Tag Archives: children

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.

steffisays-relationship-love-couple
Picture Credit

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

steffisays-relationship-love-couple-kiss
Picture Credit

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.

Advertisements

Auschwitz – A change of heart

If there was one place that I visited in Poland, which has impacted my life it’s Auschwitz. Although I read, view documentaries and discussed this place and what happened here a multitude of times, I could not have imagined what the people have went through.

Welcome to Auschwitz

Being there, in one of the coldest days in Poland in the last ten years, I began to imagine, how these innocent people must have felt. They arrived in this destination, feeling uneased, terrified of what’s next… taken away from their loved ones. They were stripped down off their clothes and possessions. Freezing cold, working harder than you ever thought possible, malnutritioned. Did you know that these workers on average didn’t last a week? And those, were the lucky ones. The rest, well you probably already know what happened to them.

I felt sadness, a heavy heart, bad things transpired here.

welcome-to-auschwitz-streets-museum

What I did not know before going to Auschwitz was to how many men, women and children this happened. Although I was familiar with the numbers, I could not quantify it. In a few words, a section of this museum (it’s no longer referred as a concentration camp) is dedicated to “Proof”. Here, you can see an abundant amount of what was left behind – shoes, hair, utensils, luggage. This was what made my heart slow down with pain and disgust, what really angered me. Now, I understood. Now, I know that this was one of the worst, if not the worst experiment that ever happened in the world.  I felt humiliated to be called human, I hope that such a thing never happens again. Although we were not alive then, we should still be aware of what occurred, and we have to be intelligent enough to not let it happen ever again.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All photos are my own, please seek permission before making use of them. Thank you.

When to get married in Malta: Seasonality

Maltese brides and grooms tend to play it safe when it comes to their wedding. Even if you are not a bride-zilla, you would most likely still not want a rainy wedding day as this would disrupt all your plans, be it traffic, wedding venue and dirtying your oh-so-white wedding dress! Funnily enough though, we don’t always think of the pros and cons that each season in Malta comes with!

4-seasons-spring-summer-autumn-winter
No snow in Malta, but you catch my drift!

Spring:
The weather starts changing from cold to warm
Happy guest mood since winter is over, and soon it is time for summer
A lot of fruit and veg are back in season, which means more variety when it comes to your menu
The grass is greener! And the flowers start bloom. Needless to say this will enhance your wedding photos, and no doubt, the floral choice for decor is at its best.
Allergy season (this was the only reason why I couldn’t go for a Spring wedding!)
Children are still in school, which might cause certain parents to not attend your wedding

Summer:
Risk of rain is close to none
Longer days, breezy evenings
If you are choosing Malta as your destination wedding, it is more likely that guests will attend as they can combine the wedding with a holiday, and the kids are off school
Summer season is the most popular season of all. If you are very specific on dates and venues, you have to plan very much ahead. Two years minimum, but three years ahead is advised
Noon summer weddings should be illegal. It is crazy to say the least!
Peak wedding season. Guests might choose to attend another wedding, not yours

Autumn:
Milder weather, ideal for noon weddings
The changes of the colour of leaves and trees makes for a magical and romantic background to your wedding photos
Children are back in school, which might cause certain parents to not attend your wedding
Risk of bad weather

Winter:
Classic and traditional Christmas themed weddings are amazing
Availability of venue and other suppliers are abundant
Cheaper deals on venue and vendors due to being off season
Noon weddings are appropriate as days are shorter
Brides have more dress options
✗ Bad weather is likely
✗ Wedding photos outdoors might be a bust due to weather conditions
✗ Festive season might discourage guests as they might rather spend it with close family
✗ Guest may be short on money as it is Christmas season

4-seasons-spring-summer-autumn-winter-wedding

Flee To Florida, And Escape The Rain!

It’s dull, drizzling, and the sky is really lacking inspiration. It no longer feels as if winter is around the corner… it’s here, and it’s here to stay! But, don’t fear. Some parts of the world are never really that cold, or miserable. One of the great examples, and a great holiday location is Florida. If you’ve never been, you’re really missing out. This post will go through the State of Florida, city by city, to inspire your next big trip!

Orlando

florida1(Image Source)

You’ve probably heard of Disneyland in Paris, right? Well, Orlando is home to something a little bigger; Disneyworld. It’s also home to several other large theme parks, including Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. All in all, there are over a dozen theme parks in Orlando. And, some of them are the biggest in the world.

Like much of Florida, much of the Orlando area is filled with marshland and swamps. But, you’ll also find miles of white, sandy beaches to the east of the city. In areas like this, wildlife refuses to budge. This makes for a city that feels like it’s at the heart of nature, while still incorporating nightclubs and shopping into the mix.

