30. November 2012 · Comments Off on Divorce Parties – Tasteless Or Therapeutic? · Categories: Relationships · Tags: , ,

It used to be that when a friend was getting divorced that you were ready to provide her with a shoulder to cry on. These days you may find that you need to be ready to help her plan a divorce party. I had always thought of divorce parties as something that only the bitterest of women would consider, but when I found out that there are companies providing divorce party products and authors publishing divorce party guides I knew I needed to learn more.

After I wrote a series of articles about divorce parties, women began writing to me and sharing their divorce party stories and even a few videos from their divorce parties. I quickly discovered that just as divorces can be amicable, ugly, or somewhere in between, divorce parties also fall into similar categories. Here are the typical scenarios of the divorce party stories that were shared with me.

The Hooray It’s Over Party- The wildest divorce party stories and videos that I received fell into this category. These parties were a true celebration of the marriage being over and the divorce being final. I received videos of wedding dresses being set ablaze and women cutting phallus shaped cakes into very tiny pieces. It’s no great surprise that these parties stemmed from ugly divorces.

At first glance I thought that this type of divorce party was very offensive because it seemed to center so much around celebrating the divorce. After reading stories about divorces where ex husbands fought to get the wedding china only to send it back to their ex wives smashed into mere fragments, I could understand these women feeling gleeful as they stuffed marriage licenses down the drain and turned on the garbage disposal. The women who did throw these parties still had a lot of anger about their divorce, and several expressed that being able to have a night of ranting about their ex was cathartic. If that’s what it takes to get rid of your anger, then I do think that it’s healthier than just hanging onto your rage without any outlet for it.

The Sisterhood Party- By far these were the most common types of divorce parties that women told me about. The focus of these parties was to let the newly divorced woman know that she is not alone. There was still the occasional destruction of the marriage certificate or burial of the wedding ring, but these seemed to be gestures of providing closure with a focus on moving forward rather than being angry.

It’s important for women to know that they have a support system after their lives have changed so drastically. The activities at these parties were more mild, and they seemed to involve things like watching chick flicks or party games that focused on all the things that the newly divorced woman could do now that her ex was out of the picture. At first I thought that was being awfully critical of their married life, but when I received stories from women who were worried about spending every other weekend without their kids, I began to appreciate how much these women needed a few bright spots to look forward to so that this part of their lives could be a new beginning rather than just the end of huge part of their lives.

The Solidarity Party- Unfortunately, these were the least common party types that women shared with me. I’m sure that this is because a truly amicable divorce, especially when the divorce is recent, is very rare. In these parties, the ex-husband and some of his family and friends attended. The purpose here was to show everyone that they were going to remain on friendly terms and that friends and family didn’t need to choose whether they were going to ally themselves with him or with her.

All of these parties were thrown by couples who had children, and for many this was the driving force behind wanting to have this show of solidarity. They wanted the kids to feel that their relationship with their parents would remain the same even though mom and dad were no longer living together. One couple even wrote “divorce vows” where they promised that they would not speak badly about their ex or make major parenting decisions without consulting their ex. The hopeless romantic in me couldn’t help but think that if they could be so amicable maybe they had a shot at remaining married, but I did admire how they focused on making the divorce as smooth as possible for their children.

After having so much information about divorce parties shared with me, I no longer wrinkle my nose when I hear that a woman is having a divorce party. I can’t help but prefer to hear about ones that are amicable or supportive, but I no longer think any less of the women that feel the need to throw a divorce party that is an out and out celebration. As long as women find these parties helpful for moving forward after divorce I can’t fault them for the type of party the their particular type of divorce has inspired them to throw.
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27. November 2012 · Comments Off on Six Perfect Redneck Date Movies · Categories: Relationships · Tags: , ,

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, right off: redneck date movies, for the most part, are NOT being made today. Your average chick flick is something like Sex and the City – okay for most redneck women, but not what you’d call appealing to the redneck in her.

This gives a distinct advantage to the redneck man: the only absolutely great movies are only out on DVD. This means she has to go to your home to see them – or you need to go to hers. Need I say more on this?

Out of respect for men, there will be no Thelma and Louise in this list, and the movies listed will all include at least something that appeals to the men.

