If you don’t ask, you’ll never get what you want

Dividing up the household chores is one of the most difficult aspects of living with another person. Most people think only newlyweds have this dilemma, but it’s something even older couples, life-long friends and college roommates struggle with when they live together.

Most people don’t enter into a living arrangement thinking they will simply get the other person to do all the work around the house so they can just relax and enjoy the weekend. Quite often, when two people decide to live together, they get right to work making joint decisions on what color to paint the walls, what type of furniture they want to have or where to place the TV.

But when it comes to maintaining the home and the yard, paying the bills, doing the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning many individuals simply start doing whatever it is they’re most comfortable with, without much discussion at all. And that’s exactly where the problem lies.

Silence isn’t the answer

For example, if you love to cook, you might be excited to prepare the first few meals in your new home. After only a short time, you find you’re doing all the cooking, and it’s just become part of the routine. The other person may not offer to cook a meal because they don’t want to offend you or because they know how much you love to cook. But in the meantime, you’re getting annoyed because they haven’t even asked.

All of this could have been avoided with a simple conversation about who’d be doing the cooking once you moved in. Just stating that you’re excited to try out the new kitchen may be enough to get the conversation started. But be sure to speak up and suggest a plan to share the responsibility if it doesn’t come up automatically. You can apply this same tactic to just about any ongoing chore that’s likely to become a source of frustration if only one person is responsible.

Communication is easier once the lines are open

While it’s always a good idea to have these types of discussions ahead of time, it’s important to keep in mind that once you’re all settled in you may need to make some adjustments to your preplanned routine. Maybe one person’s commute is longer than originally thought, or maybe you decided to get a dog. However, having already had discussions about sharing responsibilities, it will be much easier to discuss what may need to change.

Some people may be resistant to the idea of discussing responsibilities in the home, because they think it seems too ridged. But the truth is, having clear-cut roles makes it even easier to be flexible, especially in the short term. For example, you see that the other person is struggling with something (e.g., a big project that’s keeping them at the office late or a cold that’s keeping them on the couch). If it’s their turn to make dinner or take out the trash, be sure to offer to step in. Just make sure you’re genuine in asking if you can help out, as you don’t want them to feel like they’re not keeping up their end. Also, by asking if they need help, you’re setting a precedent of pitching in when needed, and the favor will likely be returned when you’re in need.

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Surprising things that can make men insecure

Men in general are usually not affected by someone saying that their clothes don’t look good, or that their new hairstyle looks boring or outdated. This is the kind of issue that would normally be important to women and for the most part this is true, but there are actually many things that can make a man feel insecure and we are going to be listing some of the most relevant ones in this article.

1-Belly flab

Yes, while most men are able to hide behind their shirts all day long, there is a moment when they are going to have to expose their bodies and the belly flab is usually going to be a cause for concern. This is even more common when there are men who have fit bodies around. The problem is that most men will forget about this insecurity because they only have to deal with it sporadically.

2-Lack of culture

It might seem like men are not affected by how much they know about general culture, but this is usually not the case. Most men will rather pretend to be interesting rather than seem like they are uncultured. This is high on the list of things that make men feel insecure, but the good news is that reading more books and learning some general culture can fix this problem.

3-Back hair

This might have not been an issue back in the70’s and 80’s, but things have changed a lot in the last few decades and the hairy look for men is no longer appealing. When men have hairy backs, they tend to feel very conscious about it. This is a big issue when they go swimming or they are at the beach. Fortunately there are ways to fix this now with permanent hair removal. The days of the hairy sexy look are definitely long gone.

4-Embarrasing relatives

Believe it or not, there are many men who are tormented by having to bring their girlfriend to their home, because they are afraid of being embarrassed by a relative that is always doing or saying things that are inappropriate. This seems to be an issue that affects more men than women all over the world.

5-A crappy vehicle

Out of all the things that we have mentioned in this list, it seems like one of the situations that can make men seriously insecure is to drive a messed up car. According to many surveys, there are very few things that most men would dread more than having to drive to a party with a crappy car and seeing a lot of beautiful women staring at the car and laughing. This scenario is likely to never happen the way most men imagine it, but it’s definitely one of the few things that can make a man feel embarrassed and insecure to a level that even causes anxiety. Modern media has made it seem like success is closely related to the kind of car a man drives and this has put even more pressure on most guys who are driving crappy vehicles.