Tampa

florida2(Image Credit)

For lovers of history and culture; look no further than Tampa. This city focuses more on intellectual pursuits than either of the others. The city has numerous zoos and aquariums, making it perfect for youngsters who don’t like rides! It also has several museums, and even plays host to the famous Busch Gardens; an African-themed amusement park.

Most of the cities nightlife and dining can be found in the Ybor City neighborhood. This area is steeped in history, having been established by Cuban and Spanish tobacco workers at the turn of the 20th Century.

Miami

florida3(Image Credit)

Miami is one of America’s hotspots for fashion and culture. For those who want to spend the nights on the town, Miami is the place for you. Much of Miami consists of art deco buildings and trendsetting diners. It truly is the best place to go to sample some of the finer things in life.

The city is famous worldwide for its beautiful white, sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean. Miami is a popular spot for surfers and other extreme water sports, adding, even more, culture to the already bustling city.

Getting yourself into a hotel in Florida is easy as pie. You have so many options available; the hardest part really is choosing. You can spend two weeks in a luxury hotel, or have a stint in vacation rentals in Florida. The world truly is your oyster. It’s best to avoid traveling to a place like this with food included in your trip. You’ll want to get out and try all of the different offerings these cities have for you.  Remember to take plenty of dollars with you, too!

All that’s left to do is get planning! Make sure that you plan well to avoid any unwanted issues on your journey. Good luck, and enjoy the trip!

Travelling Abroad With Kids

 

Family holidays are what memories are made of; fun in the pool, ice creams and sand castles on the beach. But taking young children on holiday requires a fair amount of planning and consideration. To keep your holiday fun-filled while keeping safe and everything running as smoothly as possible, here are a few things to bear in mind.

planeTravelling with kids (pic 1)

 

Get Vaccinations Up To Date

You won’t always need specific vaccinations when you’re travelling abroad depending on where you’re going. However children should be vaccinated with their regular childhood immunisations. Ideally they will be vaccinated at the routine times for their age, although if you are due to travel abroad it’s likely that these will need to be done more quickly. It’s important be be aware that not all travel related vaccines are effective in infants, and in some cases they may not be recommended at all due to the risk of doing more harm than good. Making sure your child’s regular immunisations are all up to date before travelling is important, for the full list of jabs they need check out this.

 

Hire a Car

It’s no secret that young children get restless quickly. Instead of lugging them (and all of their stuff) onto public transport you might find it’s easier to hire a car. You can load everything into the boot before you leave each day, and you have much more control of getting from A to B. Most car hire companies will offer hire of children’s car seats and booster seats too, giving you one less thing to pack.

car.JPGTravelling with kids (pic 2)

 

Get The Right Visas

A huge number of countries require Visas before you’re able to enter. For example if you’re from outside the US, you’ll require an American Visa application in order to visit. Both accompanied and unaccompanied children no matter what their age require their own independant Visa. It’s quick and easy to do, most are granted online within seconds although it’s recommended that you do this seventy two hours before you’re due to fly. The same applies if you’re an American looking to leave the US, you and the children will require Visas for a large proportion of places- so make sure that’s all sorted in advance. Something to bear in mind when you’re travelling abroad with kids, as they won’t just be covered under your paperwork.

 

Plan Activities

Having a rough idea of what you want to do while you’re away (with the willingness to be flexible) can help to add some structure to the chaotic fun. Don’t try and cram in too much, instead choose a few key activities and assign them to certain days. Leave plenty of time before and after each trip or excursion to relax and rest.

 

Choose The Right Travel Insurance

In most cases you will be able to get cover through a family policy but it’s important to read through carefully, or you could end up out of pocket if you need to make a claim. You will need something with a high level of medical cover, and which includes all of the activities your children will be doing on holiday. This is why it’s worth spending time on the point above and planning some activities beforehand, so you have an idea of what you’ll be doing. Swimming, biking, outdoor games- make sure they are all included. Don’t skimp to get a cheaper premium cost, you’re much better off making sure they’re completely covered.

 

Hunters; The Alien Invasion

When it comes to aliens, what could be scarier than aliens who look like humans? Aliens that are able to integrate well into the society – be it work, relationships, marriage, children… You wouldn’t be able to tell human from alien, and you can go on for years and decades not knowing that your partner is abnormal. Until suddenly, they receive a message, go mad and kill everyone in sight.

Sure a strange looking alien adds up to the scare/horror factor, but psychologically the thrill works out much better when you do not know if the person in-front of you is human or not.

Hunters-Syfy-TV-series-artwork

This is just a glimpse of the Sci-Fi TV Series I am watching, which goes by the name Hunters. The title is not a reference to the humans who are hunting the aliens; but rather Hunters are the new species in the world.

