Category Archives: Advice

Are You Currently Engaged In Buying Your Engagement Ring?

Online shopping has been a game changer for the fashion industry. While many of us started skeptical, sizing charts and easy returns have converted even the doubters. And, there’s no denying it; getting clothes right to your door is bloody marvelous. As if that weren’t enough, we’re also now able to find any outfit our heart desires. Forget limited stock and terrible style; buying online means we can wear what we want when we want.

Despite these benefits, though, there are items many won’t make allowances for. Shoes are a big one. Many a customer wouldn’t dream of buying these without trying. Rings are also a point of contention. So much so that the idea of buying something as important as an engagement ring online could make you weak at the knees. Sorry to say, that’s precisely what we’re be looking at here.

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Of course, we don’t all get to choose our engagement rings. Sometimes, our partners buy them as a surprise. But, more couples are now going down the practical route of acquiring a ring after the event. All the better for things like sizing and personal taste. And, you guessed it; it’s now possible to do even this online.

But, we know what you’re thinking. Surely this is a terrible idea? Not necessarily. There is undeniable room for error here. But, this could be the way to the right ring for you. And, all you need to do to avoid disaster is follow these three-pointers.

Know your ring size

As mentioned above, ring size is the reason many couples hold fire on buying. And, when you’re buying online, the risks only increase because you can’t try things on. You’ll also have to deal with longer readjustment wait times thanks to all that posting. In truth, though, this isn’t difficult to get right. All you need to do is head to sites like www.realsimple.com and size your ring before clicking buy. Take time here, and you’re in for better success rates than you may have in a physical store.

Choose the right retailer

The online retailer you choose also determines success. A site with few guidelines or customization options is sure to spell trouble. As can be seen from reviews like this one at https://diamondexpert.com/james-allen-review/, companies like James Allen are your best option thanks to their flexible selections. For the most part, you want to take time finding a company which takes your needs into account. That way, there’s little chance of the ring not being the way you want it.

Order in plenty of time

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Even with the right retailer and sizing, there’s a slim chance you’ll need to send your ring back. And, by the time you’ve received, resent, and then received it again, time could be getting on. If you have an engagement party or some other deadline, then make sure to order well in advance. This ensures that any returns don’t spell trouble. It’ll also save you freaking out when the post-person arrives empty-handed again!

 

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The Relationship Masks Are Slipping, But What Can You Do If You Don’t Like What’s Underneath?

The early days of a relationship are always a show of sorts. We put on our best faces for dates and try to paint ourselves in the brightest light possible. If we really like someone, we may even change our views to please them or tell white lies about our true natures.

But, when the relationship gets underway, that mask has to slip. In many ways, this is a good thing. When you let down that guard, true love can come in. Sure, the promise of your ‘perfect man’ might have caught your attention in the first place. But, you may not know he’s ‘the one’ until you seem him at a weak moment.

That said, this slipping of masks is often a painful process, and can be fraught with unpleasant surprises. It may be that there’s a habit or quirk to your partner’s personality which you really don’t like. When you think about it, it makes sense that they would hide this. Who goes on a date and grandstands their worst personality traits? Over time, you may come to realize that your seemingly gentle boyfriend has a nasty temper. Or, perhaps that attentive man spends more time on his phone than you first thought. The issue which makes itself known may be even severe, like a gambling addiction, or something like depression.

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Sadly, this period is where many relationships end. And, believe it or not, that’s rarely due to the realisation that Mr Perfect is only human. In fact, most of the time, our attempts to change our partners put the nail in the romance coffin. You know how it is; you look past his temper because you think you can cure him of it. You assume that, because he’s with you now, his depression should evaporate.

But, here’s a horrible truth; love isn’t an instant fix. While it is a crucial part of life, it can’t just clear the way of problems. What’s more, approaching a relationship with thoughts of changing a person is the worst thing you can do. It suggests that you love your idea of them, not who they are. And, we all know that love is about accepting someone for their true selves. In fact, the only real time change would be the best route open to you is if this bad personality trait puts your partner at risk. Otherwise, you should attempt to help your partner when you notice these issues. It isn’t easy, but it may be the only way to keep your relationship healthy. And, we’re going to look at a few of the ways you can achieve it.

