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My How Times Flies

1 Dec

Today is December 1st…wow!  In 24 days we will be celebrating Christmas, and in 30 days New Years Eve.  This year has been a whirlwind of events, travel, friends, family, and blessings.  I’m sad to see this  so quickly, but I’m definitely looking forward to 2012.  In a few weeks Dr. B and I will sit down and review our goals that we made during the beginning of the year.  We knocked a few out of the park, and others we fell somewhat short.  Which I can live with because the real lesson comes from the actual planning, and the process of striving towards the goal.

Screenshot of our 2011 goal spreadsheet

One milestone I’m happy to say that I’ve completed is starting my business, NataMari Designs.  I’ve been busy working on my designs, adding content to my new blog, and getting my online store setup.  It’s required tons of hard work but I love every minute of it.  So please when you get a chance check out my new blog and shop and tell me what you think!

Enjoy,

Natasha

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Eye Contact is the Morse Code of Love

15 Nov
Author: Bagande

Image via Wikipedia

I’m a people watcher.  I love going into restaurants and watching couples interact. It’s often a telltale sign of the type of relationship they have.  For instance couples that hardly speak a word to each other during the entire time that they are eating, I often wonder how long they’ve been married.  Or when I see a couple that when seated at a booth, choose to sit next to each other rather than across from each other, I wonder if they just started dating.  One of Dr. B’s favorite sayings is, “that’s an outward sign of an inward condition.”  Which I truly believe holds true for married couples.  Have you ever been at a party or social gathering and know that a couple came together, but they limited interaction doing the entire event?  Do you pick up on those types of signs?  I often wonder if as time goes by, do most couples lose the fire, or do the sparks begin to fade?  Maybe they just aren’t in love with each other anymore…

A study that was published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1970 titled: Measurement of Romantic Love determined that the way to tell if a couple is in love is to watch their eye contact.  It was stated that:

Normally two people in conversation give each other eye contact anywhere from 30-60% of the time, but couples who are in love look at each other 75% of the time during conversation and are slower to break their look away from each other when interrupted.

Speaking from past experience, it makes perfect sense. If you don’t like someone, much less love them, you surely don’t want to be around that person and you’re not going to staring into their eyes.  Things like eye contact, holding hands, packs on the cheek, pats on the butt… those little things hold a lot of meaning in a relationship.  Each couple has their own little’ intimates’, which is what I call those physical interactions that keep you feeling connected to your loved one.  Your own Morse code of sorts.

What signs or ‘intimates’ have you witnessed in a short-lived or lasting relationship?  Do you and your loved one have a Morse code?

Natasha

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5 Steps To Avoid A Holiday Blowup

9 Nov

The holidays are fast approaching.  In 14 days Thanksgiving will be upon us. As most of us experience, especially Newlyweds, the holidays can cause stress and strain on any

A metaphorical visualization of the word Anger.

relationship.  Whether it’s an old family dispute, inviting in-laws into your home, or cooking for a house-full of people holiday stress is sometimes inevitable.  Unfortunately, stress doesn’t come and go unnoticed, with stress comes anger, blow ups, and hurt feelings. Most women are masters of holding back from their loved ones when they are hurt, angry, or irritated.  But, it has been scientifically proven that it can be harder for men to calm down than it is for women.  Which may cause a person to explode at the wrong time, such as sitting around the Thanksgiving table. The key to avoiding this holiday horror is to not let those feelings fester, by telling your loved one how you feel.

Dr. Nancy Zapolski, a psychologist states that the key to telling a loved one you angry is to remember that “The intention is not to get something off your chest or to dump something on the other person,” she says. “The intention is to restore the affinity and the love in the relationship.”

So how does one go about doing that? Back in April I read an article on Wall Street Journal.com, Friendly Fight: A Smarter Way to Say ‘I’m Angry’.  I thought the steps outlined in the article would be the perfect approach to take in order to avoid a holiday blowup.  Here are 5 steps:

1. Calm down. Take a walk, or get some sleep, to get perspective and allow your emotions to cool. Think about exactly what disappointed you. Ask the other person to talk. Say, ‘When is a convenient time?’

2. Acknowledge the difficulty of having this conversation. ‘This is hard for me to say, and it may be hard for you to hear.’ Saying this out loud will make your words less threatening and defuse the other person’s anger and their possibly defensive reaction.

3. Say ‘I,’ not ‘you.’ Don’t say, ‘You did ___ wrong.’ Say, ‘I felt hurt when you did___.’ ‘When you accuse someone, they have to fight back,’When you share what you feel underneath, it gives the other person some room.’

4. Find out why. Ask for the other person’s point of view. Say, ‘I know you probably didn’t mean to hurt me. Why did you do it?’ Really listen to the answer.

5. Say everything. This is your chance to put it all on the table and talk about how you can change the situation in the future. ‘Could you please do this differently next time?’ A hug wouldn’t hurt.

