Friday, May 16, 2014

Patriotic Ribbon Wreath DIY

It's time for BBQs, flip-flops, and three months of patriotic holidays! That's right, Memorial Day in May, Flag Day in June, and Independence Day in July-- the perfect stretch of months for this easy-to-make and beautiful-to-hang flag. Seriously. If you can cut ribbon and tie double-knots, you can make this wreath in just under an hour.

You'll Need:
  • 12-inch wire wreath frame
  • 2 rolls (1-1/2 inch x 4 yard) dark blue ribbon. At Michaels, you can find this in the Celebrate It 360 brand. (Bonus points if you can find this size ribbon with white stars on it! I couldn't!) 
  • 5 rolls (1-1/2 inch x 4 yard) red and white striped ribbon. Again, I found this in the Celebrate It 360 brand. (If you can't find striped ribbon, you can also buy 10 yards of 1-1/2 inch red  and 10 yards of 1-1/2 inch white)
  • scissors
Note: I found all of my materials at Michaels; however, I'm sure that they can be found at other craft stores, too.

  1. Cut your ribbon into strips that are about 6 inches long. If they aren't all exactly the same length, that's okay. Cut your ribbon lengths on an angle
  2. Tape off (or eyeball) a section of the wreath that is roughly 1/4 of your wreath. This will be the blue field of the flag. The other 3/4s will be the striped section. 
  3. Using your 6-inch lengths of blue ribbon, tie a double-knot as tightly as you can. Continue tying double-knots onto the frame until 1/4 of the wreath is covered with blue ribbon. Make sure that the wire frame can't be seen between the ribbon. 
  4. Using the same double-knot technique, add the red and white ribbon to the rest of the frame until the ribbon completely covers it. 
  5. Fluff the ribbon and hang on your door! 

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Date Someone in the Military

(Phew! Chalk this up to my edgiest post title ever! It was a little nerve-wracking to click "publish!")

There was no particular email or conversation that got me thinking about this topic. Rather, it just seems like it's been a post that's been writing itself for the past (almost!) 3 years as I talk to more and more military significant others who have successful relationships. Military life isn't for everyone. Some of us genuinely like it; others of us put up with it because it is a condition of being attached to the person we love. And I want to be clear: those of us who date or marry someone in the military are no better or worse than any other significant other.

Every relationship has its own difficulties; it just happens that when the military's involved, there's a special breed of inevitable obstacles that spring up. And I think, when you start out dating someone, you rarely think about everything that is coming down the pike. But military life (and military relationships) seem to move just a little faster and need more planning than others. If you're teetering on the edge of this particular path, think through the lifestyle before you jump in:

Don't date him/her if you already know you can't be faithful. (And don't date him/her if you believe that "everyone cheats" during deployment.) Period. During John's deployment, I had more than my fair share of people asking me if we were cheating on each other or if we had ever entertained the idea. (Answer: No and no!) Yes, people in the military cheat. (So do people in the civilian world.) But that doesn't mean everyone does, that we all agree with it, or that it's even the "norm." You will be separated from the person you love at some point during their career in the military. If you need physical touch and constant communication so that you won't stray, you need to do some soul-searching. Being apart is hard, but it shouldn't be hard to stay faithful. 

Don't date him/her if you're not resilient. Military life is hard. You're going to move. You will leave your family. You will leave your friends (over and over again). You will  put up with deployment, weird shifts, emergencies, trainings, and a whole bunch of other stuff that will happen at inopportune times and will be the least helpful thing. It's okay to get frustrated, be angry, and cry, but you've got to pick yourself up and move on. If you have a hard time being resilient in the face of challenge (and if you're not willing to try to be), the military lifestyle probably isn't for you. 

Don't date him/her if you care about rank. Uniforms are cute and all and ceremonies are exciting, but really, if you're attached to the rank rather than the person, do yourself a favor and get out now. That's not a healthy way to begin a relationship and it's not fair to the other person. 

Don't date him/her just because of an impending deployment. Deployments put a lot of pressure on everything-- you, your military member, the relationship. They can be tough for people in the most exclusive, committed relationships. If you know that you want to be with that person and you're committed, then go for it! But don't let the sole reason for committing to someone be because of a deployment. Don't ever let yourself be pressured into something you don't want-- it will end badly every time. 

Don't date him/her if you don't have a sense of who you are. I'll say it again-- military life is tough. It can mess with your self-esteem and sense self-worth.You need to know who you are. Have interests, hobbies, and friends. Have a plan for your education and/or career. If your whole identity is wrapped up solely in your service member, it is going to be a tough, lonely life.

Honestly, I think these are good things to think about before entering into any relationship-- no matter the affiliation to the military. (Of course, you might have to modify them a bit, but the basic gist is there.)

For those of you who have been there and have done that, what other advice would you add?

photo credit: Katie Tegtmeyer via photopin cc
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Guest Post: Incorporating Physical Touch in Long Distance Relationships

Today, Cassie from True Agape is writing about physical touch and long distance relationships. (You might remember Cassie from a giveaway we did together about conversation! ) See what she has to say and be sure to check out her bio below!

If your significant other’s Love Language is Physical Touch and you are in a long distance relationship you might be at a loss on how to show them love. That is indeed understandable! But do not fret- it is not a lost cause! You can for sure still continue to fill up your mate’s love tank with these four easy ideas! 

1) Tell them (in your communications either phone, computer or mail) that you can’t wait to hug and kiss them again. Let them know you miss holding their hand and cuddling with them. Although it is not the same as actual touch this will warm their hearts.

2) Send a “hug” via the mail. Write on there how you can’t wait to really get to hug them, but this will have to do for now. This reminds them that you want to be touching them even though you can’t. It helps ease the longing. 

3) Give them something of yours to cuddle or touch. A shirt, stuffed animal or a pillow case are all good options. This is second best to touching you! 

4) Surprise them with an item that smells like you. A small piece of fabric, or something like a sachet. When they lay down their head next to the fabric on their pillow or walk by the hanging sachet they will smell you. It will almost be like you have been there. It will give your lover peace and comfort. 

Although none of these are actually physical touch they are great ideas to help ease the longing of needing that touch from you. Continuing to make sure your mate is feeling loved in their Love Language during long distances is a must!

I am a big believer in knowing your significant other's Love Language and speaking it often! It truly can make a huge difference in your relationship. There are three ways to find out your mate’s Love Language if you don’t know it already. You can find ideas for all five Love Languages on our Love Language Pinterest boards!

Cassie Celestain is a wife, soon-to-be mommy, runner and a marriage and family blogger at TrueAgape. She believes respect, trust, understanding and willingness creates happy marriages and families. She strives to keep those things the main focus in her daily life and wants to challenge others to do the same. You can get her updates at Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

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