. Putting Your Phone Away At Dinner


We've gotten so used to having our phones on us 24/7, we don't realize how unpleasant it is to try to have a dinner conversation with someone who keeps scrolling through Instagram. "There is nothing that shows more commitment than being physically present," says Philip. "Honor the people you are with by putting your phone away. Keep it in your pocket and step away to answer urgent calls."

When in doubt, always just think about how your actions could affect someone else, and this line of thinking can help you make the right decisions.

Kabit, Kirida, Ahas


I’ve talked to many people who’ve blown it by having an extra-marital affair.

They come from all walks of life.






Pastor’s wives.

Regular folks.

However, I’ve never heard ANY of these people say that they “set out” to have an affair, hurt their family, end up in divorce court, or intentionally break the hearts of those that they love.

Most people don’t mean to blow it by having an affair.

But, they don’t just randomly happen. Typically, a series of choices over time will lead to an affair. Most people don’t run into extra-marital affairs.

Rather, they slowly drift into an affair by making one bad decision after another.

And, affairs can be avoided–by making CAREFUL choices and taking WISEsteps toward fidelity and faithfulness in marriage.

By putting some wise guidelines into place, couples can enjoy incredible protection in their relationships.

You and I can avoid the heartache and pain of an extra-marital affair.

We can grow old with our spouses enjoying life-long trust and faithfulness.

Here are 10 Ways to Completely Avoid an Affair:

Guideline One – Don’t ever have a MEAL or go to event/outing alone with a person of the opposite sex — unless you are blood relatives.

There is no reason you need to be alone with a person (who is not your spouse) of the opposite sex for a meal.

If it’s a work thing, try to involve an additional friend. Somehow, adding one person can offer protection for our marriages.

Guideline Two – Don’t ride alone in a CAR with a person of the opposite sex — unless you are blood relatives.

If it is possible, invite a third person to ride in the car with you. Even a young child can provide some protection and accountability.

If you find yourself in a tough spot at work, try to discuss the situation with your boss or co-worker in a gracious and honest manner.

Speak the truth in love, but speak the truth as needed.

Your goal is a happy marriage!

Guideline Three – Don’t read many sappy NOVELS or watch many sappy love movies. 

By reading and watching too much romantic fiction, you will start to believe the grass is much greener somewhere else. You will begin to become discontent with the marriage relationship that you do have.

You’ll start to covet and want what you do not have.

Often, romantic movies and books can become for women what pornography can become for many men.

Women will imagine and dream of some perfect relationship that they do not have. Be careful with these. Read and watch them in limited amounts.

Guideline Four – Don’t even FLIRT a little! 

Just intentionally treat other men or women with respect and distance. Even casual flirting can lead to trouble.

Try to be professional, business-like, and kindly distant with any man or woman who is not your spouse.

Too many affairs happen between good friends and great family friends. Affairs can even happen in within families.

Lines get blurred. People get too comfortable. Big mistakes happen.

Be careful with how you act and react with ANYONE of the opposite sex.

Guideline Five – Don’t have LONG TALKS over the phone or online with anyone of the opposite sex who is not a blood relative.

One of my counselor friends tells me that one of the main reasons for divorce today is people hooking up through social media or with someone who they meet on the Internet. Watch out online!

Also, be careful with counseling and one-on-one prayer situations. It is best for men to meet with men and women to meet with women if possible.

Pastors and ministerial staff need to be especially cautious when counseling and meeting with church members one-on-one. Keep the doors open. Invite a third person into the session.

Take every precaution to protect your marriage – especially if you are in the ministry!

Guideline Six – If you are tempted to have an affair, talk to a TRUSTED BROTHER/SISTER of the same gender!

Ask this trusted friend to pray for you. Give them the freedom to hold you accountable.

There is something about “admitting”you are tempted that could protect you and prevent you from blowing it.

Guideline Seven – Be HONEST WITH THE LORDabout any temptations you may be having. 

Pray over these things and give them to the Lord. God already knows what you are struggling with; so talk over these temptations and issues with Him. 

Guideline Eight – DATE your own spouse!

Enjoy as much time as you can with your mate. Maybe you are being tempted because you aren’t spending enough quality time together.  

Guideline Nine – Initiate SEXwith your own mate.

If you need love and affection, seek out your own spouse. They will likely love this attention from you.

It’s possible that you are being tempted because you are not enjoying the relationship God has given you. 

Guideline Ten – Fall IN LOVEwith Jesus as never before. 

Press in close to the Lord and spend time with Him.

Open your Bible more.

Pray more.

Turn on Christian music.

Read more inspirational books.

Allow God to fill your empty places.

The truth is…. 

Anyone on any day at any time can blow it! 


~ None of us are exempt from temptation!

~ Don’t flirt with sin. 

~ Don’t play with fire!  

James 1:13-16 in The Message says:

And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 

These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.

A closing illustration:

We have many curvy, narrow, winding roads in our city.

Anytime you take the “back way” to our church, you have to hug the middle of the road, or you could easily clip the edge of the road.

More than once, we’ve caught the edge of one of these roads and run off a bit.

One night, we even busted a tired wide open by clipping the edge of one of these narrow roads

Our goal in driving is to try to stay as far away from the road’s edge as possible. 

We hug those yellow dividing lines when we drive on those curvy back roads.

So also in our marriages, we need to stay as far away from “potential”affairs as possible.

We need to hug these ten guidelines!

