Online Dating: Is it Right for You?

If you ask your parents and grandparents advice on finding the love of your life, most of them will come back with things such as, “get out there and meet new people”, or “join a club or go to the gym”, “come to church I have a nice girl I want you to meet’, or “go out and have a few drinks, you never know who you might meet.” But meeting people in person is not as easy as it used to be – especially considering the average person works more hours than ever before.

Most of our single friends and co-workers are on online dating apps. They have a plethora of men or women at their fingertips. Shoot, you can even narrow it down by their age, education, and body size. It’s like online shopping, except for the perfect mate. But is it right for YOU? 

Dating online is a whole new experience – sometimes its like looking at a resume before hiring someone. You have a general idea about the person (or at least what they want you to know) and you can decide if it’s worth your time to talk to them.

But if you think about it, if you meet someone through a friend or family, you don’t really know much about them except what they’ve told your friend or your family. Sure they can tell you what they look like (and at least you don’t have to worry about a photo being super edited, or 20 years old), but it can still be a mystery. You are kind of thrown into a date before really knowing it you’ll hit it off -but with online dating, at least you can get an idea if you vibe or not.

Do You Have Trouble Meeting New People?
For some, its hard to meet new people. Maybe you are like me, a bit reserved and maybe too shy to introduce yourself. Maybe you are just used to hanging out with the same people, at the same places. Maybe people don’t approach you. As we get older its even harder – working all the time, maybe you have kids that keep you super busy and have lots of responsibilities. Online dating can help.

Don’t Have a Lot of Free Time?
A lot of us are crazy busy people – we take the kids to school, go to work, run errands, run to doctors appointments ,go to the gym, take care of pets, do all the housework, run kids to sports or other activities, visit your parents or other family, and half the time we are lucky if we make it home to eat a late dinner and fall asleep catching up on our shows. How are you supposed to meet people then?

At least with online dating you can get match suggestions emailed to you, and  then decide if they are even worth typing a text ‘hello’; if you get to that point, then you can talk and get to know each other throughout your week, like calling or messaging during lunch, while waiting for your daughter to finish soccer, or while doing laundry. You can ‘date’ and get to know people before wasting any precious time.

Do You Know Someone Whose Gotten Lucky?
Did you know that now more than 20% of relationships, and 17% of marriages begin online? Most likely you know someone or know  someone that knows someone who has found a date, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or even a husband/wife online! You can definitely ask them about their experiences and get tips if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Most of my friends – and some family – have met their significant other online. They all say it was nice to get to know someone before going out with them, and when they met it was not uncomfortable since they had been talking for so long. It was as if they had known each other for ever. This helps a lot if you are nervous or anxious when meeting new people; so online really could be the way for you.

Have You Already Tried Everything Else?
Maybe you went out with your co-workers brother, your Aunt gave you the number to her banker, your Mom set you up with the nice guy at church, or your sister had someone she just ‘knew’ you’d hit it off with . If you’ve tried it, been open to all of that – then you might as well give online dating a try.

There are a ton of free dating sites so you don’t even have to commit – just give it a try!

 

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Nutter Butter Sheep

Makes 10
Ingredients List:

• 10 nutter butter cookies
• 1 cup white melting chocolates
• 1 cup black melting chocolates
• 1⁄2 tsp coconut oil
• candy eyes
• tiny white round edible beads (nonpareils)
Additional items:
• ramekins and pan for double boiler set up
• piping cones
• chocolate dipping wand or fork
• wire cooling rack
• parchment paper

Instructions:
• Set up double boiler with shallow pan and ramekins for each color chocolate. Fill with water till half way up side of ramekins *careful not to get water inside them as it will seize the chocolate. Turn heat to medium low.
• Add chocolates and smidge of coconut oil to each, stirring to combine as they melt.
• Using wand or fork, dip nutter butter cookies in black chocolate until thoroughly coated. Hover above dish as chocolate drips off. Set on wire rack to harden.

• Using parchment paper as a base for the white wool, place a cookie on the paper and sketch the sheep wool with a pencil. Fill a piping bag with white melted chocolate and cut a small hole at the end to help make some swirls and texture. Fill in your sketch and top with tiny white edible beads. Put in refrigerator to harden.

• To create the ears, tear a strip of parchment paper. Pour black melted chocolate into piping bag, work quickly to create the ears or use a spoon to create the shapes. *make extra and put in refrigerator to harden.
• Add eyes by dipping a toothpick into the black chocolate and placing a dot on the cows where the eyes will be, quickly place candy eyes.

• Attach the ears by dabbing toothpick in black chocolate and use as a glue.
• Attach head to wool by adding white chocolate to the back of the head and placing in the center of the wool.
• Set to dry and harden.
• Store in airtight container.

