Book Review- The Secret Ingredient

By cassandrwiley / On / In Relationships, Self-Improvement

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On the plane ride to and from Puerto Rico and under the dryer at the hair salon, I had a chance to read The Secret Ingredient. (With a very active 4 ½ year-old son, my reading time is very limited). This book had many wild moments. It’s the second book I’ve read by Jane Heller. It was definitely a good read. The main character, Elizabeth, feels that all of the passion has gone out of her marriage. Her, husband, Roger, is distant and not attentive to her like he was in the beginning of their marriage. Desperate, Elizabeth “enhances” him, but the results are not what she wants, which lead to more desperate acts.

As a married woman, I can relate; however, reading this book has taught me to appreciate what I have. Many women (and men also) don’t realize that when you marry someone, change is inevitable, whether physical, personality, wants, needs, or goals. We may gain a little weight, or our hair may turn gray. If you married your spouse based on good looks alone, what’s going to happen when those looks fade?

At times, you may get “bored” in your marriage, but you have to ask yourself do you really want things to be more exciting? Do you want to wonder what your spouse is doing when he’s or she is not with you and who with? If I had to choose, a simple, drama-free life is the better option. Besides, there are things that you can do to keep things interesting, like taking vacations or weekend getaways, date nights, dinner with friends, etc. Just talking sometimes is very good for both of you.

I Appreciate You Because You’re You

By cassandrwiley / On / In Hobbies, Relationships

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I would like to thank all of you that took the time to read my blog posts this year. I had views from those living in over 30 countries. I appreciate your support, comments, and input. I would also like to thank all of the guest bloggers that contributed this year as well. I hope to see more of your work in the coming months ahead. I learned a great deal this year from stellar bloggers and writers, especially my LinkedIn groups and connections. I am also grateful to those that gave me the opportunity to contribute posts to your sites. As I continue to learn more about the blogging world, I intend to make my blog a success in 2015. I wish you the best in the new year!

Caring for Kids During a Divorce

By cassandrwiley / On / In Parenting, Relationships

Check out this post by Georgina Evans.

Going through a divorce is a tough time for the two individuals deciding to walk in separate directions. However, when there are kids involved, this puts extra strain on the situation. There are ways of dealing with this big event in a sensible and restrained manner. The divorce will affect every kid differently; they may be shocked, frustrated, upset and angry. This is why it is so important to make sure that the kids get every inch of support that they need. It is essential that both parents put their differences aside when dealing with the children. Make sure they know that they are loved and things will get easier. This guide is here to offer a template to how to deal with this situation in the benefit of your children.

Breaking the news

There is never an easy way to break such news, but it is best if possible for both parents to be present in the discussion. This enables the children to ask questions to both parties and offers a clear understanding of the situation. The conversation will be different for whatever age the kids are and their level of maturity, etc. In whatever case, it is vital for the parent to persist that what has happened is between them and is not the children’s fault in any way.

Restrain from conflict in front of the kids

For the sake of the children’s well being, it is best to keep heated discussions away from them. It will just escalate their worries and will upset them further. Legal talk should be kept well away from the kids also. It is not fair to discuss such matters in front of them. To make it easier for the kids, it is important to converse such matters in privacy.

Avoid disruption to routines

If parents stir up the usual daily routines due to the divorce, this disruption will add to the child’s confusion of the situation. Home life will be unsettled at this time, so keeping the usual routine going offers the children stability and structure. Children yearn stability so it is key to continue this. Undoubtedly there will be some occasions that you may have to disrupt the child’s daily routine, but it is vital to keep this to a minimum to avoid further upset.

Both parents must stay involved

An imperative point about caring for the children during a divorce is that it must be an equal and shared responsibility of both parents. They must both stay engaged in the kid’s lives to reinforce their parental figures. This will assure the kids that just because the parents will not be together anymore, this does not mean the child will not see them.

No negativity to one and other

It is important to confine blame about each other to discussions with friends or family away from the home, or therapy sessions if the parents so wish to do so. Conversing about personal issues with one another in front of sensitive ears can impact on the children’s views and feelings towards both parents. Hearing the parents being bitter towards each other will distress the kids and add more confusion to a situation they will find hard to grasp an understanding of.

