Tag Archives: money

Coping With The Unfathomable Unfairness Of Loss

When we lose a loved one, it can be like finding yourself in an emotional maelstrom. At first, shock can keep you from feeling anything besides on edge. We expect to feel the floodgates open and a lot of sadness but there is also anger and frustration. It can feel incredibly unfair, and that feeling can fester inside us, driving us to bad habits and real emotional health problems that can hard to break from. Here are a few ways that we can start to cope with the uglier side of loss.

steffisays-loss-death-graveyard
Photo Link

Take some time but don’t shut yourself away

If you’re not very used to opening yourself up, you might want to not appear so vulnerable before others. What’s more, you might feel like you’re surrounded by people following a loss and you simply have no time to think. If you need a break, ask for one and take time to yourself. However, your friends can be a great source of strength. Find someone you trust and talk out your emotions. Being unable to express them can make you unable to process them too. Even if your friend isn’t sure how they can help, having someone listen can be a great deal of help.

steffisays-loss-death-sorrow-bnw
Photo Link

Find what closure you can

If a loss is left without addressing the cause at all, it can make you feel particularly helpless. This happens, in particular, if it was someone else’s fault. If someone is responsible, then holding them to account with help of services like the Law Office of William W. Hurst, LLC can genuinely help. Money will never make up for a loss so deeply and keenly felt. However, ensuring that the right parties are held responsible can make it feel like they haven’t simply gotten away with it. You can have some closure and know that you got justice for your loved one. Otherwise, that injustice might weigh on your mind for a long time.

steffisays-loss-death-nature
Photo Link

Celebrate their life in your own way

Funerals and memorials are important ceremonies for processing the loss of a loved one, as well as celebrating their life. However, for those closest to them, it can feel incomplete. You may not be able to have the emotional closure you need or to feel like you have had a personal goodbye with such a public procedure. In that case, consider having your own memorial for them. You can follow some of the suggestions at Usurns Online, such as planting a tree for them or creating a keepsake pack for them. Others may choose to wear something in remembrance or even get a tattoo. Making your own memorial for them can make it feel like you’ve done a little more to honor them and to keep their memory living in your own mind.

Losing a loved one always feels cruel, unjustified, and unfair. However, it’s important that we take care of ourselves and not lose ourselves in our worst thoughts. Grieving isn’t easy, nor does it feel particularly good even when you’re on the other side. But we can do real harm to ourselves if we dwell.

 

3 Tips To Help You Stay Safe When Traveling Alone

 

steffisays-travel-tourist-panorama-view.PNG
Photo Credit

There’s nothing wrong with solo-traveling, some people argue it’s better than traveling in a group as you only have to depend on yourself and there’s no risk of anyone stopping you from doing what you want to do. The only real issue is that it’s not as safe to go traveling all by yourself. Does this mean you shouldn’t go? Absolutely not! If you are planning a solo-travel adventure, then read these safety tips before you go:

Invest In Extra Safety

When traveling alone, you have a tendency to try and find the cheapest accommodation or the cheapest ways of traveling. It’s natural; the more money you save, the more traveling you can do. However, if you want to stay safe, then I suggest you invest some extra money to guarantee your safety. Yes, hostels may be cheap, but it’s just safer to spend more for a hotel with actual security. Again, accommodation in bad locations is very cheap, but they’re bad locations for a reason. Pay extra to stay somewhere that’s in a safer area, and it gives you peace of mind. The same goes for transport; taxis may be cheap, but are they that safe? I’d avoid getting into a taxi on my own in a foreign country, so spend extra on safer transport options like the train, or even hiring your own car.

Take Self-Defense Classes

Look, it won’t hurt to get a bit of self-defense training before you travel alone. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it, but it’s better to have the skills than to not have them. It’s sad to say this, but a lot of people will directly target people traveling on their own. So, it pays to know what to do if someone does try and attack you or mug you. Remember, you’re acting in self-defense, and every criminal lawyer in the country will tell you that you’re not in the wrong for defending yourself when someone comes at you. Again, I hope it never has to come to this, but you will feel more confident and less on edge if you’ve been to a few classes before you go.

Don’t Accept Anything Free From Anyone

If you’re traveling on your own, then there’s a fair chance the locals will deduce that you’re not from around here. As such, they will try and take advantage of you in any way possible. One common thing is to offer you free drinks or any other type of freebies. Never accept anything free from anyone when you’re traveling. There’s no knowing what’s really in that free drink, and the chances are any other freebies aren’t actually ‘free’. They’ll probably end up demanding you pay for it somehow, which is how things turn ugly. So, to remain safe, just say no!

There are loads of people that go traveling on their own and remain perfectly safe for months on end. You shouldn’t be worried about doing this, just make sure you’re prepared! These three tips will help you stay safe and feel more in control when you’re flying solo.

 

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.

engagement-ring-wedding-steffisays

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

gift-engagement-present-surprise-steffisays

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!