To completely avoid an affair – we stay away from every possible temptation. We put some wise guidelines into place. Then, we press in close to Jesus and stay there! And, we really seek to enjoy the marriage that God has given us.

Monday, November 28, 2016

11 Small Things That Can Make Your Partner Fall More In Love With You


It's true, your SO loves a helluva lot of things about you. They adore how nice you are, how giving, and how utterly hilarious (even if it means hearing your jokes over and over again.) But despite the adorable connection you two already have, it is possible to make your partner fall even more in love.

Now, I'm not saying it's your job to keep your SO's interest. If you guys are happily shacked up in a healthy relationship, then that shouldn't be an issue. What I am saying is that some couples get a little too comfy, and often forget to keep appreciating each other. They also often need little reminders about all the things that brought them together in the first place.

This is what people mean when they say a relationship takes work. As Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, says in an email to Bustle, "Relationships are work, and anyone who says otherwise is not being honest. We have to make the time, attend to each other, and put each other in the right place in our priorities." If you both can keep that up on the regular, then you'll be falling head over heels for each other again and again. Read on for some ways to do just that.

1. Be Appreciative

If you've been with your partner for a minute, then I'm sure the appreciation levels have started to dwindle. Maybe they always make dinner and you sit down to eat without thinking twice. Or maybe your partner always changes the toilet paper roll, despite never hearing a "thank you." If that's the case, start showing more gratitude. "Tell them each day ... something that [you] appreciate about them," Martinez says. They'll love that their thoughtfulness isn't going unnoticed.

2. Give 'Em Some Space

Of course there's the whole "distance makes the heart grow fonder" thing. But spending time apart also allows you both time to decompress and pursue your own hobbies. In fact, giving your SO the gift of solitude (without them having to awkwardly ask) might just be one of the nicest things you can do.

3. Offer To Do Their Most Hated Chores

"If you know they dislike a particular task, offer to take it over," Martinez suggests. This could be as simple as cleaning out the gross sink drain, or as big as walking the dog when it's super cold outside. If it's a task that makes them groan with despair, taking over will fill their eyes with big red hearts.

4. Quit Staring Into Your Phone

Nothing's worse than hanging out with your partner only for him or her to spend the entire time gazing into their phone. So don't do it to them, either. "By staring into each other's eyes and not your small screen, you're sending a super bonding message: You are the most important thing to me," wrote lifestyle expert Jillian Kramer on Glamour.

5. Fight The Nice Way

OK, so making your partner fall more in love with you isn't just about doing nice things. It can also be about not doing mean things. This mostly applies to being fair during agreements. Using "we" statements is one way to not get all finger point-y, according to the editors of Prevention. Same goes for forgetting the whole name-calling thing. (Just don't do it.)

6. Let Them Vent It Out

Did your partner have a bad day? Then they'll probably really appreciate it if you listen while they blow off steam, according to Jenna Birch on Woman's Day. Since they likely do it for you on the regular (I mean, who doesn't need to vent at least a few times a week?), being kind enough to return the favor will not go unnoticed.

7. Try To Match Up Your Schedules

"Make a point to keep the connection of things like going to bed at the same time, sleeping together, eating together, etc.," Martinez says. This shared schedule will keep you guys as close as can be. Plus, your partner will likely love that they get to cuddle before falling asleep. (Aww.)

8. Remember The Details

The next time you have a chance to put a personal touch on something, do it. "Remember what your partner said they like in their coffee, or show up with their favorite flower," relationship expert Rachel DeAlto told Kramer. It'll show that you not only care, but that you listen. And what could be more loving than that?

9. Take The Time To Check In

Don't let your busy schedule take a toll on your relationship. "Make a brief time each day to check in and see how they are doing and keep up-to-date on what is going on in their lives," Martinez says. This might include calling on their lunch break, or sending some sweet texts throughout the day. Anything to show that they're on your mind.

10. Shower Them With Well-Timed Gifts

If your SO had the suckiest day, then consider popping home with some takeout, or a little gift to show you care. "It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful," said lifestyle writer Shauna Robinson on ThoughtCatalog.com. They'll love that you took the time to make their day just a tiny bit better.

11. Celebrate Your SO's Successes

If your partner was promoted, or simply made it through the day without anything annoying happening, then be down to have a little mini celebration. This is an important part of a healthy relationship, according to Prevention, as it helps reinforce that you guys are a team. And that, after all, is one of the best things about being in a loving relationship.

As is putting your partner before yourself. If you can do it — at least some of the time — you'll show them how much you care, while also creating a happier, healthier relationship.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016



"If you're reading this, if there's air in your lungs on this November day, then there is still hope for you. Your story is still going. And maybe some things are true for all of us. Perhaps we all relate to pain. Perhaps we all relate to fear and loss and questions.  And perhaps we all deserve to be honest, all deserve whatever help we need. Our stories are all so many things: Heavy and light. Beautiful and difficult. Hopeful and uncertain. But our stories aren't finished yet. There is still time to be surprised. We are still going, you and I. We are stories still going." - Jamie Tworkowski

This text gives me hope. I have such a hard time existing but it will be ok. Again. 



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Be Positive

i read this quote recently and it has radically changed my daily life.

how much time and energy have i wasted on insignificant moments that have no value? this one life i have is far too precious and fleeting to let circumstances dictate my mood and emotions.

instead- i make a conscious choice to look at a situation for what it is. most of the time, it's so minute in the grand scheme of all things. these days, people get offended about eeeeeeeverthing. let's channel that energy into something meaningful. 
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