Men are more likely not to be too worried about their clothes and the accessories they wear, but there are definitely a lot of things that can make men feel insecure. The curious thing is that the kinds of issues that make men insecure, will usually cause no emotional distress in women and vice-versa. At least now we know that even when men are better at playing it cool, they are also hiding many insecurities that they deal with all the time.

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Empty Nest

When your children reach the age to embark out into the world on their own, you can be left with a feeling of loss and loneliness. Some parents may experience what is referred to as Empty Nest Syndrome, feelings of depression, sadness, and/or grief. It becomes a whole different home when the children are not there on a regular basis. It may take some time to accept the change and enjoy the new opportunities.

You’ve done your job raising your children, they are ready to fly from the nest. It’s important for them to be happy and healthy adults, so you need to encourage them in as guilt-free a way as possible. Be positive and encouraging to your child who is moving out on their own.

It’s never too early to think about your empty nest in order to make the transition easier on you and your child. Here are six tips to help you move forward with this new part of your life.

  1. Plan Ahead – It’s never too early to start planning and talking to your child about the future.
  2. Get to Know Your Spouse – Now is the time to rekindle your relationship with your spouse. Use the time travel and get to know one another again.
  3. Make a Dream List – Start a list of the things you have always wanted to do or see but couldn’t while raising a family. Maybe take lessons of some sort, or change your career, or even going back to school for extra course just for you. Start with something small and work towards a new goal.
  4. Avoid Big Changes – Try not to make any huge changes like selling the house. Give yourself some time to adjust to these new changes first.
  5. Talk to Others – Look to others who have been through the same situation or are also saying goodbye to their kids. You’ll find that the similarities will help you get through the loneliness and feeling of loss. It will also help keep you busy and not thinking of all the negatives.
  6. Prepare Your Child – By getting your child ready to be on their own, you will be helping them while also making you feel more at ease with them being away. Teach them how to do the laundry, prepare meals, deal with money issues, etc.

It is hard to let your child go – give them their independence. You have done your job and you can be proud of them and you’ll be able to notice just how fine a job of parenting you have done. When kids leave, parents are challenged to restructure their lives and find new identities. An empty nest also comes with its own joys. It’s a time where parents can be open to personal growth and discovery. It will take time, but you’ll soon be busy and enjoying what your new found time and freedom has brought. And you’ll love and cherish the time spent when your kids come back home for visits.

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Good Mourning

Losing someone or something you love is heart wrenching. There are many emotions and stages of grief you will go through. There is no set way to deal with the pain, and everyone deals with loss and grief in their own way. While there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can help you move on.

Grief is a natural response to loss. The emotional suffering you feel when you lose a loved one is your grief. Usually the more the significant the loss, the more intense the grief will be. Grief is often associated with the death of a loved one, but can also include:

  • Divorce or relationship breakup
  • Loss of health
  • Losing a job
  • Loss of financial stability
  • A miscarriage
  • Death of a pet
  • Loss of a dream
  • Serious illness of a loved one
  • Loss of a friendship
  • Selling the family home

It is extremely important to remember that everyone grieves differently. It is a personal and individual experience. How someone grieves depends on several factors such as personality, coping style, life experience, faith and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time. Healing will happen gradually, and there is no normal timetable for grieving. Some will start to feel better in week or months, while others will be years. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to go through the natural process.

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross introduced what is known as the five stages of grief in 1969.

  1. Denial – “This can’t be happening to me.”
  2. Anger – “Why is this happening?”
  3. Bargaining – “Make this not happen and I will….”
  4. Depression – “I’m too sad to do anything.”
  5. Acceptance – “I’m at peace with what happened.”

However, it is important to note that not everyone will necessarily go through all five stages. It is important to find ways to cope with all or any of the stages that you do experience. There are many ways to help you get through such a difficult time.