1. Gone With the Wind: This should be the centerpiece of your redneck date-movie library, if you can stand the length. this film is full of romance and drama and comedy and action – it’s the original Hollywood blockbuster, with something for everyone. Because it’s about a three-hour movie, plan a whole evening around it. Have dinner while watching it for the first half, then during the intermission move your dinner stuff out and replace it with your beverage of choice while relaxing on the couch.

2. Steel Magnolias: Okay, this one’s a little chick-flicky, but it’s a guaranteed winner for her, and if you don’t do anything stupid it should even guarantee you a second date. Steel Magnolias is about strong Southern women supporting each other, and though there are no car chases or action scenes more powerful than Dolly Parton’s hair being teased, you will probably enjoy it.

3. Anything by the Duke: You’re going to love these, and with John Wayne, the archetypical strong man, she should just melt. If you’d like a great love story, try The Quiet Man; for something a little more intensely masculine, try Rooster Cogburn. If she’s a military lover – and a lot of redneck women boast loved ones in the military these days – go for some of his war films.

4. Most pre-1960 romantic film classics: Start with Casablanca, and move through all the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers films. If it includes Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, or Errol Flynn, grab it. These are movies most people don’t think of as redneck films – but they are films that promote the ethics Hollywood has lost. A fringe benefit: if you bring her to your house and you have a shelf of these films, she’ll be impressed with your sensitive side. You will not need to do anything additional.

5. Eve’s Bayou is nicely creepy, a psychological thriller set in the hot sultry damp of a Louisiana swamp. If you’re looking for something a little different that you can both discuss later, this is the one.

6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood may overwhelm your testosterone, but it’s a really great movie for making her laugh. Only pick this one up if you’re able to stick out two hours of female empowerment and mushy romantic stuff. It is a fantastic movie, though, and will impress her with your understanding of women.

Not all these are for every redneck man or woman. You will discover when you begin to go through them, that even many of the female oriented ones will catch your eye. And if you show one of these on your first date, you can go with the ye-haa car chase movie on the second one.

26. November 2012 · Comments Off on How Can a Busy Mom Get Time for Fitness? · Categories: Health And Fitness · Tags: , ,

Are You a mom? Do You have time for fitness? Moms really have a tough time. They are the cook, the maid, the taxi driver, the teacher, the referee, and the list could go on. If you’re a mom, you know how to get things done for everyone else, but chances are, you don’t take care of you. In the day where children keep parents on the go, it is hard to do the things you’d like to do.

School schedules, car pools and after school activities combined with household chores and a full-time job doesn’t allow for much time to exercise and workout. However, that excuse is no longer good enough. Today’s mom knows how to get things done. They can squeeze in a last minute dentist appointment for little Tamie and show up without a moment to spare for a class play that little Tommy forgot to mention. Super mom can always find time to do whatever needs to be done to run a happy home for all of the occupants. So the “I don’t have time” doesn’t fly anymore. In fact, moms everywhere should be embarrassed to use the excuse when a real mom knows, if you really want to do something it’s like that Divine Sisterhood stuff , scoot on over , because here comes mom!

It is important to take care of yourself. Plenty of rest and exercise should therefore be one of those little things that you mark on the calendar and do. In fact, do it now. Mark in your day planner or on the dry-erase board your “me-time.” Then, dust off that tennis racket and head on out for the courts with one of your girlfriends, or join a Fitness Center, or take up walking for overall health and fitness. Procrastination is a word that has no meaning for moms wanting to do something nice for their children, the same should apply for what you want or need to do.

Flexibility and diversification is a nice thing. Diversify your workout schedule to include solo walks, tennis matches with girlfriends, and horseback riding with your husband. Be creative in planning your week ahead. If you know that on Monday you have to pick up your daughter from school at 3:00, but your son gets out at 2:30, make proper use of your time and throw your Nike shoes in a gym bag and walk while you wait. If your daughter has a volleyball practice 25 minutes across town at the high school, then take your swimsuit and use the school’s swimming pool to swim laps. Most schools don’t mind if you call ahead and some even offer free swims on certain days of the week.

