When I got married, I bought a hand made wedding dress. Expensive, but worth every penny!

Etsy.com - hand made wedding dress

https://www.etsy.com/listing/111677359/the-asa-custom-elena-gown-made-to-order?ref=shop_home_active_4

When I got engaged on Christmas Eve 2011, I had a vision of a dress in mind before he even dropped to his knee. I wanted something unique, flattering, and special, of course. I knew I wouldn’t find what I was looking for on a rack at David’s Bridal. I started scouring the internet, although I knew my chances were better online, I was extremely apprehensive about buying my wedding dress online.

Buying a wedding dress without so much as seeing it in person, let alone trying it on, would be a huge risk to take. But I still wasn’t finding anything up to my standards. Finally an idea popped into my head – my best friend was married two years prior and had these wonderful bridesmaids dresses handmade from a woman on etsy.com, a craft type online marketplace. I didn’t think she made actual wedding dresses, but the bridesmaid’s dresses were so beautifully done, I thought I’d at least check her out.

To my utter surprise, I saw she did make bridal gowns…unfortunately none caught my eye. On the very last page, in the third row, second column, I saw a picture of a young woman in a dress in a small icon. I clicked on it to enlarge it and there it was – my dress. I contacted the dress maker right away to see if she would even be able to do it, she would have well over a year to complete the job.

Then came the moment of truth…the price. For a custom, handmade bridal gown, I knew we would be talking thousands. Even when I browsed on David’s Bridal, most reasonable dresses started at $1000.00. When the seamstress wrote me back explaining it would be $750.00 plus shipping, I about lost it! And yet it gets better. Her and I e-mailed back and forth and back and forth. She needed measurements, I wanted to change a few things, she needed payment, I questioned the materials used…and that’s when the bright idea hit me – if she is using strictly recycled material anyway, what if I sent her the recycled material? What if I sent her my mother’s dress along with my fiance’s mother’s dress and had her turn it into a dress for me? I dared to ask her the question.

She replied stating that she would absolutely love for me to send her the material because then she doesn’t need to worry about finding it. So I sent it out to her. Once there were no more words to be spoken, I had to wait. I was able to pick what time I wanted on her schedule, but because I tricked myself into thinking I would actually loose weight, I chose the last available time. Eventually she sent me pictures of my completed dress to see if I wanted anything changed. I did not, I fell in love with it and couldn’t wait to get it!

My fiance was with me when I got home from work to find a notice on our front door asking me to pick up a package at the post office. I brought the box home, carefully cut it open, and delicately removed the dress from the box. My fiance helped me hoist it up and over my head. It fit perfectly. The dress was tight, lace, doily material up top, and loose, miscellaneous strips of fabric filling out the skirt below. I twirled around a few times, then asked my fiance to un-zip me. That’s when I realized there wasn’t a zipper! I never thought to ask, I had just assumed there would be one.

I also noticed there was a little bit of excess room in the chest area that needed fixed. I ended up taking it to a local seamstress and paying under $10 to fix the front. Compare that to finding a dress at David’s Bridal that every other bride this season would be wearing and spending over a thousand dollars and you can’t. There is no comparing. In two weeks, I was wearing a custom bridal gown made up of my mother’s and my fiance’s mother’s wedding dresses to get married…and all for $750.

Let’s just be happy! You CAN be a full time blogger AND have a great love life!

Everyone has the right to live a happy, healthy life.  Including me!

Being happy sounds so easy, when you’re sitting on the outside looking in.  It took me way too many years to understand what true happiness means.  It took a decade or more to truly understand that, YES, I deserve to be healthy and happy too!  My happiness doesn’t depend on anyone else but ME.  It takes work, but with some practice, you can learn to love yourself the way you deserve.

Here’s my story for you…

Unfortunately, personal happiness and well-being seem to be out of reach for so many people. Stresses at work, in life or with interpersonal relationships can all take a toll on one’s mental and physical health.  This definitely applies to the stay-at-home moms (like me) trying to balance family obligations with a full time career.

With that said, sexual health is one of the hottest and most debated topics these days. TV talk shows, internet websites and radio pundits all have something to say about what constitutes a happy and fulfilling sex life. Whether a person is straight, homosexual or bisexual, a healthy sex life (or lack of) has a direct relationship on their overall mental and physical well-being.

love photo: love aw.jpg

With divorce rates exceeding 50%, a healthy sex life is often the tie that binds. Couples with a healthy connection communicate better and stay married longer. These are the folks that can weather the storms of life and remain partners and lovers for all their days.

But, let’s face it, after many months and years together, things can get boring in the bedroom. It’s all too common for couples to lose that “fire” that they experienced when they first met. The fireworks that once made them googly-eyed for each other sometimes fizzle out.  In a nutshell, it’s all too easy for couples to slide into complacency and get lazy with their relationships.