Do not seek advice from the kids

Adults will need thorough support from friends, family and professionals during this upsetting time of separation. It is unfair to seek out support from your kids, as this will be offering them a biased view on the divorce. The kids may appear like they want to give you support, but for their sakes it is best to restrain from this. Perhaps discuss it with them when they are older and more mature to deal with the topic of discussion.

Dealing with kids reactions

Depending on their age and personalities, all kids will act differently. However in most circumstances, the parents must be prepared for lots of questions. The children may feel guilty and scared. It is imperative to keep the child reassured and be clear about what is going to happen. Some kids may not react straight away, so in this situation it is important to let the child be aware that they can talk to you whenever they feel ready to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Dating After 35

By cassandrwiley / On / In Relationships

My single and divorced friends will often call me for dating advice. It’s comforting when they actually listen to it. Some will ask for my advice and then do the opposite thing. Then they come back sad and disappointed. Dating doesn’t get any easier when you’re 35 and older, but you can still be successful. Here are some tips:

  1. There are still good men out there. Some women say that they are by themselves because men today don’t have anything to offer. That may be true to a certain extent, but it works both ways. What do you have to offer? How picky can you be when you’re unemployed, living with your parents, and don’t own your own car? Think about it. You may be hurt by what I’ve said, but you have to consider those things. You may be looking for a lawyer, but that “good man” may be a bus driver taking college courses in political science. You never know.
  2. Pray about it. God knows all of our wants and our needs. Talk to Him about it. There are many biblical references for this (i.e. I Thessalonians 5:17; Psalm 37:4; Philippines 4:6).
  3. Stop obsessing about your ex. You may feel that you invested a lot of time in that relationship, but he did as well. Your ex had moved on with someone new, so you should do the same. That is the reason that they are called “exes”. You forgive them and move on. Don’t keep allowing them to hurt you over and over again. That obsession will take control of your life, and you will not be able to move forward.
  4. Don’t just focus on one guy. If you’re divorced and ready to start dating again, don’t just focus on one guy. You may find him attractive, but you don’t know anything about him. In 2014, a man can be gay, straight, bisexual, or transsexual. Unless he’s up front about it, it’s not good to assume until you get to know him. Get to know one another and see what things that you have in common. If it doesn’t lead to a relationship, you’ll at least have a friendship. This isn’t about sex; the more men that you meet, the better your chances of finding one that you’re compatible with.
  5. Continue to live life to the fullest. Don’t put all of your focus on dating. Typically, if you’re involved in outside activities and causes that you are passionate about, chances are that you’re meeting people with similar interests.
  6. Stop thinking that nobody is “good enough”. It so easy for you to believe that now that you have a successful career, a fantastic house, the car, and the beauty that no man can meet your standards. Whether or not you want to admit it, you need that companionship. You get tired of coming home to an empty house. I’ve heard so many stories of women that always talk about how many men are pursuing them; yet they are not interested in any of them.   Stop faking. Just like you, every man is going to have his flaws in addition to his outstanding characteristics. It’s all about what you can live with.

 

I hope that these tips are helpful. Some of you may not like what I had to say, but these are the things that I’ve noticed and believe should be said. Remember to stay positive. Marriage can work if two people are compatible.

10 Ways for Stay-at-home Moms to Relax and De-stress

By cassandrwiley / On / In Hobbies, Parenting, Relationships

It has its rewards; however, things can be overwhelming sometimes for a stay-at-home mom. Are you always doing things for others with little or no time left for yourself? Here are some ways to relax and de-stress:

  1. Tell others when you feel overwhelmed. They may not like what you have to say, but it is better to express how you feel. You don’t want to hold your feelings in and lash out at a later time. Calmly express your feelings. It’s always nice to HEAR that you’re appreciated for all that you do.
  2. Pamper yourself. Go get a massage, manicure, or pedicure. Go to the beauty salon. If you don’t want to go to the spa, there are things you can do at home. For instance, you can take a long bubble bath, light some scented candles, or give yourself a facial. When you look good, you feel good.
  3. Exercise.  Physical activity relieves stress and burns calories.
  4. Take time to see friends. I typically get together with friends at least once a month for dinner or other activity. It gives us a chance to talk and catch up.
  5. Accept those invites. If you get invited to a party or event, go if you don’t have other plans.  It’s a privilege to be included.
  6. Go shopping. This is always fun for those that enjoy it. Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, and DSW Shoes always send me coupons.
  7. Have daily quiet time. I either do it first thing in the morning or in the evening. Sometimes I do it twice daily. This is the time that I use to brainstorm, pray, write in my journal, and do meditation.
  8. Have date nights. When you can get a babysitter, plan a night out for two. Dinner and a movie always work well. If you both enjoy sports, plan to go to a game.
  9. Plan a getaway. Sometimes you just need a change in scenery. If you’re fortunate enough to a vacation each year, do it. There are so many beautiful places to see, within the U.S. as well as internationally. Life is shorter than you think.
  10. Get a hobby. Find an activity that you’re passionate about. Your hobby could later become a source of income.

When your kids are in school, that gives you time to run errands and relax for a while. If your kids take naps, use that time to catch up on sleep. I rarely have the opportunity to sleep past 6:30am. I’m usually the first to get up most days. Even though I only have one child, he keeps me busy. I treasure our time together. He’s growing up.

5 Books That Inspired Me

By cassandrwiley / On / In Hobbies, Relationships, Self-Improvement

  1.  9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life by Dr. Henry Cloud

Dr. Henry Cloud, psychologist and best-selling author, discusses 9 principles in which to respond to certain types of people and situations. Sometimes things that are so simple are not always so obvious.

  1. Thieves by Trey Smith

Trey Smith is the author and founder of The God in a Nutshell Project. He has many documentaries on You Tube. This book is based on his life, which sounds like it could be fiction, but it is a true story. To me, this book is his testimony; all of those events helped shape Trey Smith into the man that he is today.

  1. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

This is part of a series of love language books. As with most couples, we discussed this book during premarital counseling. It gives you a better understanding of your mate and yourself as it relates to the expression of love. It could be through physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or quality time. Some of us have more than one “love language”.

  1. Miracles Happen by Mary Kay Ash

All Mary Kay Beauty Consultants receive a copy of Mary Kay’s autobiography when they join. On September 13, 1963, Mary Kay Ash started a company with only a dream that is now a multi-billion dollar company. After 11 years, I’m still a believer in the products.

  1. The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David J. Schwartz

My Sales Director recommended this book when I first started as a Beauty Consultant. Just as I believe that words are very powerful, so are your thoughts.

Lately, I have re-read a couple of these books. Sometimes you need a refresher.

Things Do Get Better With Age

By cassandrwiley / On / In Healthy Eating, Parenting, Relationships, Self-Improvement

I don’t know about you, but I am having a great summer. We’ve had two family outings and I was able to go to the Bahamas to celebrate my 40th birthday. I know that women don’t typically tell their age, but I see it as a blessing. Oftentimes at 40, we become depressed because we don’t feel that we’ve accomplished our goals. We thought that we’d be further in our careers, be married with children, or have more money and less debt.

When I think about my life, I don’t have any regrets. Sure, I’ve made many mistakes, but I’ve learned from them. My prayer is that I don’t make the same mistakes over again. The past eight years haven’t been the most stable career wise, but being a mom is the best job in the world. My son has come a long way from the 1 lb. 10 oz. preemie in the NICU. My marriage seems to get better with each passing year. Until I met my husband, I didn’t meet “nice” guys. They were looking for somebody to take care of them.

Most importantly, I feel good. I make sure that I get some rest and exercise. I also make sure that I eat some type of raw vegetables each day. When I look in the mirror, I feel good about myself. I don’t have a perfect body, but who does? The images that we see on television aren’t necessary the real thing thanks to implants and plastic surgery. I know what I want from life and what I cannot tolerate. I’ve had some of the same friendships for the last 15 to 20 years. Others, I have ended. No regrets. Some people are just toxic and immature.

Looking forward, I want to be an inspiration to others. Don’t use your age as an excuse. As the saying goes, age is just a number. Pray for wisdom and discernment. Things will become clearer to you.