Recognize their triggers

For the most part, traits like these come with triggers. It’s likely certain things set off that raging temper, for instance. Equally, there may be certain situations which drive a gambler to hit the casino. As their partner, it’s your responsibility to notice. Do this without comment or judgement. Observe and accept the situation. Then, do what you can to help them avoid situations like these where possible. If you see your raging man getting mad, grab his hands and do a quick dance around the room, or something equally fun. This will distract his attention, as well as reinforcing your relationship. You may also notice that he’s more liable to gamble when worried about money. If you’re at the stage where you’re living together, do what you can to keep finances in check, or discuss ways to make more money. Again, this will help with communication, as well as distraction. It may be best, though, not to outwardly tell him about the triggers you’ve noticed. Making him aware of your observations could turn to a trigger in itself. He’ll also then be able to tell when you’re distracting attention, and that could drive him further towards the places you don’t want him to go.

Point him down a better path

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This step is tricky. Get it wrong, and you could slip into the territory of trying to change your partner. But, if you take your time here, you may find that you can point him down a better path. The trick here is not to speak in definites. Merely make suggestions which you think would improve a situation. Do this subtly, so that your man doesn’t feel you’re preaching to him. It could be that leave a program on television discussing ways to deal with anger. Or, you may want to look at sites like Casino Guru which could at least recommend reliable casinos if he is going to gamble. If mental illness is the issue, talk to him about his treatment options. Through discussions, he may find he settles on a new approach which could work well. And, you can achieve all this without ever directly attempting to change the way your lover behaves. Instead, he’ll come to associate you as a reassuring presence who helps him make his own decisions.

Focus on the future

Focusing on the future is always a good idea in a relationship. If things start to stagnate, it can lead to frustration and disillusionment. But, it becomes even more critical in cases like these. If, for instance, your partner is depressed, a focus on your plans as a couple could be a considerable incentive for recovery. If it’s a mutual decision, a determination to have kids in the future could be all it takes to encourage your partner to get help. Equally, this could encourage them to face up to addictions, be they gambling or anything else. The knowledge of future parenthood could even help with anger management problems. After all, no one wants to be that parent who shouts all the time. Bear in mind that it’s essential you let your partner lead conversations like these. If they aren’t ready to discuss this kind of thing, pressure could push them further into a negative place. But, if you’re both in the same headspace here, the future could be the best tonic.

5 Simple Ways to Wow Your Wedding Guests

You’d like to think that simply looking your stunning best will be enough to make your wedding guests say ‘wow,’ and it will! But it’s also true that every bride looks amazing on their special day. If you want to make yours stand out from the crowd, then you’ll want to go the extra mile to make it memorable. Below, we take a look at five ways you can make your guests feel the love – and have a day they’ll always remember.

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Pick a Unique Venue

You could pick a venue that’s close to where you live, but where’s the fun in that? There are a million and one unique, beautiful venues across Europe, and with inexpensive flights available to and from many countries, it’s not that much of a hassle to ask your friends and family to travel overseas. If you’re not of an overly traditional bent, then you might want to consider getting married away from the church. A beautiful ceremony set among lush woodlands, with fairy lights making the space look extra magical, for example, is guaranteed to impress your guests.

Make a Strong First Impression

Of course, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to wow your wedding guests before they reach the ceremony. You can make a strong first impression by investing in beautiful wedding invitations, and by asking your guests to RSVP with added details – such as a song they’d like to hear at the wedding party. You may even ‘wow’ your guests by simply asking that they don’t bring anything other than themselves – that means no gifts – to the wedding, which is a touching detail if the ceremony is taking place overseas. Get creative with your invites, and you’ll have people keenly anticipating the fun days to come!

Riding in Style

The ceremony and the party rarely take place at the same place, so how are your guests going to get from one place to the other? Normally, this will involve a series of taxis, but there’s not going to be anything normal about your wedding! Instead, put on some funky transport, such as a themed party coach, or limos, or – if it’s not too far – a series of horse carriages for everyone. It’ll be much more exciting than having everyone patiently queuing for the next series of taxis to turn up.

Extra Touches

You’re going to have people from all walks of life attending your wedding; relatives, old friends, work colleagues, and so on, and they’re not all going to know one another. So why not help them up by adding a “who’s who” to the seating plan? You can show everyone how they know each other through six degrees of separation. It’s a great way to move past small talk and onto the fun times!

And Relax

You’ve got a dance-floor; how about a place to relax? Some people don’t want to dance all night but do want to be involved. Create a space that allows them to be involved and also unwind. They’ll love you for it.

Wedding in Malta: How to get started

Daniel and I are both planners, which I’d say is of an advantage when it comes to organizing our wedding plan. We have heard about so many stories, where couples are stressed beyond compare, fighting every minute they get, that we were a bit paranoid. Truth be told, none of this has happened. Three months into the preparation, we have been very respectful towards each other, and we have managed to compromise on everything so far, be it budget, and choosing our providers.