The most important thing for you to remember is that because you are a mom, you may have to jump in and take advantage of a thirty-minute window just to have time to exercise. Be prepared for those opportunities and learn to expect the unexpected and take care to use the time wisely. If your son’s football practice is held over 45 minutes, continue walking around the track until you hear the sweetest words in the world, “MOM, I’m ready to go!” You can accomplish what you want, even as a busy mom.

20. November 2012 · Comments Off on Top 10 Wedding Cake Cutting Songs & Ideas · Categories: Relationships · Tags: , ,

Your wedding reception is almost over, and the fun and lightheartedness of the day has finally kicked in – it’s time for the cake! One of the least stressful moments of your wedding has begun and to celebrate it, cut your cake with a light, fun song! Traditionally, many brides have used “The Bride Cuts the Cake” (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell), but many modern brides are selecting more contemporary cake cutting songs.

Whether you choose something traditional such as “Happy Together” by the Turtles or something a bit edgier with a rock sound such as “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard, the song you select for your cake cutting ceremony should be reflective of both of your personalities. This is the one moment of your wedding where you do not have to be very traditional, you can be as funky and different as you want to be. When you are cutting the cake you certainly want people to remember the moment for as long as you will and playing the right music will definitely help to make that happen.

Since most songs are several minutes in length, the cake cutting ceremony may be shorter than the song itself. You will want to consult with your band or DJ and let them know exactly how to play the song. Most songs can be cut in length or have only a chorus or two played.

If you are stuck for ideas for songs for your cake cutting ceremony, here is a Top 10 List of Cake Cutting music compiled by DJ Robert Fayder, Owner of Party Perfect NYC.

Wanna Grow Old With You – Adam SandlerWhen I’m 64 – The BeatlesIce Cream – Sarah McGlocklainSugar Sugar – The ArchiesLove and Marriage – Frank SinatraBuild Me Up Buttercup – The FoundationsGoing To The Chapel – The ShirellsHow Sweet It Is – James TaylorHow Deep Is Your Love – Bee GeesYou Make Me So Very Happy – Blood Sweat and Tears
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06. November 2012 · Comments Off on Home Organization – How to Manage Paper Clutter and Create a Filing System, Part One · Categories: Self Improvement · Tags: , ,

Over the years, I have discovered that by far, many people’s number one organizational concern is handling all of their incoming paper: what to keep, what to get rid of, what to DO with it, and how to store it. Paper disorganization is a messy, dangerous business that at best costs you time, and at worst costs you money. The difficult thing is that no matter how many times you clean it up, more paper just keeps flooding in! Follow these tips to find out how to get the problem under control.

1. Eliminate as much paper as possible from your life.

Nix all the floating scraps by putting grocery lists, to-do lists, addresses, and phone numbers directly into your phone or PDA. Use your computer as the ultimate storage device by scanning in your kids’ artwork (where they can now be kept forever in mint condition, as well as effortlessly shared with family and friends), take-out menus, medical records, and non-vital documents. Just make sure to back everything up. Visit catalogchoice.org to cut down on unwanted mailings, and cancel any subscriptions that are routinely going unread. Sign up to have your bills and statements sent to you electronically, and pay them online. This will eliminate the incoming paper bill as well as the need for a checkbook, stamps, and address labels, and as an added bonus, your payments will be processed at least twice as fast as sending them by mail.

2. Get your family on board. It is imperative that they be involved with the process, so they can take some ownership of the results. After all, everyone will benefit from this. It’s vital that they are doing their part to keep the papers to a minimum, or they will be creating chaos as fast as you can clean it up. When you have the system in place, make sure all members understand it and can use it easily.

3. Institute a 24 hour handling rule. If you address your papers every day, it takes less than ten minutes; every week, it takes an hour; every month, well, I sincerely hope you are weeding through your papers more than once a month! Ultimately, all organization boils down to keeping up, and there is no magic wand for that. After dinner, take five minutes a day to go through all of the incoming mail, the kids papers, and the scraps in your pocket or purse. This is also a great way to make sure important reminders aren’t literally slipping through your fingers, and that kids’ permission slips and other notices are being addressed right away.

Make sure to read part two of this article series to find out how to handle the papers you decide to keep!