5 Meaningful Ways To Celebrate Your Engagement

Your engagement is such an exciting and unique time in your life – full of joy, love, anticipation, excitement and possibility. Many of us immediately go full tilt into wedding planning, but taking the time to celebrate being engaged is important. It’s a time that you never get back. If you want to mark it with some celebrations, but don’t want to plan the traditional party, here are five other ways you can enjoy this special time:

 

  1. Try an ‘Engagement-Moon’

Why save all the fun for after the wedding? With more and more couples now opting to delay their honeymoon until longer after the wedding, you could consider booking in a trip to celebrate before the big day itself. Whether you opt for a sunshine break or just go for a local hotel, a weekend away together goes you a chance to celebrate together. Wedding planning can be a crazy process, so take some time away from the stress to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company. Groupon has some great deals for short city breaks if you’re on a wedding budget.

 

2. Host a Games Night

 

If you are friends with lots of other couples, and you’d like to include them in a celebration -but he idea of a traditional, formal party leaves you cold – why not host a low-key games night? Get everyone to bring nibbles and drink and set up a poker table or bring out the board games (Jenga gets seriously competitive and hilarious after a couple of drinks!). It will bring people together without the pressure of a large event and you’ll get to celebrate your news together with your friends.

 

3. Involve The Wedding Party

 

If you already know you have a group of girlfriends that you’re planning to make bridesmaids, invite them for an afternoon tea to kick off the planning process. It’s lovely to get your girls involved in the lead up to the big day itself – from browsing through piles of wedding magazines for dress inspiration to hitting up 77 Diamonds to find the perfect wedding rings and of course, giving their opinions on cake flavours, bridesmaid dresses and flower arrangement! You could even have them help by finding out how to make your own wedding invitations. It makes each step on the journey to getting married exciting in its own right if you share it with others.

 

4. Visit The Place You First Met

 

If you’re a sucker for a bit of romance, why not go back to where you and your husband to be first met? A sweet way to take a moment out, if you’re planning a wedding website you could even get some pictures taken there recreating when it all began and celebrating your story.

 

5. Spend Time With The In-Laws

 

They’re about to become your family, but you may not have actually spent all that much time with your husband to be’s parents and siblings. It’s he perfect time to get together all the family for a nice dinner and share your happiness and news of how the wedding planning is coming along. Use this exciting time to build stronger bonds and introduce the two sets of families before the day arrives- it will make for a much smoother celebration if everyone already knows each other a bit.

All You Need To Know About Planning a Destination Wedding in Florida

With thousands of miles of stunning coastline, and good weather pretty much guaranteed all-year round, it can be easy to see why Florida is on the list of many people that are looking for a destination wedding. Florida has so many natural features and unique qualities, that can be a destination for all couples and all budgets. Whether you want to be on the beach saying ‘I do’ out onto the gulf, have a Disney wedding, or fancy being deep in the Everglades; there is something for everyone.

 

But if you’re not local, there are a few tips and tricks that you need to know to help you to save some money along the way. Here is a quick guide to help.

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Top Cities To Choose

 

Based on trends from previous years that show where most people in Florida get married, these can be the best cities to choose from:

 

  • Miami
  • Tampa
  • Orlando
  • Florida Keys
  • Jacksonville

 

Though these are the cities that most people have been choosing to get married in, there are some interesting stats about the costs of having a wedding in Florida. And interestingly, it does vary from which part of the state you choose. The south has some of the more costly and luxurious wedding venues, much like the Coral Gables Country Club, whereas the north of the state, a little less popular for weddings, has some cheaper destinations and venues. So that could be worth thinking about if you’re looking to keep costs down. Other costs, like flowers, planners, and music were all pretty similar across the board.