  • Friends and Family – lean on the people who care about you. Accept assistance that is offered and be around them when you can’t be alone.
  • Have Faith – if you follow a faith, embrace the comfort the mourning ritual can provide.
  • Support Groups – grief can feel lonely even when you have loved ones around you. Join a group that can understand your sorrow and how you have been feeling. Often you can find bereavement support through hospitals, hospices, funeral homes and counseling centres.
  • Talk to a Professional – make an appointment with a therapist or grief counselor. They are trained and experienced to help you work through your grief.
  • Deal with your feelings – don’t avoid your grief. Unresolved grief can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems.
  • Look after your health – the mind and body are connected and when you feel better physically, you feel better emotionally. Combat your stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating right and exercising.
  • Be the Boss – Don’t let anyone, including yourself, tell you how to feel. Your grief is your own and no one else can tell you when it’s time to move on or get over it. Feel what you need to feel without being embarrassed or feeling judged.
  • Plan Ahead – those special dates are still going to happen. Anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, are all going to bring back memories and feelings. Be prepared for these emotional times and let yourself deal with them in your way and your timeframe.

Use the sources that are out there for support during your time of loss. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help from family, friends and even professionals if you need it. Losing someone or something close to you can cause a great deal of pain that will take time to heal.

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Helicopter Parenting

A helicopter parent is essentially an over protective parent. Our children are our lives. It is our instinct to guide, help and protect them through life. But there is a fine line of protecting too much and allowing your child to learn and experience things for themselves. Helicopter parents will protect their children from any and all potential sources of harm, risk and/or disappointment. It’s where one of the best of intentions can lead to the worst of results.

If a child is not allowed to explore and make mistakes, adequate learning cannot happen. A parent that does all the thinking for a child will produce an adult that will always need the approval of his or her “primary brain” (the parent) and won’t be able to make their own choices and decisions. Helicopter parents believe they are protecting their innocent children from the harshness of the real world. But in reality they are preventing their kids from learning important life lessons and skills and setting them up for future failure and unhappiness.

Self-esteem is one of the most important things a parent can help a child foster. Self-esteem helps determine a child’s future success and ability. Achieving success and happiness is made much easier with good self-esteem.

Helicopter parenting can affect a child’s ability to learn decision making, that there are consequences to their actions and how to deal with rejection.

  1. Decision Making – This is probably one of the most important life skills a person develops. It is something that needs to be developed, learned and perfected. Children who can make their own decisions and are empowered to do so are given the chance to build their self-confidence and esteem.
  2. Consequences – Connected to decision making is learning that there are consequences to our decisions and actions. It is a crucial life lesson. It is during childhood that these crucial life skills are to be learned and developed so that they happen in a nurturing, loving and safe environment. It is better to learn these lessons at a young age where in general the consequences don’t have life-time ramifications.
  3. Dealing with Rejection – Rejection or failure is a part of life. Learning to deal with it and overcoming it are crucial life skills. The sooner a child is able to learn how to deal with rejection, the better they will be able to cope and persevere in life.

As well-intentioned a parent may be, if they are too over protective and hovering, rescuing, and excusing, they are only having a negative impact on their kids. They may find their children will have a deflated self-esteem, difficulty problem-solving, dependency issues, irresponsible behavior, a sense of self entitlement, become self-centered, needy and have a lack of resiliency and persistence. Protect your children, but let them learn for themselves. You’re only helping them become the best person they can be.

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Girls Night Out

Sometimes you just need to get out. And what is better than a night out with your best girlfriends? Whether you’re studying at university or working hard in a company throughout the week, regardless of your age and interests, one of the best stress relievers for women is a girls’ night out. A fun night out can take off the pressure of the mundane and lift your spirits. What makes these evenings out so special is the relationships built between you and your friends, the need to break loose from everyday life and have fun.

Women are constantly searching for something new and different to do for a great girls night out that doesn’t always involve a bar or a highly overrated movie. When you consider the fact that most women have different tastes in books and poetry, book readings or signings are often very hit or miss, physical activity takes some of the fun out of things, and dancing inevitably leaves an odd girl out. Dinner is a great idea, but often is over far too soon.

Here are some ideas for fun and different girl’s night out.

Paint Your Own Pottery Shop – enjoy an evening of painting, laughing, joking and dishing with your friends.

Relaxing Time – if you and your friends usually have tight, busy schedules with hardly any time for yourselves as you shuttle between responsibilities at the office, at home and as a mother, a relaxing night out is what everyone craves. Plan for a mini massage, facials or for manicures and pedicures.

Bowling – This is an old idea that is definitely enjoyed by many. It’s something different and fun. Usually gets a laugh or two as well.