The TV Series is a good adrenaline rush, even if it was not made with the highest of budgets. The plot is great, especially when you get to episode 5 and I cannot wait to see what happens next. There are some twists which are a bit predictable, but most are not.

The TV Series is based on the book Alien Hunter written by Whitley Strieber.

The biggest shame is that this series was cancelled last month – I never understand why series are not given a chance to evolve before they are terminated. This definitely did have a future if promoted well and to the right audience.

Why you should watch Stranger Things

It has  been quite some time since I have made a TV Series recommendation but  in the past days I have come across two which are worth your time and consideration. Today, I shall talk about the much hyped new Netflix series “Stranger Things.

stranger-things.jpg

It has been in my to-do or, to-watch list since it was released, but I knew, that since it was just an 8-episode run, I had to watch them in one sitting. This means, it was ideal for an afternoon during the weekend, which is what I did on Saturday afternoon.

With the fact that Netflix have already announced a season 2, this sounded promising; now more than ever.

Before I give you a brief about this astounding, fast paced AND exiting series, here goes the official trailer:

 

Back to the point now, here’s some fun facts to help you get started on this series:

  • Winona Ryder is the main actress in this TV Series
  • The story-line is based in the 80s, so expect that some great music throughout – I was singing along!
  • The story is about a young boy’s disappearance in a very small town
  • The series is spooky, adventurous and very pop-culture in its own way
  • Supernatural vibe,which is THANKFULLY not over done
  • Have I mentioned creepy monsters yet?
  • Don’t worry about the fact that the cast is mostly children and teenagers – they have been very well selected.
  • The season finale gives us some answers yet leaves us in awe of what is coming

Questions:

  • Eleven. What happened to the ten before?
  • Will, will he be okay?
  • Is Chief Hopper legit?

May I just say that the hype on this series was for once very well deserved?

 

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

engagement ring

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

—————–—————–

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

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

One of the people who have inspired me a lot in the past years is Jamie Oliver. I have started to follow his work mainly because to me, he is one of the top chefs; not just in Europe but worldwide. He offers tons of recipes online, and sells various books with his cuisines, targeted towards healthy food as well as not too “expensive” so that us, the plain Jane and regular Joe can afford to try it out.

Along the years, Jamie has become more than just a chef. He owns his own Franchise Restaurants “Jamie’s Italian” which are magnificent by the way! As a non UK resident, I still had the same privilege; I subscribed to the gold club, and am taking advantage of several offers and features while dining in one of his restaurants.

jamie-food-revolution

Furthermore, Jamie has been campaigning to instil a healthier Britain; to educate people to eat healthier, by inspiring them to cook at home rather than buying cheap eats on a regular basis; to help the nation fight obesity, by mastering a healthier lifestyle – food-wise and exercise-wise.

Last November, Jamie Oliver introduced his own recommendations to tackle childhood obesity. He suggested a new tax on sugary drinks, fairer marketing as well as a school food plan among others.

Today, 16th March 2016, in London, the parliament has decided that within the next two years the sugary drinks tax will be implemented. This is not just a win for Jamie, but Britain as a whole. It is one of the steps to fight obesity, not just in children but adults alike.

I personally think, that such tax should be present in all the world. MALTA are you listening? If fast food and soft drinks weren’t so cheap, one would think twice buying these products.

Lets fight the ticking time bomb that is obesity, together!

 

Read about Jamie’s campaigns here
Join the Revolution here

Lindemann – Praise Abort (Song review)

Rammstein’s vocalist; Til Lindemann has just release a new song under the name ‘Lindemann’ which is a project he is working on with Peter Tagtgren from Hypocrisy. The name of the song is very controversial, but wait until you watch the music video.

If I had to write what I think about this song, I would say that it is very clever. To me, he is criticising the world and the society we live in as well as the mentality people have.

1. The way Til discusses abort in this song, he is almost comparing abort to a contraceptive method. Because people care about pleasure, and they don’t care about the consequences. And since pleasure comes before pain and before owning to your mistakes, he ponders on the idea, that people would rather turn gay than have more children as the latter ruins lives. Of course this is an exaggeration, but it is the plain truth.

2. Sex without condoms is more natural, more animalistic and more fun, so better get on with it. The pigs in the video, imply that these people are pigs. This is a common name-calling to people who are dirty, or greedy.

3. The hatred in the lyrics shows what people are all about. We hate and we complain.

4. At the end of the video, Till shows love and affection towards the piglet. This to me shows, that the character in the video is just there to show the truth about humans and their behaviour, and that this is totally separate from the views the singer has on this topic.

5. Till Lindemann actually has children, he is divorced. He raised his eldest daughter for 7 years by himself after which her mother decided to take more of an active role in her life.

The Song:

Thoughts and Comments?