 

Making It Legal

 

There is no point going all the way to Florida to find out that you’re not legally able to get married as you don’t have a marriage license. If you’re from Florida, then you have to allow a three-day period to wait, from applying to it being legal. So with some planning, it should be done in the weeks leading up the wedding. The good news is if you’re coming in from abroad or out of state, that you don’t have to have that waiting period, so you can arrive, get the licence, and get married pretty soon after.

 

You will need a licensed official to officiate at the wedding, as well as checking things like land permits if you choose to have a beach wedding or in a park, for example.

 

Picking the Best Date

 

If you don’t want to incur additional fees for having to stay longer at hotels, for instance, then it is best to avoid getting married during the hurricane season, which is around July to October. There can be more rainfall during this period too, as well as more humid weather. It is also a good idea to avoid the super touristy times to visit. Easter is one of the most popular times for tourists to visit Florida, and as a result, the prices can rise massively. Avoid spring break and other popular tourist times too, especially if you’re on a budget.

 

Good luck planning your wedding!

Improving Your Communication Skills Step By Step

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Improving your communication skills step by step does require a little work, but it’s always more than worth it. If you have the patience and the willingness to be a little bumbling and awkward in the first few attempts, you can dramatically increase your ability to improve your interpersonal relationships with a wide range of people. Here’s how:

 

Comfort Zone

 

We can all talk to our family members. It’s easy. We have likely been speaking to them since we learned how to talk. For this reason, it’s important to go out of your comfort zone. Talking to your mother on the phone is nice and should often be done, but sometimes engaging in conversation with strangers is much more instructive. So, why not? Strike up small talk with shop clerks, bartenders who aren’t busy, and your hairdresser.

 

Talk to people at bars that appeal to you, and speak to that person at the office you have been gently smiling to when passing for the last year. Simply walk up and say ‘hey.’ It’s that easy. See where the conversation goes from there. Past giving you a list of things to say and ask, or providing you with a quality chat line guide, experience can be one of the best things to do. Even if you make a fool of yourself for the first one hundred people, you will gain something from each interaction.

 

No More Miss. Nice Girl

 

It’s important to know that dialogue is not all about trying to win the affection of other people. It’s to contribute to a discourse which keeps you both interested. If the other person is not responsive, interested or come across as rude, there’s no need to continue. There’s also no need to become hostile. Having a backbone means having the ability to see that they might be having a bad day, or to simply withdraw from their presence. That doesn’t make you a bad person in the slightest, just someone who values their time. Don’t waste your time trying to talk to people who don’t care about the interaction. You can usually assess this through body language, the content and energy behind their speech, as well as a host of other instinctual factors. Respect your time, and you start respecting the time of other people.

 

Listen

 

Good conversation is 20% speaking and 80% listening. You’ll see that this works because people often lighten up when they see that you’re willing to exercise them this courtesy. They will often return it. However, you’ll be able to assess relatively quickly if someone isn’t interested in letting you speak, as the conversation will become tainted and feel a little strange. Again, if this happens and you’re not interested in the topic of conversation, don’t be afraid to withdraw from the entire ordeal.

 

With these tips in mind, your conversations will likely become much more interesting and wholesome. Not only will you have the confidence to engage, but also the self-respect to understand what is and isn’t a conversation worth your time.

 

Good luck!

 

The Enriching Power of Writing

For a lot of people, successful writing is synonymous with famous authors, such as J.K. Rowling, or even the poet and freelance technical writer Millicent Borges Accardi. But success doesn’t systematically mean wealth. You can use the power of writing in a variety of missions and circumstances, and even if it doesn’t increase your income, it will still be enriching. How does this work? You’re about to find out how words can change your world for the better.

Who doesn’t love to receive a letter?  

A confidence boost

Not everyone is born confident. In fact, a lot of people struggle so with self-confidence and self-worth that they feel stuck in a dark place. You can learn to bring some confidence back into your life. It’s a long process, and you naturally need to find a positive force to guide you. But leaving encouraging messages to yourself, and even writing down notes to get used to the power of positive thinking can help you to conquer your issues. You can keep a bullet journal in which you populate a happy vibes page which things for which you are grateful and positive affirmations. Writing it down is a way of helping your brain to learn new thinking processes.