Try a New Hobby – Plan a cooking session, jewelry making class or cake decorating class. It’s useful and a great time doing something different with your girlfriends.

There are healthy benefits of female bonding. A study by Australian researchers found that female friendship wasn’t just good for the soul; it’s good for your health. Researchers concluded that the presence of good friends in a woman’s life increased life expectancy. Researchers in California concluded that girlfriends are stress-busters for women and have an impact on overall mood. It seems that when we’re around friends, the mood-elevating hormone oxytocin is released, increasing feeling of euphoria. Women with abundant friendships decrease their risk of illness and not having regular contact with girlfriends was as detrimental to her health as smoking or packing on pounds.

Now that you know the importance of having regular girl’s night out and have a bunch of ideas to make your girl’s night out fun, get to planning your next get togethert. Send out an evite to your girlfriends, and catch up, relax, and de-stress.

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Playing at Work

In the mid 1900s generally you met your partner at school. It was there that relationships were formed and dating turned to marriage. Nowadays, with life getting busy, sometimes the only chance you get to find or start a relationship is with someone you work with. You get to become friends and learn a lot about them just because you see them every day. You spend most of your time at your place of work and since more and more people do not have time to go date, the office can play a matchmaker role.

There are serious things that should be considered when you start an office romance, as dating a workmate has serious implications on all aspects of your life, and also affects those around you.


  1. Great place to meet. In today’s hectic work environment it can be difficult to find the time to “get out there” and find a suitable partner. At work you generally become attracted to the person over time, which is more conducive to a working relationship.
  2. Establish a relationship prior to dating. By working alongside someone you will get to know them as a person, and find out more about who they really are than you would in other circumstances. By finding out more about the real person, and being attracted to this person, the relationship should last longer and be more secure.
  3. Spend time with each other. Obviously if a relationship is going to last a long time, you and your partner will need to spend a lot of time with each other. If you start to date someone you work with you will get the chance to spend a lot of time with them, and the chances are you had been spending this time with them prior to dating.
  4. Create a happy work environment. The early stages of dating are an exciting, happy time. By dating someone at work you can both lift the spirit of the office by being in an excellent mood and giving off positive vibes.
  5. Have a helping hand during those stressful times. If you have a problem at work it may seem like everything is against you and no one is willing to help. Colleagues are often busy with their own work and unwilling or unable to assist. If you are dating a workmate they will be more likely to go that extra mile and give you a hand.

Of course, not everything about meeting your partner at work is good. Several of the positive aspects can easily slip into negative ones, and there are other issues all on their own which could block you from having a meaningful relationship with a workmate.


  1. Subject of idle gossip. If you start a relationship with someone in your office, you can be sure that other people will gossip about it. If possible, you should try and be open about your new relationship instead of keeping it a secret.
  2. Jealousy. Your co-workers may be jealous of the relationship you have, especially if it is an employer/employee. You or your partner may get jealous by talking to others in the office, it may come off as “flirty”.
  3. Spending too much time together. Seeing each other socially in the evenings and weekends, followed by seeing each other in a stricter environment during the day can lead to a little too much. It also may kill a little of the romance, as you miss out on the excitement of waiting to see them at the end of the day.
  4. Allocating objective blame. If something goes wrong and work, and it’s your fault or that of your partner, it can be difficult to remain as objective as you should be.
  5. Breaking up is hard to do. If the worst happens and your relationship comes to an end, it can be disastrous in the workplace. Breaking is up is hard to do at the best of time, and having to see them at work every day can be very difficult, creating an unhappy working environment that your colleagues will be in the middle of.

Weigh out your options before you get to close. Think about the pros and cons before you jump into anything serious.

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That’s What Friends are For

Periodically, we all face challenging situations. Obstacles, setbacks, and loses are a vital part of experiencing the fullness, and even the sweetness of life. Sometimes we are just not strong enough to get through these difficult times on our own. That is when a true friend will be your crutch, helping you get through it. It is nice to have the support of someone in your corner.

Friends can also be the first ones to notice changes in other friends. It may be a change in mood, certain behaviours, or in activities they previously enjoyed. You may have noticed that your friend seems to be tired all the time or easily irritated. Maybe they’ve stopped hanging out and spend more time alone. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what’s different about them but generally you have a sense that something is wrong. Friends can pick up on something that is off – they know you almost as well as you know yourself.