Enhanced by ZemantaWhat do you think, will they work?  How do you express stress or anger?
Natasha

Pie Chart Shopping

4 Nov

Last week I blogged about my personal style, and how it has evolved after I got married.  One thing I have come to realize is that regardless of what style icon I’m channeling at the moment, to achieve that look, some form of shopping (on the Internet or in-person) has to occur.  Right?  I truly believe people don’t change…much.  I was a shopper before I met my husband, and It be unrealistic to believe that because I am married I wouldn’t shop anymore.  I have to admit shopping was once one of my favorite pastimes.  Most Saturday’s my older sister and I would meet up and shop, have lunch, then shop some more.  I tried not to spend more money than I budgeted for shopping.  And I always paid cash, so financially I was ‘responsible’.  Although I have to admit I could have saved much more than I did.

Now that I’m married, I try to limit my clothes shopping to buying seasonal basics and special occasion items.  But, that doesn’t always work.  Personally, I believe that getting married changes your perspectives and priorities, but it never takes away your desire to indulge in fashion.  In an effort to curtail impulsive shopping, I decided to try the Pie Chart Shopping method.  I came across this method while reading I Love Your Style by Amanda Brooks.  Amanda suggests making a pie chart to prioritize the areas of your life you dress for.  There are six main areas: work, play/casual, play/elegant, sports/exercise, social functions, and bedtime.

“The pie chart can help you visualize how much time you spend in each area, and how important those areas are to you, and budget accordingly.”

Now when I’m shopping, and I see something I like, my goal is to decide if it belongs one of  my high-percentage shopping categories such casual, exercise, and social.  If not… I don’t buy it.   I will still continue to shop, but with focus on social and casual clothing.  Which allows me to have my cake and eat it too!  Would you try the Pie Chart Method? What methods do you use to curtail spending?

Natasha

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The Power of Gratitude in Relationships

18 Oct

A four-year research study found that gratitude contributes to a mutual process of relationship maintenance, in which each partner’s maintenance behaviors, perceptions of responsiveness, and feelings of gratitude feed back on and influence the other partner’s behaviors, perceptions, and feelings.  In other words when a spouse felt gratitude towards the other, and they expressed that gratitude in some external way, this outward expression produced and influenced the other spouse’s feelings and behaviors of gratitude.  This process between the two spouses was like a continuous feedback loop because gratitude motivates partners to engage in relationship maintenance.

Feeling gratitude without expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

After reading this article, I started thinking about my relationship with my husband.  I examined my acts of gratitude and relationship maintenance.  I believe I am consistent and sincere when I express how much I appreciate him and everything he does for me.  I am conscious of my behavior simply because my husband constantly shows me gratitude and I want to do the same to him.  Actually he is good at showing everyone (who deserves it) gratitude.  Anyone that knows him will attest to that. Based on this research, I’m sure that I conscientiously show him gratitude in many ways, because it is a natural response to his gratuitous behavior towards me.

So, the next time someone does something nice for you, don’t forget express your gratitude…it’s as easy as saying Thank You!

Are We Still Newlyweds?

5 Oct

What time frame constitutes being a newlywed? 1 year, 2 years, 1.5 years?   Dr. B and I have been married for 1 year and 5 months.  Are we till considered newlyweds…or is the honeymoon – over?  For whatever reason I’ve been thinking about how much longer we have before our Newlywed status runs out.  When it does, I will have to change the name of my blog.  Am I late already in that regard?  I’m not one to mislead readers, and hold faux claim to a title that I’m no longer eligible for.   When does one said couple transition from newlywed status to just being – married?

Marriage is Like Running

3 Oct

As long as I can remember I’ve been a runner.  As a child I loved running and racing, and now as an adult I couldn’t imagine enjoying anything more except for being married.  Running is hard, very hard a times.  It’s much more mental for me than most would believe.  The night before, I mentally set precedence for the mileage I will run the next day.  If I’m feeling tired, then I mentally calculate how I will feel the next day during my run, and thus set a mileage goal.  The same goes with being married.  I decide if I want to get an attitude about something, or if I want to approach my husband as an adult and tell him what’s bothering me…it’s all mental.

Sometimes, I will have my mind-set on something, like what I think we should or shouldn’t do as a couple.  Then a funny thing will happen, just like during a run I realize, I have sold myself short.  Instead of only doing 3 miles, I feel good enough to continue and push through to 5 miles.  Instead of being one tracked and thinking I know best all the time, I realize I have actually limited our growth as a couple because I was too stubborn to see past me.  During those times, I reset my thinking to that which is essential to our goals as a couple and my growth as a wife.

So you see, for me running/marriage are both very similar.   They are repetitive, pleasurable, and with practice you get better over time.  Running/marriage feel great on good days, sometimes painful on those occasional ‘not so good’ days, and just right on those ‘in between’ days.  But I stay focused and continue to progress as a wife and as a runner, because they are a part of who I am, what I love, and what I believe in.

Enhanced by ZemantaWhat aspect of your life do you believe is similar to marriage?
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