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Get Debt Relief Advise from Grand Canyon Advisors

Credit card debt can not only ruin your financially, but have a very poor effect on your overall health – and even relationships. Sometimes it can feel like you will never get out from underneath of it, and I know it can be heavy. But don’t give up! There are ways that you can work on eliminating that debt and yes – become debt free!

The first step is to admit you have a problem – generally speaking most people in credit  card debt didn’t get there paying their rent and regular month to month bills (though it can happen on occasion, however) we overspend. We like it, we buy it. We YOLO our lives (that’s me, I’ve always been about the YOLO) so as much as you do need to live in the moment, you need to be smart, and think about the future. My Dad used to tell me, “Live like there is no tomorrow, but plan as if you’ll live forever.” Balance is key, and you can still enjoy life -but first, we need to get finances under control.

BUDGET EVERY PENNY
This is a hard hard thing for me. But if you realized how much money you ‘waste’ all while complaining that you have all this debt – you’ll understand why others are frustrated with you. Stopping for coffee, grabbing lunch, oh that shirt is on sale, oh I NEED those shoes. You would be surprised how quickly those ‘nickel and dime’ purchases you make add up! Did you know that the average American wastes approximately $1400 a month on non essentials?  Between coffee stops, lunches, subscriptions, etc, that is a lot of money to go towards paying off your debt!

SNOWBALL YOUR DEBT
As Dave Ramsey says, ‘snowball your debt‘Snowballing means you pay the smallest balance off first, and work your way up. What I love about the snowball effect is that you can SEE your debt disappearing. As you pay off 1 card, then another, you start to feel motivated to pay off the others.  When you pay off one card, you take the minimum payment you made on that and you add it to your minimum payment on the next lowest card, and so on and so forth. It’s very fulfilling to see the balances decrease, and cards be completely paid off! (don’t forget to close them once you pay them off – to avoid temptation!)

PICK UP EXTRA JOBS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
I dislike when I hear people say they don’t have time for another job – if that was the case, you probably didn’t have time to spend all the money you did either. You may not make a ton of money, but babysitting, Uber or Lyfting , house cleaning, selling stuff from around your house, ask your job for over time, check your local Facebook community groups for people needing assistance removing debris or a lawn care provider. If you set your mind to it, you CAN do it. The extra $40/$50 bucks won’t seem like much if you just blow it like normal, but if you take it and immediately pay it on debt, it will make a huge difference!

IF YOUR TOO FAR OVER YOUR HEAD, TALK TO GRAND CANYON ADVISORS
Most of us can cut back, or work more to get a head of our debt and work on becoming debt free- but there are some that are in soo deep that they need professional help to negotiate interest rates ,or payments or even collections. The advisors at Grand  Canyon can look at your individual case and help you determine what the best cause of action is for you.

Don’t delay! As much as you’d like to ignore it , debt doesn’t go anywhere unless you take care of it!

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Ways to Build Your Teenagers Self Esteem

Parents play a vital role in building up their kids’ self-esteem, sometimes without even realizing it. It may be through a simple compliment for a job well done, disciplining them for doing the wrong thing, or simply kissing them goodbye as they leave for school in the morning.

Unfortunately, we all have those days when we unknowingly tear down our kid’s esteem instead of being the wind under their wings.

However, self-esteem plays a key role in your teenager’s life. It affects their actions, thoughts, choices. Teenagers who grow up with a high level of self-esteem can make better decisions, and have the courage to try out new, different things.

Self-esteem can be the difference between a child who says no to peer pressure, actively participates in class, tries out for a sports team, or one who does nothing at all.

Parents play an especially vital role in a teenager’s esteem, and this is one of the best things a parent can gift their child. Listening, words of encouragement, recognizing accomplishments, and generously giving praise go a long way to raise your teen’s self-worth.

Confidence, Self Esteem, and Resilience

Confidence is the firm belief in what you are capable of. By being confident, you’re sure of your abilities and know that you will be successful in a particular situation or task.

While confidence is related to self-esteem, the two don’t always go together. Self-esteem makes you feel good about yourself and also makes you feel worthwhile.

Having high self-esteem, however, doesn’t always mean that you feel confident about yourself.

Resilience, on the other hand, is having the tenacity to bounce back or cope with difficult or stressful situations. When resilient kids learn that they can deal with anything that comes their way, their confidence is bettered.