Being a friend means being there when things are great and when things are not so great. Supporting a friend shows you care. And nothing is more important in a friendship than empathy and communication. When your friend is going through a difficult time, you must be able to convey your understanding, concern and support.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts when trying to help a friend.


  • Allow your friend to heal and seek you out when they are ready.
  • Offer advice if asked.
  • Listen to the entire situation before jumping to conclusions.
  • Provide a distraction to get your friend’s mind off the difficult situation.
  • Invite your friend out to socialize.
  • Help your friend with things they need.


  • Force your friend to open up.
  • Offer unsolicited advice.
  • Rely on gossip or incomplete information to assess the situation.
  • Badger your friend with repeated calls, texts, and emails. Sometime they need to be alone.
  • Make the situation about you by comparing.
  • Use guilt to force your friend into socializing with you.
  • Try to run your friend’s life.

To nurture your friendships:

  • Accept yourself. Cultivate a healthy, realistic self-image.
  • Accept others. Don’t judge. Allow your friends the space they need to grow, change and make mistakes.
  • Be positive.
  • Don’t compete.
  • Listen up. Pay attention to what is happening in their life.
  • Respect boundaries. Keep confidential any personal information that is shared with you.

Be there for your friend during their difficult period, because you will want them there for you when you need them!

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No More Bored Games – Fun, Family Board Games

The best way to bring the family together is to have group activities that most, if not all family members can participate in. Family board games are great for bonding. The family can gather together and spend some quality time interacting. Also, board games can improve the thinking process of the family. Some board games are educational, and can keep the mind tuned, fresh and quick witted.

The best board games for family night are the ones that get everybody together without phones and other electronics in their hands. It is the group dynamics of face-to-face, around the table interaction that makes board games the continued choice for all ages. Good old ‘analog’ table-talk provides all the elements of staying close to the people in your family.

Often the simplest of games will be the ones that you bring out most often when family or friends gather. Change it up on a weekly or monthly basis to keep the interest. Let the reaction from the participants be the measure of approval. Having fun, good natured banter and laughter, are all indicators of an excellent game choice. It is all about generating fun and good conversation. A good board game will even draw in the non-participants. Having good memories and conversation about past played games is always an excellent indicator that you have a ‘winning’ game.

Some of the best board games for all ages include:

  • Simon
  • Connect 4
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Candyland
  • Checkers
  • Monopoly
  • Sorry
  • Chess

Again, the best board games are the ones that get the whole family engaged. It’s a great way to interact, communicate and spend quality time as a family. Plan your next family night as a board game night.

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Unbroken Family – Making the most out of shared time with your kids

Kids enjoy having hands on experiences with their parents. Parent and child bonding time is becoming a lot more scarce, not only for broken families, but also due to this fast-paced modernized society. Our kids need us to spend time with them. Kids develop values, security, positive self esteem and the ability to make good connections with others when parents spend positive time with them. Think of the time we spend with our kids now as an investment in their future. Spending quality time with your kids will make up for some of the quantity lost. Make sure you schedule something special a couple times a month. Your kids will remember the quality time they shared with you.

Things to do with your kids:

  • Baking/Cooking. Something that gets you involved in working with your kids, while giving you time to talk and bond with a delicious outcome in the end.
  • Turn off the television and electronics (phones included). TV’s and game consoles are major time suckers. Not much quality time is spent in front of the television. Everyone is only interested in what they are watching or the game they are playing. Try spending a quiet night in playing a few board games. Concentrate on the people in front of you ignore the texts, and social media sites for one night.
  • Find something you all enjoy doing together. Skating, skiing, hiking, take a bike ride or heading to the local recreation centre to enjoy their pool or facilities.
  • Do a date night. Let them have your undivided attention that night. Do dinner and a movie, or mini-putt and ice cream. Special time for just you and your kids.
  • Engage in a project together. Fix up an old car, put together a scrapbook, or build a fort or tree house. When you can work together on a common goal, you’ll be spending quality time together with an end result that you all can be proud of.

Spending whatever time you have with your children provides them with opportunities to learn and to be heard. Most of all, it provides you and your children with time to connect. It’s these connections that make your children feel loved. Children will not forget meaningful one-on-one time.

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