We believe, that the hardest thing that we had to come up with was our budget. The main reason being that we had absolutely no idea on how much a wedding should cost.  We heard of weddings which costed 10,000 and others which were 30,000 and more! This confused us further, as we were unsure how two weddings which had roughly the same items (sizable venue and guest-list, food, DJ, open bar) could differentiate so much in terms of cost!

wedding to do list

So how did we come up with a budget? In reality, we did not! Wait, what? We decided on what we can afford. We decided on the guests we wanted to invite. I come from a large family, and we had to draw a line somewhere. We made the guest list, and we asked vendors for quotations based on these numbers. Then by priority, we started to add additional costs – listing the must haves and the nice to haves.

This is the must-have list we came up with:

– Gather an approximate Guest list and request quotations for food and drinks
Chapel & Venue – booked on the same day
Food tasting from top 2 or 3 caterers (based on price, reputation and wedding date availability)
Photographer – A beautiful memory to cherish in the years to come
DJ – a wedding reception without music, is not really a celebration. In Malta, DJ is the most common form of entertainment for weddings. Some choose to have a live-band or singer
Cars – Bare necessity is a bridal car and taxi for groom and our respective family
Hair & Makeup – We all want to look at our best for our big day
Rings – The symbol for our marriage
Invitations – Compulsory
Souvenirs – A small thank you gift for our guests
Clothes – Bride, Groom, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen
Bride’s flower bouquet

Nice to have list:

Flowers (for the church)
Church Singer
– Themed Decor (for the venue)
Lighting
– Videographer
– Red Carpet (for the church)

Full-Blown Wedding Preparations

Last November, my partner and I decided on taking the next step in our relationship. Both being on the same page with regards to what we want in life, we started discussing on the biggest level of commitment two adults can show towards each other: marriage.

I would not get into the topic of a relationship vs marriage, as this is a topic for another blog post.

When we went to the wedding fair, which was coincidentally the next weekend after our “big talk”, we wwedding dayere so unprepared! We had no idea on a date, venue, or setup. We walked aimlessly in the fair, stocking up on leaflets until we saw the stall of what would be our venue of choice. We knew right there and then, this was it. We did not have to discuss it, we did not have to argue. It felt right, the one.  Upon deciding, we made a list of its availability in June and July 2019. It was then that we were told that couples have already started booking for 2020. That’s 3 years before the wedding. Wow!

The next day, early Saturday morning we made our way to our ideal chapel, which is in close vicinity to the venue. Luckily, the chapel was available on the same day of our preferred wedding day, the 19th of July 2019. Feeling like this was meant to be, we quickly made our chapel reservation and phoned the venue to confirm.

We did keep our wedding date a secret for a whole month, before we got our parents together to tell them the news! It was one of the hardest things we had to do… Keeping the most exciting and most important day of our lives to ourselves. But it was all worth it when we saw our parents cheering and hugging us. They kind of knew something was up, but they never thought this was the news we wanted to share.

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Steffi Advice #5: Will you settle down for much less than you deserve?

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Dear Steffi,

This year I will be 30 years old, and I think it is high time I settle down, get married, have a family of my own. I have been seeing the same man for just over a year and I think we are old enough to take our relationship to the next level, since we both share the same goal of having kids. I will propose to him this summer. Although he is not the man I thought I’d be with, he has proven to be loyal and committed. He doesn’t have a good job, but maybe that will change if we get more serious. He says he cares about me but he is not passionate around me. When I tell him my worries or ask for help, he doesn’t do much about them. He doesn’t mistreat me and that is to me, very important. I have been in lots of long relationships but never found someone who wants to have a family with me. Should I risk it all and propose? My friends are not being supportive.

Hard-Headed

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Dear Hard-Headed,

Just like you, I have not been very lucky with all things love and relationships. I have had 3 major relationships, but they all turned to dust after around 3 to 4 years. I spent months wondering what I have been doing wrong, and what could I have possibly done so bad in my life to deserve this; but I have not yet found an answer. So every time, I pulled myself together, and tried again. I’m 28 years old, and I must admit that I am not where I thought I’d me in my love life. But that does not mean that I’d jump the gun as soon as I hear someone saying that they want to get married and have kids. It is currently one of the goals I want to reach, but is he the ideal partner to do it with?

Are you ready to live a life with no passion and no public affection? Have you even thought how this would affect your future children? And he does mistreat you, if he doesn’t listen to you, if he doesn’t help you…. If he doesn’t try to cheer you up when you are down! It is not the words that make up a man, it is his actions. If he doesn’t help you now, when it’s all about you two, how do you expect him to help you when there are little children running about? I wouldn’t call it a family, if there is no respect, no empathy, no affection and no support…

Being a lover of literature and romance, I consider myself to be a very old fashioned person when it comes to love and relationships. I would never settle for someone who doesn’t find time to make me feel special, and the occasional romantic surprise.