Fighting with Jealousy

By cassandrwiley / On / In Relationships, Self-Improvement

Scientists are trying to assure us that love is the result of action of a chemical force viewed in our organism. Moreover, they decided to examine the most contradictory feeling caused by passion – jealousy. It turned out that this feeling is directly related to hormones, and a jealous person feels jealous because he/she enjoys revenge! That’s a rather unexpected conclusion, isn’t it?

Italian scientists came to the conclusion that the reasons for the inadequate behavior of the jealous person are hidden in disorders of brain activity that lead to tragic consequences. Having conducted a series of experiments, the researchers proved that it is due to an outbreak of the jealousy hormone, dopamine. This hormone is responsible for the sense of satisfaction! As we can see, when a person is jealous, he/she is suffering internally, but at the same time the feeling of happiness occurs! It actually explains the desire to check a partner’s cell phone, read e-mails, or even have him/her shadowed.

In most cases, jealousy is experienced by shy and suspicious people, those who have suffered serious insults and humiliations in childhood. However, there are numerous examples when the successful and wealthy suffer from this damaging feeling; these people do not complain about lack of self-confidence.

Jealousy is a disease!

Scientists have come to the conclusion that jealousy is a disease. It’s advised to treat it at the early stage. According to scientists, there are five kinds of jealousy – depressive, paranoid, manic, exaggerated, and caused by the fear of divorce. In general, the so-called Othello syndrome is considered to be quite a natural feeling. But a biochemical imbalance in the body, generated by jealousy, can turn this feeling into a dangerous obsession. It is therefore essential to define it at an early stage and start the treatment.

How shall we fight?

The biggest mistake is to think that the latest findings of scientists give you an excuse and a possibility to say that jealousy is caused by hormones and you are not guilty!  If we are proud that we are given the name of Homo Sapiens, we must at least learn to control our emotions. So what should you do to protect yourself and a beloved person from one of the most dangerous and destructive feelings?

1. Get rid of complexes. Low self-esteem provokes thoughts that the partner is not satisfied with your appearance, character or habits. Ban yourself to use such phrases as “I’m fat”,  “I am not smart enough”, “I am not so beautiful”, etc. Believe in the fact that you are better than others and your partner will definitely believe in that.

2. Trust your partner. Stop exhausting yourself with thoughts that at this very moment, while you are waiting for your beloved person, he or she is having fun with someone else. Think at least that thoughts tend to come true, and decide if you really want your fantasy to become a reality.

3. Spend more time together. This will save you from a reason to be jealous.

4. Do not stop taking care of your appearance and health. Make sure that you look good even being at home. This will help you to gain self-confidence.

5. Do not be silent. Explain to your partner what situations bring you to jealousy. Let the partner know how you really feel. If you find the right words and the right manner of speaking, you can be sure that in the future your partner will avoid situations that stir up discontent.

6. Get busy. Obviously, really busy people simply don’t have time to check e-mails and messages, or think about where their beloved people are spending time. Try to focus on a very interesting activity; find a hobby which will demand all your attention and distract you from negative and suspicious thoughts.

7. Eat chocolate, blueberries and almonds. These products help to cope with stress and depression. If you feel that jealousy begins to conquer your mind, just eat chocolate or a handful of nuts. The emotional storm will blow itself.

8. Professional help. If all of the above mentioned methods do not help, and you value the relationships with this person, it’s time to ask for professional help. There is nothing shameful if a psychotherapist helps you to cope with jealousy. Treat jealousy as a disease and you’re looking for the doctor, just as if you suffered from a toothache.

About the author: The essay is written by Melisa Marzett. Melisa writes on such topics as healthy lifestyle, psychology and health care. Find more information about Melisa at  http://plus.google.com/u/0/107510858661818945978?rel=author. This young writer also writes for http://smartessaywritingservice.com/.

How to Resist Temptation

By cassandrwiley / On / In Relationships, Self-Improvement

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A big part of resisting temptation is having self-control. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or single. You don’t have to give in to your urges or lusts. Just like if you see a beautiful buffet of food doesn’t mean that you have to sample everything. There are always consequences when you do. It may not be immediate, but believe me, there will be some. Here are some ways to do that:

1. There is always somebody that can relate to you. Always know that there are many other people going through a similar situation. It’s not just you.