The good news is, for the couples that communicate well, these issues can be quickly identified and fixed. To spice things up, a loving couple may choose different times and places for their sexy time. They may mix it up by adding slippery oils and lubrications to their bedroom time. Sometimes foods like whipped cream and strawberries can really heat things up.  Other couples may choose to integrate sex toys such as male and female vibrators into foreplay and intercourse.

Sex toys can spice things up in the bedroom

As a techie, always connected to my electronic gadgets type of woman, I have a keen interest interest in the latest and greatest electronic devices.  Surprisingly the sex toys industry has some interesting offerings that are right up my alley!

Toys for women are abundant both online and at brick and mortar stores. Women can freely discuss their favorite vibrator amongst their friends or co-workers.  However, for guys, it’s a different story. Men using sex toys is a taboo subject for many folks. It’s not as socially acceptable as it is for women. Also, many men are uncomfortable or really squeamish about using these devices. Their reasons are many: peer-pressure, social mores and misconceptions are all concerns.

Thankfully, we’re in the 21st century now. Because of this i was recently able to convince my man to try some bedroom toys that he may like to try as well.  He was squeamish at first, but now I think I’ve created a monster!  :)

 

There is a small, but growing market for sex toys for men. A device that comes up frequently in conversation is the prostate massager. This is what my guy uses.  These devices are perfectly acceptable for men of all sexual orientations. They’re designed specifically for his pleasure, because they’re anatomically correct for the shape of his body. Lots of guys don’t even know where to start when considering a top rated prostate massager for bedroom play. They may not realize that these toys can be used solo OR with a willing partner. If you’d like to learn more about male prostate massage and devices, www.bestprostatemassagerguide.com is a great resource to get you started. The Aneros Vice is my man’s favorite.

Go ahead, guys n gals, and give it a try.  You might be amazed at what you discover!  Communicate and stay connected to the person you care about most!

8 Fun Things To Do with the Kids Before Summer Ends

August has arrived already, and with it brings thoughts of the school year to come. There are still some warm days left before school starts, though. In these last few weeks, I try to squeeze in as much fun as possible with the kiddos. I try to make sure that at least SOME of these fun activities are accomplished before summer comes to a close.  I’ve done all these with the family at least a few times.  All are great for some quality family bonding.

#1 – Go Camping

Summer’s long days and warm weather makes it the perfect season for camping. If you haven’t been yet, grab your tent and some sleeping bags and head out into the woods. Even a grassy backyard will do for a pseudo-camping trip. What’s important is that you leave the technology behind – turn off the cell phone, leave behind the video game systems and spend time reconnecting with each other out in nature. Don’t forget to bring along the makings for everyone’s favorite campfire treat – S’Mores.

#2 – Explore the Beach

Summer is beach season, and if you haven’t made it yet, now is the time. Even if you have made it, one more trip to the beach can’t hurt. Whether you’re near the ocean or heading down to the lake, those long, hot, summer days spent building sand castles, collecting shells and sea glass, and playing in the water are memories that your kids will never forget.

#3 – Have a Picnic

camping photo: camping Firefighter20overlooking20lake201.jpg

image source: photobucket.com/images/camping

There’s just something extra-special about eating outdoors. Whether you’re heading to the park and using one of their grills, or bringing along some simple finger-foods, having a picnic is an excellent summer activity. Bring along a Frisbee or other outdoor activities and enjoy your afternoon or evening outside. If you can, try to stay out long enough to catch some lightning bugs (fireflies).

#4 – Hit the Bike Trail

The summer months are the perfect time to hit the bike trails with your kids. Whether you’re biking through a local park or hitting wilder trails, spending a day biking with your kids is an excellent activity to do with the kids before school starts. This is an excellent opportunity to bring along that picnic from the previous activity and truly make a day of it.

#5 – Head to the Water Park

In a month or two, the water parks will be closing down for the season. These last couple of weeks will be your last chance to spend and afternoon at the water park. The kids will have a blast spending an afternoon on the water slides and lazy river, and let’s face it – you will too.

#6 – Grab Some Ice Cream

ice cream photo: Ice Cream tumblr_lii6kgCn8d1qa9rqso1_500.jpg

image source: photobucket.com/images/ice%20cream

Sure, you can buy ice cream any time at the grocery store, but there’s just something special about visiting one of the many ice cream shops that are only open during the summer months. If you haven’t visited one of these yet (or even if you have), now is the the time to make that ice cream run. Many of these shops will be closing their doors for the season in the next few weeks.

#7 – Grab a Paddle

You don’t have to have white water nearby to have a good time on the lake, river, or ocean. If getting into the raft or kayak isn’t something you’ve done yet this summer, now is the time to grab your paddle and head out onto the water. There is just something exhilarating about being out on the water, even if its more of a lazy float than a white water rampage.

#8 – Hit a Summer Festival

Summer is festival season. Whether you’re there for the food, people, or music, visiting one of these summer fests is an experience no one should miss out on. Even if you have to drive a ways to find one, hitting up a summer festival should be on your list of things to do before summer is over.

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