Unify your family

When was the last time you sent a letter to a friend or a relative? Since the apparition of mobile phones, letters and postcards have fallen out of love, which is a pity because everyone loves to receive something thoughtful in the post. To encourage yourself to write letters instead of sending group messages, you can start with buying great personalized stationery which you can even customize to the names and address of your family. It’s a fantastic idea to revive all family ties that you’ve left undisturbed for years. Do you remember that old aunt who lives in a rural area or your cousins you haven’t seen since your wedding? Grab your pen and start writing.

Inspire others

Have you heard the story of the father who writes children’s books for his daughter, because the little girl was disappointed that none of the characters looked like her? A little girl asked her father why nobody in the books she liked looked like her, and whether it means she couldn’t become a hero herself. Her father decided to respond by creating sweet storybooks that portray a character that looked just like his daughter so that the little girl could also have a fictional role model.

 

Calm your nerves

The process of writing can be extremely soothing too. If you’ve never tried calligraphy, you might want to discover the art of drawing letters. Watching professional calligraphers can be immensely satisfying and therapeutic in itself, but for many, it’s the combination of precision and beauty that brings peace to the mind. If you’re not sure how to start, watch the short film, Ink by Ryan Couldrey, which focuses on the word “ink” written by hand by a talented calligrapher. Hear the sound as the tip scratches the paper delicately and feel your worries flow with the ink.

The art of lettering

Do you think you can investigate the benefits of writing for yourself? From bringing your family together to investing in your own peace of mind, writing can transform your life.

Nine Ways You Can Inject Confidence In To Your Life Starting Right Now

Confidence is something that doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us. However, I find that something like confidence can actually be a learnt behaviour and less likely to be something that comes naturally. In fact. Many of the most confident people we probably come across in our daily lives are less likely to naturally be that way and more likely to have picked up a few tricks of the trade along the way. You often find that sometimes different events in your life can have a big impact on your confidence levels. Doing something great in work, progressing in your career or even feeling the love from a partner or your family. They can all boost your confidence. But what happens in those periods of your life where you are not getting that promotion or pay rise, when things are a little more tough than you would like them to be, what happens then? I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can inject some confidence into your life. Some of which you could start right now. I hope they help you to feel more confident in everyday 

Read self help books

 

There are some great books out there these days that can really help you to start feeling more confident. They all have different methods so it is a case of finding the best one for you. Not every self help book you will read will help, but they can certainly give you the tools to work on your own methods. Books like The Secret are really popular and use methods like visions boards and positive thought processes, whereas others like the one thing help you to prioritise your workload and feel confident in what you are doing. A quick look online will help you identify the best ones to try. Even if you read a few pages each evening or take on one point a day and try and change your behaviour and habits on a more gradual way, you will start to feel more at ease and more confident.

Dress to impress

 

Surprisingly, how you dress can have a huge impact on your confidence, and it is all about dressing for occasion. For example, when it comes to work, you need to consider some of the ways you come across. A big meeting or sales presentation means that dressing to impress or power dressing as it can be referred to can be a big way to boost your confidence. You instantly feel like you are playing the part and looking like you are on top of things can be half the battle. It can all be about physical appearance, and no one needs to know that underneath the exterior you are paddling to keep afloat and not really sure about what you are doing. Appearance is half the battle, and nailing it can give you an instant boost.

 

Change your hairstyle and physical appearance

 

On the subject of appearance and what you wear, you may want to start thinking about other aspects of your appearance that you can make changes to. Appearance in your hair, for starters, can instantly transform the way you look and even just a visit to the hairdressers can have you feeling fabulous. Whether you like the idea of looking for inspiration for the best bob haircuts or how to make more of your long locks. Again with physical appearance you can also consider things like makeup and how you present yourself. These two things can really help to boost your confidence and they can be really simple to make changes to. Just stick with what makes you feel good and what will help to enhance your actions. Be that in work or your daily routine and life.