How Parents Can Build Their Teens’ Self Esteem

Confidence gives teenagers the ability to make better, well-informed decisions. Teens who are brimming with confidence to avoid situations that they deem unfit, and aren’t afraid to say no because social acceptance becomes less of an issue

Confident teens are more assertive, enthusiastic, persistent and more positive.  For instance, confident kids deal with breakups better than less confident kids would. A confident girl will probably be upset, but will quickly realize that she can easily bounce back, or instead focus on other aspects of her life.

Less confident kids will blame themselves for the breakup, further affecting their self-esteem by making themselves feel like they aren’t worth dating.

Teenagers need your help to build self-esteem. Here’s how you can help build confidence and resilience in your child:

Let Them Explore Their Interests or Talents

Your kid is good at something. Whatever it may be, give them the opportunity to follow their passion, as crazy as it may seem to you.

As flippant as you may think them to be, your teenager’s interests can provide a safe outlet & maybe even opportunities for success. Sports is a common interest for girls and boys alike.

Just keep in mind that your child’s zeal for a particular sport may wane over time, be it lacrosse, ice hockey or baseball. “Hold off on buying top of the line baseball gear just yet, and look for youth baseball bats on clearance instead,” reads The Bat Nerd’s reviews.

So long as the hobby doesn’t interfere with other important responsibilities such as school work, support him wholeheartedly.

Parents shouldn’t just say no – Help your teen find ways to find their self-identity and build self-esteem.

Be Generous With Praise

Parents often praise their kids only when they accomplish great feats. While this is okay, kids need encouragement along the way too. Praise them often not only for their achievements or for doing the right thing, but for making the effort too, even when they don’t succeed.

That said, teenagers with low self-esteem may find it awkward if praised too much. Give the compliments sparingly so that it doesn’t sound dishonest because it may have the opposite effect by making them feel like you’re just saying it to make them feel good.

Celebrate the small victories as well, not just the big ones – Good test results, a project well done, anything. It doesn’t have to be a grand celebration as long as they know that you’re proud of them. Kids love to hear that they’ve made you proud, regardless of their age.

Additionally, saying things like “You must be very proud of yourself” helps them internalize their feelings of self-worth, and don’t need to seek validation from their peers or external sources.

Offer Constructive Criticism

It’s okay to criticize your teen when they’re wrong. However, be extremely careful that it does not berate them in any way or hurt their feelings.

In your criticism, praise the effort they put in and encourage them to keep trying.

Seek Your Youngster’s Opinion

Teenagers have lots of opinions. Seek their opinions on everyday decisions and put them into practice. What does he think about getting a new TV? Replacing the old couches with new ones? Teens live the feeling of responsibility and being treated like adults.

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Princess Leia Cupcakes

If you are a Star Wars fan like me, you are super excited about the upcoming movie, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – so in honor of all things Star Wars, for Halloween this year, we are making Princess Leia cupcakes that are almost too cute to eat!

These are great for any parties that you might be going to – (they are always a hit) and – bonus – they taste amazing too!

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes:
    • 2 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp vinegar
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 1 cup water
  • 1 can of your favorite vanilla frosting
  • 3/4 cups marshmallow fondant or white modeling chocolate
  • Gold sprinkles 
  • Brown GEL food coloring
  • Black writing icing
  • Red writing icing
  • 24 OREO cookies
  • Wax paper (just to set your marshmallow fondant on)
  • Round decorating tip and bag
  • Small round cookie cutter
  • Rolling pin

 

Instructions

  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Combine wet ingredients (including butter) in a second medium sized bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in ⅓ increments, mixing thoroughly between each increment.
  5. Spoon into lined cupcake pan.
  6. Bake for 30-minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool cupcakes completely before decorating.
  8. Work 5-10 drops of brown GEL food coloring into marshmallow fondant. 
  9. Roll the beige marshmallow fondant out flat with a rolling pin or your hands.
  10. Using your round cookie cutter, cut 12 small circles to make Leia faces.
  11. Place Leia faces into refrigerator until you’re ready for them.
  12. With your largest decorating tip, press into the top of the cupcake off-center, creating a well. Save hole tops.
  13. Place 1 tablespoon of the gold sprinkles inside the well in the cupcake.
  14. Replace hole top on each cupcake.
  15. Place round tip in piping bag.
  16. Fill the piping bag with the white frosting.
  17. Frost each cupcake in a swirl, turning the piping bag as you pipe, leaving a flat place on top.
  18. Place a Leia face on the top of each cupcake.
  19. Place an OREO cookie on each side of each cupcake.
  20. Using the black writing icing, fill in the spaces between the OREO cookies and the Leia face, add a single drop for eyes on the Leia faces, fill-in the spaces between cookie halves where you can see the cream and draw in hair on top of the Leia faces.
  21. Using the red writing icing, make little lips on each Leia face.
  22. Serve!

 

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