2. Seek wise counsel. You don’t want to get advice from a friend that would suggest cheating on your spouse or just doing what you feel. Unfortunately, that what society tells you. Doing what you want and feel will get you into trouble. If you don’t have anyone that you’re comfortable confiding in, you can always talk to a counselor. They aren’t biased or judgmental. Sometimes our friends and family can be very judgmental or cannot relate to our plight. For a matter this serious, be careful who you confide in.

3. Avoid that irresistible person or thing. . The best way to avoid temptation is to not put yourself in that situation. You don’t want to spend too much time around an attractive person of the opposite sex that you enjoy talking to. That can lead to lunches, dinners, and “cardiovascular activities”. Once you cross that line, there’s no coming back from it.

4. Think about the worst case scenario if you crossed the line. Losing your family, home, and trust from the people that care about you can be a result of your infidelity. God can bring you back from anything, but I wouldn’t want to hit rock bottom. Don’t put your family at risk for a meaningless fling.

5. Think about how wonderful your spouse is. If you need to, list 10 things that you love most about your spouse. Think about about how smart, sexy, and talented they are. Every time that other person comes to mind, think of that list.

Remember, the real thing is never as good as the fantasy. You may find out something really disturbing about that person. They may be fine, but they may also be crazy on top of that. Some people that appear to be so self-confident may in fact be very insecure. You already know what you’re getting with your spouse. They love you for who you are, including your flaws. You’ve invested so much into your marriage over the years. When you feel a weak moment coming on, pray about it. Again, the key is self-control. You’ll thank me later.

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Is A Smile Key To A Lasting Relationship? By Richard Buckley

By cassandrwiley / On / In Relationships, Self-Improvement

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Surveys on dating websites consistently show that most people value a nice smile as the most attractive physical feature in a partner, but is a smile really the key to a lasting relationship? What can you do to improve the look of your smile?

The importance of your smile

When you see somebody that you know, hear good news, or if you are feeling happy, the first thing you do is to smile. Your smile is the single most important means of communicating with other people. It can help to build relationships, create positive first impressions, and encourage others to feel happy or reassured. If you have a nice smile and you’re not afraid to use it, this enables you to show your personality. You can make others feel at ease in your company and convey your confidence. Past research suggests six out of ten people in long-term relationships consider oral health maintenance more important than other hygiene misdemeanors.

Smiling is important in a relationship because it shows that you are happy in somebody else’s company, and you are open to showing your emotions. Your smile can also show confidence and warmth.

Smiling on the dating scene

Dating is a subject of great intrigue in modern society, as websites, agencies and dating apps have made dating much more commonplace than it used to be. When you go on a date, it’s normal to feel nervous and a little anxious. If you are greeted with a warm smile, this instantly makes you feel better. It’s also important to portray the right impression, as research shows that you make up your mind about somebody in just a few seconds after meeting them.

Smiling is often a barometer of confidence, one of the most attractive characteristics in a partner. If you smile, this creates a positive ambience; however, if you are reticent to smile because you don’t like your teeth or you feel very shy or nervous, this can make dating awkward. You may find it hard to show your true personality. Smiling is synonymous with being friendly, warm and compassionate. If you shy away from smiling, this can make you seem distant and uninterested, even if you are not like that at all.

What can I do to improve my smile?

Many people are not blessed with perfect teeth, but the good news is that there are many treatments out there that can help to improve the look of your smile. You don’t need to spend a fortune or lie for hours in the dental chair to enjoy a great smile. There are simple and quick treatments available, and even making small changes to your diet and oral hygiene regime can make a big difference.

There is a host of exciting and innovative cosmetic dental treatments available today, including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening and cosmetic bonding. The latter is a treatment used to repair chipped and worn teeth, which takes less than an hour and is completely painless.

Seeing a dental hygienist can make a huge difference to the look of your smile; intensive cleaning treatments remove surface stains and give your teeth a lovely, healthy glow.

Many people suffer from orthodontic issues, and this is a common cause of problems associated with lacking confidence when you smile. If your teeth are crooked or crowded, it’s never too late to have treatment. There are so many options available now, from removable appliances, which work in less than 5 months ; there’s invisible aligners, to clear braces, and braces that are attached to the back of your teeth. For further information visit http://www.simplybetterdentistry.com.au/