 

It’s all in the scent

 

Sometimes it isn’t about the physical changes but the impact you have on others that can boost your confidence, and would you believe that your scent can be one of the easiest ways to do it. Sprtizing your favourite perfume or even just feeling confident when it comes to your personal hygiene such as cleanliness and even using a scented body lotion can really boost your confidence. Also your scent can be a conversation starter.

 

Think about self-care

 

The next thing to think about would be self-care. It might be in the simplest of forms where you just indulge in some time for yourself. This could be heading to bed earlier so you feel more awake and rejuvenated for the day, which can instantly give you that confidence boost of nailing it. It might be enjoying a nice warm bath to help you relax and unwind at night, or it could even be self-care in terms of taking a few moments to complete your skincare routine instead of rushing it. Self-care can also be a mental thing, and surprisingly taking care of your mental health can really help to boost your confidence levels as you become more intune with your thoughts and how you are acting. Self-care can also be about gratitude and filling yourself up by reminding you that there are some great things to feel happy about. Grateful for your health or your day, things that have happened and your family. Spending five minutes to be thankful can really help you to feel at ease and also confident in your life choices. It can make the world of difference.

 

Positive thinking can go a long way

 

Another thing to consider would the way you think. We may have already touched on this subject a little but actually it deserves a whole paragraph in its own right. Positive thinking is powerful. It can turn any situation around but just a few different thoughts and it can even help you to understand things differently. Positive thinking can feel very forced at first. It is about ensuring that every thought you have is  apositive one, even if you start to think negatively the idea is to turn that negative into something more positive. Once you start to do it more often you find that you will create new habits to replace odl negative ones, and you’ll end up naturally thinking more positive, which in turn will help you to look and feel more confident.

 

It isn’t crazy to talk to yourself

 

So many times we are told that taking to ourselves could be a sign of craziness. While having a full blown conversation with yourself could be quite questionable, there is something in talking to yourself and telling yourself the right messages. There is a difference between someone looking at themselves in the mirror and regularly repeating positive affirmations of how they want to feel or how they want something to go. Saying things like “you are worthy of this” “you are amazing” “you look fantastic” are absolutely fine. More people use this action to really affirm what they want out of life, and this can be directly associated with books and thought processes like the secret, which encourages you to tell the universe what you want and use the law of attraction to get it. After all, you are your biggest fan, and so telling yourself every once in awhile how awesome you are is no bad thing at all, and should definitely be encouraged if you are looking to boost your confidence.

 

 

Take compliments on board

 

Some people find it really difficult to take compliments from others. When someone tells you that you have done a good job you might instantly dismiss them and not accept it. However, compliments and praise are a great way to boost your confidence. The truth is, a compliment is an opinion about you formed by someone else. You have no control over that thought that they have had about you, so if they choose to think that you are amazing then accept that and own it. Compliments are hard to handle and they can embarrass you in some way, but don’t ever dismiss someone else’s opinion on yourself. This is where you can learn attributes and great things about you that you never even thought was a possibility.

 

Take on the criticism

 

Finally, just as much as you should take on the compliments you also need to be weary and take on the criticisms you recieve. Some people can’t accept criticism well, just like they can’t take a compliment and often this sort of behaviour goes hand in hand. Criticism should not be seen as a bad thing, in fact, it is a great way to help you improve on things and to only get better. Someone criticising you, and when it comes from a good place, genuinely means they are trying to help you succeed. I understand that some people though can also say criticism from a bad place, and while it is good to take on board some critique, it is also worth remembering that you can choose to decline other people’s opinions of you. The best advice is to no what is sincere and what isn’t.

 

I hope that these tips help you to inject some confidence in your life.