Much Love x x x

What is your biggest regret?

There are days, and times when I struggle to be inspired; I don’t mean it just in finding something to write about, but also in life in general.

There are times, where I feel stuck… Maybe because I don’t think that there is something that exciting going on in my life currently, or perhaps, I start wondering whether I have made the right decisions in the past… Whether I regret something, whether it is too late to start anew.

Then, there are days like today, where you are browsing the internet out of boredom, hoping you come across something interesting… and it finally happens:

Knowing you are not the only person who has regrets, should give you hope and enough inspiration to keep fighting… To take THAT risk, to get out of your comfort zone and make your dreams come true… Because, what could possibly come out of life if you always play it safe, if you don’t feel truly alive… and happy?

What is your biggest regret? Isn’t it the fear itself… The fear of failing?
Take the leap!

The Art of Jealousy

Some, argue that jealousy in small doses is good for a relationship or a friendship to grow. I certainly disagree, and I do so from previous experiences.

It is true, that when your partner is jealous of you, (s)he would give you moreattention. But this kind of attention, is not necessarily the good kind of Jealous-muchattention that you are seeking for. Jealousy is more often than not derived from lack of trust and various self-insecurities (Maybe because of previous life experiences or trauma? Psychological issues?). It will urge you to be possessive, be suspicious and in the long run threaten your relationship.

If you can’t trust your partner, why are you with them in the first place?
Issues related to jealousy and trust, will eat you from the inside. You’d become paranoid, with a feeling of abandonment… No relationship with these symptoms can end well.

It is a known fact that leading cause of spousal homicides are related to jealousy. 

On the other hand, your partner will feel badgered and frustrated because (s)he is not being trusted. All the mundane and constant questioning is tiring;
What are you doing?
Where are you?
Where are you going?
Who you’re going with?
These questions are demoralising, leaving the person without any personal space and feeling guilty.

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It is okay that your partner wants some space, to do some things (s)he enjoys doing alone.
You can agree on an evening a week to spend apart, play that game you wanted to play, catch up with friends or go clothes shopping. I believe, it is important to have a life outside your relationship.

My advise:
1. Put yourself into his or her shoes – how would you feel if this jealousy issue was the other way round? Does your friend / partner deserve this?
2. Communicate your feelings constructively and without blaming the other person

Steffi Advice #4 – 50 Shades of Office Inappropriateness

Dear Steffi,50

I work with another 8 women and we all have read the Fifty Shades of Grey and expressed interest in the book and the movie. Few days before the movie was released in the local cinema, we received an email from our manager inviting us for lunch, drinks and then to watch the movie together. I felt it was weird and that the movie is not work-friendly. Because our manager gets defensive we all decided not to bring this out to him and simply go to the event altogether. How can I explain to him that he crossed a line without creating a chaos in the office?

Shady

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Dear Shady,

Although it is lovely and appreciated to have colleagues which you are friends with, I would think this is awkward especially since the only male figure who attended was your manager. I would not feel comfortable watching this movie with my boss, imagining what he is thinking while watching it, and seeing your reactions to the movie; even if you were taking the piss at the movie, like I did with my group of friends! I guess, if I were in that situation I would have tried to agree with the rest of the colleagues, so together we could decline the offer since it was not an appropriate outing for work. It would have been one step forward towards showing your boundaries and hopefully one step closer for your boss to learn his limits.

Much Love XXX

Steffi Advice #3 – Inhabitable Situation with Parents

Dear Steffi,

I am 32 years old and I still live with my parents. I am about to be married in 2 years, and it is best to stay with them as it is cheaper this way and can save more money for the wedding. But they make me so angry, I want to punch a wall sometimes.

Wall Puncher

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Dear Wall Puncher,

I can understand your situation as I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who went through this problem. When you are of a certain age, and you want your own privacy and space, it is a huge challenge to keep living with your parents without any fights and disruptions. Two years is quite some time, and I doubt that you should wait this long. Being stressed and angry with your situation, is not only bad for your relationship with your parents, but also with your soon to be spouse as well as with friends. It can affect your sleep and thus your behaviour at work and your motivation in everything else. I would suggest that you find a flat mate or perhaps see if one of your friends would like to join forces to live together to reduce costs. if you have bought a home with your partner and it’s habitable you can consider moving there, if you are both in agreement to it. You can give it a try for a number of days, and see if you prefer this to your current living situation. Good luck!

Much Love XXX