 

Our Etna Experience

Each holiday has at least one big highlight, and while we were in Sicily, one of the highlights was visiting Etna. I admit, it was long overdue – in fact, visiting Sicily was long overdue! I bet not many Maltese people can say that they have not been to Sicily by the age of thirty. The thing is, that I am fascinated with the UK, and I mostly ignored all other countries for a big chunk of my life. It was in 2016 that I started exploring properly and I have not looked back ever since.

We left Etna for our very last day, it being so close to Catania airport. We arrived at around 9:30AM after a two hours drive from where we were staying. The Etna car park, by the cable cars was almost full. It happened to be May the 1st, which is a bank holiday in most countries, so there were a lot of tourists there.

Steffi enjoying Etna, Sicily!

We bought our tickets and made our way to the queue for the cable cars. Once we were at a reasonable height, we queued again for 4×4-style buses. Most of the tourists were laughing hard while we made our way on what we could only describe as a bumpy ride!  It took us to almost to the top of the volcano in no time. It was rather astonishing seeing people walking all the way up from ground level, seeing that Etna is 3,500 meters high up. I bet it takes most of the day going up and then down. We thought it was money well spent as this way we could enjoy walking around and inside the craters for a longer time.

33775970_10157472239279606_3040322213996658688_n

As you set foot out of the bus, you realise that the temperature changed drastically. From almost 20 degrees to around 2 degrees! Once you get accustomed to the change of weather, you start to embrace the surroundings. The view is breathtaking, the colour of the gravel varies from black to red to yellow. I have never seen so many colours on such a huge stretch of mountain-like land. It was simply amazing being there. No words were enough to describe what we saw, what we felt being so high up, on such a clear day. You could see steam coming out, touching the floor underneath your feet feels warm. You could tell you are walking on top of an active volcano. A bit scary and risky, but it’s an experience I will never forget.

We spent roughly two hours walking and exploring, and around three hours in total including the transport. The souvenir shop comes highly recommended. While we were there we tried several liquors and the famous mandorla wine. We ended up buying some, as well as lava made statues and decor, adding onto the issue we already had since we traveled with just a hand-luggage for a five day long holiday! On the way down to the car-park, there is a restaurant which in our opinion had the best arancini in Sicily. Do give them a try if you feel peckish!

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

Choosing your Wedding Venue

Wedding-Venue-SearchChoosing your wedding venue is probably the biggest decision you have to make after the proposal. Everything else starts falling into place when you know where the reception will be held. In our case, we chose the venue, then we looked for a church which is not on the other side of the island. Then we proceeded with choosing our caterers, which was the next headache…

Before deciding on wedding venue, read through the points below, to form your basic wedding requirements:

  • Budget: Make sure the wedding venues you are looking at are within your budget.  Although daydreaming is nice, if you have a restricted budget, it is important to not waste time on venues that you can never afford. Harsh, but it will be a let down eventually. When looking at venues, make sure you ask the right questions, for example, are there any hidden fees involved? What is the overtime hourly rate? And how does it work? What are the payment arrangements?
  • Guest-list: Having an idea on the number of guests that you would like to invite would help ensure that all of them will fit comfortably in the venue. Further, it will also help you to determine if the venue is too big for your wedding party. You really wouldn’t want the wedding reception to look empty.
  • Availability: This is a crucial point when it comes to choosing the wedding venue. The reason I have put this as a third point is as I am a strong believer on the fact that one should know the budget and number of guests before starting to look at venues.
  • Weather-friendly: Make sure that the wedding venue is appropriate for your big day. If you are getting married in the dead of winter or in the hottest month of the year, make sure that there is an indoor space for all your guests. You might get lucky, and you will not need this space but best to be safe than sorry. If it is too hot, air-conditioning is a must, if it is cold or rainy, then a warm space (or at least an indoor space) is ideal. Have a back-up plan at hand for the worst case scenario.
  • Catering: This will be tackled separately, however one must keep in mind that certain venues have catering exclusivity, meaning that you cannot choose your own catering. In this case, make sure that the venue package is affordable, and that the venue’s caterer is to your liking. Food and beverage is essential in a wedding, and one simply cannot take it for granted.
  • Parking: Appropriate amount of parking the vicinity of the wedding venue is considered an asset now a days. Most of the guests will be attending with their own means of transport, and wouldn’t want to walk for half an hour to the wedding reception and back to the car. If parking is an issue, then make sure to reserve a parking lot for your big-day and instruct your guests to park there.
  • Ambience:  Think about the theme and the decor you are after. Does this match the style of the venue? If you want to dress up the venue completely to make it unique, yours, make sure you have budgeted the decor required. Ensure also the venue is ideal for your guest list. For example, if you are inviting elderly, make sure there are chairs available. As much as you wouldn’t want all the guests to sit down, you need cater for everyone’s needs.

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)